Street prostitution

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Street_Prostitution.jpg
An example of street prostitution.
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An example of street prostitution, Av. Consitucion, Zona Norte, Tijuana, Mexico.

Street prostitution is a common scenario for prostitution.

In street prostitution, the prostitute solicits customers while waiting at street corners or walking alongside a street, usually dressed in skimpy, suggestive clothing. Often the prostitute (commonly called a "hooker" or "street hooker" to distinguish them from other sex workers) appears to mind his or her own business and waits for the customer to initiate contact. The act is performed in the customer's car or in a nearby alley or rented room (motels that service prostitutes commonly rent rooms by the half or full hour). This type of sex work offers the most freedom while it can sometimes be the least respected and most dangerous form of prostitution. Street prostitutes may be drug addicts and are commonly subjected to violence by their customers. Some serial killers prey on street prostitutes because they are able to enter an unknown man's car, try to not bring attention to themselves or their clients, and often go missing for days and weeks before anyone notices. The most famous example of this type of serial killings is that of Jack the Ripper.

Contrary to what is presented in movies (such as Pretty Woman), street prostitutes are sometimes the least attractive of all types of prostitutes. Most "street hookers" work outside due to the fact that they control how and where they do their clients, and because they are able to negotiate their own prices. They have the freedom to choose their dates, as opposed to receiving clients they have no prior knowledge of in a hotel room. The notion of all street workers having pimps is very outdated. Many hookers work outside because they are not obligated to give a cut of their money to anyone, and they have the freedom to choose their own corners and hours. Brothel workers and call girls commonly end up as street prostitutes if they want to make extra money that is 100% theirs or if, less commonly, get disfigured by a customer, have so much of a drug addiction that the brothel/agency do not want to handle them anymore, or did not save any money and got too old (and consequently unattractive) to work in a brothel or for an escort service. Sometimes, attractive street prostitutes are run-away teenage girls, but they may either quickly move on to brothels or escort services or are returned to their parents by the authorities. In smaller cities transsexual and transgendered women often work as street prostitutes because they can choose not to offer complete service, thereby hiding their identity more effectively. Street prostitution is easy and sometimes more profitable than other types of sex work in a society which is generally hostile to transsexuals and young sex workers.

Some street prostitutes may be too uneducated to get or keep traditional employment, while other might be university grads or students. The current trend in sentencing prostitutes in the United States is to try to educate them while they are in prison. This is an acceptable option for prostitutes who work because they feel they have no other alternatives, rather than girls who work because they choose to. They are then able to learn about other options open to them, although the prison education system is faulty. Unfortunately, because they are in prison, they will then have a criminal record and thus have a difficult time getting anything but low paying jobs to start, which is much less than the women would make on the street, thereby not really giving reluctant hookers the option of a new life.

Street prostitutes may sometimes have a pimp, in the way that anyone working in the sex industry may work for someone. Pimps justify taking a proportion of the prostitute's earnings by claiming they protect prostitutes from dangerous clients. The relationship between pimp and prostitute is often abusive. Violence and threats are usually involved, as well as conning and lying. In reality prostitutes are often at more risk from the pimps themselves. Pimps often target vulnerable young girls who have run away from home, initially offering themselves as lovers or father-figures, thus satisfying the young girls need to be accepted. After introducing their victims to prostitution, they often encourage drug addiction, or drug selling to maintain their victim's dependency and use beatings and insults to assert their control. Pimps are also commonly low-echelon drug dealers.

Prostitutes generally end up only associating with other street prostitutes or sex workers, because these are the people who understand them. Much the same way that housewives associate with other housewives because that is the lifestyle that they are comfortable with. In the African-American culture in the United States, and many other cultures, these prostitutes-only subcultures are very strong and supportive of each other. So strong are some of these subcultures, that they prevent men from becoming their pimps and commonly "rescue" prostitutes who currently have pimps.

Due to the hazards of being a street prostitute, it is a very dangerous and potentially deadly job. Making solicitation or communicating in public illegal does not stop prostitution, rather is endorses unsafe prostitution. Instead of being able to work out in the open where hookers could be protected by police and other citizens, hookers are forced to do their work in the shadows and alleys of the street. Many sex workers routinely face violence at the hands of customers or police.

Street Prostitution is popular all over the world. In Developed Countries such as those in Western Europe, is common to have prostitutes coming from poor countries like the ones in South America and Eastern Europe. Some countries have tolerance for street prostitution, although only in restricted areas. Some known examples are Holland, Thailand, the Philipines, Mexico and Brazil. In most of these countries were street prostitution is regulated, the girls get medical check ups every month, and follow safe sex procedures. Street Prostitution is a viable alternative for many young poor women who otherwise wouldn't be able to make a decent living, because of the lack of opportunities.

External links

  • Street prostitution (http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/mime/open.pdf?Item=285) by Michael S. Scott, US DOJ Problem-Oriented Guides for Police Series, No. 2
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