A History Of Prostitution and The Sex Trade

Prostitution is the act of using sexual acts to earn money or another form of payment. It can also be referred to as commercial sex. Women and men working within the sex industry are referred to as prostitutes or porn stars. Every country has different laws regarding prostitution. Usually, you have to be a legal adult (18 or older) to partake in prostitution.

Prostitution has grown a lot over the years. There are over 40 million active prostitutes living worldwide. Prostitutes have generated over $100 billion in revenue. With the expansion of the internet, prostitution can be seen all over the internet. A porn star is someone that specializes in sex acts on the internet.

Prostitution dates all the way back to the ancient times. The Sumerians were one of the earliest civilizations to use the term prostitution. It was considered a common practice and prostitution was a job at that time. There was a temple built by the Sumerians around 2400 BC that housed three grades of women. The first grade of women was allowed to perform sexual rituals inside the temple, the second grade worked on the grounds and catered to the visitor’s needs, and the third grade of women lived on the grounds. They were the poorest class of women.

In Canaan, a majority of prostitutes in the temple were male. They would perform sexual rituals to honor goddess Ashtart.

In ancient Greece, women and boys got involved in prostitution. Females would work as independent prostitutes and carried a lot of influence. They had to wear a specific type of dress and pay extra money. A lot of women in Greece charged large sums of money for their services. A temple was built in Greece to honor Aphrodite Pandemos, goddess of sexual pleasure. There were plenty of male prostitutes that lived in Greece. Adolescent boys engaged in various sexual acts.

Prostitution was common and widely accepted by the public in Ancient Rome. Men and women of all statuses would engage with prostitutes. Roman men of the highest social status were allowed to approach prostitutes for sex without any regrets, as long as it was controlled and the sex was enjoyed.

While prostitution in Ancient Rome was common, prostitutes were often looked down upon. Most of the prostitutes living in Ancient Rome were slaves or former slaves. They did not rank high on the social pyramid. A registered prostitute was referred to as a meretix and an undercover prostitute was referred to as a prostibulae. As the empire continue to grow, more foreign slaves were captured and sold for the purpose of prostitution. Occasionally a group of abandoned children would be raised to work as a prostitute. Buyers could inspect naked men and women before making a purchase.

In the 7th century, prophet Muhammed banned prostitution. In Islam, it was considered a sin. However, sexual slavery was not considered prostitution and was widely accepted during the Arab slave trade.

During the 16th and 17th century, sexually transmitted diseases and the plague emerged, causing prostitution to be outlawed by authorities. A prostitute was considered a whore and her job was to please men. In parts of Germany, prostitutes had to look a certain way to show that they were prostitutes. They often wore veils and had short hair.

During the 18th century, young men would wash clients with soap. They were referred to as sex workers. Ottoman texts would explain who they were, how much they charged, and how many times they could make their client orgasm. Condoms made with cow bowel were used during this time period.

During World War I, United States military men could arrest any women they suspected to be infected. If they were infected they would have been taken to a hospital or farm colony until they were free of any diseases. Several communist leaders did not like the idea of prostitution. They thought about making prostitution illegal to overcome capitalism. Several communist leaders did everything they could to ban prostitution, but it would still happen. In China prostitution was considered illegal, but people still found a way to practice it.

During World War II, several women living in East Asia and Southeast Asia were forced into prostitution. Sex tourism quickly grew late in the 20th century and was commonly seen in wealthier countries. Nearly every three out of four men between 20 and 40 would visit Asia or Africa and pay for sex. There was a law in the 20th century that said a person commits a crime if the engage in sex. The prostitute however, does not get in trouble.