Donna’s Ranch caters primarily to truckers.
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Truckers who pass through Nevada on I-80 or I-15 face an unusual option that truck stops and rest stops don’t offer: the chance to pay big bucks for sex with a state-regulated prostitute.
The state has about three dozen legal brothels, with names such as the Chicken Ranch, the Cherry Patch and the Pussycat Saloon. They are open 24-7, and many are along the major trucking routes.
The women who staff the brothels refer to themselves as “girls” and identify themselves only by their professional names. They also claim to offer something rare in 21st-century America: disease-free sex.
“We see very little STD among the working girls in these brothels,” says Dr. Randall Todd, who as state epidemiologist is in charge of tracking sexually transmitted diseases. “Brothel sex is extremely low-risk, probably a lower risk than to pick up someone in a bar whom you don’t know.”
Counting on that low risk are the truckers who make up 90 percent of the business at Donna’s in Battle Mountain, which offers them meals, showers and overnight parking, all for free. Door prizes especially for truckers range from T-shirts and mud flaps with the Donna’s logo to “a hot-tub party with the girl of your choice,” says Phoenix, who works there.
Twenty-four hours a day, the women of Donna’s broadcast in one-hour shifts to truckers on CB Channel 19. The law doesn’t allow them to solicit sex on the air, so instead they advertise “friendly conversation with no obligation, pretty ladies and Nevada-style hospitality,” in Phoenix’s words.
Usually, she says, the truckers sharing the airwaves are friendly in return. “Sometimes you get Bible-thumpers coming through, or people who are just nasty and mean, but the other truckers, even the ones who aren’t our clients, take up for us. They say, ‘She’s just doing her job, leave her alone.’”
Nevada brothel workers say there’s little comparison between what they do and the services of a truck-stop “lot lizard.” A brothel session – or “party,” as it’s known in the industry – has many advantages over a truck-stop tryst, says GiGi of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch in Carson City, where truckers make up about 20 percent of the clientele.
“The atmosphere at the Ranch is nicer than at a truck stop,” GiGi says. “We have beautiful, sexy girls who are able to give him – or her – a full-blown fantasy.”