Essay On Prostitution In The 18th Century

2946 Words12 Pages
As many as one in five young women were prostitutes in 18th-century London. Figures suggest that there 40,000 in the 1780s, 50,000 in the 1790s, maybe even 65,000. The Covent Garden district that tourists frequent today was the centre of a vast sex trade strewn across hundreds of brothels and so-called coffee houses. The levels of prostitutes located here and across the city was high for a variety of reasons, ‘Some were abandoned or orphaned and turned to prostitution’ or had to get involved in the industry due to poverty. Others decided that they would rather sell their bodies than work long hours as laundresses, servants or seamstresses. For most prostitutes, life was a constant struggle against poverty, illness and danger. The literature of the time viewed prostitution in varying ways – with the noticeable lack of female authors at the time influencing the aforementioned views greatly – libertine discourses glorified the sexual details, sentimental ones concentrated on the circumstances that brought women to prostitution, whereas…show more content…
The sheer volume of people coming into the area for the theatre meant that custom was always available and consequently, the levels of prostitutes in this area was similarly high, as work was easier to come by. All things considered, the area was teeming with people involved in the sex industry one way or another. Prostitutes took full advantage of the theatre scene, by standing outside the theatres waiting for clients to come out for the intermission, or by mingling with audience members once the show had finished. Things were so saucy that the ‘trouble’ didn’t stop once you entered the theatre. In front of the stage, young men would drink together, eat nuts and mingle with prostitutes down below in the notorious ‘pit’, an area of the theatre where all manner of things took

    More about Essay On Prostitution In The 18th Century

      Open Document