Sex for Money

Figuring out what is “sex for money” isn’t always easy to do. Is it “sex for money” if one person gives another money for a birthday or anniversary with the expectation that the monetary gift would end up with sex? What if a person takes another to dinner at a fancy restaurant with the expectation of sex as “payback” for a terrific meal? Think those questions are silly?

Some people who “exchange sex for money or non monetary items” (food, drugs, medicine, shelter), according to, can be found going by names such as sex workers, escorts, massage givers, prostitutes, hookers, and can work in brothels, the adult film industry, be exotic dancers, state-regulated prostitutes (in Nevada), and can even include men, women, and transgender persons who participate in survival sex (trading sex to meet basic needs of daily life).

Note: Many people working in the above named jobs do not and would not exchange money for sex. Some may even trade sex for money as a lark, a fantasy, or a way to supplement their income.

Those involved in sex for money may be doing it on a consensual or non-consensual basis. Those trading sex for money or something else on a non-consensual basis could well be sex slaves held captive by or sold by sex traffickers.

The sourced articles below should provide more information on people who exchange sex (whatever sex is) for money or other non monetary items.

  1. Feds Seize Over Prostitution Ads

    “, a classified advertising website that faced persistent allegations of profiting from illegal prostitution, was shut down by the U.S. government Friday as authorities reportedly brought criminal charges against seven of those involved in operating the site. … Critics said the site not only promoted illegal prostitution but facilitated sex trafficking and sexual abuse of children.”

    Josh Gerstein,, 4/6/2018

  2. Decriminalizing Prostitution Is Central To Transgender Rights

    “Sex work is a broad category encompassing anything from erotic dancing and pornography to street-based sexual solicitation, and may be done for money or for food, shelter, or other goods and services. According to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, 19 percent of all trans people, and 47 percent of black trans women, have engaged in sex work. This does not take place in a vacuum but in the context of pervasive societal discrimination against trans people in general, and trans women of color in particular. Widespread bias against trans people severely limits access to traditional employment, housing, and health care—but also, through family rejection, to informal kinship-based networks of support.”

    Evan Urquhart,, 2/27/2018

  3. Prostitute Or Sex Worker? Why Legalizing Prostitution Is No Panacea

    “Free entrepreneurs, victims of the patriarchy, sex-positive role models or cautionary tales of sexual exploitation? The meaning and ethics of sex work remain up for debate. But legalizing the practice will create more problems than it solves.”

    Paris Globalist Team,, 11/8/2017; (Broken link removed 10/2023)

  4. Can We “Cure” the Men Who Pay for Sex?

    “Inside a two-month program that aims to end prostitution—and help dismantle the patriarchy—by rehabilitating the men who perpetuate it.”

    Brooke Jarvis,, 2/2/2017

  5. “Should Prostitution Be a Crime?”

    “Amnesty and Human Rights Watch, along with other groups that support decriminalization — U.N.AIDS, the World Health Organization, the Global Commission on H.I.V. and the Law and the Open Society Foundations — acknowledge that there can be grave harms associated with the sex industry, but say that they see changes in the law as a precondition to reducing them. Last year, an analysis in The Lancet predicted that ‘decriminalization of sex work could have the largest effect on the course of the H.I.V. epidemic,’ by increasing access to condoms and medical treatment. Governments can free themselves to crack down on trafficking and under-age prostitution, human rights advocates argue, if they stop arresting consenting adults.”

    Emily Bazelon,, 5/5/2016

  6. 7 Things We Should Stop Saying About Sex Workers

    “What do you know about sex work? Maybe you knew some girls who did escorting in college to pay the bills, or a friend did cam work for an extra income stream. Perhaps you’ve done it yourself. But whether you’ve seen the realities from the inside or not, you’ll still be aware of the many prejudices, myths and flat-out bits of misinformation present in our culture about sex work — from prostitution to pornography and everything in between.”

    JR Thorpe,, 4/6/2016

  7. Does Legalized Prostitution Increase Human Trafficking?

    “While trafficking inflows may be lower where prostitution is criminalized, there may be severe repercussions for those working in the industry. For example, criminalizing prostitution penalizes sex workers rather than the people who earn most of the profits (pimps and traffickers).”

    Harvard Law School,, 6/12/2014