Feature

Legalizing male prostitution

Is Nevada's move toward equal-opportunity hooking a victory for civil rights—or a disaster for the state's legal sex trade?

Nevada brothels can now offer the services of male prostitutes, thanks to Shady Lady Ranch madam Bobbi Davis. Nevada men have been barred from the world's oldest profession on a technicality—Nevada law requires all sex workers to get cervical STD exams—but Davis successfully petitioned the state to acknowledge a urethal exam as well. Is the turnaround a landmark victory for sexual equality, or will a backlash against legalized gay prostitution kill Nevada's brothel industry? (Watch a report about a Nevada brothel hiring male prostitutes.)

Backlash is inevitable: Even if this development —"a big step toward gender equality"—helps Nevada brothels find a "new revenue stream in tough economic times," says Kate Harding in Salon, you know that "whenever the subject of men having sex with men comes up, somebody's going to a) be unhappy and b) say something remarkably stupid on the record."
"Nevada legalizes male prostitution"

This is the brothel industry's Pearl Harbor: We "reluctantly—and I underscore reluctantly"—back the change, says Nevada Brothel Owners Association lobbyist George Flint, in The Las Vegas Sun. "We’ve worked hard for years to make the traditional brothel business in this state socially acceptable," and this could spoil the state's "appetite" for legal prostitution.
"New era: Health authorities open brothels to male prostitutes"

The venture's doomed if it has to depend on female clientele: The county still has to approve Madam Davis' new hires, says Ryan Petersen in Right Juris. And even if they do, this is a risky "business venture" for the ironically named Shady Lady Ranch: "The chances of getting a lot of women to drive for hours through some of the most barren land in the nation, just so they can pay some guy for sex is pretty slim."
"Shady Lady Ranch: Nevada brothel to offer male prostitutes"

Sex is rarely a bad bet: Who said women are the target clientele? asks Shawn Alff in The Daily Loaf. Just as with her female sex workers, Davis will let her "gigolos ... decide for themselves who they are and aren’t willing to sleep with, be it men, women, or Eliot Spitzer." This is a business model whose time has finally arrived.
"Gigolos now legal in Nevada brothels"

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