Florists, jewelers and other businesses that peddle clichéd trappings of romance experience a Viagra-like boost in sales around Valentine's Day. I was curious to see if businesses that sell a more male-centric vision of romance--i.e. sex and physical affection--experience a similar spike.
What follows is my interview with Michelle Lai, 33, who works at Sheri's Ranch: a legal house of prostitution 60 miles outside of Las Vegas in Pahrump, Nevada.
Is Valentine's Day a lucrative day for brothels?
It is a lucrative day especially if you enjoy time with couples. We do have men that visit for a nice dinner and evening of romance. However, couples seem to find Valentine's Day a good day to fill their curiosity.
Can you describe a typical encounter with a client? How long does it last?
A typical encounter on Valentine's Day is the same as any other day. I talk with my client, make them feel comfortable and then I proceed with what experience they would like to share with me.
I just need a general idea such as: straight lay, half & half, role play, GFE, ect... From there I know exactly what to do. I make sure that the client or clients in the case of couples, get exactly what they want and everything else is spontaneous.
As for how long it lasts... that depends on the customer. If they are looking for a specific amount of time that can be negotiated as well.
Do single guys get lonely on Valentine's Day the same way single women get lonely for boyfriends and husbands? Or, do you think women are really the only sex that cares about the holiday?
Single guys get lonely, but not just on Valentine's Day. I believe it is human nature to want to be held, touched and desired. Often men have demanding jobs; they do not have time for demanding relationships so they visit the Ranch to keep their lives balanced.
Do men ever drive up to visit you while their wives or girlfriends stay back in Vegas, enjoying the vacation their men bought them for Valentine's? If so, what do they usually tell their wives and girlfriends to get away: "I'm going golfing," "I want to check out the Hoover Dam"...
I have heard a few good lines... but not on Valentine's Day.
Do the boyfriends or husbands of yours or your fellow entertainers ever send flowers or chocolates to Sheri's on Feb. 14?
We do receive gifts on Valentine's Day. Now who they are from I could not say. I think we could also call Valentine's a day of appreciation at the Ranch. They are sent to show appreciation and all gifts received are appreciated.
Do couples ever celebrate Valentine's together by coming to Sheri's?
Couples visiting Sheri's Ranch is a common thing. However, on Valentine's Day we have a large volume of couples. Some are visiting for the first time and others are returning for another wonderful experience. Sheri's Ranch is a safe place for couples to experiment and learn more about themselves as well as their partners.
Feb. 13 is quickly becoming known as Mistress Day. Attached men make a point of spending time with their mistresses because these men will be stuck with their girlfriends and wives the next day, and because if they visit their mistresses on the day after Valentine's, these other women will feel like they are being ignored. Have you noticed an influx of men visiting Sheri's on Mistress Day?
I have not noticed an influx on the 13th. It is not very often that men bring their mistresses to the brothel.
Do most of your gentlemen callers make reservations or just show up?
I do receive a lot of clients that just show up. Reservations are usually made by my return clients or by clients that contact me through e-mail. I greatly appreciate reservations so that I am ready and waiting to see you.