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COSTA MESA : Striptease Sales Pitch Upsets City Officials

October 29, 1994|TOM RAGAN

A music store's decision to have a striptease contest to promote a sale today has angered city officials and has left the store defending itself against complaints it is being sexist just to make a buck.

"This is a very tongue-in-cheek event," said Brian Regan, a spokesman for Virgin Megastore, which is holding the event in Triangle Square. "We're not promoting or encouraging anything outside the parameters of the community. And both men and women are going to be in the contest, so we're not being sexist."

Both sexes 18 and older will strip down to bathing suits starting at 10 a.m. to help promote musical and video products inside the store. But some city officials have taken offense to the "Take It All Off, Strip Down Sale" sale.

"It's a touchy issue and we're concerned," Councilman Peter F. Buffa said. "We're not looking to have this kind of precedent established in the city. Costa Mesa is a pretty conservative city to begin with."

But Regan said the sale is just for fun, and that the striptease will not involve any nudity. The event will feature Penthouse Pet Seana Ryan, who will serve on the panel of judges and will pose for photographs with customers who buy a copy of the "Party with the Pets" home video.

Mayor Sandra L. Genis expressed disappointment at the store for having such a sale.

"It shows how far we've come, that men can be meaningless sex objects too," she said. " I would hope we would be beyond that thing. Holding a striptease as a record-video promotion is very tacky, it exploits a part of our nature that would probably be better off left unexploited."

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