About two years ago, Breanna* sought some hands-on education for her sex life. She wanted to improve certain skills and learn new techniques, particularly for giving oral sex.
So, like a growing number of Australian women, she sought the services of an escort.
His name is John Oh.
"I did some research and tried to find somebody who offered [instruction]. And I came across John's profile," Breanna told Mamamia's daily current affairs podcast, The Quicky.
"I think research is the key; [I] really looked into every aspect of what was said on his website and decided that I'd start off there."
She booked a two-hour session, nervous and not sure what to expect. But it proved fruitful: "It was really good at giving me some different skills and confidence in an area that I hadn't had that confidence in before."
Watch: Your questions about escorts, answered by Samantha X.
John, a former IT entrepreneur, told The Quicky that while the market of male escorts who cater to women is relatively small, they are more accessible than ever before.
"My business grew, basically, in line with the uptake of smartphones and tablets," he said. "Because prior to the iPhone, most women didn't really have any private, secure means of doing the research to try to find a male worker. They we're limited to a family computer or work computer, generally. And that made it incredibly difficult."
John says his clients have typically spent one to two months researching him — visiting his site over and over — before they make a booking.
"I have spent a lot of time over the last 10 years writing content for my website, making films so forth. And I do that because it lets women who might be interested in using my services, get a genuine feel for who I am," he said. "I want anyone who makes a booking with me to walk through the door and after five minutes' conversation, think, 'Yeah, he's the person that I had pictured.'"
He says his prices are "somewhere in the middle" of the market at $600 for a two-hour session or $1000 for a four-hour evening booking.
Why women access sex work.
Recent research from the University of NSW found that Australian women access sex workers for a diverse range of reasons.
Approximately half said their most common motivation was therapeutic (such as exploring their sexuality after experiences of abuse, intimate partner violence or painful sex), while others were simply seeking sexual pleasure, or intimacy that comes with clear boundaries.
Study author Dr Hilary Caldwell, UNSW Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Social Research in Health, said the women reported multiple benefits.