Mention the phrase “sex tourism” in conversation and most people will cringe in disgust.
Why? People often picture old Western men visiting Asia for easy cheap sex with young boys and girls.
Stereotypes of sex tourism, as geographer Phil Hubbard notes, “obscure a more complex global economy of sex”. A wide range of people, regardless of age, gender, relationship status, race/ethnicity, ability/disability and sexuality, engage in sexualised tourism and leisure activities. We do this whenever we watch porn at home or in a hotel room when on holiday; go on a “romantic/dirty weekend”; visit a strip club, brothel, swingers’ club or bdsm dungeon when on a business trip; attend a gay/lesbian Mardi Gras parade; or go to a porn expo.