sex worker vs. prostitute

Chew Toy McCoy

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 13, 2016
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Out of all the PC reclassification terms I find this one the most absurd. When somebody says prostitute or sex worker I envision the same person. This isn't a judgement call. I just don't see either term inspiring more esteem than the other. Is there really a difference? Does anyone really care enough to know what the difference is?

If you are out of the loop on this one, prostitute is highly offensive. Sex worker is a show of respect.
 
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MacNut

macrumors Core
Jan 4, 2002
21,542
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CT
Sex worker, isn’t that the term when you have been married for a while. “Not tonight I’m tired”. :p
 

LIVEFRMNYC

macrumors 604
Oct 27, 2009
7,432
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Well since it's legal in parts of Nevada. I can understand them over there finding the term prostitute to describe their legal job offensive. I would even be respectful of one in person that says they do it illegally.

But as far as the media or public figure using the term prostitute, I wouldn't give a damn.
 

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
May 5, 2008
17,038
16,519
The Misty Mountains
Out of all the PC reclassification terms I find this one the most absurd. When somebody says prostitute or sex worker I envision the same person. This isn't a judgement call. I just don't see either term inspiring more esteem than the other. Is there really a difference? Does anyone really care enough to know what the difference is?

If you are out of the loop on this one, prostitute is highly offensive. Sex worker is a show of respect.
I think any modern term that is considered PC still may make some people see the same thing as the original term, but it sounds better, less harsh. My impression is that prostitute has a very negative connotation of selling your virtue, which with today's moral ambiguity is lessened, but sex worker still sounds better.

I’ll note that with humans, there seems to a bit of historical hypocrisy, when it comes to the morality of sex, biology seems to rule us, at least a substantial percentage of us. ;)
 

darksithpro

macrumors 6502a
Oct 27, 2016
582
4,491
Out of all the PC reclassification terms I find this one the most absurd. When somebody says prostitute or sex worker I envision the same person. This isn't a judgement call. I just don't see either term inspiring more esteem than the other. Is there really a difference? Does anyone really care enough to know what the difference is?

If you are out of the loop on this one, prostitute is highly offensive. Sex worker is a show of respect.


Perhaps there might be a difference between a high end "escort" like the ones a certain celebrity racked up a big bill on years back, vs. your 20 dollar crack addict on the street corner that comes with a half dozen diseases?
 
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Zenithal

macrumors G3
Sep 10, 2009
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Odd. I was thinking about this just yesterday afternoon. My personal opinion is that all of it is prostitution to some degree. A prostitute on a street corner will be of a different degree of class and formality compared to a legal sex worker in Nevada, and those will be different from high end escorts, who are prominent in DC.

I think this will turn out to be a rousing discussion. North Americans in general have a very different idea of marriage and adultery than other cultures, mainly mainland Europeans. Where a second lover is almost expected when you're higher up in the food chain. Though this is different than a sex worker.

If you're a high end call girl, all I gotta ask is, "What went wrong in your life?"
 

samiwas

macrumors 68000
Aug 26, 2006
1,575
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Atlanta, GA
Odd. I was thinking about this just yesterday afternoon. My personal opinion is that all of it is prostitution to some degree. A prostitute on a street corner will be of a different degree of class and formality compared to a legal sex worker in Nevada, and those will be different from high end escorts, who are prominent in DC.

I think this will turn out to be a rousing discussion. North Americans in general have a very different idea of marriage and adultery than other cultures, mainly mainland Europeans. Where a second lover is almost expected when you're higher up in the food chain. Though this is different than a sex worker.

If you're a high end call girl, all I gotta ask is, "What went wrong in your life?"
Hey, if you really enjoy sex, and can make thousands of dollars a night from doing it safely and cleanly, why the hell not?
 

Plutonius

macrumors 604
Feb 22, 2003
7,843
5,905
New Hampshire, USA
Out of all the PC reclassification terms I find this one the most absurd. When somebody says prostitute or sex worker I envision the same person. This isn't a judgement call. I just don't see either term inspiring more esteem than the other. Is there really a difference? Does anyone really care enough to know what the difference is?

If you are out of the loop on this one, prostitute is highly offensive. Sex worker is a show of respect.
It's the same thing.
 

jerwin

macrumors 68020
Jun 13, 2015
2,456
4,451
Odd. I was thinking about this just yesterday afternoon. My personal opinion is that all of it is prostitution to some degree. A prostitute on a street corner will be of a different degree of class and formality compared to a legal sex worker in Nevada, and those will be different from high end escorts, who are prominent in DC.

I think this will turn out to be a rousing discussion. North Americans in general have a very different idea of marriage and adultery than other cultures, mainly mainland Europeans. Where a second lover is almost expected when you're higher up in the food chain. Though this is different than a sex worker.

If you're a high end call girl, all I gotta ask is, "What went wrong in your life?"
https://www.thecut.com/2017/10/sex-diary-the-mom-who-supports-her-family-with-sex-work.html

I wonder sometimes what will happen as they get older and want more details about where I work or what I do. I suppose there’s time to think about it — then again I’ve been saying that for the past seven years. I can’t say that I worry about what they will think, though I do know for a fact that they’ll love and respect me regardless of how unconventional my job is. The thought of a 9 to 5 makes me shudder. Seriously, I’d much rather orgasm (fake or not) than punch a time clock and push papers every day. Nope. Maybe a real-estate agent. I could never get bored with sales. I could talk the pants off of the pope.
 

oneMadRssn

macrumors 601
Sep 8, 2011
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Interesting paper: https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/pol.20150299 (AMERICAN ECONOMIC JOURNAL: ECONOMIC POLICY, VOL. 9, NO. 4, NOVEMBER 2017 (pp. 28-63))

"Our difference-in-difference analysis of 25 Dutch cities between 1994-2011 shows that opening a tippelzone [area of town with legalized prostitution] decreases registered sexual abuse and rape by about 30-40 percent in the first two years. For cities which enforced licensing in tippelzones, we also find reductions in drug-related crime and long-term effects on sexual assaults."
 

VulchR

macrumors 68020
Jun 8, 2009
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Scotland
I suppose it depends on what people in that line of business find to be the most respectful name.
 

rjohnstone

macrumors 68040
Dec 28, 2007
3,483
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PHX, AZ.
I have no need for their services, so they can call themselves whatever they want.
But for the sake of the topic at hand, I prefer to use the good old "hooker" moniker to describe them.
Why? Because it sounds better to say "I'm going to spend it all on hookers and blow.", than "I'm going to spend it all on prostitutes and blow", or "sex workers and blow", if the day ever comes where I win some cash. :p
 
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stylinexpat

macrumors 68000
Mar 6, 2009
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Throw women who marry for "security" and men who marry much younger women for "love" into the mix and you got a ballgame.

Maybe she looked at the divorce stats.
In the majority of the cases whether it be a prostitute,sex worker,girlfriend or even wife it usually ends up being for money in one way or another. In the end they just have different names. Like all jobs each profession has a name and most people work for money.
 
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thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
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I'd go with Hooker or Whore.
It's legal in parts of Nevada (at least Las Vegas). I imagine that people who do that for a living prefer a title that doesn't have any associated stigma. If hooker or whore didn't contain implicit value judgements, they might work. I tend to think these things are better off legal and regulated.

That reads too much like fan fiction.
 

BoxerGT2.5

macrumors 68000
Jun 4, 2008
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It's legal in parts of Nevada (at least Las Vegas). I imagine that people who do that for a living prefer a title that doesn't have any associated stigma. If hooker or whore didn't contain implicit value judgements, they might work. I tend to think these things are better off legal and regulated.



That reads too much like fan fiction.
Women of the night?
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,667
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Ah New York Magazine. Slyly dumping a good fraction of it's Hillary Clinton coverage in the Cut where unsuspecting readers will be invited to learn about the latest fashion in lipwear.
Yeah I've never really read it, so I can't add any meaningful comments. I can't say any of the articles interest me, so I guess it will remain that way.


Women of the night?
I'm not quite sure where you're going with that. Prostitution is legal and regulated in parts of the world, including a number of Western countries. It seems safer for all involved that way. The terms used are an issue of branding. In California, we have "marijuana dispensaries", not that I ever use them. It's the same thing. People running legitimate businesses don't want to be associated with illegal activity, even if it's no longer illegal. They tend to rebrand it for that reason.
 

Raid

macrumors 68020
Feb 18, 2003
2,143
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Toronto
I thought "sex worker" was for a broader group of of the illicit industry, and used to include those that sexually gratify customers without the actual act of sex. (Eg. "Rub and Tugs", vs your Escort or street walker). I also didn't think of the term as one of respect, but of a broad neutral connotation.