Data covering the years to and showing monthly, daily and hourly usage were gained through different log file analysis tools. Three different focus groups discussed the .
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Data analysis revealed that johns frequent their web-forums mostly on late Monday afternoons, preferably between 5 p. Subsequently, clients of sex workers in Germany started to set up Internet forums to communicate and report their experiences in commercial sex 1. Non-commercial forums, for example www. The intention of both kinds of web-forums is to provide a platform to exchange information and to discuss activities regarding prostitution or other commercial sex. In pre-Internet times and even in the recent past, johns were often regarded as inaccessible for scientific research Steffan, Nowadays, the above mentioned web-forums allow for new scientific approaches.
Even though a head count of sex workers or johns using those web-forums is not obtainable due to the virtual nature of the Internet, it is argued that johns represent average men Campbell, ; Steffan, ; Weitzer, Through their web-forums, johns have become more visible in their behavior and more accessible for research. In Germany, limited research has been done on johns in general and even less is known about their Internet use.
By using their ladies forum wiesbaden, johns disclose many different aspects of how they organize their hobby. It also offers us opportunities for providing targeted and timely information and education on sexual health. Methods As many forums in the Internet web-forums for johns also provide basic data about their website traffic on their public websites.
For example, information about the of users of these forums is generated automatically and advertised within the forums. Other statistical information such as most or least frequented times are not published.
Which left us with the problem of how to answer our most important question: When do most johns use their forums? Reflecting the reasons for their behavior with the help of focus groups could provide options for addressing certain issues. As such issues can vary, we decided to install focus groups not only comprising clients, but also persons who deal with them professionally: sex workers and social workers in health promoting positions.
We decided to choose web-forums with a distinct of users and which cover different regions. In order to comply with ethical questions, we only included web-forums with webmasters and administrators who offered contact to and cooperation with their community: Bordellcommunity www.
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They also helped in recruiting focus group members. In order to avoid biased data, we decided to use a dual approach. One approach was the analysis of data provided by the Internet project Sexsicher, the other approach was to review the data made available by the webmasters of the selected web-forums.
Thus, the following findings are based upon log file data provided by the German Internet project Sexsicher www. The data have been cross checked by log file data from selected web-forums in Germany. The core of the investigation was conducted in and included data from and Ina review of the data of the year confirmed the findings. Figure 1. Sexsicher automatically generates continuous surveys of the traffic on its websites. Statistics commonly reported by Webalizer include a summary report for twelve months as well as detailed monthly reports.
Data provided by Webalizer for Sexsicher allow a distinction of specific time frames. There are yearly summaries as well as monthly surveys with more details. An approach to examine the times when clients use web-forums is to find out whether there are certain months in which usage is higher or lower. Therefore, the provided data were transcribed for hits by Webalizer for monthly usage of three years:and Webalizer, into an Excel sheet; cf.
In order to gain ificant and reliable data for more detailed investigation, we also looked at the monthly reports.
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As we found that all months show similar data, we decided to concentrate on a winter month and a summer month with their different implications on leisure activities. As March and August are months that represent distinctive seasonal attributes of the German calendar, e. March as a winter month has an average ladies forum wiesbaden public holidays in Germany; August as a summer month is characterized by more opportunities for outdoor activities. The analysis of data provided by Sexsicher allows for detecting general tendencies.
This deductive method can be used to understand how johns use their forums, how they are organized and with which activities they occupy themselves. Their forums were also monitored by Webalizer. The routines of the analytic software Webalizer monitor primarily the s of hits on certain websites.
As those can be caused by people as well as computer programs, a cross check with another log files analysis program, Google Analytics www. This program focuses on visits rather than hits. All three groups looked at the questions on when, where and how johns plan their prostitution related activities. The discussion improved our understanding of johns, as we learned more about how their behavior is organized. A third group gathered five social workers and sexual health experts, e. Each member of the three focus groups gave informed consent to participate in the focus groups.
All groups were moderated by the first author, a year old female journalist with more than twenty years of professional experience in interviewing and working with focus groups. The discussions were conducted iteratively according to the grounded theory approach. Thereafter they were informed about the of the log file data analysis. Subsequently, the groups discussed potential reasons and the circumstances that lead to certain peaks. Six out of nine ladies forum wiesbaden web-forum users followed the invitation; two dropped out because of other appointments, another one because of health reasons.
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Thus they could be identified as active users. All confirmed to be clients of sex workers in real life as well. They spent 2.
Four of the invited six female sex workers ed the second focus group meeting. They were recruited through personal contacts established by the Internet project Sexsicher. Two sex workers could not attend the focus group due to travel problems. The participating four sex workers had a migrant background two from Eastern Europe, one from Southern Europe, one from Latin America. In this paper they are referred to by the initials of their working names D, L, M, Y. All had formal education, they all spoke, read, and some also wrote German.
All were engaged for more than two years as sex workers and all of them used the Internet to advertise their services. M, from Ukraine, worked at a sauna club. Her services were advertised online by the club, on her own home and on several market place websites. D, from Latin America, worked with some colleagues in an apartment.
Her services were advertised on her own website and on two online market places; she also used printed in local newspapers. They spent two hours in the focus group discussion. In addition to the focus groups of johns and sex workers a third focus group was established.
The members of this group work with and for sex workers and johns as social workers in the field of sexual health promotion. The five members of the focus group were three women and two men, also recruited through the project Sexsicher. They are referred to by their initials.
Planning for pleasure: time patterns in the use of internet forums of female sex workers' clients in germany
All reported frequent contact to sex workers as well as their clients. In order to estimate how many users frequent the selected forums at all, we looked at two parameters: registered users and online users at a randomly chosen point in time.
Both s are automatically generated and published within the forums, they mark the highest possible registered and the minimum online at the same time of users. Figure 2.
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Outer circle:registered users, inner circle: 5, online users. Figure 2 shows a total ofregistered users of which 5, users were online at the same time data generated on September 7th The graph illustrates that all forums were actively used by different fractions of registered users. Log files of the Internet project Sexsicher delivered basic data for our study. Referrer lists of Sexsicher show a ranking which gives the of hits in absolute s of the top 30 referring Uniform Resource Locators URL.
This allowed us to analyze in absolute s and percentage where users came from when entering the Sexsicher websites. Figure 3. Top Referrers to Sexsicher. The graph in figure 4 shows traffic data generated by Webalizer for Sexsicher for the yearsand The lines illustrate that traffic varied among the months; they show no consistent pattern or trend.
Monthly usage of Sexsicher by years Webalizer, A month with a fairly high usage in one year April can be a month with comparably little usage in another year April A month with the least hits in one year May can be a month with an average use during another year May and May Figure 4 shows that users of web-forums did not favor or avoid any certain months. Evaluating Webalizer data for daily usage we discovered that Mondays were the most frequented days of the week.
Webalizer creates three rows of columns for each day. The top row shows the of s bright bluefiles dark blue and hits green that have been requested. The middle row shows how many sites orange and visits yellow have been counted.