Kirkcaldy strip club: Exploitation or pro-choice?

Pro Sin strip bar - Ambrose Stanyer-Hunter with Rachel & Abbi (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)
Pro Sin strip bar - Ambrose Stanyer-Hunter with Rachel & Abbi (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)

It’s the biggest issue in town.

No one could have foreseen that the opening of a strip club would overshadow the closure of Marks and Spencer.

Anti Sin strip bar protest (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)

Anti Sin strip bar protest (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)

But the debate in Kirkcaldy is already going strong, and remarkably remains good natured; a testament to those on both sides.

The protesters say it exploits women. The dancers, seven of them male, may disagree.

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The idea of a lap dancing club in Kirkcaldy isn’t a new one though. In the late 1990s what was then known as Department S on the west end of the High Street launched a similar endeavour, but it was short-lived and closed down.

For those who have lived in Edinburgh for any length of time walking past a strip club is just an everyday occurence. You know it’s there, but it’s not your scene, so you keep walking. The vast majority of revellers aren’t interested in going to a strip club, but those that do will likely spend a lot of money, which is astonishing in itself. Few men would say their employer gives them a decent wage when the paycheque comes in, but a strip club-goer will likely spend close to or more than £100 on a visit. And at the end of the night he’ll walk out with nothing.

In his mind he has the power to make her dance just by laying money down. In the dancer’s mind, she can make him part with a large portion of his hard-earned cash almost at will.

Lap dancers are essentially selling the illusion of power to those that wish to go there. Is that exploitation? There’s debate to be had there.

Most of us won’t be interested, and there are those who see it in the context of ‘live and let live’. They feel that if the dancers, both male and female, choose to work there and are safe and well-paid, then they don’t care. Others feel strip clubs are dated and belong in the past.

Clearly this debate isn’t over, but it will be interesting to see if there really is demand among men AND women when the club opens.