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Wednesday, 10 May 2017



Prostitution is sometimes called the "world's oldest profession." Sumerian records dating back to ca. 2400 BC are the earliest recorded mention of prostitution as an occupation. These describe a temple-bordello operated by Sumerian priests in the city of Uruk.

Prostitutes in Ancient Greece wore sandals with imprints that said "Follow me" on the ground to attract clients.

The prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases during the early 16th century caused a change in attitude towards sex workers. As the association between prostitutes, plague and contagion emerged, brothels and prostitution were outlawed by various secular authorities.

French prostitutes being taken to the police station; painting by √Čtienne Jeaurat

From 1757 to 1795, an anonymous writer published an annual directory of London prostitutes. It sold thousands of copies each year, and detailed everything from their specialties to the size of their breasts.

In the late 18th century, a fifth of young women in London worked as prostitutes.

Mulberry Garden was once the center of prostitution in London. Today, it is the site of Buckingham Palace.

Hookers got their name during the American Civil War when General Joseph Hooker, of the Union Army, tried to boost morale by allowing prostitutes access to his troops. Quickly dubbed "Hooker's girls," the prostitutes shortened it to "hookers." The moniker stuck.

The phrase "red light district" was coined back in the day when men who worked on the railroad visited a brothel and left their red lamps outside.

Victorian England Prime Minister William Gladstone was a founder of the Association for the Reclamation of Fallen Women. His mission involved approaching prostitutes on the street and visiting their rooms at night in order to rescue and convert them. Sometimes he even took the prostitutes home to meet his wife.

Three prostitutes in a doorway on Rue Asselin, in Paris’s red-light district, ca. 1924–25, photographed by Eug√®ne Atget

In 1880s Britain many under 16 year old girls were being exploited as prostitutes. They were trapped and lured into brothels in London by adverts in county newspapers requesting "domestic help needed". Once inside, the teenage victims were drugged, raped and shipped off in caskets to continental Europe where they were delivered to businessmen who had put in orders. In 1884, the Salvation Army exposed this trade in a series of articles in the Pall Mall Gazette. As a result a 400,000 strong petition persuaded Parliament to change the age of consent from 12 to 16.

On June 25, 1910, the US Congress passed the Mann Act which was aimed at keeping innocent girls from being lured into prostitution. In its original form the act made it a felony to engage in interstate or foreign commerce transport of "any woman or girl for the purpose of prostitution or debauchery, or for any other immoral purpose". It was named after Congressman James Robert Mann of Illinois, the author of the Act.


Prostitution is legal in Nevada but illegal in Las Vegas.

The German insurance firm ERGO rewarded its 100 best salesmen in 2007 with a prostitute-filled "sex party" in Budapest's famous thermal baths.

There are currently an estimated 40-42 million prostitutes in the world today. Three quarters of them are between the ages of 13 and 25, and 80% of them are female.

There's more one million full-time prostitutes currently in the U.S.

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