When 40,000 or so Republicans converge on Tampa next August for a week-long party, they are bound to donate a significant amount of cash from their family values campaigns to support the single mothers who populate the local adult scene. In fact, conventions and illicit sex seem to go together no matter the political party: a study out of Baylor University found that the last time Democrats and Republicans met separately for their 2008 National Conventions, the number of ads for escorts on Craigslist.org and Eros.com—the virtual street corners and bus stops of modern call-girls—increased in both host cities by 30%.
Accordingly, Tampa's adult business owners are already planning on ways to attract some of the estimated $150 million the convention will pump into the economy.
The RNC is one of the reasons that prompted DeWayne Levesque to remodel The Penthouse Gentlemen's Club. In addition to new carpet and furniture, he added two new VIP sections to the club. Both areas are designed to offer privacy for high-profile clients who do not want to be recognized or bothered.
A huge reason Tampa is known for its strip clubs is because of the infamous political troublemaker Joe Redner and his all-nude strip club, Mons Venus. Redner, who has survived all the ups and downs of the local adult industry, has no plans to change his business strategy to capitalize on conventioneers.
“I might put out a welcome mat," Redner says, joking. "Maybe a sign that says, 'You’re human, too. Don’t fight your urges'.”
Redner admits that he does not have much experience with national political conventions, but from what he has heard he expects his club will do as well during the RNC as it does when the Super Bowl is in town.
"Republicans are human beings, too," Redner says. "If they are not all gay, I think they will come in, at least the single ones."