Who first said "you don't pay a prostitute for sex..."

“… You pay her to leave afterward”?

Inspired by this thread, of course. Charlie Sheen said it during his trial, but he’s most likely not the originator. Some remember it as being said by Errol Flynn. The TV show Criminal Minds attributed it to Dashiell Hammett (which is where I got the exact wording above; the actual wording of the coiner might vary, of course).

Anyone know?

The earliest quote I found is CHEF’S PROSTITUTE SONG from the Dec. 6, 2000 episode of South Park:

The form of the quote “You don’t pay a prostitute for sex, you pay her to leave” is first in Nightmare Puzzle: A Collection of Short Pieces by Philip LaVoie from 2004. Both predate Sheen’s use.

I didn’t find any evidence that Errol Flynn ever said anything like this.

Which brings to mind another quote (from where?) regarding payment for sex. I don’t have it exactly right but someone once said, that the cost of sex you pay for is much less than the cost of the sex you get for free.

The source was a Hollywood gossip columnist like Hedda Hopper or Louella Parsons. Flynn was asked “Why would a man like you, who could have any woman he wanted, pay for sex?” and he replied “I don’t pay them for sex, I pay them to go away afterwards.”

I’m still not finding any source for the second half of this quote. I found it attributed to Charlie Sheen, who probably said something like it, and to Clark Gable, of all people, but not with any actual cite.

There is exactly one hit on Google for the first half of this quote, and that’s you.

1930s gossip columnists are not well represented on the web, for some odd reason.

Are you trying to tell me you’re remembering this from the original newspaper column? And it was never quoted in any book? Or reprinted anywhere ever? Including Flynn’s sin-sational autobiography? Yet this quote got into the public memory and is still being tossed around 80 years later?

Try again.

No, I once read a book about Hedda Hopper and Louella Parsons from the library. I don’t recall the name of the book, but the salacious story stuck in my memory.

Have you checked Google Books?

First time I heard it, it was attributed to Heidi Fleiss, sometime in the late 90’s, but she may have been quoting someone else.

That and a general search through Google. Literally nothing. With the publicity given that line it seems extremely odd that no one has ever found the quote and reprinted it. And odder that Google Books wouldn’t have scanned the original whether or not it’s been reprinted. Sorry, but I’d need real evidence before I accepted this.

“Never believe everything you read on the internet.”
-Abraham Lincoln