A male manager of a brothel is called a pimp; a female brothel manager is known as a madam or a shimp.

Street prostitutes may or may not have a pimp. The relationship between pimp and prostitute is often abusive.

Pimps often target vulnerable women and young girls who have run away from home, initially offering themselves as lovers or father-figures. After introducing their victims to prostitution, they often use beatings and drug addiction to maintain their victim's dependency.

Pimps are also commonly low-echelon drug dealers.

Pimping is a sex crime in many jusrisdictions. In 1949, the United Nations adopted a convention stating that prostitution is incompatible with human dignity, requiring all signing parties to punish pimps and brothel owners and operators, and to abolish all special treatment or registration of prostitutes. The convention was ratified by 89 countries with the notable exception of Germany, the Netherlands and the United States.

The term "pimp" is sometimes used figuratively, as in Poverty pimp.

-- In Shakespearean times, a pimp was a fishmonger.

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