Romance Tourism - PhMuseum

Romance Tourism

Sofie Amalie Klougart

2010 - Ongoing

In Mombasa, Kenya, there is a market for female sextourism. Along the beach frontier, Kenyan men offer themselves to passing women. The meetings between local men and foreign women often spawn romantic feelings for the women that go beyond the act of sex. The relationships are often characterized by both cultural, economical and emotional inequalities. This phenomenon is known as romance tourism.

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  • Louise and Peter on their way home to Louise.

  • The view from Renates window.

  • Jay Jay lives in a small village but when Renate is in the country he stay with her at the all-inclusive hotel. To avoid prostitution the hotels do not allow locals to stay with tourists. Therefore Renate and Jay Jay rented separate rooms to make their meeting possible.

  • German Renate and Jay Jay met in 2006. Jay Jay worked as a beachboy, selling safaris to tourists on the beach. On her third visit to Kenya they got in a relationship. She visits Jay Jay two times a year for three weeks in April and three weeks in November.

  • Louise and Peter outside a local bar in Mtwapa.

  • Louise is outside a bar in Mtwapa with one of her Kenyan boyfriends Peter, who is thirty year younger than her. Louise is having two relationships at the same time. In 1997 Louise married a Kenyan man, they moved to France and had a son, Joshua. Shortly after Joshua’s birth, Louise discovered that her husband had an affair and she filed for divorce. Now, she has moved back to Kenya where she can be able to live a more comfortable life with the money she has and at the same time let her son know his roots she says.

    “Mostly it’s middle aged or old women who come here. They have usually been divorced and have gone through bad relationships. Some are overweight women from Europe. They love big women here in Kenya. The women feel desired, flattered and loved. The first men they meet are the men who work at the hotels or men who work on the beach – men who basically all want the same: to get as much as they can out of the white women as possible. And love makes blind, so when the women have reached that point they don’t see it. And even if you try to explain to them what is going on, they won’t see it because they are totally in love. And then it is too late. “ Louise explains.

  • "Was there ever a totally equal relationship? Aren't there not always differences in salary, social, cultural or educational background? I guess it is just a little more obvious here" Louise askes.

  • “Mostly it’s middle aged or old women who come here. They have usually been divorced and have gone through bad relationships. Some are overweight women
    from Europe. They love big women here in Kenya. The women feel desired, flattered
    and loved. The first men they meet are the men who work at the hotels or men who work on the beach – men who basically all want the same: to get as much as they can out of the white women as possible. And love makes blind, so when the women have reached that point they don’t see it. And even if you try to explain to them what is going on, they won’t see it because they are totally in love. And then it is too late. “ Louise explains.

  • Most female sextourists come from Germany and England.

  • A photograph from their engagement party.

  • Josy hasn't eaten for three days after her boyfriend left her.

  • Josy is sitting in her apartment at the Indiana Beach Apartment Resort looking into empty space. Three days ago her fiancé left her for Dubai where he got a job as a doorman. She is sure it was the end of their relationship.

  • Frank Nziki is working at Bamburi Beach. He is 35 years old and lives from selling shoes and from the money he gets from staying with western women.

  • The swimming pool at Renates hotel.

  • Josy is from the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Five years ago, she packed her suitcases and left her rich, alcoholic husband. She let him drive her to the airport. He thought Josy would regret it and return. They haven’t seen each other since.

  • German Renate and Jay Jay met in 2006. Jay Jay worked as a beachboy, selling safaris to tourists on the beach. On her third visit to Kenya they got in a relationship. She visits Jay Jay two times a year for three weeks in April and three weeks in November. When Renates husband died years back she decided, that she did not want a new father for her grown up children, but at the same time she did not want to travel alone. Therefore this was the perfect arrangement for her.

  • For some women this is an adventure sun, sand and sex - for others a dream of a more happy and simple life.


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