Setting: Jessamine's Whorehouse

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Setting: Jessamine's Whorehouse

Post  Jessamine Blake on Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:35 am

Located in Santa Anna, Jessamine's whorehouse is what some might call a well-to-do house for the working class. Although nowhere near as luxurious as houses in larger towns and cities, it is also a far cry better than some of the small, dirty, two-room houses run in other settlements. There are only five girls, and each one lives comfortably in her own room on the second floor. There is a small bar, open space downstairs for entertaining customers, and a cellar for food and wine storage.

The house rules are rather strict and surprisingly conservative for such a business. Jessamine does not allow her girls to engage in anything that she considers "deviant." In her own words, she deals only in good, clean money exchanged for good, clean sex. If a customer is rough with one of her girls, he is not allowed back, and the madam has no qualms about enforcing this rule with her gun. Such things are rarely necessary, however. The men of Santa Anna treat the madam with a grudging respect, and the women ignore her as much as possible. She pays her small fines to the local law enforcement like anyone else in her trade, and goes about her business.

She requires that the girls undergo regular medical examinations, and that they spend at least some of their free time doing something constructive. For example, Abigale has learned to play the piano in her spare time. Jessamine also expects her girls to keep themselves, their rooms, and the rest of the house clean. She divides the work evenly amongst them, herself included. Although the girls often grumble, especially Maria and Nora, they do their work and submit to their doctor's exams, and may even be well aware that their set-up is one of the best they could hope for in their line of work.

Jessamine has made it her habit to hire only pretty girls, but never girls who she felt could find a better prospect elsewhere. If a girl seemed unmarraigeable or unemployable for another trade open to women, or if the girl expresses definitely no desire to marry or work in such a trade, then Jessamine will hire her, but she makes a strict point of refusing to hire girls simply because they feel they have nowhere else to go and nothing else to do. More than once she has turned away exceptionally pretty women, directing them to more reputable ways of life, because she felt quite keenly that they could do better. She also makes it known to all her girls that if any of them do find better prospects, they are free to leave, but that she does not take women back once they have left.

Jessamine also insists that if one of her girls becomes pregnant, she must carry the child to term and not attempt to induce a miscarriage in any way. Her many years in her trade have taught her the hundred ways an abortion can be botched and kill the mother as well as the child, and so she forbids them. Instead, any girl who becomes pregnant is expected to continue her work as long as she feels able, or until she starts to show, at which time she is required to stop working and lose her earnings--but not her room or board--until the child is born. At that time, Jessamine requires that the child leave the house, either with or without the mother. Her reasoning is that even life as an orphan has more promise than life as the child of a whore. Though these rules are in place, this problem has yet to visit the soiled doves of Santa Anna.

Altogether, Jessamine's whorehouse is a rather pleasant place to be...for a whorehouse. The girls are relatively clean and cheerful, and the house is always scrubbed to shining at the beginning of a business night. Jessamine serves drinks and keeps order, Abigale occasionally plays her music for the few men awaiting a turn, and the men behave themselves for the most part. It is merry at night, quiet and peaceful during the day, and rather a fixture in the town despite the honorable ladies' protests to its existence.

_________________
"[These]...settlers are churlish types who are accustomed to live apart from each other, as neither fathers nor sons associate with each other."
--Fermín de Mendinueta, Governor of the New Mexico Territory, c. 1776.
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Jessamine Blake
Clairvoyant Madam

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Join date : 2010-01-23

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