Tolerated Prostitutes, their Clients, the Madams, and the Vice Police
Tolerated prostitutes were part of the Monarchy’s large under classes, which they moved into and out of during their careers. This chapter analyzes the background of tolerated prostitutes, how they entered the trade, and their movement into and out of brothels to argue that regulated prostitution was both contingent and permeable, revealing that brothel life could be a temporary or a long-term undertaking. It also demonstrates that tolerated prostitution was a multi-confessional, multigenerational, multinational, trans-Austrian enterprise. Those who participated in brothel prostitution commerce, from the women who sold their bodies, through the brothel keepers for whom they worked, and the procurers who helped them move from establishment to establishment, to the officials who sanctioned tolerated brothels, even the military, were familiar with the rhetoric of tolerated brothels as the form of prostitution that best protected public health and public morals.
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