Mannen van plezier: één en al vertier?
Een onderzoek naar hoe mannelijke sekswerkers in België harm reduction beleven

Scriptie/Masterproef: Master's Thesis


The purpose of this thesis was to gather more information on the group of male sex workers to whom too little attention has been paid up to now and to examine how they experience harm reduction in Belgium. The first part of this study shows the results of the literature review which revealed that male sex workers are a very heterogeneous group, who remain largely hidden from society. Notwithstanding the fact that they have many things in common with female sex workers, a certain incongruence between both groups was detected, which could imply that male sex workers have specific needs that should be taken into account.
Furthermore, it was noted that harm reduction is a fairly recent movement that makes efforts to limit as much as possible the harms which can be linked to prostitution. Social welfare organisations, who welcomed harm reduction with open arms, have developed various harm reduction strategies and even sex workers use a number of techniques in order to protect themselves from all kinds of risks related to their jobs.
In the second part of this thesis in-depth interviews were taken from ten male sex workers in order to find out how they experience harm reduction in Belgium. First of all, this empirical research revealed a certain contradiction: all sex workers are of the opinion that harm reduction is highly useful, but not all of them wish to use it or effectively rely on it. The analysis of results pointed in this respect to a distinction between fulltime and parttime prostitution. Those who sell their bodies on a parttime basis, are more positive about their job and do not really need social welfare. The participants who prostitute themselves on a fulltime basis, on the other hand, experience more difficulties in the execution of their activities and rely on (or would like to rely on) social welfare organisations.
In addition, it was shown that the participants could not agree on the necessity of social welfare specifically destined to male sex workers, even though they confirmed the existence of differences between male and female sex workers.
This study has attempted to put the male sex workers on the foreground by letting them express themselves. The interviews have clearly indicated that they possess a wealth of information and absolutely want to be heard. Consequently, further scientific research into this target group is strongly recommended.
Datum prijs2016
Originele taalDutch
BegeleiderEls Dumortier (Promotor)


  • Male sexwork
  • Harm reduction
  • Experience

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