A place where 'johns' can meet and engage prostitutes. A business that offers a more acceptable service, primary intended for 'sex for hire' arrangements.
An establishment where the main trade is sex for hire, of which the owner generally receives a take from the 'workers'. However in some cultures these are populated by those sold to them, such as from poor Asian families.
Ancient civilizations licensed their 'brothels' and in many instances were not considered to be abnormal, or repulsive. In fact Ancient Greeks thought nothing of it, other than a part of their culture.
Establishment of these 'brothels' was done to prevent unwanted sexual crimes from transient sailors and such, as well as to provide a source of income to the city state.
The increased influence of the Catholic Church changed all that, and while there are still some 'licensed brothels' it is considered illegal in most regions.
Modern day 'brothels' are mostly manned by females, though ancient brothel's were both, and in Greece, mostly young males.
Clients enter the establishment, select their preferred partner, or have one randomly assigned, then engage in negotiations for the 'frills' of the business, meaning the actual sex. Licensed Brothels are not concerned with 'ruses' so the fees are openly discussed.
Licensed premises are subject to license restrictions, and frequent medical examinations of the workers, in order to insure a safe environment.
Noteworthy: Employees can be those sold to the Brothel Owner, or are those who may owe the owner money for other reasons, such as drugs, or for being brought into the country. There are some where the employee pays for the use of the establishment, rather than working the streets or being managed by a pimp.
In some countries, brothels, are populated by younger females, males, sold by their parents to augment the family income. These workers are generally considered 'sex slaves'
Up until recent modern times, most Military forces maintained a brothel, for the troops entertainment. Most notably the Japanese Army, that recruited its 'sex slaves' from conquered regions. Ancient Armies used this tactic, as well.
However, some ancient armies, used 'volunteers' rather than those from conquered lands or were recruited. Most notable was the 20th century French and Japanese colonial armies.
Legalized Brothels in New Zealand, Netherlands, and Germany is accepted as a means of reducing 'street prostitution' as well as to aid in controlling sexually transmitted diseases. In Theory.