Sex tourism in the modern world takes three forms. The first is a sort of legitimate jurisdictional arbitrage — traveling to a place where something (usually prostitution) is legal, from somewhere it isn’t. Amsterdam and rural Nevada are just two of the places that see this sort of sex tourism.
The second sort you could call “illegitimate jurisdictional arbitrage” — seeking out jurisdictions where illegal behavior is more likely to be overlooked. There’s some disgusting and terrible stuff in this category.
Third, and by far the most common, simply involves taking advantage of the fact that “money talks” in the game of sexual competition, by means of travel to jurisdictions that are relative poorer than one’s own. Many a prosperous young man traveling in Eastern Europe has had a babushka ask him if he needs a wife, or had a devushka in a club make a similar but more immediate proposition. Certain places in Central America are notorious among Norteamericano “players” — who’ve learned that, if they show up for a winter vacation flush and ready to party, it’s not hard to attract a stunning and friendly girlfriend for as many days as the party lasts. And so on. Friendly local girls coming out of the woodwork wherever a (relatively) wealthy traveler goes are, frankly, as old as travel itself.
Normally, however, one thinks of sexual tourists as being men. Which brings us to this Reuters report on women traveling to Kenya to enjoy the company of younger men:
MOMBASA, Kenya (Reuters) – Bethan, 56, lives in southern England on the same street as best friend Allie, 64.
They are on their first holiday to Kenya, a country they say is “just full of big young boys who like us older girls”.
Hard figures are difficult to come by, but local people on the coast estimate that as many as one in five single women visiting from rich countries are in search of sex.
Allie and Bethan — who both declined to give their full names — said they planned to spend a whole month touring Kenya’s palm-fringed beaches.
The white beaches of the Indian Ocean coast stretched before the friends as they both walked arm-in-arm with young African men, Allie resting her white haired-head on the shoulder of her companion, a six-foot-four 23-year-old from the Maasai tribe.
He wore new sunglasses he said were a gift from her.
“We both get something we want — where’s the negative?” Allie asked in a bar later, nursing a strong, golden cocktail.
She was still wearing her bikini top, having just pulled on a pair of jeans and a necklace of traditional African beads.
Bethan sipped the same local drink: a powerful mix of honey, fresh limes and vodka known locally as “Dawa”, or “medicine”.
She kept one eye on her date — a 20-year-old playing pool, a red bandana tying back dreadlocks and new-looking sports shoes on his feet.
He looked up and came to join her at the table, kissing her, then collecting more coins for the pool game.
Obvious in the bars and on the sand once the sun goes down are thousands of elderly white women hoping for romantic, and legal, encounters with much younger Kenyan men.
They go dining at fine restaurants, then dancing, and back to expensive hotel rooms overlooking the coast.
Many of the visitors are on the lookout for men like Joseph.
Flashing a dazzling smile and built like an Olympic basketball star, the 22-year-old said he has slept with more than 100 white women, most of them 30 years his senior.
“When I go into the clubs, those are the only women I look for now,” he told Reuters. “I get to live like the rich mzungus (white people) who come here from rich countries, staying in the best hotels and just having my fun.”
At one club, a group of about 25 dancing men — most of them Joseph look-alikes — edge closer and closer to a crowd of more than a dozen white women, all in their autumn years.
“It’s not love, obviously. I didn’t come here looking for a husband,” Bethan said over a pounding beat from the speakers.
“It’s a social arrangement. I buy him a nice shirt and we go out for dinner. For as long as he stays with me he doesn’t pay for anything, and I get what I want — a good time. How is that different from a man buying a young girl dinner?”