Pubdate:  Wed, 30 Jul 1997
Source:  Irish Times 
Contact: Male prostitution study shows link with drugs
'Guys go on heroin, then on the game' 

The typical male prostitute gets involved for the money. "The
guys I was hanging around with were working the Park . . .
one day I was broke . . . it didn't mean anything except cash"
is representative of comments from 27 males prostitutes
surveyed. Another response was: "When homeless, there is
no other way on the street." 

Four (15 per cent) of the boys surveyed were introduced to
prostitution when aged 13, but most were in the 14to19
age bracket.

Many young boys who have been sexually abused as children 
"drift easily into being paid for sexual favours", while
there are very few opportunities for gay teenagers to explore
their sexuality.

Some explain their involvement on the basis of "being
approved of" and "the idea that someone wanted you; the
money came after".

When asked to describe their activities, a more graphic
picture emerges on how this impacts their lives. One said:
"Abusive, dangerous, degrading, exciting, lonely, isolating,
shame, secret."

On drugtaking, another said: "Guys go on heroin and then
on the game to feed their habit."

With 40 per cent not identifying themselves as gay, sexuality
is another issue highlighted by the study. Some were "unsure
or fearful of identifying as gay, with many not socialising in
gay venues, aware of society's attitude to gays".

Half said they currently had a partner. Nine out of 13
partners were male. Most male partners knew of the
prostitution. In three cases, partners did not know  all were
women.

The Gay Men's Health Project was set up by the Eastern
Health Board in 1992 following a study of sexualrisk
behaviour among gay and bisexual men and other men who
have sex with men. It has a "dropin" clinic at Haddington
Road, Dublin, which is staffed by doctors, nurses and
counsellors who specialise in counselling on sexuality and
safe sex.

 Copyright: The Irish Times