The history of London strip clubs - Windmill International
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What happened to London’s strip clubs?

September 18, 2015

Windmill International is one of London’s only original strip clubs…

Once upon a time, Central London’s Soho was world renowned for its strip clubs. The narrow, cobbled streets were bustling with strip clubs and gentlemen’s clubs, all jostling for attention for potential visitors. Alongside the equally famous sex shops and independent bars and restaurants, strip clubs were what Soho was known for. Windmill International was the first strip club in London, and was proud to stand alongside these institutions as part of the Soho scene.

But somewhere along the line, Soho’s glory days appear to have diminished. The strip club lights have been switched off, and the dancers have all gone home. Windmill International  appear to have outlived everyone else – both the London strip clubs that opened sooner after us, and decades later!

The Windmill stands alongside a handful of other strip clubs still thriving in Soho. But why has the infamous Soho sex scene of yesteryear appeared to have been turned off?

The fun has been taken out of Soho

It’s no secret that most of Central London has been ‘cleaned up’ in recent years. From Hyde Park to The City, many original, independent business people have been pushed out by chains and corporations. While Soho was one of the last areas to bow to the pressure of this so-called ‘tidying up’, it can’t be denied that things aren’t what they used to be. As with the rest of Central London, anything seen as too original or too ‘seedy’ has been cleaned up and wiped out. Soho is in danger of blending into the background, becoming as similar and familiar as the rest of the city. This is no longer the same Soho we once knew and loved. Among the new landscape, Windmill International is proud to stand tall as an original reminder of what once was.

People aren’t too happy about this…

It’s safe to say that the tidying up of Soho has caused widespread criticism. Londoners and visitors alike are fed up of their city becoming homogenised, with every street looking the same as the next. And they definitely won’t stand for it happening in Soho!

There has been outrage at the situation in Soho, with independent shops, bars, and yes, strip clubs, being forced to close their doors due to the demands of soaring rent charges. Visitors to London and locals alike are still flocking to W1 in search of the quirky, sexy Soho they know and love – only to find that by and large it’s no longer there.

There are many attempts to restore the eclectic nature of Central London to what it once was – including the Save Soho campaign to stop rents rising any higher. It’s a crying shame that the crazy scene The Windmill was once a part of is crumbling around us.

We can’t lose our London strip clubs!

Soho was world famous for its sex scene, and London strip clubs were a glamourous, fun location for a boys’ night out – they offer entertainment you simply can’t find anywhere else. If Soho was to lose its idiosyncratic charm, it would be a real blow for London, and for those looking for a night of excitement.

While The Windmill is happy and proud to still be a hugely popular London strip club, it’s a shame that our neighbours are not so lucky. We’d love to see Soho return to its former glory – here’s hoping it can before it’s too late.

If you’d love to experience a traditional Soho night out at Windmill International, please head to our Bookings page or Membership page.

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About the Author

The Windmill International Windmill International is the original Soho strip club. For over 80 years it has provided the gentlemen of the West End with a place to relax and enjoy the company of the world’s most mesmerising ladies. Come and explore the wonders of London’s iconic and premier gentlemen’s club...