Are pimps dying out?

This article seems to suggest that pimps are less necessary than in years past. Is the classic street pimp and his stable of prostitutes model dying out?

The thing the article does is minimize the effects of drug use.

The “hooker with a heart” that you see in movies, in reality, is almost non-existent.

Drugs are what rules prostitution. A drugged out hooker is going to need someone to look after her, or she won’t be making any money.

We’re not talking pot or such “light” drugs, we’re talking smack, crack, meth and other drugs that absolutely rule one’s life 24 hours per day.

You can’t do it alone. Pimps are very much alive and always will be

Pimps are – well, not dying out, but far less important than they once were.

Craigslist and the Internet (and cell phones) have made it easier for a prostitute to work alone. There are far fewer street hookers, since the authorities quickly clean up any area where they work. Using the phone and personal ads is safer for the prostitute, and can be more lucrative (and often doesn’t require sex – I’ve seen estimates that about 60% of all their meetings with “client” only involve them talking to them and being understanding).

Look at it this way: if you suddenly decided you wanted a hooker, would you cruise the streets, or try to meet one through Craigslist (before they stopped taking ads)?

There are certainly still pimps and drug addicts as street hookers, but that branch of prostitution is getting smaller and smaller. It was estimated that, prior to WWII, 80% of American men had visited a prostitute (my father-in-law was planning on it when he was in the army, but was stopped before he had the chance; Robert Klein wrote about losing his virginity to a hooker – something few on this board have done – and implied it was common). The sexual revolution – especially the idea that good women can have premarital sex and that masturbation was normal – made the main reason for visits to hookers no longer valid. Nowadays, the estimate is about 20% who have visited a hooker.

But, in general, prostitution has moved away from the street hooker model. Some do exist, and will probably always exist, but they are not the main source.

Well that certainly was the case, but the article addresses your objections Markxxx. According to them (see point 3 especially) what you describe is still present, but is being marginalized within the “industry.”

Do you have any cites to counter Elizabeth Bernstein’s and Stephanie Church’s research, that was mentioned in the article?

Pimping is alive and well. Like many things in life, circumstances have changed and Pimps have adjusted. As long as their are women selling their bodies, their will be pimps to guide them.

“Guide” them. Ha. Good one.

I call bullshit based on one simple fact - the rate of heroin use seems to have been constant over the past 10 or so years. According to a report from the National Inst. on Drug Abuse revised in 2005:

And that seems to be consistent for 2009-2011.

However to be fair, the breakdown with regard to gender maybe biased since the first quote continues as follows.

This isn’t quantified in any meaningful way though and since it’s really saying ‘most of most of 75%’, I don’t know if that should be a consideration.

The article seems to address the issue under topic ‘3’, but it really does since it covers both drugs and childhood abuse. Plus, the only information provided is anecdotal and not even from the US. In fact, I’m not even really sure it’s on point.

Since heroin use is synonymous with pimping as it creates dependency,wouldn’t one expect a dramatic decrease in this type of prostitution to be correlate with some detectable decrease in heroin use?

Well you know, it’s hard out (t)here for them.

Getting money for the rent, Cadillacs, money spent. Then there’s always a whole lotta bitches talkin’ shit.

Gotta have your hustle tight to make it work.


I hope you aren’t seriously expecting us to take that as a cite. Actually, according to Elizabeth Bernstein’s research (mentioned above), the most seriously drug addicted sex workers tend not to have pimps - there’s no profit margin there, since they need all the drug money they can get.

The prevalence of pimping has also been linked to the criminal status of prostitution, eg in Ireland when soliciting was made illegal, there was a reported explosion of pimping (indoors and out). Reports by the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare and the Norwegian Ministry of Justice have noted a similar effect of a law that criminalises only people who buy sex.

For decades, it’s been pretty much cliche. Those letters are funny, but not a joke in my opinion.

Several years ago I read the book “Brothel-Mustang Ranch and its Women” by Alexa Albert. The book is an interesting study on legal prostitution in Nevada.

The thing that struck me about the women she wrote about was how many of them were pressured or coerced into this line of work by a lazy-assed husband or boyfriend who lived off the proceeds of her “work” and I suspect many of the new school Craigslist hookers are “quasi-pimped” in the same way.

The most comprehensive research I know of into the online escort sector is Suzanne Jenkins’s 2009 PhD thesis, Beyond Gender (pdf link). It’s international in scope but around a quarter of respondents came from the US. Only 2% of respondents said they had been pressured by husbands or boyfriends into escorting. That could well be an understatement of the true figure, but even if you assume lack of honesty on the part of some respondents or non-response by those who were truly pressured into it, that’s still a huge distance you’d have to make up to conclude that “many” are pimped in this way. I think the heavily controlled style of Nevada prostitution probably just doesn’t have as much appeal as the online method does to women who decide to make money by selling sex, and so you’re more likely to find women with limited independence in the brothels.