Like most authors, I occasionally get asked, “Where do you get your ideas?”
Many, if not all, of my characters are gestalt figures based on real people I’ve known. As for the situations they find themselves in, there are plenty of historical elements to help the tale. For example, here are a few very interesting links.
The Gentleman’s Directory was sold in New York, back in the 1870s. It cost a buck (a lot of money back then) and was a guide to the brothels around town.
One can even tour the area with a map of some of the famous dens of inequity.
Much more information in a similar vein can be found in this well-researched report:
Now, I would think anyone should be able to glean a story or two from these links.