Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Amanda Brooks and Bella's

I have no idea how I can completely miss wonderful writers such as Amanda Brooks. I think it was Amber Rhea who mentioned Amanda’s recent experience at a legal Brothel in Nevada called Bella’s Hacienda. Before I give the link to her insightful (albeit upsetting) series, I need to do a full disclosure type of thing. Through the kind tutelage of Renegade Evolution, Kim, Belle, Drakyn, Debi Crow, and a lot of others, I now see that I view the world from privileges that I had never understood until now. Also, I have never been a sex worker, have never known a sex worker, and have never been in the business world at all except being a retail grunt. Short story? I have no credentials, making any of my observations/feelings easily dismissible. However, I have spent the last twenty or so years studying the human condition and think that I have at least something to contribute. It is with this acknowledgement, dear reader that I urge you to read on.

Ok, Go to Ms. Brook’s blog and read the series starting here.

(Supporting commentary can be found here)

I have read a lot of things on the internet that have upset me. I have seldom read ANYTHING that outraged me so much as the reported working conditions at Bella’s.

Just to recap, the following is a short list of some of the yucky stuff going on at Bella’s.

24/7 Lockdown. Some places still do it but why? There is a huge physical toll having people on call for days on end. I don’t know about you, but I am not at my best when rousted out of bed at 3 am. Constant disruption of REM sleep does horrible things to a person. Gitmo anyone?

Room rent. $175 a day? Didn’t the company store go out in the 1930’s?

Fines. Lao Tzu said it best, “When the government gets oppressive, the people become clever.” For example, if you can’t get a client out of your room fast enough, you are fined for it. Draconian measures like this only show up in a hopelessly flawed management model.

$100 house minimums? One gets what one expects.

Reforms.

Eliminate lockdown and implement the 12 hour shift. After the shift is over, the ladies are free to leave and go back to their homes and families. For those that live too far away, a simple solution to housing is already available. In the Architectural world there is a new genre called the tiny house movement. These houses are about 120 – 180 sq. /ft. and contain everything a person needs to live.

Eliminate room rent. By using the aforementioned tiny houses they could be rented for something like $100/ week and would quickly pay for themselves. Immediately the contractors would see a difference in their pay envelope.

Eliminate fines. A good management team and a sound business plan never has need of a fine system.

Eliminate low house minimums. If I read Amanda’s blog correctly, there are a lot of one hundred dollar agreements being made. If the one hundred dollar minimum were suddenly eliminated, a lot of revenue would be lost. However, if a policy change were to be put into effect that one hundred dollars would only get you limited access to the ladies and no lineup, the revenue would still be there and the one or two ladies that were able to make money at this rate would still continue to do so.

Make greater use of technology. Apparently, Bella’s is a pretty analog place. By using existing technology, Bella could streamline the time wasted on money handling, reduce job stress by letting the ladies know exactly how much time was left in each session, and market more efficiently. After a quick internet search, I have discovered that there is not one blogger on the web that is working at a brothel. Perhaps this would be a place to start.

Wouldn’t be wonderful to expand the horizons and seek out new markets? Bella’s is located “Out in the sticks” (as she has described it). What a unique opportunity to exploit the factor of anonymity? Could she not add a couple of bi-sexual women that could lead a bi-curious woman through her first experience? Could she not offer men that have a fetish who are terrified at being outed a safe refuge? What about a virgin converter?

I understand that, according to Nevada law, advertising of brothels is illegal. But what about marketing? Take for example the efforts of Dennis Hof. He is constantly out in the publics face. He is ever-present. The Moonlite Bunny Ranch (MBR) has got to be one of the most successful, and recognized bordellos in the world. Hof has realized this success with no “Advertising”! The internet is a powerful marketing tool. Within minutes, I found discussion forums covering any fetish imaginable. I am quite confident that viral marketing techniques would be very productive when used in a forum environment.

The sex industry is almost unique to the business world in one sense. A person entering into this field of endeavor needs an exit plan. What do you do after the brothel, the porn, the escorting? Do you as a sex worker have a strategy that will allow you to seamlessly reenter society? More importantly, is the employer of sex workers willing to offer incentives to his/her employees/contractors to work toward their future goals?

Bringing the business model of Bella’s into the 21st century by modern human resource techniques, use of existing technology and savvy marketing techniques, would go a long way towards improving the bottom line. Not to mention the quality of life of all working in this establishment.

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