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Posted on Sunday, February 04, 2001 - 2:09 am:   

Pahrump, Nevada, has more than just one brothel. It's a village of brothels, and they are even legal, administrated from the local sheriff's office. Active prostitutes are examined weekly for common venereal diseases and monthly for aids. Nevada hasn't had even one case of a legal prostitute with aids since the state government started demanding blood tests in 1985. It is the safest and healthiest form of paid sex in the world. It is not expensive to rent a car in California but remember to fill up the gas tank before leaving Las Vegas or Los Angeles to drive into the desert. The Nevada desert is not a nice place to run out of gasoline. But the desert landscape is fantastic to look at. Pahrump is about 100 miles (circa 160 km) from Las Vegas. Many take the trip. - I chose Sheri's Ranch because there was a piano and because I took a liking to Robert, the lean pimp who is 63 but looks like 50. Of the girls there I'd say: there were ten of them, eight of them came from the countryside. None of them very pretty, but they were all young and full-bodied. The bartender who is also the bouncer is a friendly guy who appreciates a good talk. Even if Pahrump is a small place in the middle of the Nevada desert you'll find first hand gossip from all over the world here. The bartender at Sheri's Ranch is a good listener, and he meets men from all of the United States and most of the globe when they drink their way to courage before and after meeting the girls. The booze was good, the piano in tune, and the girls were not just willing but also disease free and delicately perfumed. Sheri's Ranch is really a convenient place to spend 1000 dollars. No lice in the linen, no dirt in the bubble bath, everything is ready for a sex-tourist like you or me. Sheri's Ranch was not the first whorehouse I visited in Pahrump. The place is part of the more expensive class of brothels in this sun-bleached desert valley where the people pretend to live off agriculture. And, yes, there are some farms here with cattle and a few hogs but every second farm has been changed into a brothel. Robert the brothel owner is a bone thing, sinewy, strong man who has seen quite a lot of the world as a sailor and adventurer. He has accepted his fate as brothel proprietor in Pahrump. He says: "Prostitution is legal in all counties in Nevada, excepting towns with more than 250.000 inhabitants. So it is illegal in Reno, but legal in Las Vegas. There are 36 brothels in Nevada, and ours is closest to Vegas." How come prostitution has always been legal in Nevada? "The politicians just never made any law against it. Why prohibit it when there's prostitution all over USA anyways? That's double moral standards." Where do the girls come from? "From all parts of the USA. But they must be 21. They do not sign any contract. Still they get paid every day according to how much they have worked. On top of that they get a percentage of the turnover. And we have both white and black girls. I take whatever shows up. They usually stay one or two weeks, and then they pass on. But if they make good money here they usually come back." How old is Sheri's Ranch? "We have been here since 1987, but the place has functioned as a brothel for 43 years." Are the girls checked by a medical doctor? "Yes, every 6th day, and the clients are requested to use a condom." How about the prices? "They are pretty much the same everywhere. It depends on the girl and what you ask her to do for you. It also depends on the tip she gets. In the end she's the one who decides the price since she is not on any contract. I don't have a say concerning this, and I don't want to get involved. The client negotiates directly with the girl." Then, how do you know how much money you're supposed to have, and what about the Mafia? "I trust the girls, hah hah...! And I must deny all rumours that the Mafia runs the brothels in Nevada. They are run by individual enterprising men." "The health authorities say the girls can't leave the state as long as they work here. Otherwise we don't know what they are doing and where. Of course they can leave any time they want, but they will have to take another medical check-up and wait for the result." "We have between eight and thirteen girls, depending in the season. In the summertime there are customers from seven in the evening till seven in the morning because the days are so hot. But the place open round the clock."

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