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What’s the Difference Between a Call Girl, Prostitute, Courtesan, Escort, and Stripper?

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That might sound like a joke with no punchline, but understanding the difference between these terms is no laughing matter.

Some will get you in trouble with the law or with a client who expects something in particular from you.

Here is a brief guide to the difference between them:

Difference between escort, courtesan, call girl - Vivastreet Blog

What is an Escort?

An escort is a man, woman, or even couple who offer companionship to others in exchange for money.

Escorts are usually smart, interesting, fun people who are good company and know how to behave in different environments. They might be booked to accompany someone to a corporate event or wedding, to a movie, a hotel or their home.

Escorts usually offer their time by the hour but can spend days or weeks with a client who pays them for it.

It is perfectly legal, and often profitable to work as an escort.

What is a Prostitute?

A prostitute is a woman or man (though they’re more commonly described as gigolos or rent boys) who strictly offer sexual acts to others in exchange for money.

For anyone over the age of 18, selling and paying for sex is legal; soliciting in public or kerb-crawling, running a brothel, working as a pimp, or encouraging/forcing anyone to work as a prostitute is not.

Prostitutes are often referred to as hookers, whores, street walkers or sex workers, and generally speaking, they charge clients by the sex act and not the hour.

What is a Call Girl?

A call girl is a person who works as a prostitute but not in a brothel or on the street.

Call girls are often confused with escorts, because they advertise and meet clients in private for a set amount of time.

It’s legal to work as a call girl. It is not legal to advertise a sexual service. Special thanks to Ruth Strawberry for correcting us on this point. 

It’s an offence to place adverts in telephone boxes. Please click here for more details.

Section 46(1) of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 creates an offence to place advertisements relating to prostitution.

Under section 46(1) a person commits an offence if:

a) he places on, or in the immediate vicinity of, a public telephone an advertisement relating to prostitution, and

b) he does so with the intention that the advertisement should come to the attention of any other person or persons.

However, there’s no specific offence to place an ad in the newspaper. Click here for more details.

What is a Stripper?

A stripper is someone who takes off their clothes in exchange for money.

Usually, strippers work in clubs and bars and will dance and take their clothes off for groups or individuals in private booths.

Strippers are often hired for stag or hen parties, and working as a professional stripper is perfectly legal. Although most are employed in ‘gentlemen’s clubs’, many are self-employed and make a good living from it.

What is a Courtesan?

A courtesan is a woman who is the paid companion and sex worker of men who are very wealthy or of a high social standing.

These are usually the highest paid workers who tend to have only one or two clients. Their fees reflect their absolute discretion and inconvenience of being at the beck and call of clients who pay for social or intimate companionship as and when it pleases them.

There you have it! The rough guide to the difference between escorts and the sex workers they’re commonly confused with.

You can find out more information on how to book an escort, or how to work as one on the Vivastreet adult blog.


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