Skip to comments.Sex tourism as economic aid
Posted on 07/14/2003 12:49:12 PM PDT by presidio9
Two flights are due into Montego Bay Airport, one from Toronto, the other from London. Clinton waits on the beach for the new arrivals, hoping that one of them will bring him good fortune. "I look for the milk bottles," he says, explaining how ultra-white skin is a giveaway, "the ones who've just arrived. Milk bottles that need filling ..."
Negril, with its 11-kilometre stretch of pristine sand and turquoise sea, attracts the majority of Jamaica's 1.3 million tourists every year, primarily from the United States, Canada and Europe. It is known as a "swinging" resort.
Many white Western women come to Negril for precisely that. Clinton is one of hundreds of young men working the beach and, like most of the "beach boys", he is desperately poor. His primary income comes from accompanying lone female travellers who want sex with Jamaican men.
He lives with his family in a shack with no electricity or running water. In contrast, the hotels and apartments that line the beach are luxurious, with rooms costing $US200 ($300) a night. While some beach boys may be content to have their meals paid for, the goal is marriage to a Westerner and a ticket out of poverty.
Clinton has a "regular girlfriend", a 45-year-old Canadian professional who comes to see him four times a year. "She's a good friend and she looks after me. Sends me money when I can't pay my rent." Clinton says he works "in the tourist industry" and won't admit he is a beach boy. "If I take a tourist out, and she wants to help me out as a friend, give me money and let me stay with her in the hotel, what's wrong with that? Of course I have sex with them, but that's because I'm not gay - I like women."
Clinton's current "girlfriend" is a 50-year-old grandmother from the US, whom he met the day before.
Negril, like some resorts in the Dominican Republic and Cuba, is known as a place where white middle-aged women come in search of what they call the "big bamboo". British researchers Jacqueline Sanchez Taylor and Julia O'Connell Davidson found that the usual analysis of sex tourism did not allow for the possibility of women as buyers of sex, because "prostitute-users are, by definition, male, and this assumption is shared by many researchers and theorists".
The two researchers interviewed 240 women holidaying in Negril and two similar resorts in the Dominican Republic. Almost a third of the interviewees had engaged in sexual relationships with local men during their holiday. Though 60 per cent admitted to certain "economic elements" to their liaisons, they did not perceive the encounters as prostitute-client transactions, nor did they view their sexual partners as prostitutes.
Those who admit to coming to Negril for sex believe they are helping the men and the local economy by giving them money and gifts.
HIV and AIDS figures reflect the fact that condom use by the beach boys is sporadic. In the tourist areas, the number of those infected is higher than elsewhere on the island. Last year, an estimated 20,000 adults and children out of a population of 2.6 million were living with AIDS or HIV - a figure that had more than doubled in two years.
Ms Sanchez Taylor and Ms O'Connell Davidson suggest that the reason many female tourists are able to delude themselves into believing they are not prostitute users lies in their racialised power over the men: "Racist ideas about black men being hypersexual and unable to control their sexuality enable them to explain to themselves why such young and desirable men would be eager for sex with older and/or overweight women, without having to think that their partners are interested in them only for economic reasons."
Unless the women referred to in this article are looking for danger, rather than looking for sex, this behavior does not make any sense.
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There was definitely a racist element to it, at least for her.
Needless to say, I haven't tried to get any affection from her since then(it's been a couple years) and we rarely talk. I just keep thinking "third world". Smaaaaaaaart.
And she did her undergrad at Tulane, four states from home in New Orleans, of all places.
Actually she was 22 at the time. And very, very good-looking. That was just ~one~ of the little things she did. Oh, the pictures I could post ....
But without going all into the ~real~ issues she was playing out, I will tell you her exact words were that she "...could never have sex with an American black, the way the are...the way they act...it's just different outside America." Which was all really just background noise embedded the larger opera she was writing for herself. Or, really, that someone somewhere had written for her.
Like I said in the original post, there was definitely a racial element to it for her and I really think the point was more telling me about it than anything else. You had to be there, her background and her perception of me and our relationship and all.
All you programmers and database admins get to the gym and start looking good for those Indian and Chinese women.
LOL! Welcome to my life.
Ofcourse, the job situation is not far from our minds, is it?