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A small Nevada brothel is taking pride in becoming the first to put legal male prostitutes on the payroll, a move some say could fall flat but others think could re-energize the state's sagging prostitution industry.
Subscriber active since. Editor's note: A version of this article incorrectly said McAndrews had never visited a strip club before beginning the Nevada Rose project.
While he had been to some, he disliked them because of "the aggressiveness of the clientele," he said. World globe An icon of the world globe, indicating different international options. Get the Insider App. A leading-edge research firm focused on digital transformation.
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Free subscriber-exclusive audiobook! Redeem your free audiobook. US Markets Loading H M S In the news. Harrison Jacobs. Before traveling to Nevada, the photographer Marc McAndrews had never been to a brothel. Now he's been to every single one in the state. Over the course of five years, McAndrews made regular trips to Nevada's legal brothels, staying anywhere from a week to a month each time.
He stayed in bedrooms in the houses, shared bathrooms with the sex workers, and saw a world that few others have.
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InMcAndrews shared some photos from his trips inside the brothels with Business Insider. When McAndrews began shooting the brothels, he expected them to be seedy and filled with drugs, he told Business Insider. What he found was something completely different.
When he asked about taking photos, the women thought he was just a nervous customer. He was turned down. After being turned down by brothels near Carson City, one of the sex workers recommended he try a small town like Elko or Ely, where proprietors might be friendlier. In Elko, he had his first luck at a "parlor brothel," which, like this one, looks more like a bar. Other brothels are called "lineup brothels," where workers line up when customers enter, McAndrews said.
There are also "city houses," which cater to those wanting a slicker, partygoing atmosphere, and "country houses," which are quieter and friendlier, McAndrews said. Women in Nevada wanting sex inside, customers go to the pay room to withdraw cash for the night. Carli at Mona's Ranch in Elko was one of the first women he photographed.
A photographer who spent 5 years at nevada's brothels found legal prostitution was nothing like what he thought
He stayed at Mona's for five nights and shared a bathroom with the workers. McAndrews was given free rein to photograph, as long as he had a worker's permission.
Of why he stayed at the brothels, he said: "It's a different experience when you wake up in the morning and have to pass the cereal and the milk to your subject. McAndrews mostly photographed in mornings and afternoons when the brothels were quiet.
Because he was shooting with a large-format camera, he would have to pack up when guests arrived, so as not to spook them. Most of Nevada's brothels are in places far outside of the cities and zoned into specific areas.
Often, many occupy the same parking lot. McAndrews says many of the women have kids and partners.
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The easy stereotypes — drug users, women without families — existed but weren't as prevalent as McAndrews expected, he said. One woman who McAndrews met was a math teacher in Minnesota during the school year.
She said she worked at the Nevada brothels because it was a turn-on, McAndrews said. The business is often a family affair. Some customers were OK with being photographed.
McAndrews was able to photograph in every brothel in Nevada, though he said it took a lot of persuading. The final brothel he had to get access to was the Moonlite Bunny Ranch. He said he had to convince its owner, Dennis Hof, who owned six other brothels, that it was a good idea.
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McAndrews told Hof the project was an artistic documentation of the community, not a generic brothel travel guide. Judith Reagan, a publisher and radio host who was friends with Hof, convinced him the project was important. Loading Something is loading. address.