Best Strip Club

Ziegfeld’s Secrets
1824 Half St. SW, (202) 863-0670
Photograph by Darrow Montgomery

General disclaimer: While sex workers are not necessarily exploited—or, at least, are not necessarily more exploited than migrant farm laborers, adjunct professors, or NFL running backs—few other jobs involve the expectation that one will have to, or at least have to pretend to, suck a dick. And while dick-sucking is not, ahem, prima facie exploitative, those who have to suck or simulate sucking dicks for a living may be more vulnerable to physical and emotional violence than, say, a dentist or the maître d’ at Doi Moi.

Thus it is with great trepidation that your correspondent sets about selecting the “best” D.C. strip club in Washington. For, as a gentleman gambler informed him: “What makes a good strip club is the possibility that you will get laid.” The gambler then lamented that there are no good strip clubs in D.C., as the District’s rules against sex acts between strippers and clients are strictly enforced. Want to go to a good strip club? the gambler rhetorically and unhelpfully asked. Try Memphis, or Las Vegas, or Atlanta…

Which leaves your correspondent, a mostly straight married male, in a quandary. Unwilling to visit the city’s dozen-or-so bawdy houses seeking illicit BJs and HJs—and without the expense account a thorough investigation demands—he finds himself forced to choose among also-ran-ish titty bars and a much-depleted selection of nude male joints. Meanwhile, gender distinctions—“Best Nude Women” and “Best Nude Men”—are not just heteronormative, but further divide the small pool of candidates. So it is with incomplete information, great regret, and some irony that your correspondent selects:

Ziegfeld’s Secrets, the embattled male strip club not far from Nationals Park and a runner-up in at least one past Washington City Paper readers’ poll. During a recent visit, the crowd was mixed-gender. The cover and alcohol prices were not totally insane. At least some of the cocks were huge. There was a drag show. And there was the chance, however small, that if one found the right guy and were willing to take advantage of a possibly needy, possibly lonely, possibly drug-addicted fellow human, one might be able to come all over his face in a bathroom stall.