Other women formed more permanent relationships with sailors, prositution with them when they were in port, and drawing their half pay when they were at sea. A common feature of urban life generally, prostitution was particularly prevalent in ports and seaside resorts, where soldiers and sailors on leave provided a ready clientele.
Many of them were migrants from the surrounding countryside, and the research of Judith Walkowitz has shown that a large came from disrupted families, or were orphans. Prostitutes often lived together in groups of three or four, and contemporaries noted the support and aid they gave one another in prosittution of need and distress.
These women provided social as well as sexual services to sailors in port, argues Walkowitz - they housed them, held their money, and prevented them from being exploited by unprincipled lodging-house keepers in their absence. Local police from dock towns often reported large increases in the of prostitutes on the streets after the arrival of a new ship in port.
Certainly many locals commented on the wilful independence and impulsive character of streetwalkers.