Prostitution is illegal almost everywhere in the U.S. There is one place where it isn't, however, and that's in the great state of Nevada. Prostitution was legalized there in 1970, and a second law was passed in 1971 forbidding brothels in counties with populations over 200,000. This was intended to keep brothels out of Reno and Las Vegas. So Nevada's 30-odd legal brothels are located in smaller towns.

Historically, some Nevada brothels were stereotypical elegant bordellos, all velvet and gold mirrors, with flocks of beautiful women. Others were no more than beat-up roadside trailers, with just a few women who catered to the truckers. Internet advertising has opened new possibilities, though, and I hear that even the seedier spots are sprucing up both the décor and the workers.

Each eligible Nevada county sets limits on how many brothels can operate at once, so a would-be brothel owner can't just ride into town and set up shop. You must buy the license from an existing brothel. Even if you can find an owner who wants to sell their license, they are--not surprisingly--quite expensive.

A few fun brothel facts:

· Licensed prostitutes in Nevada are given a medical test for STDs every week. It's required by law. Just to be fair, the law also requires that guys wear condoms for oral, vaginal, and anal sex.

· Some brothels have a bar where you can sit with the ladies while you consider your options. But you have to go to her bedroom to make the deal--it's illegal to negotiate prostitution in a bar.

· There are no brothels with male prostitutes.

If you want to know more about working in a Nevada brothel, get the book Turning Pro by Magdalene Meretrix, from Greenery Press. It's got good info about how to get started in a number of sex-work jobs, but Maggie's main field of expertise is the legal brothel scene. If you just want to know where to go to get laid, try

Hey! Catch my next kinky workshop-- "Bedroom Bondage"--at the sex-toy store Amour on the Boulevard (5301 Southcenter Blvd., Tukwila) on Friday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m. For tickets/info call Amour at 248-5085.