Strippers have said they are “angry and terrified” after an anti-strip club campaign group carried out undercover filming of private nude dances.
Not Buying It claimed the recordings in Victorias and Obsessions lap dancing clubs in Manchester showed breaches in licensing rules, including sexual acts.
The group said covert filming was the “only way to get anything done about the strip industry”.
A union has compared it to “revenge porn”.
Not Buying It said it had taken the “drastic step” of hiring investigators to film strippers in March to “expose how the industry really operates”.
Both Victorias and Obsessions offer “full, nude” lap dances in “discreet” private rooms.
Not Buying It claimed to have filmed dancers both touching themselves sexually and “straddling” investigators, despite licensing rules disallowing contact.
One dancer offered prostitution, the group claimed.
However “Daisy”, a Manchester-based dancer who was filmed, said: “I certainly don’t offer ‘extras’ and I don’t know any other girls who do.”
She said her biggest fear was the footage being leaked.
“I consent to being on CCTV, I consent to it every night when I go to work [because it keeps me safe] but I don’t consent to them filming me.
“We have a right to our body, despite what we do for a job, and they’ve taken that right completely away from us.”
A spokesperson for Victorias said it had “taken these allegations seriously” and was co-operating fully with a council investigation.
Victorias had “not knowingly contravened or permitted the contravention of any term or condition of their licence,” they added.
Obsessions has also been approached for comment.
Not Buying It said it chose to visit two lap dancing clubs in Manchester because of “numerous, serious” incidents linked to clubs in the city, but added: “We have no doubt that they could have gone into any club in the country and found the same.”
Campaigner Dr Sasha Rakoff said: “We have been telling councils for years of the extreme harm and abuse of the strip industry.
“Nothing has been listened to.”
Dr Rakoff said she hoped the filming would now show councillors the strip industry was “hugely harmful and abusive”.
Daisy (not her real name) said: “This industry is legal. It’s licensed. I don’t understand what they’re trying to expose.
“When I go into work I feel completely in control. I am in control of my body, of who sees me, of what I do. I’ve lost that control, they’ve taken that away from me.”
United Voices of the World Union (UVW), which represents workers in the sex industry, said it was appalled by the “duplicitous ‘sting’ operations” in Manchester, which had “violated women’s right to privacy.”
“Sharing undercover footage of naked women constitutes revenge porn and UVW will take legal action against anyone who uses this tactic to harm our members,” it said.
The footage collected has been sent to Manchester City Council, which said an investigation was continuing.