Weeks later it was taken down and replaced with a plaque of Our Lady of Lourdes. When it was my turn, I asked him if he had found anything surprising while researching the book. I went to Borders first. Yes, Sheehan elaborates on prejudices within the culture: Strippers would never get in bed with a man for money, while some prostitutes find it demeaning to dance in front of a room full of strangers. At the time of our meeting, she was a bartender in Las Vegas. That left only one way to find out the truth.
There is no place like Las Vegas. But more than a no-holds-barred exposé, Sheehan's Skin City offers a connoisseur's catalogue of where to go for readers whose tastes run to the erotic — with everything from valuable pointers from lap dancers, call girls, and vice cops to porn star Jenna Jameson's list of her favorite Vegas strip clubs. Interested in becoming a stripper? The January 10, 1994, issue of Time magazine carried a cover story titled Las Vegas: The New All-American City. I recall being invited to a dinner party during that first visit. Jack Name, career, husband +30 Local celebrityhood, sizzling subject matter +20 Location Borders is pleasant but ordinary + 0 Location Golden Nugget is hot right now +10 Total +30 Total +30 Hmm.
Also, having a low pain threshold, I could always talk my father into injecting me with more Novocain, the preferred numbing agent of the day. What happens here, stays here -- and Vegas nightlife is hotter than it's ever been before. Obviously, I needed some kind of rating system to make any kind of reasonable prediction. In general, the author presents a decidedly sunny portrait of the sex industry. Atkins for a magazine article some 25 years later, long after her career in the footlights had come to an end. Somewhere in my prepubescent consciousness registered the notion that women who looked like Felicia Atkins were prancing around without clothes for hundreds of people to ogle, and that, when I was old enough, I had better shag my tail from Spokane to Las Vegas and view the real thing for myself. He interviews porn stars turned soccer moms, soccer moms turned dominatrixes and young couples funding their futures with for-profit swinging sessions.
For the first time ever, I attended two book events in one evening. Everyone laughed at the line, but I was the only one shocked by it. Interpolated throughout are tips for sex-driven travelers: how to choose a strip club, what to expect in a lap dance, what to look for in a swinger's club, how to avoid being arrested and even where to go for a good meal. What I envisioned to be a several-month diversion from the real world has turned into a 30-year career scribbling tales about the people and events in this wonderful and crazy town. The closest I had gotten to sexual awareness was noticing that Pam Connors, the girl in the row next to me, was beginning to stretch the fibers of her school-issued cotton blouses. . The lengthy report inside, which mixed pictures of various Strip attractions with a half-page photo of a T-shirted young father in a baseball cap carrying an infant through a casino in a backpack, had two sentences near the lead that seem nearly unimaginable a decade later: 1 The general Las Vegas marketing spin today is that the city is fun for the whole family; and 2 …the streets are hookerless and the best-known Vegas strip club, the Palomino, lies discreetly beyond the city limits.
There is a great deal of care behind these themes. Like penguins and flamingos, they inhabit separate life zones. Bonus for those with plans to visit: Sheehan provides a number of sidebars with explicit instructions on how to behave in the underworld. The topic of conversation was Kirk Douglas, whom she had recently seen in a movie. But I had never before now jumped with both feet into the deep water of the adult entertainment scene that draws tens of millions of people here each year. To believe that somebody is not going to relocate to Las Vegas because they saw an ad is ludicrous. She thought the dimple-chinned actor was quite the hunk, but it was the way she expressed it that stayed with me.
People seemed at least as interested in having their pictures taken with her as they were in her book. In Skin City, journalist and longtime Vegas resident Jack Sheehan goes beyond the bright lights to explore the dark thrills of the city's sex industry. Having never at that point seen a copy of Playboy magazine, and being a full two years short of the onset of puberty, my only exposure to the unfettered female form was pictures of tribal maidens in National Geographic. An hour of full-contact lap dances from the girl of your choice in a dark, private room or booth. Steve Wynn, the visionary hotel builder, arguably had more to do with shaping the image of modern Las Vegas than did anyone else, with his remodeling of the Golden Nugget and his creation of The Mirage, Treasure Island, and Bellagio.
In general, you can expect the dances to be much more intimate than those on the floor. With an impressive roster of strippers, swingers, porn stars and prostitutes, Sheehan explores the very adult side of Vegas entertainment. I was but 11 years old, and when I found the publication in a sack full of goodies and souvenirs, which included a set of plastic false teeth that chattered when placed on a flat surface, I snuck it downstairs and hid it behind a basement bookshelf. I arrived here on the Friday of Super Bowl weekend, 1976. When I got inside, no doubt remained that the reason was Maria.
I suppose every family with a working dad has perks that go with his profession. In Skin City, journalist and longtime Vegas resident Jack Sheehan goes beyond the bright lights to explore the dark thrills of the city's sex industry. So that partly explains why, at the age of 26, without any real expectation of employment, I packed my meager belongings into a gutless Ford Granada and drove down through Oregon and northern California and across northern Nevada, south to the desert. There was one brunette in particular whose picture I studied by the hour. There were a lounge singer, a carpenter, a baccarat dealer, a sports bettor, a professional poker player, a woman who owned a singing telegram service, a semi-retired vaudeville performer who had a juggling act with his brothers on the Strip, and, yes, a call girl. Summary Part exposé, part x-rated travel guide -- the ultimate insider's look at America's adult playground Vegas.