The number of female commercial sex contacts among men in Britain has risen dramatically - almost doubling in a decade - according to the results of a new survey published in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections.
Based on two national surveys, carried out in 1990 and 2000, more than 10,000 British adults were asked about their sexual lifestyles and attitudes to sex. Male participants were also asked if they had ever paid for sex.
The 1990 survey found that 5.6 percent of the male participants had paid for sex at some time during their lives, with 2 percent saying they had done so within the previous five years, and 0.5 percent within the past year. Ten years later, the survey revealed that commercial sex transactions were twice as high. The 2000 survey found that around 9 percent of men said that they had paid for sex at some time, while 4.2 percent said they had done so within the previous five years, and 1.3 percent said they had done so over the past year.
The 2000 survey also yielded some other interesting results. It seems that the men most likely to have paid for sex within the previous five years were more likely to be aged between 25 and 34 and single. They were also more likely to live in London, and to have had more sexual partners.
And HIV and the risk of other diseases doesn't appear to have slowed men's sexual appetites. Over a third of the men in the survey had 10 or more sexual partners during the previous five years. More worryingly, over half had new sexual partners while abroad, including in countries with high rates of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. But less than one in five had visited a sexual health clinic during that time, despite the fact that almost one in 10 said they had had a sexually transmitted infection.
The researchers who conducted the survey cited a variety of reasons for the changes in men's sex lives. A rising divorce rate, sex tourism, and the increasing availability of commercial sex services may help to explain the trend, they concluded.
Source: Sexually Transmitted Infections