"Kurwa" is a very insulting term...term for 'prostitute' used by people who do not want to sound vulgar will be "dziwka"
I've hardly ever heard kurwa actually used to refer to real prostitutes, and on the rare occasions I've heard it addressed to actual women they were decidedly not prostitutes. Like you said, it's a general swear word (THE general swear word) but not much used in its literal meaning.
Dziwka is by far the more common word I think (though prostytutka is far more used in Polish than it is in English). I've also heard tirówka for roadside prostitute and maybe some other specific words but I can't remember them...
there are also women of a certain age who wish to 'sponsor' young, virile, inexperienced men for their pleasure
or go on vacation to Egypt.....?