Strip club bids to end sleaze image

Australia- – WHO wants to be associated with a strip club?

Xplicit Gentleman’s Club manager Geoff Hollow [pictured] said the club wanted to become involved with Northcote’s arts precinct as a new venue and sponsor for festivals such as Northern Exposure and Darebin Music Feast.

He said the Northcote club was keen to help out and break down the stereotype that nightclubs with erotic entertainment were “dirty little strip clubs around the corner”.

“We want to support music and arts festivals and give them free use of the venue to put something back into the community,” Mr Hollow said.

“We wouldn’t want advertising from it. In fact if someone had an exhibition here they could supply their own banners and we could cover up the Xplicit signs and make it a strip-free zone.”

He said the venue would consider sponsoring a local sporting club but thought most with junior memberships would reject this due to moral concerns, whereas the broad-minded arts community was more likely to welcome help.

Mr Hollow said he left a message on Darebin arts and culture manager Mark Wilkinson’s answering machine to discuss his proposals last. But Mr Wilkinson was on leave.

Darebin Mayor Vince Fontana told the Leader he “welcomed” offers of assistance for community events and encouraged businesses to participate in Darebin’s vibrant arts scene.

“Council (will) discuss this idea further, consider how the community or local groups would benefit, and assess if any event would be appropriate for (Xplicit),” Cr Fontana said.

Mr Hollow said those associated with the club bent over backwards to help out in the community, with strippers at the venue raising thousands of dollars for the Black Saturday appeal last year.

Stripper Cherri , who works at the club, said in the 12 years she’d been working, stripping had become less taboo, with more couples and women in the audience.

“We feel we should be able to get involved in the community and help without offending anyone,” she said.

“We don’t want to be excluded just because it’s a strip club.”

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