Green’s Dictionary of Slang

call house n.

[SE call (on), to visit + house n.1 (1)]

1. (also house of call) a brothel to which men can come without making any prior appointment.

[UK]Life of Thomas Neaves 35: Being ask’d whether he had Correspondence with those detestable Set of People call’d Molly’s, or Sodomites; Neaves reply’d that he never frequented any of their Abominable Houses of Call.
[US]H.N. Cary Sl. of Venery.
[US]W.R. Burnett Little Caesar (1932) 240: Sometimes at night he would go to one of the call-houses on a nearby street and spend a couple of hours with one of the women.
[US]G. Milburn ‘Down in Lehigh Valley II’ in Hobo’s Hornbook 52: Down in the Lehigh Valley, / Me and my pal, Bill, / Pimped three years for a callhouse / And the work was all uphill.
[US]J.M. Cain Mildred Pierce (1985) 357: I’m not running a house of call.
[US]R. Chandler Little Sister 5: The call houses that specialize in sixteen-year-old virgins.
[US]J. Stearn Sisters of the Night 5: Call houses are a thing of the past in New York.
[US]Trimble 5000 Adult Sex Words and Phrases.

2. a hetero- or homosexual brothel to which women or men are summoned by telephone after they have been selected, via some form of visual ‘menu’, by the male clientele; thus call trade, prostitution arranged on this basis.

[US]Committee of Fourteen Social Evil in N.Y. City 18: A‘call house’ is the term used where immoral women living in apartments supply their patrons by telephoning to certain other places for girls to come in.
[US]H.B. Woolston Prostitution in the US 139: The call house is really an employment exchange for prostitutes.
[US] (ref. to 1907) H. Asbury Barbary Coast (2002) 235: A call house; that is, the members of the — well, staff — were not actually resident upon the premises, but were chosen from photographs, and from charts which furnished all needful information as to [...] physical details. Once selected, the male Magdalen was summoned by telephone or messenger.
[US]D. Maurer ‘Prostitutes and Criminal Argots’ in Lang. Und. (1981) 116/1: call house. An assignation house to which girls are called to serve a selected clientele.
[US]F.S. Fitzgerald Last Tycoon 88: ‘You mean she was a tart?’ ‘So it seems. She went to what you call call-houses.’.
[US]G. Legman ‘Lang. of Homosexuality’ Appendix VII in Henry Sex Variants.
[US](con. 1920s) ‘Harry Grey’ Hoods (1953) 112: She ran a ten dollar joint. And for the call trade, she charged thirty bucks.
[US]K. Marlowe Mr Madam (1967) 21: He informed me he was operating a male callhouse.
[US]Maledicta IX 144: Or perhaps they work out of an escort service or male call-house (bullring camp, hardware shop, the latter emphasizing the necessary horn, US hard-on).