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Soliciting Prostitutes: Why Men Pay For Sex

Men Explain Why They Pay For Sex

The number of men who pay for sex doubled between 1995 and 2005. Half of the men say they were under age 21 the first time they solicited a prostitute. One man said his father took him and his brother to a brothel when they were teens. He's not sure why. "Maybe," he said, "to make sure they weren't gay."

An international study talked to 700 men across six countries to figure out why men pay for sex. When the study stopped in London, a reporter for the Guardian acted as a researcher and talked to 12 men. Directly from their mouths, here's what she heard.

On why they pay for sex:

  • Doesn't know how to meet women "through the usual routes."
  • "A desperate man who wants sex so bad, he needs sex to be relieved. He might rape."
  • "Sometimes you might rape someone: you can go to a prostitute instead."
  • "Men pay for women because he can have whatever and whoever he wants. Lots of men go to prostitutes so they can do things to them that real women would not put up with."

On how they feel afterward: Nearly every man the Guardian reporter spoke to felt worse after.

  • "I don't get anything out of sex with prostitutes except for a bad feeling."
  • "I'm not satisfied in my mind."
  • "Lonely still" and "guilty about my relationship with my wife."
  • "Empty, terrible."

Do men realize most prostitutes are sex-trafficking victims? What would it take for them to stop? Find out after the jump.


On knowing women were trafficked: Nearly half said they realize most women have been tricked or coerced into prostitution, saying:

  • "The pimp does the ­psychological raping of the woman."
  • "I could tell she was new to the country. To be new in a country and be a prostitute — it can't be a choice . . . She looked troubled."
  • [I've] "seen women with bruises, cuts, and Eastern European accents in locations where lots of trafficked women and girls are."
  • "She was frightened and ­nervous."

On what it would take to end prostitution: Most men said fines, public exposure, employers being informed, or risk of criminal record would deter them from soliciting prostitutes, but when asked what would it take to end prostitution permanently they saw no end. It would take the impossible (and the obscene).

  • "All the men to be locked up."
  • "Kill all the girls."

Why do you think men pay for sex?

Flickr User bricehardelin

Join The Conversation
Chad14970518 Chad14970518 3 years
Whoever said this is an idiot : "Men who are lonely and socially awkward with no outlets at all need to suffer in their loneliness until they hurt themselves, because horny single unwantable men are a danger and should be eliminated". You don't realize that most men who reach this point will hurt or kill someone else first.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
Absolutely disgusting. I'm hoping that these 12 men are not representative of men in general. I can't believe how callous they are? I agree with everyone above, if you feel like you want to rape a woman, you have deeper issues than just a need to get off. You can get off using your hand. They don't care that these girls are victims of sex-trafficking, abused and scared? WTF! "The Pimp does the psychological raping" - so that makes it okay for you to physically abuse these women? And the man who felt guilty because he was married - dispicable. Your wife should divorce your ass - you should feel ashamed. This is so disgusting.
chillchic chillchic 7 years
"Kill all the girls" says it all. These men are sick.
Blackwood Blackwood 7 years
this is so disturbing, I can't even begin to explain why, I don't think I need to, since everyone can see how messed up these guys' "reasoning" is.. God. And to think we might encounter people like these men in our daily lives every day and we don't know it. Scary.
cdelaney cdelaney 7 years
Wow! This is highly disturbing. I can't believe some of the answers (i.e. rape, "kill all the girls"). There is a bigger problem at hand if they feel the need to rape. I agree with all the posters above.
totygoliguez totygoliguez 7 years
This is disgusting. I understand that sex is important for many men, but that doesn't mean that they need it in order to survive(or if they don't have it they are going to rape). Just put up the effort and have a one-night stand.
jenni5 jenni5 7 years
Very disturbing!
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
Wow! That's a sad state of affairs. It's interesting how different the hetero prostitute scene is from the homo. From my observation most gay men who ask for money for sex are more often than not young runaways or put out of their homes because they are gay and they need the money to survive. I've never known any pimping to be involved.
sloane220 sloane220 7 years
i'm so digusted with these socially inept little sh*ts who want to blame women for their problems i can't even think straight. first of all female prostitutes ARE real women, and they deserve to treated with dignity and respect as people and as humans. this kind of thinking leads to the idiotic school of thought that prostitutes can't even raped, because they're not as "human" as other people, so anything can happen to them and they are somehow at fault. second, rape is ALWAYS the fault of the rapist. and rape is about a hell of a lot more than the physical sexual act. it is about having ultimate power and control over someone else's body. if a potential rapist is having an issue finding a woman to have consensual sex with him, he needs to examine what HE is doing wrong as opposed to blaming the women who are smart enough to not want to sleep with him.
Pistil Pistil 7 years
It is a depressing article. I really hope that the desire to rape is not the primary reason for paying for sex, and that these 12 men are not representative of the entire male population.
Beauty Beauty 7 years
I'm with postmodernsleaze — so horrified by the rape comments. And "kill all the girls"? Not that I imagine the average john is Mr. Feminist or anything, but this is worse than I could have imagined.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
How effing disgusting can you get?
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
This is beyond disturbing. What is wrong with these men?
MissSushi MissSushi 7 years
Uh... sorry but that's totally and completely twisted. Rape? OMFG is all i can say. Also - prostitutes aren't "real" women? Then what? Objects you can perform things you wouldnt expect a "real" woman to do? jesus christ
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