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Paid or Commercial Sex

Paid or Commercial Sex is the business in which sexual service and for this client makes the payment. The person who receives payment for providing sexual service is called Sex Worker. Female sex worker is called prostitute, male sex worker a gigolo and pimp is the person who plays role of arrangements. The entire business is called sex industry which today is estimated to be about making USD 100 billion annually. Countries differ in their approach and legal status granted to this industry.

Societies too differ in their approach.

  1. Complete prohibition –  Both sex workers and clients are seen as immoral and criminals.
  2. Rejection –  Not complete prohibition but discouraged by controlling sex related commercial activities.
  3. Human Rights Violation –  This approach sees sex workers as victims of human rights violation. Clients and pimps are dealt with. Many countries have organizations to look after rights and welfare of sex workers.
  4. Way out – Some groups neither support nor are against. They offer guidance and support to give a way out of sex industry.
  5. Decriminalization –  No strict laws against it are required but it is not accepted or recognized legally.
  6. Acceptance –  It is considered as legitimate business and is regularized. It helps in making regular mandatory health checks.

Social Problems of Sex Industry

These are following:

Sex for Survival

When the sex worker is driven to it for basic necessities of life such as food or shelter it is Sex for Survival. This is one of the basic reasons which drives people into this industry although to other side luxury too drives people into it. This is debatable issue as some people call it mere excuse.


Many kinds are exploitations are encountered in sex industry like sexual exploitation of children, human trafficking, sexual slavery, violence, drug dealing, illegal immigration etc.

Children in Sex Industry

One of the most disturbing issues is use of children in sex industry. It is found that such children are even given steroids and other drugs to make them look older. It is estimated that about 40% of sex workers are children. This leads to medical and psychological disorders in such children. Most countries have strict laws to prohibit use of children in sex industry but still it is said to be much in prevalence.


Sex workers are at higher risk of violence and other crimes against them. Unfortunately most of such cases are either covered up or they do not have support system to protect. Illegal money and passion makes the industry vulnerable to crimes.

Health problems

Many health problems are reported in sex industry. Spread of STD and HIV is a major concern. There are also concerns related to psychological impact and commonly seen are low self esteem, anxiety and depression.

Types of Sex Workers

  • Street sex workers
  • Brothels
  • Escorts
  • Bar sex workers
  • Internet or cyber sex workers
  • Phone sex workers
  • Sex tourism