Female Sex Tourism Is On The Rise, But Do They Really Know The Deal?
When we think of sex tourism, the first thing we envision is the horny, and possibly desperate, older gentleman heading off to Thailand to buy himself a young and agreeable bride. But did you know that there is a growing trend for female sex tourism? Women heading off to sunnier climates and paying the local men for sex. But is it as clear cut as it seems?
Also known by the softer term ‘Romance Travel’, the average female sex tourist comes from Europe and North America and is travelling alone or with her female friends. These women are white and middle-aged and often have a history of unhappy romantic relationships back at home, who head to popular vacation spots, hoping for a holiday romance.
They get the attention and excitement that they crave, but what they may not realise it that they have entered into a prostitution deal. The woman, unwittingly pays to spend time with her ‘boyfriend’ while she is on holiday and then ends up sending her ‘love’ further money when she returns home for ‘urgent expenses’.
But what about the men they are jetting off to meet and ultimately trade goods and money for sex? Well in Bali they are known as ‘Kuta Cowboys’, in the Caribbean they are known as ‘Rastitutes’ or ‘Beach Boys’, in Gambia they are called ‘Bumster’, and in the Dominican Republic they are referred to as ‘Sanky Pankies’.
These men usually come from impoverished background ad have little or no education, sometimes being illiterate. They often consider themselves to be male prostitutes to the women that come to the resorts as customers, but the buyer usually is not in the know.
However, there are some women who know exactly what they are in for and there is an increasing number of women who travel primarily to have sex for the local men, and they are willing to pay for it. As a result, female sex tourism has become far less stigmatised and even holiday operators are making subtle references in their promotional materials. References such as ‘fantasy island’ are used as a nod to the young, handsome locals willing to please the lonely tourists…for a price.
It is estimated that each year around 600,000 women from the Western World will engage in sex tourism, however, it may be a whole lot more than that, given that few are likely to admit to travelling abroad for sex. A survey in 2001, which interviewed 240 women in notorious sex tourism resorts, revealed that almost a third had enjoyed some nocturnal activities with the local men and 60% of these women said their was and ‘economic element’ to their relationship. Despite this, none of the women would classify themselves as sex tourists.
Women who are considering engaging in a little bit of sex tourism can learn of other women’s experiences in an informative article by British newspaper, the Daily Mail.