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Day 2   1500 - chris atchison
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Day 2 1500 - chris atchison

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  • 1. Highlighting gay and bisexual men in research on Canadian experiences of paying for sexual services Chris Atchison University of Victoria
  • 2. Sex Industry Adult Film and Print Live Erotic Performance Web Cam Internet Phone Sex No physical contact between worker/seller and buyer Erotic Dance Fetish B&D/S&M Physical contact between worker/seller and buyer Overview of the Canadian Sex Industry Prostitution
  • 3. Prostitution Venues Street Roughly 15-20% of prostitution MicroBrothel and Brothel Massage Parlour Escort In-Call Independent Out-Call Bar/Club Roughly 80-85% of prostitution Overview of the Canadian Sex Industry Online
  • 4. • Most studies of prostitution have focussed on the street-based “survival” sex industry and workers (mostly female). • Little theoretical or empirical attention has been paid to people who purchase sexual services. • Even less attention has been paid to people who purchase sexual services who self-identify as gay or bisexual • Assumptions made about the sex industry often fail to consider the health and safety needs and concerns of the diversity of people involved • Gay and bisexual sex buyers appear to have specific needs and concerns that reflect a complex interplay between life course stage and key interpersonal, social and structural constraints The Problem
  • 5. “Johns’ Voice” Sex, Safety and Security • 2008-2010 • 2012-present • Methods • Methods • • • • • • Self-administered questionnaire (n=922) Phenomenological interviews (n=24) Recruitment • • Simultaneous nested mixed methods Simultaneous nested mixed methods • • Gay and bisexual participants (n=183) Recruitment • Network, viral, and purposive sampling • Self-administered questionnaire (n=816) In-depth interviews (n=14) Network, viral, and purposive sampling Gay and bisexual participants (n=136) A Tale of Two Projects
  • 6. “Johns’ Voice” Sex, Safety and Security  Range in age from 20-77 (x=42)  Sexual preference  42.1% “gay” or homosexual  56.8% bisexual  13% visible minorities  Average income - $40-60,000/yr  81.7% employed full time or self-employed  55.1% completed university degree (bachelor or higher)  47% in marital or common-law relationship  Range in age from 19-73 (x=45)  Sexual preference  66.2% bisexual  20.6% "gay" or homosexual  9.6% “questioning”  6.7% visible minorities  Average income - $55-60,000/yr  76.3% employed full time or self-employed  30.5% completed university degree (bachelor or higher)  50.4% in marital or common-law relationship Sample characteristics
  • 7. “Johns’ Voice” Sex, Safety and Security • • • • Lifetime buying – range 1-3000 times (x=98.6) Buying in previous 12 months – range 0-100 times (x=5.93) Venue • 30.6% independent in-call • 24.6% escort • 12% massage parlours • 11.5% independent out-call • 11.5% street • 7.1% online • • Lifetime buying – range 1-3000 times (x=102.9) Buying in previous 12 months – range 1-100 times (x=14.67) Buying venue • 35.8% independent in-call • 17.2% massage parlours • 15.7% online • 9.7% independent out-call • 9% street • 6.0% escort Sex buying history and venue preferences
  • 8. • Many gay and bisexual buyers report living with high levels of physical pain • For some, this pain provides an entry point into purchasing sexual services through massage that turns sexual • For those, particularly those older adults, living with physical disabilities purchasing sex is often the only way they can experience touch • For others the sex industry serves as a sphere of exploration and expression of sexuality and sexual identity • Some younger buyers use paid encounters to explore what sexuality is all about – both as buyers and sellers of services • Older men who find their sexual capital declining find emotional and psychological comfort in their ability to pay for sexual companionship • Sexual safety appears to be an issue for buyers whose lifestyle involves excessive use of drugs or alcohol Key Findings: Physical and Sexual Health
  • 9. • Many gay and bisexual buyers do not know the laws relating to prostitution • Less likely to associate their behaviour with “prostitution” • Unlikely to be arrested in “stings” • Many do not trust the criminal justice system and do not place much faith in government regulation of the sex industry • This appears to be tied to life course stage, with early adults expressing more ambivalence than late adults and those in old age • For some this lack of trust is connected to experiences of rejection or abuse as well as resiliency experienced during youth and young adulthood Key Findings: Relationship to safety, security and the law
  • 10. • Studying gay and bisexual men only in relation to sexual health serves to hide potentially more important aspects of the experiences of individuals as well as those shared among „communities‟ of individuals • It is problematic to talk about sex buyers (regardless of gender or sexual orientation) as though they represent a homogeneous group or class. • Laws, policies, educational and outreach endeavours designed from the vantage point of the majority have a real potential to negatively affect minority/ies • Yet, it is important not to study gay and bisexual sex buyers as separate from heterosexual • • This perpetuates gap and allows for generation of stereotypes It also could result in gay and bisexual communities having to fight battles that would be unnecessary if the separation didn't exist Key insights from studies
  • 11. • Much more work needs to be done to investigate the role that transitioning to later stages in the life course plays in terms of sexual desire and desirability among gay and bisexual men • We need to develop a much more complete understanding of the degree to which some gay and bisexual men transition from selling to purchasing sexual services over their life course • We need to better understanding the relationships that some gay and bisexual men have to authority figures and to better understand how this impacts their involvement with the sex industry • Much more needs to be done to include gay and bisexual buyers and sellers in current discussions relating to the development of policy and law • We need to build bridges among and between social and health researchers working “in” and “out” of community to encourage inclusion • As researchers we need to figure out better ways to reach out to gay and bisexual people involved in the sex industry so their voices and experiences can be included Points for Discussion