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Most people know vaguely what the act of prostitution entails. Prostitution is one of the oldest forms of making money, and the act has been depicted in stories, books, movies and television for many years. But prostitution means something very specific in legal terms. According to United States law, prostitution is the act of offering sexual services in return for some form of compensation.
What are the exact stipulations of a prostitution exchange?
The compensation for a sexual act does not have to be actual money. It could be other services or goods as well. For example, the trade of sexual services for free rent in an apartment building is a form of prostitution. In most American states, the party who is offering the sexual services does not even have to actually carry out the sexual services. As long as they agree to carry out these services, they are considered to be engaging in prostitution.
Who are prostitutes?
A prostitute can be a male or a female. Most often, people think of prostitutes as women who stand on street corners and call out to men driving by. This is only one form of prostitution. The act of prostitution can take place in a strip club, with a phone sex agency, in brothels or massage parlors, alongside pornography or in international or domestic sex trafficking.
Who can be charged with prostitution?
Both parties in an arrangement involving prostitution can be considered liable for the crime. People who pay or offer other goods or services to prostitutes are often called “Johns” in the courtroom. If these Johns are prosecuted, they may face charges of prostitution solicitation. Middlemen can also be charged. These individuals are often called pimps, and they are known to arrange the transactions between Johns and prostitutes.
What exactly is a pimp?
A pimp may be called many different things, but at the core, a pimp is someone who sets up the exchange of sexual acts and payment between a person in prostitution and a John. The pimp tends to be male, but there are female pimps as well. The pimp takes a cut of the money, services or goods that are being transacted.
Can someone who is offering sexual services be raped?
Yes. If a man or woman who starts out as a prostitute decides that they do not want to carry out the sexual acts they may have offered, or if the acts go too far for them, they can say no. When an individual says no to sex but is forced to go through with a sexual act anyway, this is rape. It doesn’t matter if they consistently engage in sexual acts. Many prostituted women are raped, but they are often too scared to go to the hospital or the police because they think they will be charged with prostitution. Approximately 80% of prostituted women have been the subject of rape.
If you are involved in prostitution and want to get out, there are resources for you. Women’s centers will help females or males who want to get out of the prostitution ring and start their lives over again.