Strip clubs can be shady places. The dancers have to worry about being ripped off by management, the management has to worry about unruly customers, and the customers have to worry about—er—unexpectedly seeing more of the dancers’ butts than city ordinance allows. Fortunately for the strip club patrons of Sugar’s in San Antonio, a sting operation was in place this week to protect clients from the devious performers who threatened to show an illegal amount of butt crack.
As MySA reports, four dancers at Sugar’s were arrested last week on suspicion of showing too much butt crack. City ordinance requires that rears be fully covered by underwear even at a place where people have specifically paid to look at women’s bodies:
Police cracked down on four dancers and two managers at a San Antonio gentleman’s club last week after the strippers allegedly revealed a little bit too much skin in front of undercover police officers.
According to a San Antonio Police Department report, officers went to Sugar’s on the Northwest Side on Feb. 5 to investigate a complaint for possible prostitution going on at the club.
When they went inside, they saw two dancers pulling down the waistband of their thongs to reveal “the crevice of their buttocks,” which is a violation of a city ordinance prohibiting nudity in sexually oriented businesses, according to the report.
City code defines nudity as a state of dress which fails to completely and opaquely cover human genitals, the pubic region, pubic hair, the crevice of the buttocks or anus or any portion of the female breast that is situated below a point immediately above the top of the areola.
The report said two other women who appeared to be entertainers were also showing their butt cracks while standing near the bar.
Strip clubs in San Antonio have faced legal challenges for some time now, of course. In 2005 San Antonio’s “Human Display Ordinance” forced dancers to wear identification bracelets and to submit to background checks; the clubs sued in federal court and lost. The business model changed at that point: clubs put their dancers in pasties and g-strings, which meant that they were exempt from the law. In 2012, however, San Antonio rewrote the ordinance, requiring dancers to fully cover their swimsuit parts, and lawsuits attempting to suspend it failed (the judge in that case, in his opinion upholding the ruling, seemed to think the whole thing was a joke).
So while it is technically illegal for dancers at clubs like Sugar’s to show certain parts of their butts to patrons who have visited the establishment specifically to see them, it’s also hard to justify police going through the trouble of arresting dancers who aren’t showing much more skin than you can see on basic cable or in the latest issue of Sports Illustrated.
Still, the officers who raid a strip club looking for butt crack presumably enjoy their work, and one can assume that they spent ample time in the establishment investigating violations like the one that put four dancers behind bars, as well as two of the club’s managers. As a department spokesman explained to KSAT:
“In this particular incident, several of the dancers were exposing a part of their buttocks that violated the city ordinance,” Salazar said.
Under the ordinance, performers are required to keep the crevice of their buttocks covered.
The undercover VICE detectives were actually in the club looking into complaints about prostitution when they witnessed the other violations.
“They did not encounter that sort of activity, but in full view of the detectives, this other activity was taking place, and they took action,” Salazar said.
Salazar concluded his statement to KSAT by insisting that SAPD officers “will keep an eye on local strip clubs and other sexually oriented businesses” as they continue to invest resources in the quest for butt crack, nippleage, hoo-hah, or other violations of city code. We have no doubt that they will.