Illegal Service and Dodgy "Girls"
Updated: Aug 24
So, in my last article I rambled about the fact I interviewed a strip-club worker to find out more on the industry. I signed off with the line:
Just steer clear of mafia-run brothels. That’s another story completely.
(You can read the article here at - https://www.minimaleffort.co.uk/post/strip-clubs-nightlife-s-seedy-underbelly )
Well, guess what…
My girlfriend was in work when I finished that article, but I was quite pleased with it and needed to show someone. So, naturally, I asked an old friend out to lunch.
She gave it the once over and nodded.
‘Yeah… I mean… not bad that…’ She screwed her face up.
There was a painful silence. The type where you know there’s probably a ‘but’ on its way to gleefully piss on your chips.
‘Is it REALLY accurate though? It’s nothing like when I worked for a brothel.’
Now, it goes without saying, no fucking way was I going to let that slide.
It turns out, much like the strip-club worker, my friend was on the PR/Bar side of things, and not a… performer…
It was illegal, she told me, so there was always the panic of getting caught.
But the most difficult thing was getting people there in the first place.
‘The girls weren’t… the best, err… you know… looking…’
When the girls would stand in the doorway to guide any unlucky gentlemen inside, these chaps would tell my friend ‘I’m not going in there if that’s what they all look like.’
She went on to tell me that, even though she wasn’t one of the ‘girls’, she received a lot of unwanted attention. After the horny perves told her they won’t go inside, they’d then say,
‘Well, actually, I will if you’ll be there too…’
‘What kept me there,’ she said, ‘was that I was desperate for money. And I got free drinks. Blue Lagoons, mostly. I’d have them after the place closed until the guys outside waiting for me left.’
That happened a lot?
‘Every night. My tongue was constantly blue from the lagoons. All the other cocktails were a pile of shit.’
I asked her why it was so different to the strip club I wrote about. Other than sex thrown into the mix, there didn’t seem much difference from my outsider view. Sure, it was a place of taboo, with lots of drinking, lots of drugs, but was it really that bad?
‘Well, for starters, the girls were all terrible. The dancers you talked about didn’t steal. But these girls did. Anything they could get their hands on. And speaking of hands, some of them had unusually large ones…’
‘There was a time when I tried carrying four of the famous Blue Lagoons to a table, but couldn’t grab them all, and one of the “girls” - a very very TALL girl - said I was cute, and grabbed all of them with her massive hands.’
I asked if this tall girl also had an Adam’s Apple.
‘Either way, it was a total rip-off. Guys would pay £40, get literally four or five strokes, and then the girls would stop and say time’s up.’
It turned out, with no one else they could complain to, these chaps would give my friend full force rants. Because she promised them a good time - but the prostitutes kicked them out after three seconds - it was somehow her fault.
‘Other than me, who could they complain to? The massive owner – who, by the way, has probably committed murder?’
Were you scared of him?
‘No, he was nice to me. Even offered to give me a reference. But he was definitely involved in some gangster stuff. Looked like he could be in Goodfellas. Only worse.’
How long did you work there?
‘Four nights. I was let go because I shit myself when the police came by, and the owner said I was a liability. But then he told me about a strip club down the road. A legal one. Hence the reference.’
The fact that she witnessed all this over the course of four twelve-hour shifts made me wonder about what spending a lifetime in there would be like.
The shit you’d see…
Now, it’s important to say, our conversation revolved around this single brothel. This single illegal brothel. It never once drifted into the topic of prostitution in general.
The socio-political-economic-whatever issues surrounding sex work are too complex to talk about without writing a full feature-length piece of gonzo journalism.
And there’s plenty of establishments in Amsterdam or Nevada that manage to keep things professional. Places that offer a genuine service without ripping people off.
I’d recommend you all go watch that Louis Theroux documentary.
You know the one I mean.
If you want my honest opinion (not that you asked for it), it’s better for performing women to be in the safety of an establishment – as opposed to the back of a stranger’s van.
It’s a question of empathy, rather than ‘morals.’
Unfortunately, it seems like the girls in my friend’s ex-workplace didn’t possess either…
‘There you go,’ she said. ‘Now you’ve got the other side of things, an opposite to the other article you wrote.’
As I sat there listening to her talk, whilst I chewed on student-bar pizza, I nodded.
In all my efforts to try interviewing workers, the best insider scoop came from someone I’ve known for years.
It just goes to show how unexpected life can be.
I told you all to avoid mafia-run brothels, yet my friend had already managed to get herself wedged into that nightmare years ago.