I'm (not) in love with a stripper

A Manhattan securities trader files a lawsuit for injuries sustained from a lap dance gone awry.


Catherine Price
March 18, 2008 5:30PM (UTC)

I was tempted to kick off the morning with a piece about gubernatorial sex scandal. (I'm not even talking about Eliot Spitzer -- check out this article on David and Michelle Paterson's admitted infidelities.) But then I thought, screw that. I'd rather write about strip clubs.

Did anyone else catch this little nugget Monday from the Associated Press? Titled "Man Files Suit, Claims Lap Dance Injury," it briefly recounts the travails of a man named Stephen Chang, a securities trader who has filed a lawsuit against the Hot Lap Dance Club in Manhattan for injuries he sustained when "a stripper giving a lap dance swiveled and smacked him in the face with the heel of her shoe."

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First, a note to Mr. Chang: Please accept my condolences for what could very well be a serious injury. If this was a stripper of the sort one frequently sees in the background of music videos, those heels were likely to have been quite high -- not to mention pointy. If this is anything involving your eye, then disregard the rest of this post and write me off as an asshole. (Update: According to the lawsuit, Mr. Chang did suffer an eye injury. I apologize. But as a general point, I still stand by what follows.)

Provided that's not the case, though, I have a question: Are you stupid? There are certain activities that come with risks. Try kiteboarding, for example, and a sudden gust of wind could smack you down on the water and break your back. Go base-jumping and there's a chance you might splatter. Surround yourself with scantily clad women whose entire job is to gyrate around your body in stilettos, and one in several million times, a heel is going to land in your face. Under normal circumstances, she would have gotten an extra tip for being so flexible.

So what are the possible long-term implications of this lawsuit? I imagine a world in which strip clubs start to resemble ski rental shops, requiring clients to sign lengthy liability waivers before they're allowed to try out the equipment. It reminds me of a release form I once saw at a bar that had a mechanical bull (proudly labeled as "The Best Buckin' Ride Ever"). The form -- which was several pages long -- could be summarized by one simple statement (which for some reason I have saved on my computer): "Mechanical bull riding has inherent dangers." So does hiring a woman to throw her leg over your shoulder and hump your lap. Consider yourself warned.


Catherine Price

Catherine Price is an award-winning journalist and author of Vitamania: How Vitamins Revolutionized the Way We Think About Food. Her written and multimedia work has appeared in publications including The Best American Science Writing, The New York Times, Popular Science, O: The Oprah Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Post Magazine, Salon, Slate, Men’s Journal, Mother Jones, PARADE, Health Magazine, and Outside. Price lives in Philadelphia.

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