As Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak prepares a phased structure to reopen Nevada’s businesses but hesitates to provide hard dates for the reopening, a Nevada brothel owner announces safety procedures that she plans to adopt once the governor gives the go-ahead to reopen the Silver State’s legal bordellos.
Madam Bella, owner of Bella’s Hacienda, a legal brothel located in Wells, understands that reopening Nevada’s licensed brothels will be a challenge amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and she intends to meet the challenge head-on with clear guidelines to ensure the safety of the brothel’s sex workers, guests, and staff.
“Since the governor’s reopening plan closely mirrors the White House guidelines to Open Up America Again, I expect legal brothels to be allowed to open our doors by at least stage two of the Governor’s phased reopening, along with bars,” Bella said. “But until there’s an effective and readily available vaccine for COVID-19, it certainly can’t be ‘business as usual’ at the brothels. I’m announcing my procedures for reopening my brothel in order to be proactive and transparent, so that my customers know that the courtesans and I have every intention to reopen safely, and stay open.”
Bella’s plan involves several key procedural changes that she plans to adopt throughout the coronavirus crisis, including additional testing protocols, integration of personal protective equipment, and temperature checks.
As part of her plan, Bella wants enough COVID-19 test kits to be made available to brothel physicians so that a test for COVID-19 can be added as part of the weekly sex worker testing done at the bordello, which already includes mandatory tests for sexually transmitted diseases.
“A brothel, like a nursing home, involves a group of people living in a communal environment and sharing common areas like a kitchen and gym. Regularly testing each courtesan residing at the brothel for COVID-19 will be crucial in order to reasonably ensure the health of the sex workers living alongside each other,” Bella said. “It will also give potential clients peace of mind in knowing that the ladies are free of coronavirus, as several of our customers are of advancing age and may be considered at-risk persons with regard to the virus.”
Bella hopes that the availability of testing won’t be an issue by the time the brothels reopen.
“Testing will be an enormously important element to reopen many Nevada businesses, from factories to casinos, so I’m hoping that COVID-19 test availability will be adequate for our needs by the time I reopen.”
Bella will also require patrons of the brothel to wear face coverings while on brothel premises until a vaccine is available. The madam equates this procedural change to precautions taken the last time a pandemic, namely the AIDS crisis, posed a challenge to Nevada’s brothels.
“When AIDS and HIV caused uncertainty for our industry back in the 1980’s, the majority of brothel owners didn’t wait for an ordinance to be passed mandating condom use in legal brothels. We proactively instituted the mandatory use of condoms for all sexual activities. It seems amazing to think about it today, but back then condoms were rarely utilized by brothel patrons and sex workers. It was a huge change that upset a lot of clients, but it was the right thing to do back then and forevermore,” Bella said.
“Like AIDS, coronavirus is a pandemic that will require brothel owners to think on their feet and adopt procedures that may at first seem awkward, but masks and other face coverings are the condoms for COVID-19. I have every intention of temporarily mandating mask use for patrons and bar staff while they’re on the premises to protect the health of our sex workers and everyone visiting the brothel.”
Bella will also have her staff check the temperature of everyone entering the establishment, and no one with an elevated temperature will be admitted. Hand washing and showers have always been a part of brothel cleanliness protocol, but Bella will institute mandatory showers prior to an intimate session for an additional tier of precaution.
As far as social distancing within the brothel common areas, Bella will abide by whatever occupancy and distancing guidelines the governor suggests, but she is not terribly concerned with large crowds being a problem.
“Brothels aren’t like nightclubs with wall-to-wall people everywhere. They’re more like a neighborhood bar, where very small groups of people meet to connect with friends and have some safe and healthy fun,” Bella said.
“Not to mention that if the sex workers are on their game and persuasive enough with our clientele, no one will be in the common areas for very long.”