Organizational scholars have turned a blind eye to male escorts’, the occupational aspects (MSWs) related to the sex profession. Present studies on the business side have focused on: escort-client rapport, escorts marketability, job characteristics, and client satisfaction. There have been no studies on MSWs as entrepreneurs. Masculinity plays a role in the formation and the continued relationship between the male escort and the client. Masculine behaviors are rewarded, while non-masculinity behaviors are discouraged. Male escorts who do not display a level of masculinity may find it harder to market themselves.
Clients seek out escorts for sexual gratification; however, they seek out escorts for the interpersonal connection and relationship feeling (Grov,2017). The escort’s role is to play the boyfriend, partner, and the goal is to help their client fill some psychological need. To provide a personal connection in the most robust way, most escort prefers self-employment rather than working with agencies (Mendieta-Izquierdo, 2018). Therefore, most escorts prefer working as third-party agents since it gives them the flexibility, freedom to set their rates, and preferred clients. Independent male escorts can enter and exit the occupation as they see fit (Fanasca,2019). The interpersonal relationship consists of three parts: the initial encounter, maintenance of the relationship, and when the party’s over (Tewksbury, Lapse 2017). Escorts and John(s) go their separate ways after the service is completed (Grov,2015). Male escorts take an active role in creating goal-oriented activities and performance indicators to evaluate their current progress (Kumar, Grov,2018).
Occupational Health & Masculinity
Male escorts are less likely to seek out health services out of fear and not wanting to disclose their occupation. Studies have shown both the escort and John prefer to have safe sex (Tewksbury, Lapsey,2018). There is a separation in health behaviors between commercial vs. non-commercial relationships. Previous research has suggested that masculinity as an occupational experience is at the core when it comes to revenue, longevity, and job-success. To properly understand masculinity as an occupational experience, past research has centered its interest on wages instead of taking a more expansive approach to the male escorting occupational experience that includes contextual and symbolic factors such as status and stigma (Minichiello, Scott & Callander, 2015). Therefore, it is essential to note that MSWs are intertwined with the discourse of masculinity-power within the broader organizational-social context.
Background of the Problem
Most studies on male prostitution have focused on sexual deviance, prevention, and negative criticisms of the field. There has been some research that focused on different occupational aspects of male prostitution. The development of the internet has led to an increase in marketing and online advertisements (Pruitt,2018). The use of social media, websites, and profiles on adult apps makes it easier for male escorts to grow their business, network, and brand themselves as a type of specialist for John’s to hire. Job success in recruiting new clients depends on the escort portal of masculinity and how it is displayed through the advertisement (Pruitt,2018). To be successful in the occupation, male escorts must display a level of masculinity as it is associated with higher wages, client referrals, and occupational performance (Kumar, Scott & Minichiello, 2017). In contrast, male escorts who are obese, feminine, gender non-conforming, or not attractive have a harder time recruiting clients (Logan,2010). In other studies, researchers address the normalization and the business aspects of escorting, and the success and growth of the sex industry. People seek out escorts because they are motivated by some psychological, emotional, or sociological needs. An escort’s role is to provide the boyfriend experience (Tewksbury, Lapsey,2018). Kumar, Grov (2018) writes about the occupational aspects of MSWs, the occupational environment, and provides an overview of the field’s contemporary nature. Kumar, Grov (2018) researched the nuances of the occupational environment of MSWs who provide services to men. The results of the study suggested that MSWs have defined hallmarks of job success within their occupation. Although the study does explore the occupational aspects of MSW, research participants were all from Brisbane, Australia. The authors note the limitations, the scope of generalization of the research. The authors state that more research is needed to study the occupational aspects of male prostitution. This presents a gap in the research and presents further opportunities to expand on previous research of the occupational environment of male escorts.
Theoretical Foundations/Review of literature
To provide the theoretical foundation for this section. Motivation is defined as the desire to act in the service of a goal. There are two types of Motivation extrinsic and intrinsic Motivation in setting and attaining one’s objectives (Yousaf,2014). There are several models for studying motivation in the organization. These theories relate to the research problem; they investigate psychological attributes present in successful male escorts.
Job characteristics model: The job characteristic model put forward by Hackman and Oldham is based on the critical idea that motivation is deeply rooted in the task being handled by the employee. The theory notes that there are five critical job characteristics (task identity, skill variety, task significance, feedback, and autonomy) that affect three psychological states (experienced meaningfulness, experienced responsibility for relevant outcomes) and the knowledge of the results that would occur). The three critical psychological states, in turn, influence work outcomes such as workplace motivation, workplace performance, job satisfaction, among other variables (Barrick, Mount & Li, 2013).
Hope Theory: focus on an individuals’ ability to foresee goals. Develop methods to research those goals and the motivations needed to rebound from obstacles that impedes one reaching those goals. High hopes are consistently correlated with better outcomes. The hope theory underpins the cognitive elements and effective elements including setting goals, paths, and freedom of choice. The increasing existence of male escorts can be explained using Hope theory. For male escorts to be successful in their business, they must utilize the critical element of hope theory in their occupation. The male escort needs to have focused thoughts; they must develop strategies to help them advance these goals. Furthermore, the male escort needs to be motivated and make efforts to help them attain the set goals.
Review of Literature and Themes
Organizational scholars have showed little interest in the occupational aspects of male prostitution. Male sex work (MSW) research has been generally limited to social problems, prevention, and support (Kumar& Grov2018). Although there have been studies on occupational aspects; a descriptive analysis of the male escorts experience working in the profession; are rare. A synthesis of the literature produces three themes: masculinity, job characteristics, and the boyfriend experience. Individuals are motivated to seek out escorts to fulfill psychophysiological, emotional, sociological needs (Fanasca,2019). The role of the escort is to play the boyfriend, partner, or companion the goal is to provide this meaningful experience to their clients. Fanasca (2019) notes that the escorts business is based on having a fun time with their clientele. The large aspect of the business is recreational activities, while sexual behaviors are secondary in the overall scheme of occupational success. Each theme is central to be successful working in the sex profession.
It is not known how male escorts describe their work- experience: providing services to a male client, strategies for overcoming occupational barriers, and strategies used to overcome these barriers. The study seeks to explore the occupational side of the male escort profession. The study seeks to further expand on previous research about the occupational aspects of male prostitution. The study seeks to address questions related to the male escort experience operating a self-employed business in the sex industry (Kumar, Grov,2018).
Research Questions(s) and phenomenon
R1: How do male escorts describe their work- experience, providing services to male clientele?
R2. How do male escorts describe their strategies for overcoming occupational barriers?
R3. How do male escorts describe strategies used to overcome these barriers?
Significance of The Study
The proposed research will contribute to the literature by exploring the occupational aspects of male prostitution. The study focuses on how male escorts and how they describe their experience providing services to male clientele and strategies for overcoming occupational barriers. While there is no theory that best describes the phenomenon being research, the proposed study will contribute to the literature using Hope Theory. For this study hope is define has having foreseeable goals, mental strength, and positive thoughts present needed to overcome adversity in the profession.
High hopes are consistently correlated with better outcomes. The hope theory underpins the cognitive elements and effective elements including setting goals, paths, and freedom of choice. The increasing existence of male escorts can be explained using Hope theory. For male escorts to be successful in their business, they must utilize the critical element of hope theory in their occupation. The male escort needs to have focused thoughts; they must develop strategies to help them advance these goals. Furthermore, the male escort needs to be motivated and make efforts to help them attain the set goals.
The sex industry is a profession is where different male escorts(players) are competing for new clients, retain current clients, to have continuous stream of income—the theory-based that the male escort must create foreseeable goals and develops specific strategies to reach those goals. Being successful as an independent contractor and/or small business owner, requires balance, self-belief, motivation, and a continuous demonstration of inner strength (Shumka, Strega & Hallgrimsdottir, 2017). The research focuses on self-employed male escorts and focuses on the narrative. How they operate in the profession. The results could be used in training material, workshops for entrepreneurs, independent contractors, self-employed personnel, and startups.
Rationale for Methodology
The best approach is a qualitative methodology to address the research questions and understand the phenomenon studied. This is because qualitative inquiry allows the researcher to collect various data forms through different methods to identify
Nature of the Research Design for the Study
The paper will use a qualitative research design and will narrow down to the Qualitative descriptive (QD)approach. “Descriptive Qualitative” to describe the research design. The design is also called Generic and Basic by some authors. These sources describe the purpose and applications of the design:
In qualitative design, data is collected from the existing research and can either be actual or descriptive. The qualitative approach will allow data collections that are non-numerical to help understand the barriers that male escorts experience in their occupation and their impact on their daily practices. The data collected through this approach will be rich, holistic, and the findings emerge through careful analysis.
The case study is the preferred approach since it will provide data and research from the wide-scale research conducted in this area. It will help to narrow down a wide field of research into few easily researchable topics or areas. Since the research will be based on the Hope Theory, which outlines the goals and the plan used to attain them, it well describes or approaches using the case study design.
Sources of Data
Data is essential in any research since it shows the trend changes and current standing of a given theory or phenomenon. The most common sources for qualitative data include documents, observation, and interviewees. In this case, the data source will be the research documents such as journal articles, books, and case studies. Therefore, this research data will be sourced from various resources such as case studies, journals, and previous credible researchers conducted in this area. The paper will conduct searches for incredible and reliable journal articles published in credible databases such as google scholar acquire the needed qualitative data. These documents give people experiences, situations, and events; however, attention should be drawn to the rich details and meaningful social experiences and emotional concepts. Most qualitative studies make use of an analytical framework that links concepts and classification. The research paper will also identify qualitative data such as interviews, focused groups, observations, archive records, and artifacts included in the resource used. The research will also rely on firsthand interviews with the research participants through the structured interview. The interviewee will be provided with a structured response paper in which they provide their answers. The participant informed consent will be sought by requiring them to consent through appending their signature on the interview paper. To ensure that the study sample’s rights, and well-being are protected, the research will include personal details such as names, phone numbers, address, and email on the interview paper. Also, the researcher will make sure to read the terms and conditions, including how the feedback or information issued will be used, the control that the interviewee and interviewer have over the interview, sharing the research findings with the participants, and the free will to drop out of an interview at whatever time they participant wishes.
Data Analysis Procedures
There are various methods used in analyzing qualitative data. Having collected data through various methods such as interviews, transcripts, and meetings, the qualitative approach offers five critical methods for data analysis, namely, content analysis, grounded analysis, discourse analysis, narrative analysis, and conversational analysis. The most suitable analysis method for this research is content analysis. This approach involves categorizing behavioral and verbal data to classify them and then summarize them through tabulation. Since the primary resource is the document sources such as journals and research articles and books, content analysis is the best approach that will help acquire the relevant data and tabulate them for analysis. Content analysis fits all the three research questions well since it will provide a descriptive live experience for the male escort (Tewksbury & Lapsey, 2018). It will also provide a description or explanation of the working occupation as the male escort provides sexual services to the male clientele. It will also provide a descriptive analysis of the specific barriers that male escorts face in their occupation and the strategies applied to overcome these barriers and their effectiveness. The narrative analysis will analyze the content from various sources, such as the interview from the respondent. This approach will focus on using the interviewee’s experience and those shared with other people to answer the research question.
Potential Ethical Issues
The potential ethical issues that are linked with this research is the failure to maintain anonymity. This will come into existence when the interviewee details such as names or phone numbers are included in the interview sheet or mention their names during the analysis. Another ethical concern source is the failure to maintain confidentiality, such as conducting the interview in public and failing to have the participants consent to the informed consent requirement. Informed consent is ascertained by having the participants sign and agree to the research’s terms and conditions.
Kumar, N., & Grov, C. (2018). Exploring the Occupational Context of Independent Male Escorts Who Seek Male Clients: The Case of Job Success. American Journal of Men’s Health, 12(4), 877–883. https://doi.org/10.1177/1557988317746836
Kumar, N., Scott, J., & Minichiello, V. (2017). Masculinity and the occupational experience of male independent escorts who seek male clients. Social Sciences, 6(2), 58. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci6020058
Mendieta-Izquierdo, G. (2018). Perception of body and corporeality in men practicing male prostitution in Guadalajara, Mexico. Ciência & Saúde Coletiva , 23 , 1541-1549. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1413-81232018235.18652016
Minichiello, V., Scott, J., & Callander, D. (2015). A new public health context to understand male sex work. BMC Public Health, 15(1), 282. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-015-1498-7
Pruitt, M. V. (2018). “Just a Gigolo”: Differences in advertisements of male-for-female and male-for-male online escorts. Deviant Behavior, 39(1), 64-79. https://doi.org/10.1080/01639625.2016.1260384
Shumka, L., Strega, S., & Hallgrimsdottir, H. K. (2017). “I wanted to feel like a man again”: Hegemonic masculinity in relation to the purchase of street-level sex. Frontiers in Sociology, 2, 15. https://doi.org/10.3389/fsoc.2017.00015
Tewksbury, R. A., & Lapsey, D. (2017). Male Escorts’ Construction of the Boyfriend Experience: How Escorts Please Their Clients. International Journal of Sexual Health, 29(4), 292-302. https://doi.org/10.1080/19317611.2017.1310778
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