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Fun Facts about Prostitution During the Great Depression

January 3, 2012
It’s Timewarp Tuesday and since I am a lover of all things during the 1930’s, I thought it would be fun to hijack DC’s blog for the day and talk about the Great Depression. And prostitutes. And feminine hygiene.
Historically, prostitution can muster through any economic crisis and it should be no surprise that it was on the rise during the Great Depression.  Women, particularly those who didn’t have men to rely on, had to eat, too.  Their pictures are awesome.
prostituteA few things to know about these ladies and their profession:
1. A Las Vegas blowjob cost between $1.00 and $5.00, depending on what part of town you found yourself in.  In today’s money, that is between $13.00 and $65.00.
2.  Popular opinion was that prostitution was one of the causes of the Great Depression.  As individuals moral standards decreased, the economy crashed.  Not the other way around. Funny.
3. One of the birth control methods of choice was post-coital douching with Lysol as it supposedly killed sperm.
Now I have to go back to Lysol, the wonderful sperm killer and saver of marriages across the country. Yes, Lysol can save your marriage, or at least it was advertised to do so.  Mixed with water and used as a vaginal douche, those unbearable female odors that were the cause of marital strife are cleansed away and bliss reigns.  And Lysol advertised their product as such.  Amazing.  It wasn’t until many years later that the medical community decided maybe this wasn’t such a good idea.
To read about Prostitution during the building of the Hoover Dam, check out “Desert Darlings” on Kelly’s blog at



10 Comments leave one →
  1. stephaniehaefner permalink
    January 3, 2012 4:49 pm

    Wow! Very interesting!!! LOL! Great post!!

  2. January 4, 2012 3:04 am

    I tend to think a dose of lysol in the hoohaa might burn. I don’t know about you, but I’ll stick to a nice long shower, thank you very much. 🙂

    Thanks for the naughty history lesson, Kelly!

  3. Stephen Moran permalink
    January 4, 2012 3:16 am

    I love this…great pics to. it’s amazing to think that this was indeed only 80 years ago. insanity. Lysol? lol holy cow

  4. January 4, 2012 5:14 am

    thanks, Erica and Stephen. I love the ads. Exactly, just 80 years ago. Times have changed very quickly.

  5. January 4, 2012 7:33 pm

    It’s hard to imagine just what all of the practices that went on during the Great Depression were that many people would not even consider today. Lysol douching is one of these things. I mean, really? I can’t believe that the same product that I use to disinfect household furniture or clear the air of unpleasant odors from other cleaning products or my trash can removal rituals was also used as a personal “cleansing” method for women AND advertised as such many years ago. That is just unbelievable.

  6. January 4, 2012 7:42 pm

    I love the old ads..I’m about sure there are warnings on lysol today that say not for internal use..I’m glad we’ve come a long way on this one!

  7. January 5, 2012 10:04 pm

    So that’s why my grandmother would panic when she ran out of Lysol…and I thought she just wanted to keep the inside of the HOUSE clean.

    Your #2 fact just shows that we lied to ourselves 80 years ago, and nothing has changed…well, at least a vaginal douche has. (Thank God)

  8. January 7, 2012 1:18 pm

    Good heavens! Douching with Lysol? (she cringes). I feel like men must feel when they see another guy get it in the gonads. Whew! Pain.

    • Major Wood permalink
      June 14, 2012 12:29 pm

      Excellent analogy! Ouch!

  9. January 7, 2012 4:02 pm

    Excellent post and great comments! Thank you so much to Kelly and everyone who commented.

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