A controversial study has claimed that lap-dancers enjoy the practice, but an ex-lap-dancer has previously warned it is “degrading” and certainly more than just dancing.
Dr Teela Sanders, who led the study, says the women spoken to in the research did not feel exploited.
But Milly, an ex lap-dancer, in an interview with The Times newspaper in February said: “Whether individual women feel degraded by them or not, lap-dancing degrades all of us because it’s providing a socially acceptable place for women to be treated as sex objects.”
The new study found many of the lap dancers were attracted into lap-dancing by the money and some were studying towards a degree.
But Milly has said: “When I started, I was aware it was shady, but I had no idea how extreme the sexual contact would be. I honestly would not have done it, had I known.
She added: “Once you’ve let a man touch you for money for a certain amount of time, it becomes a degrading process.”
Dr Sanders is a Reader in Sociology at the University of Leeds who has previously published a book pushing the idea that prostitution is just like any other job and that prostitutes are able to psychologically protect themselves from harm. She carried out the research with Kate Hardy, also from the University of Leeds.
The research did also call for a ban on private booths in clubs as it said women faced greater dangers when alone with men for a long length of time.
In March it was revealed that a 14-year-old schoolgirl was performing in a lap-dancing club while her mother thought she was at a friend’s sleepover.
The story came to light as result of an investigation in The Sun newspaper. The young girl told an undercover reporter from The Sun: “For £20 you can come into a private booth with me and I’ll dance for you.”
The investigation revealed that the young girl, who was not named, was allegedly dancing naked behind a screen and taking customers for private dances until 3am.
In March a survey showed a staggering seven out of eight female students would consider turning to glamour modelling to fund their university studies.
The survey, which was carried out by a student and employer matchmaking website, studentgems.com, also revealed that over one in three female students would consider working in a strip club to fund their studies.
Labour’s 2003 Licensing Act put lap-dancing clubs in the same category as cafes and bars, which made it hard for local residents to object to licence applications.
But the last Government eventually changed its approach and in April local councils were given more power to act when residents complain about lap-dancing clubs.
The clubs now fall under sex establishment licensing rules, making it easier for local residents to say they are “inappropriate”.
Labour leadership candidate Ed Miliband has admitted that the former Labour Government should have taken more notice of people’s concerns about the proliferation of lap-dancing clubs and betting shops in high streets.