Finding Dick

Morning morning morning. Here’s yesterday’s Sunday Times column. Hope you enjoy. It’s about the second oldest profession in the world…


FINDING DICK – By Paige Nick

Once, many years ago, I decided I was going to try procure a male prostitute. It was for an article I had pitched to Cosmopolitan Magazine.

At the time (forgive me, I was young, I thought I knew everything) my hypothesis was that billions of men around the world pay to have sex every night, whether they’re paying with dinner, a movie and a bunch of flowers, or whether it’s with cold hard cash and the working girl of their choice. It’s a transaction so many men don’t think about twice. So why shouldn’t women be able to do the same thing?

Granted, most women aren’t as permanently up for it as men are, but many have high sex drives, and even more are single and struggling to find someone to keep them company. So it’s a surprising cultural phenomenon, particularly if you look at the statistics. In Cape Town, for example, they say there are nine women for every man. Then factor in that two out of every ten of those men are seeing each other, and you’ll see the numbers aren’t on our side. On top of that, women live longer then men. So in theory, male prostitution should be a massive industry. At least as big as doggie clothing, or those ready-to-drink, already mixed in the bottle cocktails.

So I wondered what it was that stopped more women from chasing a bit of tail. Ultimately demand drives all industries. So despite the statistics the demand must be lacking. Or as one friend pointed out, if a woman wants sex, she doesn’t have to pay for it, all she has to do is go out, find just about any guy and ask for it. Although I’ve been single for a long time, that’s not how it works.

Is it a cultural stigma that makes it socially unacceptable for women to have sex with male prostitutes? Or does the taboo live solely in our minds? Or are women simply constructed differently, and like an Adam’s apple, there are parts and muscles men have that we don’t, that drive us to seek out different activities. It’s the age-old question, nature or nurture?

I felt annoyed, why shouldn’t women be able to procure sex for the purposes of pure pleasure, the way men do.



But even finding a male prostitute was a problem. Granted this was a few of years ago, and for all I know these days it’s a huge, throbbing industry. Newspapers and the internet are filled with options for men. Women of every size, shape and colour (and that’s just their pubic hair) fill the column inches. But you’ll struggle to find a choice of men who want to have sex for money. You’d think it would be the other way around, the way men feel about sex, surely it’s any man’s dream job?

I contacted a couple of gentlemen’s clubs, a few had male strippers who would come to my party, but none of them offered anywhere near the kinds of services they offered their ‘gentle’men callers.

Eventually I found a newspaper ad for a man who would ‘keep me company’ for a grand an hour. He arrived on my doorstep, wearing a patchwork leather jacket, a moustache, a boep and a brown leather briefcase. Looking more like a detective from the Brixton Murder and Robbery Squad, than the object of my desire.

I’m not sure whether it was the way he looked, see women can be shallow too, or whether in the moment I just couldn’t see past my gender stereotype, because the split-second I opened the front door I realised there was no way I was ever going to sleep with him. I couldn’t muster the desire, or maybe I just didn’t have the balls. He was disappointed but polite, and instead we spent the hour I paid him for, chatting about the ins and outs of his industry.

He told me he has lots of very satisfied clients. So perhaps there are women out there with the means, the desire and the inclination. But he wouldn’t tell me what was in his briefcase. That information was on a need to know basis, and since I didn’t have the need, I’ll never know.



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