Things money makes you do: Sex work
Around the middle of the sixteenth century, the word “prostitute” first appeared in terms that we may identify in reference to the sale or offer of sex in public places. The Latin words for “before,” “put up,” and “position before” were the source of this word. Ancient Greek terms for those who exchange sex for money and rank include the male “pornai” and female “heta era,” as well as the Devadasis (“hand-maiden or slave of the God”) of India. Escort girls in Tel Aviv were viewed in various ways during the ancient and mediaeval eras, including as venerated but also somewhat stigmatized humans, as slaves performing dangerous job, and as persons who needed to have casual sexual relations with a range of people in order to survive. Current diversity still reflects that. The Judaeo-Christian perspectives on gendered power relations, sexuality, and marriage are widely described as being threatened by sex labour. The majority of Christians hold that sexual activity should not be performed for pleasure or gain between unmarried people, especially autonomous women, but only between partners in a marriage for the purpose of bearing children. Sex labour is a complex, arguably essential social institution in all human civilizations, despite its deviation from a particular ideological framework. It has been utilized in the past and is still employed now to manage a range of populations, including those that challenge existing sociosexual and gendered norms and those that are adversaries in armed conflict (i.e.,so-called deviant, morally problematic populations). It produces jobs and has greatly fueled both the underground and elite economies. Sex work has been used as justification by colonists to regulate millions of people by demonstrating the “depraved” or “Uncivilized” nature of diverse cultures. The fact that many colonists openly enjoyed the female, male, child, and diversely gendered prostitutes they exploited to support their imperial aspirations exposes the hypocrisy of foreign rule and the strong human drive for sexual activities that combine illicit types of pleasure with control.