Thursday, April 30, 2009

No Crackdown on Las Vegas Sex Clubs clubs offer nearly anything you want with anyone who's willing. They operate in a world of loose regulation, weak enforcement and an anything goes attitude.

Technically they are illegal. From wife-swapping to whips and chains, it's yours if you want it. There is a huge market for clubs that offer every fantasy imaginable for just an entrance fee. County code says that won't fly. So, why hasn't there been a crackdown? The answer is more complicated than you've heard before. It's where money, power and sex all come together.

"From bondage, to transgender to Bi to whatever else, we're the 'everybody else' club," said Mike Powers, Power Exchange. Powers is the owner and operator of Power Exchange, the newest sex club in Las Vegas. His sprawling two-level complex off Highland Drive is a fetish fantasy.

"It's part of an open-minded alternative aspect of society. Powers calls it a social club for like- minded people," Powers said, adding, "It's like the Elks Club or the Lions, kind of club for extreme interests, perverse interests or bizarre interests."

"None of them are licensed to be sex clubs," said David Cooper, who used to be in the sex club business until the county shut him down last year. Since then, he's been waging a one man war against sex clubs. "Sex clubs apparently are legal in Clark County because they are not prosecuting them, they're not going after them, they're not doing anything," said Cooper.

Clark County code calls sex clubs a "public nuisance." It defines them as places for "adult social sexual encounters", where patrons can "voluntarily engage in and/or view" live sex. So, if the county prohibits it, how do the clubs stay in business? "I think the ordinance itself is a mess," said Allen Lichenstein, a prominent attorney. He is Cooper's former lawyer and he currently works for Power Exchange and other adult clubs.

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it. There really isn't a problem," Lichenstein said. He says the county's code is confusing and up for interpretation. Read one way, it could lead to moral crusades.

"It's not prostitution, it's not drugs, it's not violence. Why should anyone else care?" Lichenstein does counsel potential clubs to find unique ways to work within the county code. They are licensed as nearly everything but a sex club because which would be illegal. There are licenses for tanning salons, clothing and accessories shops, and restaurants. Club owners do operate those on site too but it's only a small portion of the bottom line.

via I-Team: Tricks of the Trade in Las Vegas Sex Clubs - Las Vegas Now.

People are such freaks.  I didn't know there was anything like this in Vegas. Not surprised, I guess.  The reason the cops there leave these places open is anyone's guess. Vegas is it's own little world.

The philosophical question--which applies to the rest of the world--that caught my attention with this is:  Why do we have so many unenforced laws?

Should we have laws which can not be enforced? I suppose so, but it's an odd way to run things.  I think of speeding, for example.  If they suddenly locked everyone up who had ever gone faster than the speed limit, would anyone still be on the road? Probably not. Just me. ;-) But if you got rid of the speed limit, people would go nuts and you'd have way more fatalities.  So, it seems that our society is filled with people who are always breaking the law, always getting away with something.  Fuzzy math. Approximation of correctness. Is this human nature?


Silkyray said...


You asked the question "Why do we have so many unenforced laws?
" and as it applies here the answer is "Vegas is it’s own little world."

This is all about rich people with money to use to protect themselves. Because if you or me went to Vegas and setup a shop like this we would be shut down asap. Hell it would never get opened.

There is an old saying "He who has the most guns makes the rules." but here it is more like "He who has the most money makes the rules."

James said...

Sometimes, Xeno, I find conspiracy theories that I don't really believe weighing on my mind.

The conspiratorial answer to why there are so many laws, to the point that they can not all be enforced or known, and when they are enforced they are not enforced with the same disciplinary actions every time, is that it was designed that way to oppress people and make them constantly afraid. (I don't really believe this, it just enters my thoughts sometimes when contemplating the harshness of law)

Many laws, the "good habit" laws as I like to call them, generally do not actually lower the incidence of the "crime". For some more hilarious laws that aren't enforced, think of all the states that have laws against certain kinds of sex

Xeno, do you really believe that if the traffic laws were taken away everyone would go wacko? Surely you have heard of the autobahn, with many places were there is no speed limit, and yet it has a superior safety record as compared with many highways in the United States and even the world!

I think the only laws should be ones of basic human/property rights. I have never seen good evidence that the constant influx of new laws and all of the old "good habit" laws actually make us any safer, quite the contrary actually, they seem to make us more afraid/confused as to what is actually going to be enforced or not. But so long as laws are made by elected bodies or voted upon, I can't really complain, even if they don't work. I do love democracy.

James said...

My roomate came home tonight and told me a mutual friend of ours had been arrested but let go. I asked what for and he said that the guy had been sitting on someones property after being asked to leave, and was very drunk. The police arrested him but then decided to let him go without charges.

I on the other hand was arrested and jailed two months ago for criminal trespassing (the same law our mutual friend broke). I was simply sitting in a car on someones property that I did not realize was private property. I had not been asked to leave or denied entry, nor were there any no trespassing signs. An officer came and arrested me at -gunpoint-, threw me in the drunk tank for 2 days (I was not drinking at all) and I had charges (that I successfully defended myself against, but it was a large investment of time/effort) pressed against me and had to go to court.

Both arrests were made by the same police department in the same county. I have no criminal record but the mutual friend did.

Good ol' US of A.

James said...

Also (posting spree) why do you think the law is for conservation of fuel? I find it very easy to think that the law, like many others, may be completely arbitrary, probably made in some crude attempt at lowering fatalities or some other nonsense. I think it would be difficult to predict which cars having a lower speed limit would actually increase fuel efficiency for, but in most cases more fuel is spent accelerating rather than maintaining a certain speed.

You know what I think would be awesome? Before any legislation can be enacted, an at least half assed attempt must be made to put the law through a scientific trial to see if the results of enacting the law will actually be what is predicted. I don't think this would really clog up the process, as it would only be done on laws that had already been legislated, not every law that comes through the house.

It would be a fourth step in our checks and balances. We have the courts, the legislative, and the executive. This extra check could be called the "rational" check. Just to see if what we want to do makes sense.