The Anatomy Of A Lap Dance: How Rubbing Your Ass On People Could Soon Be "Art" In New York

Da Vinci's "Mona Lisa," Michelangelo's "David," and a lap dance from some stripper named "Cinnamon" could all soon have something in common -- each could be considered "art" here in the Empire State.

Let's rephrase that: they could all be tax-exempt "art" in the Empire State.

New York's highest court is scheduled today to hear arguments about whether lap dances should be considered an "art" form worthy of tax-exempt status under state law.

The case appears to be little more than a creative way for an Upstate strip club to get out of paying taxes. Yet, it's made its way all the way to Court of Appeals.

In 2005, an audit revealed that Nite Moves, a strip joint near Albany, hadn't paid $124,000 in taxes. The tax bill, tax officials say, was for both non-alcoholic drinks as well as private "couch services" (read: lap dances).

Under state law, "live dramatic or musical arts performances" like ballet have tax-exempt status. While lap dances are technically a "performance," it's a slightly less-refined form of dance than, say, any other form of "dance."

Here's how lap dances work: you pay a stripper roughly 25 bucks, depending on the strip club. She takes you to a dimly-lit backroom, puts you on a couch, pulls out her ta-tas and grinds her ass into your crotch for about 10 minutes. At its completion, you thank her, do your best to get the glitter and stripper stank off you, and hope your wife doesn't find out. There is nothing artistic about it.

That said, an administrative law judge previously ruled in favor of Nite Moves' asinine claim that lap dances are art.

From the Associated Press:

An administrative law judge previously agreed with Nite Moves, saying that "the fact that the dancers remove all or part of their costume ... simply does not render such dance routines as something less than choreographed performances."

As we mentioned, claiming that lap dances are "art" seems like nothing more than a creative way for a strip club to avoid paying taxes. We want to know what you think, though: are lap dances "art?"

Cast your vote below.

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Minor & possibly irrelevant correction here- lapdances are generally $20-$30 PER SONG, not for 10 minutes.  A song is only about 3 minutes.  (with the kind of outrageous fees dancers have to pay the club and how slow stripclubs have been post-recession and for how long customers expect us to waste our time chatting them up before buying, there's no way I'd strip for a $25/10 min. rate)


Sorry, 'author', but grinding doesn't happen in all clubs, and I think 'stank' is a subjective description. Many strippers/exotic dancers such as myself suffer from bursitis at the age of 25, back problems, and risk of staph infection from stage contact.


Besides dealing with unusually dour folks like yourself, we deal with physical danger, and inappropriate advances on a nightly basis. After working in management, retail and healthcare, I've yet to experience the same kind of stresses as in an adult nightclub, and I challenge anyone to argue that stripping isn't work, especially after having experienced it firsthand. But, I love the challenges of my job, the good people, the exercise, and the honest money. If you don't like Us, don't come to see Us.


The strippers get side action and serve the client. Legalize prostitution and tax the workers and clubs


as a rule, I say tax the bejesus out of strip clubs.. but i don't think the poor fellow in that pic out to be taxed any further..


 @ElleStanger Yes!  This job is actually very fucking hard (and part of our job is to "make it look easy", obviously), but usually worth the $$.


I think it's fine and all to disagree with the clubs' interpretation of "performance" or whatever, but what's with the condescending and disrespectful tone taken when talking about the workers themselves?  Sex-workers are already really socially marginalized, sorta low-hanging fruit dont'cha think?

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