Updated: AUGUST 14, 2017

A madame is a woman who operates, and in many cases owns, a brothel or sex work operation. Influential members of the sex industry, madames employ male or female prostitutes and, in some cases, pimps.

Earning money as a madame is illegal in countries where sex work is forbidden by law, including the United States of America. Even in some countries where prostitution is legal, madames may be prosecuted for living from immoral funds.

Madame is a French term that translates as my dame. It is a respectful term, indicative of the standing madames have in the sex industry and, in some cases, the wider community. Madame may also be spelled madam.

More About Madame

Madames are often wealthy and educated women. They may hold higher degrees and speak multiple languages. Madames are also commonly viewed as glamorous and exotic, particularly in the world of popular culture. Given their line of work, it’s unsurprising that madames tend to be sexually liberated. They may sleep with the pimps or prostitutes in their employment, but never for money.

The way madames operate their businesses varies. Some work in brothels while others have no physical offices. Most take care to ensure the people using their services are not dangerous or undesirable. Some screen more closely and take great care to pair clients with the prostitutes they’ll like best. Some also have more discerning standards for their prostitutes than others. Discretion is an important quality for any madame, as she most protect the privacy of her employees and clients. This is particularly important when working with high-profile clients including celebrities, royals, and other prominent personalities.

Madames must have strong business skills. While their businesses are different from many others, madames must still worry about accounting, marketing, and other business matters. They usually liaise with clients on behalf of the prostitutes. This requires a good understanding of each prostitute, her hard limits, and the fetishes she’s willing to cater for.


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