Our Chief Los Angeles Correspondent Kathy Valladares discovered the newest bulletproof business trend to hit California: underground strip health clubs.
In each of the three union-owned-and-operated Lusty Lady Sport Clubs, rows of exercise equipment are interspersed between raised stages and brass poles. Direct cash tipping is forbidden. In aggregate the dancers are paid at least as much as they would earn at a traditional strip club, but their pay is built into the (quite expensive) gym membership fees. A computer system monitors each customer’s fitness progress on a second-by-second basis, and rewards the currently-performing dancers based on the customers’ exercise performance.
Scenario: Lazy Dave has trouble dragging himself into the gym, and even more trouble carrying through on a full, vigorous workout once he gets there. Dave starts his workout with cardio, hopping on a stationary bike. If he slacks off during Bubbles’ dance (if his speed and heart rate drop too low) Bubbles’ pay during that dance falls accordingly. But if Bubbles can encourage Dave to reach and maintain his peak level of biking exertion during her dance, a big pay bonus is automatically deposited into her account. How Bubbles manages this — by taking off her clothes or keeping them on, by dancing near Dave when he does well or turning away when he slacks off — is determined by the two; the important thing is that Bubbles and Dave are both incentivized to get Dave into shape.
An ambient disco-ball feedback system informs the strippers how close each patron is to his or her peak level of effort, second-by-second. Mirrored disco balls suspended above each piece of exercise equipment tell the tale: slow-spinning mirror-balls indicate slacking patrons and fast spins suggest healthy levels of exertion.
And you thought Pilates was hot…