Changes to commercial service provision among sex workers from Queensland, Australia

Seib, Charrlotte, Dunne, Michael, Fischer, Jane, & Najman, Jackob M. (2012) Changes to commercial service provision among sex workers from Queensland, Australia. In International Union against Sexually Transmitted Infections (IUSTI) World Congress, 15-17 October 2012, Melbourne, Australia. (Unpublished)



  • The role of commercial sex in facilitating infection transmission is a subject of ongoing empirical enquiry, with little attention to the variety and extent of ‘non-traditional’ commercial services that pose a lesser risk of infection. This study sought to examine the supply and demand of a wide range of traditional and non-traditional commercial sexual services among sex workers and their clients from Queensland, Australia.


  • Cross-sectional convenience sampling was used to compare female sex workers in 1991 (n=200, aged 16-46 years) and 2003 (n=247, aged 18-57 years) and from male clients in 2003. The client sample comprised 160 male clients aged between 19 and 72 years.


  • Over the comparison period there was a significant increase in the provision of ‘exotic’ or non-traditional sexual services. In 2003, the availability of bondage and discipline, submission, fantasy, use of sex toys, golden showers, fisting and lesbian double acts had increased dramatically, while ‘traditional’ services had mostly remained at similar levels. Moreover, the proportion of sex workers in some industry sectors providing ‘exotic’ commercial services seem to have risen over time.


  • Undoubtedly, the sex industry has professionalised and now includes more sophisticated and specialized suppliers. As with any commercial business, the diversification of services is largely driven with client demand, with the ‘menu’ being generally broader than the majority of client preferences. However, although clients demands for particular commercial sexual services seems to have been met, with regard to anal sex and anal play, supply has failed to meet client demand.

Disclosure of Interest Statement: Funding for the 2003 study was provided by the Prostitution Licensing Authority. Acknowledgement and sincere thanks to the men and women who participated in this study.

Impact and interest:

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

60 since deposited on 01 Sep 2014
11 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 75352
Item Type: Conference Item (Poster)
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: commercial sex, sex workers, prostitution
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Please consult the authors
Deposited On: 01 Sep 2014 01:26
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2016 15:58

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page