strip clubs

Time was, bankers ingratiated themselves to clients in an attempt to win their business by taking them out for steak dinners, offering them prime seats at sporting events, and showering them with coke and prostitutes. According to a report by Bloomberg today, though, dangling a chunk of meat in a hedge fund manager’s face no longer holds the appeal it once did. People are a lot more health conscious than in the past, they only have limited free time outside of work, and quite honestly? If they have to sit through another agonizing dinner in Midtown that involves the sort of secondhand embarrassment that can only come from you insisting on addressing the waitresses as “Sweet cheeks,” “Sugar tits,” and “My little piece of Kobe beef,” they might just cut their ear off. What’s a salesperson tasked with providing bonding experiences to do?

Gaining popularity, apparently, is inviting hedge fund managers and mutual fund traders to spend an hour or so working out together. The allure is in the fact that it’s a relatively quick commitment, it can be done in the morning, no one feels fat afterwards, and, of course, the enforced silence (other than motivational shouts and grunts).

Pre-dawn and afternoon classes at Manhattan fitness studios SoulCycle, Barry’s Bootcamp and Flywheel Sports are growing popular with bankers who want to bond without loading up on liquor and fatty foods, according to traders and salesmen. John Abularrage, head of Tullett Prebon Plc’s Americas unit, takes clients to 5 a.m. sessions at Barry’s Bootcamp in Tribeca, where they run on treadmills and lift weights to thumping dance music…Health-conscious clients increasingly view steak dinners as “three-hour ordeals,” said Chelsea Kocis, a 26-year-old former equity saleswoman. “‘Let’s meet at 5 for a workout,’” she said, describing the way she’d invite out traders. “‘You can be home before your kids go to bed.’ That’s an enticing thing for a lot of people.”

Another equity salesman, who asked for anonymity because his company doesn’t let staff speak with reporters, said he e-mails clients a weekly invitation listing classes he will attend. The 5 a.m. sessions at SoulCycle in Tribeca, a block from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. headquarters, are the most popular with brokers and portfolio managers, he said. Steve Starker, co-founder of BTIG LLC, says he spins four or five times a week at SoulCycle in Greenwich, Connecticut, the Upper East Side and in the Hamptons, sometimes with clients. The brokerage also sponsored a charity spinning class for clients earlier this year at Flywheel, Starker said in an e-mail. “All it is is bonding,” said Starker, who’s also a founding investor in Cyc Fitness, a chain of less expensive spinning studios geared toward college students and young professionals. “You’re saying let’s go spin this morning, get a sweat and grab a juice after,” said Starker, whose company has studios in Austin, Texas, and Madison, Wisconsin.

And while Kocis has gone so far at to quit her job at BofA to start “a cycling studio in the Flatiron district called Swerve Fitness, which will cater to banker outings,” based on the assumption that this is the direction things are headed, others are not buying it. Like the saleslady who scoffed at the notion anyone would prefer exercise over sticking singles in g-strings at a gentlemen’s club that, according to one Yelp reviewer, “USED to be my prime choice of entertainment in the early 2000’s BUT since the recession (2009) it seems as if they let any ol Sally dance on the pole.”1 Read more »

Are you sick of strip clubs that lack sophistication and taste? Do you want to go to a place where you can pay for lap dances from girls who really (no, really!) like you? Are you craving Italian? Today’s your lucky day.

It’s Thursday night at the dimly lit Financial District club Quest, and a 29-year-old male investment banker and a 22-year-old gallery girl in a short, tight sweater dress exchange flirtatious banter. Her favorite artist is Picasso. He’s always had a fondness for the Midwest, where she grew up. “You’re a good egg,” the banker says. “You’re a good egg, too,” she responds with a coy smile. They get another round, while dudes in crew-neck sweaters awkwardly linger by the bar, shelling out $18 a drink, and a group of girls dance by themselves in a circle to Rihanna’s “S&M,” some with plates of baked ziti in hand.

Fifteen minutes later, the young man finally musters the courage to ask her for a dance. “Sure,” she says. “It’s $20 a song.” He nods assent, and she grabs his hand and leads him to a back room. There, dozens of guys are seated thigh-to-thigh on three long rows of red banquettes, while nearly nude girls in their early 20s gyrate atop them, the men groping with wild abandon. 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.

Whereas at a typically trashy strip club, the ladies appear to be in it solely for the cash, at Saint Venus, patrons get the sense the girls they’re financially compensating for their time actually want to be there and would stick around even if they weren’t getting paid.1 Read more »

  • 14 Feb 2013 at 3:58 PM

Bonus Watch ’13: Won’t Anyone Think Of Strippers?

Clawbacks, deferred compensation, layoffs timed to occur days before bonuses are paid, not to mention lectures re: not buying clients a couple dozen lap dances because it’s a day ending in ‘y’ hurt them too, y’know. Read more »

This is just a little public service announcement for anyone planning on hitting up a strip club with colleagues after work or during lunch today- the Hustler Club doesn’t have time for your bull shit about 1) being overserved and 2) blacking out to the point that you were “no longer capable of conducting financial transactions” that involved buying table servicing for the whole bar. Read more »

Until recently, when a London-based financial services employee got off work and had a special kind of hankering to get off with multiple ladies while taking in some well-known monuments like Big Ben, he need look no further than Whites Gentlemen’s Club. Apparently WGC offered “chauffeured sight-seeing tours around London’s top attractions [and] offered full sex with two busty hookers and champagne while on board,” for the price of £850/hour. Well no longer. After a sting operation that for some reason took two months, the authorities have shut the business down. Read more »

Only when asked about steak, strippers and spirits though. Read more »

An online review from Ratemyprofessor.com says Rappaport is an “Extremely strange man. Loves gambling, horse racing, and strip joints. Talks about all of the above all the time.” [BI, earlier]