List of Famous Sex Workers People

List of Famous Sex Workers

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List of famous sex workers, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top sex workers in the world? This includes the most prominent sex workers, living and dead, both in America and abroad. This list of notable sex workers is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic sex workers were born and what their nationality is. The people on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they're all renowned sex workers.

The list you're viewing contains people like Xaviera Hollander and Mata Hari.

From reputable, prominent, and well known sex workers to the lesser known sex workers of today, these are some of the best professionals in the sex worker field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous sex workers ever?" and "What are the names of famous sex workers?" then you're in the right place. (45 items)


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  1. 1
    Jean Genet
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY-SA

    Jean Genet was a French novelist, playwright, poet, essayist, and political activist. Early in his life he was a vagabond and petty criminal, but later took to writing. His major works include the novels Querelle of Brest, The Thief's Journal, and Our Lady of the Flowers, and the plays The Balcony, The ...more

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    • Age: Died at 76 (1910-1986)
    • Birthplace: Paris, France
    • Profession: Novelist, Screenwriter, Essayist, Writer, Social activist, + more
    • Credits: Querelle, The Maids, Poison, The Balcony, A Song of Love, + more
  2. 2
    Mata Hari
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Margaretha Geertruida "Margreet" MacLeod, better known by the stage name Mata Hari, was a Frisian exotic dancer and courtesan who was convicted of being a spy and executed by firing squad in France under charges of espionage for Germany during World War I.more

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    • Age: Died at 41 (1876-1917)
    • Birthplace: Leeuwarden, Kingdom of the Netherlands
    • Profession: Exotic dancer, Sex worker, Spy
  3. 3
    Barbara Payton
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Barbara Lee Payton was an American film actress best known for her stormy social life and eventual battles with alcohol and drug addiction. Her life has been the subject of several books including Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye: The Barbara Payton Story, by John O'Dowd, L.A. Despair: A Landscape of Crimes and ...more

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    • Age: Died at 40 (1927-1967)
    • Birthplace: Cloquet, Minnesota, United States of America
    • Profession: Pin-up girl, Actor
    • Credits: Bride of the Gorilla, 4 for Texas, Four Sided Triangle, Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye, Only the Valiant, + more
  4. 4
    Aspasia
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Aspasia was an influential immigrant to Athens who was the lover and partner of the statesman Pericles. The couple had a son Pericles the Young, but the full details of the couple's marital status are unknown. According to Plutarch, her house became an intellectual centre in Athens, attracting the most ...more

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    • Age: Died at 70 (469 BC-399 BC)
    • Birthplace: Miletus, Turkey
    • Profession: Sex worker
  5. 5

    Georgina Beyer is a New Zealand politician and former Labour Party Member of Parliament. She was the world's first openly transsexual mayor, as well as the world's first openly transsexual Member of Parliament. She is also among a very small number of former sex workers to hold political office.more

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    • Age: age 58
    • Birthplace: Wellington, New Zealand
    • Profession: Politician, Radio personality, Actor
  6. 6

    Nina Arsenault is a Canadian performance artist, freelance writer, and former sex trade worker who works in theatre, dance, video, photography and visual art. Her works have been called profoundly moving, absolutely unforgettable, brutally honest, a spiritual gift and as stunning as they are ruthless.more

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    • Age: age 41
    • Birthplace: Beamsville, Canada
    • Profession: Columnist, Actor, Sex worker, Writer
    • Credits: I'm Yours
  7. 7
    Valeria Messalina
    Photo: Thomas Hawk

    Valeria Messalina, sometimes spelled Messallina, was the third wife of the Roman Emperor Claudius. She was also a paternal cousin of the Emperor Nero, second cousin of the Emperor Caligula, and great-grandniece of the Emperor Augustus. A powerful and influential woman with a reputation for promiscuity, ...more

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    • Birthplace: Rome, Italy
    • Profession: Sex worker
  8. 8

    Sheila Vogel-Coupe

    Sheila Vogel-Coupe is the oldest prostitute in the United Kingdom. Some 2014 reports stated that as she was 85 at the time, she could be the oldest prostitute in the world. As of May 2014, she was still entertaining up to ten clients per week at £250 an hour, and Channel 4 was planning to release a ...more

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    • Profession: Prostitute
  9. 9
    Theodora
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Theodora, was empress of the Byzantine Empire and the wife of Emperor Justinian I. She was one of the most influential and powerful of the Byzantine empresses. Some sources mention her as empress regnant with Justinian I as her co-regent.more

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    • Age: Died at 48 (500-548)
    • Birthplace: Famagusta, Cyprus
    • Profession: Sex worker
  10. 10
    Nell Gwyn
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Eleanor "Nell" Gwyn was a long-time mistress of King Charles II of England and Scotland. Called "pretty, witty Nell" by Samuel Pepys, she has been regarded as a living embodiment of the spirit of Restoration England and has come to be considered a folk heroine, with a story echoing the rags-to-royalty ...more

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    • Age: Died at 37 (1650-1687)
    • Birthplace: Hereford, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Actor, Sex worker, Prostitution
  11. 11

    Annie M. Sprinkle is an American sex educator, former prostitute, feminist stripper, pornographic actress, cable television host, porn magazine editor, writer and sex film producer. She received a BFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts in 1986 and earned a doctorate in human sexuality from ...more

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    • Age: age 61
    • Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America
    • Profession: Pornographic actor, Magazine editor, Stripper, Sex Educator, Television Show Host, + more
    • Credits: My Father Is Coming, Mommy Is Coming, Annie, My Sexuality Is An Art Creation, Satan Was a Lady, + more
  12. 12

    Gerda Munsinger

    Gerda Munsinger was an East German prostitute and alleged Soviet spy. She emigrated to Canada in 1955. Munsinger was the central protagonist of the Munsinger Affair, the first national political sex scandal in Canada, and was dubbed "the Mata Hari of the Cold War" because of her involvement with several ...more

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    • Age: Died at 69 (1929-1998)
    • Birthplace: German Democratic Republic
    • Profession: Sex worker
  13. 13

    Air Force Amy is a legal prostitute in Nevada, pornographic actress, and adult model, who appeared in the HBO television documentary series Cathouse: The Series. MSNBC has called her "a living legend in the world of sex."more

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    • Age: age 49
    • Birthplace: United States of America
    • Profession: Pornographic actor
    • Credits: Cathouse: The Series, Cathouse
  14. 14
    Phryne
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Phryne was a famous hetaira of Ancient Greece.more

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    • Birthplace: Thespiae, Greece
    • Profession: Sex worker
  15. 15
    Valerie Solanas
    Photo: Freebase/Fair use

    Valerie Jean Solanas was an American radical feminist writer who is best known for the SCUM Manifesto, as well as the attempted murder of artist Andy Warhol. She was born in New Jersey and as a teenager had a volatile relationship with her mother and stepfather after her parents' divorce. As a ...more

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    • Age: Died at 52 (1936-1988)
    • Birthplace: Ventnor City, New Jersey, United States of America
    • Profession: Sex worker, Writer
    • Credits: I, a Man
  16. 16
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    • Age: age 33
    • Birthplace: London, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Pornographic actor, Sex worker, Presenter
    • Credits: Babestation, Live XXX TV
  17. 17
    Xaviera Hollander
    Photo: Freebase/Fair use

    Xaviera Hollander is a former call girl, madam, and memoirist. She came to be best known for her best-selling memoir The Happy Hooker: My Own Story.more

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    • Age: age 72
    • Birthplace: Surabaya, Indonesia
    • Profession: Sex worker, Writer
    • Credits: The Happy Hooker, The Life and Times of Xaviera Hollander
  18. 18
    Mary Jane Kelly
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Mary Jane Kelly, also known as Marie Jeanette Kelly, "Fair Emma", "Ginger" and "Black Mary", is widely believed to be the final victim of the notorious unidentified serial killer Jack the Ripper, who killed and mutilated several women in the Whitechapel area of London from late August to early November ...more

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    • Age: Died at 25 (1863-1888)
    • Profession: Sex worker
  19. 19

    Madame de Pompadour

    Madame de Pompadour
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, Marquise de Pompadour, also known as Madame de Pompadour, was a member of the French court and was the official chief mistress of Louis XV from 1745 to her death. She was trained from childhood to be a mistress, and learned her trade well. She took charge of the king’s ...more

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    • Age: Died at 43 (1721-1764)
    • Birthplace: Paris, France
    • Profession: Sex worker
  20. 20

    Mary Ann Nichols

    Mary Ann Nichols
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Mary Ann "Polly" Nichols was one of the Whitechapel murder victims. Her death has been attributed to the notorious unidentified serial killer Jack the Ripper, who is believed to have killed and mutilated at least five women in the Whitechapel area of London from late August to early November 1888.more

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    • Age: Died at 43 (1845-1888)
    • Birthplace: London, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Sex worker
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