Aug 7, 2008 Bella's (Nevada Brothel)
last night continued…
After making my post last night, I went out to the common rooms to socialize. The girls were friendly. There is Katrina, a semi-finalist on America’s Next Top Model (or one of those model shows) – she told me after I said she looked like a model. She’s done print and promotion work in Vegas as well.
I watched a couple line-ups. From my vantage point (making sure the men didn’t see my medically-uncleared self), the line-ups were not in the least degrading and had a laid-back, high-school-dance charm. Every girl in the house is different, so men can easily pick their “type.” It also keeps anyone from being offended since no one person is direct competition to another.
Katya, our resident Russian, talked to me at length about policy, procedure and how she conducts her business. She’s older, but is a degreed engineer. She has her accent and big blue eyes. Her success (and she does make money) is due to her personality, intelligence and sexual skills. She tells me this. She’s quite proud of her abilities. Why not?
I listen to Katrina at the CB radio. Not too bad, but it’s generally really fuzzy and hard to hear. There’s a script we get to work from.
I watch The Colbert Report and go to sleep. (There’s a TV in every room over the bed, kind of like in a hospital or some motels.)
I wake up bright and early. I have to go out for my run, then get back to get ready to head into Elko for my medical exam and paperwork. Instead, I end up talking on the phone and just walk around, no running. Since the food here is rather processed-carb-heavy and not as many whole grains, light proteins and fruits as I want, I need to run.
Fix my own breakfast and take a shower. I’m ready to roll, it’s 9am.
Shaunia, out of either a fine work ethic or the determination to solve a problem, fixes my laptop’s wireless connection issues once and for all. As far as I can tell, she does. My one and only personal drama at an end, I’m restless. It’s 11am.
Earlier in the morning I’d discovered the one cell tower in town that gives me a good signal if I’m in view of it. And I can text from almost anywhere. My communication issues are as solved as they’re ever going to be.
We’re waiting on Bobbie who has a customer (or whatever you want to call him). We roll out at 12:30pm. Elko is 50 miles away. After a few errands in town, we hit the road. It’s beautiful.
First stop is the business license office. I fill out some utterly confusing paperwork pretending that I’m a sole proprietor business (my work name is my DBA). This ties together my real name and work name. They also copy my driver’s license – no passport allowed. It costs $100 for this violation and sense of paranoia.
I get two official copies. One for Bella’s and one for me (I think, I’ll find out more tomorrow). After I receive my medical clearance tomorrow I can go to my local sheriff’s office and get my sheriff’s card ($75 I think) and show them this paperwork.
The doctor’s office is closed for lunch, so we go to the dollar store. I get a few things on my list and need Wal-Mart for the rest.
The doctor’s office has me fill out my real info, but no work name. They also copy my DL. The blood work and culture is $90. They test for HIV, syphilis, Chlamydia and gonorrhea. They don’t test for herpes Type II because apparently that would put the brothels out of business (nice to know). They test for hepatitis only in the part of the county that has an Asian brothel since it’s known Asians and Mexicans carry hepatitis (I’m not making this up).
Though “trafficking” is not mentioned, this Asian brothel is also known for bringing over Asians and letting them work off their debt of entry.
The blood work is blood work. The pelvic exam is not bad. I hate speculums, but he’s quick and it’s not a pap smear – only a cotton swab. That’s it. I ask him about getting the HPV vaccine but he states that it would be a waste of my money. He says this gently and with no malice – only his professional opinion of how he sees the transmission and prevention of disease. I appreciate his honesty. (He feels the vaccine is best left to virgins or those with very little sexual contact.)
The culture is weekly, blood work once a month. I think the culture by itself is $40 or something.
We eat and hit Wal-Mart. I don’t spend as much as I worried I would, so I’m happy about that. We head back. The sun is setting against the mountains and the clouds are dark edged with gold. I bought some disposable cameras in Wal-Mart for a reason.
bits and pieces
– My first test had to be signed off by a doctor. Hence, the trip to Elko. There is a clinic in Vegas where I can get my work done the next time.
– There is also a doctor in Wells. He’s a pervert. None of the locals will take their children to him and he’s inappropriate with the working girls – if he likes them. If he doesn’t like the girl, he’s completely professional. Once, a girl went in with bronchitis. He suggested a pap smear.
He is not thrown out of town. He’s on the city council or something. Besides, what can a working girl do? He’s the only doctor in town.
– In Elko, there is a shop for working girls. Lingerie, toys and other fun things. They double-charged Bobbie for everything. They eventually gave her her money back, after a lot of arguing and several weeks. But what can a working girl do? It’s the only shop like that around, and they’re connected as well. Besides, who listens to brothel girls?
– In reading the manual found by the bar this morning, I see the contract I’m going to sign to work here. I’m supposed to be an independent contractor, yet I’m signing what amounts to an employee agreement. This is what strippers have been arguing and fighting over for years. I’m here to work and work I shall, but the system is not perfect.
There are rock-bottom prices for sexual acts listed. This seems to be a pretty vanilla brothel – for the most part. Basically, it’s all based on 10 minutes/$100. Girls try to get more, but based on my discussions with Bobbie and Katya, the men seem pretty savvy as to what the minimum is. On the other hand, both of them do quite well. It’s a volume enterprise.
– Everywhere I went, people liked on my t-shirt. Both Bobbie and Shaunia want one. I bought a HIPS shirt at the Desiree Alliance conference and I wore it today (“be nice to sex workers” with a smiley face). I put it on this morning because it wasn’t work clothes. I really forgot I was wearing it and was pleasantly surprised all day by the reactions.
– Bella claimed not to “nickel and dime” her girls, however everything is being charged for and unbeknownst to me, I’m getting charged a deposit for my TV too. I’m racking up debt sitting here waiting on my test results. I think her definition of “nickel and dime” differs from mine.
– About me ending up in Utah yesterday…it’s a rite of passage. Every single girl I’ve talked to has ended up in Utah trying to get here from Vegas. I don’t feel bad at all. I made better time than some of them – only 10hrs in the car instead of 12.
– Bobbie has a disturbing and terrible history. She would be a poster child for the abolitionists. Yet she’s perfectly happy with who she is — a prostitute. She does not have a “work” and “personal” wardrobe. She’s comfortable in her skin. She does not want to live any other way. She only wants to live with less stress and more money. Don’t we all.
I’m sure there is more I’m forgetting. There is certainly a lot more I’m not repeating on a public blog online – at least not yet.