Background: Men who pay for sex are a key group in controlling sexually transmitted infection. The prevalence of men paying for sex in Britain doubled between 1990 and 2000 and remained consistent between 2000 and 2010. The paper aims to investigate the changing age profile and characteristics of men who pay for sex in Britain. Associations are also drawn between various socio-demographic, sexual, and health variables.
Methods: Complex survey analyses of data collected between 2010 and 2012 from a national probability sample survey of people resident in Britain aged 16-74 years (6293 men), focusing on men identifying as heterosexual and reporting sexual activity within the five years prior to interview (5048 men). Data from previous surveys were used to assess the changing age profile of men who pay for sex. Logistic regressions were used to find associations between paying for sex in the past five years and various socio-demographic, sexual, and health variables.
Results: Men who paid for sex were more likely to be 25-34, currently without a partner, and report high partner numbers in the past five years. Men who paid for sex had higher proportions of sexual risk and health-seeking behaviour. These men were more likely to have had new foreign sexual partners while outside the UK (AOR 20.51; 95% CI [13.57-30.98]). Sex outside of Europe was most commonly paid for in Asia.
Conclusions: Despite the drastic change in the prevalence of paying for sex in Britain between 1990 and 2000, the prevalence, age profile, and characteristics of men who report paying for sex in the past five years has not changed between 2000 and 2010. These men are at higher risk of acquiring and onward transmission of STIs. When men pay for sex outside of the UK they are most likely to pay in Europe or Asia.