The internet also affords a degree of privacy and anonymity for potential clients, female and male. There is no need to "cruise" streets or parks renowned for being male sex worker spaces, running the risk of arrest, violence or being observed by passers-by. Since the advent of the mobile phone and worldwide web, escorting has become the dominant mode of sex work for men, with well over 90 per cent of the market for male sex services being based online.
These figures not only challenge the idea that demand for sex work is exclusively male and supply female, but also the imagery of sex work as being mostly based on the streets. At best, street work only ever accounted for 10 per cent of the overall sex industry, whether it be for men or women. In Australasia, sex work has been primarily considered a phenomenon associated with a few inner-city suburbs. Very few male sex workers in Sydney still work notorious locations, such as the Wall in Sydney's Darlinghurst and a smaller number still work brothels.
A number of factors have impacted on numbers of street workers, not just technological innovations, including increased penalties in some states for activities associated with street work and the gentrification of inner-city suburbs. The survey and other research indicates that in Australia and elsewhere, clients are a highly diverse group and hold a variety of reasons for choosing commercial sex encounters, some of which may not relate to cost or even sexual satisfaction.
A large number of escorts catering to men and women emphasise the provision of non-tactile services such as "companionship" or a "boyfriend experience", suggesting that sex is only part of the service experience and intimacy is important. Many online adverts mention romance and counselling, while personal coaching, massage therapy, travel, companionship are also referred to.
Role play and fantasy are also frequently cited activities for male and female clients. Maxime Durocher, a male sex worker who has catered to a female clientele since and is based in Montreal, Canada says: That they can't continue living as they do. It's either seeing us, having an affair, or breaking up.
So, we rarely break up relationships. We are, most of the time, the glue that keeps them together. They might not want to be judged negatively, their skill found lacking. They might want to get it over with and move on, free to select whoever they wish as a partner without pressure. Despite the changes to the sex industry, legal reform has stagnated in most of the world.
Sex work is legal in about 50 per cent of international jurisdictions. Historic concerns around sex work, grounded in the moral view that the commercialization of sex is degrading and damaging, persist, as does the notion of sex work as inherent victimization for those who sell sex.
There has also been a punitive shift in last two decades in many countries, particularly where human trafficking has been conflated with sex work. Criminalisation has been inked to labour abuses, corruption and exploitation. There is debate about whether criminalisation can reduce the incidence of sex work. Critics argue labour abuses and other exploitations are concealed in any industry forced underground by criminalisation.
It also provides opportunities for police and exploitation of sex workers by pimps or brothel managers. Criminalisation is often supported by those who see sex work as a public health menace or associate it with criminality. But sex workers may be endangered by public attitudes in the form of homophobic or misogynistic behaviour.
Critics of criminalisation claim that while penalties seek to protect women from exploitation, in practice they are mostly applied to sex workers and not sex work clients. Legalisation, which involves regulation of sex work by the state through licensing, is also not without problems.
Licensing is considered to exclude undesirable elements from industry involvement, but large proportions of the industry remain unlicensed and, thus, criminalised. In some countries this has resulted in increased police surveillance, forced health evaluations, higher taxes and financial penalties for sex workers.
In licensed Australian brothels, workers are not subject to normal work entitlements and they are also subject to compulsory health examinations and controls not typical of other industries.
Decriminalization has only been adopted in two jurisdictions worldwide, these being New South wales and New Zealand. It is a policy advocated by Amnesty International as a pragmatic approach to human rights and public health. Under this approach there are no special laws for sex workers, but they are subject to the same regulations as other people and businesses, including being subject to the protections of the criminal law.
Research indicates that decriminalisation delivers better public health outcomes, improved working conditions, safety and well-being, while not increasing the volume of the sex industry. There are, however, claims that decriminalisation increases the overall volume of sex work activity and leads to more trafficking and child prostitution.
There is no evidence that this has been the case in NSW, where sex work was decriminalised in It is better to frame concepts of trafficking and forced prostitution as forms of exploitation. Exploitation is experienced by varied occupational groups, but is not exclusive to sex work. As research in Australia has shown, the experiences of sex workers and clients are diverse and any generalisation or simplistic policy calling for abolition requires caution. Creating an open and transparent sex work industry is very likely to reduce and perhaps eliminate stigma, making it a safer environment for sex workers and clients to operate within.
The full results of his survey, conducted with adjunct professor Victor Minichiello, will be published as a book chapter in Male Sex Work and Society Volume II , to be released in First posted January 04, More stories from New South Wales.
If you have inside knowledge of a topic in the news, contact the ABC. ABC teams share the story behind the story and insights into the making of digital, TV and radio content. Read about our editorial guiding principles and the enforceable standard our journalists follow.
In her final program for Four Corners, Liz turned the camera on herself - not in strength but in frailty - in order to tell the story of her illness: This Sydney couple took it for a road test. Australian couples are arranging threesomes via a new dating app called Feeld. Even so, something tells me I should swipe left on the photo of the guy clutching an axe in the woods.
As far as hook-up apps go, this seems like a perfectly good place to meet a serial killer. This is Feeld formerly known as 3nder , where open-minded singles and couples seek out threesomes and others with similar sexual interests.
Three or four or five is no longer a crowd, it seems. But just how easy is it to arrange a threesome? Most of the time, she says group encounters occur naturally, rather than via formal avenues like dating apps. Sometimes four or five in a pile together. On face value, Feeld seems like a guaranteed ticket to threesome land. There are no qualms as to your motivations and therefore less ambiguity. Users are able to list their preferences, be it FFM female female male or MMF male male female , sexual preferences and fetishes.