Prostitution is illegal in Chicago as set out by Illinois state law.

The definition of prostitution is of performing, or offering or agreeing to perform a sexual act for anything of value. Prostitution is considered a misdemeanor unless it is committed within 1000 feet of a school, in which case it is considered a Class 4 felony.

It’s important to be aware of the local laws and to understand that Chicago is not like, say, Nevada, or the many countries outside the US where prostitution has been fully legalised and regulated.



You are committing a crime if you agree to pay for sex, or any kind of sexual activity for that matter.

Please bear this in mind as you view the information presented on this website.

Our site is strictly for informational purposes only.

We do not endorse prostitution.

Chicago Brothels

Are there any legal Chicago brothels?

The short answer to this is no.

While there are certainly illegal brothels in Chicago, and the surrounding Illinois areas, none of them are licensed and you are undertaking a major risk by entering one.

Beyond simply breaking the law, this also applies to the medical and safety concerns you should have.

Time and time again, research has shown that legalising prostitution reduces the health risks associated to the sex industry. It effectively brings it above board and encourages regulation. Transmission of STDs drops and real issues such as human trafficking can be attacked head-on.

Additional papers have shown a reduced number of rape offences and female cases of gonorrhoea when prostitution was ‘accidentally decriminalised’ in Rhode Island in 2003.

But, of course, Illinois shows no sign of legalising the sex industry anytime soon.

Prostitution remains illegal so the risk of venturing in to a brothel has several factors:

  1. It’s illegal. You could easily get busted.
  2. As the industry is illegal, the women are not medically tested for STDs (as they are in other states and countries).
  3. The black market of paid sex has created a vicious circle of human and sex trafficking. Do you really want to encourage or engage in this?

We’d hope not.

Chicago ‘Hooker Hotspots’

No amount of legislation is going to stop the oldest exchange in human history: money for sex.

Chicago undoubtedly has many, many ‘hooker hotspots’ where you can find ladies trawling for customers, or pimps bartering with Johns.

Secret City has a revealing guide to the most popular spots for street prostitution in Chicago.

It lists the following locations:

North Side

  • Howard Street near the Red Line el station
  • Morse Street from Sheridan to Ashland
  • Sheridan from Foster to Montrose
  • Broadway the entire stretch from Devon to downtown
  • Wilson Ave, Lawrence and Leland from Sheridan to Clark
  • Diversey near Lathrop Homes Public Housing
  • Clybourn from Damen to Division
  • Armitage from Pulaski to Damen
  • North Avenue from Kingsbury to Humboldt Park

West Side

  • Madison Avenue from Cicero to Ashland
  • Roosevelt from Cicero to Western
  • Cicero from Belmont to 47th

South Side

  • 119th from Michigan to Halsted
  • 103rd from Michigan to Halsted
  • Cottage Grove from 87th to 95th
  • Exchange from 75th to 79th
  • 63rd from Ashland to Western
  • 63rd from State to Cottage Grove
  • 51st from Halsted to Ashland
  • 47th from Pulaski to Damen
  • Prairie and Indiana from 47th to 63rd
  • 39th/Pershing between State and Cottage Grove

Suburban Areas

  • Mannheim Road from Grand to Lake Street
  • Harvey on 159th Street
  • Chicago Avenue and other streets in Chicago Heights
  • Calumet City near or on State Line Road
  • Truck stops along the Interstate highways throughout the Chicago
  • metropolitan area

There was also recently a very informative anonymous post on Reddit highlighting prostitution hot spots in Chicago as determined by CPD incident reports.

Map of Chicago Prostitution Hotspots

Map of Chicago Prostitution Hotspots (click for full map across larger area)

Needless to say, this should make you think twice about venturing in to a brothel around Madison Street!

Prostitution comes in many forms, and being such a major city, Chicago has a variation of most of them.

Erotic massage parlours can be found all over the city, often filled with Asian women from Korea, Japan, China or the Philippines.

It’s estimated that there are over 150 erotic massage parlours in the Windy City and you probably pass several of them everyday on your way to work.

They are practically anonymous.

It’s very difficult for the cops to prove that you are engaging in an act of prostitution when you leave one. Who’s to say you didn’t just need a Swedish massage or treatment for a sports injury?

Most people will certainly know what you’re up to, but just like the entire escort industry, these erotic massage parlours operate between unspoken gaps in the law.

You never pay for sex.

You merely pay for a massage — and tip well for gifted ‘extras’.

This is the language of the sex industry in Illinois.

It is far from perfect.

But it is what it is.

There are other sites that will openly encourage you to partake in paying for sex or filling your boots with as much prostitution as you can handle. This is not one of them. There are clear legal implications for any decision to pay for sex; or to sell it. We do not endorse the industry. You are for responsible for your own actions.