Research-to-Action

Male sex workers in Vancouver feel safer on the internet than on the street

CBC News British Columbia
Thursday, July 7, 2016

"A study on male sex workers in Vancouver has found that although the move to selling sex online rather than on the streets improvied safety, a recent law prohibiting the advertisement of sex online may be driving the industry further underground.

The study by the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and the outreach program Hustle surveyed 39 men and trans men sex workers as well as eight others who buy their services.

It found that with new technology, sex work over the last decade has largely moved off the streets and onto the web.

"The shut down of this outdoor sex work area has really led to the loss of social support and cohesion," said research associate Dr. Andrea Krusi.

While many male sex workers lost the support of the community on the street, the study discovered the internet offered more tools to screen buyers and negotiate the terms of transactions ahead of time, preventing violence and disputes.

"Often, violence transpires in sex work transactions around the negotiation piece," Krusi said.