Friday, July 15, 2011

Hello, bordello.

Or more appropriately, bordello museum, which would make it, of course, a defunct bordello. Wow, those two words are super-depressing together. Not that an operating bordello is something to get ecstatic about, but what do you picture when you read defunct bordello


Something along these lines, perhaps?


The ladies stayed for four months at a time and then
moved to another brothel. A sex worker circuit, if you will.


I bet it is.


All this was left by the ladies. Not the mannequins and packing peanut- simulated bubble bath, but everything else. Yes, that includes sheets, Mr. Bubble, and lingerie, which the mannequins now wear. 


So, yeah. This is the Oasis Bordello Museum in Wallace, ID. Catherine and I went for a visit last Saturday. It was...creepy. Honestly, I don't know what I expected. Well, I think I expected it to be creepy in a way that didn't actually creep me out as much as it ended up creeping me out. Creepy-funny, not creepy-think-about-it-while-trying-to-fall-asleep-and-being-incredibly-disturbed. It was so very much the latter in this instance. 





The bordello operated until 1988--it stopped because the FBI set up shop in town to investigate the crooked sheriff. But before all that came to pass, the ladies of the evening made a tidy profit (around a 100K/year, according to our guide) serving up to 40 gents a night. All right, calling them gents is bit of a stretch. I believe Catherine called them dirty husbands...as in, "Can you imagine your dirty husband getting his paycheck and going there before coming home?" I think we all can. 


The dirty husbands entered through this door. 


While Catherine had the good sense to ask about condom usage--there were regulations in the 1980s, but they were not enforced--we really wanted to know about the doctoring. There was a weekly exam and blood work, but we were skeptical about the regulation of this, too. And what about the STDs and pregnancies from the unenforced condom policy? Good questions, which we did not ask. Not because we were shy (we did ask to have the sex menu decoded and now know what the half and half option entailed), but because we got the sense our lackadaisical guide would not know the answer. We preferred to come up with the answers on our own--our imaginations are quite thorough.  


However, we couldn't come up with an explanation for this. 


It's just an extra mannequin leg. Whatever. 


I can sum the experience up thusly: it was like going to the 4H tent at the county fair and seeing the cow with the visible stomach (You know, the window?). It's a learning experience, but it's also gross, and somehow sordid, and really doesn't seem as acceptable as it once was. 


Do not rent a room here. 


The term for cow windowing is cannulation, by the way. Did you think you were going to learn that today? I certainly didn't. You're welcome. 

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