I’m going to tell you a story about my trip to a brothel in Nevada back in September. I feel obliged to include a disclaimer here at the beginning of this tale. Because I am uptight and cheap, I would never actually pay to have sex with a “professional.” Furthermore, I find prostitution “icky.” Hoping in the sack with a total stranger, especially one that has several hundred, if not thousands, of notches in their bedpost? For me personally? That’s about as much of a turn-off as a fire hydrant blast straight to the crotch.
That said, I would never deny anyone else the right to lay down their hard earned lucre for sex. It’s the world’s oldest profession and, as the late-great George Carlin once so eloquently put it, “Buying is legal, fucking is legal….why isn’t buying fucking legal?” If someone wants to sell themselves like that and they don’t view the act of lovemaking as some sort of semi-spiritual endeavor and look at it in the same way most of us look at a Starbucks run, hey, no worries. Regardless, like most everyone else that supports legalized prostitution, I think it should be regulated by the state, taxed and prostitutes should be required to have regular check-ups and a license to sell their, er, wares. Just like the system currently utilized in certain sectors of Nevada.
As it stands now, sex workers are still trapped in the underground in the United States and the stories out there about women being abused by pimps and clients are numerous. This is a profession that needs to be dragged out into the light. Keeping it illegal is ridiculous and the ongoing ban hurts far more Americans through restrictions than it would if it were finally allowed. Much like marijuana, prohibition doesn’t work and it will never, ever work. Take a spin down SE 82nd on a Saturday night after 10 PM if you doubt this. As shocking as it might sound, even The Christian Science Monitor agrees with me.
And so there are places in Nevada where renting someone’s crotch for an hour or two is completely legal. Last month, I found myself in Reno during a break from volunteering at Burning Man and, while bored in my hotel room, I looked up the city’s article on Wikipedia. I spotted a link that led to a list of brothels in Nevada. My eyes fell on the words “Moonlite Bunny Ranch” and I recognized the name from the HBO show Cathouse. I clicked over to their website (NSFW, obvioulsy) and one of the first things my eyes fell on was “Free Tour, No Sex Obligation.” I’ve toured catacombs in Rome, the Shanghai Tunnels, the Amsterdam Marijuana Museum, the back alleys of Tokyo, the Mormon Tabernacle, a radioactive mine/Indian reservation in the Idaho panhandle and Disney World so why not a brothel? I pulled up Google Maps. Sure enough, I could take an alternative route back to Black Rock City that was only 20 minutes out of the way.
The next afternoon, I grabbed a mocha from The Hub, a cool cofeeeshop housed in an old garage and made my way to the Bunny Ranch.
A few hours later, I found myself trapped behind the brothel’s security gate after being mercilessly heckled by the Ranch’s ladies of the night. Would this be the ridiculous adventure that would finally lead to my undoing? Did I get out alive? Would I ever write about all of this on my blog?
To be continued….