(S)ex-otic Vacations

[My 350 word piece for the magazine portfolio submitted last semester]

Every year more British women head to foreign destinations with the aim of having sex with local men. With over 2.2 million divorced women in UK and over twenty percent of women single over the age of 20, is sex tourism here to stay?

The first time Sarah Cahill* slept with Daniel, it was like the scene in ‘From Here to Eternity’, when Burt Lancaster kissed Deborah Kerr. Cahill and Daniel were on a deserted beach in the Cayman Islands with the sun setting behind green, lush mountains and crystal clear waves gently lapping over their legs. She said it was the most erotic moment of her life. “On our first night together, I had four orgasms.”

Their relationship lasted five days.

Cahill, 38, from Solihull, West Midlands, is only one among 600,000 women, who, in the last three decades, have had sex with local men in far-flung destinations.

Women said travel sex helped them through difficult times in their lives, which could be one of the reasons behind this growing trend. Jeannette Belliveau, 55, the American author of Romance on the Road, said in an interview with Eve magazine: “It healed me after a painful divorce.”

Being sex tourists give women a sense of power. “It’s a great head-rush to be able to say: ‘right then, tonight…we’re going to have sex. Not one of my holiday boyfriends has ever disagreed” said Carol Wyatt*, 42, from Birmingham.

However, the dark side of travel sex exists. Women end up paying lunch bills or buy clothes and mobile phones for their exotic lovers. Jacqueline Sanchez Taylor, a sociologist at Leeds University who has interviewed hundreds of women who have travelled to the Caribbean for sex, says 60% of the women she spoke to admitted to “economic elements” to their affairs.

Cahill says she buys things for the men she sleeps with simply because they’re poor. “If I was at home and seeing a bloke with no money, no one would bat an eyelid if I paid for him in a restaurant or bought him the odd pair of trousers.”

Another downside is the worry that a rise in female sex tourism will increase the number of cases of HIV and sexually transmitted diseases in the UK by British female tourists becoming infected and passing it on to their UK partners.

With the number of female sex tourists increasing, sex tourism looks like it’s here to stay.

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2 thoughts on “(S)ex-otic Vacations

  1. The economic elements are hardly a ‘dark’ element to sex tourism, so I disagree with your description. However the concern of STDs is of course a serious one. But if someone is in the situation of having unsafe sex in a different country, they’re probably also having unsafe sex at home. So I don’t think the STDs are a direct reason for spreading these diseases at home- they would’ve been spread anyway.

  2. I forgot to add- I disagree with the word ‘dark’ because it makes it sound so sinister. Spending money on a temporary boyfriend is not something that causes horror 😛 And it is, of course, completely done by choice.

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