Prostitution
and the Wild West

They just shut prostitution in Deadwood down a few decades ago.  Imagine, the same industries as fed the mining camp of that rough and tumble (yeah boyyy) over a century ago, was just put to rest so recently.  Pam saw it coming, but such a tradition in Deadwood was prostitution, that she may never really have thought much about being shut down.

But long ago and in a time far different from ours, prostitutes had the roughest of lifestyles, often coaxed to these rough mining camps with promises of fame in theatre and performing arts.  Naivety may have been the order of the day....before these young women arrived in "town".

Al Swearengen - drew many young women to Deadwood South Dakota, at a time when it didn't have protection from government. Before it was represented in Washington, before laws and any kind of order were heard of.  Between Al and the boys of the Gem Theatre, the "pussy trade" was pretty much ruled with iron fist, full bottle and desperation.

Young women, based on the promises of stardom and fame in the "growing and vibrant communities" of places like Deadwood and other mining camps, thought they'd found a way to their future.  Indeed they did, but at a cost.  Rare was the town where Doctors were competent and supplies plentiful.  One could only hope there was a women competent in the use of herbs.  

Whores in these saloons and theatres, thrived on the fear of beatings and clung to the hope of a better life "later".  They practiced crude forms of birth control, trying to get a trick to cum before entering her, using anal sex as a way to avoid pregnancy, and when caught in the "family way", employed dangerous herbs to abort these business fetuses.  Pregnancy meant she was useless to her handler and out of work for months.

Although as expected, sisterhoods formed, for the most part, life in the old west provided little protection for women and even less rights.  They did what they had to survive, often reaching early graves from being shot near the poker tables, dying of sexually transmitted disease or botched abortion attempts.  It was rare for a woman, once in that situation, to see her way clear of it and out of there.  The fate of a woman traveling alone in Indian land far outweighed any mishandling she might get in camp.

The happy endings come when miners who struck it rich, took as their wives, the very women who kept them sane night after night in saloons and bars, kept them from dying of relative horniness.  These women married into new wealth and therefore did not have to fit the blueblood ideal of wealth in those days, but came about forming a nouveau riche level of society much more bold and brash than the long-lines. 

Those were the lucky ones.

 

 

 

For further reading - 

Deadwood Diary
GoldRush Prostitution
Adams
Museum

 

 

 

 


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Copyright 2006

 

 

 

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