There’s a lot of misinformation about sex workers in the US. This “Top 10” will go over some of them and explain which ones are fact and which ones are fiction. Most of the information used in this list was gathered from a research report compiled by the Urban Institute titled, “Estimating the Size and Structure of the Underground Commercial Sex Economy in Eight Major US Cities.”


  1. Sex workers are tortured souls.
  2. Most prostitutes can be found on Craigslist.
    • False. As Craigslist garners the reputation of being a hotbed of “creeps” and “weirdos,” workers are turning to more devoted sites like The site itself has a rather blunt “adult” section where workers and clients can find the person (or persons) to fit their needs.
  3. The most lucrative sex worker is an escort.
    • This is mostly true. Erotic dancers only make around $150-$600 per night while escorts make around $200-$300 per hour. Street prostitutes are forced to hide in the shadows so finding customers–or, rather, customers finding them–is a lot harder. Escorts usually work through an agency; safe, secure, and customers know exactly where to find them.
  4. Nevada has the highest volume of prostitutes in the nation.
  5. Arrests are typically made on the prostitutes themselves.
  6. The stereotypical prostitute is white, female, and 18 years old.
    • True, true, and nearly true. The U.S. Department of Justice released a report of 2010 arrest statistics reporting that the average prostitute arrested is both white and female, but averages around 20 years of age.
  7. In order for sex work to be safe, it must be legalized.
  8. Prostitution is alive and well in this country.
    • Strangely enough, the number of sex workers has gone down, according to the U.S. Department of Justice’s arrest report from 2010. The number of prostitutes spiked in 2004 and had a little bump during the recession of 2008, but overall prostitution (or at least arrest rates of it) has been going down.Figure 8
  9. Sex workers are uneducated and desperate for money.
    • On the contrary, a new study by an economics researcher at the University of Arkansas suggests that “affluent, educated women” may choose the profession for reasons other than desperation for cash.
  10. Pimps are high school “drop-outs”
    • Again, on the contrary, the Urban Institute reported that only 15 percent of pimps surveyed had left high school before graduation. The majority (about 43 percent) have either their high school diploma or GED and the runner-up majority is “some college” at 27 percent. original


  1. Interesting. At the gentleman’s club I work at, most of the girls are in the middle of their University degrees (myself included) while a few others are Romanian immigrants who I don’t know about their levels of education. A few girls are even doing a Master’s and a PhD and simply strip as a way to pay fees/extra bills. Mind you, my club is in the UK rather than the USA.


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