What do we know about mental impact of prostitution on women and what we can expect in the future 



The Association for women protection was founded by a female sexual worker who was unsatisfied with current situation in the Czech Republic. The fact is that at least 90% of female sexual workers start with this profession due to social need, according to our experience. Mainly we talk about single mothers, women burdened with debt or women, who are disadvantaged at the labour market in various ways.

We are in touch with overwhelming majority of female sexual workers in the Czech Republic. The sexual workers cooperate with us as volunteers. The female sexual workers, mainly working in their lodgings and escort service, discuss with us their issues and our association interprets these issues to our government and politicians. These women have an opportunity to open any topic, that is important for them.

In autumn 2022 I was contacted by one of our colleagues who has 8 years of experience in the field and gained university degree in humanities. She confided to me that she noticed a worrying trend. The trend deals with deterioration of memory and thinking of her colleagues in erotic private spaces. She asked me to do her a favour and deal with this topic.

It is true that many customers of these sexual workers confirm that they noticed slow "deterioration" of the female sexual workers they are in touch for a longer time. But that impression doesn't necessarily mean that these customers are right. If our female sexual workers ask for help it is our duty to pay attention to it.

I consider it as essential for our society because new findings in this area can help ageing sexual workers to return to the legal labour market. It would be appropriate to say that I am an ambitious person and I would like to improve the situation in this area.

All these facts as a whole are legitimate reasons why it is important to deal with this topic. From all these topics mentioned above, as possible deterioration of thinking and memory, ability to plan and solve problems, I would like to deal with unsuitable conditions in erotic clubs, possible deterioration of memory and how it affects the return of aging female sex workers to the legal labour market.

It is not only about improving lives of individuals but also our state would get a credit if improves working conditions of these workers. If the conditions will be better these workers can change their career subject more easily. In the future, the state will save some money in social services for homeless people and in the same moment it increases taxes and insurance.


I work as a coordinator for the Association for women protection more than six years. I am regularly in contact with a founder of our association who used to work as a sexual worker. Of course, I am in touch with many sexual workers mainly working in private clubs and escort services. Overwhelming majority of these women offer their service online.

My working area is focused on private clubs and escort service environment. Based on these experiences I can say that significant negative influences that affects sexual workers in erotic clubs are alcohol and drugs.

Alcohol and drugs

Alcohol and drugs help them to cope with working in the sex business. The female sexual workers can get some kind of support from their colleges in consuming drugs and drinking alcohol. Very often it is their common activity in their free time, that helps tighten up their fellowship.

Their customers support them in these toxic habits and offer them actively alcohol and drugs. Colleges from other organisations would gain more information about the possible fact if the leadership supports them in using drugs and drinking alcohol to manipulate them better. Sometimes the addiction is a reason why people start with this kind of business – as a source of money needed for buying drugs.

We spotted a fact that our customers take cocaine and metamfetamin more for last three years. Some of our co-workers from this field claims that every third customer takes cocaine, they justify it with an opinion that cocaine is not a drug.

Commissions from drinking alcohol in erotic clubs plays a significant role in sex business. Fatigue, unreliability or deterioration of memory and thinking as a result of long-term consuming drugs and alcohol is a crucial aspect that negatively influence a possibility to return to a legal labour office.

Lack of sleep and irregular sleeping

Lack of sleep or irregular sleep is a significant problem of female sexual workers who work nonstop or staying with customers overnight. We are informed from our sexual workers that a customer force them to be awake all night long no matter how tired they are. Sometimes the customer wakes them up many times per night.

These women feel tired during a day. According to their opinion this is connected to interrupted and unsatisfied sleep during nights. The majority of sexual workers go to sleep in different times. That fact according to me, can have a negative impact on their sleep quality. Lack of sleep can cause damaging of memory, by the way.

Lack of inspiration and stimulation in erotic club environment

Sexual workers usually spend many years as a part of work team, where the main topic of conversation is fashion, cosmetics, relationships, celebrities, customers and children. As a result of that fact is that these workers forget most of their profession knowledge they gained at school. They read mainly magazines or not so difficult books, they are checking their phone and search internet, they are watching TV series or romantic films.

According to our field experience I claim that this can bring slower thinking and memory deterioration. We offer them some tips how to train memory in erotic club environment. These tips created a sexual worker with a university degree. She used them in practice. It means that these tips were created in this specific environment.

The tips you can find on this web:



According to our field experience and studying reference books I am inclined to think that long-term stress in erotic clubs can influence memory and thinking in a negative way. There can be many sources of stress for example arrogant or aggressive customers and many others.

For many years I am paying my attention to a connection between a level of aggression of customers and how clever the sexual worker looks in the eyes of the customer. We describe it on our web and we started an information service. The main aim of this informational help is to improve current situation a little bit.


Every sexual worker I am in touch has her own experience with some kind of physical violence from their customers. Another source of stress are bad working relationships, bullying between sexual workers, slanders, damaging personal belongings or physical violence. This can be caused by competitive environment. It can be prevented by company leaders, if they hire different types of women. Company leaders can decrease the tension and competition. Unfortunately, a great minority of companies pay attention to this.

Another source of stress can be bullying from the leadership and other staff. Sexual workers describe for example a situation how their boss refuses to pay them or refuses to give them their tips from customers, that was meant to be extra money for the sexual workers.

Very interesting is our field observation that indicates a fact that sexual workers sometimes having an orgasm with a customer, are more balanced and less stressed. The most important impact is that they take less drugs and drink less alcohol.

It corresponds with information we can find in many popular science articles, where we can observe that a regular orgasm leads to better mood of women. Although we can notice this fact in field of night clubs for a longer time, it is of course necessary to verify this by reliable research.

During our work we met with a fact that bullying at work would bring a positive impact for the sexual worker. The positive fact is that she left bigger erotic private clubs and started to work on her own business. She stopped paying the half of her salary to her pimps, that was very positive for the worker and she was pleased with this fact.

Some Czech experts are worried about safety of sexual workers in private business, who are self-employed. If you are interested how safety works in this type of business according to our experience you can find it in this article : 


Another source of stress can be effort to hide the subject of her profession from her family, friends, partner and children. Most of sexual workers, we are in touch with, try to hide their profession. They have to create reasons why their friends or partner cannot visit them at work or why they have to go to work at night or during bank holidays etc.

According to our experience and experience of our founder this is a source of stress and can deteriorate memory and thinking. This fact leads to problems with returning of sexual workers to the legal labour market. This is not in their interest and our state interest either because for our state it is important to increase paying taxes.

Mister doc. Tomás Nikolai confirmed that unfavourable conditions in erotic clubs and long-term stress can really leads to deterioration of memory and thinking. Sexual worker with a university degree and their customers claims that worse thinking and memory can manifest itself in various ways for example sexual workers are not able to remember faces of their customers in succession.

According to our information from the field it happens mainly to sexual workers who have more customers per a day (some of them has 8 customers per a day). The fact that they do not remember faces of their customers does not have to be based on reality but does not have to be pathologic. It can be natural and logically explainable. It cannot be excluded that this is "just a feeling" of their customers and some of sexual workers and the reality can be different.

We can presume that their research is correct and that it is really happening. Specialists are not unanimous in an opinion whether it is displacement (displacement of information about the amount of sexual partners that could affect their dignity – Doc. Tomáš Nikolai) or it is an automatic activity (customers faces are not relevant and important information so this is the reason why they do not remember it – Prof. Vladimír Beneš).

For example, prof. Aleš Stuchlík thinks that both points of view are possible. According to prof. Ivan Rektor it is more probable that female sexual workers have more emotional problems than problems with bad memory and brain functioning. All above described should be our research topics for the next few years.

Another topic that would be useful to pay attention to is an impact of long-term stress on sexual workers and point them out in front of the public and try to avoid them. Sexual workers should have information before entering this kind of business to pay attention to train their brain and memory more and eat healthy food.

From Eysenck (2008, page 507 – 508) we can deduce that not only sexual workers can have problems with problem solving which they did not solve for a longer time. Do aged sexual workers have problems with returning to the legal labour market just because of late decision (after many years in sex business)? Is the problem that they do not prepare regularly and they do not have experience with a legal labour market for a longer time?

If it is true, I dare to claim that our tips from the former sexual worker can partially help them. These tips were published on our self-help supportive social group websites and social media:


For the future it would be reasonable to search other possibilities of help not only in terms of international exit program of the Association for women protection.


According to Paulík (2017, page 106 – 109) stress can have impact not only for sexual workers:

  • mood swings, over-sensitivity, tiredness, exhaustion

  • lack of motivation, lack of productivity, lapses of concentration and short-term memory

  • Aggression or contrary to passivity

  • Respiration and circulation problems, problems with motor skills, headaches, longer behaviour changes, increasing unspecific sickness rate, mental health disorder etc.

All these mentioned impacts of long-term stress can complicate aged sexual workers profession change for example planning. According to my opinion these impacts can negatively affect the success rate in the future entrance interview. They can cause health disadvantage that can complicate their profession change.


In this thesis I mentioned nearly all main reasons why we should pay attention to impacts of environment in erotic businesses on sexual workers. The first reason is that the university degree sexual worker asked the Association for women protection for help.

It is very important for our association to pay attention to all problems and requests received from our sexual workers. This is the reason why we should solve this problem too. Of course, it is necessary to include other institution to the process. From my point of view, it is important to talk about sources that cause stress in erotic businesses and how negative conditions inside them affects sexual workers.

Although I have many relevant information from the field and from sexual workers, I agree that these ideas should be supported by research. Wide public should be informed too. Everyone who enters into sex business should know how this environment can have impact on her/him and how to prevent it.

In terms of our exit programs, we provide an advice how to train memory or what should be avoided if they want to change the working subject in the future. Impacts of long-term stress complicate aging sexual workers possible change of their working subject.

Profession change takes longer time and it is more expensive for our state. The more time sexual workers spend in this sex business the more taxes are leaking because they usually do not pay income taxes. International exit program of our association is for free and not connected to subsidies but it can influence other organizations. This is the main reason why our state should pay attention to it I mean mainly complications for sexual workers who would like to change their profession.

Our Association for women protection do not agree with a legalization of prostitution. From our point of view and an opinion of our founder, the former sexual worker, it would support current condition – socially motivated prostitution in our republic.

We would agree with a legalization of prostitution in the Czech Republic only under some circumstances. The ratio of socially motivated prostitution would be maximal 30% in our republic. These days the ratio is completely opposite not only according to our sources. If you are interested about our point of view and history of our association you can find it in this interview.


Our fellowship of the same opinion sexual workers uses this information to point out the working risks in sex business and emotional impacts of this erotic business environment.

This is going to be our next argument against legalization and for prevention of socially motivated prostitution for example lobbing for accessible living. This material will be available for potential supporters of legalization and they can use it according to their consideration.


Eysenck, M.W., Keane M.T. (2008). Kognitivní psychologie. Praha, Academia.

Nakonečný, M. (2016). Obecná psychologie. Praha, Triton.

Paulík, K. (2017). Psychologie lidské odolnosti. Praha, Grada.

Sternberg, R.J. (2002). Kognitivní psychologie. Praha, Portál.








author of this article: 

Mgr. Zdeňka Pecharová


Spolek pro ochranu žen, z. s.