City's debate: Is topless woman nude if she's wearing pasties?


by Amanda Stanzilis / KENS 5

Posted on May 6, 2010 at 10:56 PM

Updated Friday, May 7 at 8:11 AM

San Antonio City Council representative Ray Lopez is taking on the definition of nudity. You could call it the fight of Lopez versus the pastie.

A pastie is a sticker that covers just the nipple and areola.

Lopez is trying to close a loophole that affects how strip clubs operate.

Currently in San Antonio, if dancers have their breasts completely exposed, it's considered a topless club and therefore a sexually oriented business. That means there are very strict rules in place for how it must operate.

Those rules even pertain to the lap dances that the dancers give. In a sexually oriented business, dancers must stay at least 3 feet away from the client while giving a lap dance.

However, if a girl is wearing a pastie, she's not considered topless. Even if the pastie is see-through, she's considered to have sufficient coverage over her breasts.

That means the club is not considered a topless club, and therefore it's not a sexually oriented business. And if it's not a sexually oriented business, there are no rules governing lap dances.

Lopez says the part that annoys him the most is that if the strip club is not technically considered a sexually oriented business, it can be built within 1,000 feet of a church or a school.

Lopez wants to redefine San Antonio's nudity law to put a stop to this. He argues that unless a woman is covering a significant part of her breast with clothing, then she should be considered topless and the club should be considered sexually oriented.

His proposal covers how much of a woman's breast should be covered above and below the areola.

Attorney Jim Deegear has already started his arguments against this proposal. With a lot of sarcasm, he asked, "You know the root cause of crime in this country is naked areolas and nipples. You understand that, don't you? Apparently, the sight of a woman's breast is now deemed by at least one councilman to cause crime."

The proposal is in its beginning stage. It must go through several committees and a lot more debate before it goes before council for a vote.