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Brothel owner Dennis Hof: The art of the pimp (aired 2015)

AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File
FILE - In this June 13, 2016, file photo, Dennis Hof, owner of the Moonlite BunnyRanch, a legal brothel near Carson City, Nev., is pictured during an interview in Oklahoma City.

Originally aired: Feb. 20, 2015

We're doing a summer series, looking back at some of the interesting people and topics we've talked about on State of Nevada over last several years.

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Dennis Hof died in 2018.

Dennis Hof owns brothels in Nevada. In his seven establishments, the most famous of which is the Moonlite Bunny Ranch near Carson City, he employs some 500 people, the majority of them female sex workers.

Hof started building his empire 22 years ago. These days, he enjoys the benefits that come with celebrity and wealth—he travels, he hobnobs with the famous, and he has a revolving stable of young women who both work for him and, at times, adore and sleep with him.

We talk with Dennis Hof about his new book: “The Art of the Pimp: One Man’s Search for Love, Sex and Money.”

5 things you may not know about Nevada’s brothel king, Dennis Hof:

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1. “Pimp” is a dirty word

"The word pimp in the minds of Americans (is) this sleazy guy that’s recruiting underage girls. Using them to make money. Most of the pimps are loading girls up with drugs.  The girls aren’t checked for (sexual transmitted diseases). That’s the negative connotation of the word pimp. I don’t look at myself as a pimp. I look at myself as a business partner. The girls are independent contractors. They’re my business partners."

2. My homeys can call me pimp

"If Snoop Dog or Little John, Too Short, or any of my other buddies calls me a 'pimp', I’m cool. When Flava Flav calls me a pimp, it's cool. I’m part of the family. I’m a cool guy. When Sean Hannity calls me pimp? It’s on. I’m like, “excuse me Sean? Rupert Murdoch’s your pimp.’ So it’s depends on who saying the word (to me).”

3. Why relationships with women don’t last

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"The fact that I’m honest about my relationship. I tell girls right up front: ‘I want to be emotionally monogamous with you. I will support you. I’ll work 20 hours a day to make sure you have everything you want. What I can’t do I can’t promise you sexual monogamy. I don’t want you to call me a liar if that doesn’t happen. The better our sex is, the more frequent it is, and if you’re open minded to have a girl come around once in awhile for a threesome…it’s going to slow me way down.’ But (my girlfriends) want to change the spots on the leopard."

4. Enough love from mom?

"My mother didn’t show it. I didn’t see love in my family at all, until my mother died. I realized how close my mom and dad were after she passed away. Until then, I didn’t ever know about any sex, I didn’t know about any intimacy (between them). There wasn’t a lot of hugging. It was like they were roommates. So that’s what I grew up with."

5. Dying without knowing true love

"I won’t be lonely because have my best friend. Madame Suzette is my best friend. She’s my office wife. I don’t have sex with her. I love her to death. I highly respect her. I know she will always be there for me. I have a couple friends I know that I can count on.  A buddy of mine--Crazy Glen. I know the owner of the Lakers will be there, whatever I need. Ron Jeremy, my crazy porn buddy…I know he’ll be there. So I have that support team. Even though it’s four or five or six that are not on my payroll. I know they’re there for me. Will I have a relationship at the time? Maybe, maybe not. But if not I’ll have people around me when it’s time to meet the maker."

Joe Schoenmann joined Nevada Public Radio in 2014. He works with a talented team of producers at State of Nevada who explore the casino industry, sports, politics, public health and everything in between.