Why Pay for Sex

Here are some reasons why people pay for sex. They are not all reasonable reasons, and not all customers use them honestly. But they are still reasons. And, of course, many of them are reasons that only make sense in a society like the United States where we imagine that there can and should be a firm line between commerce and intimacy.

  • The thought of paying money makes sex more exciting.
  • Unfamiliar circumstances, secretiveness and illegality is exciting.
  • It is quick and convenient.
  • Loneliness.
  • To get laid.
  • It is less expensive than dating or supporting a girlfriend/boyfriend.
  • It is more time efficient than dating, and doesn’t require new clothes or knowledge of restaurants.
  • It provides a more predictable return than money spent dating.
  • Paying sex workers is no different than giving resources to partners and spouses.
  • It entails less emotional complexities than a steady partner, spouse, or even a one-night stand.
  • It is helpful for people who are insecure because they feel they are unattractive or undesirable.
  • It is good for people who are shy and can’t meet people easily.
  • It is more straightforward and honest than seduction and dating.
  • It is acceptable to be open about sexual desire.
  • In a marriage with little to no sex, paying for sex may seem like a better alternative than dissolving the marriage.
  • Sex workers provide services that a spouse or partner is not willing or able to provide.
  • Sex workers are good at what they do—be it body rub, role play, SM or ego stroking.
  • It is a chance to learn something.
  • It can satisfy a desire for variety in sexual partners.
  • Paying for sex doesn’t feel like cheating.
  • It is easier to be open and vulnerable in front of a discreet stranger.
  • Fear that a partner or non-professional are more likely to ridicule you for certain fantasies or desires.
  • It is cheaper than therapy.
  • It is a chance to meet new people whom one would not usually meet.
  • Many sex workers are intelligent, interesting and creative people.
  • Because sex workers are precieved as sleazy and dangerous, or as exotic, and that’s thrilling.
  • It is a chance to be intimate with people of various body types.
  • Every encounter is different, and provides an interesting diversity of experiences.
  • Purchasing somebody gives a feeling of power over that person.
  • It is a space where one can be weak and submissive.
  • A desire to support a sex worker in their entrepreneurial efforts and financial needs.
  • A fantasy of ‘saving’ the sex worker.
  • It is the natural form of sexual intercourse in a capitalist society.
  • It is fun.

There is no typical paid sex encounter. Each meeting is an act of creation.

I can’t finish this post without an expression of gratitude and respect for good sex workers. When done well, it is a service worth far more than the money paid for it—while still costing less than a therapist who offers even less promise of good results. And it is surely one of the most difficult jobs around. A successful sex worker knows the hypocrisies of society first hand, is the target of social and legal persecution, and must deal with sometimes repulsive and misogynistic clients. Yet she remains tolerant, open, available, a good listener, a good actor, professional, skilled, discreet, giving, sexy and committed to providing pleasure and service. It must be an incredibly difficult balancing act to maintain strong self-protective emotional barriers and remain practical, while constantly entering situations of emotional and physical intimacy.  . . . Or perhaps I’m just imagining that it is difficult because of my own weird ideas about sex. But still, thanks for sharing yourselves.


Posted on July 26, 2012, in Love and Sex and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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