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Theme~Night Thursdays

Because it’s fun to dress up even if we’re naked.  ;)   A different fun, sexy theme every Thursday. Follow us on twitter &  facebook  for updates, pictures, and more!peep1

Posted 6 years ago.

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We’ re on TV !

Check out the Lusty Ladies, now on KOFY TV ‘s Creepy KOFY Movie Time !


 Get a sneak peek   HERE.

Posted 6 years, 5 months ago.

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Playboy’s Top Ten Strip Clubs

One Strip Beyond

One Strip Beyond

The Lusty is 1 of 10 strip clubs that offer MORE than just a lap dance….

“Leave it to San Francisco to have the world’s only unionized, worker-owned peep show co-op. If the stripper-friendly labor policies don’t turn you on, perhaps the play-by-their-rules vibe will. Because dancers own the club, girls are free to do what they want on stage. “Once someone brought instruments, so we had naked band night with a ukulele, kazoo and accordion. Sometimes we’re like, ‘Let’s smear donuts on each other and make out,’” says Princess, a dancer who is also the club’s public relations rep. “It’s kind of like working at a slumber party.” Set up in a peep show format, patrons pay approximately $1 per minute to watch a rotating set of dancers separated by a glass partition. While patrons can’t touch the dancers, they are free to bring a friend and do whatever they like in a private booth while dancers watch.”

Posted 9 years, 9 months ago.

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Big Changes at the Lusty Lady

by Dr. Carol Queen

As a member of a co-op business myself — I’m one of the three or four original Good Vibrations owners left, 10 years later — I am hopeful for the LL’s staff… If tomorrow is to bring us a newly energized passel of lovely lusty ladies, naked, naughty and nasty, it will be because behind the scenes, these live nude girls are putting their noses to the grindstone of business and their sweet asses on the line for our entertainment. You know how much you’d miss them if they went away, so let’s give them all our support so they can boldly go where no naked women have ever gone. And don’t forget to tip!

Posted 15 years, 10 months ago.

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Under Nude Management

by David Steinberg

The strippers and support staff at San Francisco’s Lusty Lady peep show theater had done it again.

After months of hard-nosed negotiations — including three days of eye-catching informational pickets and full preparation for a strike — the workers at the only unionized sex club in the nation got just about everything they wanted from the theater’s owners — restoration of an earlier $3-an-hour pay cut, a cap on the number of dancers working at the theater, an end to videotaping dancers while they worked, and no back-tracking on sick days and health insurance.

It was a hard fight, and the dancers were heady with victory. For the sixth time since they joined Service Employees International Union Local 790 in 1997, the dancers had held their own in a contentious labor dispute and proved to the theater’s owners, to themselves, and to the world at large that women who dance naked for a living could stand together, fight for what they wanted, and win. Coming down to the wire about calling a strike (contract agreement was reached three days before the strike deadline) had forced everyone to pull together, get organized, get clear about their priorities, and get efficient. If they had doubts before, the dancers and support staff at the Lusty knew now that, when the chips were down, they could meet, make decisions, and pull together to do what needed to be done.

If you think that women who strip naked for the sexual pleasure of others — who display their bodies only inches and a thin sheet of plexiglas away from hundreds of masturbating men each day — must be pitiful souls devoid of pride or self-esteem, think again. The 60 dancers and 15 support staff at the Lusty Lady Theater are a strong, energetic, and creative crew. And they’ve discovered that, with a union to back them up, they don’t have to accept wages and working conditions dictated by the people they work for. They may not get everything they want, but they usually get pretty close. Most significantly, they know that they can be active players in the workplace, rather than powerless pawns being moved around the chessboard by people and interests far more powerful than themselves.

In this case, however, despite their contract victory, it soon became apparent that all was not well in paradise for the Lusty dancers. Less than two months after the new contract was signed, dancers and staff at the Lusty were notified by the owners that the theater was going to close up shop in three months. Darrell Davis, the company’s general manager, tired of flying from Seattle to San Francisco to deal with labor issues, had resigned and, perhaps as a result, the owners had decided to dump their San Francisco franchise and relax into the more placid business of managing their Seattle theater, where non-union dancers accepted management’s rules without serious question and kept any grievances they might have to themselves.

The owners had warned during contract negotiations that, if they gave the dancers what they wanted, the theater would no longer be profitable. But the owners had said the same thing each year during contract talks, and the dancers didn’t believe them, especially when the owners refused to let negotiators examine the company books. But this time the owners weren’t bluffing and everyone’s worst-case scenario had become a reality. The owners wanted out, there were no buyers who wanted to take on the “liability” of dealing with a union, and everyone was about to be out of a job.

During negotiations, Donna Delinqua (her stage name) — a graduate student in English Literature who’s completing her dissertation on the depiction of sex between women in pornography — had not entirely dismissed the owners’ claim of impending financial insolvency. But Delinqua wasn’t intimidated by the possibility of a shut down. “If they close the theater,” she thought, “we can just take it over.”

It wasn’t the first time the idea of dancers running the theater had crossed someone’s mind. Three years earlier, a group of dancers considered buying the theater if the owners made good on their threat to close the place down. Now it was time to see if the idea of a dancer-run strip club was just a pipe dream, or if the idea could be transformed into workable reality.

Delinqua called a general meeting of dancers and staff. Rainbow Light, a well-established local grocery cooperative, and Good Vibrations, the nationally-known, women-friendly, worker-owned sex toy store, sent people to explain the nuts and bolts of structuring and operating a worker-run business. The idea of actually owning the place where they worked was exciting and infectious, and the we-can-do-anything feeling from the triumphant contract negotiation was still very much in the air. The group decided to put together a plan to buy and operate the Lusty Lady themselves.

“If we hadn’t just come through the negotiations,” says Ruby, who has danced at the Lusty Lady for a year and a half, “I don’t know if we could have made this happen. But we had become a strong group, we had gotten used to working together, and we just believed that it was possible to buy the business and make it work.”

Plans were developed, organizational and operational structures hammered out, committees formed. Pepper was in charge of negotiating the purchase with the owners. Tony would come up with a financial overview. Miss Muffy would coordinate signing people up as owners. Ruby would deal with the city, the police, and the fire department about licensing. Havana would take charge of getting the new business incorporated. Rapture and Cayenne would write the new corporation’s by-laws.

In less than three months, everything had come together and on June 1 the Lusty Lady became the nation’s first worker-owned strip club. General manager Davis, who had stirred intense anger among dancers during contract negotiations, became noticeably cooperative when it came to negotiating a buyout. It didn’t hurt that the dancers’ was the only offer on the table. A selling price — confidential, but substantial — was agreed to and, if all goes well, will be paid off over the next five years. There was no down payment.

Anyone who works at the theater can become an owner for $300, regardless of how many hours they work. “We wanted to make the amount people paid to become owners large enough that it be a real commitment,” Delinqua explains, but not so much that it was out of reach.” To make becoming an owner accessible to as many people as possible, the $300 can be paid over time. At the end of each fiscal year, any profits above money reserved for working capital is to be distributed to owners, based on how many hours they’ve worked. Of 60 dancers, 45 have already become owners, with more expected to sign up over time.

The company’s Board of Directors is made up of five dancers and two support staff. After years of feeling pushed around, the dominating ethos is a commitment to fairness, cooperation, and equality. Decisions are made by majority vote, “but we use a consensus-building process to try to make sure that everyone’s concerns are dealt with,” Delinqua explains. The Lusty’s ground-breaking union, however, has not been disbanded. “There’s no guarantee that, down the road, people will be as committed to fairness as we are,” Board-member Pepper notes. “Also,” she adds, “we want to continue our outreach to other strip clubs about the possibilities of unionization.”

As it turned out, many of the dancers had skills that proved useful in pulling the new cooperative together. Some had worked as paralegals. Others had managerial experience. Mostly, though, it was a matter of rolling up your sleeves and discovering that you could do things you’d never done before.

“It’s been a huge learning curve,” says Ruby. “Before this I didn’t know anything about running a business. We’re all learning about accounting procedures, about insurance — things I never thought I’d be doing when I signed on as a stripper.”

The difference between working for someone else and working for yourself is like the difference between night and day, especially in a service business that rises or falls on the personal appeal of its workers. Two months into their experiment, the dancers at the Lusty seem almost universally excited about their new possibilities.

“We’re about to see a new Golden Era at the Lusty Lady,” Pepper predicts. “The importance of worker incentive should not be underestimated. Now that we’re working for ourselves, everyone feels fresh and friendly, and that affects how we relate to each other and how we relate to the customers. Now everyone has new reasons to be present with customers, to give good shows. The quality of everyone’s performance is going up. The theater is cleaner than ever, and we’re considering a number of capital improvements, like new carpeting.”

“All the stuff that used to be secret and shrouded in mystery,” says Ruby, “now it’s posted every week, open for everyone to see. How much money we brought in, each check that was written, how the Private Pleasures booth did.”

“People seem to be getting into being more glamorous, getting more elaborate with their costumes, paying more attention to their appearance than they were before,” Delinqua notices. “Now everyone has to consider the financial consequences of what they do, how they act, how they look.”

Delinqua points to the new system of dancer evaluation as one concrete example of how things have changed with worker ownership. “Before,” she says, “dancers were evaluated by managers who were not dancers themselves. Now, it’s all peer evaluation. Each week a new group of five dancers evaluate the other people on their shifts — their general appearance, being pleasant with the customers, making eye contact, paying attention to the customers, making them feel welcome. There are no managers, only team leaders — we call them Madams of the House — elected for six-month terms. Everyone dances.”

Ruby likens the new spirit at the Lusty to the pioneering example of Good Vibrations. “Good Vibrations totally changed the world of sex toy shops,” she notes. “Before Good Vibes, sex shops were seedy places. Women didn’t go there. Good Vibes changed all that. It’s clean, it’s not creepy, so going there is no big deal.

“We’re trying to do the same thing. We want to show that it’s ok to view adult entertainment, that it doesn’t have to be something you’re ashamed of, something you do in secret. We hope to include women customers more, and to make everyone feel more comfortable coming to the theater.”

The sense of new beginning is tangible everywhere around the Lusty. People are realizing that, now that they own their own business, they can do what they want with it, and new ideas are cropping up everywhere. The first major innovation was the establishment of Women’s Night, which will be the last Wednesday of every month. The first Women’s Night in July was a huge success — grossing 20% more than usual for a Wednesday. (Men were allowed, if accompanied by women, but they had to pay $10 at the door, and stay with the women who brought them.)

“We set aside half the booths for women only,” Delinqua explains. “We made sure that everything was very clean. We had dancers meeting women at the door, acting as their Lusty Lady Tour Guides, helping ease their transition. About a hundred women came. The dancers were so excited to be bringing women in. Good Vibrations and S.I.R. Productions sent gifts of lube, porn, and condoms. The evening was co-sponsored by the Sex Worker Film and Video Festival. Everyone had a great time.”

Another new idea being considered is having a couples night, where a woman could come with her husband, boyfriend, or girlfriend, go backstage, get glammed up with the help of regular Lusty dancers, and then dance on stage for her partner — a chance for women to act out the fantasy of being stripper for a night. A perfect birthday gift for a partner, or for yourself.

“We want to be innovative,” Delinqua says. “We want to try new things and see what works. There’s the sense that we don’t have to be bound by how things have been done before.”

So far the new system seems to be working well. Delinqua estimates that about a third of the new owners are actively involved in running the business. Some potentially difficult issues — discipline, hiring new people, long-range financial decisions — have yet to come up, but Delinqua feels confident that these issues can be dealt with constructively, in the spirit of cooperatively working together.

“Most people feel vested,” says Ruby, “and that makes all the difference. It’s our show now. It’s a really exciting time for all of us. We’re all here doing it together and we’re really proud of what we’re doing. We’re trying to make the Lusty Lady a safe and fun place for everyone — dancers and customers alike. And we hope that we can inspire other sex workers to know that you really can do it yourself, especially if you have a strong group of people committed to working together.”

©2003 by David Steinberg

Posted 15 years, 10 months ago.

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The Lusty Lady makes Life Magazine!

CA Strip Club Becomes Employee-Owned And Unionized
SAN FRANCISCO – JUNE 26: Exotic dancer ‘Malena’ dances at the Lusty Lady strip club after the official re-opening June 26, 2003 in San Francisco. The dancers and support staff of the Lusty Lady made history by saving the famous strip club from going out of business by becoming the first employee-owned, fully unionized strip club in the nation.

Posted 16 years ago.

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Lusty Lady becomes first worker-owned strip club

The Worlds only Unionized Strip Club

From boas and high heels to boardrooms and high finance.

The members of the board of directors for one of San Francisco’s newest corporations sometimes work naked. They write letters naked. They send faxes naked. Sometimes, they negotiate over the phone naked.

It’s not just for fun. It’s easier that way. Because most of the time, they’ve been dancing naked upstairs, in the Lusty Lady Theater. And, as new owners of the joint, they sometimes go to the office in their work attire to get stuff done.

“It’s every man’s fantasy,” said dancer Donna Delinqua. “But it’s true. I had to laugh the other day because there I was, on the phone, negotiating something, and I realized I was completely naked.”

The women of the Lusty Lady, at 1033 Kearny St., are making history again. They were the first strip club in the country to unionize, joining the Service Employees International Union several years ago.

Now, they’ve bought the club and have become the first employee-owned strip joint in the nation.

“It’s been a real challenge,” said one of the new owners, a 32-year-old veteran stripper named Pepper.

Like most of the women at the Lusty Lady, Pepper prefers not to use her real name. Same with Delinqua. There are men out there, customers, who like them a little too much. Not that they’re complaining, but restraining orders are not considered good business.

They are an eclectic bunch. The dancers come from all walks of life and have a large assortment of backgrounds. They say some have doctoral degrees; some are in graduate school.

One dancer is a lawyer. Delinqua said the woman always wanted to be an artist, and practicing law “made her feel like a whore.” Now she dances naked for a living.

But the Lusty Lady is unique among San Francisco strip clubs. It’s one of the few nude venues that uses the “Peep-show” arrangement. The dancers work in a small semicircular room. There are windows to the room, and those windows open to small booths. The customers enter the booth and drop in quarters, which raise the curtain to the dance room for short periods of time.

There are no lap dances, no sticking dollar bills under (tax deductible?) G- strings, no physical contact.

But it is an explicit show.

In addition to the main dancing room, there is a smaller booth where customers can have a one-on-one session with a woman. As with the main room, glass separates the dancer from the customer. Other than that, anything goes.

Downstairs are the dressing room and business office, adjacent to each other.

Women drift in and out of the dressing room and office, sometimes clothed, sometimes not. The women have great camaraderie, and laugh and joke about each other, boyfriends, strange customers and the business of nude dancing.

The dancers joined the Service Employees union in 1995. For the most part, they got along with management. A couple of years ago, management decreased their hourly wages, citing reduced profits, and the dancers agreed. Late last year, as they were renegotiating the contract, they demanded that the cuts be restored.

Labor and management reached an agreement on the contract in January. A month later, they received notice that the club would close.

That’s when the dancers started to consider the idea of buying the club, and making it employee-owned.

With the help of Rainbow Grocery, another cooperative business in town, the dancers navigated their way through the murky waters of business and finance.

Along the way, the dancers drew on little bits of expertise and experience they had. Turns out one had been a paralegal, another knew about contracts.

Miss Muffy, a 22-year-old from Oakland, said she dropped out of high school at age 15. But she logged onto the Internet and figured out how to write a legal contract. And then did it.

“I think sometimes people just try to mystify their profession,” she said, smiling, at a nearby coffee shop. “It didn’t seem so difficult.”

The club stayed in business throughout the process. Last week, they completed the deal.

Today at noon, the club will have a reopening ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The Lusty Lady co-op works like this: Dancers are paid an hourly wage, as always. Those who want to buy into the co-op pay $300 and sign papers. At the end of the year, if there are profits, the money goes to the members of the co- op, prorated based on the number of hours worked that year.

About 45 dancers have joined the co-op so far, as well as all 12 of the nondancing, fully clothed, mostly male support staff.

The club will remain union.

“Everyone kept bugging us to disband (the union),” Miss Muffy said. “But I think keeping the union makes good sense.”

Pepper said keeping the union contract guarantees job protection for the dancers well into the future.

“We might have a great management system right now, but the union guarantees protections down the road, when a whole new bunch of people might be in charge,” she said.

For now, the dancers are happy with the fresh start and the prospect of making real money. And for the ability to control their own futures.

Ruby, a 22-year-old Betty Page look-alike, said there’s talk of creating a Lusty Lady calendar, bringing in other merchandise. And marketing.

“I’m thinking we ought to have underwear with a sign across the rear end that says ” ‘Look for the union label.’ ”

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Posted 16 years ago.

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