"A sociologist dishes on life inside a legal brothel, from dominance parties to Blockbuster nights." How could I turn down a tease like that? And I know neither can you. Harvard-trained physician Alexa Albert went to Nevada's Mustang Ranch to conduct a safe-sex study, but found herself caught up in the lives of the women who worked there. She ended up staying for seven months and wrote a book describing her experiences: "Brothel: Mustang Ranch and Its Women." The following link is to an interview with the author on Nerve.com. (I think the Mustang Ranch has since been shut down due to tax evasion, but don't quote me.) http://www.nerve.com/Dispatches/Lee/LoveShack/ Here's a little exerpt to whet your appetite: AL: There are these two competing images of the female prostitute — either she's a beaten-down single mother whose pimp takes ninety percent of her earnings, or she's a brassy, pro-sex feminist who's proud of what she does. How much truth is there to either stereotype? AA: Well, there are about a hundred women at Mustang Ranch, from eighteen to sixty-three years old, and each one had a very different story. Frankly, what amazed me was how varied the women really were. They were all there because it was a job, no question. "Baby" typified the women who had been in the business for a long time, who literally were professional prostitutes. She said, "I didn't necessarily envision working at a brothel, but it's what I do and I want to be good at it." Then there were women just biting their lips, waiting to get out, trying to earn money, hating the sex. Some of them did enjoy the sex, frankly, though that's very unprofessional to admit. There's a real code of conduct, a work ethic, among the women. AL: What are some of the other aspects of the code? AA: Becoming vulnerable emotionally with the customers. With the Internet, some women have really gotten friendly with their customers, like the CyberWhoreMongers , and some of the "old-school" women are shaking their heads. "You're violating the boundaries. You're breaking a professional ethic," like a doctor-patient ethic. Some of the women have married their customers, and there's disapproval over that. You're not supposed to socialize with these men outside the business relationship, and you certainly don't fall in love with them.