Two lapdancers from the Spearmint Rhino chain yesterday shimmied their way to Downing Street to present a petition protesting against the attempted reclassification of their places of work as “sex encounter establishments”.
According to the Sun, backbench Labour MP Roberta Blackman-Woods has proposed the move which would "make it easier for local councils to refuse licences".
Spearmint Rhino is representing several other strictly-no-sex-whatsoever establishments in the fight to maintain their squeaky-clean image.
Spokeswoman Elaine Reed said: “The workers within our industry are absolutely horrified that the Government are trying to rebrand us as part of the sex industry. It’s quite clear we are not part of the sex industry, we never have been and we don’t intend to be. Our clubs are controlled, there’s no sexual activity going on.”
Reed added that if slapped with a sex worker label, lapdancers would feel "stigmatised", and probably jump ship to similar professions such as nursing*. She concluded: “They will leave the industry because they don’t want that tag. The feeling is that if these changes are made the whole face of the industry will change, and not for the better."
Of course, we in the El Reg editorial department have no idea what goes on inside Spearmint Rhino's gentlemen's clubs (email our adsales boys, if you really want to know), but the chain's website is a fairly X-rated affair.
Among the cavorting strumpetry on offer there's a rather telling ad for the organisation's Dallas tentacle, which leads us to suspect the operation's US employees may not be as sensitive to stigmatisation as their UK counterparts. It reads: "Employment Opportunity. Click Here to Apply. Now Hiring All Positions." ®
*We made that bit about nursing up.