Older Male Clients of Female Sex Workers in the United States
Recent research has provided increased information about the clients of sex workers; however, little is known about the population of older male customers who contract for heterosexual services online. Clients (N = 208) between 60 and 84 years of age were obtained through sex work review sites and online discussion forums. Participants completed a 129-item questionnaire focusing on physical health, sexual and non-sexual behaviors with sex providers, and the qualities sought in the same. More than half reported having visited sex providers between 13 and 24 times or more during the past 12 months. Participants’ advancing age was positively associated with frequency of paid sex. Most frequent sexual activities with providers were fellatio without a condom, followed by penile–vaginal sex with a condom. Analyses also examine the relationship between aging and buying sex. Those with higher incomes and without spouses or partners were more likely to report non-sexual activities with providers, and many participants sought a “GFE” or girlfriend experience, in which paid sexual exchanges are part of a relationship that mirrors conventional non-remunerative relationships.
KeywordsProstitution Male clients Older men Sex workers Sexual behavior
- Atchison, C. (2010). Report of the preliminary findings for Johns’ Voice: A study of adult Canadian sex buyers. Vancouver, BC: Canadian Institute for Health Research and the British Columbia Medical Services Foundation. Retrieved from http://www.johnsvoice.ca/docs/JOHNS_VOICE_GENERAL_RESULTS_EXECUTIVE_SUMMARY_FINAL_DIST.pdf.
- Bernstein, E. (2007). Buying and selling the Girlfriend Experience: The social and subjective contours of market intimacy. In M. Padilla, J. Hirsch, M. Muñoz-Laboy, R. Sember, & R. Parker (Eds.), Love and globalization: Transformers of intimacy in the contemporary world (pp. 186–202). Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press.Google Scholar
- Dank, M., Khan, B., Downey, P. M., Kotonias, C., Mayer, D., Owens, C., et al. (2014). Estimating the size and structure of the underground commercial sex economy in eight major U.S. cities. The Urban Institute. Retrieved from http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/413047-Underground-Commercial-Sex-Economy.pdf.
- Earle, S., & Sharp, K. (2007). Sex in cyberspace: Men who pay for sex. Hampshire, UK: Ashgate Publishing.Google Scholar
- Laumann, E. O., Paik, A., Glasser, D. B., Kang, J. H., Wang, T., Levinson, B., et al. (2006). A cross-national study of subjective sexual well-being among older women and men: Findings from the Global Study of Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 35, 145–161.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Månsson, S.-A. (2008). Sex as a commodity: On prostitution and pornography in late modern society. In B. Træen & B. Lewin (Eds.), Sexology in context (pp. 193–226). Oslo, Norway: Universitetsforlaget.Google Scholar
- McNeill, M. (2013). Treating sex work as work. Cato Unbound, 12, 2–12. Retrieved from http://www.cato-unbound.org/issues/december-2013/perverse-incentives-sex-work-law.
- Monto, M. (1999). Focusing on the customers of street sex works: A creative approach to reducing violence against women-final report. Retrieved from https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/182859.pdf.
- Monto, M. (2010). Sex works’ customers: Motives and misconceptions. In R. Weitzer (Ed.), Sex for sale: Prostitution, pornography and the sex industry (2nd ed., pp. 233–254). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Neubauer, C. (2011, April 28). Most human trafficking related to prostitution. Washington Times. Retrieved from http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/apr/28/most-human-trafficking-related-to-prostitution/.
- Reyes, E. A. (2013, November 2). Fewer men are paying for sex, survey suggests. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from http://articles.latimes.com/2013/nov/02/nation/la-na-paying-for-sex-20131102.
- Rubin, G. (1984). Thinking sex: Notes for a radical theory of the politics of sexuality. In C. S. Vance (Ed.), Pleasure and danger: Exploring female sexuality (pp. 267–319). London, UK: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Sanders, T. (2009). The sex industry, regulation and the Internet. In Y. Jewkes & M. Yar (Eds.), Handbook of internet crime (pp. 302–319). Cullompton, UK: Willan Publishing.Google Scholar
- Santos Ortíz, M. C., Laó-Meléndez, J. L., & Torres-Sánchez, A. (1998). Sex workers and the older male client. In J. Elias, V. Bullough, V. Elias, & G. Brewer (Eds.), Prostitution (pp. 208–220). New York: Prometheus.Google Scholar
- Schick, V., Herbenick, D., Reece, M., Sanders, S. A., Dodge, B., Middlestadt, S. E., & Fortenberry, J. D. (2010). Sexual behaviors, condom use, and sexual health of Americans over 50: Implications for sexual health promotion for older adults. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 7, 315–329.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Smith, T. W., Marsden, P. V., & Hout, M. General Social Survey, 1972–2010 [Cumulative File] (ICPSR31521-v1). Storrs: Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, University of Connecticut/Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [Distributors], 2011-08-05. doi:10.3886/ICPSR31521.v1.
- Weitzer, R. (2011). Legalizing prostitution: From illicit vice to lawful business. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar