WEIGHT: 60 kg
Sex services: Role playing, Golden shower (in), Slave, Massage Thai, Disabled Clients
Previous qualitative research has examined male sex workers in the Czech Republic, but this mapping study is the first to investigate male sex work in a quantitative research design and focus on the mental health of these sex workers.
The results indicate that for homosexuals, working as a male sex worker is not related to any serious mental health problems. However, those identifying as heterosexual and bisexual more frequently reported symptoms of depression and bisexuals showed significantly more anxiety. These findings suggest sexual identity is an important issue to consider when addressing the mental health needs of this population. The Czech Republic is among the more sexually tolerant countries in Europe and because prostitution is decriminalized and wages are low, the country has also become a popular sex tourism destination among foreigners seeking sex with men [ 1 ].
This reputation is maintained by an aggressive gay pornography industry that markets Czech boys as sex objects throughout Europe and North America and beyond. For many young men, this type of work is a means of survival and it is seen as easy money, so it is attractive to any young man who finds himself in financial difficulty, whether gay, straight, or bisexual.
The main purpose of this study was to investigate the extent to which male sex workers experience psychological distress in the form of mood or anxiety disorders. The relationship between sex work and poor mental health among female sex workers has long been established, with studies finding as many as two-thirds of these women have symptoms of PTSD, in addition to increased depression [ 2 ]. Problems with substance abuse are also common [ 3 ]. Many of these symptoms are the result of the high proportion of female sex workers who are victims of human trafficking, but even in studies where the majority of participants were engaged in sex work of their own volition, many symptoms of mental illness are still reported [ 4 ].
Approximately 1 in 5 female sex workers report symptoms of clinical depression [ 5 ] and they also have higher rates of suicide [ 6 ]. This review does suggest, however, that sexual identity plays a key role in the overall psychological well-being of the male sex worker. Studies of female prostitutes in the Czech Republic have also found a much higher incidence of bisexuality among female sex workers [ 11 ] than in the general population [ 12 ].