Peep show

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Exterior of a sex shop that also provides a peep show

A peep show or peepshow is an exhibition of pictures, objects or people viewed through a small hole or magnifying glass. Though historically a peep show was a form of entertainment provided by wandering showmen, nowadays it more commonly refers a presentation of a sex show or pornographic film which is viewed through a viewing slot.

Pornographic shows

Peep shows have been used for erotic and pornographic pictures, such as What the Butler Saw, since before the turn of the twentieth century.

In contemporary use, a peep show is a piecewise presentation of pornographic films or a live sex show which is viewed through a viewing slot, which shuts after the time paid for has expired. The viewing slots can be operated by a money box device, or paid for at a counter.

For live peep shows, booths can surround a stage upon which usually a female performer performs a striptease and sexually-explicit poses. In Barcelona female performers at times also perform sexual intercourse with male performers on stage. In some cases, booths include paper towel dispensers, for customers who engage in masturbation. A customer and performer can mutually agree on a fee for a "private dance", which can take place in a peep show booth with a clear window and seating space for only one spectator.

Research on peep show establishments in California examined the hypothesis that neighborhoods surrounding sex businesses such as peep show establishments and X-rated movie stores have higher rates of crime. The researchers compared 911 calls in peep show and control neighborhoods in San Diego. Although peep show neighborhoods had approximately 16 percent more calls, the researchers concluded that the difference was not statistically significant. Other researchers reanalyzed the data and concluded that the difference was significant.

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The Lusty Lady peep show in San Francisco, CA entered the news in 1997, when it became the first U.S. sex business to be unionized. In 2003 it was bought by the employees and became a worker cooperative.

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