One of Brooke's boyfriends told her about one of his exes, Shelly Duschel. Shelly was a dancer, too, but then she went to Mound House, Nevada, to work at the Moonlite BunnyRanch.

Prostitution was legal there, the girls got tested weekly, and there was no chance that police would kick in the door. And surely Brooke saw Cathouse, the HBO series-slash-recruiting tool documenting the sorority-style hedonism of the Ranch and the patriarchal embrace of Dennis "Daddy" Hof, the P.T. Barnum of pimps. One episode drew 1.5 million viewers. The girls loved sex and loved lots of cash, and, really, what could be better than that?

"I'm going to try something new," she told Lewis one day. "I can make a lot of money."

Brooke Phillips
Tim Lane
Brooke Phillips

Lewis shook his head. "You have more to offer than that."

"I know I do," Brooke said. "But the only thing anyone wants is this," and pointed underneath the table.


Shelly Duschel remembers Brooke coming to the Ranch in early 2008. Freckled, brunette, a few pounds from Hof's ideal, she introduced herself to Shelly and they talked about Moore and Popeye's chicken and the numbing inertia of Oklahoma. Brooke had submitted a video of herself pole-dancing, which attracted the attention of the front office. Thanks to HBO, they could receive upwards of 1,000 applications a month.

Like all the girls, she was picked up from the airport and driven directly to the brothel, located at the inevitable address of 69 Moonlight Road. A doctor tested her for syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia and HIV. She was given a "Bunny Bible," a written code of working-girl conduct (don't discuss children or boyfriends) and a "mentor" who assisted in her first few negotiations.

Ranch workers are not unlike firefighters: They sit around in the windowless property and kill time until a buzzer goes off, at which point they stop whatever they're doing — including sleeping — and line up for whomever just walked through the door. The customer picks the woman he likes best, and she has ten minutes to get him into a room and begin selling him on various sexual services from a menu. If she can't, he's turned loose for someone else to try and close. It was not unlike speed dating, Shelly recalls, only with a guarantee of a climax.

Brooke was a closer; she had experience chatting up men, making them feel special. Most workers average four to ten partners per week. If they're popular, $15,000 for a three-week stint (four or five days a week, twelve-hour shifts) is not unreasonable, though the house takes a 50 percent cut.

When an escort closes a sale, she goes to an office and writes down the services to be performed, along with the agreed-upon price. The office hands her a fresh set of sheets. She inspects the customer's genitalia with a flashlight for any breakouts. Sometimes it's over quickly; sometimes the men just want to talk. Sometimes you hit a high roller: Brooke once made $20,000 for an overnight party.

No drugs are allowed on the premises, but no drugs are allowed in baseball, either. Mostly, the girls drink. "You had to be in a different place mentally," Duschel explains. "Girls drink in order to do the job."

Once, on a slow winter night, Brooke drank to excess and had to be carried to her modest room, the kind reserved for the new and unproven. Eyes glazed over, she stared at Duschel and pulled her close.

"I want you inside of me," she said, too cotton-headed to process the gender of the person in front of her.

"Honey," Duschel said," I don't have a penis."

The next morning, Duschel told Brooke about it. Brooke laughed. She had been too drunk to remember.

Duschel left the Ranch in early 2009 but returned to visit. Brooke, tired but happy to see her friend, came out to greet her wearing a kimono; she had an interest in Asian culture, watching anime and reading manga in her free time. She was blonde now, and thinner, better tailored to Hof's preferences. She had slept with the boss, as many do, and had been an escort for promotional duties like the Tyra show. Her room had been upgraded to one for the better earners: She had a private bathroom and a fireplace. They talked about Duschel's pregnancy and her marriage.

"She looked beautiful," Duschel remembers. "Beautiful and troubled. Like all of them."


In late summer 2009, Brooke told management that she was pregnant with her second child. "She didn't seem to care who the father was," Hof says, claiming that Brooke had initially approached him with an offer to essentially be a sperm donor. They never pursued it.

There had always been boyfriends, none of whom seemed to stick around long. "It's impossible to have a normal relationship," Duschel says of adult entertainers. "You begin to believe you only deserve another damaged soul." Maybe, Duschel thought, Brooke got too drunk with a customer one night and forgot to use a condom.

She intended to return to Oklahoma to have the baby, then resume work in Nevada. She had appeared only briefly in one episode of Cathouse, masturbating while two other women watched, and hoped to get more screen time in the next season. Hof promised her a baby shower when she returned.

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1 comments
Schultzy
Schultzy


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