The Surprising Results In A New Study On Male Escorts

Male escorts… They’re just like you.

A new study by the Center for HIV Educational Studies and Training has unearthed the top 13 career concerns for male escorts, and the results have some researchers very surprised.

The study, conducted in 2013, surveyed 418 men from, one of the largest websites for male escorts in the world. Going into it, researchers assumed HIV/AIDS prevention would rank at #1. It turns out, they were wrong. The top concern for the male escorts surveyed was branding. More specifically, how to brand themselves effectively in today’s competitive marketplace, and how to attract the right clients.

“A lot of current research on male escorts has focused on HIV risk and looked at ways to help men stop being escorts,” Dr. Christian Grov, one of the study’s authors, says in a statement. “The assumption has always been that, because male escorts exchange sex for money, they are in dire need of safer sex training.”

He continues: “Instead, we found that over 70% reported using a condom with their last client and that services such as ‘Attracting the right client and keeping them,’ or learning how to navigate the legality of escorting, outranked being trained in how to negotiate safer sex with clients.”

HIV/AIDS prevention didn’t even crack the list’s top 10. It came in a #12.

“This suggests that both researchers and providers really need to rethink how we are going to approach the topic of escorting,” says Grov.

Hawk Kinkaid, President and founder of HOOK, and organization that provides services and advocacy for men who work in the sex industry, agreed: “Instead of trying to ‘save’ these men from being escorts and assuming HIV prevention is their chief interest, perhaps we really should be trying understand motivations for escorting and the intrinsic benefits men receive from being escorts.”

Of course, this is not to suggest everything’s coming up roses for all male escorts.

“It is important to remember that exchanging sexual services for money is highly stigmatized and there isn’t an organized physical community of male escorts,” said Grov. “Many of these men remain hidden among us.”

The study also found more than 2/3 of participants (69.7 percent) had not told a single family member about their profession, and a quarter had not told a single friend. And while 70 percent of participants reported using a condom with their last male client, 30 percent did not, suggesting there are areas for improvement.

Check out the Center for HIV Educational Studies and Training’s list of top concerns below.

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  • jckfmsincty

    They’re just prostitutes, right?

  • toronto416

    Having worked in community based healthcare I can tell you, after talking with most male sex workers who seek men, very few are even gay. The fact that HIV prevention is so far off their radar doesn’t surprise me. Most of these men were hanging by a thread and being born with good looks was their only blessing. Almost all were heavy drug addicts with huge drug debts. That’s how they got into escorting. Others were way behind in paying child support, and many fathered these children when they were 15-18. There’s no chance they’d be able to support their kids working fast food. Most told me they didn’t even think about the sex during their session. Men’s brains can just shut off like that – they’d rather pretend it never happened and instead think of all this easy money.
    Escorting, from what I saw, is a tough thing to give up. You get used to an easy lifestyle while dealing with very serious life issues (child support, attorney fees, drug/gambling addictions). And seriously, who wants to work for basically nothing in fast food when you can make nearly $800 on a good night?

  • HadrianM

    These lil bastard hooker twinks do not care. They are the worst attitudes with the worst life ideologies in all of the LGBT community. They are all about glam, glitter, attitude, and sugar from the occasional daddy.

  • frshmn

    From my own experiences with sex workers, they really vary in motivation and mental well being. Most that I know are indeed gay, and not heavy drug addicts,, but are in destitute situations. Some are typical college students just pulling in extra cash, and have adamant safe sex policies (most clients seek safe partners too). Just like people can’t pigeonhole a “gay lifestyle”, you can’t do the same with sex workers.

  • jimstoic

    Wait. People who have sex for money are concerned primarily with money?

  • carey579

    Is there a female equivalent to this study?

    I’d guess they’d get a similar report?

  • sportyguy1983

    Money well spent on one if the most important issues of the day.

  • robirob

    Prostitution is a service where at least one party does not have any emotional attachment to the person he has sex with.

    The desperate ones who need cash as quick as possible and do not think longterm are willing to bareback. No educational pamphlet or lecture will change that. Clients who demand bareback, well I am sure they get what they asked and paid for.

    I am surprised at the number of escorts who keep their profession a secret from their families and friends, but then with other sex workers like gay porn stars the evidence is out there so friends and families of pornstars are more likely to find out the truth than friends and families stumbling over a revealing escort profile at

  • loren_1955

    I wonder if the full spectrum of gay men was considered, how many of them have told their families or friends about being gay? Shame that any of it has a stigma. I have been to countries that sex workers are considered an honorable profession with everything else. Doing so gets the protections and care that is needed. Damn the Victorianism in this country.

  • natriley

    Our relationship to sex workers needs work. They don’t need pity and they don’t need understanding–why do you do this won’t produce good answers anymore than why are you a homosexual? It’s an activity that some people engage in. This survey is good piece of work. Arguments for legalization can be found on the web: Ole Martin Moen’s article in the Journal of Medical Ethics. The survey of advertisers can be understood by reading a book by a Canadian Criminologist Kevin Walby, “Touching Encounters: Sex, Work, and Male-for-Male Internet Escorting.” His research shows that finding a niche and the customers is a key problem. Public hostility is enormous and makes coming out problematical.

  • Billy Budd

    I am totally favorable to the decriminalization of prostitution. It should be made legal and it should be regulated by the state. Prostitutes need to have rights to health insurance, retirement plans, etc., just like any autonomous, independent worker. They should receive free condoms (here in Brazil we already do this) and free medical advice.

    I agree that many are stigmatized and have addictions. I once had sex with an escort who was high on something. On his rent boy profile, it was written “Party & Play”. But apart from being a little too excited and sweating too much, he fulfilled his obligations beyond the line of duty.

  • Billy Budd

    I am also totally favorable to the decriminalization of lightweight drugs and abortion. Abortion is an unfortunate necessity, but it is also a wonderful tool to improve a society. Please read THE IMPACT OF LEGALIZED ABORTION ON CRIME by scientists JOHN J. DONOHUE III AND STEVEN D. LEVITT. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, May 2001.

  • Billy Budd

    They are from Stanford University and University of Chicago.

  • Mezaien

    If I can pay for a meal why can`t I pay for male?.

  • LadyL

    @Mezaien: Cheeky.

  • litper

    @toronto416: Rob Ford, is that you?

  • coltonblack

    I wonder how the results might look from state to state with Health Care Reform? Interesting study. should be legalized.

  • wooly101

    I must confess, I do like to hire the occasional erotic masseur from time to time. I do live in a country where it is more or less legal.

  • PozSince1985

    HIV prevention for sex workers is simple — PrEP. Truvada if taken Every Day prevents catching HIV. It is as effective as condoms. The only problem is it’s expensive. I’m willing to bet that most sex workers don’t have health insurance, which would mostly pay for PrEP.

    All single sexually active “think they’re Neg” guys in the US should start taking it. If you’re having more and more safe sex slip-ups, or are a hard core barebacker, look into it.

    Before somebody throw’s the 40% effective number, that was was an overall efficacy, and included all the people who didn’t take the drug regularly. Blood work on many of them showed they hadn’t taken any in the last two weeks. When researchers looked at the people who took Truvada Every Day, it was found to be 99% effective at preventing HIV.

  • tricky ricky

    @jckfmsincty: yep.

  • rhino79

    @natriley: “They don’t need pity and they don’t need understanding” Exactly! Male and female prostitutes are constantly portrayed as victims in need of our help. It’s such a moralistic and prude mindset.

    I’ve always found it illogical that prostitution is criminalized, yet receiving money for performing in pornography is completely legal, even though you’re engaging in the same activity – selling your body for money.

  • natriley

    rhino, an astute observation. An old legal argument against porn equated it with prostitution-sex for money. It was a big legal victory for the industry when this reasoning was rejected. Ole Martin Moen bases his legalization argument on the premise if casual sex is permissible, then objections to commercial sex fail. After all, casual sex doesn’t preclude other relationships that are romantic, anymore than grabbing a quick bite, prevent us from having a candle lite dinner with a loved one at another time.

  • natriley

    @PozSince1985: This is a huge assumption that sex workers are having unsafe sex. There may be some, but in general when a persons rent a body, there are restrictions. Wearing a glove is a norm.

  • tommiej

    This kind of study is important on a lot levels. Including understanding how to prevent the spread of diseases and providing opportunities for those who want to leave sex work behind. As much as we glamorize prostitution it’s far from easy or glamorous. Most escorts (male or female) don’t make very much money. It’s also a dangerous profession – which is why “self-defesne” is rated so highly as a concern.

  • Cobalt Blue

    @coltonblack: ” …should be legalized “: Sorry to break the ilusion but it is legal in my country since many years ago and it still remains as a debased and immoral thing. Something to have pity/shame. No fair people wants such a life for their beloved ones.

  • natriley

    @Cobalt Blue: Well we know what your feelings are. However they aren’t mine. Sex workers I know are college graduates who run marathons, and study advertising. They graduate from law school, and avoid working in retail stores. There are demoralized people in any line of work. New Zealand seems happy with its legalization policy. But I think the real gain in legalization is the greater control over greater control over working conditions and the reduced threat of police action. Societal attitudes are moving slowly right now.

  • coltonblack

    @Cobalt Blue:
    Is it possible escorts in your country (which you did nit disclose) and escorts in the USA experience different economic conditions. Are you generalizing here? If so, why?

  • natriley

    Escorts in any country are a diverse lot with different educations, emotional make up and social skills. My country is the United States and I know people who are like me. That is frequently true of sexual relationships. I think anyone who thinks sex work = disease, sex work = addiction,sex work = maladjustment are just looking at part of the picture. Sex workers are as diverse as the general population, and as far as I know research confirms it. Generalizations are very tricky in this field.

  • Cobalt Blue

    @coltonblack: I think it’s a ‘generalization’ because its the general felling here. In my mother tongue, the equivalente of ” son of a bitch ” is still a vary havy insult…And yes, there are here many kinds of prostitutes: The poor,the miserable, the young, the addict, the one that have a day job, the college student, the grandma that keeps all her family, the inland migrant with no skills, the ones that ‘ work ‘ in very classy bars, the hooker in the corner…All of them are stigmatized, all are ‘whores’. Although prostitution isn’t a crime, to pimp someone, to do traffic of people, and to promote ‘sexual turism’ are criminalized here.

  • natriley

    That is not legalization that is criminalization, comparable to the system the Canadian Supreme tossed out. I totally agree that sex workers are stigmatized. I’m simply saying they shouldn’t be that is why I support legalization. It sounds like we agree.

  • Billy Budd

    I’m simply saying they shouldn’t be [stigmatized] that is why I support legalization.

    Well said.

  • toberlin

    Hello from Germany to all Escorts?!To the Condom Use (in Germany/legal Prostitution): read somewhere? that 70 % of the customers ask for sex without condom (95 % female Prostitutes/ 5 % male)In They want to reform the Prostitution Law this year.
    duty to wear a condom;health control, duty to have a public health care insurance etc. ( more in the “Woo Austin Wolfe blog “later)

  • natriley

    Perhaps @toberlin: Perhaps I am wrong about barebacking in sex work. The figures from Germany are likely to be accurate since it is legalized. If these figures come from an advocacy group then they might be inaccurate. But this shows the great advantage of legalization: sex workers can negotiate over their working condition. They are no longer serfs who must obey.

  • toberlin

    natriley:Got it…two federal states (Bavaria /Saarland) already have condom duty now (Studies from the Federal State Governements)…

  • toberlin

    InSaarland the want customers to pay 5000€ if the ask for sex without.How to control that???;:)…But if you think about the Dating -Pool for MSM (380 000 female Prostitutes /20 000 Male) and add the higher STI/HIV risk of anal sex (MSM more frequent) there is probably a higher risk.

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  • Clark35

    @HadrianM: Exactly these are whores.

  • jwtraveler

    @Clark35: And yet they have more moral integrity than you do.

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    Having recently retired from Escorting after 27 years I can say most people have absolutely no idea about the work. Sure like any industry there are poor performers and sharks. However there are very large numbers of Gay men like myself, handsome, hung, quiet, reserved and clever who make a great living from sex work. I have either worked fulltime or parttime and also had a number of Corporate careers during this time.
    During this time I have had many long term clients some lasting the full span of my career which has mainly taken place in Australia, then Europe and the Middle East.
    Its a job like any other, you pay for what you get, and my advice would be dont be taken in by dumb filtered internet pics. Talk to the guy you are booking. You will soon discover if they are professional or not.
    My clients were all types of men at all stages in life and of all sexual identities and abilities. Not all are desperate and not all want a form of sexual gratification. Some are just very lovely, lonely men who have been discarded by society, particularly the older gay men, shunned for their age by the “gay community”.
    So next time any of you are having a random one night stand with some bloke you picked up on an app, who you know nothing about, remember that a good Escort knows what he is doing and has you sussed before you walk in his door. Stop judging what you dont know, or do know and are too scared to admit.
    I have had 10’s of 1000’s of clients through out the years, and I might add never had an STI or any other related infection. And I have knowingly had sex with 1000’s of poz men who have been shunned by all the stupid queens, because they are considered unworthy of your average sized penis or unclean arse. Get a fucking grip!
    The hypocrisy never ceases to amaze me in the gay male community.

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