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Sex Tourism

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"I'm going to Greece for the sex! Sex for breakfast! Sex for dinner! Sex for tea! And sex for supper!"
Shirley, Shirley Valentine

Sex Tourism is when someone visits another area - typically another country - to get laid, generally with the locals. Squicky examples include men who go to various Asian countries for sex with children, or try to pick up kids over the Internet and fly out to where they are to take them to a motel. Less squicky/not-squicky examples (based on your perspective; in media, these are usually Played for Laughs) tend to involve things like American men going to Europe (because Europeans Are Kinky) or European men going to America (because supposedly American women can't resist their accents) to pick up women in bars and such, or women going to the beach in Mediterranean countries like Greece, Spain, Italy, or the South of France, or to the Caribbean, where the men are supposedly hunky and romantic and happy to have sex with tourist women from colder climates. This is sometimes called romance tourism to differentiate it from the more male oriented trope name.

In some cases, the sex is arranged as part of the package, e.g. as pre-arranged prostitution, or you just go somewhere and you hook up with someone as an ordinary pick up. In the movie 48 Hrs. (which does not have sex tourism), Nick Nolte refers to the process of someone going out to hook up with someone to have sex as a "trim hunt".

In the United States, the PROTECT Act allows US citizens who engage in "illicit sexual conduct" outside the country to be fined and/or imprisoned.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Beck, Saitou's Thailand trip seems to be one of this judging from the photographs he brings back. This is lampshaded by Koyuki, who (apparently obliviously) wonders why middle-aged men like going to Southeast Asia so much.
  • In Interspecies Reviewers, the gang frequently travel to various places for the specific purpose of sampling the "succu-girls" there. They explicitly want to experience as many different species as they can.

  • The European railways organisation who sell youth-aimed "Inter-Rail" international European rail passes got into trouble with a magazine advert showing yellow condoms on a blue background as a parody of The European Union flag, suggesting a little too overtly that holders might engage in this trope.

    Comic Books 
  • As much of a Crapsack World as Sin City is, it still gets tourists from other parts of the U.S. and even other countries who want to visit Old Town.

  • How Stella Got Her Groove Back is the quintessential example of female sex tourism. A professionally successful divorced Black American woman visits another country (specifically Jamaica) and hooks up with a hunky young man. The movie is based on a book which is again based on the Real Life experience of the author. The relationship in real life didn't work out, since said young man was secretly gay and angling for a Citizenship Marriage to escape the incredible homophobia of Jamaica; he came out once he got his citizenship and he and the author had a nasty divorce.
  • Brokeback Mountain has a scene with one of the cowboys going to Mexico to anonymously hook up with a local man, presumably to release the stress of having to live in a heterosexual marriage and limit his contact with the other sheep herder to only once a year.
  • This is the initial plot in the first Hostel. At least before things get bad. Fast.
  • In Dogma, a member of the Board of Directors for the Mooby Corporation is killed by Loki (the Angel of Death) because he flew to Thailand to have sex with an Eleven! Year! Old! Boy!
  • Pretty much the entire plot of EuroTrip.
    • Scott actually goes to Berlin to profess his love for a girl he never actually met. His best friend, though, goes specifically for this reason.
  • Heading South with Charlotte Rampling is about middle-aged Western women who go to the Caribbean for sexual encounters with local men.
  • Holly is about an American expatriate in Cambodia who tries to rescue a 12-year-old Vietnamese girl from the world of child prostitution.
  • In Love Actually, Colin goes to America because he figures American girls will go crazy over his cute British accent. It works.
  • In Stealing Beauty, Lucy goes to Italy and has sex for the first time. Oh, and looks for her father.
  • In The Prince & Me, Prince Edvard makes his college choice based solely on seeing it featured in a Girls Gone Wild video.
  • Sex Drive is about a young man who steals his brother's car and drives halfway across the country so that he can lose his virginity to a girl he met online.
  • This is what most of the holidaymakers (except the monks) are hoping the package tour in Carry On Abroad will turn out to be. Vic Flange wants to have an affair with Sadie Tompkins, Bert Conway wants to find an attractive woman, Lily Dickey and Marge Mace want to find young men, Stanley Blunt wants his wife Evelyn to loosen up sexually, and Nicholas Phipps wants to find a girl.

  • The novel Exit to Eden is about a BDSM sex-fantasy island.
  • The backdrop of Peter Straub's novel Koko is the sex-tourism fueled underbelly of Bangkok.
  • Michel Houellebecq's novel Platforme deals extensively with sex-tourism.
  • Time Scout features Sex Tourism to the past. Some people go downtime to have sex with downtimer whores. This is viewed very negatively and explicitly referred to as rape. They're called "zipper jockeys".
  • Batman: The Ultimate Evil by Andrew Vachss. Batman takes on an international child pornography/prostitution ring, which includes an expy of Thailand whose major source of foreign currency is child sex tourism.
  • In the Science Fiction story And I Awoke and Found Me Here on the Cold Hill's Side by James Tiptree, Jr, aliens are exploiting Earth for its resources while the more perverse among them engage in Boldly Coming with the locals.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit:
    • In one episode, Munch goes undercover to bust a travel agent who secretly runs a sex-tourism business for male pedophiles. "We have an arrangement with a local orphanage" in a Third-World country. A pedophile ring is exposed and one of its members has recently returned from a tour. The Postal Inspectors intercept an incriminating video tape.
    • In another DA Barba pursues a sex tourism case against a pedophile director who traveled to Canada to have sex with a young but legal in Canada girl. It's a case of Justice by Other Legal Means, as the director had been getting away with exploiting barely legal actresses in certain American states for some time.
  • The Office (US): Jim asks for vacation advice from the other employees. Kevin suggests Hedonism in Jamaica: "It's like Club Med, but everything is naked."
  • On The Wire, Jimmy McNulty (Dominic West) pretends to be an Englishman in Baltimore in order to infiltrate a sex slavery ring. He gets much farther with it than expected, to the eyerolls of his colleagues.
  • My Name Is Earl had an episode where a former Foreign Exchange Student named Pierre wanted to stay in America to get girls, it works for him.
  • Some of the characters on M*A*S*H have, jokingly, remarked their main reason for joining the Army and being in Korea is for the (female) nurses (with sex implied).
  • Implied in one of the Men On... sketches from In Living Color!. The two (very camp) hosts talk about their trip to Europe, upon which they decided to leave Sweden, with its blond, buxom women ("Hated it!") and go back to Greece, where they "bent over backward" for the pair.
  • Saturday Night Live: A fake ad for Rosetta Stone shows several creepy looking men learning Thai "for a business thing". Phrases include, "Is that for the whole night?" and "I need to speak with the American embassy".
  • Risa in Star Trek is a Planet of Hats where this is the hat. Mostly portrayed positively, but some fans see unfortunate implications.
  • LoMo in Farscape is a "Pleasure Planet" chiefly devoted to sex tourism, with some extremely nasty organised crime. It may have been intended as a Deconstruction of the Star Trek example above.
  • This is Inverted with Inara on Firefly: she rents a short-range shuttle from Mal, and has to stay with his ship, which takes her all over the star system. She meets up with clients based on where Serenity plans to go next, rather than the other way around. Many of the clients try to convince her to stay longer with them, despite her having made it clear beforehand exactly how long she is going to be there for, but when Serenity goes, Inara goes with it.
  • Implied on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (of all places) in "Clubba Hubba" when Carlton wakes up the family butler, Geoffrey, his reaction is "Get your own Geisha!"
  • The White Lotus Season 2 has this going on in a few directions, as befits a season of a show about a luxury resort with the season's theme literally being lust.
    • Cameron Sullivan takes full advantage of the opportunity to hire Lucia and Mia, and it's strongly suggested that he expected to do a good bit of whoring in Sicily.
    • Daphne Sullivan is never shown to cheat on her husband Cameron, but it's strongly suggested that the trip to Noto with Harper Spiller was either a way for her to do so or to show Cameron that she could do so if she wanted.
    • Dominic Di Grasso tries not to do this, but literal sex addict that he is he ultimately can't resist the offer of a threesome with Lucia and Mia.
    • Dominic's son Albie isn't explicitly trying to get laid in Sicily, but does flirt heavily with fellow American tourist Portia before sleeping with the hot Italian prostitute Lucia (who is ultimately playing him and swindles him for 50,000.00).
    • Portia isn't explicitly trying to get laid in Sicily, but does flirt heavily with fellow American tourist Albie before sleeping with the hot English mystery man Jack (who is ultimately playing her, though he does spare her life against Quentin's orders).
    • Bert Di Grasso (father of Dominic and grandfather of Albie) is too old to do real sex tourism, but besides reconnecting with his Sicilian roots his main purpose in traveling is looking at and flirting with all the beautiful Sicilian ladies.
    • If you haven't noticed a running theme, Lucia and Mia are an inversion: Local Sicilians who exploit these Americans' (and presumably other foreigners') search for sex to their own advantage. (Luci is explicitly a prostitute and wants money, maybe to open a clothing boutique; Mia cooperates in her friend's schemes, but is mostly looking for her break as a singer).

  • Steely Dan's "Haitian Divorce" (off The Royal Scam) seems to indicate something like this—the woman flew down to Haiti, maybe to file divorce papers (a common practice before American divorce laws were liberalized, particularly for New Yorkersnote ) or maybe just to get away from her marriage for a while, and appears to have found a hot Haitian lover.
  • K.T. Oslin's "Mexico Road" has a woman and her girlfriends going this type of trip.
  • Ninja Sex Party's "Road Trip" is all about Danny going on a cross country road trip to have sex with women all over America, this later escalates to him traveling around the world for sex and finally flying a rocket into space so he can find "hot alien sluts."
  • Rammstein:
    • Auslander is a song about a guy who travels to different countries just for sex. Forget one-night stands, the singer only stays for a few hours, just enough for a random hookup.
    • Pussy is a bit tongue-in-cheek about someone going to other countries for sex because "I can't get laid in Germany."

    Tabletop Games 
  • BattleTech: The Magistracy of Canopus is a realm on the Periphery border of the Free Worlds League. It's noted for having the most sex-positive outlook of anywhere in the setting and sex tourism is a major industry for them (the other major industry being medical in nature, as they're also noted for having some of the most skilled surgeons and cybernetic prosthetics of anywhere in the setting).

  • In Shirley Valentine, Shirley isn't actually going to Greece for the sex — it's just an impulsive attempt to recapture some joy in life — but her daughter assumes that's her motive, especially after she admits she hasn't told her husband yet. (She ends up getting some sex while she's there anyway.)

  • Unsounded: In Ethelmik with the mines used up and the crown preparing to shut down the town people are trying to keep their home afloat using brothels which entreat travelers and pilgrims to come in and spend foreign sem and local labor points.

    Western Animation 
  • Bonnie of Family Guy while away from her paraplegic husband, goes to France to sex it up with... a paraplegic French man.
    • In one episode Quagmire goes on a "Cross Country Tour" to California, having a lot of sex on the way.
      Brian: Isn't there an "O" in "country"?
      Quagmire: Nope!
    • Seen in "Fighting Irish" where during the QuagFest "Love Around the World" parade of Quagmire's conquests, Peter and the family observe the various women from different countries, including Thailand:
      Peter: Wow. Wow, they're young. We better go.
  • One Robot Chicken "Bloopers" episode had the host explain how he has to supplement clips from his own troubled life due to the company's CEO blowing the show's budget on vacations to have sex with Thai schoolboys.
  • In episode 140 of South Park, the Super Adventure Club is revealed to be an organization which travels to the most exotic places in the world so they can be the first explorers to have sex with the native children.