Nevada is a bit of a strange one when it comes to brothels… Prostitution is illegal in the following areas: Clark, Douglas, Eureka County, Lincoln, Pershing County and Washoe and the capital of Nevada, Carson City. However everywhere else as long as it is rural and far away from any major population centres, it is legal in the form of highly regulated brothels.
You might have heard of one of these brothels in Mound House called The Moonlite Bunny Ranch? It was opened in 1955 and was run from 1992 by Dennis Hof who also owned six other brothels before he died in 2018, This brothel was made famous by HBO’s America Undercover that ran a series of specials about it called Cathouse (2002) and Cathouse 2: Back in the Saddle (2003). The popularity of these specials led to a two season run of Cathouse: The series in 2005 and 2007. Out of this the world became aware of ‘Air Force Amy’, American legal prostitute, glamour model, adult model and reality tv performer. She was the face of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch and was celebrated for convincing owner Dennis Hof to host a special promotion called Military Appreciation Night, where soldiers did not have to pay for sex.
At last check in 2018 there were 21 registered legal brothels in Nevada although it is thought that Reno and Las Vegas has more people purchasing prostitutes than all of the brothels combined thanks to their hedonistic and famous reputations.
So what are the rules for these brothels? According to State law in Nevada, anywhere with a population under 700,000 can have a licensed brothel. All licensed prostitutes must be 21 and over except for those who work in Storey County and Lyon County where it is 18 and above. All that work or own the brothel have to register with the county sheriff.
All sex workers are legally required to use condoms not only for penetrative sex but also for oral sex and have to consent to getting regular medical check-ups to screen for STD’s. They are tested weekly for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea and are tested monthly for Syphilis and HIV. If a customer becomes infected with HIV and the woman he sees is found to be positive then the Brothel owner is actually held liable.
The brothels, although legal in their own areas, are banned from advertising their services in any counties that brothels are illegal in and if anyone is caught prostituting themselves outside of a brothel or living of the profits of someone who sells themselves (Otherwise known as a pimp) then they are breaking the law. Actively encouraging others to become a prostitute is also against the law. But as long as they obey all the rules then the ladies of Nevada are guaranteed a safe space to practice their profession.