Article written by

29 Responses

  1. A Day Exploring the Sights of The Gambia : Indiana Jo

    [...] already written a post about the controversial subject of female sex tourism in The Gambia but fortunately it’s not the only activity on offer. With plans  to visit Senegal and a more [...]

  2. White Women and Rastas Documentatry Sex Trade?

    [...] and "asian girls" with YOUNG HUNG BLACK MEN. Female Sex Tourism | Matty Silver Let Sex Tourism: European Women Hit the Beach in Search of a Good Time : Smitten: glamour.com Female [...]

  3. Jason Picton
    Jason Picton at | | Reply

    I think you need to be more honest, the vast majority of men going to places like Thailand for sex holidays are not paedophiles, nor are the bars staffed by under aged girls. It obviously happens here but it happens everywhere, but you make it seem like its epidemic, well its not. I have lived in Thailand (Pattaya) for 2 years with my Thai partner and have never seen child or under aged prostitutes. I am sure they exist, but you paint a very biased picture in your comments and I challenge you to come to Thailand and find these things you assert are the normal goings on. The woman choose this work to make money. Cases of forced or kidnapped sex workers or parents selling their children are exaggerated to say the least. What the world needs is a regulated sex industry to protect clients and workers alike.

    Jason

    1. IndianaJo
      IndianaJo at | | Reply

      Jason, thanks for taking the time to comment on what is an important topic. If you have fully read my post you will see no reference to the men visiting Thailand being pedophiles nor that the bars are staffed by underage girls. My blog recounts my observations during a recent visit to The Gambia, where sex tourism (in this case predominantly paid for by women) was the concern. Bar a fleeting reference, my post was not about sex tourism in Thailand. However, since you raise the point, I would like to respond by saying that I have visited Thailand, spending over a month in the country and during that time I did witnessed first-hand the sex tourism that exists there. I disagree with your statement that the women ‘choose’ the work for money. Of course, there may be individuals who may prefer to earn their Bhat in that way. However, for many women the reality is that the alternatives are so limited as to be non-existent and in those circumstance I ask whether there is really a choice at all? If the women (or men involved) have little or no realistic alternative then in my view the exchange of money for sex once again comes down to a matter of exploitation and in those instances sex tourism surely has to be a harmful practice. I can’t comment on your personal situation. Perhaps your own relationship with your Thai partner is born of equality and love and in which case I commend you. What seems to be lacking in many cases of sex tourism (male and female alike) is that the person paying often seems to lack the necessary honesty to see their actions as exploitative, effectively using the argument that everyone ‘wins’ to justify their actions and ultimately suit their own sexual desires. Do feel free to respond if you disagree. I accept this is a complex subject with many grey areas.

      1. Jason Picton
        Jason Picton at | | Reply

        Unfortunately for you I live in Thailand and have a Thai partner, we both understand thai culture and am happy to point out how wrong you are. The exploitation side of it is actually that the sex workers are exploiting the men, sex for money is a perfectly legitimate industry, although non sex worker women see it as a threat to their ability to get a man, I understand that. Thai sex workers for example generally make ten times the average wage. They firstly get money for just being in the bar/gogo @10,000 baht a month, then they get a cut of the barfine payed so they can leave with a customer usually between 300-600 baht which they get 100-200 of that, then they negotiate their own price with the customer short time or longtime, generally 1000-3000 baht depending. I know of many girls in the trade who make 3000 baht up a day, when labourers or rice farmers are lucky to get the 300 baht a day that is supposed to be the minimum wage.

        My Thai partner is traditional, in our relationship the man is the leader and head of the family and get the most respect. Thai women see it as marriage is an elephant, the many is the front legs the woman the back, the man is meant to lead. So I doubt we would qualify for your idea of equality, but definitely we have the love. We understand that men and women are NOT equal, but are in fact complimentary opposites.

        Anytime you come to Pattaya we will happily take you around where you can meet the thousands of sex workers happily and willingly making their living from selling sex, not love, sex is a product like no other. Only women who want to control men and have power of them try to say love and sex must happen at the same time.

        Any person who enjoys the buying power of his money in a foreign country could equally be labelled as exploitive, so that means all the people that travel to poorer countries for a holiday, accomadation, sightseeing and food etc at cheaper prices than at home.

        Whilst some criminality exists in all business, including the completely acceptable sex industry, it is not the norm. Sure a 100% safe regulated sex industry would be ideal, but I feel for sure you are against any payed sex, especially as it gives men the opportunity to reject the concept of marrying some western feminist lady.

        Feel free to continue our dialogue, I hope to educate you or perhaps point out the mistakes in your position and opinion.

        1. bangkok
          bangkok at | | Reply

          I agree with you Jeson, prostitution would be better if legalized, I have been living in Thailand for 20 years and I’m only 40, I’m sure most of the sex workers have a choice, big money and lack of education help to make the wrong choice, I’m sure that selling their bodies it is not like selling candy, it will leave a scare in the soul and many ladies in the business need to get drunk and high to have the illusion to be happy.
          About child sex it is not so common, but I can guarantee that I met few perverts in Thailand and if you open well your eyes maybe you will start to recognize them, they hide very well as they hide very well in western countries and more often are Thai citizens to abuse child.
          Latent prostitution exist in western countries, most of the women and men would sell their ass for a million dollars…it is just an order of magnitude.

          1. Jason Picton
            Jason Picton at |

            I have no problem with any adult selling sex if they want, the girls in Thailand for example are not uneducated fools duped into the trade in most circumstances. They know what they are getting into, but its easy money.

  4. Jason Picton
    Jason Picton at | | Reply

    This is the comment you made that requires me to correct your bias.

    “Unlike Thailand, however, sex tourism in The Gambia isn’t raging with 50-something Western men paying to get their rocks off with barely pubescent Thai girls.”

    1. D
      D at | | Reply

      Great job pointing that bias out Jason!

  5. Weekly Wednesday Video: A visit to a nursery school in The Gambia | Writer On The Move

    [...] to go to The Gambia – I had heard an awful lot about its reputation as a hotspot for female sex tourism. I thought I would need to fight off potential suitors with a stick, and as a solo female traveler, [...]

  6. Simon Fenton
    Simon Fenton at | | Reply

    Hey – I live in Senegal (Casamance – you should have ventured south to my side!) and often visit the Gambia. I go to Senegambia sometimes for “toubab” food and wifi. I agree with all you say and am amazed at some of the sites I see (substitute zimmer frame for hunch back…). I’m totally amazed at the number of european ladies I meet who believe their rasta is different. My wife is Senegalese (we met well away from from the tourist areas) and tells me it is always about the money/visa and never love (she talks to the guys and asks them). I suppose there is a debate about who’s exploiting who.

    1. IndianaJo
      IndianaJo at | | Reply

      So, my first question is what is “toubab” food?! Feel like I missed out on something tasty! I definitely want to explore more of Africa including Senegal. I was inspired to visit by an English documentary maker I’d met who had spent a lot of time in your country and couldn’t say enough nice things about the people :)

      Yes, it’s a sad and distressing topic and definitely with an argument that the exploitation goes both ways. I get a lot of hits on my blog because of this topic but from people who seem (according to my site stats) to be looking for sex in the Gambia rather than trying to understand more about the subject. Those numbers are frightening.

  7. Simon Fenton
    Simon Fenton at | | Reply

    Toubab is the local term for white person – you probably had kids cry “toubab” at you, but if you don’t know the term, perhaps didn’t realise. Some say it’s from colonial days when kids would ask white people for 2 bob. So, for me toubab food is pizza, hamburger, hummus, curry…anything that avoids rice and fish!

    I once wrote a post about a large concrete chicken I saw in Vietnam (the height of a house). Calling the post “large cock” also led to some disappointed visitors!

    Drop by if you return to Senegal…
    Simon Fenton recently posted…We will, we will Wow you!My Profile

  8. Becca
    Becca at | | Reply

    I studied in The Gambia for four months and I rarely stepped foot in Senegambia besides when I needed to go to a bar to blow off some steam. You are right that there is more to The Gambia than sex tourism. I would go further and say that there is more to The Gambia than tourism. Go outside of the tourist area and you will experience a culture that is so beautiful it will stay with you forever. The people are friendly (as long as you respect their culture and religion by not wearing booty shorts and you say hi when you pass by). Their way of life is so peaceful and amazing. You could meet your best friend in this country if you just give the people a chance. If you are reading this comment and plan on visiting The Gambia please do me a favor and learn a couple phrases in the local language and get to know a Gambian. If you are going there on vacation and really have no intention of getting to know the culture at all then I’m sorry for you because you are missing out on an amazing experience. I’m not suggesting a lot of effort. Just talk to a waiter or hotel worker about their life. They’d appreciate it.

    1. IndianaJo
      IndianaJo at | | Reply

      Hi Becca, thanks for taking the time to comment. I agree there is a lot to see in the Gambia beyond the usual holiday spots. I spent a wonderful boat journey learning the basics in Mandinka and Wolof, taught by some local guys. The hardest part for me was figuring out which language to start with when I met someone new. I’d end up going with a mix of both, to the delight and amusement of the locals! Fortunately the Gambian people seemed so happy that someone was trying, they didn’t mind my inaccuracies! Nice tip on speaking to your waiter and hotel workers. I think the same applies the whole world over :)

  9. lucio
    lucio at | | Reply

    Hey Jo Fitzsimons., been in the hotel’s and senegambia area have proof you wrong about Gambia..such a beautiful country and beautiful people….i have live in the UK for 1 year and i was suprise, because any time i go to a bar or a club, there is always UK girls seeking for sex when they get drung and is not 1 or 2 times, but always and i will like to know how would you call that…drung prosecution, intress prosecution or one night stand prosecution??? sorry with my english cause im italian…

  10. Travel Bloggers on The Gambia - VickyFlipFlopTravels.com

    […] from indianajo.com discusses the ‘prostitution’ and female sex tourism in The Gambia. I witnessed a simliar experience in  Zanzibar at the most awkward wedding I’ve […]

  11. cliff
    cliff at | | Reply

    If prostitution were legalized, controlled and taxed, worldwide, women would be WAY better off. There would be way less trafficking of women bringing them in to places where prostitution is illegal, so they can’t get enough local girls to do it.

    If a woman was trafficked, or beaten up, if it were legal, she could confidently go to the authorities, and they would help her: They wouldn’t make her feel bad, not investigate her problem, or arrest her.

    “Exploitation”: The main reason I am working for my employer is that I desperately need money. My employer provides it, and sometimes does not treat me very well because of my crazy travel schedule. But, I do it, because I need the money. Your “Exploitation” is my “Great Job”.

    I asked a girl who worked in a massage parlour, where they would offer sexual services for extra money, if she liked her job. She said that she did like it, overall. It wasn’t her first choice, but it was much better than most of the jobs she could get in her city. You could say she was exploited, but she chose the job. There were many other jobs she could have chosen, but she didn’t want to do them as much as she wanted the job in the massage parlour.

    We should legalize and regulate prostitution, drugs, and gambling worldwide…it would solve a LOT more problems than it would create, and it would save many governments, including mine, BILLIONS of dollars per year in enforcement costs.

  12. Dying for Culture: Bullfighting in Spain : Indiana Jo

    […] happened when I visited The Gambia and it happened once again when I went to Ronda, […]

  13. Abdul
    Abdul at | | Reply

    I lived in Basse and Serekunda, Gambia for many years. I have never heard of the problem like you discribed above. I think it is really disgusting that these middle age tourists exploiting the locals.

  14. Shelley
    Shelley at | | Reply

    I have spent a lot of time in the Gambia, in fact I have just returned from my second trip in 3 months, since I work with a charity out there supporting children in poverty. I can see what you say but you miss the point that the women don’t pay these guys. They do it for perks, food, drinks and the possibility of a visa, and this is why they call it romance tourism. No money changes hands in the traditional sense of prostitution. Compare it to a golddigging wife who marries someone she doesn’t love who she may even find sexually repulsive, for the chance of living a much better life. In this scenario, its the older husband we feel sorry for since he thinks he can buy his wife. I think this is an interesting debate, but you need to understand the dynamics of the situation properly.

    1. Jason
      Jason at | | Reply

      What rubbish, because its women you just cannot bear to call it prostitution, sex tourism or exploitation. Yet when men go to Thailand and do the same thing you spew venom at them (you as in females in general), rest assured it is all sex tourism and women are just as capable of doing bad things as nay man. Stop trying to justify women. Money does change hands, I bet you are one of these people who thinks Thai women from example are sold into or forced into the sex trade and that they have pimps who get the money. You have no idea and you are a hypocrite. Just cannot accept men can be victims of female sexuality too.

  15. Shelley
    Shelley at | | Reply

    Hi again. Thanks for the response, and possibly the person you spoke to who knew about money changing hands does genuinely know of such situations, but that has not been my experience. In fact I have several friends who are ex-pats there, one of whom is married to a very much younger Gambian she met on holiday there in just such a situation I spoke of in my previous post (yes we can agree she is a sex tourist if you like but she would heartily disagree, as many of these women will) and this is a subject we have often talked about. Its always been a topic of conversation how its not quite like prostitution since money does not change hands in the traditional sense.I’m just giving ou my experience of the situation, it may be that there is a contingent that do it for money, but in my visits I have never come across it. Its not all about visa though as you say – they often ask for a few hundred dalassi here or there to help their family, or buy malaria treatment etc etc but mostly the women are happy to help out because they view these men as their boyfriends. Its not prostitution in the form of x amount of money for x services. Anyway, this is just my opinion and experience, but its a subject I am interested in and have spoken to many visitors there about. You are right in that the analogy of the gold digging is slightly different in that their only other option is poverty, but to be honest with you, when you’re in poverty you will do anything to survive and this includes stealing, conning etc. I agree its exploitation, but frankly who is exploiting who?

    1. Jason
      Jason at | | Reply

      Yes but men who find love overseas are readily labeled sex tourism, its just more of the ignorant arrogant attitude that is driving men away from western women. For example its claimed women in Thailand are exploited, but that also is not the case, they are rarely forced into the sex trade and when it happens its almost exclusively for local Thai consumption.

      But nowadays its open season on attacking, denigrating and insulting males. These women are sex tourists or men doing the same are not. Cannot have it both ways. Just because women cloak their desires in the term LOVE and claim men’s similar activities are just SEX, does not make it factual.

Please comment with your real name using good manners.

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge