(Gustavo Turner | XBIZ) – A Nevada County Commission which has jurisdiction over the legal brothels nearest to Las Vegas has drafted proposed changes to the county code, which include officially discarding the stigmatizing term “prostitutes” in ordinances in favor of “courtesans” and reclassifying “houses of prostitution” as “brothels.”
The legal Nye County brothels are located between Las Vegas and the California state line in the towns of Amargosa Valley, Crystal and Pahrump.
The proposal’s new language redefines “prostitution” as “engaging in any act, for a fee, with the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of either person,” which Chuck Muth, an adviser to the Nevada Brothel Association (NBA) criticized as “vague” and likely to be misused by anti-sex work advocates.
“I can see the Jason Guinasso’s of the world twisting that language to include, for example, women who dance in gentlemen’s clubs even if no actual sex act takes place,” Muth wrote. Guinasso is a Christian pastor and alpaca rancher from Reno who has made a local political career stigmatizing all sex workers and conflating legal sex work with human trafficking.
The NBA adviser also pointed out that there are no proposed changes to the prohibition to advertise brothels by “signs” or “print advertising,” in compliance with Nevada state law.
“I hope the soon-to-be convened Brothel Study Committee established by the 2019 Nevada Legislature takes a long, hard look at this issue,” Muth added. “If the business is legal, it should be allowed to legally advertise.”
The “Lockdowns” Controversy
The proposed changes also affect the controversial issue of “lockdowns,” rules supposedly enforced for public health reasons that confine courtesans to brothel property for set periods of time.
“Under the existing Nye County ordinance,” Muth explained, “a courtesan who leaves the property ‘in excess of twenty-four (24) hours’ must be re-tested for sexually transmitted diseases before being allowed to work again.”
This is popularly known among sex workers as “the 24-hour rule.”
The proposed language replaces “the 24-hour rule” with a contrived, thoroughly impractical version of “lockdowns”:
“Courtesans are allowed to leave the Brothel Premises for six (6) hours per ten (10) day medical clearance period during the hours of 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. A Courtesan with a verified medical appointment may leave the brothel premises for up to twelve (12) hours during the hours of 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Any Courtesan who leaves the Brothel Premises in excess of these hours per ten (10) day medical clearance shall be subject to all the medical testing requirements set forth in this chapter and any other applicable State laws and regulations prior to engaging in any act of prostitution.”
Muth and other sex workers advocates are indignant at the new language. “‘Allowed to leave’? For no more than six hours per 10-day period? And only between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.? In America?” he wrote.
“If this ordinance passes I will never work in a Nye County brothel again.”
XBIZ spoke with Nevada-based adult performer Charlotte Sartre, who has worked at Nye County brothels.
“I was reading about it this morning,” Sartre told XBIZ. “It’s so stupid. Most brothels in Nye County already have a lockdown rule. Alien Cathouse adheres to the 24-hour rule.”
“But for fuck’s sake,” she added. “Only leaving between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.? And only six hours in a ten-day period? It’s nuts!”
“If this ordinance passes I will never work in a Nye County brothel again. That’s how stupid it is,” Sartre concluded.
A final version of the bill is expected to be introduced at the county commission meeting on October 15, and a vote is expected at the November 19 meeting.
To read the proposed changes, “A Bill proposing to amend Nye County Code Title 9, Public Peace, Morals and Welfare, relating to Chapter 9.20, Prostitution; providing for the severability, constitutionality and effective date thereof, and other matters properly relating thereto,” click here.