Struggling to get by in this miserable economy, ladies? Well it turns out there’s an innovative new way to make a few extra bucks.
Just keep it hush-hush, OK?
Welcome to Saint Venus Theater — a roving amateur strip club that caters mainly to young finance guys looking for a less tacky, more girl-next-door stripping experience.
Launched in 2009 by a man known to his employees as “Rob S.,” a mysterious character who favors a top hat and long ponytail, Saint Venus started off as a members-only, application-based strip den for a small group of Rob’s financier friends. Since then, it has grown, largely by word-of-mouth among its high-spending and attractive clientele, as a much-whispered-about alternative to the typically trashy strip club.
“You go to a regular strip club, and it’s like a f – – king factory,” says Josh, a 24-year-old who works at a digital marketing company and went to Saint Venus for the first time in November. (All patrons and strippers in this story asked to withhold their real names to protect their day jobs.)
“Those girls are there to make money . . . if you try to talk to them and not get a dance, they’ll say, ‘This guy is a waste of my time,’ in some weird foreign accent and walk away.
“The thing at Saint Venus is I could’ve gone to high school or college with any of these chicks,” adds Josh, who’s now been to the club 10 times.
And for all he knows, he did.
Most of the girls at last Thursday’s event — all between the ages of 18 and 26 — have “normal” jobs. Among the dozens who work at Saint Venus, one is a baby sitter, another is an intern at a fashion start-up and a third is an assistant at a Chelsea gallery.
Yet all are willing to titillate customers with a lap dance for $20 a song. (There’s a $50 entry fee, none of which goes to the girls.)
These young ladies are focused on the important things.
“The art gallery doesn’t pay my bills,” says Christine, a 22-year-old who works full time Monday to Friday downtown.
“I just want to have more money,” says Lisa, a 22-year-old graduate of a top design school who works unpaid at a fashion start-up. “I want to go shopping.”
The guys, meanwhile, could care less about shopping.
But one customer says the last thing he’s looking for at Saint Venus is a girlfriend. “If I’m going to a place that is objectifying women, I don’t really care what their day job is,” says Linus, a 34-year-old commercial real estate professional who has been to the club about three times over the years.
“Their job is to shake their ass for me.”
Linus, a man with his priorities in order.