Hook-up: A study of male sex work in NSW and Queensland 2014

This study of male sex work in NSW and Queensland recruited a total of 471 respondents in NSW and 250 in Queensland, among whom 94 men in NSW (20.0%) and 55 men in Queensland (22.0%) reported having engaged in male-to-male sex work.

Key findings
  • Male sex workers were similar in most respects to gay and bisexual men in general, both demographically and behaviourally, and were generally well-connected to information and support. Mostly, they did not engage in behaviours that represented a risk for HIV transmission.
  • Nonetheless, male sex workers face numerous challenges in their work, many of which concerned issues of stigma and uncertainty about legal status. In a context where sex work is widely viewed negatively and where the legal framework at the very least positions sex work as problematic, sex workers in general, including male sex workers, tend to find it difficult to pursue their work.
  • There were some male sex workers who were less well-connected to support, and who also faced greater challenges, both in the conduct of sex work and in the potential for harms due to risky behaviours, both sex and drug related.
  • In general, there appeared to be some differences between male sex workers in NSW and in Queensland that would suggest that male sex workers in Queensland face somewhat greater challenges, and may be at consequent greater risk, than those in NSW.
  • Most male sex workers have regular health checks, and they appear to value the expertise of the health service providers.