The sex industry is driven simultaneously by customer demand for sexual services and pimps who are motivated by the opportunity to make money. The market place of victimization operates according to the economic laws of supply and demand much like an legitimate market. Pimps move victims like products to the markets to satisfy the demand for sexual services. As in any market, supply and demand for commercial sexual services are correlated; supply, while it can and will affect the market structure, increases to meet a growing demand for sexual services.
Pimping commodifies [fe]males while marketing their bodies for [fe]male customers to sexualize and buy. Prostitutes have simply become another commodity in a larger realm of criminal commerce involving other commodities, including narcotic drugs, firearms or weapons, and money laundering. An example of the mentality of prostitutes as property is found in the practice of tattooing a pimp’s name or symbol upon a prostitute’s thigh as a sign of the pimp’s control over him or her. A tattoo, a permanent sign of ownership, signifies that the prostitute is the pimp’s property and is not owned by the prostitute, other prostitute[s], or a secondary exploiter thereby reinforcing the philosophy that prostitutes are property. Simply put, prostitutes are viewed as pieces of real estate.
The commercialization of human beings transforms the sex trade into an industry based on business ideals that is driven by a desire for money while assisting in stimulating the already existent demand for human bodies. Sexual exploitation is based on the foundation of supply and demand which is witnessed as victims become consumer products, meaning their bodies are sold on the market for consumption. Various market entrepreneurs operate on the premise that the demand will never disappear.
Prostitution also results from a structural inequality between males and females. Dr. Kathleen Barry exposes an entitlement factor as a key force for some male customers. “It’s like going to have your car done, you tell them what you want done. They don’t ask. You tell them you want so and so done.” The business of prostitution can be described as the use of real human beings to support the fantasies of others. Anyone working prostitution who tells a ‘John’ too much about who they really are interferes with the customer’s [sexual] fantasy, risking the loss of a customer. A pimp is required to know that they are using people in order not to become sentimental about it because “it’s business”. “In a pimp’s mind, prostituting other individuals is the only way [s]he can make money. The last thing [s]he’ll do is get a real job. Pimping will ‘prevent’ him [or her] from committing other crimes, such as burglary.”