Story: Nightclubs

Peeling off the layers

Peeling off the layers

A patron undoes a performer’s bra at Wellington’s Purple Onion strip club in 1970. This was generally the officially admitted limit on physical contact between strippers and audience members. 

When strip clubs first opened, performers stripped down to bikinis with pasties covering their nipples under the bikini top. Over a period of several years, this final layer of clothing was progressively shed – strippers first took off their tops, then the pasties and then the bottoms – leaving a G-string in place. When the G-string came off a couple of years later, the girls covered their pubic area with their hands. It is likely that the strip shown here would finish in this way.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: PA12-3057-11
Photograph by Cyril Denis Archibald Beavis

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Redmer Yska, 'Nightclubs - Strip clubs', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 29 November 2021)

Story by Redmer Yska, published 5 Sep 2013