Why Do Men Buy Sex?


Why Do Men Buy Sex?
The guys who buy it aren't who you think. Nor are their reasons for doing so.

This is the whole thing: There is no typicality. You don't get men of a certain age or just bachelor party groups. There is a whole range of life stages, professions, and classes. There are all sorts of markets… from low end to high end. From the research, they’re not the people who have criminal records; they're regular citizens who have professional jobs and are in relationships. This is where you see the proliferation. It’s not an uncommon thing.

Did you detect any purchase patterns, so to speak?

There is a typology of different type of purchases. There are guys who I call "the bookends" who will buy sexual experiences in their teen years, then have decades away. Then in their 60s, they'll go back. For them, it's about purchasing sex later in life. It's an interesting group to look at in terms of aging and sexuality.


There are "permanent purchasers," who purchase sex throughout the whole of their life, including when they're married… maybe those who are expats, or working in the military, but as part of their occupational culture.

The interesting thing when it comes to men who are married or in relationships is a group of guys called "the regulars." They always go back to the same sex worker. I've got a quote from a guy who says, "I don't like having sex with strangers." Which is a funny thing for a guy who buys sex to say, but the thing is: He always goes back to same woman. That is about the purchase of intimacy. The sex laborer is not just about release. It's about emotional support, familiarity… quality time out for a guy who may be feeling like he needs to have that in his life.

So you're saying buying sex isn't just about the sex?

No. For this group of men it's about buying something other than sexual experiences; it's about having "the girlfriend experience." Getting to know the person…maybe having a social occasion, having a longer amount of time. For this kind of service you're paying a lot more money. You'll see this person time and time again. The women are sexual laborers, and they're emotional laborers.

This actually reflects very similarly conventional relationships: a man wanting to be romantic, wanting communication, wanting mutual sexual fulfillment.

But why can't men get this from their marriages?

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