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A Comparison of Male Sex Workers in Prague: Internet Escorts versus Men Who Work in Specialized Bars and Clubs

Prague, the Czech Republic, is a popular sex tourism destination where sex work is decriminalized and young men offer sexual services at low prices relative to countries in Western Europe. This quantitative survey aimed to identify some of the demographic characteristics of these young men and their experiences in the sex industry. Internet escorts (N = 20) and sex workers in bars and clubs (N = 20) completed the survey anonymously in spring 2011. The results showed that sex workers in clubs often had troubled pasts and were forced into sex work to survive. They also reported incidents of violence, serious alcohol and drug use, as well as frequent gambling.

The larger group of sex workers in Prague is made up of Internet escorts who have backgrounds that are not atypical for the average Czech youth. They had fewer problems with drugs and alcohol but were twice as likely as sex workers in bars and clubs to be victims of violent crime. Plans for interventions to help those who would change their line of work, as well as the importance of sociocultural context in understanding sex workers, are discussed.

Theme: 

Gender and Sexuality

Author: 

Michael David Bar-Johnsona & Petr Weissb

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