Nearly every segment of our economy has suffered through the recession. But we found one area that is still going strong: strip clubs.
What we found is that the reasons are more than skin deep. Experts tell us strip clubs and other vices are popular during hard times for psychological reasons.
A night at a strip club can get expensive in a hurry.
We do have different increments as far as dancers go. We have half hours, we have $20 dances, and then we have the three for $60," said Déjà Vu Club manager Dimas Martinez.
Reserving a VIP booth can cost $150 for a night. But right now there is no shortage of reservations. Even in the middle of a recession, when money is tight for pretty much everyone, managers at Déjà Vu say they are still seeing more than 1,000 customers a week.
I would say we are doing very well considering whats been going on with the downfall of other companies," Martinez said.
Bailey Michaels has been an exotic dancer for five years and has danced all over the country. Michaels has seen the ups and downs of the economy. She said after a small dip when the recession first hit, business bounced back quickly.
At the end of the day, and everybody knows this, sex sells. The whole fantasy, you know, just coming in here and being whoever you want to be," Michaels said.
Thats really not surprising to me that in a recession that their business would be doing fine," Dr. Dean Haddock said.
Haddock, a clinical psychologist, says it goes deeper than the flesh and the fantasy. Dr. Haddock says its common for people to turn to gambling, smoking and booze during hard times.
One of the things that we do know about people when they are having stress is that they will spend money on their impulses. Its really the way people are. Its the way people cope when they feel they dont have a lot of power in their lives," Haddock said.
Michaels said people assume its all about the nudity and the sexuality. But she says often its just about companionship.
I dont know how many customers and get half hours and half the time they just want to talk about their personal life and get it off their chest
I have a lot of customers that have just recently been divorced or they lost their job or they took a pay cut and they come in here just miserable
; I reassure them that its going to pick back up; it has to, Michaels said.
We tried repeatedly to talk to customers to get their side of the story, but none of them would go on camera.
Haddock says all vices are popular ways of coping during hard times. But he says often they just make things worse and he recommends finding a friend or even a professional to talk to.
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