Though men who hire sex workers are sometimes stereotyped as misogynist villains or perverts, a recent study found that nearly half are in relationships and many crave an emotional bond.
New data shows that men who purchase sex aren't the villainous misogynists and perverts society sometimes frames them to be. Instead, researchers Susann Huschke and Dirk Schubotz found that many are family men seeking intimacy.
Huschke and Schubotz posted a questionnaire on escort websites and also sent it via email to escort site users. In total, 446 people answered their survey, 97 percent of whom were men. The majority (61 percent) were between the ages of 31 and 50. Nearly half (48 percent) were in a relationship of some kind—including marriage relationships.
"Among the respondents were farmers, doctors, civil servants, care workers, bank clerks, accountants, electricians and company directors," according to the study. Nearly all (85 percent) of the male respondents pay for sex with women. Per their findings, many "'prefer[red] to see only one or two escorts on a regular basis, as it allows friendship and trust to develop."
For instance, Nick, one of the subjects the researchers interviewed, said that he questioned the "social institution of marriage" and explained how his interactions with sex workers are more than intercourse. He often talks to the women he pays to sleep with. "Part of me will enjoy that almost more than the sex itself, that human contact," Nick said.
Respondents said that their top two favourite things about buying sex were being able to have multiple sexual partners (47 percent) and the ability to explore their sexuality (40 percent), but almost half (41 percent) were unhappy that they had to hide the fact they pay for sex. Thirty-five percent of respondents said they'd stop paying for sex if they were in a relationship—but that might not actually be true because, again, 48 percent already were.
Dr. Ian Kerner is a licensed psychotherapist and sexuality counsellor who specialises in sex therapy and the author of the best-selling sex advice book She Comes First. "Sexless marriages are really quite rampant," Kerner said, pointing to the frequency with which people search Google the words "sexless marriage." Men, he explained, often cope with these flaccid relationships by hiring sex workers or seeking sexual gratification at "happy ending" massage parlours.
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