With Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta, plenty of publications are covering that city’s famed strip clubs. Two of the most interesting pieces there so far come from Ben Brasch of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Jason Lloyd of The Athletic, and they each have a whole lot of remarkable stories to relate. (Such as Atlanta United players taking the MLS Cup to famed strip club Magic City, as seen in the edited photo above from The Sports Daily; the unedited, NSFW one is here.)
Brasch’s piece is notable for a look at the history of the strip clubs there, and how they particularly took off by going full nude after a 1971 court ruling that nudity wasn’t obscenity (in reference to Hair being booked at the Atlanta Civic Center and the city trying to block it), plus a discussion of how that full nude move led to conventions moving to Atlanta (and opposing city efforts to crack down on strip clubs), but maybe the most remarkable thing there is just the throwaway line of “The total amount that strip clubs pay the city every year isn’t readily available because, according to city officials, the online database of adult entertainment licenses was lost in the March cyber attack.” Jennifer Peebles, an AJC data specialist credited with contributing to that report, went in much more detail on Twitter:
• Iranians wrecked Atlanta's stripper database
• A major American city failed to backup one of its data assets & lost it. Instead all they have is 25k pieces of paper now.
— Jennifer Peebles (@jpeebles) January 31, 2019
Now that’s important education. Lloyd’s piece also provides a whole lot of that, including the story of how out-of-town strippers had to wait for permits because the city office ran out of printer ink, and it also includes some utterly remarkable lines:
- “Secret, who chose her stage name because of her deodorant, struggled to make $3,000 a week dancing in Philadelphia. Then she made $1,500 her first night at Magic City, called her mother and told her she was never coming back. “
- “[“Pretty”] received a marketing degree from the University of Texas, which she now calls a “bullshit degree.” …I went to college, I busted my ass and my first job was $13 an hour, and I stripped my way through college. I was like, ‘OK, I’ve got a degree now. I’m done stripping. I’m going to do what I’ve been working hard to do.’ And then I realized I was making more money stripping. I could make $100,000 a year stripping, so what’s the point? I was making $40,000 before taxes at my other job. Oh no, baby.”
- “Clermont Lounge gives dancers the choice to go topless or fully nude. [62-year-old] Blondie suffered a stroke last year, yet remains in terrific shape for her age. She can still do the splits, crush a beer can with her breasts, dance on her toes and perform drop kicks during her routines. Both older women, however, choose to just go topless.“I have a vagina that looks like a dead gopher hole with dried up leaves around it,” [69-year-old] Paula said. “People just don’t want to see it anymore.””
Okay, then! And for Pretty, Tom Herman probably has an “Ok, cool. Hook’em” response for you. Meanwhile, back in the AJC, Atlanta rappers Killer Mike and Diamond made the case for the city’s strip clubs fueling its artists’ success:
“Our strip clubs, I would argue, are the fuel for our (Atlanta’s) current artistic dominance all over the world,” said Killer Mike, whose real name is Mike Render. He told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “Some of our leading music comes out of the Blue Flame, Magic City, (the recently-closed) Stilettos, the Office.”
…Brittany Carpentero, better known as the Atlanta rapper “Diamond,” said she appreciates the role that dancers have had in popularizing her music, including as a teen member of Crime Mob with their 2004 megahit “Knuck If You Buck.”
How dancers and patrons respond to a song in a strip club shows music executives which tracks are commercially viable. Dancers perform better if they like the song, then patrons feel the energy of the room and start to throw cash, giving executives a clear sign of potential.
The paper also produced a video report to go along with the article (maybe NSFW, depending on your W, but that could apply to this whole article!):
This concludes our extremely educational journey into the world of Atlanta strip clubs. Until the next piece exploring them.