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Reading the news out of New Mexico lately leaves me with the distinct impression that people in the state are spending way too much time in strip clubs.

First, there was news out of the University of New Mexico (whose sole claim to NCAA fame was its 2004 National Skiing Championship) that studied the tipping habits of strip club patrons as they relate to menstruation of the strippers.

Now, the state is proposing a special tax on visitors to gentlemen’s clubs to fund the prosecution of sex crimes in the state.

I’d like to make two points on this. First, the New Mexico legislature is kind of like radiation. Limited exposure may have healthful effects, but they’re hard to document. On the other hand, prolonged exposure to the Roundhouse can definitely make you retarded. There was once a legislator who pushed a bill making it illegal to lick a horny toad while simultaneously voting against legislation that would allow rape victims to have the suspected rapist tested for AIDS. Her argument was the rapist was not actually a rapist until convicted – thus forcing a woman to wait months or years to find out if she was exposed.

Second, I find it odd that the tax is targeted at nudie bars – as if there is some correlation between sex crimes and erotic dancers or the people that frequent the clubs. You might just as well target condom sales for the tax. After all, we know people buying condoms are actually having sex. People visiting strip clubs likely aren’t, thus the need to live vicariously through another avenue. If you want to fund the prosecution of sex crimes, why not start with those engaged in sexual activity. It makes as much sense as an arbitrary tax on strip club patrons.

Written by Michael Turk