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Barewell, Peep Show: The Lusty Lady Gets the Pink Slip

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Hearing about the closing of my alma mater, downtown peep show the Lusty Lady, saddens me. (The venue will shut its doors in June.) It's been years since I was a Lusty Lady, but working there was a formative experience.

I certainly polished my physical graces in that pink hall of mirrors. Many of the women there had years of dance classes and were performance artists. I was at the opposite end of the spectrum—I wasn't clumsy, but I had no formal dance training at all.

Which was fine, because to say that one dances at the Lusty Lady is to employ euphemism. The stage is small, perhaps 8 by 15 feet, and there are usually several women on it, so often you are all less than an arm's length from one another. It would be more accurate to say one wiggles at the Lady—or undulates, or bounces, according to one's mood. I'm still no Isadora Duncan, but the Lady improved me—nothing teaches you how to sway, turn, slither, and bend beguilingly like watching yourself, naked, hour after hour.

While I didn't learn dance steps, I learned another type of erotic performance. I'd already worked for escort services and massage parlors, but those jobs were about touching. At the Lady, I studied the art of visual presentation and verbal stimulation. Since we were paid a flat wage, there was no reason not to experiment with different personas. I tried being a biker chick, a pigtailed country girl, a retro pinup doll, and, oh yeah—a bitchy dominatrix. Guess which one I decided I liked best?

It was training in speaking my sexual thoughts, too. One of the reasons women hesitate to mention edgy sexual fantasies is out of fear that men will think we're giving immediate, unequivocal consent to them. Safely behind glass, I gave myself permission to say any taboo sexual thing I thought of. Some of the kinky things that came out of my mouth surprised me, but I found I liked saying them, and I saw other people liked it, too.

From those experiments came pieces of a whole. It was in the laboratory of the Lusty Lady that I created many of the elements that would one day coalesce into "Mistress Matisse." I'll be sorry to see my old birthing place go. recommended


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I'm not about to say the Lusty Lady is a classy place, or to say I'm proud of the time I'd spent there during visits to Seattle, but I really, really enjoyed being able to visit an establishment that allowed me to express my sexuality for cash and was totally legal and - as long as you never touched the walls - safe.

I really feel strongly like we need a lot more of this in our culture. Shame to see the world at large apparently disagrees.
Posted by Canadian Eddie on April 21, 2010 at 4:26 PM · Report this
I'm a fan of the Lusty Lady, and will be sorry to see it go.

Having said that, the owners did little to keep up with the digital age. It has no internet presence: there's no way to know which dancers are working when and you still have to call the hotline to find out the Private Pleasures schedule. I wish they'd found a way to keep it going.
Posted by Chadman73 on April 21, 2010 at 8:04 PM · Report this
Why not at least keep the marquee out front? If business requires closing, keep the spirit alive out front with the funny headlines.
Posted by seattledude on April 22, 2010 at 7:42 AM · Report this
One of the best things about the Lusty Lady was that the girls are lovely, sexy, and generous-hearted. Other venues make the customer feel like a mark; the greed is a huge turn off. Could there be a business model that's somewhere in-between? There's a market here because what takes place between the girl and the customer is completely personal. It doesn't seem to me that the internet could completely take it's place.

If the management and dancers wish to try again at another location (other than the East side where I'll never go) I'll certainly be a customer; my wife will insist upon it.
Posted by discreet customer on April 24, 2010 at 7:51 PM · Report this
devon rocketship 5
haven't they been about to close like 3 times in the last decade?
Posted by devon rocketship on April 25, 2010 at 10:16 PM · Report this
Sat'n 6
Too bad about the LL. Just another one of Seattle's fine sleazy establishments to go under. Not surprising, since Seattle is not the nice comfortable sleazy town it used to be. It's just kind of a greener, cloudier Orange County now.
Posted by Sat'n on April 28, 2010 at 10:49 AM · Report this
Its a sad day to see this establishment go by the way side. Alot of fun and good times, hot sexy ladies for a quart...what a deal.
Posted by baby boy on April 29, 2010 at 9:46 PM · Report this

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