Prostitution has existed throughout history and has been called the oldest profession. However, the importance and meaning of prostitution have varied in different times and societies. Evidence shows that men sold sexual services to other men as far back as the ancient Sumerian and Greek civilizations (Pandey, 2007). During some periods of ancient Greek history, certain types of prostitutes were valued for their intellectual, social, and sexual companionship. In other ancient societies, female prostitution was part of revered religious rituals in which sexual relations between prostitutes and men were seen as sacred acts. In medieval Europe prostitution was tolerated, and public baths provided opportunities for contact between customers and prostitutes. At times, some types of prostitution were a means for women to acquire status and power. For example, in Renaissance Italy courtesans provided social, intellectual, and sexual companionship to the most powerful men of the time. Courtesans often gained significant political influence through these relationships, while the men’s upper-class wives were unedu­cated and sequestered in their homes. Courtesans were well-educated, charming, and witty women who were performers, artists, and writers (Valhouli, 2000). In Victorian

Imperia, a statue in the harbor of Konstanz, Germany, represents a 15th-century Italian courtesan. She holds a naked pope and king in each of her hands, representing her power over leaders of church and state. Imperia was created by sculptor peter Lenk and installed in 1993.

reduce street prostitution and offer greater safety to sex workers, the province of Ontario in Canada recently established that sex workers can legally work in brothels (Makin, 2012).

Massage parlors are often seen as a modern "quick service" version of broth­els. Manual stimulation (a "local" or "hand finishing") or oral stimulation to orgasm is often arranged for a fee once the customer is in the massage room.

In addition, the customer can often dictate in what state of dress or undress he would like his masseuse to be. Intercourse may occur as part of the "massage."

The types of sex workers who earn more than others are call girls and call boys, who provide services for men, and gigolos, who service women. Call girls, or escorts, often come from middle-class backgrounds and are sometimes edu­cated, affluent women making a choice to enter sex work for money, autonomy, and job satisfaction (Hafer, 2011). Contacts are usually made by personal refer­ral, through "escort services," or by independent ads on Internet sites, includ­ing Facebook. They commonly have several regular customers and frequently provide social and intellectual companionship as well as sexual services for their typically wealthy, middle-aged, and older customers (Blackmun, 1996). Regu­lar customers are likely to give them goods, such as clothing, jewelry, and liv­ing accommodations. High-end escorts might have four to six regular clients, each of whom pays the escort a minimum of $20,000 a year (Venkatesh, 2011). | Public visibility for these prostitutes is minimal, and their risk of arrest is much | lower than that for the sex worker on the street.

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the most common sexual service they provided. Most of the escorts avoided anal sex. About 80% of the escorts disliked having sex with clients; the escorts preferred clients who were seeking nonsexual companionship for conversation, entertainment, or travel (Hagen, 2006).