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On the D.C. Council dais, Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham‘s histrionics earned their own nickname: Grahamstanding. Now that he’s off the Council, though, Graham is putting his promotional skills to more lucrative use by organizing strip club shows.
Graham, as first reported by the Blade, now works for Georgia Avenue NW strip club the House as a special events director. His gay strip night series, “Rock Hard Sunday,” kicks off this Sunday, while his series for straight women continues tonight at the club.
“I wanted it to be fun, and I wanted to make some money,” Graham says.
But Graham isn’t just pushing hard bodies. He’s aims to bring in a male belly dancer from abroad, if the dancer’s visa clears, and he wants more choreographed routines.
“In addition to being edgy and erotic, it’d be nice to have something that has real merit to it in terms of dance,” Graham says.
Graham hopes to convince the dancers to wear one of his signature bow ties, then throw them into the audience. Whoever catches the ties, Graham plans, will be able to turn them in for a free drink. The ex-councilmember, who leaves talent auditioning to others, says he’s been “quite amazed” by how much some of the club’s female customers tip.
“They tip in singles, but the question is how many singles will they spend,” Graham says.
Graham and the House didn’t always get along so well. As a councilmember, he once tried to get the club’s liquor license revoked. But now Graham says he’s been impressed by the House’s management and a recent renovation.
“There’s nothing like this in the gay community,” Graham says. “Nothing! It’s got a very comfortable, intimate, Las Vegas-style setting.”
Strippers aren’t a bad fit for Graham, who was one of the Council’s most ardent supporters of adult dancing. After the construction of Nationals Park pushed out multiple strip clubs, Graham proposed legislation making it easier for them to open elsewhere, then wanted to build strip clubs in the underground area under Dupont Circle.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery