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Long Beach : New Law Puts Limits on Mock Boxing, Wrestling

June 29, 1989

After a debate in which mock boxing and mock wrestling acts were variously described as harmless entertainment, a sex show and an incentive to batter women, the Long Beach City Council approved an ordinance that regulates the shows at local establishments.

Regulation had been advocated by Councilman Warren Harwood, who warned in a memo to his colleagues that "exhibitions of mock fighting between scantily clad females and inebriated male customers may have the effect of sexual arousal, agitation, anger or other strong emotion among those participating and those witnessing these exhibitions."

But Harwood wound up voting against the ordinance because it lacked many of the provisions he supported. Harwood argued that the ordinance should require women participants to wear one-piece bathing suits and breast protectors, and require the establishments to maintain a log of all patrons who participate in the wrestling. Although Councilman Jeffrey A. Kellogg did not favor the log provision, he too, thought the ordinance should be stronger and voted against it. The proposal passed 6 to 2 on first reading. Councilman Wallace Edgerton was absent.

The ordinance prohibits indecent exposure and lewd conduct during mock boxing and wrestling shows and requires establishments to obtain a city permit to stage them. One business in Long Beach now offers the shows, in which women in bathing suits box one another and wrestle with male customers.

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