The Online Etymology Dictionary states, "The notion of 'sex for hire' is not inherent in the etymology, which rather suggests one 'exposed to lust' or sex 'indiscriminately offered.'" The word prostitute was then carried down through various languages to the present-day Western society.Most sex worker activists groups reject the word prostitute and since the late 1970s have used the term sex worker instead.
These slang terms are used among both prostitutes and law enforcement for persons who solicit prostitutes.
Prostitution is one branch of the sex industry, along with pornography, stripping, and erotic dancing.
The legal status of prostitution varies from country to country (sometimes from region to region within a given country), ranging from being permissible but unregulated, to an enforced or unenforced crime, or a regulated profession.
It is sometimes referred to euphemistically as "the world's oldest profession" in the English-speaking world.
There are about 42 million prostitutes in the world, living all over the world (though most of Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa lacks data, studied countries in that large region rank as top sex tourism destinations).