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Prostitution in Paris , both street prostitution and prostitution from dedicated facilities has a long history but also its own modernity in the French capital. Prostitutes are mostly women but also include transgender people and men. Louis XI organised the profession by limiting the streets where prostitutes could operate. The king considered them "crazy or drunk with their bodies". In new rules reinforced the measures being taken by prohibiting the wearing of certain outfits considered to be highly provocative; feather, fur and the infamous gold belts.
Before the French Revolution in , there were estimated to be 30, prostitutes in Paris, plus a further 10, high-class prostitutes. On October 4, , the Commune of Paris issued a regulatory order forbidding prostitutes to stand in public spaces to "incite to debauchery". There were many "daughters" that crisscrossed the garden paths and galleries of the Palace, and erotic shows and shops dedicated to prostitution. To do that he advocates maison-closes , a hospital to treat women with venereal diseases , a prison to punish those who break the law and houses of repentance.
Female prostitutes must report to the police headquarters and undergo medical examinations. Infected women are to be treated in the infirmary of the Prison Saint-Lazare , which was opened They can not leave the establishment without being cured. Of men born between and , one in five had experienced her first sexual relationship in a maison-close.
Paris accommodated many brothels until their prohibition in following the introduction of the Loi Marthe Richard. An exhibition about historical Paris brothels took place from November to January in an art gallery across the street from the former Le Chabanais. Prostitution is legal in France, and therefore in Paris. However, certain activities related to prostitution are prohibited, such as brothel-keeping since , pimping and prostitution of minors.
Moreover, since the law on 13 April , clients of prostitutes are criminalised. Marie-Elizabeth Handman and Janine Mossuz-Lavau argue that these figures do not take into account modes of prostitution whose participants have never had any involvement with the police, such as escorts who find clients on the internet or salaried women who are limited to a few liaisons a month.