THE RISE OF SEX TOURISM FOR WOMEN – If the words ‘sex’ and ‘tourism’ are bound together it notably conjures up images of aging, fat, bald men jetting off to destinations such as Thailand or the Philippines.
It is of course no secret that more and more aging men travel to destinations to enjoy the carnal pleasures of young women but on the darker side there are those who seek out and engage in sexual activities with children.
It must be said that the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam have taken notable steps in tackling such a vile trade but despite their efforts it still continues today where children as young as four are sold to satisfy the sexual demands of the few for money.
Of course not all men travel to these destinations with such intent but they are certainly looking for sex and the bars across Thailand or the Philippines is certainly a well know and well travel destination for many.
The idea of women traveling abroad for sex, for some, might sound a little too farfetched; after all women are often viewed as the more virtuous of the sexes and often those with far more self control.
However contrary to belief the sex tourism industry for women is in fact highly lucrative; not just for the tour operators for also for the young male prostitutes that ply their trade.
Recent research suggests that more and more single middle-aged women are now flying abroad to tropical destinations such as Gambia and the Dominican Republic in order to indulge in their sexual fantasies for a week or two.
Unlike their male counterparts the research shows that most women are looking more for romance whereas most males are looking to sleep with multiple partners during their holiday.
The pendulum does of course swing both ways and there are plenty of men who have visited destinations such as Thailand and developed a romantic, or so they assume, relationship with a prostitute.
As with both male and female these holiday romances are more to do with cash; that is the prostitute is not really interest in forming a long-term relationship; despite what the tourist may be thinking.
It is no secret that many ‘bargirls’, the term used for prostitutes in Thailand, may have up to ten foreign boyfriends. The ruse is that the girl provides a sob story and promises her new lover to go home. In reality she is emailing up to ten boyfriends a month, all of whom are sending her money and she is still working in the bar looking for the next paying customer.
Women often find themselves in the same situation and research suggests this is often more likely due to most looking for a romantic relationship.
In a recent article in the New Statesmen the author’s research suggested that most women were not aware, at least at the beginning of meeting their new lover, that he was in fact a prostitute.
According to the women questioned none of them would use the phrase ‘sex tourism’ but they openly admitted to sending their lovers money on a regular basis after returning home due to their belief they were now in a relationship.
Of course we still have the stereotypical image that sex tourism is the reserve of men but this simply isn’t true. Many travel agents now purposely ‘sex up’ their glossy brochures specifically targeted at women over 50 with innuendos of the ultimate sexual experience.
The issue with sex tourism, whether it is geared towards men or women, still carries the stigma of being rather taboo and extremely seedy.
In the last 30 years there has been a marked increase in the number of women over the age of 50 traveling abroad with the express intend of having sex with young local guys and more hotels, even the most up market of them, readily accept this type of tourism; it does after all turn a very nice profit.
I don’t think we should judge either the men or women who travel for sex or romance for it is a fact that we all grow old and we all crave some type of relationship and sex play a good part in it; that is if the relationship is a healthy one.
What we do need to consider are the pitfalls; of which engaging in a long-distance relationship has many. Mostly the prostitutes are not looking for a long-term relationship nor do they consider their time spent with the tourist as romance but rather a business transaction in which one receives a certain amount of sexual pleasure whilst the other receives money.