Who's the Man? Fragile Masculinities, Consumer Masculinities, and the Profiles of Sex Work Clients

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Some research on male clients of female prostitutes argues that clients are simply seeking unemotional sexual release or looking for wild and varied sexual experiences. Yet other sex workers portray clients as lonely, vulnerable, and desiring of emotional connection with women. Rather than view this as an "either-or" scenario-in which all clients fit one profile-we construct two dichotomous models of masculinity for clients and explore their attitudes toward women and sex. Men in the fragile masculinities category feel uncomfortable around women, unattractive to women, and rejected by women in the sexual marketplace, while consumer masculinities men get excited by approaching a prostitute, seek a variety of partners, and do not want the responsibilities of a relationship. We find that fragile masculinities men may be more dangerous to women than consumer masculinities men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)486-506
Number of pages21
JournalMen and Masculinities
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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