If prostitution is the world’s oldest profession, then it makes sense that whorehouses are such a pervasive part of pop culture. So, when we heard that the cable channel HDNet is producing a reality show documenting the exploits of the Mustang Ranch, America’s first completely legal brothel, it got us thinking about some of the most memorable establishments in books, movies, television shows, and visual art where a lonely traveler could spend a night with a willing companion. Here’s a quick list of some of our favorites — but we haven’t even scratched the surface, so leave your additions in the comments!
Petyr Baelish’s brothel in Game of Thrones (2011)
Of course we were expecting a lot of sex in the adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s novels — how else are you going to keep people engaged with complicated medieval political scandals and magic? — but the frequency and, um, intensity of HBO’s focus on the brothels in the show is extreme, to say the least. Seriously, there’s at least one sex worker in every single episode! Not that we’re complaining, of course, but that’s a lot of naked women.