The bizarre memoir of America’s most famous pimp

Written By kom nampuldu on Minggu, 08 Maret 2015 | 20.49

BunnyRanch owner Dennis Hof with his former girlfriend Cami Parker (in red), who describes him as a "soulless pimp."Photo: FilmMagic

Dennis Hof is the owner of the Moonlite BunnyRanch, Nevada's most famous legal brothel thanks to HBO's late-night reality show "Cathouse," which starred Hof and some of the working girls in his employ.

In his new memoir, "The Art of the Pimp," Hof explains how he mixed sales and sleaze to create a more customer-friendly sex trade, while sleeping with enough women to place him alongside Gene Simmons and Wilt Chamberlain.

In a bizarre memoir, the owner of one of the only legal brothels in America tries to portray himself as a good guy — until his workers turn the tables.

Hof's really a stand­up guy, claims Hof, 68, the unlikely object of desire for a slew of 18-­ to 21­-year­-old prostitutes in the making. Hof wants readers to reevaluate the word "pimp" — to replace its violent connotations with a sense of camaraderie, or even family.

For some of the book he almost succeeds, as the Ranch is certainly a kinder place than the brothels we've seen on TV and in films.

But thanks to a device that backfires spectacularly, by the book's end, one wonders if this memoir had been secretly written by Hof's enemies, as any goodwill he's managed to earn is erased by just how toxic others consider him.

Gentleman prefers blonds

Hof starts the book at the beginning — his first erection. It arrived at 8 years old thanks to a "gorgeous, red-lipped blonde," who waved to him while filming a movie at the Arizona State Fair.

The woman kissed him on the cheek and asked his name. Then she told him hers: Marilyn Monroe.

From then on, Hof chased only Monroes, exclusively seeking out young, voluptuous blondes.

He wound up owning gas stations, buying one and expanding to five within a few years. During the 1972 gas shortage, he was approached by a woman who owned a local massage parlor and had a problem — her girls couldn't get to work because they couldn't get gas. They cut a deal that Hof would put fuel aside for her employees and could therefore make use of their services anytime, gratis, in return.

His time there served as a sexual awakening.

"I had always enjoyed sex, sure," he writes, "but until [then] I hadn't realized how little I knew about it. So, of course I kept going back, a willing student . . . I soon realized I had a big problem: I loved f—ing and I couldn't get enough of it."

He also soon realized, "I had fallen madly in love with prostitutes."

While his business continued to grow — he had success in real estate, and set up a sales operation for a time-share business that made him a millionaire — he became a regular customer at the Moonlite Ranch brothel in tiny Mound House, Nevada.

In the early 1990s, he learned that the Moonlite was up for sale, and bought it for $1 million, looking forward to remaking the business.

"I wanted the girls to be independent, to set their own prices and make their own deals," he writes. "Over the years, I had created some of the best sales teams in the country. If I could teach a high-school dropout how to sell a time-share, surely I could teach a hooker how to sell herself."

How to upsell sex

Hof owns — and enjoys the employees of — the BunnyRanch.Photo: Danny Feld

He changed the name to Dennis Hof's World Famous Moonlite BunnyRanch and let the prostitutes be independent contractors who could refuse any act or customer.

He brought in financial and real-estate advisers to teach the women investing and, as promised, trained them in sales, including negotiating higher prices for sexual favors. Earnings were split between hooker and house.

From left: Cami Parker, Dennis Hof, and Heidi Fleiss in 2011.Photo: Getty Images

Hof became infamous, a regular on Howard Stern and the 24-hour news channels. Tucker Carlson became a friend and once sent him a gift of "a beautiful cane made entirely out of a bull's penis."

Hof went through a string of girlfriends — civilians first, then pros — but lost them all by cheating.

"I should have been more honest. I could not be monogamous," he writes. "I didn't need to flaunt my affairs, but neither should I have been forced to run around like a thief in the night. It felt duplicitous and dirty, and I was neither of those things."

He decided to date only prostitutes and was upfront with all of them about his lack of interest in monogamy.

And yet, in every relationship, including with working girls Sunset Thomas, Krissy Summers and Cami Parker, the story was pretty much the same, at least according to him: a quick hop in the sack, followed by the young woman falling madly in love with Hof, followed by her melting down due to Hof having sex with other women.

Other side of the story

Occasionally, a memoirist will invite people in his or her life to write a few pages for their book, to give commentary on the events depicted and their role in them, or just to say a few nice things about the author.

Hof and his publisher, Judith Regan, follow suit, and even had psychotherapist Dr. Sheenah Hankin subject Hof to a psychological profile.

It could be seen as to Hof's credit that, instead of just including all the nice things people said about him, he included the negative ones as well. Unfortunately for him, the contributions from prostitutes Summers and Parker, along with Hankin's diagnosis, paint him in a scorchingly negative light.

Summers' account, for instance, turns his supposedly enlightened relationships with his workers on its head.

Hof slept with [a girl] one minute after her legal birthday, then put her right to work, as if this is something real men brag about.

Summers was a college freshman when she first connected with Hof online, and they stayed in touch. After college, with $45,000 in student-loan debt, she contacted him about working at the Ranch. They met for the first time in a hotel room.

"I walked in and he said, 'Hi, I'm Dennis Hof,' " she writes. "And I remember thinking, 'I know who you are.' And then he said, 'Take off your pants.' That was it. 'Take off your pants.' I was absolutely terrified. Dennis was only the second man I'd ever been with."

Parker's 16-page account in particular, in which she calls him a "soulless pimp," reads like a horror show.

Attracted to the Ranch after seeing Hof on the Tyra Banks show, Parker, then 22, says that when she first arrived, the other girls all responded, "Daddy's gonna love you!" (Oh, yeah, — all the women at the Ranch call Hof, "Daddy.")

She asked them if she would have to have sex with Hof.

"'Well . . . no . . . I guess you don't have to . . . ' Cue side long glances. 'But you should.'

"'What does that mean?'

"'Well, you want Daddy to like you. You won't have a very good time if he doesn't, so if he wants you to, you definitely should.'"

Impressed by Hof's presence, Parker wound up in a relationship with him.

But as "Daddy's" girl, the other women came to despise her. At one point, she heard one of the other girls screaming, "I'll kill her!"

Parker says Hof tried to "fix" her, changing the way she did her makeup so she'd resemble one of his exes. Starting out at 5-foot-4, 107 pounds with A-cup breasts, she said Hof would "forever tell me to lose weight," even when she hit "96 pounds with DDs," which "led to a very serious — and nearly deadly — eating disorder. Everyone knows Dennis likes skinny, little-girl bodies."

Parker recalls one girl that Hof slept with "one minute after her legal birthday, then put her right to work, as if this is something real men brag about."

He eventually told Parker that, at 23, she was "too old for him" — Hof was 65 at the time — since "girls over 21 are no good anymore."

Upon returning from a trip to visit her mother, Parker says she learned the hard way that her three-year relationship with Hof had ended.

"When we got back, some girl I'd never seen came up to me and said, "You're Cami. Dennis said I'm his new girlfriend but he's just waiting for you to leave! When are you leaving?"

'A terminator with no empathy'

Following Parker's account, Hof adds a note: "Can you believe I put up with that craziness for so long?" Amazingly, Hof seems to believe that her account reads as sympathetic to him.

But Parker's may not even be the worst insight.

Dr. Hankin confirms every negative word written about Hof, including saying that the bitterness and jealousy between the women in the house is engineered by him, as he "encourages them to be jealous and yearn for his attention" while laughing at "how they bicker, bitch and fight with each other over him."

Hankin calls out Hof as a narcissist who has "no empathy," and a "terminator" who is "clueless about his lover's hurts and fears or his part in creating them."

She also notes how Hof set Parker up for humiliation and hurt, saying that "as he had done before, he stirred up the other girls to be jealous of Cami. He lied to them, making all sorts of promises. 'You are my next girlfriend — I am leaving her.' Anything to evoke fury and jealousy."

"Dennis uses the women he 'loves' for his own desires, loyal companionship and sex," writes Hankin. "Like any pimp, he exploits them. This is sadistic behavior, and it is both unrecognized and denied."

What on earth Hof was thinking when he agreed to let these damning accounts into his own memoir?

At one point in the book, Hof recalls a recent conversation with his best friend, porn star Ron Jeremy. (The two have a very close, if odd, relationship. Hof calls Jeremy his "b—-," and refers to him as "she.")

"'I finally figured it out,' I said. 'It's my fault.'

"'What's your fault?

"'It's not enough to be a good guy, and it's not enough to buy them s—, and it's not enough to teach them how to make serious money. You have to give them your heart and soul. If you hold back, even a little bit, they know it, and it kills them.'

"'For f – – – 's sake, Dennis,'" Jeremy responded. "'You sound like a girl!'"


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