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Men procuring sexual services from women: everyman or peculiar man?

Philip Birch (Social Sciences and Psychology, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, Australia)
Jane Ireland (School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK)

The Journal of Forensic Practice

ISSN: 2050-8794

Article publication date: 9 February 2015




The purpose of this paper is to explore characteristics of men procuring sexual services from women.


This is a quantitative study using questionnaires and purposive sampling. The sample was from New South Wales, Australia, and included brothels and outreach organisations where sex work is decriminalised. The participants were 309 men who reported procuring sexual services with women.


Primary motivations for procurement included thrill/excitement and attractiveness of the sex worker. Cluster analysis identified five groups, the most frequent being those with a drive for exciting, thrill-seeking sex with an attractive partner and those with the same drive but not wanting investment. High proportions of men were married, in professional employment and did not present with a criminal history. Sexual experiences procured were conventional. Procurement presented as an enduring behaviour maintained across decades, commencing at a young age. Involvement in procurement preceded decriminalisation.

Practical implications

The results do not support men's procurement as primarily “deviant”. Professionals may need to explicitly enquire about such behaviour where relevant to do so (e.g. in discussing sexual health) and in doing so ensure procurement is discussed as normative and not as unusual behaviour.


Challenges any conceptualisation of procurement as deviant, extending the research base further by capturing users of such services as opposed to attitudes towards procurement.



Birch, P. and Ireland, J. (2015), "Men procuring sexual services from women: everyman or peculiar man?", The Journal of Forensic Practice, Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 13-20.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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