I was working with a woman the other day and she stated that her partner of about a year told her that he had been to some prostitutes when he separated from a partner before. This had caused her some concern, as a female she could not understand it and thus we had a discussion about what it means for men to seek out a sex worker (prostitute). They tend to prefer being called sex workers.
Women mix up sex and relationships. The two are intimately intertwined for them. For men it can be the same but they are also capable of having sex without any relationship, hence we have prostitution.
I have subsequently thought more about her concern and what it means to the male psyche. This comes from the men I have spoken to over the years and the female sex workers I have spoken to about their thoughts on their clients where they make some very interesting observations. They do have quite a unique view into the male mind.
It seems there is a number of reasons why men may employ the services of a sex worker
1. Curiosity. This would tend to be the young adult males and they either find that it is something they like or could do again or others learn that it is not something that interests them or are repulsed by it.
2. For release. Some men with strong libidos and no current partner may seek out a sex worker for simple sexual release. When they have a partner they will tend to not seek out a sex worker.
Associated with this some men have unusual sexual interests such that it is hard to find a partner who is willing to participate and thus a sex worker is employed.
3. For TLC. Some men who want sexual release also find they can get a bit of tenderness and physical closeness from a sex worker who they get on with. These men don’t want a relationship with the woman just a bit of kind, close physical contact that goes along with the sex. At that particular point in their life they are for some reason particularly needing such nurturing contact and they find they can get it in this way.
4. For a relationship. These are the men who become long term clients of a particular sex worker. Besides paying the fee they will often bring extra gifts and they develop love feelings and an attachment with the woman. These are the clients that the sex worker particularly wants to cultivate as they provide regular income and they know them thus reducing the danger component.
To achieve this the sex worker has to convince the man that he is the special client that is different from all her others. He also manages to convince himself of the same and thus the relationship in his mind develops.
4. Some men report that they get addicted to sex workers. Whilst this may some times be a sex addiction it may not always be. The sex in other ways can fulfil some psychological function for the man. Just like some self harmers report they are addicted to self harming. Some of the reasons for self harming can be found here.
These people are not so much addicted to the self harming but addicted to the psychological benefit they obtain from the self harming. It seems to me that for some men the same situation applies. They are not addicted to the sex but the psychological benefit they get from it.
Some self harmers suffer dissociation and depersonalisation. They discover that if they cut self then that temporarily allows them to stop the dissociation and they get a sense of reconnection with the world again. For some men the same may apply but they use sex instead of self harm.
Instead of dissociation some find that the sex (like self harmers) allows them to get a sense of feeling something and thus their pervasive sense of numbness is temporarily relieved. Or they may use it to get a sense of tension release or as a means to self nurture just as self harmers can also do. So the man is kind of addicted to these rather than to the actual sex.