Power Produces Desire: Sex Tourists

The sex tourist encapsulates the most oppressive tropes of the modern man by targeting those women that are most economically insecure.

I do a lot of aimless travel. I never really do any research before going on a holiday apart from having a quick look around for a place to stay, some decent bars, a couple of places to eat that have vegetarian food (I’m pretty particular about that), and maybe a wee bit of Tindering for the laugh. I’m interested in the really banal and monotonous aspects of a new city, which I used to enjoy on various jaunts with an ex-girlfriend of mine (before we broke up) but on a more regular basis with a handful of friends who have a lot of time off and some disposable income. One Danish mate makes more money off social welfare in his home country than most working Europeans do. He knows he’s a cunt for this.

Last month, after becoming horribly jaded in Athens by Americans and Australians who practice a certain jock-strap style of tourism, my Danish buddy and I decided to go to Kiev. Logically, we reasoned, with a war going on, there wouldn’t be much in the way of tourism over there. As jocks tend to not read the news, they made a point of avoiding Kiev, even though the war is happening in the eastern Donbass region. Still, in spite of the long distance from the front line, there are a lot of lads in military outfit and wearing Ukrainian t-shirts on the streets of Kiev, although nothing too out of the norm (I was there before things blew up with Russia). Kiev in 2015 is, all things considered, pretty status quo, without too many disruptions to its citizens, except it is a bit harder to fire an AK-47. No joke! The military needs to conserve the bullets for knocking off some of Putin’s guys in the east.

We checked into a pretty nice hostel in the center of the city. I could tell the bed across from me was occupied as it had army patterned clothing strewn across it, so I knew a particularly fucked individual was going to be sleeping across from me. The next morning, I was awoken by the sound of my new neighbor- a gentleman from one of the southern US states by the sound of his drawl- calling the Azeri dude who was also staying in the hostel a “Russian nigger”. He later claimed, in all seriousness, that the white man was the most oppressed race in American culture.

I already had him sussed. Being in Ukraine and hearing a dude that you wished had zero curiosity to bother getting a passport, I knew we had a sex tourist on our hands. I was repulsively fascinated by him, like the abnormally large dump I had taken while traveling around India, in that it posed more questions than answers. Sure enough, he turned out to be a card-carrying, platinum-member, sex tourist. Absolute cunt.

I’m embarrassingly and morbidly intrigued by the species known as the male sex tourist. I like watching Netflix documentaries on them when I’m hungover. Anthropologically, they’re an amazing anomaly. As humans, they’re one or two steps below John Terry on the Prickchart; and those are depths that are difficult to plunge.

My curiosity with sex tourists started back in 2012, when I was sitting in a café on my first trip to Kiev. I spotted a pretty attractive blonde women sitting down with what could be described as nothing less than your regular truck-driving, gun-toting American guy; probably named Mark. The North Face jacket was the giveaway. Also, the barbed wire tattoo on his bicep. She told him that their hotel room would be ready in an hour. They sat down with coffee and she brought him over some magazines, including a Playboy (this isn’t uncommon in the former Soviet Union. They must have extremely well-written articles). Flicking through the pages, he would unashamedly and loudly compare the models’ breasts to the woman he was sat with. It was one of the most grotesque encounters I have ever witnessed.

This was less so perplexing than when he decided he didn’t want to read anymore, and wanted to talk. He didn’t suggest a conversational subject and didn’t look to intrigue or humor her. He just assumed that she ought to captivate his interests, regardless of her desire to do so. There was the presumption that regardless of her wants, needs, or general happiness that he could control the situation. It was so disgustingly dehumanizing.

Once you take notice of it, you come to realize that prostitution is an industry which is so pervasive across the world that it is almost obfuscate by how clearly it is practiced, despite being shrouded in horribly exploitative and demeaning activities. If you were to go into any bar from Marrakech to Siem Rep to Medellin, you’ll almost certainly see a number of people soliciting themselves, or people who are in far worse situations. Conceptually, it appears deviant and strange but on closer inspection, particularly in Third World countries, it is ingrained within the economic structures.

With the ease of travel increasing remarkably, prostitution has taken on an increasingly transnational dimension with the emergence of ‘sex tourism’. It differs from conventional prostitution in that is doesn’t just seek to exchange capital for sex, but rather it sees individuals utilizing their economic power to gain sexual control over economically oppressed individuals while traveling. This is why it traditionally occurs within developing countries like the Ukraine, Thailand, Colombia, etc. where primarily, but not exclusively, women are marginalized and excluded from the labor workforce. By entering into the sex industry, it offers a pathway for those women to sustain themselves and their families.

Men from across the world travel to these countries with the intention of receiving sexual gratification on account of their superior economic status. In what they are lacking in sexually and emotionally within their countries of residency, these males are able to easily find within these poorer nations. With their economic dominance, they can serve those needs.

What is so problematic and disturbing about this interaction is the racial dimension that engenders the discourse of why these men decide to visit a specific place. Regularly on marriage tour websites, you see reference to Thai and other South-East Asian women as ‘submissive’, Colombian and Latina women are ‘hot blooded’, while Ukrainian and other Slavic women are labelled ‘elegant’.

These discourses construct these women as fulfilling the needs that the sex tourist assumes women in their own countries have constantly neglected and have been unwilling to uphold. These women become the erotic “Other..” What plays out of this is a longstanding racist and sexist interaction within a political economy that is exploitative and disenfranchising. It doesn’t offer economic security but merely sustains and supports economic and sociopolitical circumstances that are already oppressive to women. From a post-colonial lens, these guys are hateful wankers.

The women that work within the sex industry absolutely do not deserve to be stigmatized or criticized for their actions; they are regularly forced to do it so that they can provide for their children and families. However, those men that travel around the world with the intention of acting out their racist and misogynistic fantasies in poverty-stricken areas deserve nothing but our absolute hatred and contempt. These individuals uphold the most oppressive tropes of the modern man and target those women that are most economically insecure, because surely they’re the only ones capable of being in the presence of these half humans. Those men that partake within this grotesque industry should be shamed and made pariahs. And Christ, they should stay away from my fucking hostels.