The selling of sexual favors, for money, and why it is known as the Oldest Profession.
Found to have been common in Ancient Civilizations, prostitution is referred to as the World's Oldest Profession, in where one provides sexual favors, or various sexual acts, for a fee.
In ancient times, this involved livestock, or other currency of the time.
Prostitution is found in many ancient societies, such as the Aztecs, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, as well as China and Japan.
Many of the first records of prostitution existed to fulfill religious criteria of the time, such as in Babylon.
Prostitution is mentioned in the Bible even, such as in Genesis 38.
This is the narration of Judah and Tamar, that supposedly depicts the actual manner in which prostitution was plied in those times.
Should note that unlike today, women wore veils to show they were working women.
In the Book of Joshua, there is mention of the prostitute Rehab, who aided Israeli spies.
Mesoamerica : Special rooms or buildings were created to house women. Perhaps an earlier version of a brothel.
The Aztecs set aside these houses, as religious leaders were of the opinion that women could provide sex, but only under the protection of the Goddess of Filth, Tlazolteotl
Sacred Prostitution is noted in ancient times, in the Near East, by the Sumerians.
It was recorded that at least once in their lifetime, women would have to travel to the sanctuary of Militta (Aphrodite), to engage in sex with a foreigner, as a sign of hospitality.
A nominal fee would be required.
In ancient Israel, despite its disapproval by religious authorities, Prostitution was believed to be quite common.
Canaan (the area encompassing modern day Israel and Palestine) religious temples were mainly filled by male prostitutes.
In the ports and major cities, Prostitution was a part of ordinary life, and was very common.
There were many 'brothels' that catered primarily to men, and many were fully staffed by males.
While those offering women, the ages ranged from young to more mature and older women, those who provided male prostitutes, provided males from puberty till a beard could be grown.
The basic clients for either, were mostly Male.
Under Greek Pederasty, it was expected that the older male would engage in sex with their younger 'partner' however, certain sexual acts, like Felatio, were considered to be taboo in such a relationship.
However, one could obtain such sexual acts, through a male prostitute, in one of the many established houses, where it was considered acceptable to occur.
The average Greek married at around 30, a plausible reason for the presence of so many brothels, and of how prostitution was not looked down upon.
As the Roman Empire grew, many of the Brothels were filled by conquered slaves.
There were many 'farms' that purchased these slaves, and allowed for their display to Roman Citizens in private.
The sole purpose of these 'farms' was to train, and produce a product for sale, that being humans.
While the majority were captured slaves, they also included unwanted children, or abandoned children who were raised for the purpose of being prostitutes.
These 'private showings' included displaying the 'slaves' naked, both Male and Female.
Life expectancy for these sex slaves was not long. Unlike the Greeks, their protection was very limited, if any.
Middle Ages :
While the Roman Catholic Church believed it was sinful to engage in sex, outside of marriage, they tolerated prostitution, as a means to reduce their flock from falling into greater temptations, such as Rape, Sodomy, and Masturbation.
In fact, while many civic governments forced the sex trade to be outside of their walls, this was traditionally areas controlled by the Church.
In later years, areas of a city or town were set aside for 'red light districts'.
The Brothels of Southwark, in London were actually owned by the Bishop of Winchester.
Sparta is one of the few regions, that did not embrace Prostitution or have numerous brothels, like other city states did, at the time.
However it may be more due to their currency which was made of iron, and was not easily traded with, or accepted by other regions.
The Greeks had a marked taste for hairless smooth bodied males, though many kept male lovers long past their advancement into adult society.
It was this desire, this craving for such features, that made male prostitutes not extend their working life, the same way women did.
However, these older lovers, if found out by society, risked the loss of citizenship.
Many of the brothels were staffed by males captured during wars or born of slaves. They were still protected under law of the time, as the female counterparts were.
Athena's noted lawmaker, Solon, is credited with creating regulated brothels, that had a set fee schedule.
Prostitutes were not exempt from legal proceedings of the time, nor from their payment of taxes.
While not high up on the social scale of society, it was still considered a valid profession, as it generated an income for the person.