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Article

Unsafe Sex in the City: Risk Pricing in the London Area

Muravyev A., Talavera O.

This paper studies the incidence, determinants, and pricing of unprotected oral sex in the London sex services market. The analysis is based upon matched sex worker–client panel data, which were collected from ‘field reports’ on PunterNet.com website over the 1999–2009 time period. We find a steady increase in the incidence of unprotected oral sex during this period, rising from <20% to over 50% of all transactions. We show that the average premium for unprotected oral sex amounts to about 10–14% of the transaction price, and that this premium is higher if a sex worker has agency affiliation. Agency affiliated sex workers are also less likely to engage in unprotected oral sex compared to independent sex workers.