Sunday, June 30, 2013

Morons and their Cameras

"His watch is really a radio, his gun a pen"
'Spyworld' - Wall of Voodoo

Hi There

This is Chasmal and before I get onto the subject in hand, I just want to say thanks to TonyN for his sterling work on the blog. Those that know me personally will be aware that my life has changed considerably in recent months and as a result I do not have the time to devote to the blog that it deserves. To be honest, at the start of the year I felt that the battle was over, bar some shouting and that we had won. Recent months have proven that this was not the case and that this blog can still play a part in highlighting prohibitionist campaigns.

Now onto the article. I still manage to visit clubs and last week and I standing happily at the bar in one when I learned that a dancer had confiscated some kind of filming device that was being used by a customer to secretly film stand performances. I had a look at the camera, it was essentially a pen with a lens and a USB device. I found it quite ingenious and at the same time, really very disturbing and therefore decided to present  a guide to spotting these devices and the morons that use them in clubs to film dancers.

But why do I think that secret filmers are morons?

Well if I took one of these devices in a club and stated to film customers and then publish my footage on the internet, I would quite rightly be held to account. So I take to the view that the customer who was filming (and I don't care what he planned to do with the film) was not only a moron, but a hypocrite as well and was delighted that he had lost his camera pen.

The whole incident worried me, so I started to do some research on the matter in order to be able to present  my guide to 'Morons and Their Cameras'.

Morons can be hard to spot, but their cameras can be well hidden as this guide will demonstrate.

Irrespective of how the camera has been disguised, if it is to function it will need an opening for the lens and that will always give the game away, its just a case of being observant.

The Super Secret Spy Camera Pen

 As you can see it looks like a pen and writes as well, but it is somewhat on the large side. That said for it to work is needs to be securely mounted in a pocket and close examination will always reveal the hole for the lens. The 'close examination' can be done during the jug collection I imagine.

So pen cameras are chunky, usually pocket mounted and of course feature a lens. Actually maybe they don't have to be pocket mounted, maybe the pen could be hand held so maybe we should be looking for people brandishing a pen mid crossword completion and holding their pen very still for the duration of a stage performance.

Sadly, secret recording devices become harder to spot from this point...

The Super Secret Smiley Badge Cam.

 This is tricky because its well disguised, but the game is given away by the opening for the lens..

Secret Spy Glasses

 These to me seem easier to spot because the presence of the lens means that frame must be bulkier and the lens opening would seem to be more obvious. In the shot below we can see the lens has been hidden in the bridge of the frame...

In the shot above we can see that the camera has been built into the arm of the frame. The thickness of the arms should make such a device easy to spot.

The Ultra Sneaky Button Camera

This is tricky, however the button will probably not resemble its companions on the jacket and the lens opening makes it suspicious for anyone who is being observant. Also I guess this device would leave a bulge in the jacket of anyone who is wearing it.

The Secret Watch Camera

This kind of kit seems difficult to spot, but we can see that the watch sees larger than average and for it to be used it would have to be noticeably angled toward the stage area.

In summary, I have to say that if a moron is sufficiently determined to film in a club, then there is not much to be done about it, but careful observation of customer behavior and a close look when collecting should prevent most people from adding to their collection of private videos. Most of the kit featured in this article costs between £25.00 to £70.00 and you can imagine that secret dancer recorders would be reluctant to invest more money than this because they know there is a risk that they will lose their camera. My best guess is what would be deployed in a club would be from the cheaper end of the market.

I think that the best rule of thumb is that if as a dancer you believe that someone is filming you, then they probably are.

Dancers don't tend to advertise the fact about what they do for a living. Those that have have suffered campaigns of abuse from the more unhinged members of well known 'human rights' groups, so anyone that films a dancer at work is knowingly putting them at risk. As customers we owe it ourselves to be equally vigilant, because it might not just the dancers face that is featured on one of these sneaky videos.

Finally, you may wish to go back to 2008 when an arsehole called Peter Crystal started hanging round lap dancing clubs with hidden equipment such that presented in this article in order produce footage for an expose 'Shock Horror Clubs Have Naked Women' episode of 'Despatches'. He did this on the behest of two other aresholes, Janice Finch and Steve Boulton, who were the episodes producer and executive producer respectively.

I take the view that if we know about something we can deal with it. Lets keep our eyes open and deal with this problem firmly.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Pro Choice So Long As We Decide What That Choice Is

Well not sure if anyone has been following the amazing Wendy Davis in Texas who filibusted a change in Texas legislation where republicans were choosing for women on how, when and if they could have abortions. To anyone unfamiliar with american guidelines on passing legislation a filibuster is when a speaker talks about a piece of legislation until the time for it to become legislation has passed.

Let me be very clear this was an effort of mammoth proportions, Wendy Davis had to stand up and talk for the best part of 13 hours without any breaks, rests or even leaning against the table. Just constant talk on subject which she did using the experiences of people who connected via social media. In and of itself it was a tremendous act so you may ask yourself why would this make any difference to striptease? Well it just so happens that a lot of those radical feminist who preach against striptease had been talking about this amazing act of dedication. But the one thing they they repeated over and over was that a woman has the right to choose what to do with her body and no government should impose restrictions on what women choose so long as it is legal.

And I wholeheartedly agree with that, which is where we get issues. See those rad fems that are against striptease are selective in what and when they believe something. Should women really be free to choose? Only if they make the choices they are expected to or else radical feminists like Object will declare their choices are more important like the Republicans did when trying to pass that legislation . Bit of a conundrum here. So I reached out to Edie who as a stripper has had her freedoms challenged by these radical feminists. I would point out that Edie sees herself as a feminist just she doesn't believe in the extreme radicals that are trying to deny women's' autonomy while preaching about women's' autonomy. She relates what happened when she tried to debate the issues.

"A couple of years ago I took part in a 'debate', called Lap-dancing; a choice or exploitation, which was one of the most biased and ridiculous things I have ever participated in. I was given 5 minutes to speak on behalf of the dancers, amongst a 3 hour bout of histrionics and offensive misinformation, from the so called 'feminists'.

In stark contrast to the emotive rants that night, I had prepared my speech thoroughly. I had researched and used statistics, part of this involved watching youtube videos of Kay Banyard from UK Feminista. She was going to be one of the speakers on the panel and is one of the main anti-sex 'feminists'. I watched her Newsnight interview with interest, especially when the interviewer asked her how she felt about the Burka, and whether it should be banned on Feminist grounds. She skipped around this subject, obviously uncomfortable. After dodging the question for a while she blurted out 'What I object too is women's bodies being used as a battleground.' This brought a wry smile to my face!

Kat Banyard's entire life's work is dedicated to using my body and that of my colleagues as her personal battleground. What I choose to do with my body is not what she would choose to do with hers yet rather than live and let live she has dedicated her life to persecuting people like me. This is one of the ironies of today's feminist movement. It denies freedom and agency to women who dance for a living are, models or who work as sex workers or porn actresses. A stripper friend of mine said 'no one objectifies me more than the feminist groups.' They hate men looking at us and enjoying our performances but are happy to use our bodies, without our consent, to push their own agenda. I have heard feminist groups described by dancers as 'hate groups' and if you are on the receiving end of their venom this certainly rings true. 

If find it disturbing and hypocritical that feminists cry foul when men (and women) enjoy erotica yet are happy to use my body, my experience and that of my friends for their own political ends. I feel exploited and objectified by 'feminist' groups as they they view us as brainwashed automata who's bodies can be used which ever way they please. They do not credit us with independence, choice or cognitive ability. 

I put it down to simple personality differences. I'm happy for Kat Banyard to be the demure academic if this is what makes her comfortable. I however am more of the creative, extroverted, performer; that's my personality. I do other forms of performance as well as dancing striptease and I wish they would just be happy for me. Rather than behave like slut-shaming playground bullies using my body and life as fuel for their twisted agenda."

So we can see that people preaching about freedom of women's bodies and yet the first thing they do is try and stop those freedoms. There are a lot of words I could use about this but think most adults can make up their own minds.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Farewell to Tyke

This post may not mean much to some readers but to many of us who follow the striptease industry we suffered a blow last Friday with the passing of Bill Martland aka Tyke as he was known to many. Avid follower and supporter of the industry and author of the book In the Begining there was Theresa which was a history of the London strip scene.

Bill was well known online but I never met him in real life so have asked a friend of his to say a few words about him.

Bill was a lovely bloke who really made an effort to keep the strip industry up to speed on
all the nonsense that goes on in our business
He was a good hearted man who knew the industry well, including all the legal implications.
All his time and effort were giving freely..he was always available for a chat and was a wealth
of information
He will be greatly missed

For me even when we disagreed about venues I respected the time and effort he put in campaigning for the industry. Never one to mince words he would be forthright but that was part of his charm. His knowledge went back into the 70's. Yet he would dig through reports and figures to get the truth and I very very much repect him for all that he has done.

If people want to leave anecdotes or messages it would be a nice tribute to a man who gave much of himself to supporting the strip industry.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Leeds and the Crowds were Bitterly Disappointed.

Okay well guess it is about to hit the fan tomorrow in Leeds as I have just seen the report (here)going before the licensing committee and have just one or two (or six issues) with the report. Clubs please take note for if and when you need to take legal action.

Well it seems a lot of responses based a lot of their claims on the Lilith report, now not sure but if you are basing your claims on a report that is wrong does your belief because of that report become wrong? Really not sure but the fact is respondents thought so, I could make comments about stupidity but that would be a tad foolish. Having read the claims from the public re sexual crimes around these venues the people have been told to believe Lilith, make claims based on Lilith and by god ram Lilith down councils throats. Notice that some people have made the usual comments on prostitution, nothing like making it up as they go along of course.

Now it seems that 52 people used a standard letter, only 31 even bothered putting something in to individualise it. As we saw with Northampton there is always a risk that it could be one person doing multiple entries. The ease of setting up multiple e-mail accounts is well known. Also the standard letter came in many times via post which considering the fact that 37 letters came in with the consultation for urban tiger in Northampton shows again the organised hate campaign basing claims on sexual violence that doesn't exist. Even better there is one "personal" statement that is repeated by several people. Actually even to the council using the term positive to describe the people against the strip clubs seems a little play on words to shape councillors thinking.

The exercise was originally started by a working group that was set up after the public told the council to leave the clubs alone. Having looked at the membership a few questions come up... Why is there no representation from the clubs? Why is there no active dancers involved? Why is a policeman from the children sex exploitation unit involved at all (clubs are for adults and dnacers need to prove their age)? Do they not think the working group is so one sided it is laughable (my apologies to Rosie Campbell but feel you are tokenism at best) but at least the work of Leeds University was taken into account. Now people may remember (here) that Rebecca Charlwood was on the Working Group and yet her name is left off the mentioning of the working group. Now having seen people realising that Reeves and Charlwood are in cahoots and manipulating behinds the scenes not seeing her name after her tweets about the working group would raise a question or two in my mind.

A message to all the councillors that will be voting on what to put forward the standard letter and the almost standard "personal statement" are at best questionable. And with organisations such as Leeds University was this the whole university or one person claiming to represent the university? This whole thing seems a bit of a mess after the first consultation and a desperate attempt to placate campaigners against the clubs. I hope they realise the clubs will in all probability take the council to court as they have a license and to take it away without evidence that demonstrates a failure to comply and that Article 1 of the First Protocol applies to club licenses which means to deprive a club of a license is going to be a mess legally. Of course the reading of the legal aspect does suggest that if someone takes your property away (denies a license renewal) on grounds other than breaking regulation should pay compensation.

Personally I expect Leeds council to end up with several multi million pound court cases.

TonyN (

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Plenty Still Going On

Okay had a really good morning watching the rugby and wasn't intending to write a piece today but things have come up which I would like to share or put my spin on.

Firstly the Flying Scotsman has been granted one more year as a SEV (here ). In this climate forcing businesses to change could see them go out of business but if the owner is not prepared to take the council to court then nothing that can be done but wish them the best for their last year.

Next we have the sorry business with Leeds where we were expecting a result on a second SEV consultation. According to the Yorkshire Evening Post (here ) only 135 people took part which strikes me as remarkably low. So want to see the full report but as yet cannot find in on the Leeds Council website. Anyone who does find it please let me know.

Finally the Judicial review that locals were putting together against the License for Shades has been dropped. A statement from those originally pressing for the review says “We feel vindicated that we were granted permission for a judicial review, but on balance, there are better ways to oppose Shades and significant taxpayers’ money would be spent on this case. We did not want that.” Now call me cynical but I am reading that as the legal experts advised us we would not win and thus the costs would be down to us and not Shades or anyone else. If you thought you would win you would press on as the costs would be awarded against the losing party, Of course that is just my simple and humble opinion but....

Anyway my intentions for a saturday afternoon has seemed to have disappeared as I really want to to find the Leeds results and my internet has decided it is going to work at 23% of it's usual speed.

TonyN (

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I Didn't See That Coming

Well I just got an e-mail from Northampton re the Urban Tiger and the letter about the application for the renewal of license I sent in. The council got 76 Objections and 3 letters of support (two other than mine then). 37 letters were identical in content and seemed to originate for a single source (nice one for noticing council). Most of the other letters were from non residents and seemed to be an organised campaign against the venue or applicant and these were deemed to be without merit. I really think this has to be the best approach any council has taken so far and Kudos for spotting the use of template letters. I am working on a blog equivalent to the template Object roll out so councils will probably have to either kill off the use of templates or accepted them from both sides.

The Blue Bar in Kingston has it's license renewal hearing next week so good luck to Mark, Lee and co even though I haven't been there for over 6 years this is stage only and no private dancers. I have some superb memories of the place as well as some very blurred nights there. Considering the locale with the Cambridge Road Estate always worry that someone is going to play the crime card without understanding the area.

Because of the gentrification of Kings Cross people are now crying out that the Flying Scotsman brings down the area. Amazing that people move into an area with a pub or club and then try to close it as they think doing so will increase the value of their property (although they claim other things). This is a big concern I think to how people will try and close venues but forgetting what was where first. Remembering God TV planning on moving next to a strip venue? Wonder how long before someone claims the venue should not be near religious buildings. Should we could get councils to refuse planning permission for inappropriate buildings being next to clubs and pubs?

Secrets in Camden tried to get exceptions to conditions in their license and took the council to court. The council won the case, which brings up the whole issue of the erratic and disorganised variations that each council seem to have to the licenses. Really does need someone like the Local Government Association to formalise and standardise procedures. of course this would not suit the bodies like Object and if everything was thought through they would have less arguments to put out.


Friday, June 14, 2013

And We Are Off On a Quick Tour

Sorry for a delay in writing anything got a few bits and pieces going on and having to juggle what time I am putting into things.

Firstly an IMPORTANT message to all clubs, people are now using template letters to object to renewal of licenses. Be very sure when you are renewing that you get details of any objections prior to to the ruling so you are prepared. I am looking to produce a fairly standard letter as a template clubs can use for their customers to send in. Should be up in a week or so. I know the Lap Dancing Association had its issues and not everyone wanted to join but if clubs don't start working together we are going to see more closed and very little chance of new ones opening. I want to get something started in this area so I would ask people to get club managers/owners to contact me at as the time to act is now really.

And speaking of time to act we have had two consultations recently where the results should be out soon. And both are second consultations being Leeds and Tower Hamlets. To be honest I am surprised nothing has come out yet as both closed over a month ago and if it had of went the way of the councils I would have thought they would be shouting from the highest points of each borough.

And off to Central Bedfordshire.... where the council did a consultation over the phone of around 1,000 people, and surprise surprise the result is a Nil Policy as 63% of people were against the clubs. Now I may have to put silver foil on my head but I am wondering how these people were selected? However it seems that if a club did set up in the area it would have to be 500m away from schools etc including historic buildings. So wondering what the existing clubs will do but the first thing would be to validate the selection process of the consultation to see if it was fair and equitable.

The Honeytrap in Hull has got it's license renewed, 25 objections but none from the police. Also there is an application for a new club in Manchester, obviously some people are objecting and the consultation is on till 20th June so anyone in Manchester near Portland street who want a new club suggest you contact your council.

Would like to thank SEV licensing blog as I have put out some of the info they had due to me being buried in Local Government Guidelines which see to all start out the same and then just meander off according to the whims of licensing officers/councillors. Had a question raised about physical contact and this brings up the fact that as far as I know all pubs and clubs do NOT allow physical contact. There is a point within the schedule that you can ask for exceptions but the only one I have heard of was at Cheltenham. Certainly the owner of Angels in Plymouth got his wrist slapped when a former manager turned a blind eye to contact. Councils are sending out secret shoppers so venues would be well advised to make sure all dancers know the regulations the club operates under or you could see more £20,000 fines.

Finally would like to thank Dr Brooke Magnanti for her piece in the telegraph about burlesque and striptease (herel). We face strange attitudes nowadays where women exercising their right to choose how to earn a living is being attacked not by the patriarchy but christians and feminists who seem to be working for the patriarchy by wanting to deny women autonomy. Something I have commented on before is the various aspects of objectification which is constantly thown up about how men would view women in the clubs and yet by denying the dancers autonomy and silencing their opinions we see two clearly defined aspects of objectification. Sort of its okay if we objectify to try and stop people objectifying (ouch my brain hurts with that sort of logic). I have been in and out of clubs over 20 years and the more I have been the less I objectify and the more I view women as wonderful, warm individuals that I want as friends, my exes would be surprised certainly.

Edit The beds situation is that a consultation is going now till August and you can have your say here

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Little Bit and Nottingham

Okay first this is TonyN here and today I want to start with a big thank you to Chasmal for all the hard work he has put in. Things have conspired in his life to set major hurdles in his way and we probably won't see him post anytime soon so I will do my best Chasmal impersonation and try to blind you with my wit and charm.

Now Manhattan in Crewe has lost it's license even though it was licensed under the 2003 act. But I will not be shouting about how this was anything other than poor management. The paperwork which is suppose to be a safeguard from underage dancers was not kept up to date amongst 15 points that were raised from the clubs conditions and although the manager had 5 weeks to rectify things the club hadn't done this. So although I hate to see a club closing it is important that dancers and customers be protected and any club that fails to do so has no right to expect to stay open. Properly run licensed venues are what we need to see.

We also lost the Harp near Tonbridge. 43 Objections were received, now clubs and pubs are always going to face some objections so it is worth venues making sure people know that positive messages are needed. If clubs let me know at about upcoming license renewals we can at least let people know so if anyone uses the venue they can comment.

And finally the result of the Consultation in Nottingham is in (drum roll please) and 61% of people who took part in the survey are against a complete ban. This is from a total of 1395 people who took part in the consultation. Interesting to read that only 35% were for a ban and yet the report claims things are about even in opinion. Seem that they are trying to ignore the people who say things are about right. And remember this was after the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner made claims about crimes that she based on Lilith (okay when you have stopped laughing). Even after all this just under two thirds of people don't want a ban (yes I can play with the statistics). Wonder what all the councillors will make of the figures.

The figures mirror the numbers and percentage of Hackney pretty closely which is suggestive in itself. Obviously those people who took part were those that felt most strongly but considering the misleading information from a senior police official published in a local paper this result, in my very humble opinion, is a victory for common sense. Of course the council and police are playing up the figures and going to try and use churches and schools that aren't open when the club is as back door to close anything they don't like. However once again the general population react against the moral minority. And was interesting reading the report the number of people who felt it should be banned on moral grounds. Of course in a consultation that doesn't matter much but does highlight the fact that clubs will need to check any objections to license renewals for it being a moral standpoint.