Adult Entertainment in Melbourne – titillating or tired?

‘It’s just seedy with a lot of sleazy types hanging out in the corners in the dim lights’.  This may be the response you’ll get if you ask for someone’s perception of the adult entertainment industry in Melbourne, at least about the strip clubs, movie houses and brothels. I’d be the first to agree this stereotype still exists in some of these venues, but it’s one the adult entertainment industry in Melbourne is working hard to dispel.

The first point to make is that “Adult Entertainment” is a politically correct term for a wide-ranging industry encompassing strip-clubs and karaoke bars, brothels, shops selling toys, pornography, some movie theatres, men’s magazines and many others, both legal and illegal, particularly as related to sex work. I want to talk a little about the strip clubs and brothels, which I would guess draw most of the public relations ire, as the remainder involve mostly passive, arguably harmless, interactions with the customers (unless you are of the religious wowser brigade).

Over the last decade, visitors to strip clubs and brothels has been in decline.  There are many reasons: economic ones as disposable incomes are more carefully watched these days; the image people have of these places; and the alternatives that are available. For the brothels, this includes cheap illegal offerings, and for the strip clubs, people preferring to stay at home ordering takeaway, a six pack, and watching online porn rather than being exposed to the drugs, alcohol abuse and violence we read about all too often in the newspapers. Both of course are also severely hit by the ubiquitous social media hook-up apps like Tinder. 

No-one’s suggesting either of these two are going broke just yet, and a few of the professionally run establishments are working hard to reverse the trend and make their businesses places that people want to visit, or not feel embarrassed when they do. Some of the Melbourne strip clubs, for example, have gone down the burlesque route, putting on shows to create more of a party atmosphere.  The result has been that sometimes as much as 40% of their guests are women on weekends – women who come to be entertained, not to entertain. In a quirky twist, this popularity has come with something of a downside.  More women have become interested in learning some of the “dark arts” and are taking up stripping and pole dancing in record numbers. A bad thing? Well, according to some owners, this has had the unfortunate outcome of making these tricks more mainstream and removing much of the mystique. For example, many less than sculptured older women can find gigs in competition with the perfectly shaven millennials in a range of adult entertainment venues, home parties, private celebrations and so on. Once sexualised activities like pole-dancing or stripping become normalised, they lose their draw-card ability. They need to remain a bit naughty with a stigma to be relevant, otherwise much of the adult entertainment value is lost.

On the other side of the coin, the legal brothels in Melbourne face their own challenges, some have even given up under the pressure of the illegal shops operating unchecked in Melbourne. Other, more professionally run establishments, like Lily Yang’s Cherry Tree Garden, have risen to the occasion by broadening their appeal to couples and adding back the mystique with old-world charm.  Lily has taken on the challenge of broadening her appeal with her hilarious “agony aunt” column “Dear Lily” and opinionated blogging, challenging the stereotypes on places like www.lilyyang.com.au with her social commentary, as well as committing money to help alleviate human tragedies like child sex trafficking through her own charity, The Sunlight Foundation.

Like every business, keeping an eye on the trends that add to or take from your appeal is essential. In this regard adult entertainment in Melbourne is just like every other industry: those that change and remain relevant will prosper, and those that don’t will fall by the wayside.

What People Say

I am a newbie and have only been to this place twice. But every time I went there they always treat me very nice and didn’t discriminate of my awkward appearance. Instead, the girls take a more active move tryin ...

I usually only have a regular session but that night I wanted to have something new and I negotiate with the girl with a slightly increased fee. Damn it was amazing! I didn’t pay much extra but the service, Magg ...

I’ve been to Cherry tree garden a few times now and always have an amazing experience each time. The girls are all pretty making it so hard to choose like I want them all!!! I went with Candy this time and she w ...

This place is truly amazing. Today was my second visit and can’t describe in words about my experience with Momo. That girl is really a gem. Gorgeous girl giving her attention the entire time. I can’t wait ...

Hello lily, how are you? I was in yesterday & i had an hour with a beautiful lady who has a beautiful soul, she is so delightful & her name is susan she’s everything i prayed for & more. I will be ...

Dear Lily, please pass on my thanks to the wonderful Susan. She was a delight, kind, funny and beautiful. My first time at your establishment and was amazing. So many beautiful girls and so friendly when you first mee ...

After reading all the reviews about The Cherry Tree Garden, I phoned and booked for a 30 minutes massage, I spoke with nicely spoken man who booked me at the time I asked for and met me at the door on my arrival, insi ...

Over some time now I have been fortunate to have visited many establishments claiming to be “Melbourne’s Best Brothel”, or words suggesting similar statements. I am now of the opinion that this claim should ...

Happy New Year to Lily, girls and managers at the Cherry Tree. Unbelievable place! I’ve watched the place grow since you opened a year or so ago and always had a great time. Keep doing whatever you’re doing. ( ...

This place is getting great reviews and I would like to add mine. As others have said it is very stylishly decorated with the nice themed rooms and someone has put in a lot of attention to detail in the furnishings, d ...

Jul 29

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