A lap dance is a type of sex work performed in some strip clubs (clubs in which women or men take off their clothes as they dance to music). In this, a dancer performs an erotic dance either contacting their body (contact dancing) with a seated patron or within a very short distance of a seated patron.
The dancer may be naked, topless or wearing a bikini top and bottom, depending on the laws in the jurisdiction of the strip club and the club's policies. With full-contact lap dances, the stripper may engage in contact with the patron, such as pressing his or her body against the patron. Different types include a couch dance, which is a lap dance where the customer is seated on a couch, and bed dance where the customer lies down on a bed.
In some clubs, a "block session" of lap dances (usually half an hour to an hour) can be booked in a "champagne room", which is a private room in the back of a club. In many clubs, the duration of a lap dance is measured by the length of the song being played by the club's DJ. Charges for lap dances vary.
Depending on the local jurisdiction and community standards, lap dances can involve touching of the dancer by the patron, touching the patron by the dancer, neither, or both. In some clubs, any touching by the patron is forbidden. On the other hand, if a club does not enforce its rules, levels of contact may be negotiable between the participants. Clubs vary widely with regard to whether they enforce their rules or ignore any violations.
Critics of lapdancing say that some club owners, by installing dark private booths and charging dancers high stage fees to work at the club, are encouraging the sale of sexual acts between customers and dancers. According to the UK paper The Guardian, "Research shows that the majority of women become lap-dancers through poverty and lack" of other jobs.