A fraudulent intent, however carefully concealed at the outset, will generally, in the end, betray itself. - Titus Livius
Long-time readers may remember that I have a Hall of Shame for the recognition of whores who have dishonored our profession by their sleazy, stupid, unethical behavior. Those of you who are newer to the blog may never have encountered a post on such a personage, and that’s a good thing; the reason you haven’t is that there have only been three so far, and the last one was inducted one year ago today in “June Updates (Part Three)” (which also discusses the Satoshi Kanazawa “racism” controversy, persecution of strippers in Colorado and a strong test of my libertarian sensibilities). Well, today I’m going to add number four, but first I’d like to recap the other three.
I announced my Hall of Shame in my very first column, and less than a month later inducted its first member: Karen Sypher, who as I explained in “How To Be a Stupid, Greedy Whore” won the dishonor for her “astonishing stupidity, appalling immorality and truly mythic greed”. The second member, Capri Anderson, was awarded her position less than four months later for her “incredible greed, her denial of her own whoredom despite the fact that she is a porn actress who was paid $3500 to spend the night with a rich cokehead, her pretense that she is better than the rest of us despite her absolute and total lack of the most meager shred of the professional ethics adhered to even by the majority of hundred-dollar Backpage girls, and her stunning stupidity in announcing a lawsuit on national television before she actually filed it.”
The third nominee, former madam Kristin Davis, took a bit longer to earn her place of infamy; in February of last year she attracted my attention by embracing trafficking rhetoric in order to enrich herself, and by repeating prohibitionist claims that professional escorts represent a tiny minority of all whores. She then compounded her sins by claiming that 80% of us are coerced when she knows damned well that’s exaggerated by a factor of forty, and I was considering adding her to the list when she clinched it by talking about a famous client not to protect girls or protest prohibitionism, but rather to see her own name in the news again.
The newest member has been irritating me for a while now, but at first I didn’t consider him due to his gender. But after the latest incident I realized that was sexist of me, and not in a good way; his offenses are very similar to Kristin Davis’ and despite the fact that he was never a prostitute himself, he certainly represents our profession to the American public because he owns a brothel in Nevada. I won’t keep you in suspense: the fourth member of the Honest Courtesan’s Hooker Hall of Shame is Dennis Hof, owner of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch. It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of the Nevada brothel system, but my dislike for a way of doing business is insufficient grounds for labeling it a disgrace. So despite my revulsion at Hof’s aggressive attempts to export the exploitative Nevada model, I’ve kept my mouth shut about him personally until news of the latest outrage came to my attention:
…Dennis Hof…has written the mayor of London in advance of the Summer Olympics in late July-early August. It seems Hof is speaking this week at the Oxford Union on legal prostitution. He’d like to meet with Mayor Boris Johnson to propose a legal brothel, a temporary UK branch of the Bunny Ranch, to operate during the Olympics. The separate, drug-free, safe facility with health checks would compete with the crime-ridden, sleazy, human-trafficking sites that Hof says various mobs bring to such global events, despite official attempts to shoo them away. But Hof says the ”well intentioned efforts (of every Olympics host city) to eradicate the world’s oldest profession becomes folly as the unintended results inadvertently place its’ [sic] control into the hands of gangsters, drug dealers and murderers. It’s a strategic miscalculation that is repeated time and time again in the futile hope of an outcome different than all of those that have come before.” Hof’s facility, he says, would also provide valuable tax revenue to the city while removing the black market of illegal prostitution…
Now, there isn’t the proverbial snowball’s chance that the UK will adopt the Nevada model, so even if this crony capitalist were to succeed in winning a license to pimp no woman would be obliged to submit to the degradation, virtual imprisonment and abrogation of consent that American whores are forced to accept in order to be declared “legal” in Nevada. No matter how vile I personally consider his business model, there is nothing immoral about it as long as whores have a free choice whether to work there or not; furthermore, the restrictions of the Nevada system are largely state-imposed and not the fault of Hof or other brothel owners. However, it’s one thing to say, “I recommend you adopt this exploitative system which enriches me while failing to do what it’s actually supposed to do, namely reduce the social problems caused by criminalization”, and another thing to capitalize on prohibitionist rhetoric he must know to be false if he’s actually done any research at all on legalization (and if he hasn’t done that research, he has no damned business speaking on the subject).
Hof promotes trafficking hysteria and repeats the “human trafficking follows mega sports events” myth; he exploits the “organized crime controls prostitution” myth and labels independent brothel and escort service owners “gangsters” (when that title is more correctly applied to businessmen who enrich themselves via shady insider deals with corrupt government); he claims that the Nevada system eradicates “illegal prostitution” while knowing full well that 70% of Nevada prostitutes prefer to work illegally; and he represents himself as an advocate of freedom while actually promoting the single most unsatisfactory and exploitative legalization scheme in the entire world: I’m sure you’ll agree that these criteria more than qualify him for my Hall of Shame.