Times are tough all over, I suppose. There has been a flood of lawsuits winding through the courts from business owners and workers who have been crippled by their states’ various lockdown orders and closures. The majority of these have come from bars and restaurants, but now another “industry” has jumped on the dogpile. The legal brothels in Nevada were ordered shut down in March and they remain closed to this day, despite other businesses (including casinos!) being allowed to at least partially reopen. This week, a woman claiming to be the highest-paid sex worker in America has brought a suit against Nevada’s governor demanding that the brothel where she works be allowed to reopen. (NY Post)
Alice Little, the woman who infamously hypes herself as the “highest-earning sex worker in the US,” is suing the state of Nevada to reopen its brothels mid-pandemic.
The lawsuit comes after the state’s governor Steve Sisolak excluded prostitutes from the “close contact” businesses he permitted to open as part of the phase 2 reopening efforts in May, Insider reported.
“The governor’s decision to keep brothels closed is just blatant discrimination against Nevada’s legal sex workers,” said Little, 30, in a press release.
The woman’s name is Alice Little, but before we get to the substance of the lawsuit, there’s another question I’d like to put forward. Can this woman really be making a million dollars per year as a hooker? I’ve never heard of her and I suppose it’s not impossible, but seriously… how many clients can she actually “service” in the average year? Since she works out of a licensed brothel, I assume the owners of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch (Little’s place of employment) must keep a cut of the fees that customers pay, right? I tried doing a Google search to see how much that place charges but immediately regretted it. (That’s just what I needed in my search history. Yeesh.)
As far as the lawsuit goes, I suppose we have to address the complaint from two different angles. First of all, would prostitution be considered an “essential service” in terms of pandemic shutdown orders? You might be laughing about that, but consider that liquor stores qualified as essential services in nearly every state. But churches aren’t uniformly put in that category, so there’s really not much rhyme or reason to it. Personally, I would say that prostitution wouldn’t qualify, but given Nevada’s history, they might go either way on this.
The second and probably more important question is whether or not the Moonlite Bunny Ranch can operate while remaining in compliance with social distancing guidelines. Sure, you could only allow customers by appointment to prevent crowds from gathering and conduct all payments digitally. But at some point, the actual “services” being offered would have to take place. And let’s face it… six feet of distancing and a face mask aren’t going to cut it when this particular “service” is being provided.
This probably sounds like I’m building a case for tossing this lawsuit out. And I’ll admit, that was my first inclination. But since the voters of Nevada have determined that prostitution should be legal in specific locations in their state, we really have to treat the question the same as we would for any other legal business. Is there some way that the prostitutes could operate safely in terms of the pandemic? The only thing that comes to mind is the possibility that both customers and “employees” could be required to provide a negative COVID test taken in the last 24 to 48 hours. I mean, if you’re already willing to risk your health by either working as a prostitute or engaging the services of one, who is to say that you can’t toss the risk of COVID on top of the pile?
I’m honestly not sure what a judge would do with this case. Of course, by the time it makes its way through the courts, we’ll probably have widely available vaccines and some level of herd immunity, so the question may be moot by the time we’re given a final ruling.