Mound House brothel featured in HBO special

The Moonlite Bunnyranch in Mound House will be featured in an HBO special immediately following the season finale of "The Sopranos" on Dec. 8.

"When most people think of a prostitute, they imagine an underage, ethnic girl in a short skirt with a crack pipe on the street corner," said Bunny Ranch owner Dennis Hof. "We want to change that myth."

The documentary-style show, called "Cathouse," shows the inner workings of the brothel in a reality-show format. Producers used hidden cameras then asked for permission from those photographed before the tapes were watched, Hof said.

"We're going to expose the world to what actually transpires in a cathouse," said Hof, who expects as many as 20 million viewers to watch the HBO show.

Of the 45 people captured on the hidden cameras and asked to be featured on the show, 40 agreed and signed a release. "That just goes to show that the Bunnyranch is now mainstream," said Hof. "It is an acceptable form of entertainment that is needed."

With the show, which could be made into a series, Hof hopes to further the cause of legalized prostitution across the nation.

"When I moved to Nevada, gambling was dirty," he said. "It was a nasty little business. Now they have sanitized that vice, and that's what we're doing with prostitution because it's the right thing to do and it has to be done."

Hof said he feels the best solution to the problems associated with street-corner prostitution -- exploitation of woman and rampant spread of disease -- is legalization.

He also said he feels his "working ladies" are unfairly grouped with those who work the street.

"Look at Sunset Thomas, she's the publisher of Cheri Magazine," said Hof of his girlfriend. "She's making a six-figure income. These are businesswomen."

Hof said, "It's like a highly motivated commission sales team." The girls set their own rates and split earnings 50-50 with the house, he said.

He's also eager to illustrate what kind of customers do business at his brothel. "They're not Johns or tricks -- they're clients or customers," said Hof. One customer featured in "Cathouse" is a 22-year-old man brought in by his mother to lose his virginity.

Next week Hof will be in New York City speaking on several television shows about the special, including "Geraldo Rivera," "The O'Reilly Factor," "Entertainment Tonight" and "Connie Chung and The View."

"These are credible shows -- this isn't 'Hardcopy' crap," said Hof.

Hof, who figures the coverage on HBO will lead to increased business, is looking for a way to give back to the community. He has donated to the Lyon County Library and was instrumental in getting HBO to donate to the library.

"The police cars wouldn't be in the county if it weren't for the cathouses," he said.


What: HBO special "Cathouse" filmed at the Moonlite Bunnyranch in Mound House

When: Dec. 8 following "The Sopranos" at 10 p.m.

Where: HBO pay channel


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