Top 200 Photos: #50

Las Vegas is the subject in today’s Top 200 Photo

Photo #50 is:
Barely Legal Asians and Blondes

Las Vegas is a really weird place. There are many reasons for this, including squaring gambling, family friendliness, and topless revues. As I mentioned before, I was in Vegas to attend BlackHat and Defcon. For the three days of Defcon I would walk all the way from Caesar’s Palace over to The Riviera. From what I could tell from the dilapidated looks that part of Vegas was the oldest surviving area of the Vegas strip. There were empty lots that were soon to get new casinos and old ones that looked like you’d get a disease just from stepping in the front door. I wonder what the recession has done to the construction efforts there.

On my way to The Riviera, I passed by this newspaper dispenser with a bunch of personal ads newspapers. The two papers you can see here show another of the weird contradictions of Vegas. Nevada is one of (or the only?) states in the US where prostitution is legal. Say what you will about the moral implications of prostitution, everything I’ve read about the subject seems to point to legalization being better for all parties involved. Two things off the top of my head – no evil pimps and health checks for the women. However, like a microcosm of the American schizophrenia with anything involving morals – they don’t want prostitution where people can see it – so it’s not allowed in the county that Las Vegas is in. (Or any county of a certain size) Also, you’re not allowed to advertise prostitution in Vegas, either.

This is a problem for the prostitution business because no one (hyperbole warning) goes anywhere in Nevada other than Las Vegas. So what to do? Well, they have personal ads like the ones in this box that have vague references to things like massage or flower delivery or anything that’s TOTALLY not prostitution. Also, they drive billboards for hookers around on trucks so the police can’t find them. Or maybe so they can claim they were just driving through town and TOTALLY didn’t mean to advertise for prostitutes in Las Vegas because that’d be illegal. Also there are people on nearly every corner at night who are passing out cards for prostitution locations.

When I saw this I didn’t understand what Barely Legal meant – I thought it was just a play on words – bare like naked. I later found out it’s someone who’s not older than 18.5 years old.