While much is known about prostitution and sex work from studies of female sex workers and their customers, relatively little is known about men who sell sex, either to women or other men. Particularly poorly understood are their motivations for doing so, the circumstances in which the sale of sex occurs, the meanings attached to the acts by both sex worker and client, and the HIV-related risks involved.
Each chapter, written by a national expert, is based on months and even years of interviews with male sex workers, including young boys and elderly men in some countries. The workers discuss why they do the work, what it is like, and what their behavior means to them. For example, those who have regular sex with men often strenuously affirm their heterosexuality, though there is considerable variety in their attitudes.
Each chapter relates the experiences of the male sex workers to the political economy of their neighborhood and assesses the implications of their work for HIV transmission and the AIDS epidemic. The researchers and the sex workers discuss the value of different kinds of health promotion interventions.