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Brothel to get the bucks

For the Shady Lady Ranch brothel, this is where the rubber meets the road.

The brothel 150 miles northwest of Las Vegas won final approval on Tuesday for its plans to hire men and start servicing women.

The Nye County Licensing and Liquor Board signed off on a compliance agreement that will allow for the practice to take place so long as the male sex workers wear condoms and undergo weekly health tests.

"Now we have to find a guy and get it going," said Jim Davis, who owns and helps operate the Shady Lady with his wife, Bobbi.

Davis said the small bordello could have its first stud on staff in as little as two weeks.

But not everyone is satisfied with the arrangement.

Two licensing board members, Nye County Sheriff Tony DeMeo and County Commissioner Butch Borasky, voted against the Shady Lady’s plans.

"I have issues with it," DeMeo said after Tuesday’s meeting. "I don’t feel all the health issues have been addressed."

DeMeo is worried that female customers won’t — and maybe can’t — be subjected to the same sort of pre-sex examinations that men undergo in most of Nevada’s legal brothels.

As a practice, DeMeo said, prostitutes wash their customers and check them for signs of disease before getting down to business. Without some similar procedure for female customers, he said it could increase the chances of someone contracting a venereal disease, even with the use of a condom.

"I don’t want to see that happen. I don’t think anybody else does either," he said.

In December, Bobbi Davis persuaded the Nevada State Health Division to grant her what amounts to a special variance to state codes that define licensed prostitutes as women, with requirements for weekly testing of "cervical specimens."

Nye County’s compliance agreement is a "mirror image" of the version approved by state health officials, said Ron Kent, the county’s chief deputy district attorney.

Under the agreement, latex condoms are mandatory, and all male prostitutes must submit monthly blood samples and weekly "urethral specimens" to ensure they remain disease free.

Jim Davis said his wife has received more than 100 applications from prospective working men, including "one or two from overseas." About 10 of the applicants seem promising.

"It’s going to be a tough thing," he said. "We’ve got to pick the right guy."

Ideally, he said, they are looking for handsome men who are not too old and not too young. At the minimum, they need men who are ready to "entertain whatever lady walks in and be able to give her a fine experience," he said.

So what if a man walks in and wants that same fine experience from one of the brothel’s new staff members?

Jim Davis offered the same answer his wife has been giving: They hope to cater to women, not gay men, but if a man asks to see an all-male lineup, they can’t exactly discriminate.

Then again, they also can’t make their sex workers do anything against their will.

Jim Davis said his wife will conduct all the job interviews. It will be up to her to choose the man destined to become Nevada’s first legal male prostitute, or "prostidude" as some have taken to calling him.

The only thing Davis knows for sure is who isn’t in the running.

"I’m not eligible," he said. "I’m 78 years old. She’s not going to pick me."

Review-Journal writer Lynnette Curtis contributed to this report. Contact reporter Henry Brean at hbrean@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0350.

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