Table 2

Comparison of sexual behaviours of men seeking sex online and from brothels

Online forums (n=304)Brothels (n=297)
VariableN (%)N (%)p Value
In past 12 months
Engaged in sex with sex worker*268 (88.2)273 (91.2)0.124
Engaged in casual sex*171 (56.3)79 (26.6)<0.001
Number of partners in past 12 months*
Sex workers
 Mean (SD)7.2 (14.3)9.1 (17.6)0.166
 Median (range)3.0 (1–200)3.0 (1–186)
 Interquartile range84
Casual sex partners
 Mean (SD)3.4 (5.4)3.3 (4.1)0.903
 Median (range)2.0 (1–50)2.0 (1–20)
 Interquartile range23
Types of sexual intercourse in past 12 months*
Sex workers
 Vaginal253 (83.2)271 (91.2)<0.005
 Oral261 (85.9)212 (71.4)<0.001
 Anal117 (38.5)72 (24.2)<0.001
Casual sex partners
 Vaginal161 (53.0)76 (25.6)<0.001
 Oral151 (49.7)68 (22.9)<0.001
 Anal82 (27.0)21 (7.1)<0.001
Wives/girlfriends
 Vaginal213 (70.1)129 (43.4)<0.001
 Oral200 (65.8)93 (31.3)<0.001
 Anal98 (32.2)33 (11.1)<0.001
Consistent condom use in past 12 months*
Sex workers
 Vaginal191 (75.5)195 (72.0)0.358
 Oral43 (16.5)120 (56.6)<0.001
 Anal102 (87.2)43 (59.7)<0.001
Casual sex partners
 Vaginal82 (50.9)41 (53.9)0.665
 Oral32 (21.2)24 (35.3)<0.05
 Anal64 (78.0)14 (66.7)0.278
Wives/girlfriends
 Vaginal34 (16.0)33 (25.6)<0.05
 Oral33 (16.5)23 (24.7)0.095
 Anal70 (71.4)14 (42.4)<0.005
Screened for STD/HIV in the past year103 (33.9)132 (44.4)<0.05
Self-reported STD symptoms49 (16.1)15 (5.1)<0.001
  • Results are shown as number (%) unless stated otherwise.

  • *8.8% of men who stepped out of the brothels and 11.8% of the online seekers did not report buying sex. They are eligible for the study because they reported casual sex in the past 12 months.

  • STD, sexually transmitted disease.