Image: ​Larry & Teddy's Page/Flickr

A Legal Brothel’s Social Media Guidelines for Sex Workers (NSFW)

All selfies, all the time.

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Jan 9 2015, 8:05pm

Image: ​Larry & Teddy's Page/Flickr

CES isn't only Las Vegas's biggest week for gadgets, it's also one of its biggest weeks for legal prostitution. And, to attract tech savvy clients, legal prostitutes, or "courtesans," have to be tech savvy themselves—which is why Sheri's Ranch, one of Nevada's largest legal brothels, has official Twitter guidelines for its employees to use.

As Re/Code pointed out yesterday, business at Sheri's Ranch goes up roughly 70 percent over a normal week during CES, which the brothel calls the "dirty secret" of CES. My own reporting trip to Sheri's Ranch was unfortunately canceled at the last minute this week because the madam was ill, but an employee there shared its Twitter guide for sex workers with me.

Sheri's Brothel

In most parts of Nevada, prostitution is legal, but it's illegal to advertise the business. A loophole, however, is that it's not illegal to tweet, which is why Sheri's Ranch has gone to such lengths to teach its employees how to promote themselves. Prostitution is illegal in Clark County, where Las Vegas is located. Sheri's Ranch is about an hour outside the city, and provides complimentary taxi service to Vegas—but first potential patrons need to learn about it.

"The last two years data has proven that Twitter is a powerful lead generator for Sheri's Ranch," the guide reads. "A courtesan's tweets add another dimension to her personality and enhances her brand."

The brothel estimates that roughly 40 percent of its customers learn about the brothel on Twitter, Yelp, or the business's official blog. And what works, apparently, are tweets from the workers themselves.The guide suggests that Twitter is the best venue for prostitutes to find repeat customers.

Image: Sheri's Brothel

"Twitter is your personal Red Light District where you can display your loveliness to people searching for sexy, interesting female connections," the guide said. "These viewers will become followers that can be converted into future customers."

The whole thing is embedded below, but Jeremy Lemur, who handles the brothel's main social media presence and blogs, says that technology has, overall, had a negative impact on the legal sex trade.

Image: Sheri's Brothel

Over the last 15 years, about a third of Nevada's legal brothels (there are now fewer than 20) have closed, partially because the internet has made finding sex much easier. Some of that is legal—Craigslist hookups and the like, but there's also been a boom in illegal prostitution hawked online, he said.

"The world of illegal prostitution has embraced mobile/internet technology. There are numerous peer review services, mobile friendly escort directories, and other clever platforms that promote prostitution cover services," Lemur said. "These tools make it easy for a customer to find an illegal prostitute, and make it easy for pimps, sex traffickers, and illegal independent prostitutes to advertise illegal prostitution services."

Twitter for Courtesans