What are men really looking for when they hire an escort, interact with a cam girl or see a sex worker? Why do men take mistresses?
Duh! Everyone knows the answer to that. It’s for sex, right?
Obviously, sex is a strong motivation for all of these relationships.
But it’s not just sex – and sometimes, not sex at all – that motivates men to seek out ‘other’ women.
If it’s just sex that’s lacking, men turn to porn. It’s when something else is missing – that’s important to them – that they step outside to meet their needs.
Tracey Cox reveals the motives behind why men seek ‘other’ women including sex workers and mistresses, as it’s revealed they turn to porn if it’s just sex that’s lacking (file image)
I interviewed women in the sex industry and women having affairs, as well as dozens of men, to find out what those reasons are.
It offers an (albeit uncomfortable) insight into men’s hidden needs and desires.
Here’s what men really want – from the mouths of the women they’re most honest with.
Excitement and novelty
OK, so this one’s obvious: men pay women for their services or take on a mistress because they’re sexually bored with their partner.
“My wife and I have sex once a month and she’s not open to trying anything new. If I was getting the amount of sex I want and adventurous sex, I wouldn’t seek it elsewhere.”
This wasn’t just a recurrent theme – plenty of men consider it fair justification.
They were also unanimous in saying keeping a mistress is ‘far worse’ than frequenting sex workers.
“I’d never have an affair. I’m not looking for love, I’m looking for sex,” said one man. “Visiting a sex worker is different. It’s a business arrangement that doesn’t threaten my marriage.”
Nearly all the men I interviewed did not consider interacting with a cam girl as an act of infidelity.
“It’s a way of having sex with another woman without cheating on my wife,” as one man put it. “It’s harmless fun.”
Tracey (pictured) says men may seek sexual services with someone else because they’re afraid to ask their partner to explore a ‘kink’
Mistresses idolise – they see the reflection in the pond. A wife sees the true him – under a microscope.
Not too many wives idealise their husbands, but most men love to be hero-worshipped.
There’s nothing like an affair to give you an ego boost and make you feel better about yourself. Affairs are all about pin-point focus: you become the only two people in the world. Reality recedes and it’s as flattering as hell.
“I like who I am when I’m with her,” one man said about his mistress.
“She makes me feel important. She admires me. When I look at my wife, I see disappointment in her eyes. I don’t think I’m half the person she thought I’d be.”
To be able to explore a kink without being judged
Another common reason why men seek sexual services outside their primary relationship is to indulge in a ‘kink’ or activity they’re afraid to ask their partner for.
“I’ve had mistresses for seven years. In these encounters, I can engage in activities which people in my ‘vanilla’ life would be outraged by,” one man confessed. “I can suggest activities I would never suggest at home with my wife. It’s a huge adrenalin rush to be able to push my boundaries.”
Almost all the cam girls, escorts and sex workers who specialise in BDSM said a large proportion of their clients think their wives and girlfriends would be horrified if they suggested doing what they did with them.
“They don’t feel they can be their true sexual selves,” said one BDSM mistress.
To enjoy the fun, sexy things their partner no longer does for them
“It’s the flirty texts, the boob/cleavage flash pics that we send,” one sex worker told me. “All the texts or calls they get from their partner are to moan, ask them to pick up milk, ask where something is.”
They want to feel like someone’s making an effort especially for them, said another.
“They like the nice undies, legs shaved, hair done. Men see these things as things done for them. It makes them feel special.”
A confidence boost
Some single men go to see sex workers or interact with cam girls to ‘practice’.
“I feel like some guys are testing things out on us. They’ll ask, ‘Do you think all girls like that? Do I sound OK when I talk dirty?’, one cam girl told me.
Tracey says single men visit sex workers when they’re in need of a confidence boost because constantly being rejected in the real world can take its toll (file image)
It’s harsh out there in the real world and being constantly rejected takes its toll.
“I see single boys who are a bit awkward socially and not very good at dating, not confident of their looks,” a sex worker revealed. “They want attention from the girls they find attractive. It’s safe for them to interact with us: there’s no chance of rejection or the worry of having to seem clever or be great at conversation.”
Honest advice – without judgement
This is where a (usually) non-sexual close friendship with a female friend comes in.
Men will nearly always be more honest about their relationships with another woman than they will another man.
“Of course I’m not going to tell my best male mate that I’m worried my girlfriend doesn’t really love me,” one of my male friends told me. “He’d just be embarrassed – and useless. If I need advice, I go to a woman.”
Men are also more comfortable asking sex advice on what women want and like from another woman. “I don’t want to look like I don’t know what I’m doing in front of my mates – they’d never let me live in down,” one man confessed.
If the female friend is an ex, even better, because she can offer an honest critique of their sexual skills.
Affection and connection
“When I worked as an escort, I got a lot of men who wanted to chat and many just wanted hugs. I had one man who paid regularly just to hug,” a former escort told me.
She said many men wanted interaction and connection more than they did sex.
“I also met a lot of men whose wives were very unwell and couldn’t have sex. It wasn’t the lack of sex that drove them to visit me, they felt overwhelmed with grief even when their partners were still alive. I provided a safe place for them to express that.”
A lot of men are only close to one woman – their partner. If something happens to take her support away, they’re lost.
“Especially for older men, seeing a sex worker is easier than trying to forge a friendship with a woman other than their partner. They really wouldn’t have a clue how to make a female friend. Most don’t have male friends either.”
Loneliness was frequently mentioned.
“I was a phone sex girl back in the early 2000s,” one woman told me. “One of the most memorable conversations was a six hour one about nothing. This guy’s mum had just died, he clearly just wanted to hear someone’s voice. I was incredibly surprised at how many of the calls were about loneliness and men not having anyone else to talk to.”
The sex calls were over in a minute, she said. “Most of the other calls were men at work, ‘tradies’ on their lunch break. They’d ask for their favourite girls and have nice, normal, ‘What are you up to today sweetheart? type conversations.
She says she worries there aren’t enough outlets for men now, where they can hear a real voice, not just interact online.
A good ‘deal’
‘Sugar babies’ are young women who meet with older, usually financially successful men (‘sugar daddies’) and provide ‘the girlfriend experience’.
It’s seen as a way for attractive young girls to make money – and for rich men, who might also be old and unattractive, to date young women.
But a few sugar daddies who contacted me on social media said it’s much more than that. “Most of the girls are using the money to finance a dream. You get to help them make that come true,” one 54-year-old man said.
“You give her a better lifestyle. One she’d never be able to enjoy without help. In return, I get a girlfriend who treats me well. Who doesn’t take me for granted, makes an effort and makes it feel like I’m permanently stuck in the ‘honeymoon’ stage of a relationship. What man doesn’t want that?”
To feel desired and wanted
Of all the things men most want, this came through loudest and clearest.
“Yes, some men come to me for something sexual they are afraid to ask for at home,” one sex worker said. “But more come for personal attention they aren’t getting at home.”
“They want your undivided attention, they want to feel sexy and most of all they want to feel wanted,” was how one escort put it.
“The men I’ve seen over the years have almost always wanted to kiss and cuddle as part of the service. They want the intimacy, they want eye contact, they want to feel wanted,” another young sex worker told me.
Men sense when their wives are simply putting up with them, another escort confided. “They know the difference between someone who genuinely cares for them and someone who is enduring them.”
A lot of the cam girls agreed the sexual interaction was also about attention. “The men I perform for want to be the sole focus of my attention. Not too many women are totally present when they have sex. Their mind’s not on the job – and he knows it.”
Visit lovehoney.co.uk to find Tracey’s two product ranges, supersex and Edge. You’ll find Tracey’s blog and more sex and relationship advice on traceycox.com.