Paying for sex is taboo – nobody wants to admit doing it. It is gross, weird, or even perverse. At least that is what some people say.

But there is a huge market for paid sex. Love Matters Africa’s Stephanie Haase takes a look at some of the things you should know about paid sex.

1. What is paid sex and where does it happen?


Paid sex, or prostitution, means paying someone for sexual services. The payment can be cash, but it can also be through gifts and favors.

The person who is getting paid is called a sex worker, prostitute or a range of other, often demeaning, words.

Sex workers can be either woman or men. Male sex workers offer their services to other men, too. If they are not gay themselves, this is sometimes called ‘gay-to-pay’.

Sex workers sell sex for a variety of reasons, and sometimes it can be a means to buy drugs or because of poverty. This is known as ‘survival sex’.

There are many places for paid sex. Some sex workers offer their services on the streets, others work in brothels, or as escorts, who offer their services in hotels or private homes.

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