The figure of the female stripper is one that has consistently excited our imaginations. Some of the most memorable women in popular mythology have been removers of clothes, from the early-Christian Salome to Satine from Moulin Rouge!. And because she intoxicates us into forgetfulness while boldly espousing manipulative seduction as a means of sustenance, the stripper will continue to fascinate our feeble minds.
We tend to think of strippers as intravenous drug users or the braless result of paternal neglect, but we can’t forget that Nicki Minaj played the part of a stripper in the artwork for “Anaconda,” but then made an album that directly challenged Jay Z‘s industry supremacy. If she’s not a stripper, then what is she? No other possible answer, but it’s only okay to say she’s a stripper once one has recognized that sometimes use of wicked wiles can bring great things.
Therefore when we look at the list of the fifteen best strip clubs in the world, we are not imagining women trapped but women liberated. If narratives of female seduction are as enticing as narratives of female domination, let’s choose to look at them thus, and imagine a bit of agency unto the girls up on those poles.
15. Le Crazy Horse – Paris, France
Opened back in 1951, this place is a testament to France’s longstanding commitment to libertine sex. While Americans were eating Wonderbread and spying on their communist neighbors, Frenchmen were going to see shows at Le Crazy Horse.
It’s still open now, and its infamy as one of sex’s premiere institutions has attracted big names. Pamela Anderson performed there a few years ago and Beyonce filmed her “Partition” video there. If the Moulin Rouge was the place to be during the Belle Epoque, then today it is Le Crazy Horse, obviously still in Paris.
14. Vivid Cabaret – New York, New York
Another upscale strip joint, this one is in the center of fashion district in New York City, near Bryant Park. In typical New York vertical aspiration, the strip club covers three floors and offers various luxurious amenities: there are four stages with up-close seating, large screen HD TVs, private VIP rooms, an outdoor terrace, VIP rooms, and the city’s only 25 foot pole.
Since there are officially ten feet in a story, the pole in Vivid is 2 ½ stories tall. That, plus their attractive babes, makes this place worth inclusion.
13. Club Wanda’s – Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Located in the middle of Montreal’s central business district, this place differs a little from Montreal’s usual strip club. For one, its name doesn’t include the word “Sex,” unlike other Montreal nude bars “Supersex” and “Castle of Sex,” or recently defunct peepshow “Sexotheque.”
This place keeps it a little classier. Plus, with the consistent patronage of downtown businessmen, high-rolling tourists, and toothless hockey players (Canadian superstars), Club Wanda has styled itself as Montreal’s premiere outlet for luxurious lust in a three-piece pinstripe.
12. Hong Kong – Tijuana, Mexico
Despite its name, the club here is not in China, it’s in the border town of Tijuana (if you look carefully, most clubs on this list try to export your attention to another place, be it Heaven or the Orient).
The reason we include this on the list is because CNN recently voted Tijuana one of the worst places on Earth to be, and despite the implications that has for the rest of the economy, it probably makes for a pretty wild strip club.
The elusive “Peter,” who with consistent blog reviews has made himself a voice of online authority on the quality of strip clubs, gave Hong Kong his stamp of approval, so it’s probably worth checking out.
11. Angels Lapdancing Club – Dublin, Ireland
Ireland has a reputation for being a little bit stuffy. Abortion has only been allowed, under certain circumstances, since 2013 and contraception in general has only been legal since the 1980s. So it’s surprising that an infamous strip club would appear on the Emerald Isle.
Yet Angels Lapdancing Club in Dublin has quite a reputation. It has all the usual trappings of a strip club, plus full nudity lap dances, which although increasingly common, are still not omnipresent. In Canada, you’ve got to cross over to Quebec to find one. For all their hooting and hollering about sexual behavior, they sure are willing to look at their lasses completely nude.
10. Dollhouse – Hamburg, Germany
Germany is home to the first high-rise brothel in the world, called Pascha in Cologne. With such a loosey goosey lemon-juicy attitude towards sex, it’s no surprise that their strip clubs would be memorable.
The Dollhouse, one of the preeminent strip clubs in Hamburg’s legendary Reeperbahn red light district, proves this, with its many poles, its ostentatious props (two old-school motorcycles, for instance), and its co-ed performers. This place isn’t your average, sleazy nude bar.
9. Sapphire Strip Club – Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas is the oasis of sin in the desert of American puritanism, as well as a literal oasis in the Mojave desert. Sin is to the Las Vegas economy what General Motors was to the Detroit economy or, like, poutine is to the Montreal economy. That the world’s potentially largest strip club would be located there is not all that surprising.
At 70,000 square feet, Sapphire strip club is that very place. Just to compare, that means Sapphire is almost fifty percent bigger than the White House. With all that room in a place that has Vegas’s reputation, Sapphire is a can’t-miss spot on the list.
8. Tilac Go Go Bar – Bangkok, Thailand
Another strip club in a distant red-light district, this one is in the Soi Cowboy neighborhood in Bangkok. A great deal of effort and money went into designing the room: everything is ultra modern and glossy. There are large televisions, mirrors everywhere, chrome-and-glass décor, and a large central platform stage that allows at least fifteen women to perform.
There are smaller platforms scattered throughout the room. Although there are various other strip clubs in Soi Cowboy, this one is particularly memorable because it was featured in The Hangover II and also has a reputation amongst people in the neighborhood for having the most beautiful women.
7. Twin Peeks – Sydney, Australia
Twin Peeks boasts that it’s one of the longest running stripping-n’-eating establishments in the world. Although that’s a little dicey, seeing as the Venetians mastered both cuisine and eroticism before Australia existed, it’s still a cool idea for an establishment.
At Twin Peeks, the food is given as much attention as the entertainment. There is a menu, prepared by skilled chefs, an extensive wine list, and, obviously, beautiful women in frilly panties. This place is a must-see.
6. Darling Cabaret – Prague, Czech Republic
The BBC recently called Prague a mecca for stag parties, the British term for bachelor parties, because of its sundry strip venues. The Czech have a looser attitude towards sex, prostitution there being legal. They therefore have all sorts of interesting strip clubs, including the Darling Cabaret.
A gorgeous, giant, pink-lit building in the middle of downtown Prague, this club employs more than 350 partygirls, dancers, and strippers, for “soft, ticklish performances to loud, stunning, sexy ones.” Sounds like fun.
5. Seventh Heaven – Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo is not traditionally known as a go-to destination for oriental sensuality, that’s usually Shanghai or Bangkok. But Tokyo actually does have some pretty wild sex establishments, among them Seventh Heaven.
The first strip club in Tokyo, this places styles itself after oriental strip clubs. But, on top of that, it strives for variety. It hires women of all ethnic backgrounds, so that you can stare longingly at whatever your type might be.
4. Temptations – Bristol, United Kingdom
Consistently voted one of the best strip clubs in the world, Temptations offers an unforgettable experience. First of all, it’s Bristol’s biggest lap-dancing bar, being three floors and offering whatever you could want from a strip club: indoor/ outdoor, private/ public… dude/ lady.
That’s right, unlike most clubs on this list, Temptations has both male and female dancers. Rather than being a space that categorically excludes clothed women, Temptations invites them in with promises of handsome men with bulging biceps.
3. The Floppy Rooster – Miami, Florida
Speaking of the opposite gender, we thought we would include a club that only displays naked men. The Floppy Rooster, in Miami, Florida, is one of the world’s most successful all-male strip clubs. Like Seventh Heaven in Tokyo, The Floppy Rooster’s M.O. is variety: there are dancers of everything ethnicity.
If you want one-on-one time with them, reserve the hilariously named “Baller Room.” Plus, unlike many male strip clubs, which still retain the tiniest bit of modesty, The Floppy Rooster lets boxers drop.
2. Night Flight – Moscow, Russia
Moscow is definitely known as a go to place for sensuality. The figure of the Russian hooker or the Russian bride is widespread. If their strip clubs were lousy, the Muscovites would be disappointing a worldwide reputation. But, Night Flight in the Russian capital city pulls through.
The Swedish-run establishment is all sorts of gentlemanly pleasures packed together: it’s a night-club, a cigar lounge, and a strip club all in one. Their motto, “Night Flight: Do It Tonight,” if a little canned, speaks about their non-judgmental encouragement to have a good time.
1. Tropicana – Havana, Cuba
Although not technically a strip club, Tropicana in Havana is one of Cuba’s many famous cabarets. Arguably the historical precursor to the modern strip club, the cabaret is a place where beautiful, costumed dancers played peek-a-boo with audience members.
Over the years, the open-air club in Havana has attracted celebrities such as Nat “King” Cole, Josephine Baker, and Carmen Miranda, who headlined the shows. It’s not the typical pole-dancing and tip-demanding strip joint, but the Tropicana has an international reputation for glamour and so earned its spot on the list.