That Bruce Springsteen song, You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch), wasn't about strippers but you can certainly hum it as you read this story about how Toronto is considering letting peelers and their patrons get just a little bit physical.
City council is considering a report that, among other things, would allow exotic dancers and spectators some limited contact during the performance, the Toronto Star reports.
Like most communities, Toronto has a strict no-touch rule, but a review by city staff recommends amending the bylaw to be more specific. It would bar dancers from sitting, touching or resting on patrons, or from making any physical contact "with breasts, buttocks, genital, pubic, anal and perineal areas of a patron," the Star said.
The change would maintain the intent of the original regulation but allow "benign contact."
Neighbouring Mississauga allows some touching but puts breasts, buttocks, genital and pubic areas off limits.
The proposed changes don't, er, sit well with strip-club owners. The Adult Entertainment Association of Canada wants a one-month delay in implementing any changes until the language can be clarified to ban only "sexual" physical contact, which would allow dancers to perch harmlessly on a patron's knees during a dance, the Globe and Mail reported.
"I think it should be up to the entertainer. Why not?" association executive director Tim Labrinos told the Globe.
"Someone sitting on someone's lap is allowed at a wedding. So if an entertainer chooses to do that in the way that they're performing, it's not a threat to anyone's health and safety."
The association has said the blanket no-touch rule, which carries a $250 penalty for violation and applies equally to customers, makes dancers liable for simply tapping a patron on the shoulder.
"It would make the dancer and the club vulnerable to the whim of an investigating officer or police authority that a municipal bylaw was broken," association board member Rob Katzman told Postmedia News.
The report contains a number of other recommendations, including having the cubicles or rooms used for lap dances open on one side, along with an alert system for the dancer, and maintaining the city's database of information about dancers that is seen as discouraging human trafficking and recruiting under-age women and men.