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This may seem like a silly question with a one-word answer, but advocates battling sex trafficking say the reasons are actually quite complex and could be key to understanding the changing face of prostitution in modern times.
Psychologists from international advocacy groups sat down with Johns in several countries to learn why they decided to pay for sex. The study has illuminated some personal stories of loneliness, to pure desire. Gone are the heydays of the local brothel or even the red light district. With the rise of the Internet, a new anonymity was born and with it a covert business model that blended in with local homes and businesses.
Some Internet advertisements are from individual prostitutes and some are from pimps who run sex trafficking rings that exploit women captured into sex slavery through force, threats of violence or coercion. Experts say sometimes Johns may not even know the difference -- so a coalition of non-profits dedicated to abolishing modern day sex trafficking decided it was time to shift from interviewing women about why they were selling sex to asking why men decided to pay for sex.
The answers varied. From two-hour interviews with men aged in the London area who responded to a newspaper ad, some explanations included:. Lots of men go to prostitutes so they can do things to them that real women would not put up with. This is instant sex. The most common reason why men said they bought sex was to satisfy immediate sexual urge; 21 percent of time men wanted to select women with certain physical racial and sexual stereotypes such as being submissive; 20 percent went to prostitutes because they were unsatisfied with their current relationship; and 15 percent went to prostitutes because there was no emotional connection or commitment.
Only 3 percent of the responders in the survey said they went to prostitutes because of a sex addiction or because they were drunk. Melissa Farley, clinical psychologist and a co-author of the study, said she wants legislators to understand the Johns' motives to find a way to crack down on prostitution.