NEVADA'S OLDEST PROFESSION
By Skye Huntington
“What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas” —That was, until a famous NBA player partied too hard and long and over-the-top at a Nevada brothel. Then the media shined a spotlight on the secret of Nevada’s oldest profession.
Lamar Odom, a former basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers, was found unconscious last October at the Love Ranch, a brothel in Crystal, Nevada, about 60 miles outside Las Vegas. He was hospitalized in a coma and placed on life support. To this day, his condition still remains somewhat unclear. According to reports, he was heard snorting cocaine and other drugs in the bathroom by the two women who were attending to his sexual desires—but they failed to report it to the brothel’s owner, Dennis Hof, who maintains a “No Drugs” policy there. His near-death experience has intrigued so many people—the Love Ranch quickly attracted an average of 75 men per day, creating a month-long waiting list. According to Hof, his business has tripled, and the real gem is the suite that Odom stayed in during his 3-day stay, of which he racked up a hefty $75,000 while there.
The Love Ranch is just one of 19 different brothels that are open for business across the state of Nevada. That’s down from as many as 36 in peak years during the mid-‘80s. Dennis Hof’s most famous brothel, the Moonlite Bunny Ranch in Carson City, was the backdrop for HBO’s “Cathouse: The Series”, which premiered in 2005 and ran for four seasons. The show documented life in the brothel and gave a behind-the-scenes look into Nevada’s legal prostitution industry. Hof, who owns seven of Nevada’s brothels, says: “My girls are not just selling sex, they’re selling “the adventure.” Hof thrives on publicity, self-promotion and stunts, like when he hired John Wayne Bobbitt (the man whose wife cut off his penis in a fit of rage) to work as a driver, or the time he promoted a “Get My Grandpa Laid” contest on the “Howard Stern Show”.
(Pictured L-to-R: Joel Lawrence, Dennis Hof, The Commander, Scott Santodonato, David Sutton)
Called one of Nevada’s oldest businesses, Las Vegas certainly seems to have a tolerant atmosphere toward prostitution, even though it is illegal in Clark County. Traveling billboards announce the ease of “Girls To Your Room”, ‘girly’ flyers are handed out all up and down the Strip promoting escort services, and many working girls can be spotted sitting at the casino bars. The advertising slogan “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas,” is widely known across the country and around the world, suggesting that wild things are “okay” in Vegas.
According to statistics, some nine-tenths of Nevada’s prostitution occurs in Las Vegas. Illegal prostitution in the Vegas area supposedly grosses about $5 billion per year, while the bordellos and their legal prostitution gross about $75 million per year. So you can take your chances with one of the girls in the city, but you also stand a chance of getting arrested in a police prostitution sting. Some 300-to-400 prostitutes are arrested each month, according to Vegas police reports. The brothels want you to know this and want you to experience safe sex in a legal, clean, licensed and regulated way.
Nevada is the only state in the United States that allows brothels, and the only state where prostitution is legal. The brothels date back to the early 1800’s, but today, only a fraction still exist. Brothels are restricted from advertising their services in counties where brothel prostitution is illegal, hence no big billboards for them in Vegas.
Nevada law requires that all brothel prostitutes be tested weekly for gonorrhea and chlamydia trachomatis, and monthly for HIV and syphilis. Use of condoms is mandatory for all oral sex and sexual intercourse. In 2009, urethral examinations of male sex workers was also added to the test list to help prevent sexually transmitted diseases. Until recently, neither transgender men nor transgender women were allowed to work in brothels. Transgender porn star, Madison Montag, became the first legal trans prostitute when she signed on to work for the Moonlite Bunny Ranch.
Sheri’s Ranch is another bordello in Pahrump—that’s 60 miles west of Las Vegas and is part of a 20-acre resort that is advertised to be comparable to an adult Disneyland for sex. In 2014, Sheri’s started selling packages for $2,100 and up. This included a voucher for a two-night stay, services and amenities, including transportation from Las Vegas. Extras include champagne and a steak and lobster dinner. You can choose from a romance suite, a pirate suite, an Egyptian-themed suite or a King Arthur bungalow. The atmosphere attracts tourists usually interested in an “experience,” rather than a quick sex act. Brothels in more remote areas are meant to appeal to truck drivers, who are usually in a hurry. At Sheri’s you can take your time, relax, and give in to an enthralling celebration of sexuality. If you’re curious about bondage and sadomasochism, you can play in their S&M Bondage room. Complete with shackles, suspension cuffs and more, you can choose to be a slave or master. This is a resort with an on-site restaurant, bar, hotel and sex bungalows.
If you’re arriving by cab, the driver will receive some 30% of whatever you spend and that will be subtracted from the woman’s earnings. The brothels will buzz you in, and then you’ll sit down in the parlor or at the bar, while the available women appear in a lineup to introduce themselves. When you make your choice of the woman (or women) you desire, she will then take you to her room and discuss what you would like and the price. The bordello usually gets half of this amount. Prices usually start at around $200 for 15 minutes.
Services—such a blowjobs, nude massages with a happy ending hand job, BDSM spanking, foot jobs or erotic intercourse have different prices. Some may charge up to $10,000 an hour for parties with novelty women, such as well-known dancers and women who have performed in porn, and higher rates for parties with multiple women.
(pictured: SUNSET THOMAS)
(pictured: AIR FORCE AMY)
In 2005, Heidi Fleiss, the notorious “Hollywood Madam,” attempted to open up a bordello in Pahrump—one that was going to cater exclusively to female customers. She had done her interviews and had many men in position to fulfill her lineup of “prosti-dudes,” but she couldn’t get the health regulators to give her permission. In 2009, Fleiss abandoned the idea. By 2010, Shady Lady Ranch owner, Bobbi Davis, received the go-ahead to hire legal male sex workers. “I personally feel, as do the many other women who have made contact with me since I started this, that this is a service whose time has come,” Davis explained in a letter to Nye County officials. The Shady Lady Ranch remained open through most of 2014, eventually closing their doors on Dec. 14, 2014.
To enter a brothel, you must be at least the age of 21. Brothels are usually open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Pricing factors can include a client’s attitude, the party timeframe, and the sex menu selection. Check out the brothels on their websites and it will help you choose which one is more in line with your desires and your pocketbook. You can also make appointments directly online.
A recent survey disclosed that 15% of American men had paid for sex at least once. The question is why?
• The top reason they gave was sleeping with much hotter women. “If I’m being brutally honest, the hottest women I’ve ever fucked have been sex workers…I would never be able to fuck women who are ridiculously hot unless they were prostitutes.”
• They could ask for what they want in bed and get it. “I still want to make sure the woman is having a good time, but truthfully, I’m more concerned that I’m getting what I want since I paid for it.”
• They could indulge in a fantasy. “I like to try things that my girlfriend told me was kinky. When I pay, I’m not worried about what I ask for. Nothing shocks them.” (The old cliché of certain acts that might offend their wives still exists.)
• It’s the quickest way to get sex when they felt the urge. “Getting a prostitute is so easy, there are no strings attached. Couldn’t be easier.”
• They want to avoid complications. “We want to have sex without all the bullshit of pretending to be really interested in a girl. You don’t have to call her the next day. You pay, have sex, she leaves. Everyone’s happy.”