Weird, wacko, inordinate choice, just anything; such opinions matter little to her. For 28 year old Anastasia, tall, chocolate colour, endowed with well rounded mammary glands and other feminine attributes that are the nemesis of men, it appears nothing will separate her from the love of strip dancing. The young golden-haired lady is indeed hooked on her chosen profession.
With gusto, she declares, “I love it die. Strip dancing brings out the weirdness in me, especially when I see men watch with open mouths and salivate as if they could devour me any moment. It fills me with sense of power to get such rapt attention; only God knows what goes on in their minds. For me, I just do my thing, have fun, get paid and move on.” Ann as she is simply called, however, objected to her picture being taken. “Nobody knows I do this; even my parents or relatives do not know. Even the name I told you was not my real name. It is my business name. But that’s how I make ends meet.”
Strip clubs everywhere
Strip clubs are not new in Lagos. What is new is how the clubs are invading nooks and crannies of the centre of excellence. In 2009, some of these clubs were closed by a Task Force for operating in residential areas without permit. But they were later reopened when the state lawmakers felt that there was nothing illegal about the business.
That action may have emboldened the operators. Investigations by Saturday Sun showed that places like Igando, Ikotun, Egbe, Ajegunle, Okokomaiko, Egbeda, Festac now have enough dose of hotels that operate their own kind of strip club.
At Igando, very close to the main bus stop, is Oxygen Bar and Lounge; close to Iba Estate on Iyana – Iba – Isheri expressway, you find Ibuoye.
When this reporter visited Egbe town after hostel bus stop on Ikotun-Egbe road, some young ladies between the ages of 18 and 30 years were seen hanging around. But investigation showed that those ones were resident prostitutes. “I am not a strip dancer”, Beauty, one of the ladies told Saturday Sun , “I hustle here. I have my room inside. I can’t dance Unclad before all these men. When a man wants to see me, we go inside my room and do it”.
On further probing, Beauty said, short time ranges between N1000 and N3000 depending on what the man wants in addition. “The strip dancers come from outside. They are paid around N10,000. And they make more money from the men who sometimes do it with them at the dance floor.”
In these hotels, it is common to see banners hanged at their gates, lavishly designed with photographs of half clad ladies. “The banners are not mere advertisement puff,” a bar tender told Saturday Sun. “They are tips of the iceberg of the real stuff we can offer. Our girls are carefully selected for maximum satisfaction,” he said. At Ibuoye where a bottle of beer that sells for N300 in the ordinary bar, goes at double the price inside the club, a service boy told the reporter that some of the girls seen were the strippers but were waiting till the club starts proper around 12am to change into their performance regalia.
What they do
Strip dancing also known as pole dancing is about skimpily dressed ladies smooching a silvery pole with ease and twisting their body seductively in a manner of dancing; engaging in erotic dance steps packaged in a manner that the largely male audience can’t resist.
Occasionally, the girls pull up their bikinis and lingerie, revealing sexy and sensuous cleavages to the delight of the male dominated watchers. Aside wriggling around the poles, the half nude girls also serve their patrons with lap dance which is sitting on a client’s lap while performing seductive acts. It was learnt that during the clubbing, sometimes the dancers, when given enough tips, have MouthAction with guests.
The girls go extra miles to entertain their guests; exhibiting daring tendencies towards clients as they throw themselves at men with ease, allowing free handling which in most highbrow strip bars are not allowed. While servicing a client, male or female, as women also visit strip clubs, especially the highbrow ones, such client is expected to generously stuff money in the girl’s bra and pant. The price differs; but the more, the merrier, for maximum pleasure; as liberal spray of good naira or dollar notes ensures the dancer stays longer with such generous client.
Investigation showed that strip dancing appears to have become a fad, a sort of selling advantage; such that most hotels in these suburbs now operate their own brand of strip club. In most of the hotels visited, there were no elaborate decorations like in the ones in the highbrow areas. At Egbe city, plastic chairs were part of the seats seen at the VIP floor with seven dancing poles. Any space usually demarcated from the main open bar, with coloured bulbs could do.
“After all, what makes strip club tick is the liquor and the lewd dancers”, Elias, a patron of strip club said. “Forget about all those high brow clubs that charge exorbitant prices for the same thing.
If I can catch my fun around here at a cheaper rate why waste so much money elsewhere?”
Before the proliferation of strip clubs; it was only in places like Ikeja, Opebi, Ikoyi, Victoria Island that you find clubs like The Cave, Millenium Koko, Wall Street Bar, Ocean Blues, Unique Club etc.
Patrons of such places are mainly the upper class; people with deep pockets. To gain access into the main place attracts about N5,000 as gate fee. This does not, however, cover the cost of drink or the cost of lap dances the client may be treated to. On a good day, lap dance costs between N3,000 and N5,000. Being at the VIP section costs between N20,000 to N30, 000. The drinks still don’t come cheap. For instance, a bottle of Malt or Smirnoff Ice sells for N800; a bottle of stout and other beers go for between N1,000 and N2,500 . The cost of wine and spirits range from N10,000.
Saturday Sun learnt that one of the clubs, Unique Club even published a magazine called Unique Babes. In it, the female dancers’ seductive photographs were displayed with reckless abandon. Some of the clubs have girls who are partly quartered in rooms in which willing clients can have ‘full’ blast sexual experience with any girl of their choice.
For this service, the client would part with about N6,000 to the club as rent and about the same amount to the girl for her service. For instance, Millennium Koko said to parade the largest number of strippers, who claim to be undergraduates; aside the conventional nightclubbing has suites for customers who wish to relax after having enjoyed the strip dance.
Investigations showed that some of these girls indeed raise money through this means to pay their school fees and take care of their needs; but many are just out of greed and living weird life. “Many are girls who come from broken homes and lacked parental guidance.
Most of these strip dancers have one funny story another. They either claim to have poor parents or being in need of school fees. All I know is that it is a weird life. How can a lady created by God expose her body and allow men to do all sorts of things with her? And it is painful because these girls are indeed very beautiful. May be some of them are possessed by demons,” Paul who said he was visiting for the first time out of curiosity told Saturday Sun.
One of the girls, Chi claims poverty drove her into her choice of profession; that she was an undergraduate in one of the universities in Lagos. According to her, the only way to get out of the doldrums was to do what she is doing and see herself through her education.
Why men patronise strip clubs
Ikechukwu, a respondent shared his experience why men patronise strip clubs. “Men patronise strip clubs because there’s a 100% guarantee that there will be women there with no clothes. Any man who denies that this is the most important reason should ask himself whether he would still go there if 60-year-old men were the ones taking off their clothes.
“Men love to see women’s bodies. The more they see, the better. In a strip club, they don’t have to ask, beg. Another reason is that these men are living a secret affair with no strings attached. Men usually fantasise about beautiful women; they see beautiful women as the epitome of successful dating. By seeing women of equivalent beauty that are completely nude and seemingly vulnerable, going to a strip joint allows them to get closer to that fantasy. It is like a live version of the sexual escapades men dream about at night. It isn’t cheating, but the thought of engaging one of the women does cross the minds of most men.”
For 26 year old Patrick, “My girlfriend gets tired of having sex with me. She won’t admit it. But it’s true, particularly after a long day of work. My urges, though, never subside. I literally see pink everywhere and I have to find a way to release it.
Otherwise, I’ll go crazy and just think about sex until my head explodes. I think my girlfriend would also break up with me because she would feel too much like a sex doll. I’m doing us all a favour. I know no one will believe me, but my desire for women is like a disease. ”
Chika, 35 year old trader, said, “the kind of girl guys like me want to find at a strip club is a unicorn. She doesn’t exist in real life. Actually, she doesn’t exist in the club once they turn the lights on.
It’s all an illusion of sexiness, whereas my wife is a real person that I love till death do us part or whatever. When I hit a club I don’t even feel like I’m cheating at all. I’m in a fantasy. I don’t expect my wife to understand this and I don’t even try to explain to her what going to a club is like for me. She would not take it the right way and freak out over nothing.”
For Sebastine, 45 year old fashion consultant: “As I think about this, I don’t think I can really justify my relationship with strip clubs except to just straight-up admit I chase paid pussy like an addict. If you have the money to be with all these beautiful women, why not take advantage of it? Like who wouldn’t? What is wrong with you? I’m sure your wife is hot, but look so are a million other women you’ve never seen before. It is just a taste of varieties, another justification is just that almost all rich people do this; most celebrities engage in it. They really do particularly the rich and famous because the only way they get their kicks is to just ensure the transaction is a transaction, among other reasons. It’s sort of sad but most of the time it’s just the ultimate luxury. It’s a shame there is such a stigma about it by the public.”
Bankole, another respondent said, “Because of my work I travel a lot to Japan, Germany, Vietnam, I’ve been all over. Each and every place I got I end up going to a strip club with the guys from whatever branch I’m visiting. My wife knows that I go and I’ve always justified it to her by saying that I’m expected to go and that it would put everything we’ve built together at risk if I snubbed these guys. All that’s true but I have to admit that when drunk I’ve made more than my fair share of poor decisions and I’ve cheated nearly half a dozen times over the last year. But I figure as long as I love my wife and I’m playing it safe then what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her.”
Osita, a guy in his mid thirties, said, “I don’t really enjoy a strip club. I’d much rather be at a bar than paying someone for sex. Paying for sex is stupid. I genuinely believe this. But surprisingly, I still find myself at strip clubs at least 3-4 times a year and blowing my whole pay chque.”