The purpose of this study is to better understand and explore the desires, motivations, experiences and expectations of male and female clients of sex workers. This study will take place in two different countries; the Netherlands and Sweden, taking their different political perspectives on sex work in consideration. This study will therefore bring forward voices that are rarely heard in the knowledge production involving sex work. Purchase of Pleasure is therefore relevant and important for 4 reasons: emphasising the importance of the perspective of the client, challenging prostitution policies, to develop a greater understanding of the purchase of sex and an important to contribution to the knowledge about the sex industry.

  1. Client Perspective

In most public and political debates the position of the client is gendered and neglected. Not only are clients perceived as ‘oppressors’ and ‘criminals’ , the purchase of sex(ual intimacy) has traditionally been accounted for gendered theories of a ‘natural’ masculine libido. With this ‘taken-for-grantedness’ clients have been overlooked as an important source of information, creating a gap in the knowledge production on sex work.

2. Challenge Prostitution Policy

There is an international shift to end the demand side of the industry and to develop prostitution policies that describe that prostitution as both a cause and consequence of gender inequality. (un)intentionally this reproduces gendered images of sexuality, not only taking for granted who is paying for sexual services, and from whom but also what is actual being bought. And the meanings clients attach to their paid sexual encounters.

3. Greater understanding

Sexuality and intimacy plays a big role in everyones life, but when it is not ‘consumed’ in a manner that is perceived appropriate it vastly perceived as ‘immoral’ and therefore tabooed and stigmatised. There is a need to develop a broader understanding of what part sexuality plays in our lives and to understand why people pay for sexual encounters and the role it has in their lives.

4. Important contribution

Because of the described ‘taken-for-granted’ assumptions about the contemporary sex industry and the inability to answer a lot of the who, why and what questions it is crucial to involve clients in these present debates. Your thoughts, perspective and analysations as a client are of an immeasurable importance in the development of more evidence based research and contribution to de-stigmatise sex work.