The Best Documentaries About Prostitution

Jul 10, 2023 | Best Of, Culture, People

It is no secret that prostitution is a booming industry, with almost 40 million people working in the trade across the globe. But what many people don’t know is that individuals can enter into this profession as young as thirteen years of age. This means they are still children when they begin! The legality of prostitution varies from country to country – while it may be illegal in some places, governments in others pay for sexual surrogates for disabled individuals who cannot access sexuality satisfyingly on their own. If you want to learn more about this subject matter, then these documentaries about prostitution will certainly inform and enlighten you. Keep reading and find out more!


1. Sunshine Hotel (2001)

Explore the hidden world of New York City’s notorious skidrow, The Bowery, through the lens of filmmaker Michael Dominic. Journey inside the walls of the Sunshine Hotel, one of the last remaining havens for those down on their luck and in desperate need of affordable housing.






2. The War on Sex Workers (2019)

Maggie McNeill, a sex worker and author, sheds light on the unjust persecution of those in the sex industry. She challenges the misconception that all sex workers are victims of exploitation by pimps and traffickers. Through her movement, she aims to dismantle the powerful political and cultural forces behind these false assumptions. Join her in questioning whether it is anyone’s right to dictate what consenting adults choose to do with their bodies and livelihoods.





3. Ukraine Is Not A Brothel (2016)

The feminist group Femen has sparked a media storm in Europe, challenging the objectification of Ukrainian women as mere sex objects. Through their controversial protests, which involve exposing their bare chests, they aim to dismantle patriarchal systems and challenge the stereotypes that plague their country’s image.






4. Escorts (2015)

Amsterdam, the city of excess. It’s known for its vibrant nightlife, relaxed views on drugs, and tolerance towards the LGBTQ community. But beyond the surface lies a world where everything is for sale – from sex in brothels and strip-joints to illegal activities on the streets.






5. Amsterdam Nights (2006)

Raven enthusiast Rick Boufford has dedicated a large portion of his life to studying these enigmatic birds in their natural habitat. As he continues to work closely with them, he often gets asked one specific question that never fails to spark curiosity: What sets ravens apart from crows? Prepare to be astounded by the multitude of differences between these two feathered creatures – from their striking physical features and vocalizations, to the vastly different environments they call home.




The Best Free Documentaries About Prostitution


1. Iraq’s Secret Sex Trade

In Iraq, there is a hidden sex trade that is facilitated by clerics and has been subject to increasing concern due to the exploitation of women and girls. In this BBC documentary, Nawal Al-Maghafi dives deep into the secret world of prostitution in Iraq and reveals how these ancient marriage practices are being abused. Learn about the inside story behind this alarming situation as she unravels the secrets around it.


2. Selling sex: underage victims of sex tourists in the Dominican Republic

Krishnan Guru-Murphy takes us on a journey to the Dominican Republic, where he uncovers an ugly truth. The Caribbean country is known for its beautiful beaches and sunshine, but it has become a haven for sex traffickers who exploit underage victims. In this documentary, Krishnan dives deep into the dark side of tourism in the Dominican Republic and reveals how children are being sold as commodities to fuel illegal activities. He meets those working to put an end to this horrific practice and discovers what can be done to prevent further exploitation of these vulnerable young people.


3. Thailand Prostitution: The Darker Side of Bangkok

This documentary takes a deep dive into the dark side of Bangkok, where sex has become an incredibly lucrative trade. Foreign men flock to the city in search of this “commodity” and it’s time we take a closer look at what that really means for those involved. This film shines a light on Thailand’s prostitution industry, revealing its darkest secrets and exploring how these practices are affecting the country today.


4. Exploiting the poor: Sex slavery in Europe

Are you aware of the sex slavery in Europe? This documentary tackles this issue, taking a look at the lives of women who were tricked into prostitution. They thought they’d escape poverty, but instead they became victims of criminal networks and human trafficking. Hear their stories and witness how some are treated as commodities – even selling sex for less than a pack of cigarettes. Get an insight into the underworld of exploitation and see why it’s so important to end this cycle.


5. Prostitution In America, The Working Girl Speak

This documentary takes a look at the lives of thousands of prostitutes in America, from the luxurious penthouses of New York to the truck stops in Philadelphia. It dives into their stories and reveals how many have been victims of sexual abuse. At the same time, it shines a light on why these women choose this line of work – what drives them to take such risks? This documentary is an eye-opening exploration into prostitution in America that you won’t want to miss!


6. India’s prostitution villages

India is a country full of culture and diversity. But within its rural areas, there are communities that have been stuck in the same cycle for generations. In this video, we will take a look at the lives of women who live in these villages – where prostitution is an inherited way of life due to centuries-old prejudices and an oppressive caste system. See how these brave women are fighting against their circumstances to break free from this tradition and create better futures for themselves and their children through education and rights. Our reporters Akanksha Saxena and Neerat Kaur delve into the depths of India’s prostitution villages to reveal stories of hope amidst despair.


7. When You Have To Sell Sex To Survive

This documentary takes a look at the reality of poverty, and how it can force some people to turn to prostitution in order to survive. It follows those who have been driven into this desperate situation, as well as exploring the organisations that are dedicated to helping them out of it. We take an intimate look at their stories and experiences, offering insight into what life is like for these individuals on a daily basis.


8. Going Undercover in London’s Brothels

This documentary takes you undercover in London’s brothels, where sex slavery is on the rise. We follow a sophisticated network of human trafficking that has stretched from Eastern Europe all the way to Mayfair – one of London’s most expensive postcodes. Join us as we investigate this dark side of modern society and learn how to fight it!



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David B