Prostitution

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Prostitution is the sale of sexual services. A person selling sexual services is a prostitute.

Sourced[edit]

  • To you, a prostitute is some kind of beautiful object. You respect her as you do the Mona Lisa, in front of whom you also would not make an obscene gesture. But in so doing, you think nothing of depriving thousands of women of their souls and relegating them to an existence in an art gallery. As if we consort with them so artistically! Are we being honest when we call prostitution "poetic." I protest in the name of poetry. And we are being infinitely smug when, with subjective self-promotion, we believe we are able to endow the prostitute's life with meaning. I would like you to acknowledge the shallow aestheticism of what you write. You yourself do not want to relinquish humanity. Yet you would have us believe that there are people who are objects. You arrogate human dignity to yourself. As for the rest, they are pretty things. And why? So that we have a noble gesture for ignoble deeds.
    • Walter Benjamin, Letter to Herbert Belmore, June 23, 1913, in The Correspondence of Walter Benjamin 1910-1940, p. 35
  • If you are a Christian, no earthly city is yours. Of our City ‘the Builder and Maker is God.’ Though we may gain possession of the whole world, we are withal but strangers and sojourners in it all. We are enrolled in heaven: our citizenship is there! Let us not, after the manner of little children, despise things that are great, and admire those which are little! Not our city’s greatness, but virtue of soul is our ornament and defence. If you suppose dignity to belong to a city, think how many persons must partake in this dignity, who are whoremongers, effeminate, depraved and full of ten thousand evil things, and at last despise such honour! But that City above is not of this kind; for it is impossible that he can be a partaker of it, who has not exhibited every virtue.
  • Do you understand, gentlemen, that all the horror is in just this—that there is no horror!
  • I can enjoy her while she's kind;
    But when she dances in the wind,
    And shakes the wings and will not stay,
    I puff the prostitute away:
    The little or the much she gave is quietly resign'd:
    Content with poverty, my soul I arm;
    And virtue, though in rags, will keep me warm.
    • John Dryden, Imitation of Horace (1685), "On Fortune", Book III, Ode 29, l. 81 - 87.
  • I think it proves that if my business could be made legal, the way off-track betting is in New York, I and women like me could make a big contribution to what Mayor John Lindsay calls Fun City, and the city and state could derive the money in taxes and licensing fees that I pay off to crooked cops and political figures.
  • [in Kenya]...any woman who is single and has multiple male sex partners is considered to be a prostitute, whether or not money changes hands.
    • New Internationalist, Issue 252 - February 1994.
  • [in India] Any sexual intercourse outside socially acceptable unions is likely to be regarded as prostitution.
    • New Internationalist, Issue 252 - February 1994.
  • [In Iran] Under mut'a, it is possible to be 'married' for as little as half an hour.
    • New Internationalist, Issue 252 - February 1994.
  • Egyptian law states that a man who is caught with a prostitute is not imprisoned; instead, his testimony is used to convict and imprison the prostitute.
    • New Internationalist, Issue 252 - February 1994.
  • Prostitutes are the inevitable product of a society that places ultimate importance on money, possessions, and competition.
    • Jane Fonda, in Thomas Kiernan, Jane: An Intimate Biography of Jane Fonda (1970).
  • What I am saying is that truth is usually more complicated than any one perspective can capture. Prostitution is not a monolith. Each woman experiences the profession in a different manner. And nothing can be gained by having different groups of feminists or prostitutes — all of whom are probably telling the truth of their own experiences — attempting to discredit each other.
  • The only way to prevent prostitution altogether would be to imprison one half of the human race.

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