Iowa asks: Is stripping an art?

Iowa doesn’t have any all-nude strip clubs — but it does have performing arts centers where women dance naked.

However, the loophole in the state’s public indecent exposure law that allows nude dancing at “art centers” is under attack in the small community of Hamburg, a town of 1,200 just across the Missouri River from Nebraska.

The case pending before a Fremont County judge effects only one business in Hamburg, but if he agrees with the prosecutor, it could eventually threaten the legal standing of nude dancing clubs across the state.

Murphy said the club owner bans anyone under 18 from entering the five-year-old business. The problem, he said, was “a group of girls snuck in a 17-year-old.”

“While she was there, she felt like dancing so she got up and danced on the stage and then she took her clothes off. Trouble with that is she’s the sheriff’s niece,” he said.

Is it worth discussing our nation’s prudery, reliance on 19th-Century morality to enforce conformity? The Nanny State is never used to expand knowledge or awareness of life, after all. Some dinky strip club just happens to be today’s focus for The Inquisition.

30 thoughts on “Iowa asks: Is stripping an art?

  1. Jax says:

    I don’t care what these clubs are called or who goes in them; the government, whether it be a judge or congress, has absolutely no right to place moral restrictions on adults. Let the market decide if these clubs should remain open to the public.

  2. the unseen says:

    This is but another example of how our government turns pointless taboos into laws. Laws are nothing but enforced taboos and they must be questioned as such. Don’t treat a law as something moral, solid, and correct until it is proven without a doubt to be so.

    • Mike says:

      There have actually been some thoughtful and well-presented arguments in this forum, which is why I feel compelled to state my piece – and do so without calling anyone names, etc.

      There’s constant reference to laws being generated from moral taboos and must be questioned as such. Years ago, homosexuality was illegal. Now, not so much. Years ago, ‘marriage’ was a term that described a relationship between two people of opposite sex. Now, not so much.

      So (at least at the current time) sexual relations between adults and minors are illegal. Movements exist to change that. Marriage between two people of particular age groups are illegal. Sexual relations between family members are, as well.

      Many regard these as moral taboos. Many hope to change all of this. Why? Because a small but growing group of people have found some footing that enables them to push their agenda?

      Homosexuality WAS illegal. People wanted that changed and it is changing.

      Marriage between members of the same sex was illegal. People wanted that changed and it is changing.

      Sexual relations between an adult and an 11-year-old child is illegal, as it is between family members. Regarded also as moral taboos, these all have basis in solid reasoning, much of that reasoning based in medical and health reasons and it has nothing to do with being a popular moral taboo.

      Just because someone wants a thing does not mean that when those numbers increase it should be – without question – moved into the ‘previously illegal but now it’s all okey dokey’ category.

      Yes, I have my opinions, but they have no place at this point. What I mean to point out is that by allowing all forms of behavior IF there is a sufficient number of people in favor of this behavior is a very dangerous thing.

      Right now, one human being killing another human being is illegal. Consider the situation if a sufficient number of people exists who think there should be a ‘bag limit’ on people they don’t like? “OK. As of midnight January 1, every adult (or maybe we wouldn’t be able to specify an age range) will be able to terminate the lives of three (3) people who they believe to be detrimental to society.”

      There are a number of things I’m in favor of as well as a number of things I oppose. Simply because I find a certain number of people who think in the same way as me, that does NOT constitute a sufficient basis to change laws designed to protect.

  3. A Man on the Quest for the Truth says:

    You claim “Laws are nothing but enforced taboos and they must be questioned as such. Don’t treat a law as something as moral, solid, and correct until it is proven without a doubt to be so.” So may I ask what are the requirements to validate a law making it without a doubt “something moral, solid, and correct”?

    Is it the test of time? If so such a law would be considered to be concrete for the taboo of appearing in your birthday suit infront of people, with the exception of small children (who are thought as to innocent and naive for it to matter), a special someone (who is you are intimate with) or a doctor (who must impede on you for healths sake), has been around for thousands of years. If that is not enough time to prove that a “taboo” is morally correct I don’t know what is. Is the test the majority opinion of the population? If so with the majority of the U.S. getting their moral guidance from some form of Christianity (roughly 75% of Americans claim to follow the Christian beliefs), and with Christian morality frowning apon such displays of nudity, again the law seems to be pretty solid.

    But if you still find such a law against nude dancing for “arts” sake lacking in morality, solidity, or correctness please tell me what I have missed. I agree that some laws are just enforcing taboos. Some of these taboos are so ancient or strange in fact that the only reason they still exist is either because no one knows they are there or the are just to lazy to go through the procedures to change them. Such laws include, “It is illegal to wear a fake moustache that causes laughter in church.” and “Kangaroos are not allowed in barber shops at any time.” Some laws though I think we can agree on are much more than just “enforced taboos”. I hardly consider something like murder or theft or rape a taboo. No such things are definitely more. Whether we like it or not laws ARE made to enforce morality, to keep people safe, and to better the community and our lives.

    So yes a community has every right to “place moral restrictions on adults” if it effects the community. Their are many mothers and father, wives, pastors, counselors and therapists who would tell you that strip clubs or nude “art” shows have an ill affect on the community, on marriages, on the soul. Also we tend to forget that communities make laws all the time to better the community’s atmosphere. For example laws are put in place requiring residents of towns or cities to keep their property clean to a certain standard in order to promote property values and a clean neighborhood. If I was looking to move some place with family or even by myself strip clubs and shady bars are places I would avoid. In fact not many people want to live by them, much less raise a family by them. Communities fight Wall Marts and some companies and industries from moving into town because of economic, moral, and health concerns. I do not see how preventing strip clubs or other adult forms of entertainment is any different.

    Oh, and about the question “Is stripping an art form?” I would have to say yes. I agree with moss’s statement “There aren’t too many places in nature as lovely as a woman’s body.”, but at the same time I think it is an art form that should be reserved between you and an intimate one (a wife or husband in my opinion but that’s a whole other topic)and should take place in private behind close doors. I will not deny that great skill goes into nude photography or dance but I believe it is a private art form and for that reason it is even more beautiful.

    • bob says:

      You state “If so such a law would be considered to be concrete for the taboo of appearing in your birthday suit infront of people, with the exception of small children (who are thought as to innocent and naive for it to matter), a special someone (who is you are intimate with) or a doctor (who must impede on you for healths sake), has been around for thousands of years.” Do not enforce your culture on me, do not enforce your social norms on me, you have no right to tell me what my morality is. There are places where this is not a law and in my opinion, they are far more civilized than america, there concept of family and community tends to be stronger and they tend to lead a more leisurely life despite other hardships they face.

  4. Owlmedic says:

    You have to draw the line in the sand somewhere. As beautiful as young women are in their youth they need not be on a stage sharing it with all who wonder by. If it was not the sheriff’s niece I bet this would have been a non issue or at least much less of one.

  5. adam says:

    I know of 3 full nude strip clubs in Cedar Rapids alone. Not to mention Cedar Falls, Waterloo, Dubuque, Des Moines. There are more. idiot.

  6. god says:

    RTFA, folks. It doesn’t say there aren’t FNSC. It says they have to be called something else on their license. Sheesh.

  7. A.Cuzn says:

    I’d like to know why you used a 40+ year old photo taken in California (published in Playboy Mag ) to illustrate a discussion of nudity in Iowa

  8. mike says:

    Well, why not establish opium dens and fight to the death clubs? Probably because there have to be minimum standards of behavior to protect the ever shrinking pool of satient beings who have a base of morality associated with preservation of the species.

    Face it, only the lowest of the low allow themselves to be exploited at this level, male and female. (That includes audience and performer)

    Personally I don’t care much anymore. Let the idiots who revel in swinish behavior roll in it until they die. Just keep it tucked away in darkened corners and away from those who build families worth living next to. Simply bring back the chair for those who decide to act criminally upon their fantasies induced by exposure to toxic stimuli.

    Pretty much why I don’t go to the State Fair anymore. The lower classes arent so much an absurd circus anylonger as a sad commentary on the last days of permissiveness before the pendelum swings back to sanity and provincialism.

    • bob says:

      The lower classes Mr. Upercrust, though I do apriciate the fact that you don’t care what it is that I might or might not do.

  9. Heather says:

    Humans were never meant to wear clothes! Everyone has the same looking butts Males and Females! Why hide it when everyone knows what they all look like naked! It makes no sense! If everyone was naked there wouldn’t be criticism of people who rich nor poor.

  10. exult49 says:

    Woooo Woooo, It seems to me that you ‘re missing the point…….
    As in your political debate you ‘re fighting on nothing, meanwhile the real substance of things remains unchanged. Look at your country economic and financial situation .The republican declination of freedom can be used as pattern . With that kind philosophy of freedom you’ll be soon starving and your individual constitutional rights will become empty . Instead of discussing the sexe of angels, fight for the real values.

  11. exult49 says:

    Thank you Ed for visiting my blog . I decided to write it in english time to time . I’m sort of flubbergasted by the solid conformism arising in your country , as you pointed out. An incredible reversal for a country once proud of being the land of freedoms . The serious ones .

    • eideard says:

      Conformity is really the word. Not in any philosophical sense – where one acquires thoughtful standards to conform to. But, the sense of blind obedience to churches that are little tin theocracies, political cults that count taxes as more important than education or healthcare.

      If you are a questioning, curious American, aware of science, conscious of the whole planet as our species’ home – you are an enemy of state, sooner or later. At least in the eyes of the conformists.

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