Swinging, Stripping & Sex Stuff: How to Get Naughty in Sin City
They don't call it "Sin City" for nothin'. Las Vegas built its reputation on seediness and bad behavior, especially the kind that's lewd in nature. In fact, other than Miami, Vegas is probably THE top destination in America for sex stuff. So whatever you're into, whatever endeavors you're here to pursue, whatever you do or do not tell your neighbors back home when they ask about your trip, you'll find what you're looking for here. Here are the basics to get you started.
As you may have noticed, Las Vegas is drowning in strip clubs. It's what makes this desert town an oasis for bachelor parties and trade shows. Some venerable institutions have been around for decades (like Cheetahs and Palomino Club); others have sadly shut their doors in recent months (like Olympic Gardens and Club Paradise). Some even come with adult retail shops attached (Larry Flynt's Hustler Club and Deja Vu come to mind). The all-around favorites tend to be the mega-clubs (like Spearmint Rhino, Crazy Horse III, and Sapphire -- the latter of which has a male revue, if Magic Mike is more your speed) but you may save a few bucks by wandering off the beaten path (to Babes in Henderson, for example.)
Now, you may find yourself wondering, Why are all these strip clubs topless only? Well friend, Clark County has a law that prohibits full nudity in establishments that sell alcohol. How much skin you want to see depends on how much you want to imbibe. If you're willing to go without, a few clubs like Little Darlings and Diamond Cabaret eschew alcohol in favor of full nudity. The sole exception: Palomino Club is the only club that enjoys the best of both worlds -- a full bar and full nudity -- thanks to a legal loophole.
For a full breakdown on the best strip clubs in town, check out our strip club guide.
Some advice: Never take a taxi to a strip club. Ever. Clubs tend to offer kickbacks to cabbies who bring passengers to their venue. However, you'll definitely be charged a cover to make up for what the cabbie gets paid. Most clubs offer some form of free limo service that will pick you up from pretty much any hotel on the Strip or Downtown -- and drop the cover as a courtesy. Book it. Use it. And get in for free.
Also, stick to cash. Know how much you're willing to spend and set aside that money in advance. Las Vegas is littered with stories about guys at strip clubs who pulled out a credit card after a few drinks -- and woke up the next day in deep shame and befuddlement. Dancers can be very persuasive -- some will flat out take advantage of you -- charging your card for extra dances and drinks or even when another girl wanders over to join in on the fun. To repeat, get your cash together in advance. Most strip clubs have ATMs but they come with sky-high service charges.
Oh yeah. Don't wear white pants.
One of the most low-pressure, guilt-free ways to see some nudity in Vegas (if you're over 21, of course) is at a cabaret -- or topless show. Sadly, the trend appears to be dying out a bit; recent closures include Pin Up (starring former Playmate of the Year Claire Sinclair) and Jubilee, a classic showgirls revue that was the longest running show on the Strip at the time it finished up. However, there are a few other productions that continue to thrive.
What to expect: Attend a few shows and you'll start to see some common elements -- a bathtub scene, an aerial silk act, a big swing routine, etc. It's not uncommon for a stand-up comic to cleanse the palate with a brief set in the middle of the show, and you can almost guarantee that an audience member will be brought up on stage at some point for a little lighthearted embarrassment. Tickets tend to be on the inexpensive side, in the $40 range, allowing you to have this "Vegas experience" without breaking the bank. Here are some to check out:
- Crazy Girls - Planet Hollywood. The longest-running topless show on the Strip (now that Jubilee is closed) and brings a classic Old Vegas touch to Planet Hollywood.
- X Burlesque - The Flamingo. A great introduction to a cabaret-style revue, set to a wide variety of contemporary music.
- X Rocks - The Rio. Put together exclusively with rock music from the team behind X Burlesque.
- X Country - Harrah's. Same deal as X Rocks, but with a country theme.
- Zumanity - New York-New York Resort. Cirque du Soleil's raunchiest show.
- Sexxy - The Westgate. This evolving show is one of the newer offerings, and covers all the bases.
Las Vegas is famous for its dayclubs -- where a nightclub atmosphere is delivered poolside, often with big name DJs like Steve Aoki and Tiesto hosting the fun. Typically you'll get an eye-full of ladies in skimpy swimwear twerking and grinding to the music -- with plenty of drinking involved. Try Wet Republic at the MGM Grand, Daylight at Mandalay Bay, the Encore Beach Club at the Wynn Encore, or the Marquee Dayclub at the Cosmopolitan.
But if you want to kick it up a notch further, some of the biggest resorts also have European-style swimming pools -- where tops are optional. They're generally far more quiet and secluded than other pools, trading the noise and debauchery of a dayclub for a little extra skin.
Bare at the Mirage and Venus at Caesars Palace are the most energetic topless pools, with free-flowing drinks and a DJ helping to craft a lounge-style atmosphere. Moorea Beach Club is a little more comfortable and chill and is located on a scenic upper level overlooking Mandalay Bay beach. The Naked Pool at Artisan lives up to its name, but is small and intimate and a hotspot for swingers. Topless sunbathing exists in very limited forms at Tao Beach at the Venetian, Marquee Dayclub at the Cosmopolitan, and DayDream at the M Resort.
Why cheat? Sexual activity with a new friend can be more rewarding with the permission -- or involvement -- of your regular partner. We're talking about swinging and yes, it happens in Vegas. A lot.
Online swingers groups or membership-only clubs often plan group vacations to Vegas, figuring it's easier to be sinful without the judging eyes of their hometown. Do some smart Googling and you should find new playmates in no time. Couples Oasis, for example, is a Las Vegas-based online group that offers paid memberships to couples while allowing sponsored guests to attend events by donation.
But what if you're feeling frisky on the fly? A swingers club of the brick-and-mortar variety may be exactly what you need. The most infamous one is the Green Door, located in the Commercial Center complex just east of the Strip on Sahara. A membership fee is charged at the door, ranging from one night to a full year. A common complaint is that there's way more dudes than ladies hanging around, but at least you have a variety of rooms to choose from -- like the Dungeon or the hot tub known as the Sexagon. And you never know who will be watching from behind a screen in one of the voyeur rooms.
Otherwise, there's the Red Rooster, a large suburban house about 20 minutes east of the Strip that's been hosting swingers parties for decades. It tends to skew on the older side and has its roster of regulars. Entry is by "donation" at the door and on the inexpensive side: $30 for couples, $40-$50 for single men (depending on the night), and $5 for single women (or free on "Ladies Night" Thursdays.) No one under 25 is allowed in, and alcohol is BYOB and must be handed over to a bartender. The second floor is for couples-only, open Fridays and Saturdays. Voyeurs are allowed in the play area or "Group Room" downstairs. There's also a swimming pool with lockers provided.
Finally, while not officially a swingers club, the Artisan is a popular boutique hotel for those in the scene. Located just west of the Strip on Sahara, you'll find a gothic-themed lobby and a topless swimming pool. Flip the channels on the TV in your room -- you'll eventually come across some free porn.
Most people think Las Vegas is loaded with hookers. They're not wrong, exactly... but contrary to popular opinion, prostitution is not legal within city limits. Let's be even more clear. Prostitution is not legal within the limits of Clark County -- where Las Vegas is located.
Obviously, that doesn't mean sex-for-pay doesn't take place on the Strip. Prostitutes are known to hang out in hotel lobby bars, ready to make a proposition to the right guy with a room upstairs. Once again, this is illegal, and by taking the bait, you could be the target of a police operation. What about those ads for "hot girls direct to your room" you see on mobile billboards, or on cards someone handed you on the sidewalk? It's OK to pay a girl to be an escort for her "time" with you, but it's illegal to further negotiate sexual services within the privacy of a home or hotel room.
So where does the brothel rumor get started? The state of Nevada allows counties to decide the legality of prostitution for themselves. And while Clark County has said no, a few others have said yes. But there aren't as many brothels as people think.
The closest one to Las Vegas is Sheri's Ranch -- more than an hour's drive away in Pahrump, the largest town in Nye County. It's open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and offers free limo service to and from the Las Vegas Strip. Billing itself as a "resort," the long ranch house-style building is surrounded by an idyllic white fence and signs that say "Ladies Welcome" and "Free Tours" so as to appear hyper-approachable to nervous first-timers. And it's true, Sheri's Ranch is more than just a brothel. We've actually been there. It offers hotel rooms geared toward couples looking for a romantic getaway, including themed suites, kept separate from where the, uh, other services take place. The property even boasts a sports bar, restaurant, swimming pool, and tennis courts.
But let's not get off track. Stay focused on the sex.
What to expect: The ladies on duty will be hanging out in the sports bar. You can chat one up, or ask for a live lineup of all the available women in the parlor lounge. Once a choice is made, you'll be led back to a bedroom where prices are negotiated. Although there's a "sex menu" of common services, prices are up to the discretion of the lady, who's an independent contractor and not an employee of Sheri's Ranch. Also, services aren't limited to the menu; couples are welcome and more than one lady can be booked at a time. It all comes down to what's negotiated and agreed upon between both parties. Just be respectful and polite -- and everything should turn out just fine.
Women can be viewed online (the profiles are surprisingly detailed) and there's even an the option to book by appointment in advance. Many of the ladies are from out of town and come in to work for about a week at a time -- generally once a month. You can see when the regulars will be around, or choose from the current weekly lineup. And yes, the women are required to be tested at least once a week (or if they leave the ranch for more than 24 hours). Condoms are required and will be provided at the ranch.
Other brothels in Southern Nevada include...
- Love Ranch -- In the north end of Pahrump and the main competition with Sheri's Ranch for drawing Las vegas customers.
- Alien Cathouse -- Near Area 51 with an extraterrestrial theme.
- Chicken Ranch -- A historic pop culture reference and less than a half-mile away from Sheri's Ranch in Pahrump.
- Wild Cat -- About 270 miles away from Las Vegas and maybe not worth the extra driving time. Just sayin.'
It may come as a surprise to visitors, but the Chinatown in Las Vegas is among the most lively in country, thanks to all the bars, restaurants, and oh yeah -- massage parlors -- that line Spring Mountain Rd, west of the Strip. Now, before we continue, let's review what was discussed earlier: Paying for sex is illegal in Las Vegas. So why are some of these massage joints open 24 hours a day? Well. It's not because that knot in your shoulder is still bothering you at 3am.
Some advice: Proceed with caution. Unlike Nevada's famous brothels, you won't be handed a menu for a few fun and friendly sex acts when you walk through the front door. You'll be charged for the service advertised on the sign out front: a massage. Obviously, these massage parlors don't want to draw attention to themselves; places that aren't careful get busted by cops. Most customers don't want to spoil a good thing, so it can be tough to find reviews of specific places online. Here's a hint: You may get further searching for the term "AMP" -- which, yes, stands for "Asian Massage Parlor."
When checking out a spa in person, giveaways that it's on the naughty side include late-night hours, a very basic menu of services, and a lack of beauty treatments geared toward women (like facials, nail services, etc.).
What to expect: Once the massage is underway, chances are good the masseuse will ask about a tip and if she "should continue." From there, you'll negotiate the service and the price. Services can include anything from a shower or a nuru massage (just Google it) to sex acts, including the infamous "happy ending." Intercourse is generally discouraged -- it takes too long. Some massage parlors are cleaner than others. Some are cheaper than others. Some may even offer a lineup of girls to choose from (but don't expect it). If you like a girl and want to request her next time -- tip her well the first time.
Did we mention this is illegal?
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