Those offering services to female customers are commonly known as gigolos; those offering services to male customers are hustlers or rent boys.
Organizers of prostitution may be known as pimps (if male) and madams or Mama-san (if female).
In Germany, however, most prostitutes' organizations deliberately use the word Hure (whore) since they feel that prostitute is a bureaucratic term.
Those seeking to remove the social stigma associated with prostitution often promote terminology such as sex worker, commercial sex worker (CSW) or sex trade worker.
The legal status of prostitution varies from country to country (sometimes from region to region within a given country), ranging from being permissible but unregulated, to an enforced or unenforced crime, or a regulated profession.
Clients of prostitutes are sometimes known as johns or tricks in North America and punters in the British Isles.
These slang terms are used among both prostitutes and law enforcement for persons who solicit prostitutes.
For instance, in the book, The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield says of his brother ("D. Usage of the "political prostitute" moniker is by no means unique to Russian political lexicon, such as when a Huffington Post contributor expressed the opinion that Donald J.
Trump was "prostituting himself to feed his ego and gain power" when he ran for President of the United States.
A variety of terms are used for those who engage in prostitution, some of which distinguish between different types of prostitution or imply a value judgment about them.