Sobriety's Killing Male Strippers

More than 100 drunk women brawled at a male strip show in Nanaimo, B.C., over the weekend. There were no serious injuries, but let's focus on what's really important: More than 100 women in a small Canadian town went to see male strippers?! Meanwhile, at Seattle's only barely-still-in-existence male strip joint, Centerfolds, it's a good night if a dozen patrons show up. The difference between there and here: booze. Three years ago, on assignment, I grabbed a friend and a fistful of cash and headed into the financially struggling Centerfolds to watch men with washboard abs take their clothes off. With only soda on the drink menu, there was barely an audience to speak of until a bachelorette party arrived. And even then the club was hardly crowded. But drop in on the amateur strip night at R Place on Capitol Hill, and the upper floor is so packed you can barely breathe. There the city's rules about distance from naked gyrators aren't too carefully observed, and the alcohol flows. So too in Canada—get women drunk and they'll fight each other for the chance to stuff bills down a dancer's g-string. While here in sober Seattle, Centerfolds' male-stripping business was so bad, the club finally gave up and switched to women dancers, with the exception of the first Thursday of each month.

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