San Francisco CA Is Famous For Prostitution
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A few of San Francisco's infamous "Ladies of the Barbary Coast," sex workers who lived and worked in the city's many brothels. This photo was taken in the s.


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What Links Here. But on Saturday nights some of the more popular women, who had built up a more or less regular clientele, remained in their workshops from dusk to dawn, while the pimps kept the men standing in line outside, their hats in one hand and money in the other.

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But don't worry, you can still find plenty of sleaze just a short walk from Union Square. Occupants of the den took turns standing behind the bars and striving to attract the attention of passing men. And not only were the Morton Street cribs the lowest in San Francisco's red light district; they were also the most popular, partly because of the great variety and extraordinary depravity of the women to be found there, and partly because the police seldom entered the street unless compelled to do so by a murder or a serious shooting or stabbing affray.

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In the words of the immortal Horace Greeley, "Go west, young man. These dens were occupied by women of all colors and nationalities; there were even a few Chinese and Japanese girls.

San francisco's sleaziest street - yesterday and today

You'll traverse the Tenderloin District, San Francisco's scummiest neighborhood, a filth-encrusted hotbed of immorality, indecency, lewdness, corruption, and all manner of vice. San Franciscans believed that redhe, especially Jewish redhe, were sizzling hot.

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It was not uncommon for a Morton Street prostitute to entertain as many as eighty to a hundred men in one night. The front room was usually carpeted, and contained a cheap bureau, more chairs, and perhaps a wall mirror. The two blocks of Maiden Lane look perfectly respectable now.

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What happened? : Downtown s s Women Tenderloin. The crib was exactly what its name implies—a small, one-story shack some twelve feet wide and fourteen feet deep, divided into two rooms by heavy curtains of coarse material. Share this :. Ordinary fights and assaults were ignored Every night, and especially every Saturday night, this dismal bedlam of obscenity, lighted only by the red lamps above the doors of the cribs, was thronged by a tumultuous mob of half-drunken men, who stumbled from crib to crib, greedily inspecting the women as if they had been so many wild animals in cages.

After more than forty years of pandering to San Franciscans' lewdest and most degenerate tastes, the cribs burned in the great fire and were never rebuilt; by then, property values in the area had skyrocketed, and the land was taken over by legitimate business. Historical Essay. Actually, O'Farrell isn't really San Francisco's sleaziest street; it has to compete with cross-streets Taylor, Jones, Leavenworth, Hyde, Larkin, and the inimitable Polk, where runaway children of both sexes may be bought and sold; and with parallel thoroughfares Ellis, Eddy, Turk, and Golden Gate.

If business was dull, the pimps sold the privilege of touching the breasts of the prostitutes at the standard rate of ten cents each or two for fifteen cents.

The only entrance to the crib was a narrow door, in which was set a small barred window. Document Next Document. The Tenderloin got its name from the custom of paying higher salaries to police that worked in this crime-ridden area, thereby enabling them to buy choicer cuts of meat. When an interested male stopped before the crib, the harlot displayed the upper part of her body and cajoled him with seductive cries and motions.

A madam named Iodoform Kate made a fortune during the 's by offering at least one red-haired Jewess in every crib. Donate via PayPal one time or monthly or become a Patreon patron. Maiden Lane Photo: Chris Carlsson If you get tired of the posh respectability of Union Square, and find yourself with a hankering for sin, sleaze, and assorted sordid stuff, where can you go?

The earthquake and fire ofthat's what. From the casement-windows leaned the harlots, naked to the waist, adding their shrill cries of invitation to the uproar, while their pimps haggled with passing men and tried to drag them inside the dens.

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It was occupied by from two to six girls The back room of the crib was meagerly furnished with a wash-bowl, a rickety bamboo chair or two, and hard board shelves or bunks covered with matting. If you get tired of the posh respectability of Union Square, and find yourself with a hankering for sin, sleaze, and assorted sordid stuff, where can you go?

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The San Francisco Red Light District might not be as seedy as it once was, but it still manages to maintain a fairly liberal attitude.


The Barbary Coast was a red-light district during the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries in San Francisco that featured dance halls, concert saloons, bars, jazz clubs, variety shows, and brothels.


Historical Essay.


In the s, San Francisco, and the American West generally, was a hotbed of anti-Chinese sentiment.