Christine Harcourt, PhD, Research Fellow for the National Centre in HIV Epidemiology & Clinical Research at the University of New South Wales, and Basil Donovan, MD, Professor of Sexual Health at National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research of the University of New South Wales, in their June 2005 Sexually Transmitted Infections article "The Many Faces of Sex Work," wrote:

“At least 25 types of sex work were identified according to worksite, principal mode of soliciting clients, or sexual practices. These types of work are often grouped under the headings of ‘direct’ and ‘indirect’ prostitution, with the latter group less likely to be perceived or to perceive themselves as sex workers…”

Direct Forms of Prostitution
Number Type of Prostitution Geographic Distribution
1. Street: Clients solicited on the street, park or other public places. Serviced in side streets, vehicles, or short stay premises Widespread, particularly if alternative work sites are unavailable (United States, Europe, United Kingdom, Australasia) and/or there is socioeconomic breakdown (eastern Europe, parts of Africa, south and South East Asia, and Latin America)
2. Brothel: Premises explicitly dedicated to providing sex. Better security than street. Often licensed by authorities Preferred where sex work is decriminalised or brothels are ‘tolerated.’ (Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia, India, Europe, Latin America)
3. Escort: Client contacts sex worker by phone or via hotel staff. Most covert form of sex work. Relatively expensive because of low client turnover. Service provided at client’s home or hotel room Ubiquitous. In the United States escorts and private workers contacted by phone and working from a ‘call book’ are known as ‘call girls’ or ‘call men’
4. Private: Client contacts sex worker by phone. Similar to escorts except services provided in sex worker’s premises. A variant in London and other big cities is ‘flat’ prostitution—high cost services in rented, serviced, inner city units United Kingdom, Europe, United States, and Australia. Sometimes doorway (see below) and street sex workers bring clients home
5. Window or doorway: Brothels with sex workers on public display. Windows preferred in cold climates, doorways in warmer places Window prostitution almost unique to Amsterdam and Hamburg. Doorway prostitution found in less affluent areas of European cities and in African and other developing countries
6. Club, pub, bar, karaoke bar, dance hall: Clients solicited in alcohol vending venues and serviced on site or elsewhere Ubiquitous depending on types of male club available
7. Other all-male venues: Clients solicited in all-male venues such as barbershops, bathhouses, saunas, and mining camps. Serviced on site or elsewhere Ubiquitous
8. Door knock or hotel: Unattached males are approached in their hotel rooms or boarding houses Hotels worldwide and wherever large numbers of unaccompanied males reside
9. Transport (ship, truck, train): Sex workers may board vehicles to service the crew or passengers or pick up clients at stations and terminals Ubiquitous
10. CB radio: Sex workers drive along highways using CB radio to exchange (jargon) messages with potential truck driver clients. Serviced at truck stops or parking areas United States
11. Other methods of solicitation: Through various media including noticeboard and newspaper advertisements, ‘sex worker catalogues’ with mobile phone numbers, the internet via virtual brothels, etc. Services are delivered mostly in brothels and other indoor venues Ubiquitous, but internet and mobile phone services are mostly confined to large cities in developed countries—particularly the United Kingdom and Sweden where legislation limits other forms of advertising
Indirect Forms of Prostitution
12. Bondage and discipline: sexual fantasy through role play. May involve the inflicting of pain, but genital contact is not routine Apparently unique to wealthier countries
13. Lap dancing: A recent development involving erotic dancing at close quarters without sexual contact Predominantly wealthier countries—often takes place in hotels and clubs
14. Massage parlour: Premises ostensibly dedicated to providing massage, but a range of sexual services may be provided. In South East Asia similar arrangements may apply in barbershops Europe, South East Asia, and Australia
15. Travelling entertainers: Actors, dancers and others involved in entertainment may also provide sexual services South East Asia
16. Beer girls: Young women hired by major companies to promote and sell products in bars and clubs. Sexual services sold to supplement income Cambodia, Uganda, other developing countries
17. Street vendors and traders: Ostensibly marketing rural produce or other goods but supplementing income with sexual services Widespread in developing countries
18. Opportunistic: A person approached in a social venue may occasionally choose to charge for sexual favours if the client appears wealthy enough Ubiquitous
19. Femme libre: Women, usually single or divorced, who exchange sexual services for gifts. The gifts are then converted to cash Central Africa
20. Individual arrangements: The single mother who may have sex with her landlord in place of rent. Older sex workers who only deal with a small number of regular clients, by appointment. ‘Kept’ women or men. Concubines. The number of possible arrangements is vast Ubiquitous
21. Swingers clubs: Some swingers or couples sex clubs employ (undisclosed) sex workers if there is a shortage of female guests Predominantly wealthier countries
22. Geisha: Women engaged primarily to provide social company, but sex may ensue Japanese cities
23. ‘Sex for drugs’: Women providing fellatio for crack cocaine in crack houses. Young homosexual men in Western countries may provide opportunistic sexual services paid with drugs Crack houses are unique to the United States
24. Beachboys, bumsters, and gigolos: Men and boys engaged by women ostensibly for social purposes but sex is often involved. Some beachboys are under aged and many also service male clients Resorts, particularly in developing countries
25. Survival sex: A matter of degree, where starvation or other serious deprivation is imminent, particularly for dependants. Food or security may be the currency, rather than money Refugee camps anywhere
June 2005