chapter  14
13 Pages

Selling Safer Sex: Male Masseurs and Escorts in the UK

Before the 1980s and the advent of HIV, most academic work on male prostitution treated it explicitly as a social problem. Descriptions were often prurient (especially Lloyd, 1979) and always condescending in their attitude to the population studied (Ginsburg, 1967; Caukins, 1974; Caukins and Coombs, 1976). This phenomenon is starkly illustrated in an article by Gandy and Deisher on the role of the physician in addressing this ‘social problem’, which begins:

When [an earlier pilot study was] reported, the need for medical interest and leadership in the understanding and rehabilitation of these youths was expressed. Although the physician has little in his training or usual experience which would help him [sic] to recognize youths likely to engage in male prostitution or to counsel those living in this manner, he has the unique advantage in that he does not communicate the overwhelming disapproval these individuals assume from society in general.