There are currently around twenty brothels in Nevada operating legally. Nevada is the only state in the US that allows legalized prostitution in the form of brothels, where licensed prostitutes sell sexual services to men, women, and couples seeking adult entertainment.

The $50-million-per-year Nevada prostitution industry has fascinated Americans for decades. It’s befuddling to many US citizens that what is considered a criminal act in 49 US states is a legitimate profession in Nevada. But what are the facts about the mystifying Nevada sex industry? Here are answers to a few of the most common questions asked about Nevada brothels.

Is prostitution legal throughout Nevada?

No. Legal prostitution is only possible in counties where the population is less than 400,000. Furthermore, counties and independent cities below this population threshold may choose to prohibit prostitution in that particular area. A popular misconception is that prostitution is legal in Las Vegas, a city with a reputation for vice and debauchery. In actuality, prostitution is illegal in Las Vegas, Reno, and a few other areas such as Carson City, Nevada’s state capital.

What brothels are currently operational in Nevada and where are they?

As a general rule, brothels are located near the major centers of activity in the state. Southern brothels can be found in the outskirts of Las Vegas, in towns like Pahrump. Northern brothels are located near Reno and Carson City. There are also several brothels in the Northeast in areas like Elko. A comprehensive map of the active brothels in Nevada is provided below.

View Nevada Brothels List 2013 in a larger map

What are some key historical moments in the Nevada brothel industry?

1937 – Health Reviews for Prostitutes

A law requiring weekly health checks for prostitutes has been in effect since 1937. In the late 80’s, condoms became mandatory for sex acts like intercourse and oral/anal sex. These regulations ensure that sex at a Nevada bordello is exceptionally safe. There has never been a case of a sexually transmitted disease resulting from an intimate encounter with a prostitute in a Nevada brothel.

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1971 – Licensing of Brothels

Joe Conforte, owner of the Mustang Ranch brothel, persuaded officials to pass an ordinance which provides for the licensing of brothels and prostitutes in Nevada. This was a pivotal moment in Nevada history, as it paved the way for the contemporary Nevada brothel business. Throughout the 1970’s, several other counties legalized brothels.

Judge gavel on american flag background

1979 – Prohibition of Brothel Advertising

A state law prohibiting the advertising of brothels in Nevada counties that have outlawed prostitution made it very difficult for brothels to promote their services in cities like Las Vegas. The people on the Las Vegas strip passing out fliers offering “sexy girls sent to your hotel” are representatives of escort agencies practicing illegal prostitution.

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2001 – The First Nevada Sex Resort is Launched

By the turn of the century, competition in the legal brothel industry provoked savvy businessmen to take their business to a higher level. Sheri’s Ranch was remodeled in 2001 by owner Chuck Lee to become Nevada’s first sex resort, complete with an adjoining hotel & spa, a suite of private themed bungalows, and a sex fantasy role-play establishment called “Sheri’s Playland”.

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 2002 – Cathouse premieres, the first Nevada Brothel TV show

Perhaps no event in recent history brought the Nevada bordello scene into mainstream consciousness like HBO’s Cathouse, a popular late-night show that features staged scenarios at Dennis Hof’s Moonlite Bunny ranch in Mound House near Carson City. The series garnered considerable media attention for Hof and several of his prostitutes, turning them into Adult Entertainment celebrities.

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How much does a sexual encounter cost at a Nevada brothel?

Perhaps the most common question asked by individuals who are really interested in exploring all of the myriad possibilities offered by Nevada brothels is “How much?”

Each licensed prostitute is an independent contractor who sets her own prices for items on the menu. Of course, the length of time requested and the type of erotic activities desired by the customer will affect the cost of the experience. Most legal sex workers cater to a wide range of clientele, from blue collar workers to high-powered executives and public figures. Legal brothels have something remarkable to offer customers from all walks of life.

Photos of Dennis Hof, Doctor’s Office, and the Las Vegas sign used in this post are from Wikimedia Commons.

About Jeremy Lemur

A driven professional with considerable experience in both the traditional and adult space, Jeremy has worked for a national sports league, a prestigious entertainment guild, and several successful start ups. Jeremy thoroughly enjoys the challenges associated with a highly politicized countercultural environment such as Nevada's unique adult entertainment scene. Email him at jeremy.lemur (at) sherisranch.com
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2 Responses to Everything You Wanted to Know About Brothels in Nevada

  1. Avatar of mickey50 mickey50 says:

    i’ve been to sheris and the wild horse and i find that sheris is the best of the best by far the ladies,the staff and the hotel,no complaints been visiting regularly since 2006.so keep it up,i’ll be visiting the first week of july can’t wait.

  2. Destini says:

    I love Sheri’s as well how often do you make it this way?

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