Women Who Pay For Sex: Men, Stereotypes, and the Erotic

More women than you think have paid for male “companionship”. What does this say about stereotypes of how sex and desire work?

This article originally appeared at The Hoopla, an Australian site for hip cultural commentary.

Hiring a hooker, an escort or a courtesan has long been a man’s domain. But does that mean women aren’t going there? Well, not quite. Sex tourism, where predominantly older women can and do buy the ‘boyfriend experience’ at exotic resorts in Jamaica, Kenya and Turkey, is thriving.

And closer to home, male escort agencies are popping up in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Women who hire escorts may not be shouting it from the rooftops – save for singer Sinead O’Connor, who famously admitted Googling male escorts when she was on tour due to sexual frustration and boredom with her vibrator. However a small, growing number have or would pay for sex, according to studies.

In New Zealand, one study found that one in 4 women would be willing to hire a male prostitute.

Sarah Jones* and Michelle Smith*, owners of newly launched Aphrodisiac Male Escorts in Melbourne, also gleaned interesting stats from their anonymous surveys.

“We polled women between 29-59 and found that 16 percent had used an escort – and 10 percent didn’t know such a service existed but would consider using it,” said Sarah, adding that their goal is to provide women with the same freedoms as men – and a safe, reputable service to tap into.

Who are their clients, you may ask?

According to Sarah and Michelle – mums and long-time friends who wish to remain anonymous more for their teenage kids’ sakes than their own – some women are bicurious. Others are married and seeking a couple experience.

Other clients may be business owners with no time for a relationship. Women in sexless marriages or whose partners have sexual dysfunction – and may hire an escort with their partner’s blessing. For some, paying for no-strings sex is a better prospect than online dating or hooking up in a bar.

Other clients, say the pair, are clear on their needs: they just want a guy who can give them an orgasm.

“We’re baffled by women who ring up and say they’ve never had one,” says Sarah.

“One woman who rang up was 48, had recently gotten divorced and had never had an orgasm!”

On that note, the idea of post-divorce gift vouchers is just ‘tacky’, the pair says, but they’ve had women who suggest it could be a great idea – so you never know.

Although the agency’s focus is on women aged 40-60, they’ve also been approached by women as young as 25 – and by singletons not happy about going solo to yet another family gathering. “Women may ring up saying, ‘I have to see my family, they’re on my case about not dating,” says Sarah.

The client gives the male companion a briefing and back story – and hey presto, Christmas goes off without any awkward questions from Great Aunt Margery.

However, while companionship is part of the package, most clients – 60 percent – simply want sex that’s passionate, erotic and all about them, say Sarah and Michelle, who pick the escort on the client’s behalf.

“It’s almost like a dating agency and it’s worked really well. Some women don’t have time to go out and hope for the best – only to end up with a drunk guy on top of her and snoring a few minutes later. They want the conversation. They want to be touched. For many women whose lives are about everyone else, women who are time-poor… it’s like a mini-holiday.”

Their hand-picked escorts go through rigorous interviews and, much like Ray Drecker in the TV show Hung, they’re predominantly single blokes who’ve never worked in the sex industry before.

“They’re everyday guys: entrepreneurs, accountants, IT guys, uni students,” says Michelle. “We looked for specific guys who have reverence for women, where age is no barrier. Where size is no barrier.”

Roberto, a 36-year-old single Spaniard who now lives in Melbourne, is one of them. He’s a website designer by day and a male companion by night, hired for everything from accompanying a client to dinner, giving her a massage, cooking for her at home or meeting her at a hotel for sex.

“It’s a myth that women don’t pay for companionship and sex,” he says. “They do and it’s probably because their partner isn’t up to scratch or doesn’t listen to them. Women seek us out because they want to be desired and they’re not getting that anywhere else.”

What do Sarah and Michelle’s loved ones think? Sarah’s a single mum, but Michelle’s husband, a GP, is a fan. “He sees a lot of people coming in with STIs from one-night stands and he thinks it’s a great, safe alternative for women,” she says.

For women who’d fork out hundreds for a day spa experience, an escort is another type of pampering, says Isabelle*, a professional women in her late 30s who books an escort once or twice a month.

“I guess I view it as a bit of a treat,” she says. “I got sick of going out / going online and trying to meet people. The difference with having sex with an escort is that they’re definitely going to be able to perform, it’s guaranteed safe sex and they’re never selfish or lazy.”

Would she tell her friends?

“A few of my friends were complaining about being horny so I suggested it to them but most of them think they’d be too shy to try it. I just told them they don’t know what they’re missing.”

Would you pay for sex?

What are you missing in your sex life that you would seek out from an escort?

*Names have been changed. For information, visit AMescorts.

 

Photo—istolethetv/Flickr

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About Rachel Smith

Rachel Smith is the woman behind the chick at advice column and
relationships blog Reality Chick. When she's not tackling the latest curly questions about love, sex and dating, she's writing for magazines and websites, getting up to mischief on Twitter or Facebook - and trying to convince her husband to take her to Santorini for her 40th. No luck as yet.

Comments

  1. I have trouble believing the quoted statistics. I personally believe that women who would pay for sex are extremely rare. Maybe it will become more common, however. Seems like everything is a commidity, including sexuality. I find that kind of sad, but maybe others don’t. If I was ever so desperate for sex that I had to pay a man to service me, I think I’d become suicidally depressed!

    • The Wet One says:

      Why?

      Let me clarify my why:

      Why:

      1. Do you “have trouble believing the quoted statistics”?

      2. Do you “personally believe that women who would pay for sex are extremely rare?”

      3. Would you ever be “so desperate for sex that I had to pay a man to service me?” If you’re a woman, you can generally go into a bar, and say out loud you’ll have sex with any man that asks, and you’ll get a taker or two… I don’t think you’re ever that desperate. Mind you, you’d have to target your audience properly (don’t be 70 and go to a club filled with 20 year old’s and expect to get laid, but I bet if you went to a legion hall or somewhere where lots of 70 year old men with decent health hung out, you’d get laid).

      4. Why would you “become suicidally depressed?” One day, you might be not that attractive to men. Is that really worth killing yourself over? They’re just men, not gods. Don’t sweat it if men won’t service you without payment. Life’s tough all over, but if you want what you want and you’re going to get it, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Is that so hard to accept? I’ll grant you, it took me some years of questioning the matter until I decided that I would get what I wanted and pay for it if necessary, but it certainly was never worth killing myself over. Strange thing was, the women started coming AFTER I started paying for sex. Weird…

      No need to answer of course Sarah, but I do find many of your statements puzzling. But, I recognize we all live in worlds of varying degrees of differences.

      So it goes…

      • Oh for God’s sake …. no young woman is attracted to a 70-year old man, no matter how desperate she is and how healthy he is.

        • You need better reading comprehension skills MariahH.

          He said “Don’t be 70 and go into a bar trying to attract 20 years old guys”.

        • i just wanna say that, i need help and i can do for anything for money, because now i need money, no matter how or where, i am ready for women’s service personally, i am new and doing first time if anybody can help me, thank you.

      • Hi Wet One, if I am ever at a point where I am so unappealing and so unwanted that the only way to get sex is to pay a guy to be with me …. what does that say about me? Not fun to think about. I realize that as my physical appeal wanes, I will eventually reach that point, at which time I suppose I will be good friends with my vibrator. I would never pay someone to sexually service me, the thought of it is incredibly depressing. I have never understood how men can pay for sex knowing that this woman is faking the whole thing and quite possibly finds you completely unappealing. She may be hating every second of it but she’s a good actress.

        I think articles like this are interesting since they seem to be arguing that women paying for sex is an exciting and empowering new trend. I think it’s in the far fringe and will never become common. I think most women need to believe that a man is really attracted to them and if you are having to pay, chances are you are not that appealing. I can inagine some women in the swinger community might be interested in paying for sex or naybe sone women who are very confident about their sexuality and physical attractiveness. The women who really need sex and can’t get it — heavy women, post menopausal divorced women, etc. – probably won’t partake if these services, for the reasons I mentioned.

        • Wow, the stereotypes in your comment are mind boggling.

          The fact that many women of all stripes and of all ages are interested in buying sex is testament to the fact that sexual relations between men and women needs a massive overhaul.

      • Its contradicting with research that shows that there are fewer male prostitutes than female prostitutes and that male prostitutes get paid less.
        Though it could be just that there is lots of difference in the sexual marketplace between different countries. Also there is lots of variation in the legal status of prostitutes.

        I think we can conclude that expectionally many women use the services of male prostitutes in New Zealand.

        • The Wet One says:

          Alternatively, it could also be the case that male prostitutes have FAR FAR FAR FAR FAR FAR more competition in terms of free sex. See my show up at the bar and just say “Yes!” comment above. When that’s your competition, well, you better set your prices and market expectations accordingly.

          It actually IS NOT the same for men trying to get laid. If a man went into a bar and said “Yes, I’ll have sex with any woman in here,” well, first he’d get laughed at by everyone in the bar (men and women), then he’d get thrown out by the bouncers for upsetting the ladies.

          The economics of prostitution matters when considering these things.

        • I did see an article that stated women in new zealand had the highest number of sexual partners within their lifetime in the world (on average). so i suppose it wouldn’t be too crazy if it turns out they use hookers more than any other as well?

          I guess more are using than we’d thought but obviously it’s still a lot less than men do.

  2. Sooooooo…..is it ok then if men do the same?

    I realise this is straight-up whataboutery, but I find it very difficult to believe that there’d be such understanding for men looking for female escorts.

  3. “Women want conversation, they want to be touched and desired”. They’re not getting that. Too much focus on the almighty blowjob. Many women feign liking it because society teaches them to please men. But seriously, who enjoys gagging? A blowjob is fine if it is part of a larger sexual repertoire.

    An increase in prostitution of any kind is merely a reflection of the rampant sexual dysfunction that exists in society. The “art of lovemaking” has been lost in a culture that continues to enforce slut shaming and that is saturated with pornography. The equation is simple: slut shaming + pornography = > prostitution.

    http://www.salon.com/2012/12/04/study_slut_shaming_wont_go_away/

    • The Wet One says:

      Prostitution was always there. It’s as old, if not older than the hills. I can’t imagine that there is anything in the modern era that makes prostitution any different than the past. The only difference that I can see today is that the knowledge of prostitution is more widespread.

      The Internet changed everything. It blew the veil off the truth and perhaps exposed our “innocent” beliefs about sex out of the water. Certainly, based on everything I’ve read and experienced tells me that there really is nothing new under the sun in the sex department. We have not changed at all, just the state of knowledge.

      • Prostitution is as old as the patriarchy.
        http://agonist.org/a_lesser_species_part_11/

        “It is striking to note that while the male and female essences are seamlessly blended or eternally shifting in many myths and customs of cultures around the world, the currently accepted, bifurcated sense of sexuality is not only split; it is predominantly preoccupied with only half of the spectrum. Like nervous photo editors airbrushing away inconvenient reality, the female half of human sexuality is largely missing from the picture.”
        Source: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sex-dawn/200812/who-enjoys-sex-more-men-or-women

        • The Wet One says:

          Quite honestly, I’m reasonably sure that prostitution is even older than the patriarchy. It’s the simplest transaction around. And you seem to be suggesting that women never had the idea of using their own sexuality to get what they needed / wanted. An utterly ridiculous notion. Women aren’t dumb, aren’t saints and have their own agency. They also want or need stuff, just like everyone else. It’s just that they have something that men want that is easily marketed.

          Why make it so frickin’ complicated rather than applying Occam’s Razor?

      • “It’s just that they have something that men want that is easily marketed.”

        Sex is about what men want?

        So women want sex that is not reciprocated? Women have no innate sex drive, sexual desires and fantasies of their own? Women’s sexuality only exists to service men? I sure hope you’re not speaking for all men ’cause your view of human sexuality is pathetic, to say the least.

        It’s easy to understand that prostitution is not older than the patriarchy if you know the history of humankind. But you’re not interested in learning about that ’cause your mind has been made up.

        • The Wet One says:

          No sex isn’t not about what men want. Men want sex. They want to have sex with women. It’s really that simple. And they’ll do what they must to get it, including pay money.

          What women do with their sexuality is their business. Some choose to sell it. Heck, these days some even auction their “virginity” (a load of nonsense in my view, but anyways) on the Internet. What’s the big deal?

          As for my mind being made up, some things don’t stand up to scrutiny. Until you can show me that somehow, in the distant past, sex was treated somehow differently than it is today (much like eating, going to bathroom, breathing, sleeping, etc.) with credible evidence, yeah, my mind is closed to what you’re peddling. I ain’t buying it.

          And yes, I am well aware that women want reciprocated sex, have their own innate sex drive (Just read Jezebel to learn all about it (www.jezebel.com) ) and it doesn’t exist to service men (Where the heck did you get that idea?).

          All that being said, it is beyond ridiculous to suggest that women have ever ever realized or chosen to capitalize on the fact that their sexuality is highly desired and desirable to men and that women have not chosen to capitalize on that desire by selling themselves in prostitution. That’s just utterly ridiculous and completely dehumanizing of women to suggest that they don’t make these decisions for themselves. Get real.

          I very much believe that some women aren’t in prostitution of their own accord, but having met and spoken with many of them (have you?) and after paying them more than corporate lawyers get paid an hour, I seriously cannot believe that every single one of them was somehow forced into doing it. It is completely unbelievable. Completely and totally unbelievable.

          • The Wet One says:

            Holy double negatives Batman! I wrote “No sex isn’t not about what men want.” Jeez… Freudian slip maybe? Heh. I meant “No sex isn’t about what men want.”

            Anyways…

    • @mariaH

      It is not only the art of lovemaking that has been lost, but the simple are of conversation. Things have grown too mechanical with sex in America.

      I do love seduction, playfulness, talking, and being a bit unconventional. There is the time pressure in America for everything. It always seems as if people are in a rush. We need to slow down and start enjoying life. How about a nice cappuccino with some stimulating sensual conversation and eye gazing? Now we’re talking eroticism that leads to great lovemaking.

      I am an old school guy. I like to dominate my woman in the bedroom. But, I also want to know what really satisfy her. What she really likes. Also, if she wants to be assertive, it is OK with me too. But, the ultimate goal is for each person to be to satisfied.

      JMO

  4. Prostitution is as old as the Patriarchy which began in Mesopotamia, about 5-6 thousand years ago.

  5. “It’s a myth that women don’t pay for companionship and sex,” he says. “They do and it’s probably because their partner isn’t up to scratch or doesn’t listen to them. Women seek us out because they want to be desired and they’re not getting that anywhere else.”

    I wonder if men who seek out similar services would get such an understanding reception? I just can’t see an article about married men and female prostitutes reading, “…it’s probably because their partner isn’t up to scratch or doesn’t stimulate them. Men seek us out because they enjoy novelty and variety and they’re not getting that at home.”

    • The topic is female sexuality. Do you have any opinions on that? For example, how do you feel about slut shaming and evo psych’s attempt to maintain the unequal sexual status quo between the genders? Do you believe the age of “The Almighty Blowjob” should continue?

      What do you feel is needed to improve sexual relations between men and women?

      • The Wet One says:

        I think nothing is required to improve sexual relations between men and women. I’m sure it’s always been and always will be a goddamned mess. Why? Men and women want different things. Pure and simple. They both try and get at them through sex, but sex is an imperfect means of acquiring what’s wanted (well, except if sex is the end itself, but how often is that the ONLY reason men and women have sex? Hardly ever I think. Even for people buying sex I doubt sex itself is 100% purely the reason they pay for it, though that transaction is potentially a whole lot closer to a purely sexual endeavour on one party’s part, than most others…)

        • This is just crazy talk. Responding to is a waste of time.

          • The Wet One says:

            Hey hey! We have similar thoughts on the matter! How about them apples.

            Maybe we can come to some other places of common ground. That said, I think I have better things to do and you probably think the same. So let’s agree to disagree and move on. All the best to you and all that!

            Pip! Pip! and Tallyho!

            :-)

            • Lisa Hickey says:

              It’s been decades since I’ve heard the phrase “Pip! Pip! and Tallyho!” Am so stealing that, thanks, wet one.

  6. I believe that everyone has the right to pursue their definition of happines, as long as they aren’t a danger to themselves or the people in their lives. So I say go for it!

  7. FlyingKal says:

    A recurring theme in this article and the previous one on the same subject, is that the sex is safe and STI-free.
    How do they know that? What if one of the clints have an STI, and how often are the escorts tested?

    • The Wet One says:

      Most pro’s are very very well versed in the risks and take action accordingly. A wise pooner will flee at the first sign that he’s with a pro who isn’t careful about risks.

      There are studies on this. Those studies indicate that pros have lower incidences of STD’s than non pros. It only figures. It’s their bread and butter, so you don’t mess around with things that can mess up your bread and butter unlike everyone else.

      Right?

      See here (not direct study, but it quotes it): http://www.ohtn.on.ca/Documents/Knowledge-Exchange/RR_35_mandatory-testing&sex-workers.pdf on page two, one of the bullet points. STI rates 1/3 that of non pros.

  8. I’m not surprise that SOME women use hookers anymore than I am surprised that SOME men use them. Even if they can, technically, walk into a bar and find someone to have sex with, as the article points out they may end up being selfish in bed or whatever. They’re paying to have a sexual encounter where they get to receive whatever pleasure they want, and can also plan out the evening exactly how they want (entertainment, massage, etc.) It’s not the same thing as they will get with a random man from a bar.

    What bothers me is the way they talk about it – that the clients who are married must be doing it because their men suck in bed, etc. I mean, would they say that if it were the other way around? That men go to hookers because their wives suck in bed or don’t give them enough variety? I don’t think it’s fair to pin everything on the partner, regardless of gender. I don’t think it’s ethically wrong for a single person to become a client, though I wouldn’t want to, it’s their choice. However, if you have committed to someone, and aren’t satisfied with your sex life, you should deal with that rather than run off to someone else. Communicate with your partner.

  9. My best sexual experiences were with a very highly sexually active woman who loved sex. She particularly enjoyed deep penetration and she had great expertise, this was expressed by raising her knees as high as she could so as to open herself up.
    I felt she was using me and I loved it.
    It spoiled having sex with my wife as she wanted sex without penetration and thought it was sexy to tense her body like a board.
    After a few attempts I gave up and lived in a sexless marriage. We did have two children so there were occasional attempts to have sex but it was always unsatisfactory.
    I expected her to leave me but she didn’t and we just live together like brother and sister now.
    I wish life had been different but now I’m a spent docket.

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