Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 37, Issue 5, pp 845–853 | Cite as

Motivational Influences on the Safer Sex Behavior of Agency-based Male Sex Workers

  • Michael D. SmithEmail author
  • David W. Seal
Original Paper


Although indoor male sex workers (MSWs) have been found to engage in lower rates of HIV risk behavior with clients than street-based MSWs, few studies have examined the motivations behind such practices. We interviewed 30 MSWs working for the same escort agency regarding their safer sex practices with clients and their reasons for these. As in other research, MSWs reported little risk behavior with clients. Five motivational themes related to safer sex on the job emerged: health concerns, emotional intimacy, client attractiveness, relationships, and structural work factors. Results suggest that participants engaged in rational decision-making relative to sex with clients, facilitated by reduced economic incentive for riskier behavior and a supportive social context. MSWs desired a safe sexual work place, personal integrity, and minimal negative consequences to personal relationships. Collaborating with sex work employers to study their role in encouraging a safer workplace may be important to future research.


HIV Male Prostitution Sex work Sexual motivation 



This project was supported by NIMH grant P30-MH52776 (Jeffery A. Kelly, Principal Investigator) and a Faculty Research Grant from Susquehanna University (Michael D. Smith, Principal Investigator).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologySusquehanna UniversitySelinsgroveUSA
  2. 2.Center for AIDS Intervention ResearchMedical College of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA

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