Sexual Behavior in the Human Male

By Alfred C. Kinsey; Wardell B. Pomeroy et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 20
INTERCOURSE WITH PROSTITUTES

By sociological and legal definition a prostitute is an individual who indiscriminately provides sexual relations in return for money payments. The practical interpretation of the term emphasizes the fact that a prostitute accepts a sexual relation with almost anyone, stranger or acquaintance, who offers to pay, and that the payment is in currency rather than in goods or services.

It is impractical to confine the term to those persons who derive their whole living or any particular part of it from prostitution, for a very high number of the females who engage in such activities do so as a minor adjunct to their regular occupations. The person who is specifically paid for a single sexual relation is, for that particular occasion, a prostitute.

The definition requires that payment for a sexual relation be in currency and be made for each particular contact. If the term prostitution were to be applied to all sexual acts for which either participant received some valuable consideration, it would be impossible to draw a line between the most obvious sort of commercialized prostitution and the relationships of every husband and wife. The girl who has to be taken to dinner or to an evening’s entertainment before she will agree to intercourse with her boy friend or fiancé is engaged in a more commercialized relationship than she would like to admit. The gifts that are bestowed by males of all social levels upon girls with whom they keep company may be cloaked with fine sentiments, but they are, to a considerable degree, payment for the intercourse that is expected.

At lower social levels there is often an elaborate arrangement by which the girl in the pre-marital or extra-marital relation is provided with stockings, dresses, fur coats, and other materials of value, for sexual relations which would be immediately stopped if the male failed to provide such gifts as the girl considered commensurate with her contribution, and with his ability to pay. In some lower levels it is quite customary for the male to share his pay envelope with the girl from whom he is securing regular intercourse, and at all social levels there may be some sort of regular contribution to the support of the girl’s home, if the sexual relation is continued over any period of time. It is difficult to characterize such relationships as prostitution. It is even more misleading to apply the term to the case of the wife who demands payment in coin of the realm each time she engages in intercourse with her husband (and such arrangements are

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