Straight Male Sex Workers

Who They Are

The sex industry is too often mistakenly viewed as an exclusively female workforce servicing male clients. However, around 20% ¹ of the workforce is male, with nearly all of them offering male to male services. A tiny percentage of male workers see only women – an old fashioned term for these men is ‘gigolo’.

How They Work

Most straight male workers either work privately or for an escort agency.

Why Would a Woman Pay a Man for Sex?

"I decided to contact a male escort for overnight company on one of my husband’s business trips. It was his third trip in a month, and the loneliness had started to creep in. My female friends all have children, so could only meet briefly during the day … the nights began to feel longer and longer… I guess I just wanted the same intimacy, affection and small talk my partner provided, but not have to go on Tinder or even worse, to a bar, to get it!"

"I have cerebral palsy, and have struggled to find a sexual partner so I ventured into the sex industry wanting sexual contact, intimacy and safety. I book men who advertise as escorts because I know they will be safer than picking up online."

gigolo male escort
Unsplash: Charles Deluvio

"After a long and painful separation, I really didn’t have the energy to invest in a new relationship. I was stressed and wanted sex, but my schedule and a lot of emotional baggage meant I also didn’t have the time. Booking a male escort seemed to solve both the time and energy issue; I would be paying for a service, so it wouldn’t matter if I looked terrible, didn’t call him again, or didn’t ‘perform’ for him. It was a wonderful experience – we listened to Janis Joplin, ate cheese and even played PlayStation together. It ended intimately, he left me a lovely note, and I called again the following month."

"I paid for sex with a black man a million years ago, and it was an amazing experience so I thought I would try it again – still amazing!"


Straight male escorts charge an hourly rate, usually for a full sexual service. Although their hourly rates are higher on average than those charged by gay men, demand for their services is low. For example, some male escorts might only see 3 – 5 clients a year (a busy gay male sex worker might see 3 – 5 clients over a weekend). That said, a tiny number of straight male escorts earn very high incomes.

"My partner and I try to keep our love and sex life alive and kicking! I do have my needs and wants attended to, but as he is a little older than me and has some physical limitations, he doesn’t mind me seeing a male escort. He stays happy knowing my needs are attended to, and that it’s nothing more than pleasurable business for at least an hour!"

"My partner enjoys seeing me with other men, even though he doesn’t participate, only watches. It works out well in my favour, as he devours me after, and I get to have sex with a man of my choosing every now and then. I actually enjoy the ‘hunt’ of finding a new escort each time – maybe it’s the evolving cougar in me. It’s part of the build up and excitement, and every time I learn something new!"


Photographs of straight male escorts in their advertising usually show them partially or fully dressed. This is in contrast to the photographs of gay male sex workers. While it’s common for gay male sex workers to show full frontal nudity in their ads, it’s almost unheard of for straight male escorts to do this.

"I divorced some ten years ago and work in the corporate world where misogyny is all around me. I had had some sexual encounters in the workspace and the experience was not pleasant, and obviously had consequences (I felt). So when I read an article written by a male escort, I thought why not? I was so nervous about the whole thing, but James was absolutely wonderful at putting me at ease, and we spent a delightful evening together. It made me feel like a woman of the world – mischievous and naughty, and at the same time liberating."

"I still have a sex drive and am just not attracted to men of my own age group. Booking a male escort is fun, and I have seen a few over the years. I must admit I found it nerve wracking at first, but I scrub up quite well and it was really the relationships that we had which was the most fun. In my experience, the younger men have been charming and seemingly turned on."


Despite achieving a disproportionate level of attention in popular culture, straight male escorts represent perhaps less than 5% of all male sex workers. Even this estimate should be viewed with caution, as a 2013 thesis² on Melbourne male sex workers found that,

‘There is no definitive data to determine how many heterosexual (Internet-based) male sex workers are operating in comparison to those who identify as gay.’

The same thesis found that there was an ‘extremely low incidence’ of full time straight male escorts, they were ‘not as common’ as gay male sex workers, and they ‘appear to be a rare commodity’ playing a ‘small’ role in the sex industry.

The thesis notes that when it comes to straight male escorts, ‘supply may outstrip demand, and that most gigolos find it difficult to support themselves with the income earned from sex work’. The thesis posits that this is due to low levels of demand from women for commercial sexual services provided by men.

"I saw a movie called Miss Sloane, and in the movie she has a professional relationship with a male escort. This intrigued me and I decided to do it myself. I now have a professional relationship with a charming man who I see every 2–3 months. Yes, I pay for his services and I am guaranteed a wonderful experience every time. I savour it, and save up for it!"

    1. Selvey, L., Hallett, J., Lobo, R., McCausland, K., Bates, J., & Donovan, B. (2017). Western Australian Law and Sex Worker Health (LASH) Study. A Summary Report to the Western Australian Department of Health. Perth: School of Public Health, Curtin University, page 16, Table 4
  1. The above study found that in Western Australia in 2017, 19.2% of sex workers were assigned male at birth. 

    On 30 June 2018, 20.6% of all 1008 registered private sex workers in Victoria, Australia were male. Source: Victorian Department of Justice and Community Safety

    Benoit C, Jansson M, Smith M, Flagg J. “Well, It Should Be Changed for One, Because It’s Our Bodies”: Sex Workers’ Views on Canada’s Punitive Approach towards Sex Work. Social Sciences 2017, 6, 52. [Exhibit # 6]

    The above study found that in five metropolitan areas of Canada in 2016 24% of the sex workers surveyed were male or transgender.

    2. Mclean A, An Evolving Trade: Male Sex Work and the Internet (2013), RMIT University, section 3.4

*work name

© Sex Work Law Reform Victoria 2022

Last updated: 30 December 2022