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The gay sex trade has been estimated by some professionals at around 5 percent of the entire sex worker industry.
However, new research, which was published in the Journal of Sex Research, finds most of these exotic dancers and male escorts may not be gay themselves.
Using anonymous surveys completed by 40 male sex workers in Prague, researchers asked about sexual identification, job satisfaction and personal background. Prague is one of the leading world destinations for prostitution.
Researchers looked at both online escorts and those who work in clubs and bars, the gay escort equivalent to walking the streets.
In surprising results, while most online male escorts did identify as homosexual, none of the bar or club workers did so. Most participants in the study were bar or club workers.
“Most exotic dancers and male
escorts may not be gay themselves.”
Additional findings include younger escorts do not draw a higher number of clients or revenue compared with older sex workers.
Little difference was noted between online and on-site professionals in terms of their job satisfaction. However, online professionals were found to earn more overall.
The average rate per night for an online escort was determined to be $439, while on-site workers pull $340. That represents a difference of 22 percent.
The motivations behind the work was also found to differ, with online workers indicating sex itself as the driving force, while bar and club workers pointed to desperate financial circumstances.
Another surprise from the research that confounds certain stereotypes is a surprisingly low number of these workers experienced abuse as a child. Among the participants, only two had such a background.