Prostitution Biography of Madam Polly Adler Part 2

About the famous Madam Polly Adler, biography and history of her New York bordello and its specialties.


Polly Adler

After a memorable police raid in 1935, Adler operated on a reduced scale, giving up the elegant "parlor house" and becoming a "call house madam" who called girls in for the evening but did not have them living on the premises.

Specialties and Eccentricities: Polly Adler became a celebrity partly through frequent attendance at nightclub openings, where she'd walk in at a dramatic moment surrounded by her loveliest girls. ("The clubs were a display window for the girls. I'd make a newspaper column or two, the latest Polly Adler gag would start the rounds and, no matter where we happened to go, some of the club patrons would follow after us and end the evening at the house.") Polly selected only healthy, beautiful, and skilled girls. ("I always engaged girls with enough experience behind them to make them interesting to my customers.") Sometimes her clients would "date" a girl for an evening on the town, and Polly made sure that she dressed and behaved like a lady. ("I insisted that on such occasions they dress quietly and use a minimum of makeup. The days of the flagrantly dressed, flagrantly 'refined' tarts who tossed down their snorts of rotgut with the little finger well out were long past. . . .") Gentlemen who came to Polly's were always formally introduced--generally by their right names since they were sure that she would not betray them. It was customary, after a drink or two and a brief chat with the ladies, for the customer to nod towards the chosen one and say, "Let's take a walk." Then off to the bedroom they'd go and indulge in those ancient fleshly rituals which never really change no matter what the time of day or the elegance of the house in which they take place.

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