“I personally feel, as do the many other women who
have made contact with me since I started this, that this is a service
whose time has come,” Davis said in a letter to
A county board’s vote Tuesday affirming that Davis
could offer “shady men” to her clientele followed months of rancorous
debate among the state’s legal brothel community. The industry, in its
own peculiar way, is somewhat conservative: Considered an anachronism
of bawdy mining camps by some
Of course, new ideas in a business unique to
(in its legal form) are a touch different. Adding porn stars to brothel
lineups rankled some owners. Overturning a ban on brothel advertising,
a battle Davis and the
helped lead, also stirred up debate. Though neither change shuttered
the state’s 25 or so bordellos — some would argue the publicity helped
— many owners still operate in an off-the-grid manner, wary of being
He’s hinted that brothels possibly offering gay sex — a choice each
prostitute, as an independent contractor, would be free to make — might
sour some legislators on the entire brothel system.
lawmakers are notoriously skittish when discussing the birds and bees.
The Legislature, even when severely cash-strapped, has repeatedly
declined to tax the brothels (which are banned in
“This is the first time in the history of the world
… that men have been licensed to sell sex,” Flint said Tuesday, his
voice rising. “It’s never been done!”
Davis and her husband, Jim, merely hope to boost business. Their small outpost near
After announcing her plans this summer, she and attorney
Davis figures that, even if it’s a flop, adding men
to her roster is worth trying. She’s been inundated with more than 100
applications, she said, though she’s held off on hiring until she’d
jumped all bureaucratic hurdles.
The final one: Tuesday’s meeting of the
Opponents who promised to take busses to
owner of the Moonlite BunnyRanch, raised concerns about monitoring the
spread of infectious diseases, though state health regulators had
already cleared the way for male sex workers.
“You guys can’t scare me,” said Commissioner
Though the vote was relatively non-confrontational,
the discussion beforehand showed how much controversy remains. For much
of Davis’ speech, officials rested their chins in their hands, lowered
their eyes or slumped in their chairs. When the sheriff noted that
Davis’ statement varied from her letter to commissioners, she read
aloud one section with force.
“It seems the biggest hoopla is a great fear in some
people’s minds that some kind of homosexual activity might go on,” she
said. “Why panic? I don’t understand. … It’s not my intent to
encourage or promote or to turn my business into a ‘gay property.’ “
DeMeo wondered whether sex workers could check female customers for signs of disease as easily as men. Davis said yes.
“If you want me to go into the inspection routine, I will,” she said.
“Please don’t!” said a commissioner, to laughter.
(c) 2010, Los Angeles Times.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.