Strip cubs are a big thing in Australia especially in Melbourne. The adult entertainment industry with naked women dancing or working a pole is commonly known as stripping everywhere in the world but in some places some clubs prefer to call it Gentlemen’s club to give it a more distinguished feel. Melbourne had its first strip club back in the 90s. The city was the first in Australia to take a more liberal approach to topless dancing, strippers and brothels in a bid to make the city more attractive place for tourists. Since the first club was opened, regulations for strip clubs have always been very light.
The early striptease joints grew out of the centre of town where XXX rated or blue movies were shown between regular movies at the cinema. This mixing of film and live show is unusual in most countries except in the U.S, specifically around 42nd Street in New York before it was taken over by Disney. Melbourne has the Crazy Horse, Deny and the Shaft which had both stage and lap dancing shows.
Australian bars started to feature striptease shows to increase trade. If you looked at the Yellow Pages you would find dozens of strip clubs and agencies but at its height, there were 30 clubs with strip tease performers in Melbourne now there are only a dozen or so that have held out through the years and 5 serious agencies that supply women to clubs, for private parties, company events and bucks parties. The main clubs recruit their own girls.
Melbourne became popular for its US style table dancing. These had few regulations like not soliciting. Customers outside the club, making the interior invisible from the outside and making sure that stripping does not take over the operation of the pub.
The first table dancing club in the city of Melbourne was Santa Fe Gold which was opened right in the theatre area of Melbourne in a converted hotel on Russell Street. It was a hit and drew large crowds. That was in 1992. In 1993,Showgirls Bar 20 opened. It had more space, was plusher and run very professionally. Showgirls Bar 20 has been around, surviving competition from other clubs. It had a more professional feel about it and was the first to distinguish itself as a gentlemens club Melbourne and now a more modern nightclub.
Spearmint Rhino set up shop in 2002 on Kings Street and so began the era of the King Street strip mall. Spearmint is a world wide brand which helped bring international standards to the Melbourne adult entertainment scene. Spearmint Rhino has been in a constant state of expansion providing separate floors and separate areas for different kinds of entertainment.
For a long while the club was regarded as the epitome of why an upmarket gentlemens club Melbourne should be. Clubs like the Spearmint or Bar 20, Centrefold Lounge, Goldfingers, Dreams Gentlemens Club, Xplicit Gentlemens Club, Hustle Club and kittens have become the centrepieces of the Gentleman’s club phenomenon in Melbourne.