Social Question

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Is it still prostitution if goods instead of money change hands?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26798points) June 3rd, 2011

Is it still prostitution if less than 25% of the time the sex is in exchange for goods instead of money? If the girls trading the sex are in high school and their clientele are their fellow students, is it prostitution? If it is prostitution, is it because there is money involved or those times money passes straight across? It would not be anything illegal if they were just whores boinking their fellow male students and getting nothing for it. The times where they agree to boink one of their schoolmates in exchange for concert ticket, clothes, software, laptops (they get the expensive goods 1st and give the hapless horndog credit on future romps), etc. is that illegal because not actual money changed hands and often not at the point they are actually boinking?

(To kill off the statutory rape thoughts, they only do high school and Jr. high kids)

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32 Answers

iamthemob's avatar

If the goods were in exchange for sex, it is prostitution.

trailsillustrated's avatar

it is, and it isnt. women and girls boink men and boys all the time for stuff they want and have since time immemorial.

_zen_'s avatar

What does this question even mean? Less than 25% – what like 23%? Sex for money/good/anything (what are we – Inuit traders now?) = prostitution – not very complicated. Whether you are for or against it is something else.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@zen Less than 25% – what like 23%? Could be, or even only 4 to7%, a very small amount of times money actually changes hands right when the clothes come off. If they recieve concert tickets for boinking the bloke is it any different than a gal getting a nice dinner, a show and some other gift when it is well known they will end up in the sack before the night is through? As long as the goods or merchandise for the sex is not traded or passed at the time the sex happens what makes it different or different enough to be considered prositution? And if it is minor on minor is it? Not like there are any hard and fast rules forbidding minors to boink other minors even if nothing is exchanged.

poisonedantidote's avatar

A prostitute will accept cash, and liquid assets. if it’s gold you are trading it’s prostitution, if it’s monopoly sets, fridge magnets, or books on origami, then it’s just being a bit of a slut.

The goods would need to be quite specific. Gold, diamons, real estate, shares and bonds, and so on.

zenvelo's avatar

I agree with @zen ; sex for barter is prostituting oneself. I have no idea if it meets some legal definition, I am referring to a moral definition. And I am not placing a value judgment on that, just recognizing it for what it is.

iamthemob's avatar

@zenvelo brings up a good point – there is little sense in us talking about this unless we know if this is from a legal or a social perspective.

john65pennington's avatar

It is still prostituion. No matter how you cut it, when a girl sells her body for anything, other than true love, its still prostitution.

This is call bartering and should never include sex.

iamthemob's avatar

@john65pennington – boys can be prostitutes as well.

@Hypocrisy_Central – ditto.

john65pennington's avatar

iamthemob, you are so correct. It works both ways. Thanks for reminding me. jp

iamthemob's avatar

@john65pennington – as the OP focused on one gender as well, and culturally people relate prostitution only to women, we all forget that it’s not really a gender-specific issue or problem at times. ;-)

CaptainHarley's avatar

A whore by any other name is still a whore. A slut by any other name is still a slut. Neither of them has one iota of self-respect.

iamthemob's avatar

@CaptainHarley – or: they don’t have the same view of sex that you do.

I’ll not disagree that much of the time people who have an abundant amount of anonymous sex are generally doing it to prove something about themselves, indicating a lack of self-respect. But there are many who do who are incredibly self-assured and respect themselves immensely.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Perhaps so. I don’t view sex as a commodity to be bought and sold, so maybe I’m not as “with it” as some others.

iamthemob's avatar

@CaptainHarley – there are many ways to be positive about sex without considering it a sacred act. So the “commodity” “trader” characterization isn’t what I’m talking about.

You can view sexual relations however you want, of course, but that doesn’t mean that there are plenty of healthy people many would call sluts.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Perhaps it is my definition of “self-respect” that is different.

iamthemob's avatar

@CaptainHarley – I don’t think that’s it. Rarely do people differ on that front very much. The difference is almost always in whether doing a certain thing demonstrates that one does or does not have it.

_zen_'s avatar

I have to agree with @CaptainHarley. It’s just a fact, it’s just words. Someone who exchanges sexual favours for anything is a slut. If they do it professionally, they’re a prostitute. So?

iamthemob's avatar

@zen – I didn’t say anything different. @CaptainHarley wasn’t talking about the exchange of sex for something else. I think you missed my first comment.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Huh? Of course I was! That’s what the topic was about. I’ll go even further and say that if a woman marries for money, she’s no better than a prostitute.

( Of course, the same applies to men. If a man marries for money, he’s just a gigilo. )

iamthemob's avatar

@CaptainHarley – you stated a slut is a slut. That’s incredibly broad and covers a range of people including the…well, commercial sluts we’ll call them. But our back and forth was not about those, was it? It was about promiscuous “sluts” generally.

CaptainHarley's avatar

You’re splitting too many hairs, dude. Exchanging sexual favors for money, possessions, a marriage certificate, or anything else of material value is prostitution, pure and simple.

Jaxk's avatar

Whether the exchange is money or goods makes no difference. It is the explicit exchange for services that matters. If you say give me $50 and we’ll have sex, that’s prostitution. If you say buy me dinner and we’ll have sex, that’s prostitution. But if you say buy me dinner and we’ll see what happens, that is not prostitution. The difference is the explicit exchange for services. In the last case, there may be an expectation but the actual decision for service is not based on the exchange of goods.

There must be an explicit quid pro quo. At least legally.

captainsmooth's avatar

If you exchange sex for something that is valuable, it is prostitution. A wife that wants a new coat and has sex with her husband to get it is prostituting herself.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@captainsmooth A wife having sex and giving him a blow job she don’t usually do to charm a LV purse out of him for her B-day or a girl taking it backdooer for her b/f to get him to buy tickets to the Blue Man Group is not a mere case of ?buttering him up”?

CaptainHarley's avatar

LMAO @Hypocrisy_Central

I tend to agree with @Jaxk . There can be expectations, but unless the woman has the intent to exchange sexual favors for goods or services, she cannot reasonably be said to be prostituting herself.

We’re talking about women here, but the same principles apply to males.

Blueroses's avatar

Sex is almost always a transaction. You might be buying acceptance or popularity or a sense of security. At least if you get a tangible object of value, you can pawn that when the relationship ends. Call it prostitution if you have to give it a name. We’ve all whored ourselves for something.

CaptainHarley's avatar


This is most likely very true.

laureth's avatar

Yes, and the IRS still wants its cut if you’re exchanging goods or services in lieu of cash payment.

_zen_'s avatar

This is getting a bit long in the tooth, and has devolved into petty arguments primarily about semantics. I think most of us agree that if one exchanges sexual favours for money, or other goods, then one is a bona fide prostitute. There are many communities in the world, in India for example, that simply have no currency. A prostitute will exchange, or barter rather, her “services” for something else – perhaps food or clothing.

Where the two captains here and the OP and others seem to be divided on semantics, is whether one can prostitute themselves, using the word as a verb, and when and how it should be used in a sentence.

The dictionary offers some help. From Latin prōstituere to expose to prostitution, from prō- in public + statuere to cause to stand]. So we have deviated a bit from the original meaning – those who stood and exchange sex for money or something else – perhaps rings or silver.


To offer (oneself or another) in sexual intercourse for money (straghtforward enough.)

To offer (a person, esp oneself, or a person’s talent) for unworthy purposes

You see: in that definition – no-one is talking specifically about sex, nor is the talent in exchange for currency.

I rest my case.


Ron_C's avatar

I was appalled by the idea of high school girls exchanging sex for merchandise. I find it deeply disturbing and it is certainly prostitution. What are their parent teaching them? Is this what they see at home. I think the parents should be jailed.

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