"Why would a woman pay for sex when she can get it for free?" is a question often asked when the subject of male escorts arises.
But women are willing to pay for sex. Six per cent of those using commercial sexual services in Australia are women and this figure is rapidly growing.
So to find out more about the industry and bust some myths, I went straight to the source: Spencer is an Australian male escort who looks a combination of Christian Grey and James Bond.
"I've come to the conclusion that I don't get booked for sex," says Spencer.
"Certainly, sex is a part of what I do, but I run the gamut of emotional support, emotional pleasure and physical pleasure. For these women I'm predominantly there to listen. I don't judge, I don't seek to cure them or pity them. As a male escort, you don't just get paid to bang lots of women as some might think. There is much more to the job than that."
How does a woman get the courage to pick up the phone and order sex? If it was Spencer you were after, the process would start with Regina and Anna from Aphrodisiac Male Escort (the two women who own the agency).
They have an ability to make you feel comfortable about the topic of sex and they add a woman's touch, sometimes spending hours with each client on the phone answering any questions they might have or discussing any concerns.
They match the needs of the women with their boys and give the escorts an in-depth overview of the women they are going to be meeting. The female clients are limited to six to eight bookings with a male escort so they can't develop feelings and get too attached. This service is not just about sex, but about caring for their emotional well being.
And as much as I would have loved to be a fly on the wall myself, Spencer describes how a session plays out.
"I always build a connection with small talk and chit chat. Connection is important, but it doesn't need to be deep. They don't like to know too much about me. I lay out my bag of toys and goodies, making it a fun experience so they aren't nervous but let them know they are only there if they wish.
"Sometimes, if I get the right signal from a client, I'll openly ask if anything interests them but I don't often use things like the crop or restraints; Women are usually after a close intimate experience without toys. When they know I'm trained with this stuff they feel more comfortable about handing over control to me.
"I often remind clients that, this is still their time so what they want is what goes. Women aren't used to asking for what they want so need coaxing sometimes."
What type of woman pays for sex? Everyone is different, but he did narrow down some common female stereotypes.
WOMEN IN THEIR 40s
They're separated/divorced and don't want the hassle of drunken men in bars and people that hang around after needing their egos massaged. Some of these women are regular but generally they're a once off with the purpose for their booking being that they've not had sex for a while due to a busy life.
"Some of these women have met crap men from online dating and are looking for something simple without all the fuss," says Spencer.
WOMEN IN THEIR LATE 20s
Spencer's youngest client is 28. These are the girls who wants lessons to be able to do it right for their boyfriends or who wants some coaching for when they meets new potential partners.
He says many of these women have probably been watching too much porn, which is a real problem these days. "Porn is male dominated and often degrading of women. 'We' in the male escort industry loathe that and take a completely different approach. These women sometimes need validation and reassurance that they are not bad in bed."
WOMEN IN THEIR 50s AND UP
These are women who have a bit more money but are not time poor. They might have had their own business or had a partner who's passed away. Theses clients are more about the company than sex. They need touch and affection.
"Touch is more important for some women than food," says Spencer.
And it's not just women who are forking over cash for pleasure. One in three bookings that come through the agency is for couples.
"Men book male escorts for their wives as a present or when they feel they can't perform," says Spencer.
In fact, 30 per cent of his clients have partners and most know about the visits, especially the older women who often have an agreement with their husbands.
His most memorable client? A women married for 30 years whose partner was so violent that they never had sex. She was still a virgin after being divorced and wanted help from Spencer to gain confidence, experience sex for the first time and be in the right position to go and date other men.
But what about the cost? With this particular agencies you can try before you buy with a 10-minute meet and greet for $100 which is refundable if you choose to go ahead. Just like most other things in life there is also on and off peak costs. Peak Intimacy (which involves actual sex) is $575 an hour and social companionship is $375. While off peak intimacy is $475 and social companionship is $325.
As women, we fight for equal rights and to be seen on a par with men. So why shouldn't our sexual desires also be accepted the same? We need to get over that old fashioned idea that men want sex more than women.
I'm still not sure if I would put my hand in my wallet to pay a man for sex (that's just a personal choice), but after my time with Spencer, Regina and Anna I definitely have a new understanding and appreciation for those who do.
And I might save my pennies and buy a few less shoes just in case I decide to change my mind.
Dr Nikki Goldstein is a sexologist and the author of the book #singlebutdating.