Sunday, April 29, 2012

Penthouse Club (Philadelphia, PA)

Quality of Dances (12.5/20) – Two way contact is generally encouraged, but some of the girls keep the tits off limits if you’re just buying a single dance.  Even then, though, you still get a decent grind, and many of the girls are active over the pants with their hands.  Based on the fact that there have been prostitution busts here in the past, I assume that extras are at least occasionally available, but I haven’t personally received any of those offers.

Quality of Dancers (9/10) – These are, without question, the hottest girls in Pennsylvania.  There are fewer implants than I expected, all of the girls are at least decent, and there were several girls in the 9-10 range.  The bottom line is that these girls are hot enough that you no longer should have any need to ever to go Delilah’s, and that’s a good thing.   

Number of Dancers (8/10) – During prime time hours, they usually have two girls on the main stage, one girl dancing on top of the bar, and another one or two girls dancing on a narrow ledge off to the side. Plus they have a ton of girls working the crowd, so you should always be able to get some attention if you want it.  

Variety of Dancers (3/5) – Most of the girls are fairly thin, but there’s a nice mix of black and white dancers who are all attractive.

Attitudes (3.5/10) – They aren’t overly pushy and some of the girls are friendly, but prepare for the hustle, because most of these ladies are all business.  It can be a bit of a buzzkill, but it’s probably no worse than you’d expect for this type of club.

Value (1/10) – Don’t come here looking for a bargain, because this place is about as expensive as anywhere in town.  Beers are $6.75 each, there’s a bathroom attendant looking for a tip, dances are $20 (in the communal area that no one goes to) or $30 (in the private booths), and the VIP areas (they call them “sky boxes”) are $250 for 30 minutes, plus the cover is $20 and they have mandatory valet parking for $6.  It’s all so overpriced that I was actually glad that the Chink’s cheesesteak that I’d eaten before my first visit resulted in some potent gas that I dropped right before pulling up to the parking lot, not realizing that I couldn’t park my car myself.  Stew in it, you greedy pricks. 

Club Setup (7.5/10) – This is a very classy club, with multiple staircases down to a long, fancy stage with smoke effects extending the length of the club.  Small tables line the stage and more couches are nearby, and there are nice couches in raised areas around the exterior of the club, though most of them will be reserved on weekend evenings.  There’s also a nice, medium sized bar on the main level of the club, and that has a wide bar top where a girl will be dancing most of the time, and there’s another nice bar upstairs if you want to be away from the action. I wish they had more seats, but this is still a very nice club.    

Dance Setup (8/10) – They have $20 dances in a communal dance area, but I didn’t bother with that since the dance booths are only $10 more.  In the booths, there’s a comfortable couch and curtains close the opening, so it’s very private. 

Atmosphere (7.5/10) – This is a classy club, but it’s still fun enough that it would be a good choice for a night out with friends or a bachelor or bachelorette party.  The music is a little too loud, but there’s good variety and the bikini-clad bartendresses and waitresses help add to the solid vibe. 

Location (3/5) – If you’re just visiting Philadelphia, the Penthouse club will probably be fairly far north of where you’ll be staying, and driving there is a pain since they have mandatory valet parking.  Still, it’s only about 10 minutes from Center City and shouldn’t be too expensive to cab to. 

Overall – The Penthouse Club is my favorite strip joint in Philadelphia because it has the best combination of worthwhile dances and attractive dancers, but you need to be prepared to spend some cash, because it’s one of the most expensive clubs around.  If you’ve got it, though, it’s worth spending it here.     


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Six Point Eight Point Nine

A great scene from a tremendous show that pretty much nails my thought process when reviewing clubs (except I like to think I'm much less critical).

Stolen from the esteemed Kat of Tits and Sass. I've never met her, so I can't tell if she's shitting on me or just poking fun. I'm cool with it either way. I will say, though, that I take it as the ultimate compliment that she 1) apparently reads this blog and 2) assumed that people would know who she was talking about without dropping my name (or maybe I'm wrong and she didn't want to give me a free plug).

In an effort to be more worldly (or at least to give the impression that I am), I think I'm going to expand this blog over the next couple of months to cover more than just my strip club jaunts. We'll see how that works out. Wish me luck.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Club Fantasies (Providence, RI)

Quality of Dances (14/20) – I've very rarely had a bad dance at Fantasies. There has almost always been two-way contact and great grinding with a solid level of interest from the dancers. Unlike at several of the other Providence clubs, the girls here won't typically offer anything more than lap dances, but unless that's what you're looking for, you shouldn't have any complaints.

Quality of Dancers (4/10) – There has been a huge drop in the talent level at Fantasies over the past few years.  The cute young dancers that I used to see here in '06 and '07 have been replaced with slightly older, slightly more strung out girls who have lots of stretch marks and just generally look worn out.  Or, more depressingly, it's possible that those cute young girls haven't been replaced at all but that time hasn't been kind to them.  You still should be able to find a few attractive dancers, but the quality here no longer can compete with what you'd see at the Foxy Lady, Desire or the Cadillac Lounge.

Number of Dancers (4/10) – This is hard to rate because of the club’s two-floor setup (see below). If the club were one floor, I think this would jump a couple of points, but the dancers are split between the upstairs and the downstairs (some go back and forth, but many will stay on one floor the whole night), and since you’ll be spending most of your time on one of those two floors, you might miss a good chunk of the options.  And, even though there are still a lot of girls wandering around, the attractive ones are so rare that you're going to be waiting a while for anyone worthwhile.

Variety Dancers (2.5/5) – A decent mix of Latinas and black dancers breaks up the base of white girls, and there's plenty of size variation for men of almost all tastes.  Since there's not a lot of talent among the variety, I can't give them too high of a score, but I guess it's better to look at mediocre ladies of several races than of a single one.

Attitude of Dancers (5/10) – The girls here aren’t hustlers and they’re generally friendly, but it’s sometimes difficult to get their attention, which can be incredibly frustrating. And even if you do get their attention, they typically won't spend a whole lot of time sitting with customers.  

Value (6.5/10) – There's no cover before 6 PM, and it's a reasonable $10 after that if you're staying in the topless downstairs half of the club.  To get upstairs to the nude ladies will run you an additional $10, but you don't have to decide whether you're going up there until you look around the downstairs and see if you like any of the talent. Domestic beers are only $3. Dances vary from $20-30 depending on the girl, but Sunday through Tuesday during the days are two-for-one, so I strongly suggest you visit then. The real bang for your buck (almost literally) comes from the stage action. Many dancers will give a full contact off-the-stage straddling for a single dollar.

Dance Setup (4.5/10) – A series of paired booths (two booths facing each other) line the far wall of each floor. The pairing is irrelevant, because you should refuse to dance if someone is currently in the booth partnering yours. Even without someone in the other booth, though, privacy is limited. They’re deep enough that someone staring perpendicular to your booth couldn’t see what was going on, but anyone walking by has a clear shot. The upshot is that you don’t have to deal with bouncers at any point along the way, a benefit that added a full point to this rating.

Club Setup (3.5/10) – The downstairs is pretty ridiculous, with some sort of lame tropical theme going on. Overall, it seems more like a crappy chain restaurant than a strip club. But at least the stage is long and has decent seating. The upstairs is better, but not great. There's a fish tank and some plush chairs, but it's still difficult to hang out as a group. The bars are well placed and there is at least one wide-screen TV, but those perks can’t really save an otherwise weak design.

Club Atmosphere (4/10) – The atmosphere is kind of weird in Fantasies. The girls on stage, despite giving huge individual value when they get tipped, basically don’t dance when they’re up there. No crazy pole tricks or handstands or whatever. They pretty much just bounce around in place until you catch their eye and then they come over to you. When you add that to the shitty club design, mediocre music and too-bright lighting, it falls short of my expectations.

Club Accessibility (3.5/5) – A short cab ride from downtown Providence makes Fantasies very accessible. It’s also not far off the interstate, so you can easily make the stop if you’re traveling through the Providence area.

Overall – There was a time when Fantasies was one of my favorite strip clubs, but a series of second-rate experiences has tainted my view. It still wouldn't be a terrible club in most areas, but it's no longer in the top tier of Providence clubs that includes the Cadillac Lounge, Desire and, arguably, the Foxy Lady.

RAW SCORE = 51.5

Monday, April 16, 2012

Fuck Mario

The owner of Centerfolds in Berlin, Connecticut? The mustachioed, track suit wearing motherfucker? Yeah, fuck him.

I don't need to get sued so I won't repeat any of the ridiculous stories that I've heard about the guy; I'll just say something that's beyond dispute. Mario is a piece of shit.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Platinum Plus (Allentown, PA)

Quality of Dances (13.5/20) – As with every Platinum Plus, lap dances are very solid here.  Upper body two-way contact is not only tolerated but encouraged, and most of the girls are active with their hands over the pants.  No one has offered me extras, but given what happens at some of this place’s other locations, I wouldn’t be shocked to find out that at least some girls offer some services in the champagne area. 

Quality of Dancers (7/10) – Maybe my expectations were too low given the location, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the consistently solid talent level at this club.  There are some trashy looking bleached blonds and one girl who I’m 99% sure was born with male parts, but most of these ladies are in the 7 to 8 range with cute faces and fit bodies.

Number of Dancers (7.5/10) – I’ve only visited on weekend evenings so I can’t speak to the afternoon numbers, but I’ve always seen well over a dozen ladies working.  That means that you’ll get all the attention you want, and much of the attention that you’d prefer to do without.

Variety of Dancers (2/5) – Most of the dancers are white, but I’ve seen a few black ladies and Asians mixed in, and the variety of bodies should be enough to satisfy a wide variety of preferences.

Attitudes (2/10) – As with the other Platinum Plus clubs, there are no set dance prices here, so you’re going to have to negotiate with each girl before agreeing to head to the lap dance room, and that can be kind of a buzzkill when the girls get pushy.  It’s a fine line between being cheap and being a pushover, and I’d usually rather just pay a set fee than having to walk that line while trying to have a relaxing evening.   

The worst thing, though, is that girls ask for cash before dances.  I understand why they ask for the dance fee in advance, and while I don’t like it, I can’t get too upset about it.  What I can get upset about is when, as has happened several times here, girls ask customers to prepay the tip.  One even asked for an extra tip after I handed her a $50 even though we’d agreed that I’d pay her $40 for the dances.  Unless the “tip” is really just payment for services that go above and beyond the typical lap dance, that should be based on how the dance goes.  And when they’re asking for extra cash in advance, it’s a fairly safe bet that the dance won’t go well.

Value (5.5/10) – You get free entry with a local sports ticket, but that deal seems like it would make a lot more sense in a city with major sports teams.  Assuming that you aren’t coming from a Lehigh sporting event or a minor league baseball game, the cover charge should be around $5.  Happy hour beers are a bargain at $2 each, and normal beer prices are still very reasonable at $3.75.  The value goes down slightly because they only give change in 2 dollar bills, so you feel obligated to spend all of them since you’ll get some strange looks if you try to use them elsewhere, but the stage action is usually impressive enough that you wouldn’t want to be tipping just a single anyway.  The real killer for the value, though, is the lap dances, since girls set their own prices and some of them set their prices high. Most will start off claiming that dances are $40 each, but you can talk the majority of them into 2 for $40 or something similar.  Unfortunately, the hottest girl that I’ve seen stuck to her initial outrageous offer, so you might have to spend too much if you have your heart set on one particular girl.  They do run 2-4-1 specials, but since the girls are picking their own prices, that probably won’t end up being a much better deal than the normal dances.  They also do short table dances for whatever you want to tip, and, occasionally, they do $2 dances in the main room.  They’re basically 30 second long table dances, but it’s a nice way to sample a girl for cheap before bothering to negotiate a price for a real dance. 

Club Setup (7/10) – This is a very nice, classy club.  The room is huge with high ceilings and a ton of small tables throughout, and there are two nice well-stocked stand-up bars along the walls.  The main stage has several tall poles, and there are two cage style satellite stages at opposite ends of the club.  It’s a little too dark, but that’s my only real complaint. 

Dance Setup (5/10) – The dance area is a separate room in the back of the club.  There are four rows of booths with high walls, so the only way that anyone will have a clear view of your activities is if they’re sitting directly across from you.  Fortunately, unless they’re very busy, that shouldn’t be a problem. 

Atmosphere (7/10) – The Platinum Plus has a relaxed but fun atmosphere and would be a great place to go for a bachelor party, a relaxing evening with the boys or even a night out with a first-time female customer.  It doesn’t really strike me as an after-work beer type of place, but it wouldn’t be terrible for that either. 

Location (3.5/5) – The club is between the airport and the ballpark just a few minutes from downtown Allentown.  You’ll unfortunately need to drive to get there and it might be a little awkward if you’re from the area since it’s located in a strip mall with several legitimate businesses, but there is at least plenty of parking. 

Overall –I like their Columbia, SC and Lexington, KY locations a little better than this one, but the Allentown Platinum Plus is still a very nice club.  I haven’t been blown away by any particular aspect of the place, but the atmosphere is good, the girls are hot, the dances are worthwhile, and it’s just generally a good time.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Larry Flynt's Hustler Club (New Orleans, LA)

Quality of dances (11/20) - Like all Hustler clubs, the quality will vary considerably by dancer, but the average dance is always going to be very solid. My dances involved full two-way contact (apparently I was being too gentlemanly for one dancer, because she brought my hands straight to her tits about a minute in) and a skilled grind. Based on my experience at this and other Hustlers, I'm thinking that the minimum you'll get is some aggressive contact from her and an ability to let your hands wander (though you may not make it all the way to the tits before getting shut down).

Quality of dancers (4.5/10) - Before I start this category, I've got something to say about New Orleans women generally: they are soooo much less attractive than I expected. This was my first time there, and I had high hopes of gorgeous Southern belles roaming every nook and cranny of the city.  But God, was I disappointed. Now, maybe it's my fault for thinking that a city known for fried food and alcohol would produce a bunch of hotties, but I don't know. I feel like television and film completely misled me.

Anyway, the dancers at the Hustler were certainly hotter than the women walking about Bourbon Street. The problem is, they suffered from the inverted bell curve phenomenon that's more common at smaller divey places. Several women were D-listers who had no business working in one of the biggest clubs in arguably the biggest party city in America. Those bush leaguers were counterbalanced by some high end talent (particularly the black and biracial girls), which was nice, but not sufficient enough to impress me.

Number of dancers (6/10) - About eight dancers were working during my late evening (9:30-midnight) Sunday visit, and more seemed to be filtering in as I took off for the night. The ratio of dancers to customers was fine, but I'd still expect a few more, given the size of the club and the potential for it to get packed at pretty much any time.

Variety/Diversity of dancers (4/5) - Hustler NOLA scores big points for diversity: two black girls, an Hispanic woman, an Asian, and a mix of white Americans and Eastern Europeans. As for body type variety, they're mediocre at best, with most of the curves having been born on the operating room table. But with a couple of nice lap dances asse in the group, I guess I can't complain too much.

Attitude of Dancers (4.5/10) - This is another category that will vary largely based on the dancer. The first three women on stage were ice cold. I would say they were just going through the motions, but that would be giving them way too much credit; they seemed completely disengaged as they simply walked around the pole and threw in some half-assed floor work. Watching those dancers led Pussy Control to formulate the only two rules that matter for strippers on stage, which I'm pretty sure she pulled from her dance troupe days. First:  Look up, not at the ground. And second: Smile. If you follow those rules, even if your pole work sucks, you're going to connect with people on some level and bring some life to the club. Luckily, a couple of dancers knew those rules and then some, which somewhat salvaged this score.

Value (6.5/10) - At $30, dances are probably overpriced. When they run 2-for-1's, which they do at various points throughout the night (at least on Sunday), they're a great value. My Miller Lites were $4 on a night where drinks were being billed as half price. Mixed drinks were $6. Because of the competition on Bourbon Street and the fact that this is the Hustler, I can't imagine a scenario where you'd ever pay a full $8 for a beer, but just make sure you check the website to confirm you're going on a drink special night (or, worst case scenario, you just run outside for a smoke break and knock back a cheap beer at one of the 25 bars/drink stands within 200 feet).

The cover charge system at Hustler, and on all of Bourbon Street, is really interesting. The cover is completely variable: it depends on the person, size of the group, time of night, and relative deadness of the club. Whoever is running the door makes all of the cover decisions, and their job is to gauge the market and adjust accordingly. Let me just say that I fucking love this. With all of the bars and clubs on Bourbon Street, the customer has a huge edge in cover negotiations, to the point where it's probably not a good idea to ever pay a cover at a strip club in New Orleans, unless you desperately want to go to a specific club. Also, this system is way better for the girls in the club. Instead of being hamstrung by some arbitrary management decision about the cover, the house mother can make on-the-fly adjustments that maximizes the number of customers in the club, which ultimately benefits the dancers. I wish everywhere worked like this.

Dance Setup (7/10) - Dances occur in a separate room in the back of the club. It's extremely dark, there's no bouncer and it's filled with large partitioned booths, most of which are blocked from viewing one another. The only possible issue is the fact that, to start a dance, girls literally have to take your money and feed it into a bill collecting machine. When $30 goes in, the light goes from green to red and the dance starts. At the end of your time (I'm 90% sure it's 180 seconds for a regular dance and 360 for a 2-for-1), the light goes back to red and the dance stops. Of course, because of the privacy, the dancers can keep going if they want to, so it's not hugely inconvenient for getting a little extra dance time.  Depending on your perspective, the whole thing is either an ingenious way of making sure that you aren't getting shorted on dances or a bit of a buzzkill. When you can see the clock counting down out of the corner of your eye, it's hard not to be distracted from the business at hand, but it is nice to know that no matter how drunk you get on Bourbon Street, you'll get the amount of dances you paid for.

Club Setup (8/10) - This is a very well-designed club. When you walk in, there's a long bar on your left hand side and large stage in the center outfitted with a 30 foot pole, which seems to be standard at the Hustler. The floor is littered with rolling chairs and small tables, and there are a couple of booths sitting against the walls. The second floor has additional seating and a great view overlooking the stage, and I'm pretty sure it's got a deck that overlooks Bourbon Street, although I didn't make it out there, so no guarantees. The best part of all is a large outdoor patio with a good-sized pole and a bunch of lounging chairs. Apparently, it's rarely used, and usually only for private events, but just the fact that it exists is pretty awesome. Also, you have to walk through that patio to get to the bathrooms, so it's not as if they close you off from it completely. You can still walk back there any time and hang out when you need a break or some fresh air.

Club Atmosphere (7/10) - I loved the lighting, nice and low, with a Vegas-like feel. This is the type of club where you feel completely immersed in the experience and lose track of the fact that there is a completely different world sitting just beyond the exit doors. Like I said above, it would have been nice to see some better pole action to amp up the crowd, but I'd be willing to bet that dancers step it up when it's not so dead, which it definitely was on this night.

Club Accessibility (5/5) - Perfect accessibility. Right on Bourbon Street, walking distance from everything, directly in the center of downtown New Orleans. It doesn't get better than this. 

Overall - Honestly, the overall score for Hustler NOLA feels too high to me. I triple-checked all of the categories and they're accurate, so the number will stand, but let me take this space to say that, usually when a club scores over a 60, I can basically guarantee you're going to have a great time there. Even though I liked many things about Hustler NOLA, I definitely can't make that guarantee, though you'll probably be happy with your experience. You certainly aren't going to have a bad time, I can tell you that. Just temper your expectations slightly and you should be good to go.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Cadillac Lounge (Providence, RI)

Quality of dances (16/20) - It loses a few points for lack of consistency, but a good dance here is great. Some of the girls will do extras if you opt for the VIP dances, but unlike at some of the other Providence clubs, they'll still put in the effort to give you your money's worth even if you're just getting a dance. Whereas the girls at Cheaters think, "I'll give you such a bad dance that you'll be forced to go to a private booth if you want to have a good time," these girls' strategy is to get you worked up enough that you might be willing to pay for more.

Quality of dancers (7.5/10) - There are a few too many bolt-on tits, but otherwise, the girls rate very well, Most of them fall in the 7-8 range, but it's not uncommon at all to find a girl or two who rate above that.  

Number of dancers (6.5/10) - There are usually multiple girls on stage and several girls mingling with the crowd. They spend a lot of time at the same tables, so you might have to wait a few minutes for someone to come over to you, but it's hard to complain when they have well over a dozen girls working on weekend evenings. During less busy times, the focus is more on quality than quantity, but the number of dancers is still usually sufficient.

Variety/Diversity of dancers (3/5) - The majority of the girls are white, but there are always several Latinas and a few black dancers in the mix.

Attitude of Dancers (2/10) - It's nice that a lot of ladies are happy to sit and chat before asking for dances, but there are way too many pushy dancers in this place.  During my most recent visit, I had to repeatedly tell a Jamaican dancer that I would not be spending any cash on her (I told her that even before she sat down), but she wouldn't leave me alone until I specifically told her to get lost.  Then she got upset and wanted a tip because I'd "wasted so much of her time."  The other girls weren't quite as bad, but several of them pull shit like waiting until you get up to the lap dance area to inform you that they don't do the $30 topless dances, so you'll need to pay $40 for the nude version.  Even if I'd been planning to buy the $40 dances, that pisses me off enough that I just tell them to forget it and go back downstairs to find another girl.

Value (3.5/10) - The $5 dances are a decent deal, but the $15 weekend cover, $30 topless dances and $40 nude dances are all too high.  The dances come close to being worth it, but I just have a hard time justifying more than $20 per dance no matter how good they are.  If you're looking to go to the VIP rooms, they're $50 to the club and whatever you negotiate to the girl.  Most girls quoted $150-250, but I wasn't looking for the VIP treatment so I don't know how flexible that is.    

Dance Setup (6.5/10) - The booths are lined up along a hallway upstairs and are deep enough that no one can see in unless they're walking by. The setup isn't perfect, but it's as good as you're going to get in Providence without dropping $25-50 for a private booth.

Club Setup (4.5/10) - There are high tables around the stage and some regular tables near the bar, and everyone has a solid view of the action. There aren't a ton of seats though, so it can get overcrowded when it's busy.

Club Atmosphere (3.5/10) - It doesn't seem possible that a club that has VIP rooms like these could be stuffy, but somehow this place found a way. Valet parking in Vegas might be classy, but for a club in an industrial part of Providence that shares a parking lot with an adult bookstore, it's just forced and ridiculous. The club does have a surprisingly clean and safe feel to it though, and I'm perfectly comfortable spending an evening there.

Club Accessibility (3.5/5) - The area around the club is dead, but it's not far from I-95, isn't far from a few other clubs and is an easy cab ride from downtown Providence.

Overall - The Cadillac Lounge can be inconsistent, but it's a very good club if you find it at the right time. It's one of the best clubs in Providence and is probably one of the top five clubs in New England.