From Spanking Art
Plate 3 of "A Harlot's Progress" by William Hogarth (1732).

A prostitute is a person who provides sex or sexual services for money, generally to many different customers. (A woman who provides sex and companionship on a long-term basis to a man for money is generally called a "mistress" rather than a "prostitute"). Prostitutes can be of either sex, but female prostitutes are more common in most cultures.

Prostitutes and spanking[edit]

Austrian band of soldiers punishing a seized prostitute.

It is not uncommon for basically straight prostitutes to be willing to enact spanking scenes with themselves as the spanker when requested by the client. This service is most often requested by submissive men. It is less common for a prostitute to be willing to play the role of the spankee, partly because of fear of excessive severity on the part of the client. Much the same applies to BDSM scenes, except that most prostitutes are not willing to engage in the more severe or extreme forms of BDSM, or to play the role of submissive or bottom in such scenes.

Many Victorian-era brothels in England offered spanking or what would now be classed as BDSM scenes among their varied services, with the prostitutes taking on a variety of roles. For more, see flagellatory brothel. Prostitutes who make a specialty of providing spanking or BDSM services, or both, often call themselves "Dominatrix"/"Pro-Domme" or "Slave"/"Pro-Sub", as the case may be. However it is important to note that many Pro-Dommes or Pro-Subs are not prostitutes as they do not provide sexual intercourse, and their services may not fit the legal definitions of laws on prostitution.

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