How much debauchery is too much debauchery?
This is what New York City's bawdy, burlesque night club, The Box, is grappling over after after a New York magazine feature described the over-the-top sexual performances that go on inside in graphic detail. The Box features more than just your run-of-the-mill pole dancing...but you'll have to read the piece for all the juicy details.
I've been to enough burlesque performances to tell you urinating on the crowd is not a common occurrence. And maybe that is what allegedly made The Box so cool. (I say "allegedly cool" because the night club charged $1,000 per table and Lindsay Lohan frequently twirled around the stripper pole.) Surely there's couples who need a little sex club action to put some ideas in their head, right?
“We’re about to get in your face, break that fourth wall, and remind you that you’re alive,” The Box's owner, Simon Hammerstein, told the mag. So is The Box's problem simply a case of prudish clientele, and worse, prudish performers?
Judging by the one-and-only-time I went to what I guess you could call "a sex club" with a man I dated and some of our friends (not The Box...way, way less "fancy" than The Box), you either are OK with the sleazy atmosphere or you aren't. I'm very much a libertine and that experience was too much for even me, which is to say, the club never had my business again. People performing sex acts in public can be a bit too much!
But moreso than deciding whether a performer removing an entire outfit from the orifices of her body is too icky or not for mass consumption, one should be troubled by reports of sexual harassment and rampant drug/alcohol abuse at the club. Performers have complained that Hammerstein hits them so hard on the ass that he leaves bruises and welts; that he coerced them into sex; that he left cocaine lying around. And that's not even the half of it.
You'll have to read the whole New York article and judge for yourself. I'm inclined to believe that you can have a sexy and sexual work environment that doesn't involve abuse of employees and sexual harassment. Someone's got to keep the flame burning for out-there expressions of sexuality, even if it's not the cup of tea all of us would like to drink.
Maybe the guy who runs American Apparel isn't capable of it, and maybe Simon Hammerstein isn't capable of it, but I'd like to think it's possible.
Have you ever been to The Box in NYC? If so, tell us about your experience in the comments section below.