As people continue to draw parallels between escorting and prostitution, the question repeatedly emerges of the extent to which escorting is a lawful practice. This is so because in most regions of the world, prostitution is either partially lawful or fully outlawed. While both forms of work are service oriented activities, it is important to understand how they defer to understand why one is legal across the board and why the other is apparently such a grey area. Below is an overview of the difference between escorting and prostitution, with the goal of highlighting what it is that causes escorting to be a legal practice.
To begin, let’s look at prostitution, which is said to be one of the oldest forms of employment. If you were to dissect the practice of prostitution, you would derive that it boils down to sex for hire. In other words, the core offering of a prostitute is sex. As a client of a prostitute, you pay a certain amount of money for one or more sexual favors and nothing more. This is what makes prostitution an illegal practice as the act of selling sex is not accepted by law. This is even more so when the individuals in the profession take to the streets trying to sell to passersby who may also be trying to solicit sex.
We now turn our attention to escorting. If you ask many persons what an escort is, they would tell you that an escort is an overpriced prostitute. This is woefully inaccurate, and this thought pattern is what leads to the confusion on the topic of lawfulness of the practice. It is true that escorts can have sex with a client, however, there are escorts that do not offer sex as a service, and even those that do are not always required to do so. A prostitute on the other hand will always be sought after for the goal of sex.
The reason escorts may not have sex with clients is because they don’t sell sex. They sell their time. That time can be spent doing any number of activities such as attending events, going on dates, etc. This is the reason why escorts bill by the hour as opposed to for the entirety of their services. As a matter of fact, many of the ladies that celebrities attend ceremonies with are escorts that are being paid for the time they are spending at these events. These celebrities would not even consider paying a prostitute for this kind of service.
Based on the contrast between the two occupations above, it is not too hard to see why escorting is considered legal while prostitution is not. In fact, escorts are even able to advertise on various online platforms without concern for run-ins with the law.
If escorts were to offer sexual favors as their core service, there would be a law violation, however, they offer time that may or may not be spent in a sexual manner and, therefore, they can legally do so.