Floozeum

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The Mustang Ranch, the first legal whorehouse in the United States, was closed in 1999 on a tax rap. The original building still stands, but the Bureau of Land Management wants to tear it down. The Mustang's former employees, however, are trying to raise money to build a museum at the establishment, honoring founder Joe Conforte's historic 1971 victory on behalf of consenting adults everywhere. Alas, the women of the Mustang, perhaps accustomed to dealing with cash, don't even have a Paypal button on their site, but you can still email them well wishes. Here's the exiled Joe Conforte doing his satyr-in-winter routine in a Sexnet interview a while back.

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  1. I have a few nominations for the Whore Hall of Fame.

  2. Sean-

    Let me clarify- by “leave at will”, I mean not allowed to leave the premises, period. Walking out of a job is a firing offense, but (the rumors) I heard were to the effect that you couldn’t walk out, and couldn’t see your children for weeks at a time, as they weren’t allowed to leave the ranch. This is different from “bringing them to work”.

    Re: Commission sales- the salesman doesn’t own the product being sold. If the ranch purchased the rights to these womens genitals, you might have a point. The situation I heard desribed was similair to a coal miners “company store”, where women weren’t allowed to leave, the majority of their earnings confiscated, and forced to purchase goods at inflated prices through the ranch. again, a rumor. What that has to do with Dial-a-maids, I have no idea.

    So, again, does anyone out there have any INFORMATION disproving or supporting those rumors?

    I’m having a hard time viewing possible state-endorsed sexual exploitation as a “victory for consenting adults”. For a better example of exploitation using state-sanctioned “legal prostitution”, google Turkey and Genelev

  3. Sir,

    I see, I didn’t realize the degree of the situations. I haven’t been there, and I guess at this point I never will. It seems like these would be jailable offenses to a certain degree, but I don’t know if this sort of thing was tolerated after the legalization of prostitution in Nevada. I, too, am now curious about more historical details.

  4. Sir Real: were the women forecd at gunpoint to work at the ranch? Yes laying on ones back and getting paid is exploitation. Thanks for the daily dose of communism.

  5. I for one am skeptical that working conditions were really so bad at the Mustang Ranch. I’ve seen a couple of documentaries on legal Houses in Nevada, and I never heard such complaints. Maybe the women were too scared to complain? Yeah maybe, but more likely Sir Real has heard a bunch of bs. No, I don’t have the documentation in front of me to prove this, but then Sir Real doesn’t name any sources either. Seems that if the conditions were so bad, they’d be pretty hard pressed to find anyone to work for them, and as Sean mentioned, they’d probably have been breaking laws and would have been shut down for other reasons than a tax rap.

    I strongly suspect these rumors have been spread by some whose ideology does not allow them to believe that prostitution could possibly involve freely consulting adults conducting business as equals. And that’s what I’ll believe (and urge others to) until I receive any INFORMATION disproving it.

  6. If you really want to know what life was like at the Mustang Ranch, pick up “Brothel: Mustang Ranch and Its Women” by Alexa Albert — a book that started as a public health study but became a look at the lives of the women who worked there. It’s out in paperback.

    Generally, women employed by a legal Nevada brothel must remain at that brothel during their working weeks. This is to control their sexual contacts as a way of preventing disease; the prostitutes must be examined by a doctor for venerial diseases before beginning work and during their stay, and the women must examine their clients for signs of disease before agreeing to contact and then practice safe sex. Away from the brothel they are under no such strictures and the brothels don’t want them picking something up on the outside and bringing it back to work the next day. The system seems to work: legal brothels simply aren’t hotbeds of VD. If the woman wants to quit and go home without returning to work, on the other hand, she can walk out at will — it’s not slavery.

    That said, the working conditions at brothels vary, and a few have operated in a somewhat exploitive, company store manner. Working girls who do not like the conditions at one place are free to go to another where things are better, however, and any house where the conditions get too bad will find it hard to find a staff, just like any other business where the boss is a jerk.

    The girls may also refuse any customers they like (or don’t like, in this case), and may generally set their own prices beyond the house’s cut.

    If you want to talk exploitation, take a look at illegal prostitution, where the illegality essentially removes all protection by police and the courts of the sex worker, who may not sue her employer or clients or expect police protection from assault (ditto the customer). Some illegal brothels even use women imported from other countries who are “working off” their passage at inflated and impossible to meet rates, and who can’t go to the authorities if problems arise due to their illegal alien status and who are literally held against their wills, unable to leave in virtual sex slavery. The pimps running these kinds of places have a ready market without competition from well run, legal establishments.

    Decriminalizing prostitution inevitably takes control away from the exploiters and gives it back to the prostitute herself. The Nevada system isn’t perfect, but it’s sure better for both prostitute and customer than anywhere else in the United States.

  7. Sir Real, I seem to recall that the women of the Mustang Ranch were given five-star accommodations, sent on biweekly shopping sprees to Paris with a corporate credit card, awarded solid gold Cadillacs after three months of service, and granted lifetime supplies of Turtle Wax on separation. This generous treatment is why some of them want to commemorate the old place with a museum. I have no source for this information and no idea whether it has any substance. Could you please check my facts for me and until then consider my claims a refutation of your posts? Thanks a million!

  8. I don’t think the Mustang Ranch was the first legal whorehouse. See:

    http://story-ville.com/about2.html

    It might be, however, the first whorehouse that the government has owned. This article gives a little insight into the opinions of the girls:

    http://www.aegis.com/news/sc/1990/SC901205.html

  9. Puts a whole new twist on “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”

  10. Not much to add, except that I seem to recall the “working girls” on the ranch weren’t afforded the same liberties most other employees are allowed- to leave at will, see their children, and recieve a fair share of their own earnings.

    Of course, that’s all heresay, but I wondered if any better informed readers had anything to add? (Even if it’s a flat denial of those admitted rumors..)

  11. While I don’t know any specifics about the arrangements at the ranch, situations in less controversial industries aren’t exactly set up to allow all the things mentioned.

    I have personally been fired for “leaving at will” from a job in the grocery industry. I know people who have suffered similar fate in food industry and other sercvice jobs. I’m not sure what constitutes “fair”, but even a commission sales job is in the low percentages when it comes to take-home for the salesman. Perhaps a more personal service industry would be a better analogy, and the dial-a-maids would probably be pleased with THE working girls cut. As for kids, the environment just isn’t the place for them. This is similar to strip-clubs, bars, casinos, and some factories. Earlier this week we recieved an institution-wide email declaring that while those who work in offices could do the bring their kids to work thing, this was unacceptable for those of us in the laboratories

  12. fyodor-

    I said it was a rumor. I was hoping for someone better informed. I personally believe that prostitution can involve freely consentin adults doing business as equals. I’ve also heard (again, RUMORS) that the Mustang ranch wasn’t that place. Frankly, it’s amazing how asking for information arouses this vitriol. I didn’t make any accusations, I never claimed they were anthing but rumors, and I don’t appreciate your tone.

    Mr. Viagara-

    Thank you for being that better informed person. Also, thank you for your common courtesy.

    Tim-

    Sorry you’re so desperately unhappy- hope you get that worked out…

  13. But what’s going on at the Mustang Ranch, anyway? What are the girls doing there? Why are they even there? What is this place? I’m curious.

  14. EMAIL: nospam@nospampreteen-sex.info
    IP: 210.18.158.254
    URL: http://preteen-sex.info
    DATE: 05/21/2004 12:00:17
    If I could get my membership fee back, I’d resign from the human race.

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