Alexa Albert, M.D., is a graduate of Brown University and Harvard Medical School. She has written and lectured widely about public health and prostitution and was named one of Mirabella's 1,000 Women for the Nineties for her work with Nevada's legal prostitutes. Albert's research in Nevada led to her eye-opening nonfiction book Brothel released in 2002.
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Do you know where any of the women whom you met in the brothels are today, or could you speculate?
I am actually still in touch with many people from the industry including women and customers. In fact, I was just responding to an email from one woman I know. Some have moved to other legal brothels in Nevada to work, many continuing to work as prostitutes and some having decided to move into cashier or bartender positions. Some have quit the business entirely. Most all speak of missing the sense of community at Mustang.
How does this sense of community differs from what these women might have found elsewhere?
What was remarkable to me was the fact there was a sense of community in the brothel at all. Naively, I suppose, I didn't expect to find a "community" or sense of family within the brothel--which included not only the women with their complicated sense of sisterhood--ripe with both intense competition and camraderie--but also the brothel staff, with terribly loyal and protective bartenders, cooks, cashiers, laundry maids, etc. Then the community of customers who desperately wanted to belong: the regulars like Stewart who visits several nights a week and deems himself to be very important to and valued by the ...
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