Oh, Miss Kitty, how you deceived us all. Remember Gunsmoke and Sheriff Matt Dillon’s main squeeze? Perfect silk dress, perfectly styled red curls – perfect beauty mark. How clean and wonderful the life of a Wild West saloon girl must have been. . .

*insert sound of screeching brakes here*

Um, no. Let’s look at some facts. In descending order there were: Parlor Houses, Brothels, Cribs. Even in a Parlor House *think 5 star hotel* where a night of food, fun and the other “F” word might cost a man $200+, the girl only averaged $10 per week because of the cut the Madam (or the house) took the rest to cover the costs of food, wine and the girl’s room and board.

Brothel girls could make $2.50 – $7.00 per customer, but she had to pay room and board out of this plus any other expenses she had. Oh, and Brothels were significantly less grand than a Parlor House. Parlor houses the girl probably spent the entire night with one man and her sheets were changed afterward. Brothel girls saw more “traffic” and her sheets might be changed once per week.

Cribs were a closet-like space where the girls lived and worked. She would rent this room for $10-$20 per week. She charged a man as little as 25 cents depending on how dirty or run-down she and/or her crib was. Her profit was in volume. In a cattle or mining town, she would little more than stay in bed as the men lined up outside her door. Normally, a crib nymph would see 20 to 30 men per night. During a cattle drive, she could see as many as 75 to 100 men per night. And no clean sheets here. She put a rain slicker over the bottom of her bed to protect the sheets from mud and cow manure since the cowboy might take off his hat, but not his boots or pants. Volume, remember?

Yes, there were Saloon Girls who could just serve drinks, but they could also “go upstairs” for extra money. And Dance Hall Girls, yes, they were there, earning 12 ½ cents per dance. But all in all after researching this topic, I have to say, Miss Kitty lied to us.

What do you think?

*All statistics were found in UPSTAIRS GIRLS: Prostitution in the American West by Michael Rutter

Jennifer Jakes is the author of sensual erotic romance. Her award-winning debut novel, RAFE’S REDEMPTION, a historical western, is available now from The Wilder Rose Press, Amazon and other fine retailers. Her newest novella, TWICE IN A LIFETIME, is available at Amazon,            B & N and Smashwords.

Find out more about Jennifer at www.jenniferjakes.com

RAFE’S REDEMPTION BUY LINK: http://www.amazon.com/Rafes-Redemption-Jennifer-Jakes/dp/1482725339/ref=dp_ob_title_bk

About jenniferjakes

Multi-award winning author telling the naughty side of the Old West ;)
This entry was posted in cowboys, Cowboys - Media Inspired, eBooks, Historical Western Stuff, Western History, Westerns. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to MISS KITTY LIED

  1. Nancy S says:

    Don’t forget that bathing was not done more than weekly, if that often. Eeeeww!

    • jenniferjakes says:

      Yes, a lot of people then had their “Spring” bath or whatever season they did bathe. I know I’ve heard my great-grandpa talk about they didn’t take Winter baths…..too cold. I truly can’t imagine how bad people must have smelled.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Love, love, love the post. And gotta buy the book.

  3. jenniferjakes says:

    Aw, thanks, Desiree!! 🙂

  4. suzlyne says:

    I always thought Miss Kitty was too clean and fancy to be for real! Great post!

    • jenniferjakes says:

      Thanks! I guess we should throw in there, the cowboys — Marshal Dillion and Festus and Doc etc etc — were all too clean too. Not just to pick on Gunsmoke, I remember an episode of Bonanza where Little Joe had a fist fight with some cowboy, rolling around in the dirt, but when it was over, Joe wasn’t even mussed, much less dirty. LOL
      Thanks for stopping by!

      • suzlyne says:

        I do remember that fight! Dad never missed either show when they were on so I grew up watching all the westerns. Thinking back, they were all clean. Even the dirt roads! LOL!

  5. Tiss says:

    They didn’t want to Portray that “other things” might be going on. Someone has to run the show and I think that the Madam was alot more picky on who she bedded. Thanks was an interesting post and I went and bought the books, looking forward to reading them.

    • jenniferjakes says:

      Yes, I would hope being the Madam came with some perks. LOL At least she could pick the cleanest cowboy. And thanks! I hope you’ll enjoy the book(s)!

  6. Clare O'Beara says:

    The girls who went in for that life must have been desperate! Any one of the cowboys would have married her, she’d just have to pick!

    • jenniferjakes says:

      Yes, I believe a lot of them felt desperate and of course, once they were a prostitute, they were “ruined” for a decent man. Society was still of the mind-set of the man didn’t have to be pure for marriage but the woman did.

  7. ronnie c says:

    Love this genre…always looking for new authors to read!!! This sounds good and recieved great reviews! I’m gonna get a copy for my kindle.

  8. Mary Preston says:

    Miss Kitty lied big time.

    “Crib Nymph” – the things I’m learning along the way.

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