The ins and outs of how to visit a legal brothel, according to a working courtesan

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Did you know that only one state in the U.S. has legal brothels? Many forms of prostitution and sex work exist across the country and world, but only the state of Nevada has legalized brothels that allow women to engage in sex work in a safe and legal environment. There are only seven counties in the entire state that have open brothels, and in those seven counties, 19 can be found in operation

I work as a Courtesan at the Chicken Ranch Brothel in Pahrump, Nevada, and I want to set some misconceptions about my work straight. Despite brothels, often referred to as ranches, being legal in Nevada, there is still misinformation and outdated resources on the process of visiting one. 

Many are nervous about the business of paying for intimacy or unsure of what to expect when visiting a brothel. If you’ve ever wanted to experience the sex industry in a legal and safe environment, this guide might make your first visit a little easier.  

Who can visit a brothel? 

Anyone! Brothels accept people of all genders and sexual orientations, and even couples. Depending on the brothel of your choice, every patron entering the property must either be at least 18 or 21 years of age. The Chicken Ranch requires guests to be 21 and up. All visitors must also show a valid government ID, like a passport or driver’s license, to enter. Safety and security are a top priority so that everyone visiting can focus on having fun.

How do you know it’s safe? 

Brothels have been legal in Nevada since the 1970s. The brothel system in the state is well-established and everyone partaking in a visit can relax knowing that they are not breaking any laws. All courtesans are required by Nevada state law to pass quarterly background checks, as well as be tested weekly by the house doctor for STDs. Protection, in the form of condoms and dental dams, is required for all activities between clients and courtesans. 

How do you get there? 

Most brothels are in rural areas of the Nevada desert. The Chicken Ranch is only 60 miles from Las Vegas, near the border of Southern California in the town of Pahrump. If you’re driving from out of state or the Strip, it’s a scenic drive through the mountains on Highway 160. If you’re flying in and staying in Las Vegas, you can always rent a car too. If you don’t want to drive, most brothels also offer a free limo pickup service within a certain radius. Guests can call the office of their chosen brothel and request the car service at least 3-5 hours in advance, though 24 hours’ notice is recommended to guarantee your chosen pickup time. Tipping to the drivers and bartenders is also good etiquette!

What are the rates?

Unfortunately, the law prohibits the verbal or written advertising of rates for services at brothels. Courtesans and brothel staff are unable to post online, discuss via email or DM, or over the phone about any prices for any activity that may take place in a brothel. 

Many brothels have “house minimums,” but every courtesan is hired as an independent contractor, and gets to set her own rates just like any other professional that chooses to work as a freelance employee. Many people visiting a brothel treat it as a special occasion and spoil themselves with the luxury of quality companionship. 

How do you make an appointment? 

There are a few ways to go about booking an appointment:

  1. Brothels have websites with all of the available courtesans, and their respective bios, photos, and emails. From the website, you can contact a lady in advance and ask some general questions or inquire about a specific service you may be seeking. Each courtesan has a personal email that she uses to communicate with clients. While rates cannot be discussed online, you can still ask questions about the details of the experience you are looking for and confirm her availability for your visit. While we’ve seen and heard a variety of requests, you’ll get the best response if you can be honest and respectful when discussing your fantasies.
  2. You can call the brothel and make an appointment with the hostess over the phone. I always recommend appointments if there is someone you particularly want to see to guarantee she is available and ready for you. 
  3. Or you can just show up and choose someone in person. The brothel I work at is open 24/7 and you can walk in, grab a drink at the bar, and request what is called a line-up. A line-up is when all the available courtesans come out to greet the guest(s) one at a time by briefly introducing themselves. The guest(s) then have a few minutes to make a decision before deciding to speak privately with one girl, where a more intimate conversation can be had.

What happens when you get to the brothel? 

After you have chosen a courtesan by appointment or walk-in, you’ll go back to her private room to discuss details. The women I work with are true professionals and take pride in providing a special experience for those who choose to visit them. Once you and your chosen lady come to an agreement on activities and price, she will take your payment and book the session. 

Many brothels have specialty rooms in addition to private bedrooms. You may have the option to add on things like a bubble bath, a massage, or BDSM play in the dungeon. 

Now that I have illuminated some key steps to visiting a legal brothel, here are my last few tips of what not to do on your first visit:

  1. Don’t forget your ID! Make sure it is valid and not expired. I’ve seen too many excited people come to the door and realize they forgot their ID back at their hotel over an hour away. 
  2. Don’t forget to be prepared with payment options. Cash and cards are accepted.  If you decide to pay with a credit or debit card, I suggest calling your bank in advance to notify them of a potential large purchase in Nevada. Cards get declined for lack of travel notice and spending limits all the time. 
  3. Don’t be rude. Be respectful and courteous, it will go a long way during your appointment.

And most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy yourself!