The owner of a brothel more than two hours' drive from Las Vegas said she hopes to hire Nevada's first legal male prostitutes within a month, now that state health officials have approved a method to test men for infectious diseases.
The world is ready for women, or even other men, to legally buy sex, said Shady Lady Ranch owner Bobbi Davis. Plus, being the first to offer male service could boost business in tough economic times, she said.
"With so many other male revues going on in Vegas, we thought it was time to give this a try," Davis told The Associated Press.
Until now, men have been effectively barred from legally plying the world's oldest profession in Nevada by the specificity of a state health law requiring prostitutes to undergo frequent cervical testing for sexually transmitted diseases.
Urethral testing for men
The health board approved a regulation to allow urethral testing for men — a crucial rule change by the state agency with ultimate power over whether prostitutes can or can't work.
For more than 25 years, no licensed female prostitute in Nevada has contracted HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, said George Flint, a Reno wedding chapel owner and longtime lobbyist for the Nevada Brothel Owners Association.
"My concern is that we continue to maintain that kind of record," he said.
Davis, Flint and Nye County Sheriff Tony DeMeo all acknowledged Friday that Davis still needs county approval to become the first of the state's 24 legal brothels to offer a lineup of men.
Prostitution has been legal in rural Nevada counties since 1971 under strict state health board oversight but is against the law in the Las Vegas and Reno areas.
Flint said he feared the idea of male prostitutes serving male clients could spur a legislative backlash. He said he works to make the brothel industry socially acceptable to both libertarians and conservatives.
"I think the Legislature is really going to give me some heartburn over this," Flint said in a telephone interview after appearing before the state Health Board in Carson City on Friday to endorse the Shady Lady proposal.
‘It's an inevitability’
"But I think it's an inevitability," he added, "and the brothel association has reluctantly agreed to support this as a test."
Davis said she wants to add two men to the three women she currently has living and working at her compound of trailers off U.S. 95 about 150 miles (240 kilometers) northwest of Las Vegas.
She said the women usually charge about $300 per hour for the five to 20 customers who visit on any given night.
"We don't know how to structure the men's pricing yet," Davis said.