The fine folks from Quartz went to In August, two Quartz reporters, Allison Schrager, who’s also an economist, and Siyi Chen, a video journalist, traveled to the infamous Moonlite Bunny Ranch Brothel to interview some of the sex workers. One of the women they interviewed was Harley Lane, and she revealed what it’s really like to be a legal sex worker.
Harley is a 19-year-old from Texas, but now works at the Bunny Ranch in Carson City, Nevada. She describes herself as a “5-foot-1-inch tornado of Texas Fun!”
Quartz asked Harley about her first time as a legal sex worker. She explained that there is a lengthy process to become a legal sex worker including being cleared by a doctor and obtaining a card from the sheriff, which ensures the woman passed the background check and states that they don’t have any criminal activity.
“It was my first day; it was a Thursday. We had a our first lineup ,and I turned to my big sister, I’m like, ‘Oh my God, what do I do?’ She said, ‘Go to line up.’ So we’re running down the halls, and we go to stand in place, and I’m standing next to Jenny Jade, and we’re going down the line, and they’re saying their names. It gets to be my turn, and I’m, like, [gasp] and she kind of nudges me. I was like, ‘Oh, I’m Harley.’ I was so nervous, and it was this really young kid. He was 19 also. I had started when I was 19. And he was really nervous.
He pointed at me, and he goes, ‘Harley,’ and I just stood there like frozen like a deer in headlights. Jenny kind of nudged me and she’s like, ‘Go, that’s you.’ And I looked at her and she’s like, ‘Go,’ and she kind of pushed me out there, and I kind of stumbled a little and I was like, ‘Oh, I’m Harley, come on back.’ He was a virgin, so I was really nervous; it was my first lineup. I got picked in my first lineup which is, that doesn’t happen much.”
Harley revealed that there are a lot of fees that the sex workers must pay, so it’s not just like picking up a regular street walker for a couple hundred dollars. In Harley’s first legal sexual transaction, she negotiated with the customer and they agreed upon a price of $600 and he gave her a $100 tip “to experience everything.”
Harley revealed how her family found out about her working in the sex industry. “He [grandfather who raised her] starts bawling and crying,” Harley said. “My grandfather’s very sensitive. He raised me as if I was his fourth daughter, and then told me that they knew where I worked and it got back to them.”
Harley was going to tell her family about her career choice when she had enough in savings to show that she was financially responsible, but the secret was out. She says that they were very disappointed. However, Harley says she’s the only kid that her family is not supporting fully right now.
Harley knows that her career as a sex worker won’t last forever and she has already laid out plans for what she wants to do next.
“I would love to own an operating game ranch,” she tells Quartz. “In Texas, that’s a really big thing. Hunters will come out and pay several thousand dollars for one season just to come out and hunt on your property.”
Once she has the money to purchase the property, she hopes to fulfill her dreams. The entrepreneur in her has some fresh ideas to make her game ranch different and better than others. “I actually would like to make it a more family-oriented place, so have the hunter’s cabin and a little pool—just things for more of the family because usually the women don’t tend to—some but not all of them like to hunt—but they don’t want the men to leave without them,” Harley states. “So that way they can relax, or have a place to be, or have the kids while the men get to go do their thing.”
You can read the entire interview over at Quartz.