I got this from Wikipedia about prostitution in ancient India.
I am telling you, the Puranas are extremely conservative religious scripture. But I know for a fact that there are references to very beautiful, prominent prostitutes, even is cities that were considered sacred.In some parts of ancient India, women competed to win the title of Nagarvadhu or "bride of the city." The most beautiful woman was chosen and was respected as a goddess. She served as a courtesan, and the price for a single night's dance was very high, within reach only for the king, the princes and the lords.
Here's a story that is of interest.
Amrapāli, also known as "Ambapālika" or "Ambapali", was a nagarvadhu (royal courtesan) of the republic of Vaishali in ancient India around 500 BC. Following the Buddha's teachings she became an arahant. She is mentioned in the old Pali texts and Buddhist traditions, particularly in conjunction with the Buddha staying at her mango grove, Ambapali vana which she later donated to his order, and wherein he preached the famous Ambapalika Sutta. The legend of Amrapali originated in the Buddhist Jataka Tales some 1500 years ago.
Amrapali grew to be a lady of extraordinary beauty, charm, and grace in the city of Vaishali, the capital city of the Lichchavi clan, one of the eight Kshatriya clans that had united to form the Vajjian confederacy. The Vajjian confederacy is reputed to be the world’s oldest democracy where the King was elected by an electoral college consisting of princes and nobles from the Kshatriya clans. Many young nobles of the republic desired her company. To avoid confrontations among her suitors, she was accorded the status of the state courtesan of Vaishali. Amrapali was declared the "most beautiful" girl at the age of 11. When the undisputed king of Vaishali, Manudev, (belonging to the illustrious Lichchavi clan of the confederacy) desires to possess Amrapali after he sees her dance performance in the city, he plans to 'own' her. He lets his greed get the better of him; murders Amrapali's would-be-groom, Pushpakumar (her childhood love) on the day of marriage and makes an official announcement declaring Amrapali the 'bride' of Vaishali i.e. the Nagarvadhu, only to satisfy his mounting sexual urge. Amrapali was made nagarvadhu and Vaishali Janpad Kalayani. (Janpath Kalyani was the term given to the most beautiful and talented girl of the kingdom. A Janpath Kalyani was selected for a period of seven years and a palace was given to her. A Janpath Kalyani had the right to choose her lover and get a person of her choice for a physical relationship but it did not necessarily work the other way round.) Soon after being conferred the title of nagarvadhu, Amrapali became the court dancer as per the rules of Vaishali democracy.
Stories of her beauty travelled to the ears of Bimbisara, king of the hostile neighbouring kingdom of Magadha. He attacked Vaishali, and took refuge in Amrapali's house. Bimbisara was a good musician. Before long, Amrapali and Bimbisara fell in love. When she learned his true identity, Amrapali asked Bimbisara to leave and cease his war. Bimbisara, smitten with love, did as she asked. In the eyes of the people of Vaishali, this incident made him a coward. Later, Amrapali bore him a son named Vimala Kondanna.
Ajatashatru, Bimbisara's son by Queen Chelna according to Jaina traditions (Queen Kosala Devi according to Buddhist traditions), later invaded Vaishali due a dispute with his brothers. He was so moved by her beauty that when Amrapali was imprisoned, he burned the whole of Vaishali. Almost everyone died in the massacre, except his beloved Amrapali, but when she saw the condition of her motherland, she renounced her love for him.
At one time, Amrapali desired the privilege of serving food to the Buddha. The Buddhist traditions state that Buddha accepted the invitation against the wishes of the ruling aristocracy of Vaishali due to King Ajatashatru. Amrapali received the Buddha with her retinue, and offered meals to him. Soon thereafter, she renounced her position as courtesan, accepted the Buddhist way, and remained an active supporter of the Buddhist order.
Here's the details of one system of prostitution in ancient India. Man they had the whole thing worked out.
Providing sexual entertainment to the public using prostitutes (ganika) was an activity not only strictly controlled by the State but also one which was, for the most part, carried on in state-owned establishments [2.27.1]. Women who lived by their beauty (rupajivas) could, however, entertain men as independent practitioners [2.27.27]; these could have been allowed to practice in smaller places which could not support a full-fledged state establishment. A third type of women of pleasure, mentioned in a few places, is pumsachali, perhaps meaning concubines [3.13.37].
As befits a treatise on the economy of a state, the emphasis in the Arthashastra is on collection of revenue. The state enabled the setting up of establishments with lump sum grants of 1000 panas to the head courtesan and 500 panas to her deputy, presumably to enable them to buy jewellery, furnishings, musical instruments and other tools of their trade [2.27.1]. The madam of the establishment had to render full accounts and it was the duty of the Chief Controller of Entertainers to ensure that the net income was not reduced by her extravagance [2.27.10]. Independent prostitutes, who were neither given a grant nor required to produce detailed accounts, had to pay a tax of one-sixth of their income [2.27.27]. In times of financial distress, both groups had to produce extra revenue with the independents having to pay half their earnings as tax [5.2.21,23,28].
The establishments were located in the southern part of the fortified city [2.4.11]. Whenever the army marched on an expedition, courtesans also went with them; they were allotted places in the camp, alongside the roads [10.1.10]. During battle, the women were stationed in the rear with cooked food and drinks, encouraging the men to fight [10.3.47].
It would seem that courtesans not only provided sexual pleasure but also entertained clients with singing and dancing. In specifying their duties, the Arthashastra makes a clear distinction between two types of misdemeanours—showing a dislike towards a client visiting her for normal entertainment and refusing to sleep with him, if he stayed overnight [2.27.20,21]. The description of the training given to a couresan, at state expense, indicates how wide her accomplishments had to be—singing, playing on musical instruments, conversing, reciting, dancing, acting, writing, painting, mind-reading, preparing perfumes and garlands, shampooing and, of course, the art of lovemaking [2.27.28]. A courtesan’s son, who had to work as the king’s minstrel from the age of eight, was also trained as a producer of plays and dances [2.27.29].
It would appear from the above that some families specialized in the entertainment business. However, the Arthashastra specifically states that any beautiful, young and talented girl could be appointed as the head of an establishment, irrespective of whether she came from a family of courtesans or not [2.27.1].
Once appointed, the madam became a very important person. She could aspire to become the personal attendant of the King or Queen [1.20.20, 2.27.4]. Even otherwise, a very high price – 24,000 panas—had to be paid for obtaining her release from her post [2.27.6]. We must note that the amount was the second highest annual salary paid only to the five top officials (like the Chief of the King’s Bodyguards, the Chancellor and the Treasurer). Only such people could afford to buy a madam off as an exclusive concubine.
If a courtesan was promoted to attend on the King, her annual salary was fixed as 1000, 2000 or 3000 panas, depending on her beauty and qualifications [2.27.4]. 1000 panas was the same salary paid to the King’s personal advisers and attendants such as the charioteer, physician, astrologer, court poet, etc..
Here's some more
An interesting point is that the courtesan’s establishment could not be inherited by her son. On the death, retirement or release of the head of an establishment, her daughter (or sister) could take her place or she could promote her deputy and appoint a new deputy. If neither the daughter nor the deputy succeeded her, the establishment reverted to the state [2.27.2,3].
The state not only imposed obligations on prostitutes but also protected them. Having been given a grant by the state and having been allowed to spend a part of her earnings on personal adornment, a prostitute could not sell, mortgage or entrust her jewellery and ornaments to anyone except the madam [2.27.11]. Prostitutes were obliged to attend on any client when ordered to do so, be pleasant to them and not subject them to verbal or physical injury [2.27.12]. In return, stiff punishments were prescribed for anyone cheating or robbing a prostitute, abducting her, confining her against her will or disfiguring her [2.27.14]. Special punishments were also prescribed for depriving a prostitute’s daughter of her virginity whether she herself consented or not; the right of the mother was recognized by making the man pay not only a fine but also a compensation to the mother of sixteen times the fee for a visit [4.12.26].
An imbalance in punishments has to be noted. The penalty for killing the madam of an establishment was three times the release price and that for killing a prostitute in her establishment or her mother or daughter was only the Highest Standard Penalty [2.27.17]. On the other hand, if a prostitute killed a client, she was burnt or drowned alive [2.27.22].
The expression bandhakiposhaka (keeper of prostitutes) occurs thrice in the text, associated always with ‘young and beautiful women’. The keepers were obliged to use the women to collect money in times of emergency [5.2.28], sow dissension among the chiefs of an oligarchy [11.1.34] and subvert the enemy’s army chiefs [12.2.11]
In a related thread I was accused of wanting to force women into slavery and of hating them and desiring to see them penalized for legitimizing themselves if it became legal. And of trivializing sex and being free to conduct myself that way since I seemed to want to (lol)and desiring to see rampant STDs in America.
Lot more rationality in this thread (so far).
Like that's an excuse? Like they shouldnt be held to their normal standards? What, they are so weak they cant resist? (IMO it is really disrespectful of police in general)
There's precedent with Prohibition. Didnt make them right, and didnt prevent us from ending Prohibition. It is utterly ridiculous to use police corruption as an excuse to keep prostitution illegal. Those cops are supposed to be protecting the entire community. If they cant do that properly...then clean house. It is not to be tolerated.
it really has zero to do with if prostitution should be legal or not. If it should be legal, then you fight the actual crime...which is corruption.
I was thinking that tonight, what we need are real brothels with red lights in the streets and women waking around half naked. All this illegal brothel bussiness is no good. You have to go to Vietnam or somewhere.