What It's Like To Be A Legal Sex Worker In The U.S.

Photo: Courtesy of Alice Little.
When Alice Little, a legal sex worker, gave Refinery29 a peek at her life in the form of a Money Diary last year, the post received more than 300 comments. People wanted to know how Little got into this line of work and what she studied in school, and they wanted to get to know her more as a person.
"I was struck by how much I felt like I could easily be friends with this girl, despite the vast differences in our careers," one reader commented.
Needless to say, it was clear that people harbored preconceptions about sex work. But they were fascinated by Little's life, and what it really means to be a "legal" sex worker in the United States. There are many types of sex work, but prostitution, specifically, is illegal in most of the U.S. This isn't the case in Nevada, however, where prostitution was legalized in 1971 (albeit with restrictions).
Currently, prostitution is regulated in registered brothels in smaller counties in the state — meaning, cities like Las Vegas and Reno are excluded. One such registered brothel is the Moonlight Bunny Ranch, made famous by the HBO series Cathouse. This is where Little works, and it's where she was working last year when she chronicled her life for Refinery29. At the time, she was earning upwards of $10,000 per week, reading the book Sex At Dawn, and dealing with an emergency appendectomy — without health insurance.
It's been a year since then, and people are still asking us about Little. So, we caught up with her to hear more about her life, and what she's been up to.
*This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

More from Wellness

R29 Original Series