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Much like ancient Greece and Rome, New York City is also steeped in folkloric myth, from rent-controlled apartments, to seedy old Times Square peep shows, to all manner of secret bars, restaurants, and train stations.
And then there’s the Saint Venus Theater, a speakeasy-style gentlemen’s club that moves from place to place along with a roster of “normal” girls who look more like the hot chick you walked past in the laundromat and less like someone who has 13 pairs of clear heels. It’s the type of spot that can only be found if you know a guy who knows a guy... and if you are actually a guy.
Despite the website’s mantra that Saint Venus is “something positive and progressive in a world that is dominated by female exploitation and dissatisfaction,” try as I might to be the positive and progressive female who is totally down with the NYC sex scene, I was brusquely denied when I applied for the secret location and password. My online application wasn’t even acknowledged. Boobs need not apply. Unless you want to show yours.
What’s a female to do?
Like any other spot that “celebrates the feminine in erotic themes,” I needed a man to get in. Fortunately I had a friend who was more than willing to help me with my “research.” My friend, let’s call him Silent Partner J, logged onto the website, applied for membership, and within moments was accepted as a member into the elusive fold. Penis power. He was immediately sent a lengthy e-mail with very detailed rules, instructions, and what to expect. Most notably, that Saint Venus is NOT a strip club. Not even a little bit. It’s oh so much more...
The events are held Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights in different locations, which are revealed when you receive your formal invitation, along with a password for the events. We decided to head to a Wednesday night party, which promised 70 girls “dancing and prancing in lingerie” throughout the entire month of May. A $50 admission gets you two-for-one drinks between 7 and 8pm, one free dance card between 7 and 9pm, complimentary chocolate and strawberries, complimentary baked ziti and chicken fingers (because nothing says aphrodisiac like a dab of ricotta on your lip) from 1am ‘til closing, and, if needed, NBA playoffs on wide-screen TVs. Essentially, if there was a Mount Olympus for New York City bros, this would. Be. It.
Fortunately, ladies are allowed to attend as guests of members, so long as all guests know to be “respectful and in control.” The e-mail contains an entire code of conduct to ensure that the evenings don’t devolve into orgies (it’s not a sex club), and also provides protection for the dancers (you can’t... um... “date” them).