Just a Gigolo? Or the Rosa Parks of Sex Work?
Markus Bestin discusses rigors of his job at Nevada's Shady Lady Brothel.
Feb. 1, 2010 — -- He's 5-foot-9, 180 pounds, a former marine. And if you're a woman in search of no-strings romance, Markus Bestin can be all yours -- for $300 an hour.
The 25-year-old works at the Shady Lady Brothel, a legal house of prostitution two-and-a-half hours northwest of Las Vegas.
"If she's willing to step through these doors," said Bestin, "she'll have the best moment, hopefully, that I can provide for her in her entire life."
Bestin, who began taking clients last month, is making history as the nation's first and only legal male prostitute. Nevada is the one state in the country where paying for sex is allowed.
"I'm basically doing what Rosa Parks did when she decided to sit at the front of the bus instead of the back, or what Gandhi did when he had a sit-down protest against the British Embassy," Bestin told "Nightline." "I'm basically trying to reset social norms."
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Those are some big comparisons -- lofty goals for a man who calls himself a gigolo -- but Bestin intends no irony. "I feel very strongly about this," he said.
Bestin is one man among a thousand working women in Nevada's 24 brothels. You won't see him in a typical lineup, like the ones at the famous Moonlite Bunny ranch, or entertaining in one of the themed rooms at the Shady Lady. Bestin has his own turf out back, where he services only female clients.
"It's like Home & Garden, you see those houses, it's really meant to be inviting, open and really comfortable," he said. "So if a woman wants to come in here and take a shower with you? Yeah, it's all good, and if she wants to be bathed, cleaned, do anything that she specifies."
Bobbi Davis, the brothel's madam and owner, says the slow economy and the demand for male prostitutes forced her to think outside of the box.
"We've had requests with couples that wanted to add a girl and a guy, and we always add a girl in to the mix but we could never add the guy, and so we've had more and more requests for that, so we decided to go ahead and at least try it," Davis said.
Heidi Fleiss, the once infamous Hollywood madam, says it won't work.
"We're not like men. Men will sleep with mud," said Fleiss. "Women, we're a little different. We want a spa-like environment, something first class."