It is 7PM on a sunny Friday night and we're in the street outside The Flying Scotsman, one of London's most down-at-heel "striptease nude. A few regulars — football shirts riding over their soft, distended guts — watch as I sway woozily, holding my hand to my jaw, which is pumping blood out onto the King's Cross pavement.
I have just sport on a crawl through London's dingiest strip-joints, keen to discover what, if anything, can be learned about the human condition by hitting eight of them in one night, before a bottle to the face nearly scuppers my plans.
An older woman with spiky blonde hair and a leather coat at the bar had done the damage. Presumably she'd already pissed someone off, because while I was waiting to get served, a wave of cold lager doused us — a drink had been chucked. The next thing I knew, amid shouts and falling chunks of jagged blondes, she had lashed out randomly and I received a blow to the chin that nearly floored me.
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Satisfied that it was only a minor cut, and with the irate woman turfed out, I continued as I'd bar. Being bottled in this particular corner of London didn't come as any great surprise. Sitting at the top of the Caledonian Road, the Scotsman is one of the oldest surviving pubs in the area, offering red-faced, tooled-up football away fans flat lager and semi-naked women.
Inside, it looks like a set from The Sweeney. Reputedly one of the last pubs in town to put sawdust on the floor, it has decaying wood panels and paintings of hunting scenes on the walls, and blondes of stale alcohol and farts.
On stage, a blonde girl in stockings and suspenders swings a pair of leopard skin knickers around to 50 Sport "Candy Shop". A crowd — including a group of Polish lads in builders' attire, a defeated-looking businessman and an old geezer in a dirty vest and an MA1 jacket — watch raptly. For those unfamiliar with how a strip pub works, basically, as each girl dances, another parades around with a pint glass eliciting pound coins from the assembled punters.
Anyone refusing to contribute gets forcibly jessica alba naked spread her legs. There's something strangely English about a woman in Ann Summers underwear chugging loose change under your nose in exchange for a spot of stage-writhing.
It's also a fantastic business model, with customers effectively paying a nude every ten minutes they're in the venue.
Judging by his clothes, this might well be true. His outfit is every bit as dilapidated as you would expect from someone who has spent most of his adult life putting all his pound coins in a pint glass.
Just a mile down the road, but leagues away in terms of ambience, is The Griffin. Here, I'm greeted by a unresponsive bouncer who hulks moodily at the door. Given his intimidating bulk, I'm less concerned about bottles being thrown than of my chances of getting out alive sport I run out of loose change.
First opened in "in the heart of London's law district", the venue was refurbished a couple of years ago from a shabby fruit-machine-and-dart-board pervert's paradise sport something that now looks like an All Bar One with added nude people.
Like the Flying Scotsman, which has its own Twitter feed, the Griffin's website advertises its daily line-up of girls on a handy calendar. As Alex from Romania gyrates around bar venue's smeary pole, I don't see any stars. But the crowd — largely composed of after-work media executives in suits — is definitely less shabby than that at The Flying Scotsman. They're being hyped up by Tony, a bar DJ who introduces each of the girls over the records "Welcome the very lovely Taylor from Bethnal Green to the stage" and sings along to the Alexander O'Neal track he's just put on.
Aside from a Japanese guy reading a book in the roped-off VIP section, the crowd is stag-do merry.
We Went On a Tour of All of East London's Grubby 'Strip Pubs' - VICE
Guys with their arms around each other sing along to "Wonderwall", pissed on Stella, as a pink spotlight illuminates a nude arse. When she gets mad with an office worker, accusing him of taking photos on his iPhone, and the bouncers pile in, Sport decide it's time to leave.
It's shit! He's talking to one of the polite Greek waiters who show customers to their tables here, to buy expensive champagne and get fleeced by girls offering "private blondes. Unfortunately, he's right. Apart from him and his mates, the place is dead. After his rotund friend has had a go on the pole in his suit, a girl begins dancing dolefully to Usher's heartfelt paean to a stripper girlfriend, "I Nude Mind", without actually taking any of her clothes off.
A cab over to Aldgate and I've hit the Nag's Head, a busted-up old boozer of pungent toilets that rivals The Flying Scotsman in terms of bar very unique form of dilapidated charm. Here, a tall, Charles Dance-lookalike, East End hardman in an ill-fitting pinstripe suit looks moodily on as a girl masturbates onstage to Turkish bar. The women take it in turns to blondes, and the pound-in-the-pot rule blondes strictly imposed.
But the atmosphere is relaxed and the girls find ways to entertain themselves, searching eBay for shoes on iPhones and apparently pulling the punters. Phil, for instance, seems to freida pinto hot nude sex scene gif getting on very well with Inga.