Cougar prowl: female sex tourism hotspots

David Wilson
Photo: Getty
"The deal is a woman hits up with someone half her age and gives that new friend an all-expenses-paid ride in exchange for sex and a new lease of life."
David Wilson

Global tourism and the sex trade have made the world "a gigantic theme park", it has been said. That picture apparently applies to tourists of both genders. Female sex tourism (or "romance travel", as some call it) goes on everywhere from the Gambia to the Holyland, for primal reasons.

"I totally understand why more and more British single women like me are going on holiday looking for sex," corporate head-hunter Nicky Jardine told the UK's Daily Mail in a 2008 story about female sex tourism. "It's the easiest thing in the world to pick up a young, handsome guy who will tell you you are beautiful and make passionate love to you," said Jardine.

Some exotic gigolos will do much more than that, according to the author of a book that addresses the "revolution in mate selection", Jeannette Belliveau. "If you go on vacation, if the guy has all the time in the world to borrow a boat and show you the starfish in the lagoon, and talk to you afterwards and have a meal, and rub your back, he's a more attractive mate," Belliveau told Globalpost in April this year.

In the past [2006 Observer], Belliveau has slammed anyone who thinks that adventurous women should not date outside their race or economic group. According to Belliveau, critics who take that line are like members of the British far-right National Front party.

Her anger underlines just how much bad blood that female sex tourism generates. She was, she claims, smeared by a British tabloid that depicted her as a reactionary who saw exotic gigolos as "sexual conmen".

No wonder the female sex tourism scene is so secretive. Few except zealous opponents care to discuss the subject. For a suggestive peek behind the curtain, read our guide to destinations that lure female tourists in search of steamy flings with "tour guides".

1. Kuta Cowboys (Bali)

Bali hit the headlines in April this year when Singapore film maker Amit Virmani released a documentary on the bronzed Indonesian surfers who sell erotic services to Japanese women and other female tourists who throng the island on sex holidays. The young men's athleticism and appetite for serial romances have earned them the nickname "Kuta cowboys".

The documentary trailer features Kuta cowboy pick-up lines. One cuts to the chase and maps out a future in five steps. "Hi girls. I think I know you from last night. What are you doing tonight? If you don't have any plans you can come with me tonight. I love you," a cowboy tells the camera. In a response to the documentary that may well have harmed the island's image more than the cowboys could, the authorities rounded them up in "gigolo raids".

2. Sanky-panky (Jamaica)

Jamaican gigolos have two nicknames: Sanky-panky and "big bamboo". White women glom onto them and "rent" them because they see Jamaican men as outstandingly virile: equipped with basketball- star physiques. In turn, the Sanky-panky reportedly see their customers as "milk bottles" that need filling up.

"It's a social arrangement," one Sanky-panky hunter told Reuters in a 2007 report. "I buy him a nice shirt and we go out for dinner. For as long as he stays with me he doesn't pay for anything, and I get what I want — a good time. How is that different from a man buying a young girl dinner?"

3. Marlboro men (Jordan)

The heart of the Holy Land might seem a strange place for women to hunt commercial sex, but desert resorts such as Petra are becoming a magnet for love-hungry Western women, according to Globalpost. The women apparently hook up with Bedouin men keen to sell their bodies — or their magnetic personalities. The women succumb to the guides' charm rather than any rippling muscles on display, it seems.

4. Bumsters (Gambia)

Easily recognisable, bumsters sport brightly coloured vests, T-shirts or the Rasta colours of green, yellow and red. Stationed outside hotels and on the beaches, the gaudy studs get their share of takers. "The sight of middle-aged white women walking around hand-in-hand with Gambian men 20 to 30 years their junior is not uncommon," noted a 2006 BBC report.

Bumsters dream of being whisked away from Gambia's poverty, which is summed up the fact that one of the country's few exports is peanuts. Despite bumsters' needs, according to several sources, their exploits are "frowned upon".

5. Drummer boys (Senegal)

Senegal's gigolos actually have no nickname. But, according to a source quoted in a 2010 Globalpost report, female tourists target "rastas" who play the djembes (drums), because drummers are good in bed. Some observers brand the Senegal scene as male prostitution. Others see it as a harmless commercial take on dating.

The deal is a woman hits up with someone half her age and gives that new friend an all-expenses-paid ride in exchange for sex and a new lease of life. The Senegal gigolos apparently see themselves as tour guides who offer extras: a familiar pattern that puts the tour industry in a new light.

Are you for or against the "romance travel" industry?

User comments
yeh women need an outlet to, us men get the most beautiful and real women in the world................THAI GIRLS
Hey! Ladies pull your beaks in, this article was about cougars - not the bible!
Well, I say good luck to the ladies, but why go so far away and at huge expense when there are plenty around here who could do the same job? As for having a younger male, you are not going to get much satisfaction from them. Wham,bang, thank you maam and it is all over.....on to the next one!!! Besides, all these diseases that are appearing here in Austarlia have all come from these sorts of places. It only took 1 week for Bird flu to spread all over the country as one example....even more dangerous when sex is involved!! An older man will last lots longer, give more attention and is generally a better lover so ladies, don`t be so picky and try a few locals!!
The guy that 'lay with his daughters' in the bible was sleeping, they were the ones who pounced on him while he slept away, unknown of what happened. It was just another way for the bible to bash women... As for these cougars on holidays, meh. I'm not against it, if the men put themselves out there, then it's a win-win situation. You wouldn't ever see me doing it though...Where's the article about men who go around taking advantage of women while they go on holidays? Oh god, I sound like such a feminist...
Isn't it cute,quaint,icky,( you choose ) how some people still refer to it as,'sleeping with' someone........... I don't know about you but when I'm out on the town there's not much 'sleeping with' going on !!
Abraham did not sleep with his daughters, you idiot, and Genesis chapter 1 doesnt even mention Abraham yet. You need to read the bible as it was Lot who ended up sleeping with his daughters in chapter 19 which was forbidden and ended up with the Moabites & Ammonites who ended up as enemies of Israel.
"Yeah right, a woman who enjoys sex for sex sake. NOT! " ? You don't know squat (pun intended) so until you grow a vagina, I suggest you keep your ignorant mouth closed. You're only proving yourself to be either crap in bed or a virgin. Most women can enjoy sex for sex' sake, but unfortunately a lot of men watch too much porn and don't understand the difference between what feels good and what looks good on camera. If the women you have sex with don't enjoy it, you're doing it wrong. If the guys commenting on this site are an example of what Aussie women have to choose from, I'm not suprised that going overseas is the more attractive option. In fact I'm shocked we aren't having a vibrator shortage right now.
Ok..Seriously now..All of my comments have been a complete wind-up. Why did I do it? Because I wanted to get a bite from people as you have all taken this so serious, and I have to say the vitriole and hypocracy has been sad..'Girl power,empowering Women,boot on the other foot,Female liberation,pay back time against all men,degrade men,etc etc. For goodness sake Aussie Ladies you are supposedly the Most Liberated Women on the why portray as if you are the most unhappy?? Ask that question. But I must say I have been in hysterics winding in all of the bites..entertainment plus! OK now my honest opinion.. if any Gender is over the age of 18-Do what you wish with who ever you wish with mutual,woman,fish whatever I just don't care. Thanks for the entertainment my friends and I have never laughed so much(Both Men AND Women!) Now read back comments and Laugh!!
Not sure what all the problem is about here. If the women are hot for a romp and the blokes are eager to do their bit then why not. Cant see the problem here Blokes have been doing this for years!! Good luck to you ladies
Mate, you seriously need to read your bible again. In Genisis (The first chapter) Abraham lay with his two daughters and they both begat him sons. The dirty old paedofile *** screwed his own daughters and knocked them up. Where does it say his wives were chosen for him.