Straight up - are you for or against brothels? It’s a source of livelihood for some and others feel it has the potential to wreck communities and their economy. BBC did a detailed interview and it got us thinking. Here are parts that we felt were most compelling.
But First, Who Is Air Force Amy?
According to MSNBC, Deanne Salinger a.k.a Air Force Amy is “a living legend in the world of sex”.
Born in 1965, Air Force Amy is a popular American prostitute, who earns more than half a million dollars a year! She recounts being a ‘wild child’ who left home when she was just 13. Back then, she would let boys pull down her underpants and in exchange they would give her their lunch money. She is a better judge of people now, after selling sex on the roadside to survive, she can tell how a person is from miles away.
If you’ve already made an opinion about Amy, let us tell you that in the 1980’s she got a job with the US Air Force – yes, you heard us. But some of the guys didn’t like a low-rank woman telling them how to defend a runway in the jungle. After some distressing experiences in Asia she suffered from a post-traumatic stress disorder and drinking problem.
She returned to the US and began working in pussy prisons – one where women are barred from leaving the premises during their 3-week shift. After sometime she met with Dennis Hof, owner of the Bunny Ranch, the place she works at till this date. Dennis refers to the women as independent contractors, who occupy a room in exchange for a daily rent and can come and go as they please. He also has a swimming pool, gym, Jacuzzi, quad bikes and ponies for the people to enjoy out there.
Amy’s living it up here with her hourglass figure, blonde hair and bright red nails. Hats off to her for being so optimistic - "I was born with this crazy talent and I love my job. I see all these guys - we have a good time, they give me money and they take their dirty laundry home with them. Why get married and make one man miserable when I can make thousands of men happy?"
Hof takes his people seriously, he praises their work, gives them gifts and encourages them to use social media to get more clients too. According to him, legal brothels benefit everyone.
He pays over half a million dollars in taxes each year; not to mention the 10 million his business generates for the economy. How you ask? He hires cooks, drivers, doctors, chambermaids, bar tenders, hairdressers and others. So, the locals have jobs and the sex industry also attracts many tourists to the state.
The Question Still Persists
Should the brothels be shut down for good? Some people say that all the women living near the brothels are more vulnerable to assaults. That there is an increase danger of sex trafficking and not to forget that respectable businesses don’t usually invest in such areas.
Brenda Simpson, from the End Trafficking and Prostitution Political Action Committee had an interesting take that she shared with BBC, "You know, it used to be considered OK to bring slaves from Africa, and finally, someone had the courage to say, 'No, we're not going to have slavery.' This is just a different kind of slavery. These women in the legal brothels are slaves." Her group launched a campaign called "Close the Meat Market", with the hope that people don’t fall for the happy hooker image portrayed by people like Air Force Amy.
According to a study of Nevada’s sex industry, legalised prostitution improves conditions for pimps and brothel owners, rather than for the women. They could face sexual assault and drug abuse too.
Though Air Force Amy feels pretty safe with a panic button near her bed, an ex-employee called Jennifer says she was raped by Hof, who grabbed her by the throat and said she was his. The police have been ignoring her. And Hof denies the allegations stating that she is just pissed because she was fired.
The Brothel will be investigated and it could be cause of Jennifer or the complaints of two other ex-employees. Or as Hof says he is simply under attack because he’s had the nerve to stand for office.
Now that you’ve heard both sides, what’s your take?