The question which profession is the oldest in the world can answer almost any of us. In this article, we want to look at the history of prostitution in Great Britain.
One of the first indications of prostitution was a token depicting a woman and a man during a sexual act. According to historians, this type of coin could be used to pay in public homes. In addition, from the period of the beginning of the Middle Ages, many messages came to indicate that prostitution was experiencing a real boom. In the twelfth century, regulations allowing the licensing of brothels were introduced. Licensing caused a real flood of public houses that were known as stew-houses. A big boom caused that the next years are rather the beginning of the creation of laws limiting prostitution. In 1277, prostitutes were banned from living within the city walls. In the later period of the Middle Ages, women could offer their services only in designated areas. The real breakthrough was the sixteenth century, when the activities of public houses were banned. This prohibition was closely related to the fear of the spread of syphilis. According to numerous publications, it can be said that despite numerous prohibitions, prostitution in the 17th and 18th centuries was still present in Great Britain and was rather tolerated by society. The retreat occurred in the nineteenth century, when society looked worse and worse at prostitution. However, this profession was still present and it was quite good. It was even estimated that between 50,000 and up to 360,000 women are involved in prostitution. Such a number would put prostitution in the top5 most popular professions performed by women in those days in Great Britain. At the same time, the police in the nineteenth century claimed that only a few thousand women are involved in prostitution. It’s hard to say which source is more reliable because the erotic industry always hides some secrets and not all transactions are in the statistics of local offices. The nineteenth century is primarily the development of the red light district. Even then, you could meet half-naked women standing in windows waiting for customers. The 20th century is the time when the legislator introduced numerous restrictions for prostitutes. However, despite this, the oldest profession in the world is still visible on the streets of London. Today we can find this type of service under under such terms as e.g. London Escorts
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