The strip-club industry astonished British lawmakers in Parliament this week by insisting that lap-dancing isn’t sexual.  The claim intended to blunt efforts to heighten licensing requirements for establishments featuring nude and semi-nude performers in order to allow communities more opportunity to deny them permits for areas near churches and schools.  In fact, they claimed that sexual arousal conflicted with their business model:

Lap dancing “is not sexually stimulating”, the chairman of the Lap Dancing Association told a parliamentary committee today.

Simon Warr made the claim, which was greeted with scepticism by MPs, while he was giving evidence to the Commons culture committee as part of an inquiry into the operation of the Licensing Act.

The government is under pressure to change the act so that lap dancing clubs have to be licensed as sex encounter establishments.

At the moment, they are licensed in the same way as pubs and clubs, which has led to complaints from councils who believe that they do not have the power to stop clubs being opened in their areas. …

“Actually, our premises are not sexually stimulating. It would be contrary to our business plan if they were.”

At issue is the licensing requirements for strip clubs. Under current law, these clubs have the same licenses as regular pubs, which restricts communities from controlling where they operate. Parliament wants to create a new license class for these establishments to give communities greater control.

If the industry really believes that they don’t provide sexual stimulation, they may need to improve their hiring practices (definitely Not Safe For Work):

This explanation doesn’t pass the Wife Test. Imagine coming home from an evening at the strip club and telling wife (or for our female readers, hearing from your husband) that naked women grinding their hips within a couple of inches of their face isn’t meant to be sexually stimulating. It’s an insult to the intelligence, if hanging out at the strip club wasn’t bad enough.

I’m generally libertarian about grown adults getting naked in front of crowds, but I’m also inclined to allow communities to zone for that kind of activity. This attempt to mislead should get laughed out of Parliament.