This post is a part of my ongoing series of explorations of what it was like behind-the-scenes as a working girl/legal prostitute at the Sagebrush Ranch in Reno, Nevada. Read more here. There were many features of the brothel designed to keep us safe. In some ways, these same features also created a feeling of being trapped to me, but to their credit they were a source of comfort the few times rowdy men began to get aggressive.
The Front Gate: The front gate was large, and the property was fenced in by a tall sturdy fence with spikey tops. In order to gain access to the building, patrons needed to ring the buzzer, which served two purposes- it gave staff a chance to see who was at the door before answering it, and gave us girls a chance to run out for a line up. The gate also needed to be buzzed to let people out, a feature that I directly saw used to trap clients in the area between the gate and front door while waiting for the police (if they had seriously crossed a line and hit someone or something), and also to prevent girls from leaving without staff knowing.
Location Monitoring: Speaking of which, in general staff wanted to know where we were going and what we were doing when we were off premises. At one point a manager refused to let me go until I told her what I was up to. I just wanted to go to get some groceries, and I was off shift, but I was pretty stubborn about not wanting to be monitored so closely. I heard rumors of some girls having tails, and at once point did have the experience of noticing a car pull into a driveway behind me when I was off-premises, seem to mess with a large piece of equipment pointed out the window, then peal off, so I'm not entirely sure.
Cameras: All common areas (i.e. everywhere except our bedrooms, bathrooms, and the fantasy suites) had 360 degree wall and ceiling mounted cameras. This included the back outdoors area. The girls all knew where cameras were either broken or missing. I understood these cameras to mostly serve a security purpose, perhaps recording quietly and unmonitored in the event of some issue, but more than once was told, "oh, the owner is watching the cameras right now so we need to make sure everybody looks extra spiffy for line-ups" by management, so it seems the owners just... watch them to see what's going on.
Fire Alarm: The fire alarm system is super sensitive, and doesn't go off without a code from the fire marshall, due to some history of the building burning down multiple times. This is great except in my time there I experienced it going off due to someone's hairspray, several girls showers being too steamy, and a fog machine. In all cases nobody buzzed into my intercom to tell me what on earth was going on and the fire doors shut, so, not knowing what to do, I evacuated the building (in one case with a client).
Communication: Staff communicated between the houses about clients going in and out, if any of them were particularly troublesome. Read more about the ways staff worked to keep us safe here.
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