Have you ever paid for sex?
Men picking up prostitutes is more common than most men – or women – would think. According to a 2010 study from Indiana University at Bloomington, 69 percent of men frequent prostitutes.
Despite the legal and health risks involved, many men choose to use prostitutes for a variety of reasons – and it isn’t always physical.
Chris who is a 40-year old, single, real real estate agent says he uses escorts on certain special occasions, or when he’s out of town on business or vacation.
“I find it’s more convenient when I’m trying to meet someone at the last minute for sex. It’s less of a hassle for me to try and spark up a conversation or go out on a date. With a prostitute its all about the sex, so its understood”.
Whether men are single, have a girlfriend or are married, wanting a variety of partners can sometimes be a mans sexual goal. Chris says he will sometimes get a prostitute to achieve this desire. “I’ve used escorts when I had a girlfriend and was in a relationship. She never found out, and I guess I didn’t really feel that guilty because I didn’t want to leave my girlfriend, I just wanted sex with someone else”.
The percentages are high for men who have paid for sex, and so are the amount of arrests. In the United States police officers arrested 78,000 people for prostitution related crimes, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigations. Among 10 percent of those arrested were men, or “johns”.
The health risks are just as high. The average sex worker sees a range of customers between 10 and 15 clients a day every day, according to the Christian Medical Association, greatly increasing the risks of passing a sexual transmitted disease. Chris says he is greatly aware of this, but doesn’t think about until the act is done.
“After I might think about it, but for some reason I block it out before it happens. I try to tell myself not all the girls are dirty or have diseases, and I’m sure that’s not the best way to approach it. I think the main reason why I and other men use prostitutes, is they want to explore things sexually that they can’t get at home or in their relationship. If a boyfriend or husband has a fetish, or sexual desire, their partners may think their requests are disgusting”.
Experts from the non-profit Prostitution Research and Education agree. They conducted a study, which found the most common reason for men using prostitution is to satisfy a sexual urge. In a 2010 poll on men who pay for sex, it was revealed that 21 percent of men used prostitutes because of a racial or sexual stereotype that’s associated with some women; 20 percent used sex workers because they were not sexually satisfied in their relationships, and 15 percent went to prostitutes because they preferred having sex without an emotional connection.
“If a man in a relationship is using a prostitute he may feel its safer or better because they won’t get involved with the prostitute”, Chris says. “He may feel it’s more dangerous to cheat on their partner with someone else who is also in a relationship”.
Chris also says he uses prostitutes at either hotels or his home, and says physical appearance is not the only thing he’s interested in. “Most of the girls I have been with have great personalities, and some don’t. I like it when a girl comes in, and she is personable and we’re able to chat and have a drink. I always prefer that. I’ve also traveled out of the country and paid for sex where it’s legal.
There are currently 22 countries in the world that have legal prostitution, and there is an estimated 40 million sex workers around the globe. Although men of all ages have used prostitution, the average age for a customer is 35 to 44, according to the Blind Project.
The commercialism and simple availability have also contributed to higher amounts of men paying for sex. With the prostitution industry going viral and being offered on countless websites and online magazines and newspapers, it has become easier to access. The easier accessibility has also made the sex industry appear less taboo. Chris concurs. “The more I’ve done it, the more routine it becomes. If I do decide to do it [use a prostitute], its not that big of a deal”.
Experts at Prostitution Research and Education have also found that the use of men using prostitutes vary depending on how much they know about the prostitution industry. They have learned that men who are unaware that many female sexual workers are kidnapped, and forced into prostitution, will tend to use prostitutes more, and men who are more educated on the background of prostitution tend to pay for sex less or not at all.
Prostitution has always been called the worlds oldest profession, and is still illegal in most parts of the United States. One should always consider the health and legal risks associated with paying for sex, and know all of the facts about sexually transmitted diseases and maintaining sexual health.
Though TheCheckup doesn’t endorse using prostitutes, if you are considering paying for sex, here are a few safety tips:
- Do it Legally — if you do want to use a prostitute, do it lawfully. In some cities in the state of Nevada prostitution is legal. Prostitution is also legal in 22 countries around the world.
- Protect Yourself — It may sound obvious, but you never know what mistakes can transpire in the heat of the moment. Be prepared and do not count on the sex worker to provide condoms.
- Avoid Street Corners and Back Alleys — If you decide to pay for sex with a prostitute, avoid shady looking areas like dark streets and alleys. Most negotiations can be done by computer or over the phone.
- Determine the Amount of Money You’ll Spend — Decide how much you are willing to pay before hand, as a sex worker will attempt to get as much money as she can from you.
- Try Not to Use Your Home — It’s never a good idea to let a complete stranger in your house when your guard is completely down. A neutral place is always better and safer.
- Negotiate Before You Get Down to Business — Always be sure to make sure you’ve squared away how much the sexual services cost before you engage in sex. Many sex workers will want you to negotiate after you are aroused and at your weakest point mentally.
- Sex Workers are People Too — Just because a woman chooses to be a sex worker doesn’t mean she doesn’t deserve respect. Do not be mean, abusive or a cheat. They work hard for that money.
Daryl Nelson is a contributing writer for TheCheckup. He has written for Readers Digest, Polymagazine, The Urban Post, Impose Magazine, Crumbs for Men Magazine and a number of other publications. Nelson attended Virginia State University and Medgar Evers College. He is a native New York currently residing in the Washington, D.C.-area.