CARSON CITY, NEVADA – Dennis Hof is America’s Pimpmaster General. In the course of five years he’s captivated America by inviting us to get a peek inside his Bunny Ranch brothel thanks to HBO’s Cathouse, directed by Patti Kaplan, America’s most influential filmmaker. In order to promote the fresh batch of episodes now airing, The Party Favors was given a chance to phone up Dennis Hof, Brooke Taylor and Bunny Love’s luxurious hotel suite in Manhattan.
Dennis gave me his history of the show. “It started out in 2002 as an hour documentary under the America Undercvover umbrella . It was their highest rated non-fiction show. They said ‘Oh my god, let’s do it again.’ So in 2003, the same thing. Then in 2005 we came out with the 11 week series that blew the door off all the series numbers. Last night I was with the guys from The Sopranos that do the radio show “The Wise Guys.” They said, ‘Your show equals or beats us OnDemand every week.’ Now what we’re doing is what (HBO) is calling the second season, I’m calling it the fourth. I don’t know who’s right. All I know is they’ve been shooting it for five years.
“You have a documentary, but you also have a soap opera. You got me splitting up with Sunset (Thomas), Me hooking up with the twins. And now me being with Brooke. You have Air Force Amy leaving in a huff. Now she’s coming back. You have all this craziness going on in there and it’s a business that’s operating. And it’s a bit of a porn movie. It’s everything.”
Dennis knows exactly what he’s doing in allowing the cameras to probe his life and business.
“My goal in this is twofold. Number one is promotion for my business. I am the P.T. Barnum of Booty. This what I do to promote my business. And number two: Legalization is the right thing to do. It eliminates all the exploitation. The right wingers like Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity will convince you that all working girls are underaged, ethnic, short shorts, crackpipe with a black pimp down the street. They teach you that all prostitutes have diseases and are drug addicts. Why else would they work?”
Prior to Cathouse, HBO had aired Hookers at the Point, a series of documentaries by Brent Owens about street walkers. It validated the opinions of the right wingers about “the game” as it was calling in Pimps Up, Ho’s Down.
“Here we come along,” Dennis said. “Oh wait a minute; look at these girls. They’re educated. They’re having fun. I told Sean Hannity on camera that these girls aren’t working for you at Fox News for 30 years to get a gold watch. They’re going to retire in five years with a million dollar stock portfolio and never work another day. The show changes the stigma. We invited America into our house. And they love our house.
“When I do a conservative radio show, 8 out of 10 people will call in and say “Dennis has got it right.” We’ve got to control this. I look at myself as a guy who is single handedly cleansing this vice. Look at the dirty gangsters during prohibition. Now look at Seagrams and Budweisers. Thirty years ago when I moved to Nevada, it was the dirty little secret of America. The gaming was a dirty secret. Now it’s everywhere. The biggest gaming in the world is the California lotto.
“My vision, my dream is to close up half the Starbucks in America and make mini-Bunny Ranch Expresses out of them. Stop by for a little tension release. Starbucks has everybody amped up on caffeine. I want to bring ‘em down a notch. A guy can come out of his office, go to the Bunny Ranch Express and fifteen minutes he’s back in his office and it’s not so bad of a day for him.”
Dennis has seen a lot of changes in the industry in the years since he bought the Bunny Ranch. In the first episode of the new season, Brooke Taylor calls her mother after her first party with a paying client. Did the women called back to home to share the good news when he first started?
Dennis said, “No. Absolutely not. Fifteen years ago when I got there, these girls wouldn’t tell anybody they were working girls. All that has changed. It’s cool to be a Bunny Ranch Girl. (Brooke) called her mom. I’ve gotten to know her mom. Her mom went on the Dr. Keith Ablow show with her and talked about how when they were at Toys ‘R Us when (Brooke) told her she was going to be a hooker.
“It’s a different world now. I was a very edgy guy 15 years ago. I was a wild cowboy from Carson City Nevada. Now with the internet, (you hear about) all this craziness with dogs, goats and 12 year olds. And you have the predator series on (Dateline) NBC. You’ve got Bill Clinton trying to prove to the world that a blow job isn’t sex. I’m a pretty straight guy, now. I’m a Boy Scout, now. With the sanitizing of this business, has come better girls and better customers. Girls are proud to be here. Guys are proud to say they are customers. It’s gotten bigger and better.
While some subjects of reality shows control what makes it to the air (Gene Simmons & Hugh Hefner), Dennis isn’t overriding Patti Kaplan’s directorial decisions.
“I don’t see everything that’s on there until the finished product,” Dennis declared. “I don’t look at the dailies. I don’t care to. Whatever it is, it is. I don’t give HBO any parameters except to have fun. If something goes on that’s crazy or negative, then it goes on. I don’t try to control the content in any way shape or form. I don’t think it’s the fair thing to do for my public. You don’t want to make a fluff piece where everything is fine. Did I feel good about Air Force Amy freaking out that time and loading up all her shit? No. I didn’t like it at all. But that’s what happened. She got herself worked up. She’d been drinking. She’s an alcoholic and was back drinking. But now she’s back. The sex business is positive. There’s a lot of high energy. I don’t like negative stuff. But I don’t control it.”
Dennis enjoyed seeing the first episode of this season since it does feature his new main lady, Brooke getting her start.
Dennis gushed, “That was her first party at the Ranch that we videoed. That was amazing because she looked like a pro pornstar to me. I had to take her to the bedroom and fuck her after watching that.”
Of course the ultimate highlight of the first episode was the introduction of Tiffany, a new Bunny Ranch employee who had a strange attitude toward working as a hooker.
“The first show was kinda weird with Tiffany saying, I’m not going to line up. I’m not going to suck a cock. I can’t wait to find out what this dumb bitch does in the second show,” Dennis said.
Bunny Love at one point had to finish up one of Tiffany’s customers since she refused to give a half and half. Bunny was taken back by the newbie’s career attitude. “It was an interesting personal choice,” Bunny said. “Some girls decide not to do anal. Some girls don’t like to do blow jobs.”
Dennis chimed in, “Can you believe that?”
Brooke had an even closer encounter with Tiffany when they shared a threesome party. Tiffany however decided that while the customer paid for the attention of two women - only Brooke was going to play. Tiffany reluctantly dropped her top and barely touched the guy on the arms.
“Tiffany is a trip,” Brooke said. “I asked Dennis, did she come in just for HBO? I thought she was completely obnoxious.” Brooke didn’t enjoy sharing a client with Tiffany in the party. “She didn’t do anything. From what the producer told me, she acted like the (client) wanted her more. He did not care about her.”
Brooke is proof of how Patti Kaplan is the most influential director in America. A few years ago, she was merely a fan of the show. She had a nice job in a nice town in middle America. She decided to step through screen and be a part of the action.
“How I found out about the Bunny Ranch was from watching Cathouse,” Brooke said. “I met Carla from the last series, when she came back to the Ranch. It was like meeting a celebrity. I’m like, do you know how many times I’ve masturbated to you? I could quote all her lines. I was a fan of the show so it was really exciting to be a part of it. To hopefully be an inspiration to other girls like they were to me.”
While many women get into the business, few have their early days documented. How did Brooke feel knowing that millions of Americans would be following her progress via HBO? “I’m type of person that if I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it full force. And that’s how I took it doing the Cathouse series. That’s why I told my family that I might as well be honest and go full force with it. Balls out, so to speak.”
The episodes were shot nearly a year ago. What does Brooke think when she sees herself arrive at the airport ready to embrace her new career? “I was completely green,” Brooke confessed. “I watched the first episode and I see how wide-eyed and innocent I was. Doing the sex scene, I was really nervous beforehand. But once I went in there, you don’t see the cameras. I had had sex before numerous times, so it took over and I just had fun with it.”
Along with embracing the career, the series documents her becoming Dennis’ new girlfriend. She had never been in an open relationship, but as they approach their first anniversary, she seems very comfortable with the dynamic. “Yeah. I view people’s sexuality as an individual not as a couple. I completely understand men’s urges and desires. If they didn’t have those urges and desires, I wouldn’t be in business. Having been in this business, it helps me to have a relationship like I have with Dennis. It’s nice. I totally appreciate when I can find a hot girl and bring her home with us to share. Sharing is caring.”
A major test in the relationship occurs when Sunset Thomas returns to the Ranch to see Dennis. During the first two specials, Sunset was Dennis’ woman. Was Brooke nervous at the ex-girlfriend haunting the ranch?
“I was OK with it,” Brooke said. “I figured if Dennis had wanted to be back with Sunset, he’d be back with Sunset. HBO kinda wanted controversy, but I hope I didn’t give it to them. Sunset was very nice to me when she was there. It was awkward cause I didn’t know how she would be and she didn’t know how I would be. I think it went OK. My nerves about it came from other people. We knew she was coming in so people kept saying how do you feel about Sunset coming here? Sunset! Sunset! Sunset! Stop relax, it’s all OK. And at the end of the day, it all went fine.
“I think if it happened today, I’d have no problem. I wouldn’t have any nerves. I’m very secure with Dennis now. It was the beginning of our relationship. We were still getting to know each other. It kinda threw an imbalance in there. But I just stayed with what I knew. I knew that I was with him. I was at the Ranch. She wasn’t there. She was coming in to visit. I tried to remain as calm as possible. I think the people around me were more afraid of my reaction to her than I was.”
She has grown a lot in the year at the Ranch especially when it come to exploring her bisexuality. “My first experience with a woman was at the Bunny Ranch. Over this year, I’ve really grown to enjoy them. I’m interested in seeing how my interactions with women are on the show. I know what it is now, but I want to see the differences.”
One of the women Brooke was able to please was Isabella Soprano, America’s Sweetwhore. “I’m in love with her. She was my favorite from the first show. You’ll see me and Isabella doing some things together. We have a little fun together.”
Isabella has made a splash starring fetish films and is no longer working at the Ranch. “She came down for the show and worked a bit. She made herself some money and is raising organic vegetables now,” Dennis said. “They work and do real well. Then they’ll hook up with a guy and the first thing he wants is for her to quit working. As soon as they split up with the guy, they’re back. That’s what I envision for Isabella.”
Another fan favorite to the Ranch is Bridget the Midget. Dennis has good news for her fans. “She had a baby and is coming back to work in the next week or so.”
Unlike the first special where the room negotiations were secretly filmed, the clients in the series know about HBO’s cameras ahead of time. Only one room in the house is wired up with the hidden cameras. HBO’s folks do an amazing Candid Camera job to keep out of the way of the real performers in the room. “We don’t know where they’re located in the room,” Brooke said. “They don’t tell us where they’re at. I kept looking for them and I couldn’t find them. I’m glad they didn’t tell me where they were because it helps me to forget they are there.”
Dennis is in the process of writing a book about his business for Harper Collins. “There’s No Business like Ho Business was the title Judith Regan liked,” Dennis said. He’s now considering Pimp’n Ain’t Easy. I suggested Pimpin’ Made Easy since people want to buy a book that simplifies the process.
People always like to ask Dennis about the Potter Twins. They were his rebound girlfriends after Sunset Thomas. Dennis has warning for those that dream of such a situation. “The two of them were a handful together. You separated them and they were very normal. You couldn’t go to dinner and sit between them. It was like playing ping pong. One would say one word of a sentence with a subject and the other one would pick up a skit from Second City. And they’d go back and forth. It’d make you nuts. They’re so bright they’re silly. So that didn’t work.”
So what is next on Dennis’ carnal “to do” list? “Triplets,” Dennis said. “I’m like the Fonz. I’m looking for the Hooper triplets. You never saw them on the show. But I’m looking for the Hooper triplets.”
Recently the show was visited by FoxNew’s Sean Hannity for his Hannity’s America series. Dennis enjoyed tripping up the self-righteous Hannity by being a perfect host. “He’s just a fish out of water there. But he loves the place. He’s a man,” Dennis said. “He’s got Brooke and Bunny in bed. They’re wearing scantily clad nighties. He took it in the homes of America at 6:30 on a Sunday night. He stands over the bed and asks the girls “Do you believe in God.” He’s waiting for one of those answers that they back into it like “maybe” and then he’s going to rip into them. Simultaneously these girls said “No!” It was like game over. He had this deer in the headlights look that was just fucking priceless. He had no idea where to go with that. He just looked at them.”
Fans of Grizzly Adams were delighted to see Dan Haggerty conducting a wedding at the brothel. It turns out that this is not a one time thing as another Ranch nuptials is in the works. “We’re trying to confirm a date with Dan,” Dennis said. “I got him ordained. Dan is the official pastor of the Bunny Ranch.” Shame they can’t get Bozo the bear to escort the bride down the aisle for an extra fee.
With the success of the show, there’s been a lot more visitors to the Ranch. Unlike a TGIFridays that’s all about getting the customers in and out, Dennis doesn’t enforce a buy or split attitude. There’s no time limit to sitting at the bar and meeting the various women that have appeared on the show. “Some guys do come and hang out and don’t find anything that they’re interested in. Maybe they want to meet every single girl in the whole Bunny Ranch before they make their decision,” Dennis said. “The guys are very scared coming in there. You watch the show. You go online. You fly out there. The next thing you know, you’re faced with a decision of 30 or 40 gorgeous girls. The toughest NFL guy crumbles in front of the girls. ‘I gotta get a drink’ really means they need a minute to regain their composure.”
The question always comes up that on Cathouse, guys get charged $5,000 for a fun time. And on Brent Owens’ Hookers at the Point films, we see guys have sex with skanky street walkers for $50. I ask Dennis if HBO will ever give us a show that allows a guy to have sex without losing the kid’s college fund or bringing home an STD for the wife? Where are the clean hookers for the middle class budget?
“The reality is this, you’re going to see a thousand guys spend $200 to $600 at the Bunny Ranch before one guy drops twenty five grand,” Dennis said. “It’s better television showing the big parties. That’s what HBO does to us. It’s almost like you’re fishing for whales. We had a guy a couple weeks ago drop $200,000. We had a guy who came in when the first series aired that spent a $1.7 million. He never left the place. It’s a free market. The girls are negotiable. They’re there to make money. Do they want guys to steal any booty from them? No. The guy needs to pay a fair amount. You come to the Ranch, come in there clean, have a good time, make the girls laugh, buy a couple drinks and your money will go a long way in the room.
“Even if you don’t want to have sex, partying with these girls is amazing. They’re beautiful. They’re young. They’re vibrant. They’re hot. They’re skilled. And they’re nasty. That’s wonderful. Sitting around the ranch having cocktails with 30 girls running around in g-strings - priceless.”
It was then that Dennis let me in on a secret. “The guys who spend the big big money, it’s not about sex. Bunny has a guy who spends $30,000 a time, tell him what the party consists of.” Bunny continued, “It consists of just hanging out, watching cartoons, going out for dinner and room service. He never watched cartoons before in his life until he met me.” There is a man willing to pay $30,000 to watch Adult Swim with Bunny. Dana Snyder is the voice of seduction?
Cathouse The Series is currently airing on HBO. I’m not sure of the time, but it’s on around the clock if you have HBO OnDemand. If you’re interested in visiting the Bunny Ranch, it’s located in Carson City - not Las Vegas. Carson City is about twenty minutes between Tahoe and Reno. Tell Dennis you’re a friend of the “Party Favors” and you’ll get an extra olive in your drink.
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