‘Elderly White Women’ Look to Kenya for Sex Tourism
Travel Blog • Michael Yessis • 11.26.07 | 11:55 AM ET
Residents along the Kenyan coast “estimate that as many as one in five single women visiting from rich countries are in search of sex,” according to a Reuters story. The country is “just full of big young boys who like us older girls,” a pair of 50- and 60-something tourists from England tells correspondent Jeremy Clarke. By “big young boys,” the ladies seem to be referring to consenting 20-something men, which makes the arrangements legal. That doesn’t make it right, though.
Clarke addresses the issues of power, race, the colonial past and health risks raised by such arrangements. Hoteliers and the Kenyan tourism officials, for their part, see the arrangements as “unwholesome,” and have taken steps to make guests they suspect of engaging in this type of sex tourism “uncomfortable.”
Still, the parties involved—at least those Clarke spoke with—seem not to mind. A 22-year-old man named Joseph who claims to have slept with “more than 100 white women” says, “When I go into the clubs, those are the only women I look for now. I get to live like the rich mzungus (white people) who come here from rich countries, staying in the best hotels and just having my fun.”
As for the English ladies, 50-something Bethan calls it a “social arrangement.” She says: “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?”