According to the beach boys, there is little shame or stigma in selling sex to older white female tourists, and some claim earning money this way affirms their masculinity (photo from the 2012 film Paradise Love) Barbara is one such woman.
In her late 50s and divorced, she travelled to Jamaica for her first holiday alone last winter.
‘I ended up paying for everything and once, when I refused, he told me he could pick up any white woman he wanted who would be happy to give him money.’It is not just sex the women are seeking, though.
Academic researchers often class women such as Barbara as ‘romance tourists’, as they usually believe the men they meet on holiday are in love with them.
When I asked why he ‘dated’ only older women, he said: ‘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.’Barbara and Linda are in good company.
At the same time, the comments I heard in Jamaica about the women seen with younger men were often misogynistic and cruel — there is far more acceptance of older, obese men partnering conventionally attractive younger women than the reverse.
Racial difference plays a significant role in the female sex tourist experience.
White women who would never consider being openly involved with a young black man back home feel free to do so while travelling and often use this as an example of their ‘anti-racism’.
Uniformed security personnel rounded up obvious-looking bumsters, shaved off their dreadlocks and began routinely patrolling the tourist areas along the coast.
Each year, as many as 600,000 women from Western countries are said to engage in sex tourism.
(The statistics in this area are little better than guesswork, given that few would confess to engaging in the practice in a self-reporting survey, but the figures for men are thought to be many times greater.)In 2001, research based on 240 interviews with women on the beaches of Negril and two similar resorts in the Dominican Republic suggested that almost a third had engaged in sexual relationships with local men in the course of their holiday.