Publication Details

MacPhail, C., Scott, J. & Minichiello, V. (2015). Technology, normalisation and male sex work. Culture, Health and Sexuality, 17 (4), 483-495.


Technological change, particularly the growth of the Internet and smart phones, has increased the visibility of male escorts, expanded their client base and diversified the range of venues in which male sex work can take place. Specifically, the Internet has relocated some forms of male sex work away from the street and thereby increased market reach, visibility and access and the scope of sex work advertising. Using the online profiles of 257 male sex workers drawn from six of the largest websites advertising male sexual services in Australia, the role of the Internet in facilitating the normalisation of male sex work is discussed. Specifically we examine how engagement with the sex industry has been reconstituted in term of better informed consumer-seller decisions for both clients and sex workers. Rather than being seen as a ¿deviant¿ activity, understood in terms of pathology or criminal activity, male sex work is increasingly presented as an everyday commodity in the market place. In this context, the management of risks associated with sex work has shifted from formalised social control to more informal practices conducted among online communities of clients and sex workers. We discuss the implications for health, legal and welfare responses within an empowerment paradigm.



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