A basic definition of prostitution identifies it as promiscuous and mercenary sexual behavior with emotional indifference between the partners. Prostitution is generally a crime, but in the United States and most other countries, laws prohibit not the sex acts themselves but solicitation to perform sex acts in exchange for money or other things of value. Prices vary for different sexual acts, possibly including both oral and anal sex, as well as sadistic, masochistic, and exhibitionist acts, in addition to traditional forms of heterosexual relations. There are different types of prostitutes. A streetwalker, the most numerous type of prostitute, solicits directly for clients in a relatively public place, such as street corner or bus station. Streetwalkers often provide the cheapest available prostitution services. A bar girl also solicits clients in public place, but one that offers more protection from public view than a street corner allows. A bar girl s success usually depends more on physical attractiveness than that of a streetwalker, because she must build up business from the relatively small number of potential clients who visit the tavern. A call girl enjoys the highest status of any type of prostitute. While she may serve customers in her home, usually she meets clients in hotel rooms or their own residences. Earning the highest incomes of any type of prostitute, call girls also enjoy the greatest immunity from arrest and the stigma of prostitution. This type of prostitution also suits part-time work better than other types do. In addition to streetwalkers, bar girls, and call girls, other types of prostitutes work through massage parlors, photographic studios, or commercial escort agencies. Some prostitutes travel with a specific group of clients sometimes called road whores, such women often cater to working-class migrant labor camps or visitors to urban conventions. One report also identified three kinds of prostitutes who work in business offices. None fit the image of streetwalkers, but they use sex to further their economic ends. Party girls have sex with clients for money. Mistresses form sexual relationships with their bosses, motivated principally by the desire to ensure job security. Career climbers extend this idea by forming continuing sexual relationships with a series of bosses in an effort to promote their own career mobility and advancement. Nevada is the only U.S. state with laws that allow prostitution as a local county option; all but the state s three most populous counties have legalized such prostitution. Customers of typical establishment travel outside of town to a rural trailer complex called a ranch. The women who work there pay 50 to 60 percent of their income to the trailer owner. Becoming a Prostitute Youth and some physical attractiveness play important roles in the success of a prostitute, so most are between the ages of 17 and 24. They reach their peak earnings at about age 22. Some older women continue to work as prostitutes, but most of them remain in the activity for special reasons, such as raising funs for drug addiction, alcoholism, or some other expensive habit. Most prostitutes appear to come primarily from the lower socioeconomic classes, may from inner-city areas. Child Prostitutes Child prostitutes, or baby pros , participate in a little understood and studied are of prostitution. Inciardi s study of child prostitutes aged 8 to 12 has indicated that the girls often receive their introductions to this activity through their parents or other family members. None of the girls worked full time as prostitutes, and all were attending elementary school at the time; none were runaways. Their backgrounds frequently included casual nudity, sexual promiscuity, pornography and prostitution by family members.
Adolescent Prostitutions Adolescent prostitutes generally begin their careers at about the age of 14. Most come from dysfunctional homes marked by family separation, divorce, conflict, weak parental affection, and substantial sexual abuse. The backgrounds of many adolescent prostitutes reveal past trouble in a number of social settings: in school, at home, in the community. Most adolescent male prostitutes enter into prostitution in a similarly unplanned, most accidental way. Two distinct subcultures create varying environments for male prostitution. Within a peer delinquent subculture, prostitution forms one of many illegal activities as part of a larger routine or lifestyle of hustling. Within the gay subculture, however, male prostitution represents more of a participant s identity than simply performing sexual acts to generate income. Almost all clients of male prostitutes from either subculture are other males. Some men and adolescents work as male prostitutes only occasionally, while others participate actively in inner-city street life and prostitution. Street kids engage in prostitution at extremely high rates. A study of street kids in Miami reported that 5 percent of the boys and 87 percent of the girls engaged in prostitution at least some of the time. Male and female adolescent prostitutes serve remarkably similar customers; 30 to 50 year old men, usually white, from a variety of social and occupational backgrounds. Male prostitutes generally perform their acts in cars or clients residences rather than hotel rooms to avoid raising the suspicions of staff members. Females prefer places near the streets where they meet customers, such as hotel rooms or nearby apartments. Prostitution as a Career The career of a call girl includes at least three developmental stages: entrance into the career, apprenticeship, and development of s. After making and deciding to become a prostitute, the apprentice begins her apprenticeship, This period hardly involves a formal process of instructions, but some women report spending an average of 2 or 3 monthsworking in others apartments in training situations. Because a successful call girl needs a clientele, training provides equally important input about acquiring s. An apprentice can buy books or lists with clients names form other call girls or pimps, but some include unreliable information. Exchanging Drugs for Sex Changes in the availability and use of drugs have brought related changes in prostitution practices in some areas. In some neighborhoods, use by prostitutes of cocaine, crack cocaine, and heroin has promoted exchanges of sex for drugs rather than for money. Evidence for this trend comes not only from impressionistic reports of growing numbers such trades, but also wider reports of new sex selling patterns emerging over time. Prostitutes who exchange sex for drugs often think of themselves as freer than those who work for pimps. They often can manage only illusory perceptions of freedom, because they often exchange of form of dependency with another. Prostitution and Aids Most prostitutes who contract AIDS do so by using drugs, and many believe that they can avoid AIDS through regular use of condoms. Municipal areas rates of AIDS among prostitutes vary from an estimated 4 percent in Los Angeles to over 80 percent in some eastern U.S cities. Prostitutes generally face their highest risk, not form sex with strangers, but from the relations hip between prostitution and intravenous drug use. Studies have identified the greatest danger of AIDS for prostitutes, other than their own drug use, in sexual relations with high-risk, nonpaying partners with whom they have formed romantic attachments, weakening their resolve to use condoms.