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Escorts Reveal What It's Like To Be a Vegas Sex Worker

Nevada legalized prostitution, but is it really worth the money? Uncover the truth behind what life is like as a Vegas sex worker.

By Mackenzie Z. KennedyPublished 7 years ago 4 min read

Las Vegas has a very solid reputation as one of the most insane cities. In Las Vegas sex work is still illegal - however, state laws allowed it to be legalized in most other parts of Nevada. Since then, many parts of the state have become known for their prostitution, porn, and strippers.

Of course, the legal skinmarket can't actually happen unless it has willing women who are willing to sell sex. Women in the industry seem to make a lot of money, and they seem to be content with the way things are in Nevada.

Life as a sex worker can't be glamorous, can it? What really is life like for a sex worker who does it legally, anyway? Over the years, escorts who worked in brothels around Vegas have come forth to give people a better idea of what it's really like.

Though some of the aspects of life as a sex worker may not surprise anyone, some of it might shock you. Here's what escorts reveal what it's like to be a Vegas sex worker.

Sex workers sometimes turn to prostitution because it pays better than webcam work, video work, and similar stuff.

Such was the case with adult model and sex worker, Jesika James. When she found out that the webcam site that she was performing on was keeping 75 percent of the proceeds, she got annoyed and wanted to do something better paying.

In an interview, she explained it all pretty candidly:

"I’ve always had a high sex drive so I figured if I’m doing this webcam thing and making money for someone else, why not do what I like and make money for myself and support the lifestyle that I wanted my kids to have. Working a minimum wage job wasn’t gonna keep us in a nice house. Not in Vegas anyway."

If you've ever seen how much money webcam girls really make, it's not surprising that many end up being escorts.

It's not just sexing and leaving.

Image by Bella DiMarzio

Multiple women pointed out that there is a difference between regular prostitution and escortship. Prostitutes have sex and leave - no words exchanged.

Escorts are actually expected to act like quasi-girlfriends, friends, or personalities. This is often called "GFE," or Girl Friend Experience. That being said, Jesika James actually laid it out pretty well:

"A prostitute has sex with her clients and leaves. An escort hangs out, has a few drinks, goes to dinner and shows, takes her clients sight-seeing and all in all is more of a friend/companion then just a used up piece of meat. And if she’s good and I mean real good then 9 times out of 10 will never have to even get in bed with her clients."

Considering that the Vegas escort scene is as competitive as it is, we can see why women would have to work every part of themselves to make it to the top.

Moreover, when a woman is an escort, you aren't paying for sex. You're paying for companionship. This is the legal loophole that allows women to advertise in Las Vegas - despite prostitution being illegal in Vegas.

Additionally, there's also a very big difference between a pimp and a madam/escort manager. Madam Haley Heston explained this away in an interview, as well:

"A pimp normally controls all aspects of the girl's life. When a girl comes to him, she's sometimes working at a strip club or is a runaway or is a new girl who is friends with one of his current prospects. He'll groom her into being an escort. [Pimps] do [prey on them]. They put her up in their house so they can control her. Some of them use drugs to make the [girls] more dependent on them. They all have different ways of grooming them.[Madams are different.] In Vegas, a lot of the women who madams work with are a lot more established in their personal lives. Maybe they have a career, a family, or they have children. A lot of them have been in magazines like Playboy or Maxim. They're sort of established in their home life and the madam acts as a dating mechanism."

So, rather than being pimped out, legalized prostitution is a lot like paid dating. Escorts also have the right to reject clients, based on their own personal tastes. Even so, it's not common to do so because of the money that's on the line.

If you work at a brothel, you very likely live there.

Alyssa, who VICE interviewed, worked at a brothel for six years and according to her, women actually do live there. Moreover, the brothel basically has rules about how to start the day.

Most of the time, girls will hit the gym, get their hair done, put together an outfit, and then start the day. Alyssa basically outlined her days as a Vegas sex worker this way:

"I go check my emails for scheduled appointments and potential clients. I meet clients who don't book appointments in advance at our sports bar or through a line-up with the other girls before luring them back to my room. Once there, we negotiate pricing and discuss the details of our time together. The payment is brought to the shift manager in our office and I input the "party" information in our computer system—a "party" is what we call our sessions together at the ranch. At the end of our party, I bring my client back to our parlor where our hostess assures they had a good time and they go back to our sports bar or back to their car or our limo service with a smile. I clean up and wait for the next client."

It seems pretty straightforward, right?

As legendary madam Haley Heston could tell you, a lot of famous names have done rounds as Vegas escorts.

One such girl who worked under Haley Heston was Suzy-Favor Hamilton, a three time Olympian who lived a double life as a housewife, mother, and sportswoman - all the while accepting $1,000 per hour for sex favors and dates.

Among brothels and escort managers in Vegas, the number one issue is discretion. Most men don't want to be caught by their families or careers getting services from sex workers. Moreover, most sex workers are married and employed as well, so it quickly becomes a big issue to keep things quiet.

Haley Heston explained, "A lot now require a non-disclosure agreement. That's pretty standard."

That being said, most escorts are really relieved to have a legal outlet for sex work.

Being pimped or trafficked means that you often don't get a choice in who you sleep with. You could be killed by the very men to protect you, and if you run away, you're looking at a death sentence from a pimp or nights in jail otherwise.

Alyssa said, " Eight months later, I learned a safer and legal way to work and have been at Sheri's Ranch ever since—it's been six years now."

A sex worker who worked in Nevada pointed out that brothels also have mandatory weekly STD screens for all the working girls. This is a legal aspect, as well as a safety aspect.

Additionally, there are rules that you have to follow if you work in a brothel. They can get pretty strict, too, as Alyssa explained:

"No recording equipment or cameras are allowed to protect the privacy of our customers and ladies. (I totally broke the rules, with permission!) No weapons or drugs. We book all of our earnings and receive a paycheck the following week, so we do not keep money on us. If you are caught stealing or using drugs you are immediately removed from the property. Condoms are mandatory for ALL activities—safety first! No soliciting outside of the brothel. We are considered a lockdown house so once we arrive and start working we are not allowed to leave till our contracted end date."

Yes, they have contracted end dates. You book weekly shifts at brothels, most of the time.

Despite all the money they receive for companionship, most escorts are very lonely.

There's a mixed bag of camaraderie and loneliness in the world of prostitution. Fellow prostitutes often end up bonding with one another because it's an industry that is often misunderstood and stigmatized. Most men will not openly date a prostitute.

Haley Heston explained that the loneliness is palpable, and that even among fellow sex workers, competition often makes it impossible to actually have friends:

"I still talk to women who call me as a mentor, and, regardless of how successful she is as an escort, they have extreme loneliness because they don’t feel, like me as well, I didn’t feel like anyone really understood. In Las Vegas, a lot of escorts, including me, turned into alcoholics, or they used drugs constantly.

They’re always socializing and partying because of a deep feeling of loneliness. There’s just not a close friend we have, and it pushes us away from our friends and family back home.

We do form a few friendships with women in the industry, but they’re closed and guarded friendships because we don’t know who we can trust. There’s camaraderie, but there’s still a major closed-off element to it."

Imagine if you weren't able to tell people what you did for a living, how you afforded your coat, or why you disappear for weeks at a time without a phone call. This is the reality for most sex workers.

There's always that fear that someone is trying to find them out, steal business from them, or blackmail them. There's always that possibility that admitting to a date that you used to do sex work could mean an instant breakup.

The bottom line is that they are people, and they choose this lifestyle.

Sometimes, the lifestyle is good, other times it's bad. It's dangerous, but it's what they want to do - and penalizing them isn't going to do anything but put their lives at risk. People are going to buy and sell sex regardless, so could we at least get rid of the stigma?

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About the Creator

Mackenzie Z. Kennedy

Socialite and dating guru Mackenzie Kennedy knows all about the inner workings of people and society as a whole. It's not only her lifestyle - it's her passion. She lives in Hoboken with her pet dogs, Cassie and Callie.

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