A profile of the clients of male sex workers in three Australian cities Academic Article uri icon


  • This paper describes the profile of clients as reported by 186 male sex workers in three Australian cities.The data were collected using a diary which was completed after each commercial sexual encounter with a male client over a two-week period. The data reported in this study are based on reports from 2,088 sex encounters and a profile of 1,776 clients.The findings reveal, for example, that the most common source used for recruiting clients was advertisements, followed by escort agencies, although there were differences between the three cities; the majority of the clients were in their 40s but clients of street workers were younger; clients were most often classified as 'middle class', with differences by source of client recruitment; less than half the clients were identified as being gay and a significant number were identified as bisexual or straight; alcohol and drug use took place in a small percentage of the encounters; most workers had some information about their clients, such as occupation and home number; violence was infrequent; and unsafe sex was requested in a minority of the encounters.Overall, the results reveal that clients of male sex workers are a highly heterogeneous group.The paper highlights a number of issues which can further promote safety and public accountability in male sex work.


  • Minichiello, Victor
  • Mariño, Rodrigo
  • Browne, Jan
  • Jamieson, Maggie
  • Peterson, Kirk
  • Reuter, Brad
  • Robinson, Kenn

publication date

  • October 1999