How many men visit sex workers... and how many SA women work in the industry?

While many men engage in the use of sex workers, a significant percentage finds the experience unsatisfying.

According to data from cheating website Victoria Milan, 47.3% of men internationally have made use of sex workers, and 23.3% are regulars - engaging "ladies of the night" at least once a week.

It is pertinent to note that this cannot be extrapolated to men in general, but only of the men who form part of the cheating website's subscribers.

The data, compiled from the site's 6 097 male members showed that 35% of men who use sex workers do not enjoy the experience; rather do it out of "necessity".

The main reason men pay for sex is the unavailability of a partner - 40.1% of men fell into this category - but 36.% used sex workers to live out fantasies that they could not with their current long-term partner.

In terms of price, Victoria Milan said that men paid an average of €50 - €200 (R710 - R2840) or about €2 000 (R28 398) per year for a regular customer.

Inequality and exploitation

However, there are wild swings in price throughout the world.

According to black market pricing index Havocscope, the cost for a sex worker in India can range from $1 (R13) for an adult to $1 000 (R13 000) for a virgin (read: underage girl).

However, the rate in Germany is a flat $65 (R858) and a union minimum of $100 (R1321) in Switzerland. In the UK, a street sex worker can cost about $20 (R264).

In SA, The Citizen reported that a Johannesburg sex worker makes between R3 000 and R4 000 a month, charging R100 for straight sex.

Advocacy group SWEAT estimates that there are between 31 000 and 94 000 sex workers in Gauteng, with the majority being black South African women and a significant percentage from Zimbabwe.

A Stellenbosch University Master's thesis by Ferdinand Chemungha Mukumbang suggests that 1.51% of the adult female population in SA is involved in the sex trade.

The cheating website found that 80% of men will book a sex worker for one hour to "get it over and done with as quickly as possible".

And 50.1% of men find the experience unsatisfying because the prostitute "lacked enthusiasm", and 26.3% said the escort was less attractive than her picture suggested.

Where do men find prostitutes?


How do the numbers look in South Africa?

Number of sex workers
29 733
Kwazulu Natal
22 480
Western Cape
15 699
Eastern Cape
13 408
14 112
North West
13 911
13 263
Free State
10 046
Northern Cape
4 988
 Reference: Ferdinand Chemungha Mukumbang