The Las Vegas Madam by Jami Rodman

The Las Vegas Madam

The Escorts, the Clients, the Truth
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A debut memoir describes how a small-town Christian girl ends up running a Las Vegas escort agency, charging up to $1,500 an hour.

Growing up in a charismatic Pentecostal sect, Rodman wasn’t allowed to cut her hair, wear pants, or play (even watch) sports. But she always had a strong interest in sexuality; by age 5, she was masturbating “for two or three hours every day.” (Rodman mentions childhood molestation by an unidentified person but doesn’t dwell on it.) Eager to leave home, she married at 17 but quickly divorced. Rodman earned an associate degree in cultural anthropology and worked at an Oregon mental health facility, but after a wild weekend in Las Vegas, she wanted more of that adventure and moved to the city. She started out waitressing, then tried stripping. Broke, she agreed to a “private dance” and then to prostitution; after earning $1,000 for an afternoon, she made it her profession. She eventually headed her own escort agency until one of her most popular girls was outed as the Olympic runner Suzy Favor Hamilton. In her memoir, Rodman reveals how high-end escorting works, from first contact to final payment. Through candid vignettes, readers get the lowdown on typical clients and their desires, from companionship to kinky, as well as different levels of prostitution, including girls, clients, and pimps. Throughout the book, Rodman veers between celebrating this life (freedom, easy money, being the center of attention) and criticizing it (degradation, anomie, addiction). She never really resolves this contradiction, disingenuously characterizing her own agency as “a professional screening and marketing firm” that “helped men find intimacy again.” But what’s being sold, as she shows from her own experiences, isn’t the give-and-take of true intimacy: “I want to feel in control of something in my life,” she imagines her wealthy, married client saying during sex. Few readers are likely to muster the sympathy for him that Rodman does.  

Not always sure of its own stance on escorts, this book still offers an effective behind-the-scenes tour.

Pub Date: Dec. 10th, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-9965682-0-3
Page count: 300pp
Publisher: Maktub Press and Publishing
Program: Kirkus Indie
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