In addition to money or other compensation, other motives for selling sex may be important in a welfare country such as Sweden. The aim of this study was to carry out an exploratory investigation of adolescents’ motives for selling sex in a population-based survey in Sweden. A total of 5839 adolescents from the third year of Swedish high school, mean age 18.0 years, participated in the study. The response rate was 59.7% and 51 students (0.9%) reported having sold sex. Exploratory factor analysis and hierarchical cluster analysis were used to identify groups of adolescents according to underlying motives for selling sex. Further analyses were carried out for characteristics of selling sex and risk factors. Three groups of adolescents were categorized according to their motives for selling sex: Adolescents reporting; 1) Emotional reasons, being at a greater risk of sexual abuse, using sex as a means of self-injury and having a non-heterosexual orientation. 2) Material but no Emotional reasons, who more often receive money as compensation and selling sex to a person over 25 years of age, and 3) Pleasure or no underlying motive for selling sex reported, who were mostly heterosexual males selling sex to a person under 25 years of age, the buyer was not known from the Internet, the reward was seldom money and this group was less exposed to penetrative sexual abuse or using sex as a means of self-injury. In conclusion, adolescents selling sex are a heterogeneous group in regard to underlying motives.