Prostitution is a line of work that goes by many other names, often attempting to make it sound like less of a questionable issue. Some people are of the mind that escorts are one of those "prostitution by another name" buzzwords, but is this actually the case? Well, no, it isn't. There's actually a big difference.

In fact, in the United States at least, the difference is so big that one of these is a crime, while the other is not. Escorting is a perfectly legal activity because it differs from prostitution in many ways.

What's the Big Difference?

Both an escort and a prostitute do things for payment, but what they do is much different. A prostitute offers sexual services in return for payment, In many states in the US, this is a crime. Both the prostitute and the person soliciting that prostitute can be charged and arrested. Anyone who orchestrates such services can be arrested as well.

Escorts, on the other hand, serve a far more innocuous role. The services they offer for payment are merely socialization. Escorts are paid by a client to essentially spend time with them. This can mean many things, of course: they can serve as a date to a social gathering or venue, or simply socialize with you at a coffee shop.

It's really the client's choice, in that regard. What's important to note is that escorts cannot legally engage in sexual activities with their clients. This is the main factor that separates them from prostitutes. 

How Do You Know if an Escort Service is Legal?

Granted, some prostitution rings may attempt to present their services as mere escort services, in an attempt to bait potential clients into a false sense of security. You can know that an escort service is legal if the escorts are licensed. Many states require escorts to be licensed in order to provide their services.

In many places, it is a crime to provide escort services without a license. Of course, if an escort ever tries to persuade you to pay them in return for sexual favors, you can likely deduce that they are not a legitimate escort, as real professionals will never do this. Escort services do not include sexual activity, under any circumstances.

Is There Any Consequence to Soliciting an Escort Service?

As long as you are soliciting a licensed escort, there is no penalty to engaging with their services. It is perfectly legal to do so, since it basically amounts to professionally hanging out. As for why you would want to solicit an escort service, that is for each client to decide themselves.

Some people are just lonely. Others want to maintain appearances at a venue of notable status. Whatever your reasoning, you can rest easy in knowing that it is perfectly legal to hire an escort. It is not the same as prostitution and you will not be penalized for it in any way