Prostitution law


Prostitution law in the world

Prostitution law varies widely from country to country, and between jurisdictions within a country. Prostitution or sex work is legal in some parts of the world and regarded as a profession, while in other parts it is a crime punishable by death. In many jurisdictions prostitution is illegal. In other places prostitution itself (exchanging sex for money) is legal, but surrounding activities (such as soliciting in a public place, operating a brothel, and pimping) are illegal. In other jurisdictions prostitution is legal and regulated. In most jurisdictions which criminalize prostitution, the sex worker is the party subject to penalty, but in some jurisdictions it is the client who is subject to a penalty.

Prostitution has been condemned as a single form of human rights abuse, and an attack on the dignity and worth of human beings, while other schools of thought state that sex work is a legitimate occupation; whereby a person trades or exchanges sexual acts for money and/or goods. Some believe that women in developing countries are especially vulnerable to sexual exploitation and human trafficking, while others distinguish this practice from the global sex industry, in which “sex work is done by consenting adults, where the act of selling or buying sexual services is not a violation of human rights.” The term “sex work” is used interchangeably with “prostitution” in this article, in accordance with the World Health Organisation (WHO 2001; WHO 2005) and the United Nations (UN 2006; UNAIDS 2002).


Many people who support legal prostitution argue that prostitution is a consensual sex act between adults and a victimless crime, thus the government should not prohibit this practice.

Many anti-prostitution advocates hold that prostitutes themselves are often victims, arguing that prostitution is a practice which can lead to serious psychological and often physical long-term effects for the prostitutes. They may also argue that the act of prostitution is not by definition a fully consensual act, as they say that all prostitutes are “forced” to sell sex, either by somebody else or by the unfortunate circumstances of their lives (such as poverty, lack of opportunity, drug addiction, a history of childhood abuse or neglect, etc.).

In 1999, Sweden became the first country to make it illegal to pay for sex, but not to be a prostitute (the client commits a crime, but not the prostitute). A similar law was passed in Norway and in Iceland (in 2009). As of 2012, the Republic of Ireland is considering a similar model to that of the Nordic countries (Denmark excluded).

Economic and health issues

It is argued that street prostitution is not victimless as it may damage the reputation and quality of life in the neighbourhood and diminish the value of property. Peter De Marneffe notes that many prostitutes have not finished school, affecting their ability to be able to have a career that they might have preferred. Therefore, prostitution also affects the application of their talent in other areas of the economy in which they can succeed. Maxwell (2000) and other researcher have found substantial evidence that there is strong co-occurrence between prostitution, drug use, drug selling, and involvement in non-drug crimes, particularly property crime. Because the activity is considered criminal in many jurisdictions, its substantial revenues are not contributing to the tax revenues of the state, and its workers are not routinely screened for sexually transmitted diseases which is dangerous in cultures favouring unprotected sex and leads to significant expenditure in the health services. According to the Estimates of the costs of crime in Australia, there is an “estimated $96 million loss of taxation revenue from undeclared earnings of prostitution”. On top of these physical issues, it is also argued that the there are psychological issues that prostitutes face from certain experiences and through the duration and/or repetition. Some go through experiences that may result “in lasting feelings of worthlessness, shame, and self‐hatred”. De Marneffe further argues that this may affect the prostitute’s ability to perform sexual acts for the purpose of building a trusting intimate relationship, which may be important for their partner. Because of the lack of a healthy relationship, it can lead to higher divorce rates and it can influence unhealthy relationship to their children, influencing their future relationships. Although this is more difficult to control by law, it should be considered when creating policies in protecting prostitutes’ psychological health.

Condom use is not always a part of sex work, and if sex work was legalized, this could change. By keeping prostitution illegal, there are no laws to govern how the work is performed. It is a well-known fact that condoms help reduce the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS. If prostitution was legalized, one of the laws could be the requirement of the use of condoms. It was reported in 2010 that out of eighty-six countries, only about twenty eight countries reported regular condom use in sex work (“Sex Workers“). If sex work was legalized, the amount of condom use would increase, leading to better protection for both the worker and the client.…



What is Prostitution ?

Prostitution is the business or practice of engaging in sexual relations in exchange for payment or some other benefit. Prostitution is sometimes described as commercial sex or hooking. Depending on the jurisdiction, prostitution can be legal or illegal.

A person who works in this field is called a prostitute, and is a kind of sex worker. Prostitution is one of the branches of the sex industry: other branches include pornography, stripping, nude modeling, and erotic dancing. The legal status of prostitution varies from country to country (sometimes from region to region within a given country), ranging from being permissible but unregulated, to an enforced or unenforced crime, or a regulated profession. It is sometimes referred to euphemistically as “the world’s oldest profession” in the English-speaking world. Estimates place the annual revenue generated by prostitution worldwide to be over $100 billion.

Prostitution occurs in a variety of forms. Brothels are establishments specifically dedicated to prostitution. In escort prostitution, the act may take place at the client’s residence or hotel room (referred to as out-call), or at the escort’s residence or a hotel room rented for the occasion by the escort (in-call). Another form is street prostitution. Although the majority of prostitutes identify as female and have male clients, there are also gay male prostitutes, lesbian prostitutes, and heterosexual male prostitutes.

There are about 42 million prostitutes in the world, living all over the world (though most of Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa lacks data, studied countries in that large region rank as top sex tourism destinations). Sex tourism refers to the practice of traveling to engage in sexual relations with prostitutes in other countries. Some rich clients may pay for long-term contracts that may last for years.

Prostitution is frequently viewed as a form of exploitation of or violence against women and children, and helps to create a supply of victims for human trafficking. Some critics of prostitution as an institution are supporters of the Swedish model, which has also been adopted by Canada, Iceland, Northern Ireland, Norway and France.

Etymology and terminology

Prostitute is derived from the Latin prostituta. Some sources cite the verb as a composition of “pro” meaning “up front” or “forward” and “situere“, defined as “to offer up for sale”. Another explanation is that prostituta is a composition of pro and statuere (to cause to stand, to station, place erect). A literal translation therefore is: “to put up front for sale” or “to place forward”. The Online Etymology Dictionary states, “The notion of ‘sex for hire’ is not inherent in the etymology, which rather suggests one ‘exposed to lust’ or sex ‘indiscriminately offered.'”

The word prostitute was then carried down through various languages to the present-day Western society. Most sex worker activists groups reject the word prostitute and since the late 1970s have used the term sex worker instead. However, sex worker can also mean anyone who works within the sex industry or whose work is of a sexual nature and is not limited solely to prostitutes.

A variety of terms are used for those who engage in prostitution, some of which distinguish between different types of prostitution or imply a value judgment about them. Common alternatives for prostitute include escort and whore; however, not all professional escorts are prostitutes.

The English word whore derives from the Old English word hōra, from the Proto-Germanic *hōrōn (prostitute), which derives from the Proto-Indo-European root *keh₂- meaning “desire”, a root which has also given us Latin cārus (dear), whence the French cher (dear, expensive) and the Latin cāritās (love, charity). Use of the word whore is widely considered pejorative, especially in its modern slang form of ho. In Germany, however, most prostitutes’ organizations deliberately use the word Hure (whore) since they feel that prostitute is a bureaucratic term. Those seeking to remove the social stigma associated with prostitution often promote terminology such as sex worker, commercial sex worker (CSW), tantric engineer (coined by author Robert Anton Wilson), or sex trade worker. Another commonly-used word for a prostitute is hooker. Although a popular etymology connects “hooker” with Joseph Hooker, a Union general in the American Civil War, the word more likely comes from the concentration of prostitutes around the shipyards and ferry terminal of the Corlear’s Hook area of Manhattan in the 1820s, who came to be referred to as “hookers”. A streetwalker solicits customers on the streets or in public places, while a call girl makes appointments by phone, or in recent years, through email or the internet.

Correctly or not, use of the word prostitute without specifying a sex may commonly be assumed to be female; compound terms such as male prostitution or male escort are therefore often used to identify males. Those offering services to female customers are commonly known as gigolos; those offering services to male customers are hustlers or rent boys.

Organizers of prostitution may be known as pimps (if male) and madams or Mama-san (if female). More formally, one who is said to practice procuring is a procurer, or procuress.

The clients of prostitutes are also known as johns or tricks in North America and punters in the British Isles. These slang terms are used among both prostitutes and law enforcement for persons who solicit prostitutes. The term john may have originated from the frequent customer practice of giving one’s name as “John”, a common name in English-speaking countries, in an effort to maintain anonymity. In some places, men who drive around red-light districts for the purpose of soliciting prostitutes are also known as kerb crawlers.

Payments and salaries

Prostitutes’ salaries and payments fluctuate according to the economic conditions of their respective countries. Prostitutes who usually have foreign clients, such as business travelers, depend on good foreign economic conditions. Payment may vary according to regulations made by pimps, brothel keepers, madams, and procurers, who usually take a slice out of a prostitute’s income. Prices may further depend on demand; popular, high-end prostitutes can earn significant amounts of money (upwards of $5,000 per client), and virgins may receive even higher payments.…

Escort agency


What is a Escort agency?

Escort agencies are companies that provide escorts for clients, usually for sexual services. The agency typically arranges a meeting between one of its escorts and the client at the customer’s house or hotel room (outcall), or at the escort’s residence (incall). Some agencies also provide escorts for longer durations, who may stay with the client or travel along on a holiday or business trip. While the escort agency is paid a fee for this booking and dispatch service, the customer must negotiate any additional fees or arrangements directly with the escort for any other services that are not provided by the agency involved, such as providing sexual services (regardless of the legality of these services).

Business model

Escort agencies claim that they are dispatching these individuals to provide a social or conversational service rather than a sexual service, since prostitution laws often forbid taking payment for sex or communicating for the purpose of arranging a contract for sexual services. Advertisements for escort agencies often carefully skirt the legal line, and avoid specifically offering prostitution or sexual services. This fact in turn is well-known to police and the political powers, who, where prostitution is illegal, usually prefer to act against more visible and problematic street prostitution. This has been criticized as hypocrisy, especially where governments license and tax the escort agencies. However, there almost certainly do exist agencies that do go by these laws and do not facilitate prostitution. Some countries have used a two-pronged approach of criminalizing street prostitution but permitting or licensing prostitution in brothels or via escort agencies.


Escort agencies often recruit individuals to work as escorts by placing employment advertisements in a magazine or newspaper. Escort agencies typically maintain a list of escorts of different ages and appearances to cater to the varying interests of clients. Some agencies may specifically deal in a certain type of escort. There are male-for-male, female-for-male, and female-for-female escort agencies, as well as a few male-for-female agencies. Agencies commonly specialize in only one sex. Transsexual or transgender escorts are available from some escort agencies.

It is very common for escorts to enter the business through referrals from friends who have been in the business. The effectiveness of ads in weeklies or specialized sites has been questioned by some operators as there are so many that they are diluted. Typically, an escort will interview with an agency.


Once an agency decides to hire an escort, she or he will provide photographs or pose for a photographer. These pictures are posted on the agency’s website or circulated among clients to promote business.

Some larger escort agencies maintain websites with photo galleries of their escorts. Clients contact agencies by telephone and offer a description of what kind of escorts are sought. The agency will then suggest an escort who might fit that client’s need.

The agency collects the client’s contact information and calls the escort. Usually, to protect the identity of the escort and ensure effective communication with the client, the agency arranges the appointment. Sometimes, it may be up to the escort to contact the client directly to make arrangements for the location and time of an appointment. Generally, the escort is also expected to call the agency upon arrival at the location and upon leaving, to ensure the safety of the escort.

Legal considerations

The arm’s length relationship between the escort and the escort agency is designed to protect the escort agency (to some degree) from prosecution for breaking laws against prostitution. If the employee is solely responsible for arranging any illegal prostitution-oriented activities, the agency can maintain plausible deniability should an arrest be made.

Escort services aim to provide an experience that allows the operators to claim that whatever happens between the escort and the client is consensual. Operators tend to avoid discussing specifics over the telephone or via emails to avoid complications with the law.

United Kingdom

Escort prostitution is one of the forms that the sex trade takes in the United Kingdom, along with prostitution practiced in massage parlors, saunas, private flats (such as the Soho walk-ups) and street prostitution. Working as an outcall escort is not an offence, and neither is working as a prostitute in private. It is, however, a criminal offense to pay for services of a prostitute who is controlled for gain if any third party uses force, threat (whether or not relating to violence) or any other form of coercion. In 2015 the HMRC set up a dedicated “adult entertainment task force” to collect unpaid income tax from, among others, online escort agencies.

Financial considerations

The amount of money that is made by an escort varies with many factors, such as sexual attractiveness, competition from legal and illegal sources, and the commissions to be paid to the agency. Typically, an agency will charge their escorts either a flat fee for each client connection or a percentage of the pre-arranged rate. According to police in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, the high fees charged by escort agencies may make escorting less lucrative than street prostitution, especially as agencies often also deduct the license fees directly from the earnings.

Independent escorts may have differing fees depending on the season, or whether the client is a regular or semi-regular customer. Independent escorts may tend to see clients for extended meetings involving dinner or social activities whereas agency escorts tend to be split into two categories: Cheaper services, especially if mainly based around incall appointments (client visiting the escort at her accommodation), often only provide sexual services, while agencies that provide mainly outcall appointments (the escort visiting the client at either their home or hotel) tend to offer services similar to that of independent escorts.

In New York City, escort services charge anywhere from $200 to $1500 or more per hour. The industry standard for dividing the money is 50% to the escort, 40% to the agency, and 10% to the booker (a kind of sales representative). Given the level of business can vary week to week, it is not uncommon for escorts to be featured by more than one agency provided they are operated by the same ownership group.…