Rising student loan debt is a crisis in America. Perhaps nothing illustrates that more than this: the publicity-happy owner of the Bunny Ranch, a legal brothel in Nevada, is offering to pay for its “workers'” student loans.
The initiative Bunny Ranch owner Dennis Hof announced this week has a few strings attached. But the gist is this: Over a 60-day period, the Bunny Ranch will match student loan payments of women at accredited two and four-year universities — up to the amount they make as prostitutes at the Bunny Ranch.
It’s been a long time since Hof’s heyday, when HBO’s adult documentary “Cathouse” first featured the brothel in 2002. But this newest bid for attention isn’t entirely off base.
According to Hof, the idea came to him when he realized that he was increasingly becoming the employer of college-educated women seeking quick cash to pay off their educational debts.
“I had a University of Michigan cheerleader named Krissy Summers come to The Bunny Ranch a few years ago after she was $40,000 in debt with student loans,” Hof said in a statement. “She paid them all off in two months. She even ended up liking the business and staying long enough to fund her graduate studies.”
Hof noted that other students, including some from the University of Northern Nevada in Reno, have become his employees over the years.
Not to mention that “making education affordable to all who want it is a humanitarian endeavor,” Hof said. “I felt a responsibility to use my position to help others in that regard.”
Hof isn’t alone. In fact, he may be taking a cue from a Pornhub.com, which recently announced a $25,000 scholarship for video submissions that answered the question: “How do you strive to make others happy?”
The ploy was resoundingly panned by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, which called it “an amazing and deceptive marketing tactic,” targeting cash-strapped college students.
That’s a demographic that is undoubtedly growing. A recent report found that 1 in 4 of the more than 41 million people with student-loan debt have defaulted or are struggling to make payments on their loans.
It should come as no surprise that the sex industry is hoping to capitalize on those alarming statistics.