Striptease Restrictions Around the World

Striptease Restrictions Around the World

Striptease might be a big business in Vegas (and, of course, other cities around the world) but it is still technically considered a form of public nudity. As such, it can subject the person doing it to both legal and cultural consequences on grounds of morality and decency. Because of this, vast restrictions have been placed on stripping in order to regulate it as a form of entertainment that is subject to various national and local laws, often relating also to liquor licensing restrictions.


In the United States, several jurisdictions have very specific Secrets striptease laws.  These laws, of course, are the result of whatever the community within each jurisdiction deem lascivious or lude. Among the most notorious of these local ordinances is San Diego Municipal Code 33.3610. This regulation provides very specific and strict measures in order to discourage corruption among local officials, most notably the “six foot rule” which requires that dancers must maintain a distance of six feet from any spectator while she performs.

Other states have restrictions against full nudity. Some parts of the US forbid exposure of the female nipple, requiring this part of the body to be covered with pasties.  Houston banned fully exposed breast in strip clubs in 2008 and Detroit passed a similar ordinance in 2010.

In the United States there are also some states which prohibit alcohol sales in clubs where nudity is presented.


In the 1930s, British law prohibited performers to move while also nude.  The Windmill Theatre famously worked around this law by displaying nude models in tableaux—still poses.  To ensure they followed the law, sometimes the theatre would place the models on rotating devices so they moved while stationary.  

The models would also do “fan dances,” which used fans to conceal her body until the very end of the act. At the end, she would pose naked, briefly, while standing still of course.  When the law changed in the 1960s, Soho saw a “fully nude” dancing boom.


In 2010, Iceland outlawed striptease completely.  According to Iceland’s Prime Minister, “The Nordic countries are leading the way on women’s equality, recognizing women as equal citizens rather than commodities for sale.”  The politician who wrote the bill claims that “it is not acceptable that women or people in general are a product to be sold.”

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