Mons Venus is owned by Joe Redner, an important figure in local politics and the subject of a documentary titled The Strip Club King of Tampa. The club charges a $20 cover, with dance prices negotiable, and features fully nude women (which means it doesn't serve alcohol). It's something of an institution in the Tampa strip club circuit, and is a mere 12-minute drive from the convention center in good traffic.
The question: can such a big-time maintain the same kind of down-home personal connection that a mom-and-pop-and-rebellious-daughters strip clubs are known for? Some reviewers say yes. (reviews via Yelp):
This place has been consistently great for the past 15 years, except the lack of alcohol. I kept reading about the girl's personalities, wondering what that had to do with anything. They were actually great, personable, and higher class than most places. Shelly and Angel were both incredible. There are a few dancers who are quite literally contortionists. Go here, it's better than any club in Miami or Ft Lauderdale.
But others strongly disagree.
This place is an emotionless lap dance factory. The dancers rarely spend anymore than 2-5 minutes sitting with you before moving on to the next customer if you don't want a dance right away. I felt no emotional connection to any of the dancers (guess this is a good thing but I still like the chat and flirt before dance)
You'll have to decide for yourself (by paying a woman to take her clothes off and rub herself against you and then trying to make conversation).
Distance from convention center:
Not "The" Dollhouse — it's "Thee" Dollhouse. Good news for Young Republicans: Thee Dollhouse will let you in as long as you're 18. And it recently underwent $1 million in renovations to spruce up for the event.
However, Thee Dollhouse gets mixed reviews online, particularly on Google Plus, where a woman purporting to be a former dancer there weighs in:
This place is a madhouse. Nothing works like its supposed to..Their clientele has went down hill and I see why, heres my experience as a former dancer tonight..I take a man into the VIP and the VIP host w long brown hair who has worked there for 10 years, appearing to be in her 40s, maybe her dancing days were over so she resorted to VIP host. We do the credit card transaction for half an hour. Our time is up so we decided to go another half hour and do a separate transaction so the guy can tip me $100. Well this takes an hour before she gets back to us so basically the guy got a free hour hour.
Thee Dollhouse, unlike Mons Venus, doesn't allow customers to touch the dancers, to the displeasure of some:
The girls might as well just be behind a glass wall cause you can't touch or do anything with them. The place is a total bait and switch, don't waste a perfectly good night here. You have plenty of other great gentlemen's clubs to go to in this area.
Of note: Thee Dollhouse will feature a Sarah Palin impersonator, special for the convention.
Distance from the convention center — again, only a short drive:
True to its name, 2001 Odyssey has an outer-space theme. Like Mons Venus, the club is fully nude, which means no drinking. If you have an active military I.D., you can get in for free on Mondays and also receive a free lap dance.
One of its dancers, Go-Go, was recently featured in a TV segment about how the club offers a virtual chat service and dressing room camera to lure in customers from afar. There's still time for those attending the RNC to form an attachment to the dancers online before visiting the club in person next month. The club also sports a "World Famous VIP Space Ship Room."
On Yelp, reviewers are either wowed by the space theme:
This place is a total trip. Its got a space theme. There are stars and asteroids glowing on the ceiling, and everything else below it that's white is glowing under the black light, giving off a sleazy, dirty, yet oddly kinky, feel. The bathroom's labeled "4U2P" and there's a Playboy mag in the ladies' room (and I'm assuming the men's as well). There's a sign that reads "NO SEXUAL ACTIVITY ALLOWED" at the DJ booth, but "NO" is slightly etched off.
There is just too much typical strip club shady stuff going on at this place. The first time I was there, I put up with it just to see what it's like. Aside from the mandatory drinks, they charge you $15 for every time you take a girl in the level 1 dance rooms. If I remember correctly, they have a level 2 room and the space room as well which can cost around $500. The girls are trained to talk you into going to the space room and while they promise the world to you, everybody knows those champaigne rooms are nothing but a big scam. I could call a 10 times better looking girl for half that price.
Distance from the convention center (it's across the street from Mons Venus):
For those who enjoyed "Magic Mike" (set in Tampa), see the all-male review where Channing Tatum got his start. Male Encounter performs on different nights in Tampa clubs, including on Thursday nights at Whiskey Park North, conveniently located right near Mons Venus and 2001 Odyssey.
See "Christian Desire":
A very attractive acquaintance of mine performs here every Thursday night as part of MALE ENCOUNTER under the guise of ~*Christian Desire*~. Yes, one of those cheesy male revue strip shows where the men dress up in various costumes and simulate sexual acts with bachelorettes and birthday girls on stage, making Thursdays at Whiskey North a hot spot for debaucherous bachelorette and birthday parties.
Normally, one would never find classy little me in such a tacky environment for such a cheesy sounding show (I swear!), but I went to show my love... and goddamn, it was good. Soooo good.
For reference, see the video above of Channing Tatum dancing with Male Encounter in 1999.
Distance from the convention center: it depends on where Male Encounter is performing on any given night. On Thursdays, they're at Whiskey Park North:
Scarlett's at Ybor Strip
The Ybor section of Tampa has been compared to Bourbon Street in New Orleans: a historic part of the city now given over to seediness and nightlife. Scarlett's is one of the main strip clubs in the area and is just a ten-minute drive from the convention center, in the opposite direction of the other clubs on this list.
Reviews are positive:
As for the girls, my first impression was that it was sort of mixed with some good looking, some average, and some Yettie's. Mons Venus definitely has the upper hand in terms of quality. The BIG difference is in the lap dances. Lap dances are $20 with a $10 charge to go into the private booths. The extra $10 is flat fee whether you get 1 dance when you are in there or 10 dances. The private booths are in a separated room and they have thin curtains across the entrance. Without going into graphic detail, this place lets you have as much fun as you want, and certainly more then Mons Venus. No one bugs you when you are in there and the girls are VERY friendly (more bang for your buck). If i wasn't a faithful boyfriend I could have REALLY enjoyed myself.
Got a tour of the champagne room but didn't wanna spend $300 even though I ended up spending more than that when it was all set and done. You get privacy and they're very nice! No strip club that I've been to comes close in comparison.
Distance from the convention center:
Rosie Gray is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C. Gray reports on politics and foreign policy.
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