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Why CES is big business for Nevada brothels

Tech companies' stock isn't the only thing that goes up during CES.


EJ Dickson


Posted on Jan 6, 2015   Updated on May 29, 2021, 8:11 pm CDT

We don’t traditionally think of techies as sex-obsessed P-hounds. But apparently, when they get together, all they wanna do is engage in peer-to-peer transfers. That’s why the proprietors of Nevada brothels are having one of the biggest weeks of the year during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which is being held in Las Vegas Jan. 6-9.

“CES brings a lot of people. And, of course, when you bring tourists to Nevada, they all wanna get laid,” says Dennis Hof, the proprietor of seven brothels, including the Moonlite Bunny Ranch of HBO’s Cathouse fame. “I’m the legal alternative.”

Hof says business at his brothels increases by at least 50 percent during CES. Chuck Lee, the owner of Sheri’s Ranch in Pahrump, Nev., says he also sees “a steady increase in business,” with revenue spiking as much as 70 percent compared to a normal week.

“Most people don’t think of the tech industry community as having a ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality, but they most certainly do,” he told the Daily Dot via email. “Like stockbrokers or politicians, these individuals are in a high-stakes environment where the right move can change the course of history and yield billions; and the wrong move could spell financial disaster and end careers.

“Many entrepreneurs and innovators are compelled to visit sex workers, women who not only help them blow off steam but who also provide a non-judgmental environment where these clients can discreetly let loose their insecurities and frustrations,” he added.

While prostitution is illegal in Clark County, Nev., where Las Vegas is located, it’s legal (albeit heavily regulated) in three counties in Nevada, including Nye County, the home of Sheri’s Ranch. Sheri’s is about 60 miles away from Las Vegas.

So what kind of illicit activities do CES attendees request at a brothel? Pretty much what you’d expect from any other patron, says Lee: “A CES visitor is as unique, or as commonplace, in their sexual proclivities as anyone else.”

That said, there are a few trends that have emerged over the years. For instance, CES attendees tend to experiment more, “rather than just [requesting] vanilla half-and-half [half oral sex, half intercourse],” says Hof. “They’re into bondage, they’re into the discipline and all the different fetishes, from diapers to spanking and foot fetishes. It’s their time to get out and explore and try things they can’t try at home, that they’re embarrassed to ask their wives about.”

Over at Sheri’s Ranch, the brothel’s “roleplay suites,” which offer roleplay sessions with brothel workers featuring such themes as “sexy secretary” and “lusty ladies’ locker room.”

Lee surmises the popularity of such roleplay sessions has something to do with the power dynamics of Silicon Valley. “Maybe there’s a lot of office politics in the tech industry that creates a desire to relieve tension by pretending to ‘having your way’ with that intimidating CEO or project lead,” he says, adding, “Who wouldn’t want to have a fantasy threesome with Marissa Mayer and Sheryl Sandberg?”(I mean, lots of people, probably, but point taken, Chuck.)

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Hof says sexually inexperienced clients come out in full force during CES. “The tech industry brings people with not-good people skills. They sit around working on their computers,” he says. “It brings a lot of virgins. CES is a great time for virgins. You get all these gamers who have not had a sexual experience, so they come here and wanna try it out.”

Ultimately, however, it’s anyone’s guess what happens behind closed doors, because you know what they say: What happens at the Consumer Electronics Show, stays at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Photo by Josephdepalma/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) 

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*First Published: Jan 6, 2015, 9:41 pm CST