Prostitution was legal and licensed in Ancient Rome, with some larger brothels even behaving like "tourist attractions". Prostitutes themselves were considered very low in status under Roman societal views, with most being slaves or former slaves. In contrast, however, even Romans of the highest of social status could sleep with prostitutes without incurring moral or social disapproval.
Both men and women were prostitutes and some could be self-employed by renting rooms. Prostitutes could also work under the care of a madam (women only) or at brothels or taverns. Some elite prostitutes serviced only high born Romans and could become wealthy, many of which seem to be indistinguishable from actresses and other performers, which appear to show a role larger than that of just sexual pleasure.