Rising numbers of British women are paying for male escorts because they are too busy for conventional relationships, researchers are claiming.
A high proportion appear to be busy career women in their thirties and forties looking for a brief fling, they say.
And some even claim they want more than just time in the bedroom – and are prepared to pay for companionship, too.
Researchers say they have evidence that the market for male escorts has tripled in the past five years – eclipsing the rise in demand for female escorts.
They counted advertisement profiles by escorts of all sexes, and found that those by men rose from 5,246 in 2010 to 15,732 now.
Female profiles rose from 11,056 to 28,614 over the same period.
The study, led by academics at Lancaster University and Manchester Metropolitan University, claims the rise in online escorts shows women are increasingly using their phones and the internet to access sexual services.
Escorts who took part in the study claimed that many of their female clientele did not have the time for relationships.
And some women were thought to have paid for sexual services even though they were in a relationship so they could add excitement to their love life.
The study further suggests that many women who pay for sex take control of the situation and assert their sexual desires in advance.
Some women were thought to have paid for sexual services even though they were in a relationship so they could add excitement to their love life
Dr Sarah Kingston, a lecturer in criminology at Lancaster University, said: ‘Our participants say most of the women who buy sex are professional people. Some female clients also seem to not want or have the time for a “conventional” relationship.
‘In some instances women were very specific about the services they required.
‘This came across in some interviews with escorts who had one-to-one bookings with women.
‘Escorts relay how women with specific requests email their expectations ahead of meeting. Some women also pay for more than just sexual intercourse, they might go for a drink or meal with their chosen escort – described as the “boyfriend experience”.
‘It is also evident that women purchase sexual services as part of a couple.
‘The majority of the escorts interviewed see couples, stating they are booked for regular excitement and fun, or simply for a relationship treat.
‘In couples, some men appeared more nervous than their female partner.’