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The Lusty Lady is a pair of defunct peep show establishments, one in downtown Seattle and one in the North Beach district of San Francisco. The Lusty Lady was made famous by the labor activism of its San Francisco workers and the publication of several books about working there.
The Seattle Lusty Lady, known originally as the Amusement Center, was opened in the s by two business associates, who soon after opened the other location in San Francisco. Originally, both Lusty Ladys showed 16mm peep show films only; in live nude dancers were added and became the main focus of the businesses.
The San Francisco branch had already entered the news in when it became the first and as of [update] only successfully unionized sex business in the U. The Seattle branch closed in June The Lusty Lady featured exotic dancers in a peep show setting on a main stage and in one-on-one booths. The main stage featured several nude women dancing, separated by glass windows from the customers who each stood in their own booth, paying by the minute.
The dancers were also available for more explicit private shows in the VIP and Private Pleasures booths. These were also glass-separated private booths where customers could give direction to the show and tipping was possible.
Rates for shows varied by dancer. The Private Pleasures booth also occasionally featured "Double Trouble" shows, with two dancers who might have performed a lesbian sex show.
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Once a year, The Lusty Lady SF organized a "Play Day": the dancers came out from behind the glass, explained the operation of the club to customers, and allowed behind-the-scenes peeks. Lusty Lady occasionally featured "art days", exhibiting erotic photographs and paintings in the hallways. In Februaryboth peep shows featured a video art exhibition called "Peepshow 28", with one channel in all video booths devoted to showing a sequence of 64 short videos exploring voyeurism, exhibitionism and sexuality.
Dancers were paid an hourly wage. Inthe Seattle Lusty Lady survived a threatened wrecking ball when the building's owner, a Seattle family, refused a multimillion-dollar tear-down offer from developers of a new Four Seasons Hotel next door. In Januarypolice arrested a peeping tom in the Lusty Lady who had climbed up from a viewing booth into the ceiling crawl space overhead, then partly crashed through the glass ceiling above the stage.
The economic climate and the rise of Internet pornography were cited as reasons for closing. In the wake of the Lusty Lady announcing its shutdown, the NPR program All Things Considered did a story focusing on the peep show's history and relationship to the broader downtown Seattle community. It includes photos by Langley who had worked there as a dancer since as well as essays by a of Lusty Lady dancers, who vary considerably in their attitudes toward their customers and toward their work. Elisabeth Eaveswho had stripped at the Lusty Lady incompleted graduate school and returned in to write a book about stripping in general and her experiences in particular, Bare: On Women, Dancing, Sex, and Powerpublished in The first murder in the pilot of the TV series Millennium takes place in a Seattle peep show modeled on the Lusty Lady.
The statewide ban on alcohol sales in strip clubs needs to change, exotic dancers say.
The theater show My Time With the Lady is a first-person about working at the Lusty Lady by a long-time janitor and bouncer. It opened in Seattle in August It was open 24 hours a day, though the live stage was closed between 3 and 11 AM. Several grievances led to the unionizing effort in African American feminist sociologist Siobhan Brooks while working at the club had noticed that African American dancers were discriminated against and filed a complaint. Among the leaders of the organizing drive was the stripper Julia Query who documented the efforts on video, resulting in the documentary Live Nude Girls Unite!
Former Lusty Lady employee Siobhan Brooks commented in a article that "In some cases the media misquoted us as being the first strip club to unionize. But the first strip club to unionize was Pacer's in San Diego. Open shop means there's no requirement that employees the union, so the club recruited workers and discouraged them from ing the union and were able to decertify the union.
After management cut hourly compensation at the San Francisco Lusty Lady inthe workers struck and won, but the closure of the peep show was announced soon after. The subsequent efforts to turn the club into a worker cooperative were led by Donna Delinqua stage namea stripper and graduate student in English.
Other cooperatives provided input, among them the worker-owned San Francisco sex-toy business Good Vibrations. After the change in ownership, the union was retained, but some changes in management were instituted. While dancers had been regularly evaluated by managers before, now a peer review process was established wherein dancers evaluate each other.
The team leaders are elected from among the dancers for six month terms. A dispute began in the summer of when a male employee wrote a confidential to the co-op board, complaining that hiring of too many heavy women drove customers away, thus lowering every employee's income. One member of the board posted the message on a message board, causing considerable consternation among dancers. The board member was dismissed. On Tuesday August 20,the Lusty Lady in San Francisco announced that it would close its doors for business in just two weeks, on Monday at a.
September 2, Defunct peep show establishments. For the magazine containing the biweekly sex-related column, see Village Voice.
Accessed online Retrieved 3 June Report on visiting the Peepshow 28 video art exhibition. Reports on the book by Elisabeth Eaves. Jamieson Jr. The Stranger.
Retrieved Blee eds. Report on the unionizing effort. Archived from the original on 16 September Hidden : Webarchive template wayback links Articles with short description Short description matches Wikidata Articles containing potentially dated statements from All articles containing potentially dated statements.
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