She says now: “If he pretended to fancy me when we were together and just slept with me for money, does that make him a prostitute – or just a lying bastard?” The markets for prostitution have expanded rapidly since poorer regions in the Caribbean, Asia and Africa have become popular with well-off tourists from the west in recent decades.
“[Chris] moved into my hotel room with me and we had wild sex every night,” Barbara says.“At first he insisted on paying for everything, but after a couple of days he said he was owed money by a business contact and I had to bankroll him until it came through.” Barbara is on an administrator’s salary in the UK but one night in her 0 hotel would cost a porter four weeks’ wages.Her destination was an all-inclusive resort in Negril, on the western tip of Jamaica, one of the biggest destinations for female sex tourism. – there he was,” she tells me over the phone from her home town of Sheffield. His locks were down his back and his legs were like a footballer’s.I thought, ‘Why is he looking at me like he fancies me?The stereotypical image of the sex tourist is a western man who travels to Thailand or the Philippines to pay for sex with young women and children.
But in the past three decades the numbers of women travelling primarily for sex with local men is thought to have increased significantly, according to an investigation by Reuters.The men are invariably from impoverished families, have little or no education and are sometimes illiterate.Over the past decade, I have been researching the increase in female sex tourism in underdeveloped and poorer countries.Not one of the women used the phrase “sex tourism” but most of them discussed how they had sent money to their “boyfriends” to pay an urgent debt or to rent accommodation in time for their next visit.None would give me her full name, because their friends and family members are not aware that they have been going abroad for intergenerational sex.The most popular depiction of romance tourism is the 1989 film Shirley Valentine, in which the central character travels to a Greek island craving love and attention.