If I came away with a disappointment about the Mustang Ranch, and this is me nit-picking, it was that I could not take any photos of the women on staff. We are, after all, in the Golden Age of judgement. The ladies have no problem with what they do, their clients have no problem with what they do, and the whole ranch is probably the least holier-than-thou establishment in Nevada. But that doesn’t mean everybody else doesn’t pick up the slack. So I always, always, always asked if I could take a picture of something before I hit the shutter button.
As Riley guided me through the Mustang, and did a bang-up job of de-mythifying the place while doing so, the little “in” stories she had were turned out to be the best part of the tour. I’ll admit I nearly went airborne to pose on the “tantric chair,” a sort of swoopy-looking sex aid you can do something like 50 positions on, but the really fun stuff was, say, going checking out the very nerve center of the property, the office of the Tara, the madam herself.
It looked like a paper-bomb had gone off. There was the in-box and the more-in-box. It was controlled chaos if there ever was, aside from the random naked-lady photo. Suddenly the in-/famous Mustang Ranch was a “real place,” filled with real stories, real people, and real things. There was a Buddha that you leave money on for good luck. There was the tradition of leaving loose change on the floor because “money on the floor means money in the door.” There is a gym, on-site kitchen, yoga classes, beauty services, and a koi pond.
FYI, she’s an exacting madam, it’s a rare resume that gets her approval.
But it should be said that everybody who walks through the door gets instant approval. While I was there, a client showed up and I was allowed to see his selection. Come what may, this guy was not a Narcissus; obese and having lost a leg (maybe he was diabetic?), he was in a wheelchair. Perhaps he was the most beautiful person to know, but you would not see that right away. It’s hard to get over a missing leg.
Unless you are at the Mustang. We all slipped into the Selection Room and the girls came out and introduced themselves. Riley took to the floor like a runway model (God, those legs…) and even shook the fellow’s hand. In the end, he chose the hourglass-figured Venus Girl, and they quickly retreated.
Riley later told me that it is guys like that who get her instant attention. The miracles of modern science are curing injuries that would have been fatal just 10 years ago. You can have limbs blown off, or faces burned off, and go on to live a healthy, productive life. The price, however, is that for the rest of that life, you will be disfigured. Sometimes severely. In a world where appearance goes a long way. And yet, in a bitter irony, your sexual desires remain whole and intact.
So call it the Magic Of The Mustang: No matter what you look like, the women of the Mustang Ranch know full well that you need to connect on a sexual level with another. They are happy to provide.
In fact, if there is one thing that stumps the girls, Riley and Tara included, it is the fact that no gay brothel exists (“They are missing the boat,” Riley said with a shrug).
The demythification process I was going through is one the ranch would like to promote. It goes without saying there is a lot of misinformation out there, sometimes thrown, clusterfuck style, from brothels that are less on the up-and-up. Tara and Riley nearly ignite talking about Dennis Hoff, the apparently less-than-honorable proprietor of Love Ranch outside of Las Vegas. He’s the one that outed NBA star Lamar Odom’s drug-fueled binge, breaking the cardinal rule of airtight confidentiality, and makes his girls sign contract saying they can’t work for other ranches for a year if they leave his (it’s complete BS). Tara and Riley actively try to get women working for sleazeballs safely away.
That isn’t to say the Mustang girls can be free with the sleaze themselves. Up to 100 women a day apply for a position at the Mustang, and almost none of them make the cut. One of the reasons so many get turned down is because Tara must be sure, 100% sure, that they can be trusted — what happens at the Mustang stays at the Mustang. Also, because their health is of the utmost, they must be cool with having minders follow them if they leave the property to go into town or wherever. It’s not as Orwellian as it sounds; the Mustang women can come and go as the wish, and leave for vacation constantly. But there are standards to maintain.
My tour was drawing to a close. It was supposed to be one hour, turned into three, and I, the intrepid travel writer, had a schedule to keep. Too bad, I had a great time, which just goes to show that Mustang Ranch can keep you occupied in ways that have nothing to do with the obvious.
Riley even offered me lunch, and here is why I am going to go back. Nothing against the culinary masters awaiting me in Reno and Lake Tahoe, but when I can get a king-sized helping of rosemary chicken for just $9, like I did at the Mustang, just try to keep me away. In fact, I recommend the Mustang Ranch for the food alone, no offense to the ladies. It really is the — wait for it — most bang for the buck.
C’mon, I had to say it at one point.