Does Sex Tourism Save Lives?

Posted on 06. Jun, 2012 by in colombia, latin america, peru

If you missed the last news cycle, there was a scandal involving US Secret Service agents and prostitutes in Cartagena during work leading up to the 2012 Summit of the Americas. On the scandal, I’ll only echo Senator Susan Collins:

[I]t is basic ‘counterintelligence 101’ that Secret Service personnel and others holding sensitive positions of trust in the U.S. government should avoid any situation that could provide a foreign intelligence or security service or criminal gangs with the means of exerting coercion or blackmail. Yet two of the primary means of entrapment — sexual lures and alcohol — were both present here in abundance.

Dania Suarez, Cartagena whore.

After an avalanche of talking heads and opinion, however, I’ll say more. This from a Fox News op-ed on the scandal:

In an effort to support “consensual prostitution,” the media has plastered photos of Dania, the most famous “escort” involved in the secret service scandal, dressed in sexy outfits and sporting a dazzling smile, on the covers of newspapers and magazines.

The media’s trying to support consensual prostitution? Since when? Everything I’ve read lays the blame on poverty and human trafficking. Who really believes “the media” has any interest whatsoever in supporting consensual prostitution? And who puts “consensual prostitution” in quotes? If anything sells more newspapers and keeps viewers tuned to a show, it’s scandalous fare like human trafficking and poverty. That the media is trying to “support” consensual prostitution is the silliest line to come out of this. Exactly what you’d expect from a Fox News columnist.

And they didn’t choose Dania because she’s a high-class ho – they chose her because she was at the heart of the controversy! It’s not an effort or conspiracy. She was the whore who demanded EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS and refused to leave the hotel room, causing police to be called. It’s just a coincidence Dania isn’t a poverty prostitute (she was charging EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS).

From Mike’s Bogota Blog:

An English friend who works with girls who’ve worked as prostitutes says that in nearly every case the girls suffer emotional and physical harm. In fact, he says, most are forced into the business by some sort of emotional trauma.

“Becoming a prostitute isn’t a choice like ‘should I become a secretary, a stewardess or a prostitute?’ he says.

But how many sex workers are looking to quit? How many need a gringo’s help to quit? Clearly, his sample is incredibly biased toward women who, for whatever reason, need a gringo’s help to stop working as sex workers. Is that a representative sample of all sex workers? Definitely not.

Later in that article:

He believes that buying sex should be illegal, but selling it permitted, since the seller is usually victimized in some way.

Is that a typo? I studied business and I don’t understand how to pull one off without the other. Maybe because I’m a product of public school, but can somebody explain in the comments how exactly somebody can sell something without somebody buying it?

This CR op-ed asserts:

This combination of a poor population and a constant stream of wealthy visitors creates the prime conditions for sex tourism. Yes, the lax laws and wide acceptance of prostitution make the purchase of sex a much more accessible and simple enterprise in Cartagena than in other places around the world. But that has very little to do with the reasons why women are selling their bodies, and the reasons men are buying them …

[T]he majority of women working in prostitution around the world are doing it because they are struggling to survive…

There’s a qualifier about lax laws and wide acceptance, but the piece claims those reasons are less relevant than the mix of poverty and wealthy visitors. This is an easy conclusion to come to, but it doesn’t stand up to a little scrutiny. Here are 3 quick examples that render that thesis as worth little more than guesswork:

  1. Post-war Europe and Vietnam vs. Iraq and Afghanistan
  2. Cartagena vs. Cusco
  3. Thailand’s Lack of Poverty

Post-war Europe and Vietnam vs. Iraq and Afghanistan

War poverty is the truly ideal situation for prostitution. You have a giant number of “wealthy visitors” who are overwhelmingly male, hard-up, earning first-world middle-class salaries while being provided food and shelter, and facing death every day. They’re stationed in a war-torn region with high poverty and desperate women whose men have died.

The first glaring anomaly to the poverty-wealthy visitors predictor were all my American military buddies’ stories from Iraq and Afghanistan. They had the worst opinion of both countries – piss-poor people, backwards culture, etc. And there was no fun to be had. They sit on base every day with nothing to do. There’s no partying or whoremongering. The only guys getting laid are the ones banging female soldiers.

This is the first time in modern American war history where this was the case. You can’t read far into Lost Generation literature without coming upon the whoremongering in Europe. Specifically France. Unlike Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan however, post-war European countries like Italy and France were only faced with situational poverty. Yet they quickly embraced prostitution. On the other end of the spectrum, despite generational and institutional poverty, Iraq and Afghanistan have resisted whoring their women.

Vietnam prostitution was so prevalent there were VD crises on bases, inspiring the US military to make propaganda videos warning men to steer clear. Here’s a video of the infamous Cam Ranh Bay Meat Market:

Unfortunately for the 21st century war veterans, there was no Mosul Meat Market. When all the movies on Iraq and Afghanistan are made, there will be no Me So Horny scenes. While Vietnam inspired the award-winning play Miss Saigon, don’t bet on Miss Baghdad or Miss Kabul to come to a theater near you.

How have Iraq and Afghanistan thwarted the huge demand from hard-up American soldiers for pussy from meeting the huge demand from local women for US dollars? Clearly the answer is that Iraq and Afghanistan are Islamic law societies that prohibit prostitution and even drinking. This powerful cultural factor – religion – has handily trumped economics.

Cartagena vs. Cusco

111,465 tourists visited Cartagena between January and August in 2010. If you calculate tourists / day (500-600), then whether or not that 111,465 includes August, tourism to Cartagena is dwarfed by tourism to Cusco, Peru. Cusco is the starting point for tourists visiting Machu Picchu. The Peruvian government limits the number of visitors to Machu Picchu to 2500 / day. I haven’t met anyone who goes to Machu Picchu twice on the same trip, so where 2500 unique visitors would be a great day in Cartagena, it’s an average day in Cusco.

colombian-cupid-buttonAlso, many Cartagena tourists are passengers on cruise ships who stop only for the day. Many never spend the night. On the other hand, you can’t fly into Cusco and do Machu Picchu in just a day. Peru designed the trip so tourists have to spend at least a few days in the area, spending money.

Peru is a hotbed of growth stunting – when children don’t grow to their natural height because of malnutrition. 30% of Peruvian children (44% in rural areas) suffer from stunting. In addition to stunting, Peru has one of the highest malnutrition fatality rates in Latin America. Poverty in Peru is centered around rural, indigenous populations. Cusco is the heart of the rural and indigenous Peruvians. It was the capital of the Incan empire. If any city were ripe for sex tourism according to the poverty-wealthy tourists guesswork, it’d be Cusco.

Cusco is undoubtedly the biggest tourist trap I’ve ever visited. You’ll constantly be hounded to buy all kinds of things: paintings, t-shirts, food, gadgets, handbags, keychains, tours, and more. You’ll say “No” at least twenty times every day. There are even hungry panhandlers, but there’s one thing you won’t be offered: sex. In all the days I spent in Cusco on two different trips, I was never solicited by whores or procurers (the ‘chicas, chicas’ guys). In all the time I spent living in Peru, meeting tourists, and fielding emails from whoremongers, I’ve never even heard of a whorehouse in Cusco. I’m sure they exist, but I haven’t heard of them nor met anyone who’s been to one.

I emailed Ward from Life in Peru, who’s lived in Cusco for almost five years. I asked him about prostitution in Cusco and, specifically, why doesn’t there seem to be any?

Ward’s words:

I’ve been to Cartagena a few times and prostitution seems to be everywhere, in Cuzco I don’t see anything like that out in the open.

When we go out (which isn’t all that often since we have the baby) it seems like there are a lot of local girls who are out to have fun and maybe meet some gringo, but you don’t see prostitution.

There are some brothels in Cuzco near the industrial park by the airport (probably in other areas too) but I imagine mostly locals go there. I only happened to pass by there one night on the way back from a friend’s house and it didn’t look like the part of the city where I would want to hang out at night. Also, one girl in my neighborhood is said to be a “working girl,” but it’s just whispers behind her back. When you see her you might think it could be true, but not in the obvious way like you see in Cartagena.

My only theory is that maybe the “serranos” are more prude than others. I know it’s bad to stereotype, but I would say on average Cusqueñas tend to put up a front of proper / prudeness. I always thought that when I was teaching. Sometimes I would make a risque comment and all the girls in the room would react in a very pretentious “I’m so offended” kind of way.

By the way I like the idea of Cuzco not being seen as a destination for sex tourism (like say Thailand).

Despite similar poverty and more tourism in another Latin American nation where prostitution is legal, whores are hard to find in Cusco. As Ward confirms, Peruvian culture – specifically the poorest, indigenous Peruvians (AKA serranos, cholos, indios, Incas) – is more conservative than Colombian culture.

Thailand: The Sex Tourism Capital of the World’s Low Rate of Poverty

At 8.1%, Thailand’s poverty rate is so low it’s in striking distance of being called a developed economy. By some methodologies, poverty in Thailand is lower than in the US and UK. However, Bangkok is the world’s sex tourism capital.

From San Francisco to Amsterdam, you can find “Thai massage” parlors and Thai whores. Despite its being the world’s sex tourism destination, this un-impoverished nation exports whores. Thailand over-supplies demand. Not only does Thailand supply its globally-dominating domestic sex tourism market AND export Thai females into prostitution, the country also has the infamous ladyboys.

Why does this country over-supply sex workers with such a low rate of poverty? Thai attitudes toward sex are more lax than anywhere in the world, so much so that this Thai high school gave ladyboys their own bathroom – a government sanctioning of underage Thai boys becoming transvestites. Many Thai people believe prostitution keeps rape and sexual assault down. Others don’t view it as a moral issue, like Americans view exercise.

Philippines is a close second for sex tourism in Asia. In the same region as Thailand and the Philippines is one of the seven nations home to 65% of the world’s hungry: Indonesia (along with India, China, Congo, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Ethiopia). Why isn’t Indonesia a sex tourism destination, being as poverty stricken as it is, while the un-impoverished Thailand is? Again, Islam. Very different attitudes toward sex and morality.

Poverty Prostitutes in Colombia

At my pollo asado place at Calle 50 and Caracas, I noticed the same two employees work every day. They confirmed they work every day, 11 am – 11 pm. Colombia’s minimum wage is 535,000 pesos / month. Depending on how many days off a worker has, it’s safe to say no- to low-skilled laborers in Colombia earn 20,000 pesos a day ($11).

The poverty prostitutes I’ve met charge 20,000 pesos for one date. The daily wage for most Colombians is what a poverty prostitute makes with one client. A second client doubles the daily minimum wage. It’s more money, and it’s easier money.

So how do we define a poverty prostitute? Do her children have to be facing malnutrition and growth stunting? I see “Se Necesita” signs almost every day. They’re shit jobs, but I see them every day. If a lower estrato woman with children chooses to be a prostitute over toiling in an arepa bakery, tienda, or factory, does that qualify as a poverty prostitute? If she’d rather party and have sex than work long hours for little money (as over 60% of Colombians do), is that poverty prostitution?

I’m not saying many Colombian prostitutes aren’t facing dire situations. But if we’re going to lay the blame on poverty, first we have to define a poverty prostitute. Does she have to be facing malnutrition or stunting? Or does opting for sex work over baking arepas and sorting flowers count?

Next, if you’re going to blame poverty, you can’t be a lazy intellectual. Follow your argument through. Take the next step on the logic tree and conclude that sex tourism saves lives. Because without it, wouldn’t those struggling-to-survive prostitutes not survive?


Does Sex Tourism Save Lives?

I had long contemplated an article titled “In Defense of Sex Tourism,” but I just couldn’t work it out in my head. Every time I thought about it, I thought it indefensible. I wouldn’t want to promote sex tourism in a city I managed or was raising a family. Then I came across this Travel Sex Life article from a sex tourist. The article isn’t anything new, but I got the ammo to write this article from his comment defending himself:

[T]hink about the economics of prostitution. If you could flip a switch and eliminate prostitution in an instant, would you do it?

If so, you’d be responsible for an economic disaster and MILLIONS of deaths. Many of these girls send money home to their families. If you take away prostitution (or refuse to engage), you’re not necessarily improving their lives. In fact, you’re making it harder for their father, mother, grandmother, grandfather, brothers, sisters, etc, to survive. So if you eliminate prostitution, who’s going to support their family – YOU?

Prostitution is responsible for a HUGE transfer of wealth from the west to the east.

In the local tourist town where I am, I’d estimate at least $100,000 USD worth of prostituion goes through the town every month. Add on to that all the money spent on hotels, tourist activities, food, by people who come for the girls.

You’re looking at maybe $500,000 USD monthly, and that’s just the local town.

A large amount of that money will then be sent home to the provinces (by the girls), spent in the local stores, and otherwise invested in the Philippines.

I mean, all the people who take the moral high ground and belittle the people that do it, how are they solving the issue? What value are they creating for the world?

Except for a little bit of noise in the blogosphere, I think these people are doing very little.

Suppose I were to take the moral high ground and refuse to pay for sex in the Philippines. Who would that help? It certainly wouldn’t help the girls who need to send money to their families…

The point of my reply is that prostitution is a grey issue (like nearly everything in life). Simply abstaining from it and taking the moral or ethical high ground solves very few problems. Conversely, engaging in prostitution actually contributes value to their lives (if only monetary).

That comment inspired the title of this piece: Does Sex Tourism Save Lives?

According to CR, 450 children die from malnutrition in Colombia each year. What would that number be without sex tourism? I doubt it’d be hundreds of thousands, but it’d certainly be more. Especially given how developed the sex tourism industry is in Cartagena and greater Colombia, and assuming the vast majority of women are doing it just to survive, then you have to conclude that sex tourism saves a significant number of lives.

If you still argue that poverty is the main cause of prostitution BUT don’t agree that sex tourism saves lives, then I agree with the Philippines whoremonger. What are YOU, bleeding-heart gringo, prepared to pay these women to do? Are YOU going to hire these women to work for you? Are YOU going to sponsor a poverty prostitute in Colombia for 535,000 pesos ($300) / month while you convince them to toil in the arepa bakery or sort flowers instead of being a sex worker?

If you still argue that poverty is the main cause of prostitution BUT don’t agree that sex tourism saves lives AND are not willing to sponsor a poverty prostitute, then clearly your only remaining option is Islam. If you’re sincere in wanting to stamp out sex tourism in the face of poverty, Islamic law is the only system that has been successful. Islam or sex robots 🙂

If you still argue that poverty is the main cause of prostitution BUT don’t agree that sex tourism saves lives AND are not willing to sponsor a poverty prostitute AND are not willing to accept Islam as the only savior for these girls, then you are a phony, a poser, and a hypocrite.

My Take on Colombian Sex Tourism and Prostitution

In Censorship and the Image of Colombia, I said the devil got balls-deep in this country. It’s not news to anyone who’s lived here. Does poverty play a role? Of course. But does a society’s moral structure also play a role? Damn right, and that’s the difference between countries like Colombia and Peru, or Thailand and Indonesia. In another example, both Colombia and Peru are huge producers of cocaine. Yet the difference in drug addicts in the streets of Bogota vs. Lima is amazing. I lived in Peru for a year when I moved to Bogota, and I was shocked at the number of addicts in Bogota, how dirty and annoying they are. You don’t see anything like that in Lima, where cocaine is just as cheap and the people just as poor.

How many Colombian sex workers are poverty prostitutes? I don’t know. Given the clientele that could afford my tour price, my experience was skewed toward the higher end of the industry – women like Dania Suarez. Melancholy in Medellin was the only real poverty prostitute I met, but I can spot those types in Santa Fe. They’re the ones who sit around frowning, while the ones who like their job dance naked, get drunk, fuck the most clients, and make the most money. Which type of girl are there more of? I have no idea, and anybody telling you they do know is full of shit.

I also have to disclose my biases. While the politically-correct and bleeding-hearts may be biased toward blaming men instead of women, blaming developed countries instead of developing countries, or simply not having daring ideas, I also have biases. I’m biased to justify my past indiscretions, as well as my brief stint managing a sex industry business. I acknowledged that bias before writing this piece, but it may still play a part.

How do I ultimately view prostitution? Here are my thoughts, in a comment from the TravelSexLife piece:

I’ve met lots of whores in Latin America – some desperately poor with kids, some living luxuriously and independent. Regardless which there are more of, 100% of non-prostitute women would condemn the business anyway.

Why? It spoils their game. Yes, sometimes women have sex just because they want it. But in the long run, especially with a recurring partner, it always ends up with the woman trying to get something out of the man – marriage, a house, child support, etc. It involves seduction and long-term manipulation. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for settling down and monogamy. But the way human sexuality is designed, it’s in the woman’s reproductive interest to convince the man not to have sex with other women (and possibly having kids, spreading his resources thin), in favor of committing to and supporting only her and her kids. Those women who seduced their men into committing and supporting them had children (males included) who survived at a higher rate, so we’ve evolved this way.

What’s the point? Non-prostitute women abhor prostitutes and their clients because it throws their whole scheme upside down. Prostitutes made the economic decision – whether by necessity or choice – that they weren’t going to try to get a guy to stick around and provide for a family. Instead, they unveiled the veiled economic transaction, or got down to brass tax. It exposes the transaction that all non-prostitute women are working for. And non-prostitutes need that transaction to work.

However insulting to non-prostitute women that may be, I actually side with them. I don’t believe in the whore-with-a-heart-of-gold. They’re damaged goods, precisely because they’ve boiled romance down to economics. Marry a non-whore.




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33 Responses to “Does Sex Tourism Save Lives?”

  1. Jim

    06. Jun, 2012

    Suarez was clearly extorting the agent- $800 is in no way the market price for her services, even for an entire evening. But he still probably wishes he had just given her the money.

    The typical Western belief is that people make moral decisions from their character, and so can recieve condemnation or praise for them. Realistically I think it comes mostly from outside sources, and free will is largely an illusion. If you’ve never done anything bad, consider yourself very lucky.

  2. Colin

    06. Jun, 2012

    Jim – Absolutely right. For $800 you could have a poverty prostitute live with you for a month.

    I didn’t touch on the extortion angle, but that is nothing less than taking advantage. Blackmail, extortion, whatever you want to call it. That kind of shit is common among specifically Colombian whores. Also Scopolamine.

    More ammo for the assertion that the devil is balls deep in Colombia.

  3. Transmillenium

    06. Jun, 2012

    Excellent article, I had my own analysis on the scandal in my blog, but this focuses more on the Colombian cultural problem you call “devil is balls deep in Colombia”.

    I see that as what is called the double morality, the moral analgesia of colombians. Maybe thats caused by a Culture that is very focused on gaining money fast, legacy of the Pablo Escobar’s days (what do you think about the new novela?).

    Another thing I have saw in regards of the prostitution, is that there’s no real exploitation as the politicians wanted to make us think during the “sexiescandalo” (as named by the medios amarillistas). Dania is not a victim, she likes to have a good life, and she have the body (not the face) to afford it, she even has spend some parties with the “farandula criolla”. On one side we condemn prostitution as exploitation and on the other we see the prostitutes shaking hands with the jet set.

    On the other side, I have met women that you see them on the streets and you think they’re only university students with model’s looks, but not, they alse work as prepagos and strippers. They usually aren’t that poor to not have to that arepa, they come from good familys, with good last names, but they choose to work at that, because it gives them options. Are they victims? I don’t think so.

  4. Colin

    06. Jun, 2012

    Transmillenium – nice to have a Colombian opinion back me up. Thank you for your honesty!!!

  5. Chuck

    06. Jun, 2012

    I’m reminded of a conversation I had with a whore female colleague in China. I asked her why a man must buy a Chinese woman a house and a car upon marriage.

    Her: “Love doesn’t put food on the table.”
    Me: “How many houses and cars can you eat? Besides, isn’t it a lot like prostitution?”
    Her: “No…Chinese women are just…practical.”

    Indeed. Prostitution is very practical.

    To identify the real whores in China (cash, not houses and cars), my friends and I had a rule of thumb: If she has an iPhone, she’s a whore. Said woman works as a KTV girl, masseuse, xiao san, etc., and will demand monetary compensation if pursued. I agree with the bleeding-heart gringos. All of these young Chinese women in such poverty and destitution without the latest iPhone. Absolutely tragic.

  6. Jimmy

    07. Jun, 2012

    Prostitutas are like truck drivers, they all got into the business for a different reason. .

    Pashtuns and Shia Arabs would kill their sisters or daughters for having sex outside wedlock.

    The africans brought the vooddoo, gris-gris, bruja stuff to Colombia with them.

  7. Carlito

    07. Jun, 2012

    In my university years I had close female friends who engaged in prostitution (i.e. escorts). They were estrato 6 mostly and studying at prestigious universities here in Bogotá. They all said the same: it’s all about the thrill and the easy money; they even invited me to spend their earnings at the Mall.
    Nowadays they carry a happy life, some with husband ands kids and I’ve not seen a hint of remorse from any of them… of course this doesn’t represent the whole population, but it tells me how morals are way flexible here in Colombia.

    $800 is a lot even for Dania, I doubt that’s her tariff… you can find prettier girls for less, as SoHo has shown before.

  8. Paul

    07. Jun, 2012

    Just to address the buying/selling thing:

    I think the idea is that you acknowledge it’s going to happen anyway, but if SELLING prostitution is legal, the prostitute doesn’t get in trouble when they’re caught, which seems fair to the original writer since they’re usually the ones in the more vulnerable situation. Of course, if BUYING it is illegal, the buyer does get in trouble. Similar thing in Amsterdam with drugs I think.

  9. Matt

    08. Jun, 2012

    Uh…I believe it was said best..easy money…and decent money. People are lazy. Even if you went into to provide for a kid or loved one…it’s easier and mas dinero than working in the factory for all 400 dollars of what ever a month. Laziness is here too…porn stars…models…backpage/craigslist whores…strippers. Sex sells. Some cultures are real conservative and it doesn’t creep up. Some aren’t conservative and are full of horndogs. It is what it is. Unless you are there and trying to make a difference…talking…does nothing. I’ve been to Tijuana…and the Philippines…and Panama…Korea….Japan…Canada…hoes are EVERYWHERE. Some places it’s harder to get…and more expensive but it’s there. Sex sells. Prostitution the world oldest profession, right? Nothing helps in business more than “loose moral values.”

  10. John

    11. Jun, 2012

    (The author of the TSL Sex in Philippines article)

    I think you’re dead-right man.

    One of the reasons this issue gets so muddled is that people respond with their emotions rather than their minds.

    Prostitution is simply another means of exchanging value. Cash for sex. We live in a value-based economy. To get a hot girlfriend, you need to provide some type of value. Maybe the value is cash… maybe personality… maybe you’re just a great dude… whatever. The point is that nothing happens in life without an exchange of value. Even normal relationships are about a value-exchange, but it flies over most people’s heads because they’re not thinking about it.

    Prostitution then is simply another form of value exchange. In the same way that I can provide value as a husband (provider, healthy, sober, faithful), I can also provide value as a prostitute (by trading sex for cash).

    I don’t see what the big deal is. Some people resent the idea of “sex as a commodity” but it’s a commodity whether you like it or not. Women use sex to get what they all the time, whether it’s free drinks, selective treatment and so on. How many wives use sex (or lack of it) to manipulate their husbands? This is the same thing (using value to achieve a certain end).

    I get those most people don’t think like this. But I think they’re displaying their idiocy when they refuse to consider alternate opinions. I think, in most cases, trying to explain this to someone who vehemently hates prostitution is similar to trying to convince a Christian that god doesn’t exist… it just doesn’t happen.

    Add to that the fact that the main reason most people are automatically against it is primarily because of their religion (whether actual or in their heritage). Take away their religion and they’ll consider alternate opinions.

    Fascinating issue. I think it highlights an interesting issue of becoming a conscious human being. Becoming absorbed in an automatic “I hate prostitution” reaction is similar to becoming absorbed in an “I love prostitutes” in that they’re unconscious decisions. Where as it can be far more rewarding to think consciously and then make a decision to act based on that.

  11. Colin

    11. Jun, 2012

    @ John – I have to disagree with the religion angle. Whether they lean conservative or liberal, most people using poverty as a scapegoat and blanketing prostitution as victimizing women are politically correct and secular.

  12. Antoine

    11. Jun, 2012

    You know what’s really messed up about this? that millions of hard working Colombians want to make it in their lives by working hard and honestly. But in Colombia, most of the people that become millionaires(in U.S dollars) are freaking crooked politicians, druglords, or prepagos that hook up with traquetos or the secret service agents that are later praised by the rest of Colombians in TV series that portray a way of life that is accepted by the overall society.
    I heard that the infamous Dania went to Dubai and now resides in Spain after the incident in Cartagena.But tell me how come a hooker can get a visa to go to UAE or Spain while hundreds of thousands of hard working Colombians get their visas refused in the different consulates and embassies in Bogota by simply redtape bureaucracy? I find this really fkd up..

  13. Alex

    11. Jun, 2012

    Our lifespans are about 80 years if you’re lucky, a generation later you will be forgotten, nobody will care what you’ve done..when one is on their death bed will they really regret anything they’ve done and if so it won’t ultimately matter, unless youve personally and maliciously hurt someone, do whatever it may take to get ahead, as cliche as it is, you only get one go around, sometimes the working man is a sucker..guilt is for nuns

  14. Jay

    12. Jun, 2012

    you are wrong on the middle east situation as follows :
    there is prostitution in Islamic nations Iran included
    it is called “short term marriage”
    I was propositioned many times in Iraq but being as a contractor had to be rescued him & his “wife” most westerners do not par take
    In Afgan I was approached by a 15 year old male (Afgan citizen) and was told if I got them to the US I could have his 17 year old sister being as I was married and a bit um surprised that a person would even offer his blood as a piece of meat but over there women are shit and always will be for a long time to come

    and on a side note every single combatant over there had to be high on a form of heroin to even have the nuts to try to attack us so drugs are accessible also along with homosexuality do not believe all you here about Iraq ect on theses issues

  15. Colin

    12. Jun, 2012

    Jay – Looking into temporary marriages, interesting!

    However, they don’t apply here because it’s a Shia Muslim tradition. It wasn’t introduced by the occupying forces, nor can I find any reputable source claiming that gringo soldiers are clients. It’s a Shia Muslim practice among Muslims, so my argument against economics trumping culture still stands.

  16. Greg

    12. Jun, 2012

    While you make a lot of good points here, I think you really gloss over the women who are forced into the business due to abusive people in their lives and emotional trauma, and the ones that would quit if they could, but might be facing violence that scares them into staying in the business.

    I’m trying to find it now, but having a hard time locating it…in any case, when the Dania scandal broke Semana put out a piece by another Cartagena prostitute about how Dania’s experience in no way resembled the experience of her or the prostitutes she knows – many of whom never chose to enter the business (neither for economic nor other reasons…they were forced into it) and now feel they can’t go to the police for help, because the police are often even more abusive to them than their clients.

    Yeah…i suppose a society’s values have a lot to do with things. But whether they are true “poverty prostitutes,” prefer the work to toiling at an arepa shop, are actually high class prostitutes, or were forced into the business, I don’t think you can make blanket statements like “sex tourism saves (or improves) lives.” Sometimes it may, but (in Colombia, at least) it probably destroys just as many.

  17. Colin

    12. Jun, 2012

    @ Greg – You’re probably looking for this El Tiempo article, The other Danias from Cartagena.

    I agree I’ve glossed over outside pressures for women to prostitute themselves (men forcing/trafficking them) with phrases like “for whatever reason,” but I also never explicitly blamed Colombian women only. It takes a village, so I laid the blame on Colombia – men included.

    The point of my blanket statements were to narrow options to get readers’ opinion of the situation. ALSO to tell those who want to use the poverty scapegoat by saying things like the women do it “just to survive,” then they need to take the argument to the next step and conclude sex tourism saves lives. That assertion is actually supported by the higher malnutrition death rates in impoverished countries where there is little to no sex tourism.

  18. Rawley

    12. Jun, 2012

    Yeah Colin I think you’re right with the cultures.. I mean places like Afghanistan you get beheaded for fucking up (yet they still pawn off their daughter for a goat or maybe bang a young boy) but its all done on the hush hush. Do not by any means think these people are stuck on Islamic beliefs and do not do dirt.

  19. Rawley

    12. Jun, 2012

    @ Antoine – I tend to agree with you.

    Also, the SS guy was a real fool for telling her what his job was. She knew right off the bat he was in a highly visible position and more importantly she knew that since he was in a law enforcement role, protecting the president of the USA , that he wouldn’t simply just gut her and drag her into the ocean for causing such trouble. She knew that this dumb ass would react the way he did and she got what she wanted. Now you can bet she will be doing adult films, mags etc and making money …hell you’ll probably see her in a Kim Kardashian show soon.

  20. Tim

    15. Jun, 2012

    Excellent blog, keep up the good work. I have first hand experience as I am an international whoremonger. I feel there is nothing immoral in what I do. They support men’s need for sex, and in return they can purchase microwave ovens and luxury shoes. I’ve got twenty years experience in the field, and most women can find jobs in textiles and in other extremely boring and low-wage fields. The ones who turn to hooking simply choose not to. It’s a rational choice. I’ve dated and even fallen in love with some of my whores, and all of them, I repeat all of them, do it because they like it.

  21. Mike

    23. Jun, 2012

    Sex tourism certainly can help some women. But it also destroys lives, since it seems clear that many prostitutes become addicts, get AIDS, suffer violence, etc thru their work.

    I interviewed a woman who cares for prostitutes’ children while they work. She told me that nearly all of the women are addicts, which keeps them constantly broke. Evidently, they are not sending much money to their families.

    And, referring to the English guy’s comment: Yes, buying and selling are linked. But, the two acts can be morally or legally different. In Sweden, I understand, buying sex is illegal, but selling it is legal, for this same reason.


  22. Rubio

    09. Jul, 2012

    There’s another HUGE reason why prostitution is so big in Colombia….. Colombian women are VERY VERY VERY attractive, and not just physically, they are deeply sexy and sensual people. It’s not just enough to have two tits and a vagina and you can go into business and make a million dollars. As a matter of fact many women in Colombia TRY and make a living whoring and find they CANT because there is TOO MUCH COMPETITION!!

  23. Colin

    09. Jul, 2012

    Rubio, I agree 100% on too much competition. How many tours did I give where we’d walk into a whorehouse FULL OF WHORES and we were the only clients. Every night ACRES AND ACRES of prostitute pussy goes to bed cold and broke

  24. Alberto

    01. Sep, 2012

    Well yes there are many girls that work as whores that could find a regular job. But how can you blame them in a capitalist world where cars, branded clothes and luxury are in your face all the time? How can you blame them for wanting the same things we posses?

    I don’t look at poverty as only not having food. For me poverty is also having to work in a job that indeed only provides food and a roof over your head without perspective of ever having anything more.

    Poverty to me means not having a way to improve your life and having to resort to things like prostitution to get something more.

  25. Carlos Colombiano

    01. Oct, 2012

    La verdad es que lo que has dicho me ha resultado útil.
    Si bien tengo que admitir que alguno de los otros artículos de otro día no me resultó tan interesante, lo de esta vez me ha gustado realmente.

    A seguir así! 😉

  26. Lili

    20. Oct, 2012

    Collin, why you dont write about WHO created the prostitution in Thailand, Afga. and Irak =============> AMERICANS!

    Now, again darling: travel more and see the world.

    What is more questionable? A Dutch woman working in the business GOD knows why? A Belgium woman in the business GOD knows why? an African woman abused and working in the business because of ITALIANS? an Anglo-Saxon woman working as a SCORT in the UK because * I need my luxury you know* …

    **** I have seen all these people around central stations in Europe and RLD in Netherlands and read and watch a famous TV series in the UK re: live of a scort.


  27. Chuck

    25. Oct, 2012


    I learned much from reading your brilliantly worded comment. Here all along I thought prostitution was the “world’s oldest profession.” Now I know that it was invented by Americans, perhaps upon ratification of the Constitution. I bet ol’ Ben Franklin snuck that clause in there, that little devil. I must have been asleep at history class that day. Glad you cleared that up for me.

    I can attest to the validity of your statements due to your citing such prestigious academic works as “famous TV series in the UK.” That one I’m sure led to a Nobel Prize or two.

    It is obvious that Colombia is benefiting greatly from your superior intelligence. Keep up the good work.

  28. Brian K

    02. Mar, 2013

    @Lili no madam it was the Brits

    @Colin it in many Islamic societies woman are gang raped all the time. In fact in Pakistan a woman is gang rapped about once a week.

    also i am in Afghanistan now camp leatherneck there is no prostitution because we cant leave base, I have only seen 5 Afghan woman since I have been here.. and no alcohol

    They do prostitute as a marriage contract though they just have a slicker way of doing it. Also Iraq did have prostitution until we could not leave bases any more. there is no freedom to move in either of those places. we mostly have to go to Dubai to ” trick off”

    I was stationed in Okinawa they used to import philippine woman there because philippine and Thai are some of the hottest Asian woman , maybe that is why it is such a sex pat destination.

  29. Ironthumb

    10. Dec, 2013

    Interesting article Expat.
    I have to say prostitution cannot be removed from any society –

    it is as natural as someone needing to crap

    AndI can relate to what you are saying that I dont necessarilly want it in any country where I am raising my children

  30. JoeAmerica

    23. Jul, 2014

    Whoring may be a key ingredient to social progress.
    My explanation is abbreviated.

    First thing to note: Actual operation whoring; when evaluating whoring the actual amount that is actually happening is the measure. Measuring hypocrisy is something quite different.

    Next HBD. Google “HBD Chick” to understand what this means and entails.

    The idea:
    Effects of whoring = Out-breeding and progress into modernity
    Effects of Islam and the berka = inbreeding and clannish fiefdoms.

  31. allenlo4

    21. Sep, 2016

    Study my altered devise
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  1. Travel Sex Life Fat, Ugly or Slutty: Sexy Links for Your Weekend Travel Sex Life TravelSexLife - June 9, 2012

    […] Colin Post wades into the sex tourism and prostitution debate in his response to whether sex tourism can help save lives. [Expat Chronicles] […]

  2. What Happens In Bangkok, Stays In Bangkok - October 25, 2012

    […] (On a sidenote, Thailand is also known as the “sex capital of the world”. Sex tourism has caused a huge amount of capital to be injected into the economy. So what is often considered bad, is part of the reason Thailand is wealthy, and therefore a big reason why their standard of living is as high as it is. More here: Does Sex Tourism Save Lives?) […]

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