The term john may have originated from the frequent customer practice of giving one's name as "John", a common name in English-speaking countries, in an effort to maintain anonymity. is not literally a prostitute; Holden feels that his job writing B-movie screenplays is morally debasing.In some places, men who drive around red-light districts for the purpose of soliciting prostitutes are also known as kerb crawlers. Sex work researcher and writer Gail Pheterson says that this additional definition exists because "the term "prostitute" gradually took on a Christian moralist tradition, as being synonymous with debasement of oneself or of others for the purpose of ill-gotten gains".The Online Etymology Dictionary states, "The notion of 'sex for hire' is not inherent in the etymology, which rather suggests one 'exposed to lust' or sex 'indiscriminately offered.'" The word prostitute was then carried down through various languages to the present-day Western society.
The legal status of prostitution varies from country to country (sometimes from region to region within a given country), ranging from being permissible but unregulated, to an enforced or unenforced crime, or a regulated profession.
It is sometimes referred to euphemistically as "the world's oldest profession" in the English-speaking world. Brothels are establishments specifically dedicated to prostitution.
Those seeking to remove the social stigma associated with prostitution often promote terminology such as sex worker, commercial sex worker (CSW), tantric engineer (coined by author Robert Anton Wilson), or sex trade worker.
Another commonly used word for a prostitute is hooker.
The clients of prostitutes are also known as johns or tricks in North America and punters in the British Isles.
These slang terms are used among both prostitutes and law enforcement for persons who solicit prostitutes.
A person who works in this field is called a prostitute, and is a kind of sex worker.
Prostitution is one of the branches of the sex industry: other branches include pornography, stripping, nude modelling, and erotic dancing.
Prostitution is sometimes described as commercial sex or hooking.
Depending on the jurisdiction, prostitution can be legal or illegal.
Correctly or not, use of the word prostitute without specifying a sex may commonly be assumed to be female; compound terms such as male prostitution or male escort are therefore often used to identify males.