The dominant cultural narrative of sex-selling involves female sellers and male buyers, consistent with governing notions of sexual desire and sexual performance more generally. Likewise, needing and receiving care is conventionally coded as feminine. Analysis of semi-structured qualitative interviews with 21 cisgender male sex sellers in Denmark leads us to consider how storylines and discursive boundaries having to do with sex work, sexuality, gender, and care shape narrative imagination in ways that inhibit the participation of male sex sellers in programs that provide the kind of care they may need. Respondents described different experiences of and pathways into sex work. However, both respondents who enjoyed selling sex as well as respondents who suffered found it difficult to imagine themselves as participants in service-providing programs. Rather, they deemed programs designed to provide care and support to sex sellers the exclusive province of women. The paper clarifies the importance of cultivating narrative imagination among male sex sellers, policymakers, and care providers in order to develop and deliver more adequate policies and effective programs for male sex sellers in need of care.
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Published inSexuality Research and Social policy