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Investigating the clientele of prostitutes in order to have a better knowledge of their expectations and practices, to reveal the reasons for their behaviour, is not easy. This penetration of the intimate sphere of the person contradicts deep desires to preserve anonymity and to remain faceless. They want to enjoy clean consciences, by denying any acknowledgement of personal responsibility. This is one of the reasons why clients, although key players in the prostitution industry, have not received the attention of social researchers.
Feminists regard this gap as a deliberate omission due to the tacit acceptance of male privilege in the control of sexual practices. Studies focus much more on supply than on demand because of the moral stigma surrounding the subject. There are methodological difficulties in identifying the diversity and heterogeneity of clients. Through 38 interviews with local and foreign clients of Asian prostitutes in Indonesia, Thailand and Hong Kong, and the testimonies of 15 Indonesian prostitutes, this paper to identifies the motivations, justifications, and profiles of men paying for sex.
Our interviews show similar aversions in Asia. Anonymity avoids shame and the redefinition of commercial payment into various alternative narratives building on the unequal status of the women in economic, social, and cultural terms protects the male sexual privilege. While the consumer may remain invisible, he is in fact the base of the whole system. One wonders then why the client is so systematically excluded from all studies and analysis.
Why is his role totally ignored? Who is this client, what is he looking for and why? Feminists tend to view this voluntary omission as a tacit acceptance of masculine sexual practices and privileges. The studies emphasized the prostitutes themselves, their living and working conditions as well as their relationship with their clients, yet revealing little or no information on these clients Khin ; Truong ; Hall ; Seabrook Toward the end of the s, with the onset of AIDS, numerous studies and reports devoted entire s to describing the social, economic and cultural profile of the prostitutes and their role in disease transmission.
Yet only a few lines of these reports concern the clients even though they are more numerous than the prostitutes, thus deliberately minimizing their importance. And there is a strong probability that most of these male foreign visitors, whether they come from Asia, Europe, America, the Middle East or Africa, offer one or more tariffed sexual relations, following all those who have devoted themselves to it throughout the history of the country: Chinese coolies in the 19th century, American soldiers on leave during the Vietnam War, local customers very numerous, sex-tours operators that forged a solid reputation of easy and cheap lust.
These studies are the culmination of a long-term field study in Patpong, Bangkok. Clients are not theorists and usually do not work on thesis dissertations or publish scholarly articles. However, some authors of guidebooks specializing on night-life have to present themselves as clients and experts on prostitution to be reasonably credible, firsthand material by sex tourists have been made available to researchers, and, more recently, interviews of deceived sex tourists Asia women fuck for money been collected and published in Thailand, but act more as a warning for future foreign customers.
Ehrlich, first published in the early s, has known as many as eight printings, the lastest one in It includes interviews with a dozen bar girls and three bar owners English, American and Thai but the major part of the book consists in a selection of 71 letters sent to bar girls by foreign clients.
These unintentional and unsolicited contributions by clients are particularly precious.
Romantic Adventures in Thailand was published in This book recounts fourteen stories in interview form, each one more tragic than the one, about Western clients misled, betrayed, or bankrupted by the greedy bar girls with whom they fell in love.
The authors of this work, Morgan Lake and Kristian Schirbel, both well versed in the customs and people of Thailand, wrote this book as a warning to Western travelers looking for love and unaware of the vast cultural differences which can lead to many misunderstandings and even serious disappointment. Fiction literature is an interesting case, but the autobiographical part is never clear.
Thorbek argues that the men combine old notions on race, class and gender with very modern conditions of life and that the sex tourist becomes an image of postmodern man. The increase in the male demand for paid sex is logical in the sense that privileges which were formerly restricted by class, race and gender are now available to everybody as there is no need to be rich to exploit women in the Third World. In fact the various health examinations tend in general to protect the client rather than the prostitute.
In the past 10 years certain of customers, considered to be a high-risk group likely to be exposed to AIDS, have been the object of qualitative and quantitative studies.
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This group includes such as: truck drivers, sailors, military personnel, drug addicts and men suffering from STDs. For these particular studies are now available detailing their sexual behavior, the frequency of their visits to prostitutes and whether or not they used protection during sex. The Blowfield study from which one table is reproduced below devotes four s to a closer look at the client, his socio-economic background and ethnic origin.
The study concludes that whatever type of sexual services is considered, it is extremely difficult to evaluate the volume of customers because the prostitutes rarely work full time and their work is subject to so many variables such as payday, vacations, religious holidays, menstrual cycles, and weather, as well as the economic climate.
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Despite the fact that according to all reports sex workers are increasingly more numerous, Asia women fuck for money of the other studies gives any details whatsoever about the clients to whom these sex workers sell their services. However, he has published extracts from an in-depth interview conducted with a young French expatriate in Bangkok, showing that prostitution can not be reduce to an univocal relation of domination Roux The sociologist Emmanuel Jovelin observed prostitution in Ivory Coast by polling public opinion and clients, postulating that this activity is to be linked to male domination and gender relations Jovelin On the contrary, more men than ever are buying sex.
The comments collected were transcribed, some in their entirety, some partially, in such a way as to protect the identity of the individuals by giving only their age, nationality, place of interview and profession. It was virtually impossible to obtain any comments whatsoever on pedophilia since it has recently become even more severely punished. The fact that these interviews were conducted by a woman could have had some influence on the answers, given the subject of this study. It is possible that a man-to-man interview could have resulted in different comments.
In addition the customers could be divided into two : the timid, guilty type who were not very talkative and the jovial types who were at ease discussing their sexual tastes. Our interviews, obviously partial, more often reflect this second loquacious category.
This confirms the stereotype of Southeast Asia as one huge whorehouse, Thailand in particular being seen as a magnet for sex tourism, the Bordello of Asia. The French travel guide Routard. Indeed, in s alone, since Asia is the most populated continent, it has the highest of prostitutes. The Public Health Ministry of Thailand makes a distinction between no fewer than 19 different types of establishments offering sex services Formoso 60confirming the diversity and abundance of these services.
Men involved in the prostitution world viewed by a popular Thai comics: Bangkok by night.
This term, while still implying a pay for sex relationship, at the same time refers to a less structured and more open connection which can lead to a long-term and even sentimental liaison. The supply of sex services is such that it can be summed up in a totally cynical yet realistic way: if the customer can pay and knows how and where to look he can literally find any and every service he could want.
Indeed the large choice of services available in the sex market has a direct influence on the diversity of its clients. This ratio of two Westerners to every Asian does not reflect reality.
In fact the demand for prostitutes in Southeast Asia comes firstly from the locals, secondly from Asians, and thirdly from Westerners. It has been established that the demand for sex services by foreigners, whether or not they are tourists, represents only a small part of the overall demand in Southeast Asia. Indeed the foreign clientele tends to use only those establishments listed in the guides, or addresses shared between themselves. In all the major cities in Southeast Asia in the various types of nightspots bars, massage parlors, karaoke bars, nightclubs the clientele tends to be rather homogenous, as for example, in the German bar, the English pub, the Japanese massage parlor, the Arab hotel or Africans nightspots.
In these locations there will be little or no foreign presence and transactions are carried out in local currency. With the progressive closure of brothel complexes in Indonesia, the flash trade passes now via the internet, mobiles phones and other more discrete channels.
Prostitutes are now more and more available online.
This spatial segregation based on nationalities has in the long run prompted the proprietors and their sex workers to specialize in the tastes and language of their specific clientele. There are very few statistics available on the nationality of the clients but it would seem that Asians, both locals and tourists, make up the large majority of consumers. Out of 5.
In addition the disproportion between the sexes is less pronounced in these groups than for: Arabs 81 percent men, 19 percent womenMalaysians 73 percent men, 27 percent women Japanese 71 percent men, 29 percent womenSingaporeans 70 percent men, 30 percent women. In the present article Baffie cites a study conducted by Chulalongkorn University in Yamarat et al.
The Japanese male tourist from the airport directly to the massage parlors. Surabaya is the second largest city and second port of Indonesia, where the sex trade has always been a flourishing business. Indonesians are in the majority whether they are Pribumi children of the soil, locals or Sino-Indonesians PeranakanChinese born in Indonesia and assimilatedliving in Surabaya or just passing through.
The term Caucasian refers to European types. Indeed there has been a considerable increase in the of Asians traveling within the region for business, professional training or tourism.
Testimony from the clients
In the Asia-Pacific zone, Asians of local or regional origin for more than 75 percent of the visitors with 60 to 64 percent of the tourists in Eastern Asia being of Asian origin. For Thailand alone in the Asians ed for more than 60 percent of the visitors according to the statistics of the Thai Tourism Authority Board. Since the end of the Second World War the growth in population, the improvements in transportation and the overall rise in the standard of living have resulted in an increase in exchanges which in turn generate further improvements. According to the World Tourism Office the of Asians traveling in Asia reached 55 million people.
Who were these 55 million Asians? The dominant role of the Asia women fuck for money in this gigantic and highly diversified society as well as the prohibitive cost of family vacations would lead to the presumption that these 55 million travelers—the equivalent of the population of France in —were mainly male, businessmen or assimilated. These characteristics could be considered descriptive of the potential sex consumer. Louise Brown points out that:. One woman simply cannot satisfy the average man. Men believe that they are entitled to have sex and they believe that they have a right to buy it.
Indeed their sexual expertise and of partners serve to enhance their virile image. In fact polygamy 11 and the use of prostitutes are considered to be an attributes of their masculinity. The rich man, to maintain his prestige, will certainly be polygamous. This same individual considers that the prostitutes are preferred by men, who believe they cause fewer problems than a regular mistress would.
These women often came from regions known for their beautiful women.