Introduction

Femmes de Maison, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, c. 1893–1895
Femmes de Maison, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, c. 1893–1895

Prostitution is the business or practice of engaging in sexual activity in exchange for payment. The definition of "sexual activity" varies, and is often defined as an activity requiring physical contact (e.g., sexual intercourse, non-penetrative sex, oral sex, etc.) with the customer. The requirement of physical contact also creates the risk of transferring diseases. Prostitution is sometimes described as sexual services, commercial sex or, colloquially, hooking. It is sometimes referred to euphemistically as "the world's oldest profession" in the English-speaking world. A person who works in this field is called a prostitute, or more inclusively, a sex worker.

Prostitution occurs in a variety of forms, and its legal status varies from country to country (sometimes from region to region within a given country), ranging from being an enforced or unenforced crime, to unregulated, to a regulated profession. It is one branch of the sex industry, along with pornography, stripping, and erotic dancing. 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.

There are about 42 million prostitutes in the world, living all over the world (though most of Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa lack data, studied countries in that large region rank as top sex tourism destinations). Estimates place the annual revenue generated by prostitution worldwide to be over $100 billion. (Full article...)

More about prostitution - its laws, history & statistics
Refresh with new selections below (purge)

Selected article

Les Demoiselles d'Avignon
Les Demoiselles d'Avignon

Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (The Young Ladies of Avignon, originally titled The Brothel of Avignon) is a large oil painting created in 1907 by the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. The work, part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, portrays five nude female prostitutes in a brothel on Carrer d'Avinyó, a street in Barcelona. Each figure is depicted in a disconcerting confrontational manner and none is conventionally feminine. The women appear slightly menacing and are rendered with angular and disjointed body shapes. The three figures on the left exhibit facial features in the Iberian style of Picasso's native Spain, while the two on the right are shown with African mask-like features. The racial primitivism evoked in these masks, according to Picasso, moved him to "liberate an utterly original artistic style of compelling, even savage force." (read more...)

Selected biography

Mug shot of Wuornos in 1991
Mug shot of Wuornos in 1991

Aileen Carol Wuornos Pralle (/ˈwɔːrns/; born Aileen Carol Pittman; February 29, 1956 – October 9, 2002) was an American serial killer who murdered seven men in Florida between 1989 and 1990 by shooting them at point-blank range. Wuornos claimed that her victims had either raped or attempted to rape her while she was working as a prostitute, and that all of the homicides were committed in self-defense. She was convicted and sentenced to death for six of the murders and was executed by lethal injection on October 9, 2002.

The 2003 film Monster starred Charlize Theron as Wuornos. It chronicles Wuornos' story from childhood until her first murder conviction. The film earned Theron an Academy Award for Best Actress. (read more...)

Did you know?

Sallysalisbury.jpg

Quotes

New Internationalist, Issue 252 - February 1994.

Anniversaries - September

Selected image

MARSEILLE -un coin du vieux marseille -la rue bouterie.jpg

A group of filles de joie face the camera in front of the Mignon Bar on a street corner in old Marseilles. Lucien Lévy (1919)

Legality Map

Legality of prostitution worldwide

Legality of prostitution worldwide


  Decriminalization – no criminal penalties for prostitution
  Legalization – prostitution legal and regulated
  Abolitionism – prostitution is legal, but organized activities such as brothels and pimping are illegal; prostitution is not regulated
  Neo-abolitionism – illegal to buy sex and for 3rd party involvement, legal to sell sex
  Prohibitionism – prostitution illegal
  Legality varies with local laws

Subcategories

Category puzzle
Select [►] to view subcategories

Related portals

WikiProjects

Need help?

WikiProjects

Do you have a question about Portal:Prostitution to which you can't find the answer?

Consider asking it at the Wikipedia reference desk.

Get involved

WikiProjects

For editor resources and to collaborate with other editors on improving Wikipedia's Portal:Prostitution-related articles, see WikiProject Sexology and sexuality/Sex work task force.

Here are some tasks you can do:

  • Start a new article. Prostitution is a broad topic, so there will always be plenty of missing articles.
  • Clean up existing articles. A lists of articles needing cleanup is available here.
  • Expand an existing article. Existing articles are often incomplete and missing information on key aspects of the topic. Stubs can be found in Category:Stub-Class Sex work articles.
  • Discuss. Get involved in discussions on prostitution related articles, a current listing is available here
  • Improve main article prostitution to featured status.
  • Suggest improvements to this portal here

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:

Discover Wikipedia using portals