is Las Vegas degrading to women?

Caution: I actually use a little naughty language in here.

When I went to Vegas for the first time in 2000, by myself, it took me all of 24 hours to figure out the city is made for money and women. If you have one or are the other, Vegas is your playground. To me, the secret of the city is that it’s a living monument to avarice and lust. I’ll go even further and say that pussy built Vegas and is its raison d’être. Aristotle Onassis understood that without women, money means nothing.

I spent two weeks there dancing. I never felt degraded in Vegas. I was constantly harassed by panhandlers, but that was it (I think I was a target because I looked harmless and was a single woman). I planned to go back the next fall, 2001, but those plans were curtailed. I’ve been back several times for vacations and I still feel the same vibe, although Vegas got whupped a little bit after 9/11 and lost some exuberance. I’m fully against it being a “family place.” That’s not why it lives and breathes.

so why is Vegas seen as degrading for women?

It seems the reputation for being Sin City is what starts the process of degredation, apparently exuding tendrils of icky feelings all the way to New York City. When civilian women actually land in Las Vegas, they’re appalled at the array of adult entertainment targeted for heterosexual men. Insecure and not sure what to make of the display of openly commercial/sexual women, they feel “degraded.”

To fight this feeling, all hotels on the strip should offer sexual services targeted to women tourists. With freedom to make asses of themselves, they might feel on more equal footing with their male civilian counterparts. And all hotels should offer some sort of Vegas-Sex 101 class for women. Something along the lines of “You’re in Vegas and you have a pussy – even the casinos are jealous.”

Okay, this probably won’t happen. But a little attitude adjustment is usually all one needs to fight feelings of degradation.

And if you still feel degraded, then maybe it’s the situation and not you. In which case – leave the situation! How hard is that to figure out?

is Vegas really wild?

In my opinion, no. Of course, I’m sure it’s because I haven’t been to the right parties.

My experiences have shown it to be a very commercial city. Everyone is on high alert to squeeze money out of you. To me, that keeps the wildness down to a surface level. The perception of wildness is what Vegas trades on. The reality is much more mundane and American. Not really exciting to tourists.

I mean honestly, just how wild is it to get a lapdance at the Crazy Horse II? It costs you $20+ (depending on the girl’s hustling skills) for 3-4 minutes. There’s your wildness, walking away when the song is over.

Or is “wild” getting drunk? You can do that much cheaper in New Orleans – and listen to some great music and meet very interesting people.

Vegas is not the sexual harassment capital of the US

I can’t condemn Vegas for degrading women when the nastiest, most unrepeatable comments I’ve gotten have been on the street in Dallas (okay, more like walking to and from stores in the parking lots). Sometimes those comments were degrading; often they were so awful they were fear-inducing – especially when the guys would start following me. That’s a real problem.

Billboards advertising strippers or topless cabaret shows? I don’t feel the degradation. I don’t see the correlation.

PS: And if billboards are degrading, then someone needs to rescue those poor white tigers who suffered for all those years…

PPS: This is in response to a lot of fuss over the Nevada brothel system, which brought out a lot of side-effect crap. There’s a whole of lot blogging about it at Bound, not Gagged (yes, I’ve got a couple things there).

20 thoughts on “is Las Vegas degrading to women?

  1. Pingback: Vegas Degrades Women? « Bound, Not Gagged

  2. JW

    The most offensive thing in LV? I thought it was those all-you-can-eat buffets where the budget tourists go to. ;)

    Honestly, I don’t know what the world’s coming to. Disney has adults-only island getaways and LV is family-friendly.

    When did the world change?

  3. Amanda Brooks Post author

    JW,

    Agree with you about the buffet lines, but where else can you eat shrimp, steak and Belgian waffles for breakfast?

    Maybe it’s time for a new Vegas? Sadly, Hong Kong and Dubai are a long way away.

    XX

  4. Las Vegas Courtesan

    Heh thanks for the post about this city and hear your side of it. I agree completely… girls really get the special treatment in this town and guys end up footing the bill. Sometimes it really gets on my nerves though when guys really get shafted on being over charged while girls (especially local girls) get it all for free. Free drink nights at major clubs, free entry to clubs and hell… we get our own little girl line at most clubs now.
    I love people’s comments to me in elevators when I am going up to a room “isn’t this place crazy”? Nah… for me, its perfect for my night owl/need for constant changing atmospheres. If you are a prude, non drinking, non gambling civilian then yes I can see it being “crazy” to their mundane life and like you said… it ends up insulting or degrading to that person. Makes you realize sometimes how many people live such sheltered lives.

    The other day I noticed in a magazine that they are now offering at some theaters (like where variety shows perform at night) pole dancing 101 which includes all you can drink liqour if you pay the extra ticket price. I think that’s awesome! Get Mom and Aunt Gretchen on the pole and drunk! Live life! I also don’t see why Nevada is giving Heidi Fleiss such crap about operating a “stud farm” out in Nye County (where prostitution is legal)

    I must say that I sometimes get commented to and such fowl insults are said to me sometimes I have never seen anywhere else (yea Dallas is pretty bad though). I hate it and sometimes it frightens me… this usually comes from a more ghetto crowd and wanna-be-somebody-but-isn’t type of people. Lots of them around here some nights. heh

    Anyway.. good blog.. glad to catch up on your stuff!

  5. Amanda Brooks Post author

    LV Courtesan,

    There are court cases where free/reduced drinks for women are being phased out because they are sexual discrimination. I have to agree with the argument, much as I like the idea for myself. But unless someone in Vegas complains…not much chance the bars will phase out the practice.

    Newbie pole dancers and lots of liquor? I hope their accident insurance is paid up!

    Do you think your street harassment is from locals or tourists? Yeah, the wannabe-gansters don’t have any idea how to really treat women.

    Thanks for stopping by! As always.

    XX

  6. martha- jen's mom

    “Billboards advertising strippers or topless cabaret shows? I don’t feel the degradation. I don’t see the correlation.”

    Can you crawl outside your own personal universe for just a second to try to figure out how someone ELSE might see the degradation? Women are on display like sushi for men to pick from and consume? That’s not degradation? Yes, it is.

    And can you imagine for just one second what it might be like to try to raise a daughter in Las Vegas, where every tourist assumes she’s a hooker? Can you even think about other people at all? Most of the people in Las Vegas do NOT want prostitution here. We don’t want massage parlors and strip clubs. But they all bribe the politicians and we the people don’t count. That is degrading too.

  7. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Martha,

    Frankly, billboards advertising a topless show or new lingerie are pretty much the same. Vegas doesn’t hold a candle to LA or NYC as far as racy billboards go. Or what about those billboards for the movie “Captivity?” Illustrating the death of a women is far more harmful to percpetions than simply looking at her with lust.

    Try crawling outside of YOUR universe for a minute and realize that what I said is true — you can’t feel “degraded” if you don’t want to. Feeling “degraded” means buying into a belief system that puts a value on a woman’s pussy — just like what you accuse the adult industry of doing. Since I feel that I’m more than just a reproductive orifice, I try real hard not to feel degraded by either extreme.

    If you and a lot of people in Vegas don’t like living there, then why live there? And honestly, people would think your daughter is a hooker or a slut no matter where you live. That’s just the mindset of a certain type of person that we all come in contact with. It’s not just Vegas. After all, those “tourists” you complain about come from other cities — they don’t live in Vegas. Which means their mindset is always with them, regardless of locale.

    XX

  8. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Martha,

    On further thought….what is your daughter doing that she comes into contact with tourists? Most Vegas citizens stay away from tourist areas. Where is she going to make tourists think she’s a prostitute?

    Moreoever, why is being thought of as a prostitute so degrading? Because you think prostitution is degrading. That is your opinion, not a fact. I know it’s hard for you to see this, but prostitutes are women just like you (often with their own families) only they’ve decided a different way to make money — one that is part of feminine history. (By the way, I do hope you have your own career. I would hate to think you married your husband and agree to have sex with him just so he can pay your bills.)

    Your daughter should not think of being mistaken for a prostitute as inherently degrading (although I imagine it can be annoying). Instead, she should simply tell the gawkers that they can’t possibly afford her and go on her way. Or, she could inform them that they’re propositioning a minor.

    XX

  9. Pingback: Being Amber Rhea » Blog Archive » links for 2007-09-30

  10. Amanda Brooks Post author

    JW,

    Yes, agree with you all the way.

    When I think “family vacation” Vegas is not the first place that pops into my head. I can’t imagine why it does for some people. To me, that’s twisted.

    XX

  11. Aspasia

    Well, here’s my response almost a year later:

    “When I think “family vacation” Vegas is not the first place that pops into my head. I can’t imagine why it does for some people. To me, that’s twisted.”

    Actually, to me that’s selfish. That comes from parents who had children before they really got to “live”. So even though the kids are here, they’ll be damned if they’re not going to get their lifetime trip to Vegas! No one else wants to watch them while Mom and Dad gamble away the college fund so kids have to come along. These are the same people, Amanda, who take their children to slasher films and the like.

  12. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Aspasia,

    OH! Don’t even get me started on people who take their children to violent movies!

    I certainly agree too many people don’t allow themselves to live before strapping themselves down with responsibilities they don’t really want. Think for yourselves!

    XX

  13. Lisa

    You’re a fool if you can’t see the obvious degradation of women in Las Vegas. Honey, I haven’t just visited Las Vegas, I have resided there, as well as in New York, Chicago, Detroit. Las Vegas is the ONLY one of these cities that is ridiculously and overtly degrading to women. I don’t know if maybe you aren’t very attractive, or what, but I was approached over and over and over again by attractive men with rings on their fingers offering me money to cheat with them against their wives during the time I lived there. My friend and I used to wear our scrubs from work just to keep from being assumed to be prostitutes. And I am a clean cut, not sleazy in any form of dress girl. I have NEVER had this happen in any city other than Vegas. The men who approached me were locals who had just been trained by Vegas that it is their right to cheat on their wives. Meanwhile, I was in a committed relationship with a man I loved and would never cheat on. If you are a married women in Vegas, it is only a matter of time before your guy takes on this same degrading attitude, most likely. Did you see that two preachers were jailed in Vegas for handing out anti gambling literature on the strip? Everyone knows that 365 days a year, short mexican men are employed to hand out cards offering women as prostitutes, and specifically advertising “barely legal” aged whores for sale. Gimmee a break. Open your eyes dear. It is not about being a prude, it is about having some self respect and realizing that women are SUPPOSED to be EQUAL to men. Vegas needs to get off their discrimination. If they want to degrade women, then they shoud be forced to degrade men too. Wear are the 23 year old ripped men with their shirts off and low cut pants revealing a Sillicone Penis that they paid $10,000 to a female cosmetic surgeon to get?????

  14. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Lisa,

    Well, I’m a fool. I now live in Vegas and the sexy ads are quite lovely, I think. They get repetitive, but that’s about the worst of it. The guys handing out the cards are just people doing a job. I try to be polite to them, it’s not an easy job to do. I couldn’t do it.

    I rarely get approached by guys in Vegas. The street harrassment level is really low — much lower than anything I ever experienced in Dallas. When I do dress up and go out, I simply get good service. (With the exception of the Vegas bums, they’re very persistent.)

    And if the men think I’m a hooker, well, they’ll discover I’m expensive. But no one has bluntly propositioned me. I’m sure you’ll think it’s because I’m wildly unattractive (that’s how I’ve managed to make my living in sex work — by being really ugly) , but I think that the harrassment level is overstated. Or that you’re going places/doing things I’m not. In which case I might have a different opinion if I followed you around during a normal day.

    But really, don’t be offended because someone thinks you’re worth a lot of money. The money they offer is probably more than your employer is willing to pay you for a day’s work. Doesn’t mean you have to say yes since it’s not something you want to do. It does mean to stop being offended by the reality of the relationship between the sexes stripped down to its bare bones without romantic illusion.

    Or move to San Francisco. Zero street harassment there.

    XX

  15. TexRich

    I have female provider friend of mine that worked in Las Vegas for 4-5 years, and her opinion of Vegas is not very high. she did mention she made a lot of money and it was very good to her financially.

    but, she told me Vegas has a very dark side and she was very scared working there for the most part. the vice, she said was very corrupt and would harm women even. she mentioned it was very dangerous for working ladies and some women just disappeared or were killed in unsolved murders.

  16. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Rich,

    Vice is dangerous to women everywhere. It’s not just a Vegas thing, believe me. Ask around in Texas, you’ll get the same stories about vice there.

    The general danger to working girls might be higher in Vegas than in other cities — that I don’t know. I can imagine — due to drug/alochol use, working for agencies that don’t care about you and seeing men who think they can do anything in Vegas and it’s okay — that there is a higher level of danger for working girls. Which is why it’s best to work as an indie (online or off) and be picky and cautious.

    But as for living in Vegas itself, yes, I like it. I live in a nice suburb and am not a party girl. Nor do I spend time on the strip unless I’m being paid to do so! I think it’s like any other city — you find what works for you and remove yourself from what doesn’t work (if at all possible).

    I still see all the women on billboards as goddess-worship. It’s quite nice to see women as objects of supreme desire, instead of something to be trampled or something that doesn’t count. Again, that’s my take on it.

    XX

  17. Sherry

    My late companion, a man born in 1923 told me about his first experience with Las Vegas. It was at the start of the 1940′s, and there was only one hotel, no strip. Bugsy Segal was in charge I guess. Anyway, my companion told me he was driving thru on route to California to be processed into the Army. Women were standing on scaffolding, holding signs that said “hot pussy, cold beer!” Sounds like things are pretty much the same after all. Too bad we can’t get away with live signage any more. Hope my tale put a smile on your face.

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