Posted by: ghostdawg2 | July 19, 2010

In Bali cops crack down on ‘Kuta cowboy’ gigolos who service foreign women by Jeff Koyen / April 27 2010

Charlotte Rampling heads south in 2005’s Ver Le Sud

Whenever we talk about sex tourism, we invariably speak of men cruising through second- and third-world countries, preying on young boys and girls. I’m actually writing a book right now wherein I look at the sex trade in fairly uncomfortable detail. It’s not, strictly speaking a book about sex tourism.

It’s an account of an extended trip that took me through Thailand, Cambodia and Laos, three countries that are lousy with whores.

Despite what you may think, it’s not just aging, pathetic Baby Boomers blowing through expense accounts on overpriced drinks for “bar girls” and all-night Viagra-fueled boning sessions with women of questionable age. It’s also young handsome guys on Gap Year trips. And it’s not just Evil Whitey (TM) playing colonial cockhound. It’s Arabs and Russians and Japanese and — most of all — locals who frequent whorehouses that cater specifically to their needs.

What of the other side of sex tourism?

Women who want to lay down with young local men don’t go to strip clubs and order their night’s entertainment right off the stage. Boywhores are found in real bars, on the beach, hanging out wherever the tourists are. They chat, they flirt, they entertain, they woo. If you didn’t know any better, you’d assume they’re just local kids looking to get laid. Which, in some ways, is exactly what they are. But there’s also an expectation that they’ll be paid for their efforts. Or, at the very least, given expensive gifts.

A new documentary about Indonesian gigolos is causing problems for this side of the sex business. From The Straits Times:

POLICE on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali detained 28 people this week in a crackdown on ‘beach gigolos’, who scout for foreign female tourists, officials said on Tuesday.

The raids began on Monday after the release of a trailer for a documentary on Bali’s ‘Kuta cowboys’, the muscular and tanned Kuta beach surfers who develop short-term romantic relationships with foreign women in return for gifts.

‘Cowboys in Paradise’ follows the trials and tribulations of several beach boys, their families and their female patrons.

The documentary’s Singapore-based director, Amit Virmani, said he found the arrests deplorable.

‘A witch hunt for men with tanned and muscular bodies on the beach is the last thing anybody wants,’ he said.

The first time I noticed this particular brand of sex tourism was in Cahuita, a small beach town on Costa Rica’s Atlantic coast. Even I (a man who’s very attuned to awful behavior) didn’t notice what was happening until it was pointed out. But sure as hell, there it was: Baby Boomer-aged women fawning over young muscular dudes, none of whom seemed to own any t-shirts. They took their rentboys to dinner. They took them to the beach. They walked hand-in-hand down the dusty streets.

In short, they were having flings — not engaging in sexual commerce.

The trailer for Cowboys in Paradise is below.

For a fictionalized account of the subject, track down Vers le Sud, a French movie from 2005, set in 1980s Haiti. The English release title is Heading South.

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