Thanks to a decision this week that opens the door to the first legal male prostitutes in US history, the world's oldest profession is getting a surge of new (male) blood.
- A prostitute is paid for her services
- A night view of Las Vegas
The Shady Lady Ranch, a small brothel about 150 miles from Las Vegas where about four female prostitutes now work, is accepting applications via its website for male sex workers after receiving the go-ahead from the local board that licenses prostitutes.
Advertisement"My wife wanted to try this, so I said OK," said 78-year-old Jim Davis, a retired architect from California who has owned the brothel with his wife for 17 years. "We don't know whether it's going to work or not, but it's gonna be fun to find out."
Nevada is the only US state to allow legal prostitution, but the laws governing it specify cervical screenings for female sex workers. The Davises persuaded the Nevada Board of Health to grant a waiver creating a health-screening process for men, which involves urethral tests.
Co-owner Bobbi Davis, 55, has received hundreds of applicants and hopes to hire one or two studs by the end of the month.
Several male escorts and porn stars have sent in their resumes and photos, but she said she's looking for someone who can charm women as much as sexually perform for them.
"They've got to be able to laugh at a lady's joke," Davis said.
The Davises seek heterosexual men aiming to please women and said that if the clientele seeking male prostitutes turns out to be predominantly other men, they will stop offering the service.
"But because of the law, if a male wants a male line-up, we will have to provide one," he said. "That being said, same as with any of our girls, any sex worker can refuse to do anything they do not wish to do with another customer."
While Nevada is the only state where prostitution is legal, it is not legal in counties with more than 100,000 residents.
That includes Clark County, where Las Vegas is situated, and Washoe County, home to Reno. The nearest legal brothel to Las Vegas is in Pahrump, more than 60 miles away.
The border of Nye County, where Shady Lady is located, is more than 60 miles from Las Vegas.
In 2005, former Hollywood Madam Heidi Fleiss announced she would open a male brothel in Nye County, drawing international media attention. But Fleiss was unable to get a license because of prior felony convictions.
Some other brothel owners oppose the addition of male prostitutes on grounds the state legislature may become uneasy with its potential for homosexual activity and ban all prostitution.
But Dennis Hof, owner of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch near Reno, isn't concerned. He doesn't think there's much of a market for male sex workers from either male or female clients and predicts that the issue will wane once its modest economic potential is determined.
"What woman with any money is going to go that three or four hours out of their way to do this? Nobody," said Hof, whose bordello is featured in the HBO reality show "Cathouse." "A year from now, we're going to have a good laugh about this."
One man who does believe the male brothel idea will work is Los Angeles-based actor Les Brandt. In 2005, he told reporters he was interested in becoming Fleiss's first stud, although now he disavows that notion and is focused on a legitimate acting career.
Still, when he was in that spotlight he heard from hundreds of women who were interested in taking advantage of such services.
"There are women -- a lot of women -- who would like and need that option," he said. "Some women need to pay for that affection that makes them feel human.
"There are some people who need that and there are some people who are willing to be the tool to make that happen."