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For neither love nor money :
b gender, sexuality, and tourism in Costa Rica
h [electronic resource] /
by Ellen Puccia.
[Tampa, Fla] :
University of South Florida,
Title from PDF of title page.
Document formatted into pages; contains 223 pages.
Dissertation (Ph.D.)--University of South Florida, 2009.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic dissertation) in PDF format.
ABSTRACT: Costa Rica has been a popular tourist destination for decades, and is currently the second largest industry in the country. With so many tourists coming into the country, Costa Rica provides a rich environment within which to examine sex tourism. Costa Rica is a known destination for male sex tourists hoping to experience legal prostitution or child prostitution. Although it is lesser known, female sex tourism also occurs in Costa Rica. Female sex tourism occurs in the form of pseudo-romantic relationships between female tourists and Costa Rican men working in the tourist industry. These people spend a great deal of time together on tour, and relationships occur frequently. Men are seeking interesting sexual exploration, while women tend to be looking for the "Latin Lover." These relationships are not characteristic of prostitution, as no goods or services are exchanged for sex. These relationships may best be characterized as romantic.
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Advisor: Kevin A. Yelvington, D.Phil.
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
For Neither Love Nor Money: Gender, Sexuality, and Tourism in Costa Rica by Ellen Puccia A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Department of Anthropology College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida Major Professor: Kevin A. Yelvington, D.Phil. Susan D. Greenbaum, Ph.D. David A. Himmelgreen, Ph.D. Kathryn M. Borman, Ph.D. Jonathan Gayles, Ph.D. Date of Approval: March 27, 2009 Keywords: Latin America, sex, STD risk, travel, sex tourism Copyright 2009, Ellen Puccia
i Table of Contents List of Tables iv List of Figures v Abstract vi Chapter One: Introduction 1 Relevance of Tourism Research 1 Anthropological Approaches to Tourism 1 Tourism and Economic Development 2 Tourism and Culture Change 3 Tourism in the Caribb ean and Latin America 4 Why Tourism Research? 5 My Research 5 Statement of the Problem 5 Why Do This Research? 6 What I Thought Id Find 7 Proposed Applied Dimensions 8 Data are Different than Expected 8 Applied Anthropology a nd Tourism Research 9 STD Risk as Applied Problem 12 Organization of the Dissertation 15 Chapter Two: Issues of Sex and Tourism 18 Tourism 18 Tourists Defined 18 Types of Tourism in the Caribbean and Latin America 19 Sex and Tourism in the Caribbean and Latin America 27 Female Sex Tourism 30 Female Sex Tourism in Costa Rica 34 Sex Tourism Semantics 35 Impacts of Sex Tourism 37 Gender Roles, Power, a nd Sexual Risk Factors 37 Machismo in Latin America 37 Impacts of Machismo on Latin American Women 39 Changing Roles of Women and Sexual Life in Latin America 40 Gendered Power and Risk of HIV and other STDs 41 Men Typically Control Condom Use 43 Disinhibited Female Travelers 48 Summary 50
ii Chapter Three: Methodology 51 Guiding Research Questions 51 Fieldwork and Key Informants 53 Ethnographic Data Collection Strategies 58 The Spanish Language 59 Male Tourism Worker Interviews 60 Demographics of Male Tourism Worker Interviewees 64 Flirtatious Male Interviewees 67 Female Tourist Interviews 68 Observations 69 Participant Observation 70 A Self-Reflective Anthropologist in the Field 72 Validity and Reliability in Ethnographic Research 74 Flaws in the Research 77 Data Analysis 77 Dissemination 78 Ethical Considerations 78 Methods in Sex Tourism Research 80 Chapter Four: Tourism in Costa Rica 83 Costa Ricas Population 83 Tourist Destinations in Costa Rica 85 The Role of Tourism in Costa Ricas Economy 87 The Political and Economic Climate 87 Tourism in the Economic Context 89 Tourist Workers Perceptions of Costa Rican Tourism 90 Male Interviewees Work in Tourism 90 Employment and Financial Opportunities 91 Economic Development 92 Impacts of Tourism on Costa Rica 94 Tourists in Costa Rica 96 Recommendations for Change 100 Explaining Tourism in Costa Rica 101 Tourism, Economic Development, and Modernization 101 Economic Impacts of Tourism 102 Social Impacts of Tourism 103 Conclusions about Tourism in Costa Rica 103 Chapter Five: Why These Relationships? 105 Relationships between Female Tourists and Men Working in Tourism 105 Interactions with Tourists 105 Why People Participate in These Relationships 107 Mutual Sexual Attraction 107 Fantasies of the Exotic Other 113
iii Liberal Foreign Women 114 Mature, Sexually Experienced Women 119 The Latin Lover 122 Sex on Holiday 129 Economic Gain vs. Machismo 137 Unhappiness at Home 141 Conclusions about Female Sex Tourism in Costa Rica 144 Chapter Six: Relationships Begin, End, and Have Consequences 145 Costa Ricas Reliance on Tourism Makes Relationships Possible 145 What Happens in These Relationships 147 Initiation of the Relationships 147 Sex, Romance, Love 158 Ending Relationships 169 Impacts of the Relationships 171 Personal and Professional Lives 171 Sexually Transmitted Diseases 174 Economic Impacts on Costa Rica 178 Summary 179 Chapter Seven: Conclusions and Applie d Dimensions of the Research 181 Conclusions 181 Relationships with Female Tourists 182 Policy Views about Tourist Sexual Relationships 182 Recommendation 184 Costa Ricas Tourist Industry 185 The Lived Experience of Men Working in Tourism 185 Recommendations 186 Self-Reflection in Data Analysis 187 Applied Project 188 Risk of Sexually Transmitted Diseases 189 Web site 192 Recommendations for Future Research 197 Sex Tourism and Sexually Transmitted Diseases 197 Sex Tourism, Wives, Girlfriends, and Families 198 Impacts of Tourism on the Local Population 198 References Cited 201 Appendices 216 Appendix A: Interview Instrument: Male Tourist Industry Workers 217 Appendix B: Interview Instrument: Female Tourists 222 About the Author End Page
List of Tables Table 3.1 Informants, Interviews Arranged, Place and Date of Interview 62 Table 3.2 Characteristics of Male Interviewees Working in Tourism 66 iv
List of Figures Figure 2.1 Conceptualizing Sex Tourism Encounters 24 Figure 2.2 Intentionality and Sex Tourism 27 Figure 4.1 Map of Costa Rican Tourist Destinations 87 Figure 7.1 Safe Sex and Travel in Costa Rica, homepage 193 Figure 7.2 Safe Sex and Travel in Costa Rica, Women Travelers 194 Figure 7.3 Safe Sex and Travel in Costa Rica, The Men 195 Figure 7.4 Safe Sex and Travel in Costa Rica, The Issues 196 v
For Neither Love Nor Money: Gender, Sexuality, and Tourism in Costa Rica Ellen Puccia ABSTRACT Costa Rica has been a popular tourist des tination for decades, and is currently the second largest industry in the country. With so many tourists coming into the country, Costa Rica provides a rich environment within which to examine sex tourism. Costa Rica is a known destination for male sex t ourists hoping to experi ence legal prostitution or child prostitution. Although it is lesser known, female sex tourism also occurs in Costa Rica. Female sex tourism occurs in the form of pseudo-romantic relationships between female tourists and Costa Rican men working in the tourist industry. These people spend a great deal of time together on tour, and rela tionships occur frequently. Men are seeking interesting sexual exploration, while women te nd to be looking for the Latin Lover. These relationships are not characteristic of prostitution, as no goods or services are exchanged for sex. These relationships ma y best be characterized as romantic. vi
1 Chapter One: Introduction The focus of my dissertation is female sex tourism in Costa Rica, that is, an examination of the sexual relationships that develop between female tourists and men working in the tourist industry in Costa Rica. As an introduction to the topic, I begin by examining the situational context of the dissertat ion: tourism. Touris m, in general, is a rich topic for an applied anthr opologist, as will be discussed later in this chapter. After understanding the context of tourism, it is important to explain how I began this research, discuss how the research is applie d anthropology, and to examine the specific applied context of the dissertation: demonstrating to wome n travelers that they face an increased risk of sexually tr ansmitted diseases (STDs) wh en they have sex while on holiday. Relevance of Tourism Research Anthropological Approaches to Tourism Crick (1989) says th at tourism seems to be a fitti ng topic for anthropologists who are mainly interested in cultur e contact because international tourism, after all, requires that people from two different cultures come into contact wi th each other. Crick (1989) is quick to point out, however, that tourists have not been widely studied by anthropologists. Most wo rk on tourism that has been done by anthr opologists has focused on how tourism affects host communities, and much early research accentuated
2 the negative impacts of tourism. More and more, schola rs are finding th at tourism has some benefits for host communities. In fact, some studies have shown that when members of host communities ha ve been asked about tourism in their countri es, they say that it is a positive experience, for reasons such as increased weal th and modernization as a result of touris m (Gamradt 1995, Frei tag 1994, Crick 1989). Tourism and Economic Development Social scientists have criticized tour ism as a development strategy because of adverse economic consequenc es and because of culture change. Tourism is not a secure growth industry. Not on ly are there the obvious seasonal fluctuations in arrivals, but the developed economies themselves also go through eco nomic cycles; and during recessions, demand for overseas travel declin es (Crick 1989:315). Additionally, the people from the host countries generally do not see many of the profits from tourism. If any people from the host coun tries see any economi c benefits from tourism, they are generally the countries elite, not the people who work in the tourist industry. While many people in these countries are employed in the tourist industr y, they are employed in low-skill and relatively low-paying jobs. This increase in employment makes tourism a positive option for Third World governme nts and makes touris m look like a positive aspect for the pe ople living in th e host country (Crick 1989 ). OConnell Davidson (1998) suggests that tourism does not even provide much employment for the local people as many jobs are, in fa ct, occupied by expatria tes. Most of the benefits that come to the local people come from informal jobs in tourist areas. Most profits also leave the host countries as the money tr avels back to the home country of the foreign investors (OConnell Davi dson 1998).
3 Many hotels are owned by multinational corp orations, and the profits go back to the countries from which the tourists come. In order for developi ng countries to use tourism as a development strate gy, they often have to bor row overseas capital to build infrastructure, (with) the continuing intere st payments promot(i ng) dependency rather than the reverse (Cri ck 1989:316, see also Doga n 1989). Many resear chers see this as the new colonialism, since to opt for t ourism as a growth st rategy is to ask for continued control by over seas forces (Crick 19 89:321). In order for tourism ventures to continue to grow and comp ete with other locales, mo re money must be borrowed (Chambers 2000). Tourism and Culture Change Anthropologists tend to focus on a different kind of criticism of tourism: that of culture change in the host communities. Cr ick (1989) criticizes th is attitude for not taking other forces into consideration. Given that social change in the Third World is highly complex, the attri bution of adverse changes to tourism rather than to urbanization, population growth, the mass media, etc., often appears ar bitrary, and tourists may have been chos en as conspicuous scapegoats (Crick 1989:335). In some cases the indigenous people in host communitie s have been known to imitate tourists who represent for them a resp ectful and higher ci vilization (Dogan 1989:217, see also Crick 1989). Additionally, traditional festivals and/or ceremonies and danc es may lose their authenticity and a similar cu lture grows everywhere in order to satisfy the standard desires of the mass tourists (Dogan 1989:218, see al so Crick 1989). Chambers (2000) suggests that methods of hos pitality are also becoming increasingly standardized
4 throughout the world in a desire to placate tourists. Tourism is also criticized as a way of bringing market exchange to people who would traditi onally use such forms of exchange as reciprocit y. This use of market value and money exchange is far less personal than use of their tr aditional exchanges would be (Crick 1989, Dogan 1989). Some benefits of tourism are increasing modernizat ion and integration with urban civilization, increase in services pr ovided by the government, a more democratic and tolerant political climate, the development of national and ethnic consciousness, . and emancipation of women (Dogan 1989 :220). Tourism may also improve communications and transportation in host countries (Stronza 2001 ). As both Crick (1989) and Dogan (1989) suggest, there may be costs a nd benefits of international tourism for host communities. In some places tourism has caused environmental preservation while in other places it has ca used degradation. Tourism has weaken(ed) tradition in some areas while in other areas it has rais( ed) historical consciousness (Crick 1989:337). Tourism in the Caribb ean and Latin America The Caribbean is said to be the worlds most touris m-dependent region, relying as it does on tourism for appr oximately 25 percent of its expo rt earnings (compared to a world average of about 7 percent) accordi ng to the WTO (Holder 1996:148). Tourism began in the Caribbean region in a few countries such as Cuba in the 1940s and 1950s and spread to other countries in the region after the Cuban revolution in 1959 and the subsequent end of their tour ist industry (H older 1996). By the mid-1990s, re gardless of size or level of economic development, there was not a single Caribbean state th at had not ranked tourism as the priority for economic
5 development or as being among the priori ties (Holder 1996:149 ). Growth in international tourism to the Ca ribbean has grown at higher rates than in any other region, and will likely continue to do so. The region will contin ue to be depe ndent on tourism as a result, especially since other economic exports are no lo nger as profitable as they once were (Holder 1996). Mo st countries in the Caribbe an depended on export or refinement of such pr oducts as sugar, coffee, bananas, rum, tobacco, and cotton until the advent of tourism in the region. Now, the people who travel to the Caribbean as tourists are from the same countrie s that colonized these islands, England, France, the Netherlands, and the United States, hundreds of years ago. While they have gained political independence, they are still depe ndent on these nations for much of their economic activity (Holder 1996). Why Tourism Research? Because tourism is relied on so heavily by developing nations, especially those in the Caribbean and Latin America, as a mean s of development, t ourism research is particularly valuable. Tourism is also one of the primary mechanisms of globalization, which currently is studied a gr eat length. Further, tourism is experi enced by nearly all people, either as a traveler or a native in a place wher e people travel. This makes tourism a particularly wide -reaching phenomenon, and theref ore a perfect topic for an applied anthropologi st to examine. My Research Statement of the Problem In my research I address the issue of female sex t ourism in Costa Rica. In particular, I examine the sexual relationships that develop betwee n men working in the
6 Costa Rican tourist industry and female to urists who travel th ere. I wanted to understand why these relationshi ps exist, what happens in the context of these relationships, and what impacts, if a ny, these relationships might have on the participants. The potential im pacts of the relationships lend themselves most to applied interventions, both providi ng recommendations for future research and illuminating areas most in need of dissemi nation about th e topic of female sex tourism in Costa Rica. Why Do This Research? Every time I tell someone about my diss ertation research, I am faced with the question why did you decide to study this? so I thought that I sh ould include the answer to that question in my dissertation. I have traveled to Costa Rica eight times since 1997 as a student, a tourist, and a researcher, st aying there for a week to three months at a time. My range of experiences in the country led me to the idea of writing my dissertation about sex tourism. While a student in the country, my home stay was in a home that housed a tour compa ny. I was able to in teract with tour bus drivers, guides, and tourists regularly. I was also given the opportunity to travel w ith the groups on weekends. Day after day on my tours I would see at least a few female tourists and men working for the tour companies and hotels showin g interest in each other. I learned that sexual relationships between these women and men were not only common but also sometimes expected, and I wanted to know mo re about them. I wa s interested in the dynamics of the relationships and whether or not either pa rty was taking advantage of the other. Most literature s uggests that men who have sexual relationships with female tourists do so to take advant age of the women and reap ec onomic benefits (Pruitt and
7 LaFont 1995, Phillips 1999, Karch and Dann 1981). On ly OConnell Davidson and Sanchez Taylor (1999) have suggested that female sex tourists exert power over the men with whom they have sex wh ile traveling. The literatu re about male sex tourism suggests that when men are th e sex tourists they are taki ng advantage of impoverished women who have no choice but to sell sex in order to su rvive (Antonius-Smits, et al. 1999, Cabezas 1999, Fusco 1999, OConnell Davidson and Sanc hez Taylor 1999, OConnell Davidson 1998). Wh ile it has been claimed that men or women with economic means might be taking advantage of poor people in the coun tries visited, only men were suspected of taking advantage of tourists for money, even in cases where women had economic means and men did not. I al so viewed this resear ch as particularly valuable because it co ntributes to a s cant body of litera ture on the subject female sex tourism, which is becoming studied more and mo re but is still the least explored type of sex tourism. What I Thought Id Find I expected to find that men working in the tourist industry in Costa Rica were accepting money and/or other go ods as informal payment for having sexual relationships with female tourists. I thought that I would find this in spite of the fact that these men are employed and are making a good living relative to othe r people in the country. I expected to find that these men were taking advantage of women tourists who did not realize that they were being used for economic gain. I base d my expectatio ns in large part on my literature review in which I found that even in cases where romance was a motivator for having a relationship with a to urist and neither party believed that they
8 were participating in prost itution, people in the locations visited still expected money and/or other goods from sex tourists (Pruitt and LaFont 1995). Proposed Applied Dimensions I proposed to my committee that I would work to empower thes e female tourists who were being taken advant age of by these men. I pla nned to get the information gathered in my dissertation ou t to as many sources as possible including travel literature, newspapers, and a web site de voted to reporting my findings I wanted women to know that they needed to expect that any of th e men with whom they had relationships while in Costa Rica might expect economic gain in return. The idea wa s that if women knew in advance that this might ha ppen, they would be better pr epared to ensure that it did not. Data are Different than Expected With my proposal approved by my committe e, I went to Costa Rica to collect data. What I found was not wh at I expected. Men are no t accepting payment for sex from female tourists. They ar e, in fact, telling me that th ey are refusing money when it is offered. This changed one part of my proposed applied projects. Since women were not being taken advantage of fi nancially, there was really no re ason to work to stop it or to work to empower women against it. My intention to work to empower women, however, is still relevant as I have shifted the applied focu s of my dissert ation to safe sex practices and the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Women may not be duped into supplying me n in Costa Rica with money or other goods, but they are allowing these men to, in larg e part, determine whether or no t they are having safe sex. The culmination of my disserta tion research endeavors is stil l to widely disseminate my
9 findings and still includes a web site. Now, the web site is devoted to empowering women to control their safe se x practices and provides relevant data to demonstrate that women retain the power to insi st on safe sex and must be clear about what they want, requiring condom use in their relati onships with men in Costa Rica. Applied Anthropology and Tourism Research Anthropologists have been studying tourism since co lonialism (Enloe 1989). Tourism is relevant to many theoretical and real-world issues in anthropology (Stronza 2001:277). For one, tourism occu rs in most, if not all, human societies. It is, at least, safe to say that peop le in nearly every society have been touched in some way by tourism (Stronza 2001:264). T ourism is also significant to anthropologists because it is a catalyst of economic deve lopment and sociopolitical ch ange (Stronza 2001:264). Additionally, anthro pologists are particularly interested in the fact that tourism brings together people from different cu ltures in ways in wh ich it is easy to share cultural ideas (Stronza 2001). Chambers (20 00) states that to urism is about more than economics or resulting cultural change. It is also a bout the uses of power a nd about the ways people choose to represent themse lves (Chambers 2000:31). The practical issues surrounding tour ism and development make tourism a particularly relevant topic for applied anthropologists to study since applied anthropology is concerned with the solution of practical problems (van Willigen 1993:7). Applied anthropologists may decide to concentrate on a number of problems such as policy issues surr ounding the use of tourism as a development strategy, economic issues of internatio nal commerce, and/or the effe cts that tourism has on the people who live in the developi ng countries, just to name a fe w. My resear ch focuses on
10 the latter as I study how the tourism industry is being experienced by men who work in the Costa Rican tourist industr y, especially as those experiences relate to their interactions with female tourists. Given the nature of these relationships, a focus on STD prevention has also materialized. While I did not st art this research intent upon doing an applied projec t about STD risk, I di d include questions ab out the topi c because I was concerned about the consequences of th e relationships. That the participants in these relationships leave themselves open to an increased risk of ST D transmission, is an important consequence of sex tourism in Costa Rica. Given that the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates of the numbers of adult Costa Rica ns living with HIV has nearly doubled between 2001 and 2007 this fo cus is particularly relevant (WHO 2008). Also, AIDS is the fourth leading cause of death among women and men between the ages of 25 and 44, (Wingood and DiClemente 2000) the general age range of the participants in this research. This aim of increasing condom use in sexual relationships between female tourists and men working in Co sta Rican tourism is also ve ry important given that the National AIDS Committee Officer in Costa Rica working for the national Ministry of Health, suggests in her surv ey to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) that the national pr iorities for prevention strate gies in the country are men who have sex with men, sex work ers, clients of sex workers, and prison inmates, there is not a current focus on ot her sub-populations (UNAI DS 2008). Since the WHO (2008:13) found that th ere were only 42% of Costa Rica ns aged 15-24 who could both correctly identify two ways of preventing the sexual transm ission of HIV a nd who reject two misconceptions about HIV transmission, many people with in the country could use
11 information about prevention stra tegies. Absent thes e efforts, demonstrating to travelers to Costa Rica that they s hould insist upon safe sex, is a good idea. Without increased education efforts, th e current 0.4% ra te of HIV in the Cost a Rican population (WHO 2008) could increase. Since men working in the tourist industry in Costa Rica are having frequent sexual relatio nships with women travelers, any attempts at safe sex education or empowerment to increase condom use would be pa rticularly beneficial in keeping the HIV rate low. A dditionally, my research projec t contributes to an emerging body of literature on the to pic of sex tourism. When trying to understand the consequences of modern tourism, Chambers (1997:2) suggests that ethnography presen ting the natives point of view is very important and often missing from tourism research. For this reason, anthropologists have the most to contri bute. Perhaps the most important contribution an anthropologist can make is aiding in understanding the im pacts of tourism on the host countries and people who li ve there. Chambers ( 1997:8) suggests that the anthropological research that describes some of the social and cultu ral consequences of modern tourism development is an example of applied anth ropology. That descriptive ethnographic research leads to a greater underst anding of contemporary human issues makes that research applied in nature. The primary role of the applied an thropologist is to transfer knowledge about one sector of humanity to another (Chambers 1985:29). As Chambers (1985:17) sugge sts, applied research is subject . not only to scientific criteria of validity and reliability, but also to various criteria of utility such as relevance, significance, and cred ibility. In like manner, th e identification of applied research problems . is heav ily invested in concerns of va lue as well as in those of
12 strictly scientific-emp irical knowledge. My research is relevant, as I provide a greater understanding of how the lives of men workin g in the Costa Rican tourist industry are impacted by the tourist indus try in the country. I provide informa tion about how their interactions with female tourists may affect their lives. I also take this information to provide relevant data to potential female tourists a bout their risk of STDs as I disseminate the information ga thered through my dissertation research. Research is useful when it offers insig ht into salient patt erns of tourism deve lopment (Chambers 1997). I am disseminating my research findings widely, as I have cr eated a web site as the culmination of my work th at is designed to empower wome n travelers to take control of their safe sexual practice s and therefore reduce their STD risk. My findings are eminently usable, and applied anthropology is anth ropology put to use (van Willigen 1993:7). STD Risk as Applied Problem While many issues may be examined pert aining to STD risk a nd travel, the final product of my dissertation is a web site designed to empow er women to negotiate for condom use in their sexual relati onships with men in Costa Rica. While the web site is specifically aimed at female travelers and is based on information gathered in Costa Rica, I hope that the web site may also provide guidelines th at would be useful in other sexual situations. The information gathered in my dissertation has also led to targeted brochures aimed at women trav eling to Costa Rica for fi eld schools, foreign language schools, and study abroad prog rams, as these women constitu ted more than half of my female tourist sample.
13 In 2004, nearly 50% of infected people worldwid e were women, up from 35% in 1985. In nearly every re gion of the world, the number of women with HIV/AIDS has risen, and, in most regions of the world, women and adol escent girls represent an increasing proportion of pe ople living with HIV/AIDS (Dworkin and Ehrhardt 2007:13). Half of all women ne wly infected with HIV are in fected by their spouses or primary partners (Dworkin a nd Ehrhardt 2007), a nd married women are more likely to have a difficult time negotiat ing condom use with their hu sbands than are single women with their partners (Wellings, et al. 2006). Several studie s have concluded that women in these cases did not use condoms for a variet y of different reasons such as lack of power within their relations hips (Orubuloye, Caldwell, and Caldwell 1993, McGrath, et al. 1993, and Feldman, et al. 1997, Wingood and DiClemente 1998), lack of social and economic resources (Dworkin and Ehrhardt 2007, Orubuloye Caldwell, and Caldwell 1993, McGrath, et al. 1993, and Feldman, et al. 1997, Wingood and DiClemente 1998), a desire to keep their repu tations intact (Gomez and Marn 1996, Ford and Norris 1993, Cabada, et al. 2007, Abel an d Fitzgerald 2006), limited access to purchasing condoms (Romero-Daza and Freidus 2008), and an inability to successf ully negotiate condom use with their partners (Otto-Sal aj, et al. 2008, Abel and Fitzge rald 2006). These issues could play a role in women trav elers inability to use condoms while on holid ay as well. Targeting women travelers in an attempt to increase condom use is a strategy designed to protect both women and the men who have sex with them. Althoug h sexual risk reduction is of equa l importance to men and women, av ailable educational programs typically assume that women and not men shoul d be the recipients of negotiation skills training (Otto-Salaj, et al. 2008:152).
14 An effective intervention aimed at in creasing condom use w ould not necessarily focus on education about the transmission of HIV and othe r STDs. Many programs already teach people about STD infections, including symptoms, treatment, and prevention strategies (Abel a nd Fitzgerald 2006, Ito, et al. 2008). In fact, all of the participants in my research know about STD infections an d that the best prevention strategy is consistently using condoms. This type of basi c sex education is not enough to effect change in people s risk-taking behaviors. Th e intention to use condoms does not always translate to practice Abel and Fitzgerald (2006) have provided four reasons why condoms may not be us ed: sometimes people believ e that it will ruin the spontaneity of the sexual inte raction, others are under the in fluence of alcohol or drugs, some believe that their partne rs are safe and therefore do not need condoms, and others do not use condoms because their partners do not want to us e them. Partners need to be able to negotiate condom use within all of their sexual interactions. Research has shown that couples who can communicate openly about con dom use and safer sex are more likely to reduce HIV beha vioral risk through safer se x methods than couples who do not discuss these i ssues (Otto-Salaj, et al. 2008:150). Otto-Salaj, et al. (2008:150) suggest that effective HI V risk reduction behavior change interventions routinel y teach participants sexual assertiveness, communication, and negotiation skills, to h elp individuals develop commun ication skills needed to persuade sexual partners to av oid risky behavior. In a ny sexual educati on intervention, specific techniques teachi ng people how to communicate about sex and negotiate condom use would be useful, in cluding the practicalities of how to introduce a condom into the sex act (Abel and Fi tzgerald 2006:114). Accordin g to Abel and Fitzgerald
15 (2006), the context of the sexual encounter may determine, in part, whether or not condoms are used. Therefore, my web site and brochure, ta ilored specifical ly to women travelers to Costa Rica, using information collected from women who have had sex on tour and the men with whom they have sex, should be able to both inform women that they do have the power to determine if cond oms are used as well as suggesting some specific strategies that may be used. I can also provide data aimed at reducing womens fear of being perceived nega tively for their sexual expe rience, which is one of the reasons that condom negoti ation is sometimes avoi ded (Gomez and Marn 1996, Cabada, et al. 2007, Abel and Fitzgerald 2006). Intervention programs targeted at a specif ic audience, using da ta gathered from that group of people, should be most effective in causing changes in risk-taking behaviors by providing that information that the audience will find to be most relevant and by avoiding other unnecess ary information (Bellis, Gr imley, and Alexander 2002, Ito, et al. 2008). Additiona lly, focusing on increasing cond om use in the context of travel is significant as tour guides may play a pivotal part in the transmission of STDs, as they are having casual sexual relations with sustainable ac cess to at least one additional group of potential partners, that is, travelers, comp ared to the average person (Cabada, et al. 2007). Th erefore, educatin g women travelers about condom use negotiation strategi es with men working in the tourist in dustry may lead to a decrease in the transmission of STDs in Costa Rica. Organization of the Dissertation In Chapter One: Introduction, I have explained my reasons for writing this dissertation. I began by expl aining how tourism research is relevant. I went on to
16 situate my research in the context of touris m research. I have al so explained why this research is applied in nature including a discussi on of the role of ap plied anthropology in preventing STDs. The following section describes the remainder of my dissertation. In Chapter Two: Issues of Sex and Tourism, I discuss my theoretical orientation including the ideas about sex and tourism that guided me throughout my research. In my discussion of tourism, I explain definitions of tourism and tour ists found in the literature. I spec ifically look at the sex tourism literature in de tail, with particular attention paid to female sex tourism. In the li terature about sex a nd gender, I focus on differences between men and women in Lati n America. I end the chapter with an examination of inequality between men and women In Chapter Three: Methodology, I explai n my ethnographic appr oach to research design, data collection, and data analysis. I also provide details about my key informants and how I went a bout sampling, interviewing, an d observing. I explain my plans for analysis and dissemination as well as my ethical consid erations. Finally, I offer a brief review of the methodological approaches used by others who have researched sex tourism. In Chapter Four: Tourism in Costa Ri ca, I describe the context of my dissertation, tourism in Costa Rica. I begin by discussing th e population, tourist attractions, and tourism and development. I also begin to explore my fi ndings in this chapter by first describing relevant details from my interviews a nd observations about how men working in tourism perc eive the tourist i ndustry and tourists in Costa Rica. I start with my male intervie wees work in tourism, fi nancial opportunities, economic
17 development, and impacts of tourism on Costa Ri ca. I also describe their percep tions of tourists and their recommendations for change. In Chapter Five: Why These Relationships?, I begin to describe the relationships that female tourists have with men who work in the tourist industry in Cost a Rica. I use my interviews and observat ions to demonstrate why pe ople participate in the relationships, and I look to so me references in popular culture to offer some possible explanations for why the men and women have certain perceptions a bout each other. I also examine their motivations with curr ent literature about sex and tourism. In Chapter Six: Relation ships Begin, End, and Have Consequences, I explore what happens within these re lationships. I begin by examin ing the context within which these relationships fl ourish. Then I explore who init iates the relationships and how, whether the relationships ar e based on sex, love, or bo th, and any impacts of the relationships on the lives of the participants, w ith an emphasis on STD risk. Chapter Seven: Applied Dimensions of the Research, ties the dissertation together. In this chapter I discuss the findings and implications of the research in an applied context as well as o ffering recommendations for future research. I also describe in detail my dissemination ac tivities, including th e web site that is the final product of my dissertation.
18 Chapter Two: Issues of Sex and Tourism In this chapter I discuss th e topical area of sex and tour ism. This includes the continuum of sex tourism rela tionships from prostitution to holiday romances. First, I explain tourism and look at tourists, specific ally. Next, I turn my attention to sex (and romance) tourism, the specific topic of my dissertation. Then, with particular attention given to machismo I discuss sex differen ces in general; gender relations in Latin America as well as Costa Ri ca, specifically; and power in equalities between men and women, especially as related to risk of sexually transmit ted diseases (STDs). I conclude by summarizing how these areas of inquiry relate to one another. Tourism Tourists Defined One of the first definitions of touris t came from the International Union of Official Travel Organiza tions (IUOTO) in 1963 (Yia nnakis and Gibson 1992). The definition states th at tourists are temporary visitors staying at least twenty four hours in the country visited and the pu rpose of whose journey can be classified under one of the following headings: (i) Leisure (recreation, holiday, health, study, religion, sport); (ii) Business, family, mission, meeting (IUOTO 1963). Yiannakis and Gibson (1992) point out that this definition is stil l useful today in ec onomic terms but that social scientists
19 have had to make distinctions between those traveling for le isure and those traveling for other purposes. The definition of tourist most often cited currently in th e work of an thropologists and sociologists is that of Valene Smith (1989, see also 1977). A tourist is a temporarily leisured person who voluntarily visits a pl ace away from home for the purpose of experienci ng a change (Smith 1989:1). The motivations of individuals who travel are many and varied, but the foundation of touris m rests on three key elements (all must be oper ative) which form an equation Tourism = leisure time + discretionary income + positiv e local sanctions (Smith 1989: 1). She has also identified five types of tourism includi ng ethnic tourism, cultural to urism, historical tourism, environmental tourism, and re creational tourism including sex tourism. These types may also be known by different names such as environmenta l tourism that is called ecotourism. These different t ypes of tourism have arisen from the different motivations of tourists, what it is that different people wish to expe rience when they travel. Types of Tourism in the Ca ribbean and Latin America Many types of tourism can be found in the Caribbean and Latin America, specifically. The four most written about and common type s of tourism are ecotourism, heritage/cultural tourism, pleas ure tourism, and sex tourism. Ecotourism can be found in such countries as Costa Rica where Mo nteverde is a thrivi ng national park and preserve, (Baez 1996) Mexico, (Long 1992) Ba rbados (Hutchings 1996 and 1998) and Jamaica (Olsen 1997). Eco-to urists tend to be people who travel to Third World countries to learn about and experience different natural environments. They may go
20 rock climbing, snorkeling or divi ng, or take tours of the rain forests all the while gaining an understanding of a particul ar environmental condition. Heritage, or cultur al, tourism is found in countr ies such as Mexico (Long 1992, Amador 1997) and Nevis (Slayman 1996). Herita ge tourists travel to other countries, generally those in the Third World, to experience a diffe rent culture from their own (Amador 1997). Many he ritage tourists are experiencing village life in small rural areas such as Punta Laguna in Mexico (Long 1992). Pleasure tourism is common in Jama ica, (Mullings 1999, Gamradt 1995) Barbados, (1992) the British Virgin Islands, (Let t 1983) the Dominican Republic, (Freitag 1994) and Mexico, (O lsen 1997). Many authors cons ider pleasure tourists be those people who travel withou t a particular reason. These tourists may lie on the beach or go to all-inclusive resorts and spas. This is what Cr ick (1989) would call hedonistic travel. Sex tourism is a type of pleasure tourism that occu rs in a variety of countries throughout the Caribbean re gion that have prospe rous tourist industrie s such as Jamaica, (Mullings 1999), Barbados (Phillips 1999), and the Domi nican Republic (Cabezas 1999), as well as in Costa Rica (Ragsdal e, et al. 2006, Leal 2002, Romero-Daza and Friedus 2008) and is di scussed in great detail in the next section of this chapter. Tourism has been able to flourish as the amount of le isure time of Westerners, especially those from the Unit ed States has increased steadily since World War II (Smith 1989). In their leisure time, people travel for pleasurable experiences. Traveling for pleasure assumes that there is some experien ce available out ther e, which cannot be found within the life-space, and which ma kes travel worthwhile (Cohen 1979:182). Modern tourism involves an in terest in the culture and en vironment of ot hers (Cohen
21 1979). Because so many nations have beco me dependent on revenues earned from tourism, tourists have many ch oices about where they go. A wide variety of experiences are open to tourists in a wide variety of loca tions (Chambers 2000). Cohen (1979) discusses at length the motivations of people who travel for leisure, stating that there ar e five main modes of touristi c experiences that he has named: the recreationa l mode, the diversionary mode the experiential mode, the experimental mode, and the existential mode (Cohen 1979:183). Recreational tourists are looking for meaningful pleas urable travel. Diversionary tourists are seeking pleasure but do not need meaning. Expe riential tourists are searchin g for meaning in the world, and they do so through tour ism, finding meaning in th e life of others (Cohen 1979:187). The experimental t ourist is in search of himsel f, insofar as in a trial and error process, he seeks to discover that form of life which elicits a resonance in himself; he is often not really aware of what he seeks, of his real needs and desires. Existential tourists are sear ching for something new and may, for a period of time, go native in the new culture be ing experienced (Cohen 1979). Not all travel occurs with in a persons leisure tim e nor can all travel be considered pleasure seeking. There are travelers such as businessme n, missionaries, journalists, and anthropologists who travel fo r work. However, it is possible . for persons engaging in such roles to take time out from their work and engage in touristic activity, for the pleasure of it, and for the sheer pursui t of goals that have no instrumental payoffs. It is during these times that even people traveling for work or school are said to be engaging in leisure behavior. One may conceptualize this form of intrinsically motivated activity as forming the motivational fo undation of touristic roles.
22 Thus, touristic behavior is viewed, unlike othe r forms of travel (e.g., for business), as a form of leisure that involves travel and takes place away from home (Yiannakis and Gibson 1992). Therefore, rega rdless of what motivated a person to travel, those pleasure-seeking or leisure activities are tour ist experiences. Peopl e are classified as tourists, whether all or part of the time they are travel ing, not by what mo tivates them to travel but by what motivates the different activities they engage in while away from home. It is with this in mind that I put forth my operational definition of a sex tourist as a person who travels to a pl ace where he/she does not us ually reside and who, pleasure seeking, has sex with a native or migrant person dur ing his/her leisure tim e. It does not matter if people go to the countries with the specific motive of havi ng sex or if they happen upon the possibili ty after they arrive in the hos t country. In fact, Frohlick (2007:140) would sugg est that people w ho happen upon the pos sibility of sexual relationships while traveli ng would be involved in s ituational forms of sexual tourism. Even if people do not explicitly decide before they leave home that they are going to have sex while on holid ay, their romanticized and/or sexualized notions about their exotic locations and the people who live ther e may lead to sexual tourism. People who have sex with native or migrant persons in the places where they travel are participating in sex tourism activities. When considering that people are participating in sex to urism activities, it also does not matter if the people pay for sex or not because any pleasure seeking behavior during ones leisure time is a touristic activity (Yiannak is and Gibson 1992). Ryan (2000) and Gnther (1998) write that rela tionships that occur wh ile people are on tour,
23 not just those that are commerci al in nature, are considered pa rt of sex tourism. In fact, Ryans (2000:36) definition of sex tourism may simply be described as sexual intercourse while away from ho me. While this definition is far too inclusive to make the concept of sex t ourism meaningful, Ryan (2000) suggests this definition to demonstrate that it is equally meaningless to focus only on the commercial sex trade, as there are many different types of sex tourism and many differe nt people who participate in sex tourism. Sex tourism is a particularly important aspect of touris m, in general, since, as Oppermann (1998) suggests, sex and touris t travel around the world are frequently linked. Tourism, romance, love, and sexual relations have been inextricably linked since the earliest days of tr avel. For as long as people ha ve been travel ing they have been engaging in romantic and sexual encounters of vari ous types (McKercher and Bauer 2003:3). Tourism is er oticized to the exte nt that it embodies sexual imagery and encourages various expressions of sexuality. . Sexual acti vity related to travel and tourism can assume a variety of expressi ons, including hospital ity, companionship, prostitution, and rape (Chambers 2000:62). Of all types of se xual activity related to tourism, though, prostitution has been studied most (Cha mbers 2000). McKercher and Bauer (2003) believe that the sex tourism lite rature has been excessively focused on the exploitative nature of the commercial sex trade, includ ing child prostitution. So much emphasis has been placed on this area that the term sex tourism is used synonymously with the commercial sex to urism industry. Although this emphasis has helped raise awareness of legitimate issues, the commercial ization of sex and tour ism represents only a small portion of the total spectrum of tourism and human se xual relationships
(McKercher and Bauer 2003:4). Sex tourism may encompa ss relationships that range in nature from voluntary (holiday romances) to coercive (child prostitution, sexual slavery). It also includes commercial exchanges (prostituti on) as well as noncommercial (holiday roma nces) (Ryan and Hall 2001, McKercher and Bauer 2003). Figure 2.1: Conceptualizin g Sex Tourism Encounters (Source: Ryan and Hall 2001:62) Non-Commercial Holiday romance (with no sex worker) Returnee Voluntary Exploitative Neophyte Striptease/exotic dancing Veteran/ Macho client Sex slavery/trafficking Commercial Recently, non-commercial sex tourism has been studied in gr eater detail (Ryan and Hall 2001, Ragsdale, et al 2006, Van Broeck 2002). Holiday romances are of particular interest, as they are so different from prostitu tion. These relationships are 24
25 alluring for people as they are temporary in nature, providing the opportunity to experience romance and a sexual relationship without commitment, hiding it from people at home if they wish (McKercher and Bauer 2003, Ryan and Kinder 1996). Tourism provides a context and setting with in which sexual rela tionships may flourish (McKercher and Bauer 2003). Tr avel also provides people the possibility of being transported and transformed for a moment into the liminoid where everything is possible (Selnniemi 2003:24). When people are away fr om home, breaking their normal routines, they are more open to ne w experiences, includi ng sexual relations (Selnniemi 2003). The sex tourism literature includes resear ch about businessmen who see legalized prostitution as a positive aspect of thei r business travel, (Enl oe 1989) men who take vacations to such countrie s as the Dominican Republic for the purpose of having sex with the women there, (Cabezas 1999) women who travel to Jamaica looking for romance, (Pruitt and LaFont 1995) and female students who engage in relationships with men while studying abroad (Meisch 1995). A ll of these people are considered sex tourists under my operational de finition, as they all have sexual relations with natives or migrants of a place th ey are visiting, while th ey are temporarily leis ured. It is also important to note that so-calle d romance tourism is also included in the sex tourism literature as a type of sex tourism or as one end of the sex/romance tourism continuum (Pruitt and LaFont 1995, Hero ld, et al. 2001, McKercher an d Bauer 2003). Therefore, romance tourists are sex tourists, a specif ic type of sex tour ist who engages in non-commercial and voluntary relationships while away from home. The sex tourism experience is varied, and may be different fo r different people.
26 Sex tourism may be concep tualized as the larger concept under which the different types of sexual tour ism are subsumed. A conti nuum of intentionality on the part of the sex tourist goes from the greatest intention (p rostitution tourism and child prostitution) to the least intention (unant icipated vaca tion romance). That is, a continuum exists from prostit ution tourism to romance tourism, but both are types of sex tourism. Those rela tionships that could be cons idered romantic, could more accurately be described as situational fo rms of sexual tourism (Frohlick 2007:140). The participants may or may not have explicitly decided to have sex before they left home, but the opportunity presen ted itself while th ey were away from home, and they took the opportunity to engage in sex tourism activities, t hus making them situational sex tourists (de Albuquerque 1998 ). Additionally, the relati onships with the greatest intention, that is, prostitution, also are the most exploitative, with the traveler able to exert the most control over their sexual partners. A focus on intentionality, however, po ses some conceptual problems. Intentionality is difficult to quantify, and the fa ctors contributing to the choice to participate in a sexual relatio nship with a stranger while away from home are also different for different people. This is why intentional ity is only one piece of the sex tourism puzzle. When does inten tionality begin? Does a trav eler have to have the idea to have sex with a stranger while on vacation before he/she leaves home? Students who choose their study sites based on the people with whom th ey might like to have sex as well as businessmen who plan conferences in exotic locations wi th legal prostitution both have the intenti ons to have sex, whether or not they actually participate. Participation means more than intention in the context of sexual activity.
Figure 2.2: Intentiona lity and Sex Tourism Sex Tourism Greatest Intention Least Intention Most Exploitative Least Exploitative Prostitution Tourism Romance Tourism As will be demonstrated in the next section, the reasons why people participate in sexual relationships while traveling are conceptual ly more significant than the reasons why people travel in the first place. Sex and Tourism in the Ca ribbean and Latin America Many researchers have examined why tour ists have sex with people in the countries to which they trav el and have posited the notio n that white men and women travel to other countries in search of a raciali zed other (Phillip s 1999, Mullings 1999, OConnell Davidson and Sanch ez Taylor 1999, Shrage 1994). Their analyses have shown that many people who pu rchase sex in the Caribbean believe that there is something more sexual about people from othe r cultures. White We stern women search for black men who they perceive as being more sexual than the white men they find at home and travel to countries such as Barba dos and Jamaica for th at reason (Phillips 1999, Pruitt and LaFont 1995), and white men want Asia n, Caribbean, and Latin American women who they view as less pur e, and therefore more sexual, than white women (OConnell Davidson and Sanchez Taylor 1999, Shrage 1994). The fa ct that the majority of female prostitutes in the Caribbean and Latin Am erica are black or mulata may give credence to this argumen t. Sex tourism has been criticized as a form of racial 27
28 inequality as it is generally white Westerners who buy sex an d people of ot her races and ethnicities that are pr ostitutes (C rick 1989). OConnell Davidson and Sanchez Taylor (1999:37) argue that their sexual taste for Others reflects not so much a wish to engage in any specific sexual practice as a desire for an extraordinaril y high degree of control over the management of self and others as sexual, raci alized, and gendered beings. Th e authors go on to explain that this desire, and the Western sex tourists power to satiat e it, can only be explained through reference to po wer relations and popular discours es that are simultaneously gendered, racialized, and economic (OConn ell Davidson and Sanc hez Taylor 1999:37, see also Sanchez Tayl or 2000). Therefore, according to these authors, no matter the gender of the tour ists who travel for se x, they are all travelin g as powerful white Westerners. They then use their power as Westerners to control another person. Female sex tourists use their economic power to initiate and terminate sexual relations with local men at whim, and within those re lationships, they use their economic and racialized power to control these men in ways in which they could never command a Western man (OConnell Davidson and Sa nchez Taylor 1999:51, see also Sanchez Taylor 2000). The argument suggests that because white women are no t given power over their relationships with men at home, they travel to places where th ey will, by vi rtue of their country of citizenship, relative wealth, and skin color ha ve more power in their personal relationships. Women for onc e . can experience feeling more powerful than a man (Sanchez Taylor 2000:48). Therefore, differences in power become the overarching force behind the existence of sex tourism, at least on the part of sex tourists.
29 Hall (1996:182) had simila r findings. He suggests that most fundamentally, however, the motivations for sex tourism are an outcome of a desire on the part of the tourist for self-gratifying erotic power throu gh the control of anothe rs body. However, he also notes that sex touris m is not simply about sex, but is a response to the complex interaction of gender, class, cu ltural, sexual, and power relati ons in both th e tourists and the sex workers society which sanctions the commodi fication of certain human relationships. Similar to OConnell Davi dson and Sanchez Taylor s (1999) ideas, therefore, people participate in these relatio nships to exert thei r power over another person. The reasons why prost itutes participate in sex tourism are similarly related to the power structure. In order for sex tourism to flourish, Th ird World men and women must participate in prostitu tion. Poverty is the force that makes people desperate enough to sell sex. The women who work as prostitutes in the aren a of sex tourism come from poor families in countries where there are not many job opportunities for people in general and/or un educated or rural wome n specifically (Enloe 1989, Antonius-Smits, et al. 1999, Mullings 1999, Mayorg a and Valasquez 1999, Cab ezas 1999, Brennan 2001). Female prostitutes in these countries are of ten the main sources of income for their families and have many people including ch ildren, parents, husbands, and others dependent upon the money th ey earn (Kempadoo 1998, Bren nan 2001). The men who work as hustlers and gigolos face a similar economic situation in countries where there are not enough well-paying jobs. These men, however, tend to be single and are not financially supporting others (Phillips 1999, Pruitt and LaFont 1995). The ability to earn money is seen as a benefi t to these people in much the same way that people in
30 Latin America and the Caribbean who are affected by other forms of tourism believe that tourism is helping their country and th e people who live there (Gamradt 1995, Crick 1989, Freitag 1994). The cost of sex touris m is that the demand for prostitution is increased and many people se e no other choice but to engage in prostitution. Female Sex Tourism Although early studies of sex tourism focused some attention on be ach-hustling men in Barbados (Press 1978, Ka rch and Dann 1981), the serv ices provided by male sex workers for female tourists are the least studied aspect of sex tourism in general. Some researchers suggest that female sex tourism is different fr om male sex tourism. For example, Phillips (1999 ) calls the men in her study bea ch boys as they are commonly referred to in Barbados. These men, as other sex workers te nd to be, are unemployed or underemployed. They spend most of their time on the beaches looking for female tourists who want relationships. Men who provide sexual services to female tourists are often not consid ered to be prostitutes. They engage in sexu al relationships in an informal manner, not necessari ly accepting money for sex but rather accepting gifts and money over an extended period of time as well as becoming traveling companions to female tourists without any cost to themse lves (Pruitt and LaFont 1995, Phillips 1999, OConnell Davidson and Sanc hez Taylor 1999). Pruitt and LaFont (1995) have even termed the exchange romance tourism, although many researcher s including Gnther (1 998:79) would say that to separate sex tourism and romance tourism as two distinctiv e forms of tourism is highly questionable because this leaves people open to self identify as romance tour ists just so as not to have any negative social stigma attached to thei r actions. Sanchez Ta ylor (2001:751) would
31 agree, suggesting that there are conceptual problems when sepa rating sex tourism and romance tourism. She wo uld also argue that a theore tical model of sex tourism which can accommodate . the diversity of tour ist-related sexual-economic exchanges needs to be developed (Sanch ez Taylor 2001:751). One probl em with these distinctions is that most published literatu re about sex and tourism considers men to be sex tourists and women to be romance tour ists. Sanchez Tayl or (2001) takes exception to this concept suggesting that not al l men who have sex with na tive women while traveling would consider themselves se x tourists, as they do not have direct money for sex exchanges. Instead, they ha ve girlfriends who dance with them, take them around town, and are affectionate, taking gifts of cash and meals from their boyfriends. Also, it is important to rec ognize that women, as well as men, can be sexually hostile and predatory and sometimes women wi ll specify their exact requirements as purchasers of sexually objectified bodies (Sanchez Taylor 2001:759). Pruitt and LaFont (1995) st ate, however, that both fe male tourists and the men whose sexual services they purchase are looking for a romantic encounter, not characteristic of the sex-base d prostitution engaged in by male tourists. They claim that the tourist women and men with whom they have sex are primarily interested in an emotional relationship. They also, however, provide excerpts from interviews with Jamaican men in which the men describe thei r desire to reap economic benefits from a relationship with a white woma n. The men have also figu red out that the women are looking for a powerfullooking Rasta man with dreadloc ks, and even though they do not embrace Rastafarianism they grow dreadlocks in order to appeal to the female tourists. The authors further state that it is easier for the men to engage in relationships with
32 white female tourists than with Jamaican women because Jamaican women expect the men to support them financia lly while the white tourists do not (Pruitt and LaFont 1995). The economically disadvantaged men in Caribbean countries who participate in this behavior are using white female tourists for any financial gains possible (Pruitt and LaFont 1995, Phillips 1999). Therefore, men who exchange sex for money from female tourists are not viewed as pow erless and controlled by the women, they are seen as the hustlers who either take adva ntage of the women or give them romance. From this perspective, the men are reaping be nefits from the female tourists. According to de Albuquerqu e, (1998) who also studie d beach boys in Barbados and Jamaica, men who have sexu al relationships with female tourists are motivated by economic factors. He says that any rom ance was in the womens minds since the men are motivated by money. He al so states that when men keep in contact with the women, they do so in order to c ontinue to ask for money. Relationships are usually initiated by me n who decide which women they want, where they will go, where and how they will have sex, and when. According to de Albuquerque (1998) West Indian men prefer to maintain control of relationships with women, to keep sex private, and to have what he calls straight se x, not deviating much from the missionary position. OConnell Davidson (1998) agre es with de Albuquerques (1998) position in that she states that men are motivated by money. She also believes that men who sell sex to female tourists are in a different situation than women who sell sex to men because the male prostitutes are much less vulnerable than the women. While they are motivated by money, their economic conditions ar e not nearly as desperate as the conditions of female
33 prostitutes because women are much more lik ely to be supporting other people such as women and parents with her m oney. Men are much more like ly to be independent. Also, men are less likely to be controlled by pimps or to be at risk of violence from their clients. While Meisch (1995) be lieves that many of the Ecua dorian men in her research might reap economic benefits from the fe male tourists with whom they have relationships, she does not believe that it is a necessary precondi tion of involvement. She says that female sex tourism is more prevalent in Otavalo, Ec uador in the 1990s because there is more afflue nce of indigenous pe ople, some of which is a result of tourism itself. Affluent men often leave the country and encounter more foreign women. Additionally, pale skin and blond hair are ex otic features, accord ing to indigenous men in Otavalo, therefore they are interested in relationships with women who have those exotic characteristics. Beyond an understanding of why the men want the relationships, researchers have turned their attention to why the women want them OConnell Davidson and Sanchez Taylor (1999) suggest that male and female sex to urists both engage in sex tourism for the same reasons, to exert pow er over another person. Similarly, de Albuquerque (1998:91) proposes that female sex tourism is tied to greater female economic power, and concomitant gender em ancipation with its new gender and sexual identities and that female sex tourism is essentially no differe nt from its male version. He claims that attempts by femi nists (Pruitt and LaFont 1995) to distinguish it by labeling it romance to urism are disingenuous. He believes that women are motivated by racialized sexua l fantasies of hypersexual me n from other cultures, and
34 categorizes female sex tourists into four types: first timers, situational sex tourists, veterans, and returnees (de Albuquerque 1998:95). First timers are those wo men who intend to but have not part icipated in sex tourism before. Situational sex tourists do not intend to have sex while on vacation, but they do it when given th e chance. Veterans have participated in sex tourism before and are traveling agai n for this purpose. Returnees are those women who have met a man on a previous trip and returned to see him ag ain (de Albuquerque 1998). Relationships, then, for the women, are primar ily based on sex and th eir ability to exert some control in their lives. Female Sex Tourism in Costa Rica In recent years, female sex tourism has been studied in grea ter detail in Costa Rica specifically. Otherness is important to the sexual exchanges that occur between women tourists and men local to Costa Ri ca. Frohlick (2007 :140) focuses on the womens preference for sexualized black Cari bbean men who reside in Costa Rica, and the popular global and local imaginary of Puerto Viejo [C osta Rica] as a female sex tourism destination situated complexly within a wider ethnoscape, or mobile landscape, of First World female tourists whose travels to Third World places include participation in heterosexual relationships with local men. The loca l men in Puerto Viejo do not consider themselves to be pr ostitutes, since they are boyf riends to these women, even when they receive some money or other goods from the women. These women do not conceive of their relationsh ips as being monetary exch anges, and Frohlick (2007) provides examples of several women who ende d their relationships af ter their boyfriends asked to borrow money. The women also see their relationships as intimate, not
35 commercial. The women would be able to exert some control over these men, but they do not do so because it would ru in the intimate nature of their relationships. They do, however, remain powerful in th eir mobility, their ability to leave Costa Rica whenever they are ready. Some of thes e women choose to stay in Co sta Rica for extended periods of time, some return to see their boyfriend s, and some leave and never return. Their power resides in their abi lity to make that choice. Exoticism is a key elemen t in choosing a sexu al partner while traveling, but a vacation mentality is also important to some women trav elers in Costa Rica (RomeroDaza and Friedus 2008:175, see also Ragsdale et al. 2006). In Monteverde, where adventure tourism is popular Romero-Daza and Friedus (2008) suggest that sexual liaisons are an extension of that adventure. That thes e women are away from home allows them to act differently than they would at home, and an increase in alcohol consumption is common when women are on holiday, further lowe ring their sexual inhibitions (Romero-Daza and Friedus 2008, Ra gsdale, et al. 2006). All of the recent studies of female sex tourism in Costa Rica support the previous literature about female sex tourism throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, sugge sting that sexual otherness and situational di sinhibition are th e primary factors leading to these relationships. Sex Tourism Semantics The feminist sociopolitical perspective provides great insights into the sex tourism exchange. Women are defined as le ss powerful in sexual relationships than men, whether they are selling or buying sex (Shrag e 1994, Enloe 1989). Men are able to retain their dominance even when they sell sexual services to women because they are
36 defined as having more se xual knowledge. This domination by men may suggest a possible reason why women are co mmonly referred to as prostitutes in the literature whereas men are not. Many researchers (OConnell Da vidson and Sanchez Taylor 1999, Cabezas 1999, Campbell, Perkins, an d Mohammed 1999, Mayorga and Velasquez 1999) use the term prostitute when referring to females w ho sell sex. Shrage (1994) warns that researchers must be aware of the connotati ons of the words used for description. In the English-speaking world, the term prostitution ha s a kind of double, layered meaning. It designates both sexual activit y that is commercially oriented, and the act of debasing ones elf for a material reward. The te rm prostitute correspondingly signifies both a commercial sex provider a nd someone who debases herself for material gain (Shrage 1994:121). Othe r researchers use the term sex worker, which also has connotations. The term sex worker captures features more prominent to those who recognize the analog ous natures of commercially oriented sex a nd other commercially oriented activities (Shrage 1994:122). When ethnographers use these words, they are emphasizing a particular pers pective on prostitution and either contribute to the delegitimization of sex commer ce or . in its legitimizat ion (Shrage 1994:123). Why then is it uncommon for men to be referr ed to as prostitutes in the literature? Shrage (1994) suggests that men are culturally defined as more dominant than women. Given this definition of men and her examination of the connotations of the word prostitute as someone who debases him/herself for mone y, then it makes sense that men are called hustlers and b each boys (Pruitt and LaFont 1995, Ke mpadoo 1999, Phillips 1999). They are seen as members of the gender that controls sexual activity.
37 Impacts of Sex Tourism Sex tourism has far-reachi ng implications for host communities in much the same way as other forms of tourism. Much of the profits from tourism go to people besides those who are selling sex (Oppermann 1998). In orde r to go to male tourists hotel rooms, female prostitute s often have to give a share of their profits to the hotel managers. If they pick men up in bars, they have to give the owners of these clubs a share of the profits. The hot el and club managers and owne rs are the elite. The women who act as prostitutes are no t (Fusco 1998, Ca bezas 1999). Also, some tourist destinat ions become known internat ionally as places to buy sex. Sex is perceived as avai lable, and exploitation of raci alized, sexualized people in the host countries is strengt hened (OConnell Davidson an d Sanchez Taylor 1999). Other risks to international sex workers are health risks such as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), an increase in violence against women, and an increase in crime (Ragsdale and Tomiko Anders 1999). Gender Roles, Power, and Sexual Risk Factors Machismo in Latin America Machismo is a stereotype that emphasizes hyp ermasculinity and (is) associated with the Latin American male (Hardin 2002:1). Machismo could be described as a cult of the male; a heady mixt ure of paternalism, aggression systematic s ubordination of women, fetishism of womens bodies, and th e idolization of th eir reproductive and nurturing capacities (Sternberg 2000:91). Hardin (2002:1) attributes the long-standing association of Latin American men with machismo to the Conquest of the Americas by the Spanish in the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries, suggesting that Latin American gender
38 identity and gender rela tionships, especially fo r males, were themse lves products of the Spanish Conquest and the su bsequent colonization. Machismo includes perceptions about male aggression, se xual expertise, and the pur suit of many women. When the Spanish colonized the Americas their experience was colored by their association with the Catholic Church, especially in lig ht of the ongoing Inquisition, during which time sexual crim es were punished at a high ra te (Haliczer 1990:4). This punishment continued in the Am ericas, with native men bein g subjected to accusations of sodomy and with castration as punishment for sexual devi ance. Hardin (2002) claims that the Spanish colonization of Latin America was particul arly sexualized because of the Inquisition and because the conquistadors did not bri ng women with them to the New World, leaving them desirous of se xual activities with native women. Just as colonization progress ed along different paths in different Latin American countries, the behaviors a nd beliefs asso ciated with machismo have been shown to vary across Latin American regions, ethnic groups, social classes, age cohorts, and time periods. The components of machismo are better treated as pr oducts of the relationship between masculinity an d power than as a un ique Latino cultural attribute (Asencio 1999:109). While this is true, our understand ing of Latino traditiona l gender roles . is heavily influenced by the concept of machismo , with machismo involving male domination and female subordination (Asencio 1999:109). Seve ral scholars have described machismo in the same way, highlighting the associations to aggressiveness toward other men, virility, a nd sexual aggressiveness with women (Stevens 1973, Chant 2003, Hardin 2002, Asencio 1999).
39 In Costa Rica, the concept of machismo embodies ideas that men are more powerful and aggressive than women with greater sexual desire s and natural sexual needs. Women, on the other hand, are passive and submissive with a diminished sex drive. In Costa Rica this idea is still pervasive; that men have an increa sed sex drive and somehow cannot help themselves, is a comm on Costa Rican myth, although Costa Rican women now complain about it (Chant 200 3). Chant (2003:142143) attributes machismo with the sexual double standard whereby womens restricted access to sex before and during marriage, is counterposed by th e toleration and/or endorsement of mens engagement in multiple sexual liaisons. Costa Rican women are still encouraged to wait to have sex until they are married, unlike men who are encouraged to gain premarital sexual experience in order to instruct their women (Chant 2003:145). Impacts of Machismo on Latin American Women When describing the history of sexuality in Latin America, Je lin (1997:76) says that the pleasure is man s, the woman serves. . machismo in all its forms combines with the cult of the dedicated and suffering mother. Women were supposed to endure the unhappiness of marriage and mens behavi or (Ehlers 1993). Sexual oppression of women is a common theme throughout Lati n America, and it has been sanctioned publicly, politically, and by the Catholic Church. Hardin (2002) suggests that this oppression of women is a remnant of the ea rly conquest of the Am ericas during which time native women were considered property of their Spanish mast ers and were subject to being forcibly removed from their homes and raped. Because the Spanish did not bring their wives with them to the Americas as the English had done, their lives in the Americas were much different, and they found themselves desiri ng sexual pleasures
40 while away from home. They were not building stable hom es in the New World; they were conquering it, and wome n were one of their winnin gs (Hardin 2002). This treatment of women as property co ntinued for severa l centuries. In the 19th Century, three hundred years afte r the Conquest, colonial Spanish laws continued to guarantee patriarchal rule (Dore 1997). Spanis h laws placed women in a subservient role by limiting their right s (Ehlers 1993). Men did not need to show physical dominance over women because they limited womens particip ation in political and economic activities. Wome n were not allowed to have great economic resources. Additionally, women were tied to the home performing domesti c chores. This served to keep them out of the public sphere, not earning wages, a nd reliant on men (Ehlers 1993). Spanish Catholic values were instille d in the Costa Rica n people during the colonization as well. These values included traditional patriarchal gender roles that placed women in a lower standi ng than men. Men were seen as superior in anything political, economic, or intellectual; women in morality and spirit uality as well as homelife. This contrast jus tified male power and privilege as well as female weakness and self-sacrifice. A woman wa s submissive to males, her st atus linked almost entirely to her relationships with men (Biesanz, et al. 1999:168). Changing Roles of Women and Sexual Life in Latin America Changes in marriage patterns and social structure have been fairly consistent with those in other countries as family size is reduced and there are more single parent female-headed households in Latin America. Women have also gained greater political rights as they have entered the workforce in greater num bers since the 1960s (Cicerchia 1997). While changes have occurred, Spanish mores concerning family life still exist in
41 Costa Rica today. Gender role socialization of children still follows the traditional pattern of females who do domestic chores around the house incl uding serving their brothers and males who work ou tside the house either on the farm or at odd jobs around the neighborhood (Bie sanz, et al. 1999). Girls activities are mon itored, and boys are given more freedom in their ch oices and action s (Chant 2003). Since the 1950s, pos t-civil war, the role of women has been changing. The nuclear family structure is more common than extended families and the average number of children has reduced from seven to three (Lara 1995). Costa Rican women have entered the workforce in increasingly greater numbers since the 1950 s. In 1963, one tenth of the labor force was women, and by 1997 that numb er increased to one third (Biesanz, et al. 1999). Wo men generally comprise the service sector, with many working as domestic servants, and they receive lower salaries than men with a higher rate of unemployment, and have little participation in jobs in politics (Lara 1995). The situation of women in Costa Rica has improved in the last century, but Lara (1995:104) suggests that some problems st ill exist as there is an incr ease in battering of women, child abuse, and rape, even though womens rights are beco ming part of popular social discourse. Gendered Power and the Risk of HIV and other STDs As the above literature a bout sex tourism suggests, th ere are power differentials between men and women within the context of sexual relationships between travelers and locals. The most pertinent explanation of thes e factors of power comes from Wingood and DiClemente (2000:543) as they borrow from Connells 1987 work in suggesting that power is defi ned as having the capacity to influence the action of
42 others, conceptualizing power in terms of power over others or having the ability to act or to change in a desire d direction. This gendered pow er may best be understood in the context of sex t ourism by looking at the difference between research about female sex tourism and male sex tourism. While th e literature about male sex tourism suggests that male travelers have more power than fe male locals with whom they have sex, the female sex tourism literature is more varied, suggesting that while the women have more economic power, they are less powerful b ecause they are women (Pruitt and LaFont 1995, Phillips 1999, Shrage 1994, Enloe 1989). These disparities in power between men and women are particularly significant, as according to the sexual division of power, as the power inequality between men and women increases and favors men, women will be more likely to experience adverse health outcomes (Wingood and DiClemente 2 000:543). This gender ed inequality may lead to womens increased risk of cont racting HIV or another STD. The sexual oppression of women and perv asiveness of machismo in Latin America may have implications for risk of HIV and other STDs, as will be explored further (Gomez and Marn 1996, Hoga, et al. 2001, Downe 1997). Heterosexual women are one of the populations thought to be at gr eatest risk for infection of HIV and other ST Ds. Other high-risk popula tions include gay and bisexual men, prostitutes, and injection drug users in the United St ates and other countries. Heterosexual men are not a specific focus of literature about sexual risk except in research about heterosexual women, as they are the likely source of the womens risk (Orubuloye, et al. 1993, Mc Grath, et al. 1993, Feld man, et al. 1997, Wingood and DiClemente 1998, Gomez and Marn 1996).
43 The most discussed risk beha vior is participating in sexual activities without the use of condoms (Or ubuloye, et al. 1993, McGrath, et al. 1993, Feldma n, et al. 1997, Wingood and DiClemente 1998, Gomez a nd Marn 1996, Singe r and MarxuachRodriguez 1996, Raffaelli 1993, Ra gsdale and Tomiko Anders 1999, Antonius-Smits, et al. 1999). There is also mention of inje ction drug use and ne edle-sharing as risks behaviors, but this only applies to a sma ll group of the overall population (Himmelgreen and Singer 1998, Wang, et al. 1998, Wechsberg, et al. 1998, Hoffman, et al. 1998). Because more people are likely to participat e in sexual behaviors th an drug use, there is a greater emphasis on condom us e as a risk-reduction strategy Condom use helps all of the abovementioned risk groups: hetero sexual women, gay and bisexual men, prostitutes, and inje ction drug users. There are two main types of reasons w hy people engage in these two risky behaviors: cultural reasons and reasons related to poverty. Factors related to culture and socioeconomic status work syne rgistically to promote risk in the identified risk groups. If risk factors are ever goi ng to be understood, then the co ntext within which they exist must also be understood. Context includes many things such as shared perceptions, economics, political systems, environmental conditions, and marriage and kinship systems, just to name a few. The two most important elements of the context of risk behaviors are cultural and economic factors. Men Typically Control Condom Use There is a range of reasons why di fferent groups of wo men might not use condoms. Women in studies completed in We st, East, and Southern Africa have named several reasons for not using condoms: some are uneducated about HIV transmission
44 and do not know that they may be prot ected by condoms and so me want to have children. The most overwhelming reason named by women who do not use condoms, however, is that the men in th eir lives do not want to use them, with the combination of cultural norms and economic conditions increa sing the risk of contracting HIV and/or other STDs for heterosexual fe males (Orubuloye, et al. 199 3, McGrath, et al. 1993, and Feldman, et al. 1997). This reason is more significant fo r a few particular subgroups including women in Africa wher e the rate of infection with HIV is highest in the world (McGrath, et al. 1993) and s ubpopulations of women in th e U.S. such as Black and Latina women whose rates of infection with HIV far outnumber those of white women (Lewis and Watters 1989). In fact, while Blacks in the U. S. are roughly 11.5% of the U.S. population, they are curren tly 26% of all cases of AIDS and comprise two-thirds of all heterosexua l AIDS cases (Lewis an d Waters 1989:1071). Most significant to this dissertation are the issues facing Latina women, as their primary partners are Latino men. Latina wo men have been studied in the U.S., and researchers have found that the sexual behaviors of thes e women are largely guided by traditional cultural and gende r norms, which may put them at greater risk for STD infection. In a traditionally machista society, women do not ta lk with men about sex, as this may be viewed as di stasteful and/or suggestive of sexual promiscuity (Gomez and Marn 1996:356). Men have control over sexual acti vities, and women believe that their role is to please the man who has strong, uncontrollable sexual desires (Gomez and Marn 1996:356). It is also culturally acceptable for men to know about and participate in a variety of se xual behaviors while the same is not true for women (Ford and Norris 1993). As was f ound in Africa and with Black women in the U.S., Latina
45 women are less likely to use condoms when th ey are in a steady relationship. Gender, culture, and power each may affect ones ab ility to establish and maintain safer sex practices with a primary partne r, and these issues must be considered when strategizing about interventions fo r prevention (Gomez and Marn 1996 :356). Accordi ng to Bird, et al. (2001:233) individ uals in committed relationship s are less likely to use condoms consistently than persons in casual relationships, even if th ey do not know th eir partners or their own HIV status . Furthermore, some peoples belief that truste d partners are safe partners may lead to the perception of decreased risk as trust develops in a relationship over time (Bird, et al., 2001:233). Addi tionally, partners who believe that they have less power within th eir relationships also believe that it is more difficult to introduce condoms to thei r sexual practices (Woo lf and Maisto 2008). Manji, et al. (2007) disc overed in their study in Le n, Nicaragua that 87% of their adolescent informants said that it is was bett er not to have sex if a condom was not available, however they also found that only 57% of inform ants thought that condom use was only necessary with infrequent partners. This is true in a case where more than 90% of the informants knew that HIV could be transmitted through vaginal intercourse (Manji, et al. 2007). The mans role in repro ductive health and sexuality are deeply associated with the cultural values on machismo and masculinity. The behavioral expression of masculinity is largely acquired through socialization, leadi ng to the intern alization of male attitudes and values, therefore men must exhibit behavior patterns that are recognized as being mascu line or associated with machismo (Hoga, et al. 2001:108). In their study of Brazilian men, H oga, et al. (2001) found that machismo governed the
46 reproductive lives of these men in that they believed that women were responsible for contraception, even bein g sterilized to prevent further children because fo r the men to do it would damage their mascu linity. Additionall y, Hispanics (both men and women) report high levels of discomfort with sex, and this discomfort makes it difficult to successfully use condom s (Marn 2003:188). According to Downes (1997) sample of 247 Costa Rican women, men control condom use and, therefore, also control STD prevention. This problem is compounded by the fact that a national committee esta blished in 1987 to study HIV/AIDS and strategies for prevention st ated publicly that HIV is prevalent in homosexual and bisexual men but that the pr evalence of HIV and AIDS will rapidly increase in women who are irresponsibly promis cuous and in men who have sexual contact with these vectors (Downe 1997:3). Th is could leave Costa Rican me n thinking that they are not at risk if they are having sex with responsible tica partners and that th ey are, therefore, not a risk to other part ners such as tourists. This also suggests that men would attempt to control condom use w ith tourist women, ther efore tourist women mu st try to take the lead in STD prevention strategies such as condom use as much as they possibly can. This is one more way in which tourist wome n need to be aware of their sexual risk behaviors. They need to understand that these men do not always use condoms and therefore are often putting them selves at risk. In order to minimize th eir own risk, tourist women need to insist that all men w ith whom they have sex while on tour always use condoms. Some of the same issues are at work when condom use is negotiated within the framework of prostituti on. Prostitution, or sex work, is an exchange of sex for material
47 gain. Within the relationship established fo r the purposes of prostitution, one person, the consumer, when he is a man, will have more control over the transaction than will the person who is selling sex (Shrag e 1994). For this reason, whi le sex workers desire the use of condoms within the cl ient relationship, they can be at a social and economic disadvantage to insist on compliance with safer sex practices (Ragsdale and Tomiko Anders 1999). Additio nally, health and pers onal safety risks are also heightened because sex workers are asked to perform dev iant sexual acts, i.e., acts that their clients wives and girlfriends will not perfor m, such as oral or anal sex and acts of bondage. (Ragsdale and To miko Anders 1999). In their study of pros titutes of different types, that is, women from streetwalkers to call girls, Ragsda le and Tomiko Anders ( 1999) found that their in terviewees were not aware of prevention st rategies for HIV and other STD s. When men refused to use condoms, many of the female prostitutes w ould wash the mens pe nises with rubbing alcohol in hopes of preventing STDs. The women have been reached by local medical outreach programs and are part icipating in sex education programs, but they say that they cannot make men use condoms. Men do no t believe that it is necessary, and the women cannot say no to having sex with them because they need the money or their children will go hungry (Ragsdale and Tomiko Anders 1999:230). Brazilian prostitute s were studied by Antonius-Smits et al. (1999) in Suriname. They found that the participants in their study would particip ate in any type of sexual behavior with clients and that they knew little about STD s. They knew more about HIV/AIDS than other STDs but did not know safer sex techni ques to use for prevention. While most of the participants used condoms with clients sometimes, they
48 never used condoms with thei r boyfriends, husbands, or favorite regular clients. Antonius-Smits, et al. (1999) state that it is common thr oughout Suriname not to use condoms in steady relationships. While the authors do not an alyze this beha vior, it is likely similar to Singer and Marxuach-Rodriguezs (1996) anal ysis of the behavior: in many Latin American cultures condoms are synonymous with infidelity and a lack of trust (Marn and Marn 1992). All of these examples provide evidence that women have less power over others (Wi ngood and DiClemente 2000:543), as they have less control over condom use than do men. This inequa lity in gendered pow er has far-reaching implications for the risk of STDs for female sex tourists. Disinhibited Female Travelers Tourists are experiencing new places and new cultur es while on holiday. In some cases, they are in places completely different from their homes that are governed by different social norm s. This sense of freedom from the mundane may, in part, lead tourists to do things while traveling that they would not do at home (Carter and Clift 2000). Having sex with people while on vacation is a common occurrence as a result of this freedom as well as a lo wering of inhibitions (Carter and Clift 2000, Ei ser and Ford 1995, Ragsdale, et al. 2006, Aposto lopoulos, et al. 2002). Half of the participants in Ragsdale, et al.s (200 6) research participat ed in sexual relations hips while traveling, and one-third of al l tourists participating in Eiser and Fords (1995 ) research had sexual intercourse with someone while on holiday. Eiser and Ford (1995 ) attributed this behavior to sit uational disinhibition, that people feel like they can be someone different while traveling.
49 Another disinhibiting factor may be anonymity. Meisch (1995:454) suggests that when women are on vacation, they feel as if no one is watching them and therefore their behavior does not really coun t . because no one at home will ever know about their activities. Because women may be concerned with their reputations at home, the possibility of shortterm sexual encounters on vacation might be pa rticularly appealing (Thomas 2000). Ragsdale, et al. (2006) specifically examined female tourists sexual risk behavior as related to their expectations of and particip ation in sexual relationships while traveling. Rather than focusing on why women participate in vacation sex, they examined risk behaviors asso ciated with transmission of HIV and other STDs. International tourism among young women often is framed as an opportunity for selfdiscovery through exploratio n, which may be expresse d through engagement in activities outside the tourists normal r outines and behavior s, including binge drinking and engaging in v acation relationships (Ragsdale, et al. 2006:86). They found that women who expected to have sex while on vacation were twice as likely to engage in sexual relations, 12 times more likely to get condo ms either before traveling or while on vacation, and five times more likely to use c ondoms than those women who did not expect to have sex while on vacation. Those women who expected to have sex were also more likely to trav el alone or with one friend in order to facilitate hooking up with one or more vacati on partners, as this provi des more independence and greater opportunities for meeting casual sex partners than do the more structured activities . with group travel (Ragsdale, et al. 2006:93-94). The wo men in the study who did not intend to have se x while on vacation were signi ficantly less likely to use
50 condoms when they did participate in sexual relationships. Anot her factor impeding condom use among female tourists is their ro manticizing their enc ounters. They do not perceive their partners as posing a risk ther efore they may not use condoms, even if they normally do (Ellen, et al. 1998). Summary The situation of sex and tourism in Latin America and the Caribbean, whether commercial sex tourism or sexual holiday romances, has created an environment in which an increase in transm ission of HIV and other STDs can be expected. Condom use, while prudent, does not al ways take place. Not usi ng condoms is the primary risk factor for transmission of HI V and other STDs, and the relative power of men over women may contribute to a decr ease in condom use in hetero sexual couples, especially in societies where machismo is traditional.
51 Chapter Three: Methodology In this chapter I wi ll explain my methodol ogical approach. Fi rst, I will explain my guiding research questions and how I gathered the inform ation to addre ss them. In so doing, I will present my da ta collection strategies, my methods of analysis, and my dissemination plan. I will also demonstrate how I adhe red to anthropological ethical mandates. Finally, I will prov ide an overview of the method s used in other sex tourism research, showing how my research is similar. Guiding Research Questions In my dissertation resear ch I studied heterosexual sex tourism in Costa Rica, specifically men working in the tourist indus try who engage in sexua l relationships with female tourists. My first re search goal was to understand how touris m has affected the lives of the men who work in the tourist industry, hoping to understand if their jobs in tourism have had any impacts on their lives, specifically their ec onomic conditions. I also asked questions about how tourism has impacted the country itself. I asked men employed in the tourist industr y questions such as: Has work ing in the tourist industry changed your life in any way? Are you making more money? Does your current job carry with it any social status ? How has tourism affected Costa Rica and its economy? Explain how tourism has led to development in Costa Rica. (see Appendix A: Interview Instrument: Male Tourist Industry Workers) This information provided valuable
52 background information about the tourist indust ry in Costa Rica. This information also explained the context within wh ich this particular sex touris m was able to take place. My second research goal was to understand why men who work in the Costa Rican tourist industry en gage in sexual relations with women tourists and to understand what happens within thes e relationships such as whether one person controls the other. I expected to find that women were paying men for sexual services and that these men were taking advantage of these women for th at reason. I specific ally asked questions such as: Why are men interested in relationshi ps with female tourists? Are they looking for something specific? Do women travel to Costa Rica for th e specific reason of engaging in sexual relationshi ps with Costa Rican men or do they happen upon the possibility of this behavior? In order to characterize thes e relationships I asked several questions including: Who initiates the relati onship? Are these relationships hidden or displayed openly? Are these re lationships generally long term or short in duration? Is this relationship ch aracteristic of a romantic fl ing? How do the men and women present these relationships to others? Do thes e relationships have any effect on the professional or persona l lives of participants ? In order to under stand the dynamics of these relationships I investigated aspects of power and control in these relationships. Do the male tourist workers or the female tour ists control the relationships? Is there a reversal of traditiona l gender roles? By co mpleting this research I interpreted how the specific case of female sex tourists in Co sta Rica fits into the overall theoretical understandings of sex t ourism in general.
53 Fieldwork and Key Informants In order to explain my fi eldwork, I will start from th e beginning, years before I started collecting data. The first time I traveled to Costa Rica I was a senior in college. I was a substitute teacher at a high school in Dade County in Sout hern Florida where I spent most of my time in Spanish and ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes. I was given the opportuni ty to travel with some of these students as a chaperone on their high school trip to Costa Rica. The driver of th e tour bus was a friend of the American woman teacher who coordinated the trip, and over the course of the trip I became friends with him as well. His name is Pedro, and he became one of my most valuable key informants. I got sun poisoning on my last day in Costa Rica on this trip, and Pedro took care of me when I got sick. He gave me tart oranges to sett le my stomach and washcloths soaked in alcohol to put on my head. He said that the al cohol would draw the fever out of me. I am not much older than his daugh ters, and he considered himself a parental figure and caretaker. I think th at this situation acted to soli dify our friendship. I have seen him on every return trip to Costa Rica and traveled wi th him many times. One time he even invited me to go with him to Bribri a village where the indigenous Bribri live, with an Anthropology professo r and her students from the University of Costa Rica. He thought that I would enjo y meeting them, and it is an area of the country that I had not seen yet. Given our years of friendship, I feel confident th at I can trust Pedro. He has been very important in helpi ng me complete my research. I traveled to Costa Rica several more time s after my first trip. I always traveled with the same friend who coor dinated that high school tri p, and her friends became my
54 friends. In the summer of 1999 I participated in a graduate leve l Spanish language summer program at the University of Costa Rica. I was able to coordinate my own home stay with a family I already knew and li ved with them for six weeks that summer. This family owns a tour bus company that is located in th eir home. I spent every day with the men working at this company. I would interview them for my homework when necessary. I talked to them every day. I was also able to travel on tours with various men in the company. While I was living in this house, I acted as a tour guide on weekend tours every weekend that I was there. During this time and in my capacity as a guide, I was able to meet seve ral other men working in tourism. This travel led me to want to do research about me n working in the tourist indu stry who have sex with the tourists. Several of these me n I met during this summer became my informants when I started working on my dissertation. One other benefit of living in a home th at housed a tour bus company was that my host father, Arturo, took me places with him. I went ou t with him to restaurants and bars and was able to meet his friends, some of whom work in tourism. I also went to parties with him where I met the owners of se veral other tour companies as well as the men who worked for them. Th e more people I met who work ed in the t ourist industry, the more I was convinced that there was something worth investigating in the relationships between these men and female tourists. I never spent much time with the host mother in my house. In fact, I never spent much time with any Costa Rican women when I tr aveled there. Right before I left Costa Rica that summer I went to the home of a lif e-long friend of my host family. It was the night of the Romera, a nation -wide pilgrimage to make offerings to the Virgin of Los
55 Angeles in Cartago. The fam ily had a party and a Catholic mass in their house that evening before people st arted walking to the basilica in Ca rtago. At this party I noticed something that I had noticed many times before at parties during my trip: the women and men were completely segregated. Throughout the party the women were in one room, and the men were in another. I was in the room with the men. This was not an uncommon occurrence. My Amer ican friend and I always s eemed to be with the men, not the women. When we went out with th e guys working at the tour bus company, we were always the only women w ith them. The only Costa Ri can woman I ever spent any time with was my host fathers girlfriend, his mistress. His wife did not go out with us unless we were going on a fam ily outing. This was another factor contributing to my wanting to understand the rela tionships that develop between female tourists and Costa Rican men working in tourism. I wondere d if these men percei ved and approached foreign women in a different way than they did Co sta Rican women. When I got home from this summer prog ram, I changed my life. I changed my dissertation topic, formed my committee, and quit my job. On April 28, 2000, I defended my qualifying exams and became a doctor al candidate. Shortly thereafter I left for Costa Rica to start data coll ection for my dissertation. Th is first trip to Costa Rica lasted three months, from June through August 2000. Most of th at time was spent making contacts with people who could help me find interview ees and observing a variety of locations to decide where I would do further investigations. I also worked for five weeks as a tour guide for my host father Artu ros company. Upon arriving in Costa Rica in June 2000, I arranged to meet Leo, another tour bus company owner at Arturos house. I discussed my resear ch with both of them at
56 length and asked for any suggestions that they might be ab le to provide. Pedro, my key informant, works for Leo, so I needed to make sure that Leo knew th at Pedro had invited me to go with him on some tours. He knew and gave his approval. He also told me that I could come to his home where his company is housed and explain my research to his drivers. He also allowed me to do an interview w ith one driver in hi s home office. Leo gave me the phone number of an independent guide who I had traveled with before so that I might contact him for an interview, too. I already kne w him, and he had expressed interest in being interviewed if I ever decided to do this research. During this first summer in Costa Rica, Arturo was a valuable asset. He helped me meet another tour company owner who also allowed me to expl ain my research to both him and his employees. This owner led me to anot her independent guide who I also interviewed. I returned to collect more data from June through August 2001, in March 2002, and in July and August 2002. I collec ted data for a tota l of seven months in a 26-month period of time. On all of my return trips to Costa Rica I continued to travel with Arturos drivers. I also continued to travel with Pedro. These men introduced me to most of my other male interviewees. Another of my inte rviewees, Juan, introduced me to more male interviewees. These men intro duced me to some of the wo men tourists I interviewed, too. This is how my snowball sample worke d. Because of the sens itive nature of the interviews conducted, and because there is no publ icly identifiable population of tourism workers who have sex with tour ists, I could not draw a random sample of interviewees. The most compelling reason to use a snowball sample was because I could not identify
57 the complete population of men working in tourism who ha ve sex with tourists. Without such a population to draw from I could not obtain a random sample (Bernard 1995). It could have be possible to spend time in tourist-orient ed locations to watch tour guides and tourists interact, thereby identifying possible interviewees myself, but I decided before beginning my research that this would lik ely not produce great results because of the sensitiv e nature of the questi ons I needed to ask. I was concerned that introducing myself to strangers and then wanting to ask them about their se x lives would put me in a position wher e I would not be sure how the men perceived me. Additionally, my advisor Kevin Yelvington strongly suggested that I not a pproach men I did not know for interviews in an effort to ensure my own safety, especially considering both the nature of my questions and that I was a woman alone. I did spend much time in tourist-oriented locations watching men who work in tourism interact with the female tourists but I never approached any of these men myself. If I saw a man who I thought might be a potentia l interviewee, I would ask whichever of my key informants was with me if he knew the ma n and could introduce me to him. Sometimes if my key info rmants did not know the men, they would approach men, introduce themselves, tell them about my research, and ask if they might want to participate. In these situations, I would interview the man in his work place while the key informant who introduced me to him waited outside or in another area of the restaurant, or on th e beach outside the hotel. In this way, it was a snowball sample because all of my interviewees were introd uced to me by other informants. I never asked unknown men for interviews. I relied on my informants to introduce me to men appropriate to the study.
58 Ethnographic Data Co llection Strategies In order to fulfill my research goals, I used the ethnographic methods of observation and interview. In terviews were my primary means of gaining information about this type of sexual relationship. I co uld not, after all, be the type of participant observer who actually sees people engaging in sexual rela tions (Herdt 1999, Friedl 1999). It is not typica l anthropological practice to watch people having sex in the course of research (Herdt 1999). I was, however, able to complete observations while in the field. Specifically I observed female touris ts and male tourist industry workers interact in contexts other than the sexual such as when they meet each other or go out on dates. Additionally, I was a particip ant observer in that I was both a female tourist and I worked as a guide in the tour ist industry. This gave me ample opportunity to observe in the field. I completed interviews and observations in San Jos, Poas Jac, Tamarindo, Arenal, La Fortuna, Montever de, Flamingo, parts of Guanacast e, and in areas in between these locations as I was travel ing to and from these places. The only region of Costa Rica in which I did not complete interviews or observations was th e Caribbean coast. This was a purposeful decision as this region is known to be plagued by beach boys and drugs. I had been told by my many inform ants that sex between female tourists and men in this area was likely sex for pa yment as beach boys are unemployed or underemployed, sometimes live on the beaches, a nd often expect to be paid for sex. I was also told that women who travel there often do so looking for drugs or sex specifically. These beach boys are different from the men who I targeted in my research since my project is about me n who work in the tourist industry and have economic
59 means of their own. I acquire d this information about the Caribbean from Arturo and Pedro, and it was confirmed by other key informants. I also traveled there myself before beginning data collection and was able to witness firsthand the ever-present drug culture and men who lived on the beach. My use of ethnographic methods is explaine d in detail in th e following sections of this chapter. Also, in or der to successfully complete re search in Costa Rica, I had to be able to speak and understa nd Spanish. Most of the men I interviewed spoke only Spanish, and most interactio ns that I observed also t ook place in Spanish. My background with the Spanish langua ge is also discussed below. The Spanish Language I first learned to speak Spanish in high school where I took three courses including AP Spanish Language as a senior. That same ye ar, I won an award for being the best student in Spanish language classes. I continued to study the language in college taking three semesters of Spanish cl asses including an intermediate grammar class. I believe that I learne d the most, however, when I started traveling to Costa Rica. The philosophy behind language immersion programs is that by hearing the language all the time and having to use it in order to communicate, people will both gain and retain more speaking abilities. I believe that this approach work ed for me in Costa Rica. I had no choice but to speak Spanish in most situations. In the summer of 1999 I participated in a graduate level Spanish la nguage program at the Univer sity of Costa Rica. This program helped me polish my abilities. Since I spent a great deal of time at the tour bus co mpany in Arturos house, I spent much of my time with the men who worked there. Because I believed that it was
60 important for me to have exte nsive knowledge of the words that people use for sex, I asked a couple of the men at Arturos to help me learn those words. I specifically asked that they teach me any slang words for hav ing sex as well as what was the most common way that men would say to have sex. I was also curious about any phrases that a man would use to tell me that sex was good or satis fying as well as the words for a woman who he perceives as good at sex and for those he perceives as promiscuous. It was also important that I know what words men might use to describe themselves as having great sexual prowess. I also asked that they teach me any words that men might use that were considered vulgar such as words for penis and any words for female genitalia and breasts. Becau se I already had a pre-existing friendship with these men and because they knew what my research was a bout, they had no tr ouble telling me these words. There was no obvious embarrassment. Whenever a researcher conducts fieldwork using a second language there are possibilities for misunderstandin gs. This risk was minimize d somewhat by my learning the abovementioned slang. Al so, if at any time during an interview I was unsure what a man was saying, I asked him to clarify. Because the men I in terviewed work in tourism, however, they are used to havi ng to speak Spanish slowly an d clearly so that people who do not understand the la nguage very well can understand them. In fact, Arturo frequently reminds the younger men working for him who ar e new to the industry to always speak slowly for the foreigners. I did not find these inte rviews to be very difficult to understand fo r this very reason. In general, the men sp oke clearly and slowly so that I would unde rstand what they were saying to me.
61 Male Tourism Worker Interviews As I suggested earlier in this chapter, I met all of my interviewees through snowball sampling. My key informants introduced me to other people to interview. These informants arranged meetings with othe r tour bus drivers, gu ides who work with them, and men who work in tourist resorts, ho tels, and restaurants. Sometimes they also introduced me to female tourists to intervie w as well, as will be discussed in a later section of this chapter. All interviews were conducted with the consent of the participants.
62 Table 3.1: Informants, Interviews A rranged, Place and Date of Interview1 Interviews Arranged By Interviewees Interview Place Interview City/Region Interview Date Myself2 Armando his house San Jos 8/1/01 Francisco key informant, no interview Pedro on tour in a pa rk San Jos 6/11/00 Pedro Carlos resort ba r Guanacaste 8/16/01 Eduardo airport San Jos 7/31/01 Elias dormitory h ousing Jac 8/2/01 Federico dormitory housing Jac 8/2/01 Gustavo tour bus va n San Jos 7/31/01 Jesus dormitory h ousing Jac 8/2/01 Orlando tour bus Poas 8/17/01 Pablo airport San Jos 7/31/01 Raymundo tour bus van San Jos 8/1/01 Vicente tour bus va n San Jos 7/31/01 Juan Cristian restaurant Jac 8/19/01 Daniel street Jac 8/19/01 Lorenzo hotel Jac 8/19/01 Martin hotel Jac 8/19/01 Nestor restaurant Jac 8/19/01 Richard restaurant Jac 8/19/01 Santiago hotel Jac 8/19/01 Tomas gym San Jos 8/10/01 Roderigo Ignacio tour bus van Arenal 7/8/01 Juan tour bus van San Jos 7/9/01 Julio tour bus va n Arenal 7/7/01 Marcos tour bus van Arenal 7/7/01 Fidel Antonio shopping in his car San Jos 7/20/00 Bernardo tour company office San Jos 7/12/00 Leo Fernando tour company office San Jos 6/29/00 Arturo Jorge key informant, no interview Luis key informant, no interview Manuel key informant, no interview Mateo key informant, no interview Miguel key informan t, no interview The interviews were semi-structured in na ture and addressed all of my research questions (see Appe ndix A: Interview Instrument: Male Tourist Industry Workers). 1 Names have been changed to protect the identities of my informants. 2 Not an informant
63 Using a semi-structured format insured th at I was obtaining the same kinds of information from all of the men that I interv iewed and that I was able to answer all of my guiding research quest ions (Bernard 1995, Kirk and Miller 1986). A good semi-structured interview instrument is phrased for th e understanding of the informants. Additional ly, questions are worded to be appropri ate to the respondents command of langu age, cultural background, age, gender, level of knowledge, and any other releva nt characteristics (Schensu l, et al. 1999:154). I wrote the interview ques tions myself based upon my research questions. Arturo reviewed the interview instrument for me to make sure th at I used appropriate Spanish. I also asked him if he thought that there were any other questions that I should as k. Pedro, after his initial interview, suggested ad ditional questions that I should ask my informants. With the help of these men I improved my final interview instrument. In order to check re liability of my data a sample of the men in my study were interviewed twice, with a year or in one case two years, between the interviews, to determine if the men provided the same answer s to my questions more than once. If not, I was able to ask them what had changed. Very little ha d changed for any of the men I spoke to more than once. For example, Juan met a tourist he real ly loved in the year since I spoke to him the first time. Twenty-seven men were interviewed formally in addition to the information gathered from my key informants. Only one key informant, Pedro, completed a formal inte rview. Pedro was my first ma le interviewee in June 2000. I interviewed him my first we ekend in Costa Rica that su mmer. I completed all male interviews by the end of my trip in August 2001.
64 The interviews completed with male tourist industry workers each took at least 45 minutes to complete. Some of those interviews lasted from one to one and a half hours, though, depending on how mu ch the men had to say about the topic. Each of the men who I interviewed knew th e topic of inquiry before meeting me because the key informant who introduced me to him had told him about the subject of my dissertation. After our initial introductions in which I told them my name and that I was an anthropologist from the University of S outh Florida, I explai ned my dissertation research in greater de tail, explained that their intervie ws were confidential, and told them that I would be writing up all results in my dissertation and hopefully articles and a book in the future. While interviewing these men, I tended to follow the order of questions in the interview instrument (see Appendix A: Interview Instrument: Male Tourist Industry Workers). I had written the instrument to flow in what I thought was a logical progression, and I found that this ordering worked nicely in practice as well as theory. Most interviews were conducted immediately upon meeting the potential interviewee. Therefore, most interviews to ok place where the men worked. Demographics of Male Tourism Worker Interviewees Of the 27 men interviewed formally, ten ar e tour guides, two of whom gave tours from taxis. One man is a rive r rafting guide. One works at a resort wh ere he is a canopy tour guide but currently works mostly in the ba r. Six interviewees are tour bus drivers, three men work in hotels, one works in hotel security, three men work in restaurants, one works at a car rental counter, and one work s in a gym. Five key informants who were not interviewed formally are tour bus drivers, and one is a resort manage r. Thirty-two of
65 the 33 men participating in my research work in the tourist industry directly. Only the man who works at the gym has a job that is indirectly touche d by tourism. He did have several tourist clients and ha d a relationship with one of those women. The men range in age from 20 to 47 and have worked in tourism for less than one to over twenty years. Nine are married, six have se rious girlfriends, and 18 are si ngle, including those who are divorced. Therefore, I interviewed a wide ra nge of men with differe nt characteristics in the process of completing this research.
66 Table 3.2: Characterist ics of Male Interviewees Working in Tourism Name Age Occupation Years in Tourism Marital Status Antonio 47 Eco-guide 20 Divorced Armando 32 Tour guide 11 Married Bernardo 24 Tour bus driver 2 Single Carlos 23 Canopy guide and bartender 5 Single Cristian 24 Restaurant 8 mos. Single Daniel 30 Guide 5 Single Eduardo 33 Guide 8 Single Elias 26 Tour guid e 6 Girlfriend Federico 30 Tour gu ide 5 Girlfriend Fernando 40 Tour bus driver 11 Single Francisco 24 Tour bus driver 5 Single Gustavo 32 Guide 5 Married Ignacio 33 Tour bus driv er, souvenirs 20 Single Jess 20 Nature guide 2 Girlfriend Jorge 36 Tour bus driver 11 Married Juan 33 Hotel se curity 3 Single Julio 20 River rafting guide 6 Single Lorenzo 38 Hotel reception 1 Married Luis 24 Tour bus driver 2 Single Manuel 36 Tour bus driver 15 Divorced Marcos 24 Guide 4 Single Martn 30 Hotel maintenance 6 Married Mateo 30 Resort manager 7 Single Miguel 36 Tour bus driver 12 Married Nestor 30 Restaurant 3 Married Orlando 29 Tour bus driver 8 Divorced Pablo 47 Car rental counter 11 Married Pedro 44 Tour bus driver 18 Married, divorcing Raymundo 36 Tour bus driver 10 Divorced, girlfriend Richard 21 Restaurant manager 3 Single Santiago 22 Hotel recept ion 3 mos. Girlfriend Toms 27 Gym instructor 2 Single Vicente 33 Nature guide 11 Divorced, girlfriend Additionally, thes e interviews were undertaken in a variety of settings throughout Costa Rica including Arenal, San Jos, Poas, Jac, and Guanacaste. Some of
67 the interviews were co nducted during the context of a tour I was taking, but the vast majority of interviews were conducted while I was travelin g alone with one of my key informants. During my trip in 2000, I interviewed four men, al l in San Jos. The majority of my time that year was spent traveling and obse rving. When I returned in 2001, I completed 23 addition al male interviews. Flirtatious Male Interviewees One issue that I encountered in the field was male interviewees who flirted with me during our interview. This behavior was something that I expect ed given the nature of my research. Even before I started my re search, men working in tourist-oriented jobs were approaching me frequently. That is, in part, why I was so sure th at this would be a fruitful research topic. One time at the spa in Arenal a t our bus driver at the bar kept looking at me sitting at a ta ble by the swim up bar. He ev entually asked Arturo if he (the driver) knew me. He thou ght I was beautiful and was su re that he remembered me from somewhere. He had driv en on a day tour I took to the coffee factory a year earlier. Sometimes I felt as if I were being approached everywhe re by men who were flirting with me relentlessly. Several times my taxi drivers would start looking at me in their rear view mirrors, tell me that I was beautiful, and ask me que stions about what I was doing in Costa Rica and how long I was staying there. One night a taxi driver started asking me if I had a boyfriend, was I interested in having a Costa Rican boyfriend, would I ever marry a tico, and how long was I staying in the countr y. I came to realize that this was something that I probably could not avoid. I kept the issue of flirtatious men in mind while completing my dissertation research. Within the results and discussi on chapters of my di ssertation, I include
68 information about those interv iewees who did flirt or ask me out on dates during our interview. Most of my interviewees, howev er, did not approach me for any type of further contact. Of all 33 me n I spoke to, both interviewe es and informants, very few approached me beyond the contex t of the interview. While I am always friendly, I did not lead any of my intervie wees to believe that I was interested in them beyond the interview. While I do not believe that the information gathered in my research was compromised by the few men who were interested in me sexually or romantically, it is important that I let the re ader know who made advances Acknowledging any possible biases, not only mine, but those of my in formants as well, is important for any researcher who is a pa rticipant observer (DeW alt and DeWalt 2002). Female Tourist Interviews Both key informants and my own observati ons while on tour helped me identify possible women to interview (see Appendix B: Interview Inst rument: Female Tourists). This was the most challenging aspect of the research. Se veral women tourists were reluctant to complete formal interviews, but some would come to me with stories about what they did and what they saw other women do while on tours. While I intended to interview ten women, only nine consented to formal interviews. Because I was in the field for up to three months at a time, though, several othe r women frequently spoke to me about their actions and th ose of their friends. Eleven other women consented to speak to me about their relationships with men in Costa Rica. While the men are the main focus of the research, th e womens perspectives provid ed a more complete picture of the nature of th e relationships in which they engage.
69 I interviewed six women from the United States, one from Switzerland, one from Germany, and one from Denmark. All of the 11 women who spoke to me without being formally interviewed were from the United States. The women ranged in age from 20 to 50 and were students, teachers, secretaries, and small business owners. I interviewed women in San Jos, Tamarindo, and Arenal as well as in th e United States. Interviews with women took place in much the same fashion as those with men. I followed the order of questions as written in the inte rview instrument. I also interviewed about half of th e women immediately after mee ting them. The rest of my female interviewees were women who I saw mo re than once or traveled with while in Costa Rica. I made arrangement s to interview these women at a later time either before I was to leave the country or, in a few cases, after I re turned home. Observations Some of the men who were interviewed provided pos sibilities to observe the interactions of male tourism workers and female tourists. Only with the permission of the bus drivers and tour guides was I afforded the opportunity to travel with tour groups and witness firsthand the wa ys in which men and women behave while on tour. Observational data is a supplement to interview data, creati ng a more vivid picture of how these relationships be gin and end. Observations were also completed systematically with a guiding framework to help me address my re search questions. I kept detailed notes of the interactions I was able to obse rve, highlighting such issues as: who makes the first move and what these men and women do together on dates. I was able to take notes of conv ersations between men working in tourism and the women tourists with whom they ha ve sex in addition to the ac tions that I co uld observe.
70 During my first summer of data collection in 2000 I completed observations in several locations throughout th e country including Arenal, La Fortuna, Guanacaste, San Jos, and Jac. In 2001 I retu rned to the same places and al so went to Monteverde and Flamingo. In 2002 I returned to many of the same places as in th e previous two years and went to Tamarindo as well. During all of my observation s, I sat in hotel and resort bars listening and watc hing the men working there interacting with the female tourists. I did the same in discos, restaurants, canopy tours, on the beach, and in tour buses. I was particularly interested in witnessing flirting, and I always made note of any pick-up lines that I heard. I wanted to know if ther e were particular thin gs that a man would say to engage a woman in conv ersation. I also paid attentio n to specific activities such as dancing and drinking and made notes about how much time men and women would spend alone together in public places. Because some of my key informants were also close friends, I sometimes accompanied them on dates. Usually, a group of friends would be going out together, and one of my informants would bring a fema le tourist with him. I went out with Francisco and Kate, Pedro and Linda, Fran cisco and Lori, and Os car and Marlena. Because I was able to see them on their dates, I was also able to talk to them about their dates afterward. These opportunities were among some of the most interesting datagathering activities. No t only was I able to se e the relationships in action, but I was able to ask the actors how they felt about their experiences as well. Participant Observation A few people who have heard me talk abou t my research either at school or at conferences asked me if I was a true participant observer, meaning did I have sex with
71 my informants. While I did not become sexua lly involved with my informants in that way, I did have a long-standi ng personal friendship with many of the men who were my informants and interviewees. This long-term interaction gave me th e opportunity to be a participant observer. I participated in the daily lives of the men who worked for Arturo. Almost all of those men became informants for me. They also helped me meet other potential interviewees. I also worked as a tour gu ide on trips to different places in the country. This gave me an insiders perspect ive into the to urist industry in Cost a Rica. I became a source of information for tourists about the country, sites, and peop le. I undertook some of the caretaker function s that a tour guide mu st in order to keep the tourists happy. I took care of some of the basic needs of the tourists such as making sure that their dietary needs are met in the resorts, tr anslating questions of the tourists for th e tour bus drivers and the answers back to the tourists, and trying to make sure that we see as many as possible of the sites that the tour ists want to see in a particular city or region. I was also able to hear some of the wo rkers opinions about tourists and their needs and to hear many men working in the industry talk about their experiences with female tourists. As DeWalt and DeWalt (2002:68) suggest, when being a pa rticipant observer, the researcher gradually absorbs the big picture and some of the details that lead to an understanding of peoples daily lives, structure of even ts, social structure, and expectations and values. In order to be a participant ob server, the researcher becomes enculturated into group bein g studied (DeWalt and DeWalt 2002, Schensul, et al. 1999). Much of the data I gather ed from women in the field came from my participant observation. The type of int erviewing that is part of participant observation is usually
72 informal, and is usually more like a casua l conversation among ac quaintances (DeWalt and DeWalt 2002:120). As suggest ed earlier in this chapter, many of the women I spoke to did not want to be interviewed formally bu t rather spoke to me informally, telling me stories about what they did or observed while on tour. Because I was a participant observer who was highly visibl e in the setting an d because I let ever yone on tours with me know that I was an anthropo logist studying sex tourism, it was easy for me to have informal conversations and be an active listener with my informants (DeWalt and DeWalt 2002). A Self-Reflective Anthro pologist in the Field I found that most Costa Ricans I spoke to in the course of completing my dissertation research knew what anthropologists are. In fact, less pe ople there asked me what an anthropologist does than do people in the United States. Se veral people I talked to told me that stu dying culture must be interesting. The less I had to focus on why I was studying this topic, the better the interview. It was also helpful that no one ever said they suspected that I was in Costa Rica for a different reason than I said I was, unlike some other anthropologists who have published self-reflexive accounts of their experiences (Tsuda 1998). It is important to note that the indi vidual's identity can also be externally defined by others in accordance with standardized soci al expectations and cultural norms (Tsuda 1998:110). An thropologists such as K ondo (1986) and Tsuda (1998) focused on how they should beha ve to be accepted into th e group they were studying, being especially respec tful as they were both working in Japan. They we re trying to fit in with families and factory workers in the co urse of their daily li ves. My experience
73 was different because I was sp ending all of my time with Costa Rican men working in the tourist industry. I did not ha ve to attempt to fit in to their culture, as they are used to being with people from di fferent places and cultures. Of course, they had their own ideas about what American women are like. Their greatest expe ctation of American women is that we can do as we please. I co uld be who I am because they expected that I could act as I pleased. The men I worked with spend their time working with tourists, catering to their needs, and watching them interact with each other. They already know what to expect from American women; I di d not necessarily show them something that they had never seen. One other expectation of American women is that we are loose about our sexuality, so there wa s no reason to suspect that any man would not speak to me honestly and tell me about their sexual experiences with tourists because they likely assumed that it was commonplace for me to talk about sexuality. Given this preconception about American women, it is possible that I reinforced this idea by the very nature of my research. I may have affirmed that American women are sexually liberal by being there to study men working in the tour ist industry who have sex with tourist women. That they knew a bout my research topic may have given them the implicit permission that they needed to continue to have thei r sexual relationships with tourists. In this way, I may have influenced future be havior of the men I came in contact with and the pe rpetuation of female sex tourist relationships in Costa Rica. While I did not give the men th e idea of participating in th is behavior, I did, in a way, legitimize the very behavior I was studying.
74 Validity and Reliability in Ethnographic Research Validity refers to the a ccuracy and trustworthiness of instruments, data, and findings in research (Bernard 1995:38). According to Bern ard (1995:38) nothing in research is more important than validity. To focus on the va lidity of an observation or an instrument is to care about whether measurements have currency (what do the observations buy?), and about whether phenomena are pr operly labeled (what are the right names for variables?) (Kirk and Miller 198 6:21). I needed to know that I was asking the right question s to get all of the information re quired to answer my research questions. I needed to be su re that I understood the contex t of sex tourism, knew what my variables (issues) were, an d was able to talk about th e issues in an appropriate manner. In order to do so, I consulted the literature on sex tourism, my informants Pedro and Arturo, and my adviso r. I gained some insights about the questions that have been answered in the publis hed research, and Pedro suggest ed additional questions to ask my interviewees. Upon read ing all drafts of my interv iew instruments, my advisor did not suggest any additional questions. We have no other technology for making this kind of validity check than longrun personal interaction. We can never be ab solutely sure that we understand all the idiosyncratic cultural implications of anything, but the sensitive, intell igent fieldworker armed with a good theoretical or ientation and good rapport ov er a long period of time is the best check we can make (K irk and Miller 1986: 32). It was important to spend time with male tourism workers, espe cially my key informants, to help me be sensitive to the issues at hand. Pedro, my most valuable key informant, critiqued my interview
75 instruments suggesting more questi ons to ask to get at the larg er issues of what is going on in these relationships. Pedro specifically suggested that I add questions such as: What kinds of things did you do together? Where di d you go? Where did you ha ve sex? When you choose a woman to have sex with, are you looki ng for a woman who has had many sexual experiences? Are you looking for a virgin? Do you look for anything in particular? Does it not matter? Is there a difference between having sex with a young or pretty woman and an old or ugly woman? These questions provide some insight into the desires of the men who have sex with tour ists. These questions also allow me to understand in greater deta il what the men are looking for in the tourists with whom they have sex. Pedro helped me to ask the right ques tions of my informants to answer my research questions. As Kirk and Miller (1986) su ggest, fieldworkers need to spend time in the field in order to be sure that th ey understand what is going on an d are doing valid research. As I explained above, my dissertation rese arch was completed over seven months in the course of two years. Since I have been traveling to San Jos, Costa Rica for several years now, at least once a ye ar, I know many of the people who work in the tourist industry, and I have been accep ted as a friend. This time and expertise allow me to claim that I know what is ha ppening in this situation. Additionally, during my time collecting data in Costa Rica I was a pa rticipant observer wh o became intimately knowledgeable about the daily happenings of my informan ts as well as what happened within the context of their relationships with female tourists.
76 I already knew a great deal about the tourist industry before I began data collection for my dissertation. I had even worked there as a tour guide. I also knew many men working in tourism who had relation ships with female tourists, and I knew women who participated in thes e relationships, too. I do consider myself an expert in this area of inquiry, not only because of my anthropological data collection but also because of the other experiences I have had in the country. Reliability refers to whether or not you get the same answer by using an instrument to measure something more th an once (Bernard 1995:38). When the fieldwork undertaken by the anth ropologist is ethnograph ic in nature, it is difficult to be sure that the research is reliable in the conventional sens e of the word. Ethnography is, after all, a descripti on and analysis of a situation in a particular time and place. An anthropological fieldwor ker must keep in mind that his/he r field site has a history, and as conditions change, so will the description and analysis (Kirk and Miller 1986). Reliability, (therefore,) de pends essentially on explicitly descri bed observational procedures (Kirk and Miller 1986:41). The fieldworker must be able to demonstrate to others that he/she took great care to collect data systema tically. Without compromising his/her ability to absorb the context of the ethnographic site, the anthr opologist can standardize the questions as ked of the informants. Th e anthropologis t can record questions asked, take go od fieldnotes, and explain his/her underlying theory in an effort to demonstrate to other researchers that they would have found the same information had they been the ones in the field. I kept systematic notes of all that I observed and used a semi-structured interview format for my interviews w ith both men and women. Addi tionally, data collection
77 strategies were explicit in my research proposal, and I did not deviate from the original plan of work. I will also provide accounts of my data collection strategies in any reports, articles, or papers fo r presentation that I will later complete about this research project. Flaws in the Research The one exception to the sy stematic nature of my dissertation research was my acceptance of stories from the women who did not want to be interviewed formally. My notes from these conversations were not standardized in a ny way since each woman told a unique story. While being on tour with so many women during my seven months in the field, I came to know several of them ve ry well. I used my personal judgment in whether or not to listen to these women based on the amount of time I had known them and what I had seen them do while we were on tour togeth er. When I had seen women approaching men, I could believ e their storie s about approaching me n. Having seen men approach these women, I coul d believe the stories they told me about the men who approached them. Data Analysis Upon collection of the data, I transcri bed and translated into English any interviews that were taped. For interviews that were not tape-recorded, I translated and typed the notes taken. I also kept detailed di ary-type fieldnotes of all observations that were typed in report form. I also had the benefit of field reports that were typed and emailed to my advisor. These interviews, note s, and reports were c oded thematically in order to answer my rese arch questions with a to pical narrative analysis.
78 Dissemination I have presented papers at the annual meetings of the Society for Applied Anthropology and in the University of South Florida depa rtmental colloquium. Papers will also be submitted for presentation at the annual meetings of the American Anthropological Associati on and future meetings of the Society for Applied Anthropology. Papers based on the findings of the my research will be submitted for publication by refereed journals such as Annals of Tourism Research Human Organization and others. In making sure that my rese arch is situated in an applied context, I also plan to create a web site that I hope will be visited by prospective tourists to Costa Rica. This web site will use knowledge ga ined through my di ssertation research about risk of HIV and other STDs. The goal of the web site is to inform wo men that they must protect themselves, in most cases pr oviding their own condoms, a nd insist upon condom use. This web site will be explored in greater detail in Chapter Seven. Ethical Considerations In order to complete competent research I was guided by the ethical mandates of the discipline of Anthropology. Both the ethics statements from the Society for Applied Anthropology and the American Anthropological A ssociation name the primary responsibility of the rese archer to be protecting the rights of those st udied. The first rule of ethics for the SfAA is that "to the people we study we ow e disclosure of our research goals, methods, and sponsorship" (The Soci ety for Applied Anthropology, 1991:263). Similarly, the AAA mandates that "the aims of all their profe ssional activiti es should be clearly communicated by an thropologists to those among whom they work" (The
79 American Anthropological Asso ciation 1991:275). The Univer sity of South Florida also requires that their students and faculty members go throug h the Institutional Review Board (IRB) to get permission to do any research pr ojects. Part of the requirements for IRB is to use a detailed informed consent fo rm outlining possible ri sks and benefits of participation in the research. There is such an informed consent form in this research project. I did not nor do I now perceive any risks to the informants since the confidentiality of the partic ipants is maintained. Pseudonyms were used for my informants in all documents in cluding transcripts and fieldnotes as well as all published and presented papers so as to reduce the li kelihood of peop le recognizing them as my research informants. Additionally, I do not give the names of the companies or resorts for which the men work so that their identifica tion will be less like ly. In these ways I am able to maintain the promised confidentiality. I do not believe that there are any fore seeable indirect co nsequences of my research either. I do not beli eve that my research will change tourists minds about whether or not they should travel to Costa Rica. I do not believe that I am revealing anything that will be shocking to the averag e tourist. If anythi ng, my findings suggest that female tourists are having what appear to be mutually beneficial sexu al relationships with men working in tourism. My only go al by creating the web site is to remind women that they need to take control of their sexual safety. One might wonder about the effects of my research on unfaith ful husbands and wives. Since I asked some of the married men if their wives are suspicious of their having affairs and all said yes, I do not foresee any consequenc es for the men who participated in my research. Their wives likely already suspect that their husbands have
80 sex with tourists. I do not know if my findings wi ll cause husbands of future female travelers to Costa Rica to be suspicious of whether or not their wives will have sex with tourism workers, but since confidentially has been maintained, no specific women who participated in my research should be faci ng any consequences. Methods in Sex Tourism Research In order to justify my choice of me thods, I examined the literature on sex tourism, making note of the methods used by t he experts. My appr oach is similar to theirs. Most sex tourism re searchers have used ethnographi c methods in their work. Interviews have been the pr imary means of collecting data for several researchers who have studied sex touris m. They have also relied on observations in their work. Few researchers have used surveys. Julia OConnell Davidson is perhaps one of the most well k nown researchers of sex tourism. She has relied pr imarily on interviews of sex tourists and/ or their clients in Great Britain, Thailand, and Cuba She was only a participan t observer in her first study in Great Britain when she work ed as a receptionist for a Br itish prostitute. She, along with Jacqueline Sanchez Tayl or, has completed almost 400 in terviews in fifteen weeks of fieldwork (OConnell Davidson 1998:6). OConnell Davidson an d Sanchez Taylor also observed in several loca tions where they collected interview data. Surveys were also used to gather struct ured data on sex tourists background characteristics (OConnell Davidson 1 998:6). Sanchez Taylor, (2000) in her own research, also interviewed participants as the main source of her information. In the most comprehensive volume on the subject of Ca ribbean and Latin American sex tourism, Sun, Sex, and Gold: Tourism and Sex Work in the Caribbean,
81 interviews were the primary data collecti on technique in all of the studies. The interviewees were part of pur posive, non-probability samples as the researchers targeted specific groups of people and did not obtain random samples. Cabezass (1999:102) study, for example was organiz ed around women sex workers. Campbell, et al. (1999) relied on in-depth interviews with female se x workers. Antonius-Smits, et al. (1999) and members of the Red Thread Womens Development Programme (1999) similarly interviewed female sex workers. Phillips (1999) interviewed both female sex tourists and the men with whom they had sex in Barbados. The in terview data was the most important source of informa tion for these studies. Resear chers in other volumes on sex tourism have also depended upon intervie w data. Gnther, (1998) for example, interviewed male sex tourists in his attempt to define sex tourists. Some researchers such as de Albuquerque (1998) have relied heavily on observ ations. He watched female tourists interact with the beach boys with whom they had sex. Given the methods used in the published research on sex touris m, I believe that I chose the right course of action in collecting data for my dissertation. Most of the abovementioned authors focused on either the sex tourists or the people with whom they have sex (Cabezass 1999, Ca mpbell, et al. 1999, Anto nius-Smits, et al. 1999, Red Thread Womens Development Programme 1999) Others chose to focus on both the sex tourists and the toured (OConnell Davidson and Sa nchez Taylor 1999, OConnell Davidson 1998, Sanchez Taylor 2000, Phil lips 1999). While I focused on the men having sex with the women t ourists, I also provided the perspective of the women. Additionally, I did not rely completely on interviews as I supplemented my data with observations. I was also a participant observer, a technique that do es not seem to be
82 widely used in sex tourism research. I triang ulated my data sources and completed ethical, valid, and reliable research. Of course, there are limitations of all research. Because I used a snowball samp le, my findings are not genera lizable to all sex tourism arrangements. Because I us ed ethnographic methods an d ethnographies are of a particular time and place, my research is spec ifically about female sex tourism in Costa Rica from 2000 through 2002.
83 Chapter Four: Touris m in Costa Rica In this chapter I discuss the tourist indus try in Costa Rica, as it is the context within which my research is situated. Befo re explaining the specif ic issues of sex and tourism that concern my disser tation, it is important to u nderstand tourism in Costa Rica in general and how the men feel about their work as well as how they came to work in that field. These topics will help the reader understand how much contact with tourists exists for them. I begin by describing the population of the country, in genera l. Then, I describe the tourist industry, including the types of tourism found ther e and the locations within the country where tourism tends to be concen trated. I also discus s how the men working in the tourist industry perceive the indus try and how tourism ma y affect both them personally and the co untry as a whole. I begin by desc ribing the workers, their jobs, and the economic advantages of jobs in touris m. Then, I examine their perceptions of tourism and tourists. Finally, I analyze their assessments of the indus try in an effort to see how Costa Rican tourism fits into the wider context of tourism in general. Costa Ricas Population In order to understand the context of tourism in Costa Rica, it is important to understand the land and the people who reside there. In July 2002, which is the last year I collected data in Costa Rica, the estimated populatio n of Costa Rica was 3,834,934
84 people with 30.8% of those be ing 0-14 years old, 63.9% 15-64 years old, and 5.3% 65 or more years old. Costa Rica has a fairly homogenous populati on with 94% of all people classified as white, includ ing mestizo, 3% black, 1% Amer indian, 1% Chinese, and 1% other. The official religi on of Costa Rica is Roman Catholicism, and 76.3% of the population is practicing (Central Intelligence Agency 2002). By 2009, the population increased to 4,253,877, with 26.7 % of those being 0-14 ye ars old, 67.1% 15-64 years old, and 6.2% 65 or more ye ars old; the population of Co sta Rica is ag ing, without a corresponding increas e in birth rates. Th e racial composition of the country, however, has remained the same (Central Intelligence Agency 2009). Costa Rica is located in Central Am erica, north of Panama and south of Nicaragua. The land area is a mere 50,660 sq km, which is smaller than the state of West Virginia (Central Intelligence Agen cy 2002). Costa Ri ca accounts for only one tenth of one percent of the land mass of the world, but th e country has five percent of the worlds biodiversity (Greenspan 1997). It is this biodiversity that may account for Costa Ricas popularity as a tourist destination, in part because the visitor can experience so much in a short time, with minimal travel time between destinations Costa Rica has a history of environmental conser vation since at least the ea rly twentieth ce ntury, legally protecting ten percent of their landmass with national parks, bi o-reserves, and other protected areas (Lindberg a nd Aylward 1999). The protected areas increased to 25 percent of the c ountry in the 1990s (Galluzzo 1999). Additionally, the country consists of seven provin ces: Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Limon, Puntarenas, and Sa n Jos. Currently, more than half of all residents live in the capital city, San Jos (Central Intelligence Agency 2002). The
85 provinces of Alajuela, Cartago, and Heredia, also in the ce ntral valley of Costa Rica, have grown in size with the capital, and many of the people who live there commute to the capital for work or school (Biesanz, et al 1999). Tourist destin ations and attractions may be found in all of the seven provinces. Tourist Destinations in Costa Rica According to Frommers travel guide to Costa Rica, (Greenspan 1997) some the best and most popular places to travel in the country are Rincn de la Vieja National Park, Arenal Volcano and Ta bacn Hot Springs, and Manu el Antonio. These three examples include attractions for a variety of travelers desires. Rincn de la Vieja National Park, located in the Guanacaste prov ince is a popular lo cation for adventure travelers since there is hiki ng within the park and severa l canopy tours lo cated in the surrounding areas. While Arenal Volcano might attr act those people who want to see the biodiversity of Costa Rica Tabacn Hot Springs at the fo ot of the volcano appeals to those who are traveling for pl easure and relaxation. Manuel Antonio is a national park and contains one of the most popular beaches on the Pacific coast of the country, and many people travel there in addi tion to some of the other b eaches on the Pacific such as Jac, Tamarindo, Conchal, Montezuma, and Flamingo. Most of these beaches are popular with surfers, as they are known for their waves (Greenspan 1997). In my experience working as a tour guide, there are other popular destinations, especially for young travelers in their twenties. One such po pular place is Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean coast of the country. This is where one would find the greatest Jamaican influence in Costa Rica. Another popul ar area is Montev erde. The cloud
86 forest is located in Montever de, and the town in the mount ains has very cool weather and many student groups. Costa Rica has been a p opular tourist destination for decades, and Achana (1994:62) studied the factors th at made Costa Rica an attrac tive vacation destination. He found that the overwhelmingl y most important reason peopl e traveled to Costa Rica was to escape from daily routine, with over half of the participants claiming this as their number one reason for trav el. Only ten percent of the participants traveled for nature and outdoor experiences and spe nding free time with desired people. However, more than half of the participants believed that the most important destinations in Costa Rica we re natural attractions (52.5 percent) as opposed to fun and pleasure attrac tions (25.1 percent). Both of these explanations make sense in light of the destinations most popul ar with tourists such as Arenal Volcano and Manuel Antonio, as these and other locations offer both escape and natural wonders. Ecotourism is popular in Costa Rica, a nd their environmental protection has only contributed to this facet of the tourism industry. In fact President Figuere increased support for ecotourism projects in the 1990s in part by increa sing the amount of protected lands to 25 percent of the landmass in an effort to woo more visitors interested in nature and preservation (Gal luzzo 1999). Tourists typically visit at leas t one national park during their stay in Co sta Rica, most popular of wh ich are Manuel Antonio and Poas Volcano, (Lindberg and Aylward 1999, Chase, et al. 199 8) and natura l attractions have been marketed as to urist destinations (Meadows 1993, Galluzzo 1999). While Achana (1994) did not find that nature was the driving forc e behind visitors motivations
to travel to Costa Rica, Norr is (1994:33) claims that m ore than two-thirds of the international tourists in Costa Rica say they came to enjoy the countrys national parks. Figure 4.1: Map of Costa Ri can Tourist Destinations Source:CentralAmerica.com, http://centr alamerica.com/cr/maps/mapcosta.htm. The Role of Tourism in Costa Ricas Economy The Political and Economic Climate Costa Rica was a Spanish colony, bu t this democratic republic gained independence on Septem ber 15, 1821. The constitution was not written, however, until 87
88 1949, after the civil war (Central Intelligence Agency 2002). Since then, Costa Rica consistently lands at the top of lists ranking Latin American democracies. To political scientists, it represents a sort of Third Wo rld paradise, a regime that is superlatively democratic, stable, and respec tful of human rights (Clark 2001:1). Whil e politically progressive, the coun try has made more gradual economic advancements (Clark 2001). The economy in Costa Rica was always str onger than that of the rest of Central America, but afte r the Civil War in 1948, the country advanced fu rther. In fact, many political and economic cha nges occurred after the Civil War (Wilson 1998). Before 1948, agriculture was the main contributor to the economy. Because of this, two-thirds of the populat ion lived in rural areas and mo st of them wo rked in the coffee or banana indu stries (Wilson 1998, Biesanz, et al 1999). In the prewar period, agricultural exporters controlled many facets of the pol itical structure, but with the Second Republic after the war, President Jos Figueres began the process of changing the economic structure of the country. His pl an included diversification of the major industries, which severa l years later, has been a very important cont ributor to economic development. In 1959, the first industrializat ion law was passed under President Echandi (Wilson 1998). By 1968, the government dive rsified agricultural e xports to nontraditional products, but throughout the 1970 s the increase in nontraditi onal exports was minimal. From 1983 until 1990, though, nontraditional exports incl uding textiles, ornamental plants, seafood, and pineapple increased from 90 million to 635 million dollars and from 10 to 43 percent of a ll export earnings In 1998, these numb ers reached 3.8 billion dollars and 68 percent of all exports. That year Intel opened tw o factories and
89 microprocessors join ed the ranks of nontraditional exports, becoming the most successful export in Costa Rica at 959 m illion dollars (Clark 2001). The country's high-tech transition has been nothing short of dr amatic. In 1997 Co sta Rica exported $788 million worth of textiles, $560 million in bananas, $391 m illion in coffee--and zero in microchips. By 1999 Inte rs microchip exports were wort h almost twice as much as textiles, bananas, and coffee combined (L uxner 2000:3). While non traditional exports were the preferred method of economic diversificat ion and development, in the 1980s and 1990s tourism became a ma jor source of revenue for the country. Tourism was the third largest export for twenty years until becoming first in 1994 (Biesanz, et al. 1999, Molina and Palmer 1997). By 1998, touris m contributed 830 million dollars to the Costa Rican economy, second only to microproc essors (Clark 2001). By 2009, tourism was still only 17% of Costa Ri cas GDP, although the industry accounts for an estimated more than 500,000 jobs directly and indirectly related to tourism (Fitzgerald 2009). Tourism in the Economic Context Lara (1995) suggests th at the growth in touris m throughout the 1980s and 1990s can be attributed to pu blic attention given to Osca r Ariass winn ing the Nobel Peace Prize and to the national park system. Biesanz, et al. (1999:53) sa y that Costa Ricas natural beauty, great biodiversity, and fishing and surfing, as well as its reputation for peace and stability make it a popular vacation spot for North Americans and Europeans. Large tourist complexes spread throughout th e country, in large part due to foreign investment (Lara 1995). As with the nations industrial growth, foreigners have made the most investments a nd hence most profits (Biesanz, et al. 1999:53). Tourism
90 always has relied on foreign i nvestment, and because of the pol itical stability and beauty of the country, foreigners cont inue to invest in tourist in dustry ventures in Costa Rica (Central Intelligen ce Agency 2002). Costa Rica has played on its comparat ive advantage in ecotourism with its range of microclimates (C lark 2001:106). National park s and beaches are all very close to San Jos, the capital city in which the international airport is located and to which foreign tourists arrive in Costa Rica. The tourist i ndustry has a go od outlook, but Clark (2001) suggests that there are some poten tial problems that may face the industry. First, ecotourism has its natural limits, and Costa Rica is already full of visitors, especially during the peak t ourist season eac h year. Environmenta l degradation is a possibility. Additional ly, there are many competitors for tourists in the Caribbean and Latin America. Clark (2001) is particularly concerned that many tourists will choose to travel to Cuba in the coming years as the country is opened up to Americans and should be a less expensive alte rnative to Costa Rica. Tourist Workers Perceptions of Costa Rican Tourism Male Interviewees Work in Tourism Depending on their specific job titles, the interviewed men have different job descriptions. The common aspect of all of their jobs is that they are all responsible for taking care of tourists needs. Some provide information a bout the country as guides. Others drive and act as guides. Some men se rve food and drinks to tourists. Other men direct tourists to their hotel rooms and may even carry bags or clean rooms. All of the men who work in tourism, how ever, have some degree of contact with tourists. While all of the men said that speak ing English was perhaps the most important skill that any
91 tourism worker could have, only five of my male informan ts speak fluent English. A few others speak enough Englis h to respond to a few typical tourist questions such as where is the bathroom? or may I have a glass of wate r? The majority of my informants, however, do not sp eak any English. All expresse d a desire to learn, though, because it would help with their work. Employment and Financial Opportunities All of the men interviewed said that th ey like their work. When probed further about the benefits of their j obs, all men suggested that they earn more money working in tourism than they would in a nother job or than they did in their previous job. Nestor said that his life has ch anged for the better He makes more money. Vicente disclosed that he makes much more money in tourism, two, thr ee, four times more money. Antonio suggested that jobs in tourism are highly beneficial for a wide variety of people in Costa Rica. Antonio said that men with very little educat ion can make a lot of money. . A persons socioeconomic status may change with this occupation. It is a respected job. It is the most important indust ry in Costa Rica. Tourism has increased employment opportunities for many Costa Ricans, especially men. As Elias said People change jobs. People w ho used to work in retail now work in hotels. . In a large part, Costa Rica is dependent on tourism. A lot of people would have different jobs. I would have stayed on the farm. Julio also would have stayed on the farm if not for employment opport unities in tourism.
92 It is very easy now. Befo re I worked with my father on the farm, worked really hard, now I just work with the tourists. It is easier. With tourism, there is both different work and more work for many people. Federico said There is more work for many families and many tourists per year. The economy has both positives and negativ es. When tourism is good, many families benefit. If tourism is bad, then they ha ve to look for something el se to do; th ey dont have money. It is true that tourism is seasonal in Cost a Rica. During peak tourism times, there is more work for people. Although none of my informants told me that he goes through periods of unemployment or that there are times when he does not have enough money, when the tourist season is over, some people may be un deremployed. However, not all men who work in the tourist industry believe that this is a negative consequence of working in tourism. Armando, a tour guide, appreciates the time off that his job allows for him. He says that he makes enough mone y during the tourist seas on to last all year, and he is happy to get to spend a few months off with hi s family. He would be able to work during the off times, but he chooses not to do so. He told me that many people who live in his town do not even know what he does for a living because he is gone from home so often. He enjoys getting to stay home and playing a greater role in the community. Economic Development Tourism provides benefits not only for th e men who work in th e industry but also for the country as a whole. The men who work in th e tourist indus try are quite
93 knowledgeable about both tour ism and economic c onditions in Costa Rica. Gustavo correctly told me that there is economic advancement. Coffee is third, tourism is second, and high tech is first. He also told me that he be lieves that Costa Rica is not dependent on tourism because they still export many agricultural products. While he does not believe that Costa Rica is depende nt on tourism, Federico attributes many positive changes to tourism. Without tourism, the small towns like Jac and Puntarenas would not have developed. Without tourism there would be no money and no construction. . There are better opportuniti es for work. People c an leave San Jos. The principal highway is better. There are mo re restaurants becaus e they need them for the people who visit Cost a Rica. . There is less unemployment and less poverty. He does not view tourism all pos itively, however. Wh ile he thinks that tourism is one of the best means of development, because of tourism being seasona l, he suggests that Costa Rica rely on other sour ces of generating funds like Intel and mi crochips. Everyone agreed, however, that tourism provi des much for the loca l people, especially those who work in the industry. I wanted to know if the men thought that tourism provided more benefits for Costa Ricans or for people from other countr ies such as the U.S. Most of the men interviewed believe that tourism provides more for Costa Ricans than for foreign people or corporations who invest in Costa Rican tourism. Even those who know that foreigners own many hotels beli eve that Costa Ricans reap more benefits from money generated by the tourist industry.
94 Gustavo said about half of all tourist hotels and rest aurants are foreign-owned. Jess, Santiago, Martn, Igna cio, Pablo, and Raymundo believe that there is much more foreign ownership of tourist businesses. The major hote l chains found throughout Costa Rica (Best Western, Barcel, etc.) are, in fact, foreign-owned. Some of the smaller local hotels are owned by Costa Ricans and expatriates from other countries own other small hotels. Gustavo said Tourism earns much money for the foreigne rs, but much more for the people in Costa Rica because they ge t jobs and tips. More m oney stays in Costa Rica. Most of the interviewees sugge sted that it did not really matter how much money goes to the foreigners who invest in Costa Rica b ecause the money earned by Costa Ricans was much more important. They need the money and jobs more than foreign corporations need the extra earnings. As long as the locals are benefiting, then they see no problem with others gaining something, too. Impacts of Tourism on Costa Rica As Gustavo notes, tourism has had many impacts on Costa Rica. Many changes in the country overall ca n be attributed to the tourist industry. There are hotels and employ ment for lots of people. There are more tourism agencies that employ peopl e. They learn English in primary school. The infrastructure has changed, t oo. Costa Rica wants to lo ok better for tourism. There are more programs for protecting the forests and beaches. The streets are better.
95 Many interviewees suggested that the impr ovements in infrastructure are one of the positive impacts of tourism in Costa Rica. Raymundo and Elias both said that the improvements to the streets were an important result of tourism. Pablo says that the country is a bout 80% dependent on tourism, and he believes that many improvements would not ha ve been possible if not for the tourist industry. There are more highways and hotels. Ther e are more schools and universities. Without tourism it woul d have been very difficul t to get these things. When asked if Costa Rica is better off for relying so heavily on tourism, Pablo answered, claro que s, cien por ciento of course, 100%. Jes s has similar feelings. He said that there would be no development without touris m. He corrected himself, though, and said that the re could be, but it w ould be much slower. Of course, development in the form of construction is not the only impact of tourism. Much ecological pres ervation in the country can be attributed to tourism. Orlando said that people take care of the flora and fauna more be cause of tourism. Most of the men interv iewed believe that people travel to Costa Rica specifically to experience nature theref ore it is only wise to protect what the people want to see. Only Antonio, a college-educated bi ologist and eco-guide, believ es that there is not enough environmental protection. He said that there is more defo restation than the government says there is and that th ey need to worry about environmental degradation. Tourism also has impacts on the lives of the men who work in tourism. They make more money, but the cost is that they spend less time at home with their families. Pedro seems to have the most problems with th is consequence of his job. He said
96 primero que nada, hay sacrif icios en la familia First of all, ther e are sacrifices made with the family. He does not get to spend as much time with them as he would like. Because he is a popular driver he often spends weeks at a time away on trips. He continues to work like this even during the offseason because groups that travel to Costa Rica year after year often request him. Working in tourism, you become a slave to your work. I dont know when I will be free. I have no vacations. Additionally, Pedro is in the process of a divorce, which he attributes to his work and absence from home. Federico also believes that tourism could have adverse effects on his family. His common-law wife and child live in another town while he lives in a major tourist city. He lives in a barracks-like dormitory situation with seve ral other young men who work as guides for the same tour company. He is happy that he makes more money to send to his family, but he worries about losing them because he spends so much time away from home. This is another reason why Armando appreciates the off-season so much. He does not want to neglect his family. Tourists in Costa Rica I wanted to know why the men working in tourism think that t ourists go to Costa Rica, what they think the touris ts know about Costa Rica when they travel there, and if they think that the tourists like the country. I just wanted to know their perceptions of tourists, in general. The men interviewed gave different reasons why they think tourists travel to Costa Rica, but not one of them said that people travel to Co sta Rica to learn or improve
97 their Spanish. About half of the women I spoke to, did, in fact, travel to Costa Rica to learn or improve their Spanis h. Most took classes either at a university or language school, but some women such as Sara h were learning Span ish on their own by immersing themselves in the language. Cost a Rica is a popular de stination for college students, as there are many study abroad programs in the univ ersity as well as several Spanish language institutes throughout the country. Mo st of these programs lead students to tour the country. Some schools, in fact, offer tours for their students. Armando is one of the official tour guides for one of th e big language schools in San Jos. All of the men underst and that Costa Rica is known for ecotouris m. It is perhaps the most common reason why tourists travel to the country. As Gustavo notes Costa Rica is famous for forests and rivers, famous for biodiversity . Nestor believes that people travel to Costa Rica for the national parks. As Carlos said There are many things to do. Costa Rica has lo ts of things that other countries dont have. They ha ve vegetation, volc anoes, and nature. Eduardo said They come here (to Costa Rica) because they say it is green. They come for the national parks, volcanoes, and beac hes. They come for nature. Federico told me that There is nature, adventure. People li ke the canopy tours. They spend a day rafting, a day watching monkey s, a day at the volcanoes. There are a variety of th ings for tourists to do while in Costa Rica. What people choose to do will depend upon th eir specific desires. As Federico said
98 The typical American is a person who wants to know things. They care about culture and history. They w ant to have fun but very cau tiously. They like nature, animals, birds, jungle s, and natio nal parks. Americans are also known for being adventurous and/or fragile. As Gustavo suggested The typical American is ni ce, delicate, is very ca reful about food and wants places to be just ri ght or they dont want to go there. They want adventures. They are a little delicate, but they are al so adventurous. They are demanding. Lana was a particularly del icate young woman with whom I was on a tour, and she is an excellent example of the fragile yet advent urous traveler. She wa s a bother to all of the women on the bus since sh e whined about everything, es pecially her food, and was afraid that she would get sick or bitten by a bug. She even asked the tour bus driver to take her to a clinic because she mistakenly th ought that she had spra ined her ankle. At the same time, however, she participated in all activities in cluding the ca nopy tour in which people swing on zip lin es above the forest canopy. She also found time for pleasure, as she and a nother woman went to the disco in town after everyone else went to bed Saturday night. Orlando believes that the de licate nature of American s leads them to choose Costa Rica over other Latin Am erican countries because it is a safe country with a good culture. There are no problems with the food or drink or water. It is easy to get around. Tr ansportation is easy . . People can always help you. The men working in tourism also believ e that people travel to Costa Rica because it is polit ically stable and democratic. Costa Rica is believed to be different
99 than the rest of Latin America in this respec t. It is a stable, de mocratic country with very little violent crime or political upheaval. Lorenzo call s Costa Rica the Switzerland of Latin America. Carlos attri butes the political stability, in part, to tourism itself. The country remains calm becaus e the people know that th ey need the revenues that tourism provides. Jess said that there is less corruption in Costa Rica t han in other parts of Latin America. Tourists appreciate this. Martn believes that people come to Costa Rica because it is a country withou t an army. There is not a lot of violence in Costa Rica like in othe r countries. Gustavo said There is no army. It is a democratic country. We dont have wa r problems. Arias won the Nobel Peace Prize. He influenced the country a lot. Vicente agreed that Ariass winning the Nobe l Peace Prize influences many tourists to travel to Costa Rica. In the last few years, Cost a Rica is becoming popul ar. The Discovery Channel has rainforest programs. Os car Arias, the 1987 president, won the Nobel Prize. In 2001 people know more than they did ten years ago. They have no idea about the Costa Rican people, but when they go home, they ar e impressed and say that Costa Rican people ar e polite, helpful. Antonio believes that the good relationship between th e U.S. and Costa Rica leads many people to travel there.
100 Costa Rica is protected by the U.S. Millions are subs idized every year. Costa Rica is a model for democr acy for the world. It is democratic like the U.S., which is good for us (Costa Ricans). Th ere is no army. The U.S. tries to, wants to keep Costa Rica neutral and safe. The lifestyle is safe. Also, the U.S. has political interests here (i n Costa Rica). Costa Rica is like a U.S. base for policies in Latin Am erica. It is like the headquarters of the U.S. in Latin America in many ways. Most of the men interviewed said that people travel to Cost a Rica because they have heard about it fr om other people. As Orlando sa id there is much publicity. People give their recommenda tions to other people a bout the beach, ecotourism, adventures, and nature. In addition to word of mout h from other tourists, Elias attributes some of Costa Rica s popularity with th e Internet where many of the tourists learn about the country before they travel. Recommendations for Change When asked what they w ould change about how touris m is implemented in Costa Rica, very few of the men sa id that the tourist industr y needed changes. Armando, however, had strong suggestions. He is a certified guide who has been through all of the necessary training and who is re gistered with the Ministry of Tourism in Costa Rica. He is one of two guides who are re gistered and certified. Arma ndo believes that the tourist industry needs to change its standards of hiring. He does not think that just anybody should be able to act as a guide. Federico agrees. Right now, anyone can be a guide. It is not regulated. It woul d be good if they needed a license for tourism because there are many guides.
101 Armando told me that men think that just because they learn so me English they are qualified to become guides. This takes jobs away from certified guides since untrained men will work for a lower wage. Armando beli eves that it also affects the tourists experiences in the country since unqualified gui des know less about the sites, the ecology, and the hist ory of Costa Rica. He is curren tly working with the Ministry of Tourism, the governmental body that oversees the tourist industry, to implement rules for guides and a means of certifying more people. He is, in fact, the only informant who has had any contact with the Ministry of Tourism. Explaining Tourism in Costa Rica Tourism, Economic Development, and Modernization The men I interviewed who work in the tourist industr y in Costa Rica are quite knowledgeable about the industry. They beli eve that tourism has resulted in economic development in the country, especially in the form of employment opportunities and improvements to infrastructure. This is a common pattern of tourism development in developing countries as moderniz ation results in orde r to keep the tour ists happy (Crick 1989). While the men I intervie wed are satisfied with the changes made in Costa Rica such as the improvements to the roads and th e modernization of th e highway, they also understand that these changes were not made for them but to make the tourists experiences better. Crick (1989) and OConnell Davidson (1 998) state that more profits from tourism ventures return to the countries invest ing in the industry than those that remain in the native countries. Most of the men in terviewed believe that there are more benefits for the Costa Rican people than for foreign investors. Even t hose who understand how
102 much is gained by foreigners do not seem to care, as they are more concerned that the industry continue to provide income and jobs for the Cost a Rican people. The outlook for tourism continues to be goo d, so it is likely that the people will continue to see benefits (Clark 2001). Economic Impacts of Tourism One common consequence of tourism in Latin America, acc ording to OConnell Davidson, (1998) is that men are more likely to benefit from tourism because they are more likely to be employed in the industry. Men in Costa Rica are much more likely to get jobs in the tour ist industry than are women. Mu ch like OConnell Davidson (1998) describes, men receive jobs th at are traditionally held by men such as being taxi drivers and bus drivers. Of all people working in the tourist i ndustry, tour bus drivers and tour guides are the best paid, and women are generally not part of those industries. It was relatively easy to find men working in the industry to interview. I began by looking for men who worked as tour guides and tour bus drivers. I have only met one woman who drives a tour bus. She drives a van, and therefore ha s much less contact with tourists and makes less money than men who drive the bigger bu ses. As far as I know, not one woman drives a medium or larg e tour bus in Costa Rica. Additionally, there are no women working as tour guides for the nation-wide companies. There are a few women working as guides in specific tourist towns, but they generally work at the reception counters where people purchase small excursions. My key informants also told me that women do not guide tourists in dangerous places su ch as trails on the Arenal volcano or white water rafting.
103 Social Impacts of Tourism The men interviewed do not seem aware of much if any culture change as a result of tourism or culture contact with people from other countries. The few older men, those aged over 40, who I s poke to have suggested that one result of tourism is that the work ethic of Costa Rican youth has ch anged. The older men maintain that they work much harder than the younger men getting jobs in the i ndustry. They believe that for the young men, life has always been easi er. Some of the young men I interviewed did suggest that this mi ght be true. Juan told me that his work in tourism is much easier than his previous job in the hospital and that he makes more money doing it. Both Elias and Julio are happy to have f ound service-oriented occupati ons in tourism because then they do not have to work on the farms w ith their fathers. While it does not yet seem to be much of an issue, there is a possibility that men who have continual co ntact with tourists may prefer foreign women and therefore not marry or even have relationships with ticas. Julio is my youngest informant, and he is also the only informant who has never had a Costa Rican girlfriend. He is 20 years old and has worked as a river rafting guide sinc e he was 14. His contact with tourist women has been so extensive that he has decided to only have relationships with foreigners. Right now, he is an extreme case, but this might become more common as the tourist industry in Costa Rica expa nds. Some Costa Rican wome n I know are concerned about this very possibility and view relationsh ips with female tourists with disdain. Conclusions about Tourism in Costa Rica Tourist destinations ma y be found throughout the country of Costa Rica, and they include beaches, volcanoe s, national parks, and cities. Regardless of where tourists
104 go or what activities they engage in, they will come in to contact with several people working in the tourist industry. The opportunity for culture contact occurs frequently, as most of the people wo rking in the tourist industry ar e Costa Rican locals. The men interviewed, all working in th e tourist industry, we re a valuable sour ce of information about tourism in general and their specific jobs in partic ular. Tour guides and bus drivers have the most one-on-o ne contact with tourists, as they may take overnight trips with travelers. This intensive firsthand co ntact allows for exchan ges of ideas between tourists and locals, and is likely where locals get most of their information about foreigners and fo reign countries. I believe that the tourist i ndustry in Costa Rica will continue to thrive in future generations, evolving to meet the needs of ever-increasing numbers and varieties of tourists. Locals will likely continue to be the main source of workers in the industry, and the interviewees are likely correct in assuming that the lo cal people will continue to reap many benefits from tourism, includi ng, and probably most importantly greater access to increase d amounts of money.
105 Chapter Five: Why These Relationships? Tourism in Costa Rica provides many re latively well-paying jobs for many men in the country. Their affluenc e and freedom to travel around the country has facilitated a situation in which some men working in the tourist industry are frequently engaging in sexual relationships with female tourists when the opportun ity presents itse lf. In this chapter I examine those relationships from the perspective of the men working in the tourist industry who participate in such rela tionships. Additionall y, the women tourists attitudes provide a complement to the men s perspective. I look at what motivates people to participate in these relationsh ips by examining what I was told, what I observed, and images in popular culture. I also examine these relations hips in the context of the tourism and sex tourism literature, providing an analysis of these motivations. Relationships between Female Tourists and Men Working in Tourism Interactions with Tourists The male interviewees all viewed their in teractions with tourists positively. All of the men, especially th ose who work as tour guides and tour bus drivers, said that one of the positive aspects of their jobs is that th ey get to spend time with the tourists. Pedro said that he likes his work and being able to help people. He said its like having people in your own house. Juan said that he enjoys his job and finds it in teresting to meet so
106 many people from different countries. He ha s developed friendships with people, not just women, from other countrie s. In fact, when I spoke to him he had ju st received a letter from a couple in Canada, and he asked me to read it. They thanked him for being so kind to them when they we re in Costa Rica. Ignacio, Ne stor, and Carlos specifically like that they can exchange culture with the tourists. In general, the men who work in tourism believe that they are learning more about Costa Ri ca by traveling throughout the country and about th e rest of the world by interacting with the tourists. In general the tourists view the tour guides and tour bus dr ivers as being very knowledgeable. Their primary du ty is to teach the tourists about Costa Rica, its culture and history, and the surrounding nature. The men who work in tourism spend the bulk of their days with tourists, talking and teaching. Their main responsibility is to take care of the tourists. They must make sure that no one gets hurt whil e on tour. They also have to make the tourists ha ppy and make sure that they are all satisfied with their vacations. Given the na ture of their jobs, it is easy to understand how they cultivate relationships with the tourists. Vicente suggested that the mere fact that he is a tour guide makes him attractive to the female tourists. They come to you. Its hard to believe, but its true. They see you like youre the guide and you know many thin gs about many subjects. The drivers and guides sometim es continue their care-tak ing function for the tourist women with whom they have rela tionships. Pedro said that when he is traveling with a tourist woman he takes care of her and makes sure that she gets to do and see what she wants while she is on tour with him. Bernardo, a tour bus dr iver, said that having sexual
107 and romantic relationships with the female to urists is part of th e job. Guides like groups with lots of women, women of all ty pes. Armando also be lieves that having relationships with the women tour ists is a natural outgrowth of the job. He thinks that it is expected, not only by the women but by the men worki ng in the indus try as well. Why People Participate in These Relationships In exploring the relationships between fe male tourists and ma le tourist industry workers, based on my review of the literature and my previous informal investigations in Costa Rica, I went into the field expecting to find that the Costa Rican men working in the tourist industry who have sex with the female tourists do so for economic gain. I hypothesized that even though thes e men had well-paying jobs re lative to others in the country, they were still looking for any possible fina ncial gains from the North American and European women who travel there. I have not found any evidence, however, that this is happeni ng. None of the 33 men who pa rticipated in my research reported that money or ot her goods were a motivating factor in their pursuing relationships with female tourists. I real ly wanted to understand was why they were interested in these relationships The same answer was given to me over and over again. The men were clear about the fa ct that they wanted to ha ve sex with these women who they found to be attrac tive. For them, the re lationships are more a bout sex than anything else. Mutual Sexual Attraction For both male and female tourists, many relationships between them and people living in the countries visite d are based on physic al attraction and a want for sexual gratification (Thomas 2000). In this context, people have sex for pleasure, because they
108 want to do it. They do not need any other motivators, as sexual attraction is their primary motivation in most cases. Sexual attraction is the basis for many of these relationships, and the constructi on of sexual attraction in this context will be explored in this chapter. Francisco and Karla provide a perfect exampl e of a relation ship growing from sexual attraction. I know more about th is couple than most others because I was privy to their entire relations hip. Because Francisco is a close friend of mine and I therefore, spent time with Karla, I was ab le to speak to each of them about their relationship. I even accompanied them on some of their dates, in a group setting. For this reason, their story is the be st and most detailed story I can tell in my dissertation. I went on a weekend trip to a ranch in which I acted as a tour guide. This trip started as the most sexually char ged tour I have ever worked. I acted as the second tour guide, taking care of the women in the sma ll bus, a van really, that seats no more than eight people, including the driver. Francisc o, a 24-year-old man, wa s our driver. I had known him at the time for four years, as he has b een working for the same tour company for five years now. He is pe rhaps one of the most attractive men I know, and while he did not always know it, he certainly knows it now. That he is attractive is not just my opinion. Women on every tour I have been on with him have said so. Women who have just seen him out with me around San Jos have said s o. I have traveled with him before, but it has never been like this. The six American women in my group ranging in age from 22 to 36 were perh aps the most brazen group of women with whom I have ever traveled. They began talking about Francisco before we even left the university (where we picked them up) on Friday. They kept saying that he ha s a nice ass, and they were arguing over who would get to have him. Karla, a 22-yea r-old, called d ibs on him
109 because she said that she was the only one in the van without a boyfriend. While this is not true, she believed that she was the most age-appropriate woman without a boyfriend. She talked about or to him for the entire five-hour driv e to the ranch. Her best friend from home was with her, and they talked a lot about Francisco. One woman even commented that after seeing Francisco she can see why I have so mething to study for my dissertation. The women in the van also knew about my research and told me what they thought of Francisc o. They also tried to get inform ation from me, as they knew that he and I are friends. They wanted to know if he had a gi rlfriend, if he sleeps around (has sex with many women), how old he is, an d any other informati on that I might think is important. These women competed for Franciscos atte ntion. They all wanted him. They all thought that they we re equally deserving of the mans attention regardless of age or looks and flirted with him relentlessly. There was a re curring lengthy conversation about how great the mans ass was, and they all referred to him as guapo (the Spanish word for handsome or attracti ve, as a name, not an adjective). They were actually asking questions by saying Guapo, can you tell me . . I think this was the most blatant display of the sexual obj ectification of a man that I ha d seen on tour, and as will be demonstrated in later sections, I have seen ob jectification before in my research. By the time we reached the ranch, Karl a was smitten with Francisco. He has not had much experience with the tourist wo men because he does no t travel out of the city very often. He does know a bit a bout American women, however, because he knows my friend and me. He believes that American women are different from Costa Rican women in that they have sexual freedom, a nd during this trip he decided to put
110 that theory to the test. Frid ay night, our first night ther e, the guide fo r the tour, an American woman, threw a guaro (the national alcohol of Co sta Rica) party at her cabin because the ranch is isolated, and there is little to do there at night. These parties do not usually get out of control, but they are re ally just an excuse for young people to drink lots of alcohol. I have b een to several of these partie s, and they are usually noneventful. This party was di fferent, however, because Franci sco and the girls from my van were there. Karla c ontinued to talk about Fran cisco. She pursued him by attempting to speak Spanish to him and asking him to correct her speech. She focused quite a bit on his nice ass and made it a to pic of conversation with all of the women at the party. The party ended, and we all went to bed, except for Francisco and Karla. Since I was sharing a cabin with Francisco, I can say with certainty that he did not go to bed until about 3am, about two hour s after the party ended. He and Karla stayed out together and kissed for the first time that night. Karla pursued him, and Francisco had decided to pursue her by the end of the first night, and th ey continued to spend time together throughout the weekend trip to the ranch. On our drive back to San Jos on Sunday, a couple of the wo men jokingly asked Francisco to take us to a motel and give each of us a turn with him. They specifically reiterated that they meant mot el not hotel. Since all of these women had relentlessly flirted with him all weeke nd and had sexually object ified him without apology, Francisco was, at first, unsure if it was really a joke. He asked me if he understood their bad Spanish correctly, and I told him that he did. It is import ant to note th at we passed a motel on the way to the ranc h on Friday. A couple of the young women on the bus,
111 including Karla, did not know that there is a di fference in Costa Ri ca between a motel and a hotel. Francisco explained in Spanish that a mote l was a place designed for sexual encounters. I followed up with a more detailed explanation te lling them that motels rent rooms in 12-hour periods of ti me, although it is not n ecessary that people stay that long. Motels are surrounded by privacy fences and large gates. The people who go to motels maintain their privacy since they park their ca rs in individual garage s that lead to rooms with a drawer in which to put the money so that the people who work there do not see them. There are also typically menus found in these rooms, and pe ople can order things such as porn movies, condoms, and drinks. The notion of Fr ancisco taking us to a motel was a joke, an inside joke th at arose from our time togeth er that weekend. However, Karla made sure to tell the women on the bus that she should get to go first so that she was guaranteed an experience wi th Francisco. He might get too tired to have sex with everyone. Even within the joke, Karla made su re to assert her righ t to Francisco above all the other women. Francisco and Karla continue d to see each other for th e remaining two weeks of her stay in Costa Rica. Th ey went on some group dates with the women from the van and me. They also went out alone. Over the course of their two weeks together, they had a sexual relationship. Fran cisco also developed real feeli ngs for Karla. He told me that he never knew that a relationship with a woman could be so nice. He told me that he had found something that he had been miss ing in his life. They e-mailed each other for the rest of the summer until they finally lost contact with each other, by her choice. At first, he did not unders tand why she was not responding to his e-mails, although he knew from the beginning that their relationship was only going to last for the short time
112 that she was there. He really liked her, but he knew that she would not be coming back to Costa Rica and that he would not be leaving. He understood th e limitations of a relationship with a touris t as a holiday romance. If not for sexual attraction, the events described here would never ha ve occurred. Karla and the rest of the wome n in the van were attracted to Francisco. This fact gave him many options, but in the end, he chose to pursue the woman for whom he felt an attraction. It is this mutual attraction that led to this re lationship. Neither party ever thought about money or power. Neither of th em was interested in anything different than a romance and se xual relationship. Karla did tell me, however, that she wanted to have the fond memories of her novio , her Costa Rican boyfriend. She told me that the fact that he is Costa Rican and different from her was part of what was attractive to her. Sexual attraction is the key element in these relationships, and in ma ny cases, this sexual attraction comes from notions of the other pe rson as being exotic. Sexual relationships between tourists and the people they meet in thei r host countries are often a mani festation of a desire for a racialized, sexualized other, someone that the tourist wo uld perceive as being more sexual because of his/he r race or ethnicity (Phillips 1999, Mullings 1999, OConnell Davidson and Sanchez Taylor 1999, Pruitt and LaFont 1995). Karla provides a great example of this phenomenon, as she was most interested in how much Francisco was different from her. The fact that he was Costa Rican and spoke only Spanish made him more exotic and theref ore more attractive.
113 Fantasies of the Exotic Other Both the female tourists and the male tourist industry workers who I interviewed told me that they had sexual fantasies about each other. The Costa Rican men believe that there is something more sexual a bout white women from North America and Europe. They commonly told me that North American and European women will participate in more and differe nt sexual activities than ticas such as oral sex, masturbation, and sexual positions other than the missionary position. Some have said that a variety of sex acts is normal for women from ot her countries, but it is not for ticas. The men in my research are similar to the men Meisch (1995) describes who found blond hair and pale skin to be exotic and theref ore attractive. Julio, in fact, told me that it is the light skin and yellow hair that he likes so much about tourist women. He is twenty years old and has been working as a river rafting gu ide for six years. He has spent a considerable am ount of time with tourists because of this fact. He has such a preference for white foreign women that he has only had sexual relationships with tourists, never with a Costa Rican woman. He told me that he does not want Costa Rican women. He has no interest in them. Similarly, all of the women I talked to believe that there is something more sexual about Latin men than white Ameri can men. They all believed in the Latin Lover concept and all replied th at Latin men are better in bed than men are at home. This construction of the Latin Lover concept will be explored further in other sections of this chapter. That people have fantasies of racialized, sexualized others is a common theme throughout the se x tourism literature (OConnell Davidson and Sanchez Taylor 1999, Sanchez Taylor 2000, Hall 1996).
114 The female tourists in my research are ch aracteristic of tourists in general. Tourism is a socially sanction ed escape route for adults in to play, fantasy, and sexual adventure. . It is not su rprising that sex and tourism have been closely associated (Ryan 2000:27). Sex and tourism have been linked sinc e at least the 19th Century, when Western Europeans, especially the British, would take holidays to exotic locations in the Mediterranean wher e many would have sex with nati ves, according to Littlewood (2001). Sanchez Taylor (2000:4 1) suggests that tourist destinations are marketed as culturally different (emphasis hers) places, and all tourists are enco uraged to view this difference as a part of wh at they have a right to c onsume on their holiday. The female tourists in my research were consuming this diffe rence. Having sex with an other is one way in which tourists experience cultural differences in other countries. As will be demonstrated in the follow ing sections, both th e men and women who participated in my research wanted to sexually experi ence the other. Liberal Foreign Women These men working in the Costa Rican to urist industry tend to believe that women from the United States and Europe are more sexual than women from Costa Rica. This belief takes many forms. More than three-qua rters of the men interviewed told me that North American and European women are more liberal than Costa Rican women. When asked to explain in what sense this is true many men expressed a belief that women from other countries are more open to new ideas, both sexually and in general. Ignacio suggested that Co sta Rican women are very timid about sex but that American women tienen facilidades para el sexo have a gift or aptitude for sex. They
115 are more affectionate and will tell you when they like it. As Pedro said, gringas are not reserved. They explode. They scream. Some might wonder if the word gringa is used with negative connotatio ns, but I found that in Costa Rica, it is no t. It is just another word for Americans. Additionally, Ameri can women are more forward about sexual matters. They will come right out and ask these men to have sex with them. This is an experience that most men are not used to wi th Costa Rican women. Vicente told me that for men working in tourism, sex is very easy. There ar e beautiful ladies you never think w ould look at you, but they do. They come to you. Its har d to believe, but its true . American women dream to have sex with a Latin guy because they are hot, passionate, and wild. Juan and Eduardo sugges ted that American wome n are more willing to experiment sexually. In fact this was a common response. They believe that North American and European women are willing to participate in a wider variety of sexual acts than are Costa Rican wome n. Carlos said that Ameri cans and Italians will do everything in bed. As Vicente suggested, American women are more open. For an American woman a blowjob is normal. Costa Rican women ar e conservative. They teach you through religion to be conservative and not to do things like that. Costa Rican women are not just conservative about giving oral sex to men. Francisco told me that many ticas will not allow men to perform oral sex on them nor will they allow men to masturbate them. Francisco al so said that the foreign women with whom he has had experiences let hi m do these thi ngs to them.
116 Vicente gives a concrete example of how American women are more sexually liberal than Costa Rican women. He said It is the American mans fant asy to have sex with two wo men, and if they ask, the American women will do it. If you asked a Costa Rican woman that, she would slap you. A porn movie for an Americ an woman is normal. A Costa Rican woman will yell at you; maybe shell do it (w atch it), but. While this statement may not be an entirely accurate picture of what happens between American men and women, it does give in sight into how some Costa Rican men perceive American women. It is important to note that Vicente lived in the United States for several years duri ng which time he met and married an American woman who he described as beautiful. According to him, they divo rced, largely because of the independent spirit of this woman that he fell in love with in the first place. His attitude about American women in general may be colored by his obvious (to me) bitterness toward this woman. He, of course, was not the only man I spoke to who be lieves that American women have more permissive and liberal attitudes abou t sex than do women in Costa Rica. While Pedro does not agree with Vicente that American women are more willing to experiment, he said that their liberal attitude s about sex are different from those of women in Costa Rica. American women are to tally different from Latin American women They enjoy things more. They enjoy 200% of what they want. They are more liberal. They do not feel ashamed by anyt hing that they want to do or that they actually do. This is something that is attractive to Latin men. American women are not more
117 willing to experiment sex ually, but in moments when they are making love, they enjoy every part of it. They give themselves totally to the man. Federico gives evidence of the American womens liberal attitude by telling me that they will have sex very early in a relationship. They do not make the man wait like Costa Rican women do. Tourist women are different. They dont feel guilty about anyth ing they do. They are not ashamed. They are mo re liberal. They have se x with a man very quickly, and they like to have sex with Latin men. This, too, is a common response by these men. As Elias suggested A relationship with a tour ist happens fast. We meet and like each other, and she has to leave soon. That female tourists have sex early in a re lationship on holiday is a common perception of men in the tourist industr y. Because the women are only in the country for a short time, having sex within days or even hours of meeting so meone is not uncommon. It makes sense that those relations hips while traveling could not progress at the same rate that a relationship might prog ress with someone at home. The woman is not going to be there long enough to wait. One morning at breakfast in a tourist town we saw three American women, each in her twenties eating with a tico also in his twenties. This man had spent the night with one of these women. They came to breakfast together and met her two friends there. They barely knew each other, as when th e woman attempted to introduce him to her friends she seemed not to remember his na me so he introduced himself. He spoke English, so they seemed to be communicati ng fine, but she did what I have seen many
118 other women do; she talked about him to her fri ends as if he were not there. Usually, I see women talking about how attractive a man is right in front of him because he does not speak English. The wome n were leaving him out of the conversatio n, and the man looked bored. Several times, he was just staring into space. The whole conversation, in fact, appeared quite awkward since the other two women bare ly spoke to him. I heard the couple discuss that they ha d plans to go out on je t skis later that day. When they all finished eating, he paid for hi s and his companions breakfas t, and the two friends paid for their own breakfast. Th e man went one way and the th ree women went another way. Scenes like this can be witn essed in many tourist locations. A woman will bring the man she had sex with the previ ous evening with her the next day to meet her friends, and they will likely spend some awkward time together. I ha ve seen other such awkward meetings. These relationships may begi n quickly, but they often e nd quickly as well. This can also be attributed to the fact that the women are only in Costa Rica for a short time. Jess said that It is very romantic with the tourists. Ever ything is in the moment It is very short and both want sex. Women who frequently travel to Costa Rica understand that men perceive them as moving fast or as being sexually liberal. Many men who have had contact with tourists in the past believe that tourist wome n are easy, sometimes referring to them as mujeres fciles, a literal transla tion of easy women that is used by some Costa Rican men to mean that they are no t only good in bed but will do many things in bed, and that they are willing to have sex wi th a man soon after first meetin g him. In f act, the women
119 working at a Spanish language program for college student s and teacher certification explained to all of the women at orientation that they have to keep in mind how they may be perceived by the men in Costa Rica, es pecially those who ha ve continual contact with tourists such as their host brothers and the bartenders in the tourist bars. They told the women to think about how all of the other female students in these kinds of programs have acted before. Many of those girls had sex wi th men in Costa Rica, even their host brothers, and each of the women needs to think about how that makes her look. This particular program has seen proble ms in the past with female students having sex in their host families houses, so metimes with their host brothers, sometimes with other students from the pr ogram. The people in charge of this program like to tell the story of the young woman f ound by her host parents naked in her closet with a man. She had heard them coming in the room and deci ded to hide. This st ory is meant to be a warning, but having talked to so me of the students who hear d the story, I know that they saw it as a joke. Mature, Sexually Experienced Women More than a woman with a lib eral attitude, the men I s poke to specifically want experienced and mature women. Mature wo men generally occupy an age range from about 25 to 45, depending upon th e age of the man talking a bout them. For a young man of about 20, 30 seems pretty mature. Eduardo said: Me gusta la mujer madura con mucha experiencia. I like the mature woman with lots of experience. When I asked why, he told me that he wants to learn more about sex, not teach it. A mature woman has things to teach a man. Pe dro also believes that it is better to have sex with
120 experienced women. He prefers women with more experience beca use they know what to do, what he wants to do, and how to do it. He thinks that experience is important so that they can both en joy themselves 100%. Santiago also believes that older women are better in bed mejores en la cama, because they have more experi ence. Raymundo said that women are better when they have some experience. When asked if there is a differe nce between having sex with a young woman and an old woman, he stated th at young women are mo re timid and are ashamed of their behavior. Similarly, Jess wants a woma n with lots of experience. Most of the women are 25-40. Older women are better because they have more experience and are more sexually exciting. When I asked him to explain the differenc e between having sex with older women and having sex with younger women, he told me that an experi ence with a young woman is different. He said that you have to be careful because they are younger. He also said that you might have problems with their parents and that it is dangerous to be with young girls. In this context, he is talking about high sc hool and college girls who may be traveling with their families, not talking about children. Federico shared this belief that older women are less as hamed about their behavior than younger women. While he said that he likes all wo men as long as theyre cl ean, he also said that Older women are more cari ng and are not ashamed. Y oung girls feel guilty and often change their minds. Carlos also likes all women, but he believes that women w ith lots of experience are better. When I asked him how he knows if a woman has lots of expe rience, he told me that he knows by the way she kisses. When I asked, you dont know before that? he
121 said no. This is further evid ence that the men are seeking se xual experiences when they have relationships with female tourists. In part, that men believ e that foreign women are mo re sexually experienced may be explained by the Madonna Whore dichotomy. All of my male interviewees expressed that they participat e in relationships with female tourists because women from other countries know more abou t sex, are more experienced se xually, and ar e willing to engage in a wider variety of sexual activities than are women from Costa Rica. These same men commonly told me that there ar e two different types of women, those for marriage and those for sex. These ideas are consistent with the Madonna-whore dichotomy. Both men and women in Latin Am erica divide women into two categories, that is, some are good a nd others are bad. Good wo men are mothers and wives. They resist the sexual urges of men. Bad wome n are eroticized whore s who give in to male sexuality or even initiate sexual contact. As Chant (2003:135) suggest s, this idea of the Madonna-whore dichotomy in Latin America is associated with considerable ambivalence towards women on the part of men. . In turn, men have been observed to divide their sexual relationships into two main types: those with wives, which tend to be emotional but sexually conservati ve, and those with casual part ners or prostitutes, which are sexually carnal but lacking in se ntiment. The Madonna-whore dichotomy has long been associated with Cathol icism and the differe nces between the Vi rgin Mary, mother of Jesus and Mary Magdelene, the prostitute that Jesus befriended and saved. The Virgin Mary is worshipped with much fe rvor, especially thro ughout Latin America, where she has been sighted se veral times in different place s and in different forms.
122 Costa Rica has the Virgin of Los Angeles. Such worship of the Virgin Mary further emphasizes the difference betw een chaste and sexual women. While most of the male interviewees suggested that they did have feelings toward the tourists with whom they had sex, these women can still be considered casual partners in that the relations hips were more about the se xual gratificat ion than any emotional connection. Addition ally, these rela tionships were shortterm interactions. The mens behavior remains consistent with their traditionally held beliefs about the sexuality of women. The female tourists are the whores in their cultural construction. Their Costa Rican wives or girlfriends ar e the Madonnas. The Latin Lover The men are seeking certain characteristic s in women, but they also believe that the tourist women seek them for particular reasons such as because they are more passionate and romantic and be cause they are better in bed than other men. As will be explained in this section, for the women in my resear ch, the Latin Lover concept seems to be at the heart of the sexual exchange between female tourists and male tourist industry workers in Costa Rica Most of the men I spoke to believe that the women want to experience the Latin Lover, specifica lly, not just someone di fferent than the men they are used to at home. They believe th at Latin men are hot, meaning passionate, and more romantic than othe r men. Eduardo explained, The Latin Lover concept is true. There is a sexual atmosphe re. The women try more in this atmosphere. Latin Lovers ar e more romantic, intellectual, and like surprises. Latin Lovers give women flowers, kisses, poems. Antonio said he thinks that
123 Women come here with the idea of the Latin Lover, such a reputation. Women are aggressive and think that they are definite ly going to get laid. He believes that there is a difference between the Latin Lo ver and men from the United States. He has heard that American men are co ld. He believes that the reason for this is that life is more stressful in the United States. It is different. They could be good lo vers, but they are just tryi ng to get ahead. American men dont have time to think about sex. They are thinki ng too much about survival. It is a dog eat dog hectic life in the U.S., especi ally in the big cities. Ignacio agreed that free time is one of the things that give Costa Rican men the opportunity to be good lovers. Ticos are hotter. It may be th e tropical climate. They have more time to spend on romance. The Latin Lover concept is not just about time, though. These men truly believe that they are different from ot her men. Orlando said that In Costa Rica, men are more affectionate. They take care of women. They are concerned with women. Toms suggested that hombres latinoamericanos tienen sang re caliente Latin American men have hot bl ood. As Gustavo said Creo que son ms calientes, mejor en la cama, depende en el hombre. I think that they are hotter and better in bed, but it depends on the man. Juan said that Latin men are calientes, sabrosos. They are hot and good at sex. They feel love more deeply than gringos They are hotter than gringos who are known to be cold. Ticos are about the details.
124 Sabroso and rico are the two words I have found to be the most commonly used to refer to someone who is a good lover. The word s are also used to describe good sex. Sabroso means flavorful or tasty. Rico also refers to food and m eans rich in the sense of tasty. I asked Arturo, Pedr o, and Francisco if they kne w why the words for good sex were also the words for good f ood, but none could te ll me the origins of the association. Arturo suggested that the words were th e same because eating and having sex both fulfilled sensory pleasures. Juan believes that Latin men are more willing to experime nt sexually because they like the heat. He thinks that gringas are hot like Latin me n, and that is why they have these relationshi ps. Ignacio agreed that Amer ican women are hotter, more passionate, than Costa Rican wo men and that this is what leads them to seek out the hot Latin men. Buying into the Latin Love r concept is another exam ple of women travelers seeking a racialized, sexual ized other for their hol iday romances and sexual adventures. This stereotype brings up ideas of a man who is totally different from the white men these women usually encounter at home. It is their difference that makes them more attractive for sexual relationships (Phillips 1999, Mullin gs 1999, OConnell Davidson and Sanchez Tayl or 1999, Shrage 1994). The female participants in these relationships share sentiments about the Latin Lover concept and suggest that it is an important motivati ng factor. Rene started a relationship with a waiter on her first night in Costa Rica when she went to dinner with the friends who accompanied her to the country. She said th at he was flirting with her and that she knew that he want ed to ask her out on a date. By the end of their meal, he
125 had asked her if he could see her again. She agreed, and they started seeing a lot of each other. She saw him most days of her trip and had a romantic se xual relationship with him. She even went to his hous e for dinner and met his mother. This was not Renes first relationship with a Latin man. She prefers Latinos. She dates Latinos at home in the United States. She had been to Spain where she also had relationships with Latin men. She believes in the Latin Lover st ereotype. She says that it is just different to be with them because they care more about pleasing women and possess a tenderness that white American men do not. Susie is a college student. She also beli eves in the Latin Lo ver stereotype. She told me that she has had rela tionships in many Latin countri es including Mexico, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, and Spain. She has a clea r preference for Latin me n, and dates them at home in the United States as well. She had not had a re lationship with a tico when I spoke to her, but she said th at she was not leav ing the country until she had at least kissed a Costa Rican man. She said sex would be bett er, but a kiss would do. Other interviewees also e xpressed a preference for La tin men, even at home. Annie suggested that cario a word that is difficult to tr anslate into English, is what makes Latin men sexier than men at home. Cario is a concept that means caring, but it is more than that. It implie s an overwhelming aff ection and tenderness, in this case, for the women by the men. Annie to ld me that women who have never experienced a Latin man do not understand the appeal because they do not understand cario Marlena, Linda, and Sarah had similar sentim ents and all said that they prefer to date Latin men at home. Sarah, in fact, only dates Latin men bot h at home and on holida y. She said that
126 men treat women differently in Costa Ric a. They treat women better. He [her boyfriend] treats me like a queen. He tries to take care of me. Yes, women are independent, but sometimes it is nice to have some one taking care of you. According to Marlena It feels right to have a fling with a Costa Rican man. It feels like every moment is sexualized. I guess it does have something to do with the Latin Lover fantasy. Hillary has similar feelings about Costa Rican men. First of all because its like hes differen t, culturally, hes not an American guy, I mean, he does have that machismo thing, and there ar e things that are attractive about it, although its like very sexist. When asked to explain further what is attractive about it, Hillary said Okay, I mean, just like simple things, . its just like respectf ul, like opening the door for you. Marlena, summed it up nicely: They (Costa Rican men) make women feel like the goddesse s that we are. These men love women. They are nice to us. Th ey tell us how beautiful we are. They open doors for us. They watc h out for us. They try to make us feel good in any way that they can. Even though these women seem to feel that ther e are advantages to relationships with these Latin Lovers, on an intellectual level they may see a sexist downside as Hillary explained. Yeah, I mean its part of li ke not seeing (women) as equal, so they treat them like theyre above [men], but th en, actually, they do nt. . I me an, personally, I
127 dont like the way American wo men are treated [in Costa Rica ]. . In general, like, it happens [in th e United States], just like being treated as pieces of meat, like hubba hubba. . I me an, like, I think like with all the American movies and TV were perceived li ke were easy, were slut s, you know, and its like bimbo, and then, I was talki ng to [the director of my school] about that and hes like, then dont you think youre playi ng into that then. It seems that American women I spoke to are totally buy ing into this Latin Lover fantasy. They are also having sexual relationships in Costa Rica in an attempt at some sort of escape from their normal ever yday lives. As Ma rlena explained The first time I just happen ed upon the possibility [of s ex with a tourism worker]. I mean, men hit on you ever ywhere. It just seems much more sexually charged than any place I have ever been to in the U.S. Me n are more aggressive about hitting on women. Well, not aggressive. They are mo re forward, but in a nice way. Debra agreed that men in Costa Rica are forward about hitting on women as she is approached all the time. To be hit on is to be approached by someone whose purpose is furthering contact with you. This person hits on you with the idea in mind that more contact with you might le ad to sex. There is not a word found in the scholarly literature that exactly means hitting on someone. Since it is a commonly used and widely understood phrase in the American vernacular, a nd because it was used by several of my informants, I will continue to use the phrase in my disse rtation.
128 Marlena further explained that from her perspective the Latin Lover stereotype is completely accurate. They are better and more romantic lovers. . They certainly do know how to make us f eel good. Sarah said yes, the stereotype is true. It is better because of the way they treat a woman. They make you feel like you are in heaven. In addition to sexu alizing the Latin Lover, so me American women have sexualized the place of Costa Ri ca, as Hillary explained. Well, part of it was just being caught up in the cu lture and how diff erent things were, and like, the trees and, but I mean, how its differ ent. One thing about him [her Costa Rican boyfriend] wa s that he was, like, incredib le in bed. . I dont know. There was just, like, a sexual energy. I rememb er just, like, laying on the hammock with him, just, like, he wouldn t say anything for a long time, and he would just, like, pet my head, and I was just, like, oh my god, I could stay here forever. I guess thats ju st part of the lifestyle, too. Its a lot more relaxed. She went on to explain. You know whats one other thing, that, you know, I thin k is appealing about this, its the environment that y oure in, its like this lush beautiful area thats just, like, its like a sexual are a. Its just, like, the jung le, I mean its, like, I dont know. Its like Eden or something. For Hillary, there was something primitive about Costa Rica. She equated having a sexual relationship with a Costa Rican man with gett ing back to na ture. Frohlick (2007:152) suggests th at erotic intimacy within a touristic setting can involve
129 proximate relationships to pe ople whose corporeality is fu sed with the landscape. Hillarys sexualization of place provides a gr eat example of this. Sex on Holiday The men have ideas about how women wi ll act on tour, but they also have reasons for why they believ e this. Beyond desiring a se xual other, one common response of the men about why they think the women participate in relationships with the men working in the tourist industry is th at they feel free because they are on vacation. This especially make s sense in Costa Rica in light of Hillarys explanation of the country as a sexual area . like Eden. Women on holiday may seek out more experiences than women do at hom e, in large part because th ere is no one there to judge their behavior. A certain sense of freedom is experienced by some women who travel alone. This theme f ound throughout my male interviews has cons tantly brought to mind the latest 2003 Las Vegas tour ism board campaign which is centered on the idea that women who travel experience secret lives while away from home. Part of this experience is sex and/or ro mance that no one else needs to know about unless she chooses to tell them. In one television commerci al being shown on Americ an cable television, a woman in her forties is standing outsid e a wedding chapel hold ing a bridal bouquet asking herself what she has ju st done. Then, we see her kiss a young Hispanic man and say I cant believe I just go t married, because sh e has a conference to which she needs to return. She starts to walk away but come s back for one last ki ss before leaving her new husband. In another comm ercial, a sultry woman in a sexy outfit gets in the back of a limo that is taking her to the airport. She tells the driver that she loves the smell of
130 leather, sniffs the seats and the driver, and ev en starts to rub his he ad. Then, she closes the glass between them. When she gets out of the limo, she has transformed her appearance by putting her hair up in a bun, wiping off her make-up, and putting on a blazer and a blouse buttoned all the way up the neck. She takes one last sniff of the driver and walks into the airport, talking on the phone with a yet unheard British accent. At the end of both of these commercials the scre en reads: Vegas, what happens here, stays here. The idea is th at women can come to Vegas and do anything they want to do. They can let their hair down and try new things that they might not do in their everyday lives, but no one at home ever need s to know. This is al so possible in Costa Rica, where many women travel in small groups of two or thre e if they are not alone. Juan believes that when women travel on holiday they are out to have a party. Elias agreed. Sometimes tourists are more liberal. They are on vaca tion and like to dance and drink. It is a party for them. Tourist women are more passionate than ticas. It is a different culture. Pedro suggested that the tourist women are more lib eral. They come and go, so they are more free for sex. Vicente said It does not happen the same in the U.S. because they come here and feel free in all ways and want to have experiences. Lots have boyfriends or husbands. They feel free on vacati on. You see in America, on spri ng break vacati on, they go out and feel free. Antonio agreed. He said that
131 The women from the U.S. are not necessarily more adventurous than other women, but tourists, in gene ral, are on holiday and are going to have fun. When women come from a far distanc e, far from their country, they figure, who cares? They want to be free. Antonio was so sure of his be lief that American women are liberal and want the freedom to have fun, that after the inte rview was over, he told me th at it was his turn to learn some things about me. He asked me if I was liberal like the tourist women we were talking about in th e interview. I tried to answer hone stly telling him that I was not as liberal as some but was more liberal than others. I also told him that I do not become intimately involved with my inte rviewees. He was nice and told me that if I ever needed anything else that he would be happy to help. Even though he was clearly attempting to express sexual interest in me, I think he wa s very honest in his in terview, and I do not doubt anything that he told me I also think, though, that if I had given him the chance to start a brief relationshi p, he would have done so. Linda agreed with the sent iments expressed by these men. Some women do feel free to have sexual experiences becau se they are out of the country. Out of sight, out of mind, youre on va cation, nobodys there to spy on you, nobodys gonna know what you do, therefore you do things t hat you normally wouldnt do, especially afte r a couple of drin ks or Ive heard so me people blame it on the altitude also. Lindas response demonstrates that some women might feel th e need to have an excuse, an explanation of why they wo uld act out of the ordinary and be so liberal. They may
132 not be so free all of the time and need an excuse in case anyone at home finds out about or seems to judge them for their holiday adventures. That women on holiday are looking fo r a good time is a popular conception shared by men working in the tourist industry, and as suggested earlie r it is based upon their previous experiences with female tourists In fact, two barten ders working together at a very popular reso rt told a group of twenty-somethi ng bikini clad wo men sitting at a swim-up bar that if they woul d get up and dance on the bar they would give them free drinks. This particular group of women chose not to do so, but when they told another young woman on the tour with them about the offer, she said she was sorry she was not there because she would have done it. Certainl y the attitudes of th ese men have been colored by some of the female tourists that they have previously encountered. Linda suggested that they are correct in their assumptio ns about tourists. I think it might be a self -perpetuating prophesy here, in othe r words, we go down there knowing [about the Latin Lover stereotype], therefore were easier, therefore it happens, and th en you come back (home) and talk about it, and they [Costa Rican men] feel that were free and easy. So, I asked Okay, so youre suggesting its that were easy? Her response: We are easy. Theres no doubt about it. Many male informants have suggested that, regardless of the reason, foreign women are easier than Costa Rican women. Pedro, Francisco, and Luis have all referred to foreign women as mujeres fciles , easy women. I was not left with the impression that it mattered why women were available for sex. Carlos said that he just feels lucky to have found them.
133 Images in popular cultur e reinforce the idea that romance and/or sex while traveling are not only acceptable but, in ma ny cases, expected, and women such as those I spoke to in conducting my re search have been influenced by this idea. For example, many romance novels rely on rela tionships that grow from tr avel. Even in those books in which the heroine is not traveling, she meets a handsome stranger who is very different from she. In many cases he is of a different et hnic group. The romance novel genre has created a fantasy of the other for women. Read ing romance novels is one of the ways that Linda keeps her fantasy of the other alive when she is at home in the United States. The Love Stories: Year Abroad Trilogy is specifically designed for young women and each of the three stories, se t in Rome, Paris, and London, depict a young woman in a study abroad progra m who enters into a romantic relationship with a native man. Beyond popular fiction, travel literature also explor es the connection between sex and/or romance and traveling. Salon. com, the Travelers Tales company, and Lonely Planet all have publishe d books with stories of love sex, and travel (de Kretser 1998). While Salon.com and Lonely Planet relied primarily on re ality-based fiction written by popular fictio n authors such as Pico Iyer, the Travelers Tales Guide includes true stories of passion on the road (Babcock Wylie 1998), anecdotes written by everyday travelers. The Wild Writing Wo men group (2002) ha s also published a collection of their factual tale s of travel and adventure. While this collection is not limited to stories of romance and sex as are the abovementi oned books, stories about the topic are included. Not only do such stories further the widely accepted idea that
134 romance and/or sex are part of the travel experience, they also, in some cases, give people an outlet to share their personal experiences with others. Tourists may approach peop le in a different manner when they are away from home. Media such as guidebook s [and] travel litera ture . portray to urist settings as both romantic and as a differe nt cultural environment in which different social norms apply. This can facili tate a sense of freedom from constraints for the traveler that are reinforced by a reduction of nor mal inhibitions as a result of factors such as loneliness or boredom (Carter and Clift 2 000:10). Thes e tourists would then do things while on holiday that they would not do at home. One such thing th at tourists are inclined to do while on vacation is have sex with new people. In their study about sex on holiday, Eiser and Ford (1995) found that one-third of all travelers that they spoke to had sexual intercourse with someone while on holiday. They attributed this behavior to situational disinhibition, that people feel like a different person while traveling. One possi ble disinhibiting factor for tourists may be the consumption of alco hol. Several of my interviewees told me that they had sex with people after they had been out drinking together. Thomas (2000) similarly found that many of her informants had be en drinking before the first time they had sex with men on tour with them. Neither Thomas (2000) no r her informants blamed alcohol for their experiences but suggested that it lowered thei r inhibitions and allo wed them to do what they really wa nted to do. Another disinhibiting factor may be anonymity. Meisch (1995:454) suggests that when women are on vacation, they feel as if no one is watching them and therefore their behavior does not really coun t . because no one at home will ever know about their
135 activities. The importance of womens sexual reputations has long been recognized. The anonymity of a holiday ab road may offer an opportunity for women to have a shortterm sexual relationship which does not threaten their reputation (Thomas 2000:215). Thomass (2000) findings were similar to mine in that the women appreciated both the short-term and anonymous natu re of these relationships. Linda specifically mentioned that she did not have to worry about her behavior when she wa s on vacation because no one in Costa Rica knew her at home. Hillary and Marlena appreciate d that relationships with ticos are short-term. This gave them the freedom to be w ith different men than they would choose at home. Even the male interviewees unde rstood that when women are on holiday they are more apt to do things that they might not do otherwise. Several of my female interv iewees are forthrig ht about their look ing for a fantasy relationship that only exists in the short term. Linda, a self-procl aimed control freak, who commands her husband at home, dete rmining nearly every facet of their relationship has had affa irs at home that were much the sa me. She was in control. She said when I lived in [another st ate] it was different from the get go. I knew exactly when Id see them [my lovers], under what circumstances, etc. In Costa Rica, because the schedules are really, really strange, theres more of a will I see him tonight, what if I see him tonight, maybe its going to be a week before I see him, etc. Even though this woman is us ed to having everything her own way, she allows herself to be controlled when she is in Costa Rica, ev en to the point of wa iting at home on any given evening just hopi ng to get a phone call from one of her Costa Rican boyfriends,
136 even if she was supposed to have a date with him and he just does not show up and does not call. As she said, They decide when they can see me, and if its not an appropriate time for me, then I get the feeling that I better make th e time or Ill lose the chance of seeing them. She lets them dictate her schedule ju st so she can spend time with them. Marlenas opinion is slightly different. I dont think that power eve r entered into the equation, at least not in the way I think you mean. I allowed my self to lose control in Costa Rica. That is something that I never do. I am what we call a contro l freak. I have to know what is going to h appen and when. I tend to be a leader. I never give up any control at home or work. I think thats whats so appealing about having a relationship with a Costa Ric an man. He takes charge. Because it will be short term, though, it doesnt matt er. I can afford to give up control for a short fling, but I would never be able to do so with a relationsh ip in the U.S. I am a completely different person. Hillary agreed that part of what was appealing about the relationship was that it was a short-term fling. As heartbreaking as it was to go home and le ave her Costa Rican boyfriend, she said you know they sa y that men fear commitment, bu t I do, too, but thats probably part of whats appealing about [the relationship].
137 Vicente, who, as mentioned above, was married to a woman from the United States and lived there for a fe w years, has strong opinions about the relationships that Costa Rican men have with female foreigners. American women want a fantasy man who wi ll be nice to them and protect them, but they dont want it for long. They want to keep their independence. American women care about work and making money. And when a Costa Rican man starts to feel like hes not appreciat ed by her, he will go find someone else who will appreciate him. 99% of th e men I know who married someone from the [United States] or England, or anot her place, got divorced, ev en though divorce is not common here [in Costa Rica]. Economic Gain vs. Machismo The female tourists are motivated by fant asies of the other and the anonymous and short-term nature of these relationships. The men also have fantasies of the other and are looking for sexual gratification above all else. Th erefore, contrary to the literature, men working in the tourist i ndustry in Costa Rica do not have sex with female tourists for economic gain; they do so for th e sexual experience it self. Furthermore, when asked if women ever offer money for sex, every man who claimed to have been given this offer also claimed to have rejected it Vicente said that these women offer tips just as other tourists do but he never accepts any money in the context of a relationship with a woman. I dont like women to pay for anything, but its common for women to offer. Many women who travel here have money. Jess agreed that there are women who o ffer money for sex, but he said that
138 If you take money for sex, then you are not a man. Some women offer money indirectly. Sometimes the tip is bigger. They pay fo r stuff when you go out. Carlos said that women do not try to pa y him for sex. They take him out to dinner or for drinks. He does not think that it is common for wome n to want to pay. Most men said that women do not offer th em money in exchange for having sexual relationships with them. There is a distinc tion between accepting money fo r sex and accepting tips from tourists. Tips are a normal part of their jobs. Tour bu s drivers and guides typically receive tips from most, if not al l, of the people on a tour w ith them. They receive tips from both women and men. Sometimes they re ceive big tips from women they had sex with, but sometimes they do not receive a tip from those women at all. Sometimes, according to Marcos, they even receive tips from the husbands of women with whom they have had sex, even t hough the husbands do not know th at the guides have had sex with their wives. Marcos to ld me about a woman with whom he had sex af ter initiating it in the mud room and sauna ar ea of a resort. Her husband was in the next room while they were intimate, and according to Marc os, the man likely never knew. He did, however, give Marcos a large ti p upon their leav ing the resort. In Miguels case, a woman with whom he had a relationshi p offered him more than money or gifts, she offe red him the independence of wo rking for himself. Miguel is a married 36-year-old tour bus driver. He met a woman in her late 40s to early 50s named Debbie. He told me that they started dating and havi ng a sexual rela tionship. He did not provide too many deta ils about that. She began to be more serious about the relationship than he was, talking about returning to Costa Rica to see him again. She
139 began to talk about a future with him. He was not going to leave his wife for her and said that he considered her to be nothing more than a friend. The complicated situation that arose from this relationshi p was that Debbie offered to purchase for Miguel his own tour bus. Since he was unhappy at his current job, he was thinking about how great that would be. However, he was af raid that it would make Debbie think that they had a more serious relationship than he wanted. He tried to find a way to start th is business with her and maintain nothing more than a friendship with her. Eventuall y, he decided not to go into business with her, because he could no t handle the possible consequences to his personal life. While he did not consider the possibility of Debbies buy ing him a tour bus to drive and going into business with him to be pa yment for his having had a sexual relationship with her, he still could not take the offer becaus e he feared becoming indebted to this woman with whom he shared a casual but in timate relationship. Considering that the women who travel to Costa Rica tend to have access to money and that the men who work in the tourist indus try tend to make very little money according to U.S. standards, in many cas es between $50 and $100 per week, one might wonder why these men do not take money from the women with whom they have sex. As stated in Chapter Four, al l of the men interviewed sugg ested that they make a good living by Costa Rican sta ndards. They make more money working in tourism than they could if they had other jobs. Additionally, the majority of the men interviewed said that in Costa Rica, men control the money. Th is notion is not uncommon, and considering the Theory of Gender and Power, as ex plained by Wingood and Di Clemente (2000), power within relationships is measured by an individuals ab ility to exert control over another person. Relationships between men and women in Costa Rica tend to favor
140 male power. One might wonder if these men were being truthful with me about the power they are able to exert over the women in their lives Having witnessed interactions between married couples in Costa Rica through my homestay and time living there, I do believe the men since I rarely saw women asserting themselves within their relationships. Within relationships in Costa Rica, whet her between spouses or what they call juntados people who are serious co uples who likely live together and may be common law married, men control the money. Orlando said the ma n dominates . Men have the money for the house. Jess said that the man usually controls the relationship and that the majority are machistas which is a commonly he ld belief by the men interviewed. Several men, wit hout any mention of the word or concept by me, told me that machismo is why men control rela tionships and why they ne ed to have more than one woman. This machismo an ever-present part of these me ns life experience, leads them to have relationships with more than one woman at time. It is common for a man in Costa Rica to have many women. Some have Costa Rican girlfriends or mist resses in addition to their wives. Others only have these short-term relationshi ps with the tourists. When I asked them why Costa Rican men need more than one woma n, the response was unbelievably uniform. They said that men in Costa Rica are machista and, therefore, they can have more than one woman at a time. Martn summed up the situation with one sentence. There is lots of machismo in Costa Rica. Sometimes having more than one woman is merely about having more sexual experiences. Juan said that
141 with more women, men gain more sexual experience and more confidence. They are more satisfied. It is all about introspection and satisfaction of the moment. Antonio said that Most men dont need, they just want more than one woman. Its almost tradition, a cultural thing. Why? In the past it was like that, like that in their heritage from the ancient. Ignacio told me that ticos are hot but ticas are not, so the men wa nt to have a lot more sex than their wives or girlfri ends. Carlos said that Costa Rican men need more than one woman because al l women are different. You want to try as many as you can. Maybe one is cold, and you can find another who is hot. Unhappiness at Home Some men suggested that thei r wives or girlfriends led th em to have relationships with other women. Raymundo said that je alous women drive me n to have other girlfriends by constantly aski ng the men where they are. Fe derico said that sometimes men have relationships with other women b ecause they are angry with their wife or girlfriend. He said that sometimes it is bad at home. Pa blo told me that Sometimes the relati onship is routine. Sometim es the woman is bitter, muy amargada and he looks for a fling, aventura afuera An unhappy home life may lead some of these men to seek relationships with tourists, and tourists may also seek these relationships with Costa Rican men because they are not satisfied with their lives at ho me. They are looking for even a momentary escape from their unhappy marriages. Margie is a perfect exam ple of an unhappily
142 married woman who was open to something th at could make her fe el better in Costa Rica. Margie is a teacher, married with a te en-aged son, and about 40 years old. She is a friend of a friend of mine who was in San Jos with me I spoke to her on several occasions. She was not happy in her marriage and was happy to be in Costa Rica away from her husband. I went to a tourist-oriented disco in Sa n Jos with some other American women. Margie was there with us. We were all dancing and drinking together. We were lucky enough to arrive early, so we managed to get two tables ne xt to each other and stay together. We were only ther e for about an hour before a man in the disco approached Margie. He asked her to dance, and she did. She came back to th e table alone. He came to her again. She danced with him again, and came back to the table alone. Then she danced with him again and invited him to come back to the table with her. She introduced him to the rest of th e women who were sitting there. His name is Javier. We stayed at this disco until a bout 2am. Margie and Javier spent the evening together, and he asked her if he coul d see her again. She gave him her phone number. Margie explained that on that first night they met, Javier was very nice to her, told her that she was beautiful and that he had not met such an interesting woman in a long time. It did not take hi m long to approach her romantic ally that night. While they sat at the table with us he put his ar m around her. I also saw him kiss her. I saw Margie several more times before she left Costa Rica. Javi er did call her. They went out on several dates. He took her on a weekend trip with him out of the city, and they had sex. Sh e continued to have a romantic sexual relations hip with him for the
143 three weeks that she was there. In fact, she increased her stay in the country for an extra week. During that time she stay ed with Javier in his house. They wrote letters to each other for a year after she le ft the country. The next summer when school was out agai n, she returned to Costa Rica to se e Javier. He had been writing romantic le tters to her. He even visited her in the Un ited States, which was not easy considering that she is married. He traveled there on a business trip, and she managed to meet him for dinner one night. She even introduced him to her husband as a friend that she met in Costa Rica. When she returned to Costa Rica, she pla nned to stay with Ja vier again. He was picking her up at th e airport. When he arrived, his new fianc was with hi m. Margie did not know about this woman be fore her trip. She was surp rised that he would bring a woman to the airport with him to pick her up. She did stay with Ja vier on her first night in San Jose. He approached her to have sex with him that night, but she did not. She talked to him a few times while she was in Costa Rica that su mmer, but she did not continue to see him. While Margies romantic ad venture with Javier did no t work out, she remained open to the possibility of se x and romance in Costa Rica While she was traveling around the country that summer she met a nother man. He worked at a hotel on the beach. She told me that this man approached her almost as soon as she arrived at the hotel. He wanted to talk. Sh e saw him later that night in the hotel bar. She spent the evening with him and had sex with him that night. She spent the weekend with him while she was at the beach. She returned to see him again a few week s later. He also visited her in Sa n Jos before she returned home.
144 Margie eventually decided to do something about her unhappiness and filed for divorce from her husband. Her experiences in Costa Rica we re the first step in the process of her leaving her marriage. Margies story provides a preview of what is to come in Chapter Six: Relationships Begin, End, and Ha ve Consequences. In the ne xt chapter I will provide more examples and explain in greater detail what happens during the course of these relationships and what impacts that they mi ght have on the lives of the participants. Conclusions about Female Sex Tourism in Costa Rica Whether having sex with mature women or college girls, the men working in the Costa Rican tourist industry w ho are having sexual re lationships with female tourists are doing so because they are attrac ted to the women and want to experience sex with them. They do not have sex with th ese women for any material ga in, and for the most part, they understand that thes e relationships are by necessity short-term. They are attracted to these women for a variety of reasons, but the foundation of most of those reasons is that the women are different from the women at home. In much the same way, women who travel to Costa Rica are attracted to the men there because of their belief that the Latin Lover wi ll be an expert sexual partner. With a greater understanding of why the re lationships occur, in the next chapter, I will explore what happens du ring these relationships as we ll as how they end and what impacts they might have on th e lives of the participants.
145 Chapter Six: Relationships Begin, End, and Have Consequences In Chapter Five, I discussed what motivat es female tourists and Costa Rican men working in the tourist in dustry there to have re lationships with each other. Each brings with him/her to the relations hip preconceived ideas about th e other, and those might be based on images in popular cult ure, fantasies of the exotic and/or the desire for a secret vacation romance. In this chapter, I explore what happens in the course of these relationships, beginning with who initiates contact and how. I also examine some of the possible consequences of these relationships includin g impacts on the lives of the participants as well as on Costa Rica. Costa Ricas Reliance on Tour ism Makes Relationships Possible As explained in Chapter F our, the tourist industry in Costa Rica has created economic advancements for many people living in the country. Th ere are more jobs with better pay. There are opportunities for a wide variet y of people, especially men, with a variety of educational attainment levels. Much impr ovement to the infrastructure can be attributed to tourism, as there are mo re and better roads and electricity reaches to more regions of the countr y. That tourism is a l eading strategy for economic development in Costa Rica has profound implications for my research. Costa Rican tourism has, in part, create d a climate in which men who work in the tourist industry are able to cultivate relations hips with female tourists. As a result of
146 contact with tourists and their relative posit ion of authority on ma tters related to Costa Rica, no matter their actual job titles, each of the men interviewed acts in some way as a guide for tourists. Tourists come to them with their questions and problems. Many tourists speak only English, and they rely on their tour guides and bus drivers to explain things to them in ways that are understandable. Even though few of the men interviewed speak English well most know just enough and are able to make themselves understood to tourists. They provide a care-taking functi on in many cases. Relationships with female tourists are just one more way that men take care of women while they are guests in the country. Wh ile there many factors contributing to the existence of these relationships as is discussed in Chapter Five, tourism itself is the tangible act without which th ere would be no relationships between tourists and tourism workers. Men who work in tourism spend a si gnificant amount of time away from home traveling around the country wi th tourists. Some men drive around the country for sometimes weeks at a time. Ot hers live away from their familie s in order to be closer to popular tourist destinati ons. This time away from wives and girlfriends gives men easy access to affairs, both with tourists and wi th other Costa Ricans. People are less likely to find out about infidelity th erefore it is easier for the men to participate. With an understanding of why participati on is both desired and possibl e, as is demonstrated in Chapter Five, I now consider ho w these relations hips progress.
147 What Happens During These Relationships Initiation of the Relationships I wanted to know who init iates the relationships and how they go about doing so, so I specifically asked the men about it. They suggest ed that both men and women might initiate contact. Most men told me th at they had initiated at least some of the relationships in which they pa rticipated. Some men suggested that they always initiated, but other men suggested that women initiated more often. I also asked the women who also told me that both parties might initia te contact. It became clear to me that regardless of who initiated contact, both people needed to be open to the possibility of having a relationship. Sometim es, even if the man initiate d the relationship, it was because a woman was flirting with him. While relationships between male tourist industry work ers and female tourists may develop at any time, Antoni o said that it is easier to cultivate relationships over a longer period of time. They get to develop re lationships when on a week-long tour. They have time to talk a lot and ge t to know each other. A one-day trip is different. They dont get together on a day tour un less violent chemical attraction brings them together. . Basically, the women f lirt. The women give a clue that they are interested. The men told me how they came to ha ve these relationships with the female tourists. Pedro explai ned how he charms the women on his tours. Whenever there is a gro up of American women and some of them want to have sex with me, I teach them to dance and drink with them. I caress a woman when I am interested in her.
148 When he initiates a relationship with a tourist, he might give her flower s. He said that if there is one particular woman who likes him, he treats he r differently. He has more contact with her and dan ces with her. He may also invite her to sit in the seat behind or next to his drivers seat He said that he is able to to uch her when she is there and often will caress the women while he is driving. Fernando takes th e same approach as Pedro. He said that when he had a relationship with a woman on tour he gave he r chocolates or a flower whenever he saw her. He said he did what he was accustomed to doing with women and that men in Costa Rica ask women questions and always want to know how the woman is doing. He also said that for Co sta Rican men, it is all about the details and taking care of the women. He be lieves that this at tention to detail is one of the reasons why Costa Rican men are so attractive to foreign women. That men concern themselves with the details when they ar e approaching women became evident to a group of women who, on a weekend tour, spent one night in the local disco where we saw a fabulous display from the volca no. I had been there five times before at different times of the year, but I had never seen the volcan o spew ash at night. This disco is at one of the closest points to the volcano, and is a popular tourist attraction. As usual, there were many men in the di sco who appeared to be waiting for the arrival of tourist women. These men may or may not have been tourism workers, but they provide examples of how relationships may begin in tour ist-oriented locations. The ratio of Costa Rican men to Costa Rican women appeared to be about four to one. There were eight women in the gro up of female touris ts ranging in age from 21 to about 35, and we were all asked to danc e within minutes of entering the disco. All of the women
149 knew about my research and promised to tell me all of the storie s of the men hitting on them. All of the women reported that th e men made advances by telling the women that they could teach them to dance salsa or merengue All women similarly reported that the men touched them much more th an necessary to teach them to dance. Sandra met a man who she said approached her by asking her if she had seen the volcano yet. Three other women reported that men used showing them the volcano as a way to make advances. These men, even th ough I do not know if they worked in tourism (although I suspect that most do not), were assuming the role of the caretaker and guide for these tourist women as a way to get to spend time with them, perhaps impress them, and possi bly see them again. Jenny and Gabby were given fl owers for their hair, and the man who gave them to them said a beautif ul flower for a beautiful lady. This is more ev idence of the tico mans attention to the romantic details. Abby and Brittany continue d to dance and talk with the same two men all ni ght and let the men buy them drinks and teach them to dance. Another man told Sand ra Ill wait for y ou, suggesting that he would be at the bar if she decided to come back and look at the volcano with him later. When we got in the van to leave, the entire gr oup of men who had been asking us to dance all night came outside to watch us leave and wave good-bye. While none of the women in this group had sex with the men they met at the disco, the exchanges at the disco are evidence of the men here aggressively a pproaching the tourist women. When we got back to the hotel, the wo men, who had been in Costa Rica for a month and were leaving in two days, admitted that they were all horny a nd ready to go home. Some of them wished they had had sex with some of the men they had met. Half
150 of the women decided to go sk inny-dipping in the hotel pool. This, of course, only reinforced for the hotels night manager th at American women are different from the women in Costa Rica and are more sexually li berated. He said th at the women were a disturbance, and we had to ma ke them get out of the pool. The manager and our driver both tried to catch a gl impse of the naked women, even though it was my job to get them out of the pool. As explaine d in Chapter Three, I worked as a tour guide for groups of students during much of the time I spent in Costa Rica. This wa s one of the weekend tours that I worked, and I was the only woman working. This is why the responsibility to get the women out of the pool fell to me Additionally, I kne w most of the young women, as I had traveled with them on other weekend tours, had b ecome friendly with most of them, and had talked to some of th em to get information for my dissertation. They all knew what I was study ing, and several of them help ed me by telling me stories about Costa Rican men pr opositioning them for dates, kisses, sex. According to my female interviewees, co ntact is most often initiated my men, but according to the male interviewees, men a nd women may both initiate relationships. According to Carlos, he has had many, many se xual adventures at the resort where he works. His interview was one of the most in teresting that I conducte d. He flirted with me the entire time I was interviewing him. He did not like the usual interview format because he wanted to have more of a conversation th an an interview. He wanted to be able to ask me questions, too. I let him do so. He asked me if I had a boyfriend. When I said no, he told me that su ch a beautiful and in telligent woman should be able to have any man she wants. I thanked him for the compliment and continued asking my questions. At first, he began his interview with lies. He to ld me that he had never had
151 sex with tourists. I knew that this was not true. I just kept talking to him, and he started to trust me. He told me about the many wo men he had had sex with while working at the resort. He had one l ong-term relationship with a woman from Switzerland who ended up staying in Costa Rica to be with him for a couple of months. My allowing him to ask me questions if he want ed to gave him a sense of ease with me. I think that is why he retracted the lies a nd told me about the women. I do not think that he would have told me stories about so many women in an attempt to make me interested in him. In my experience, these men underreport the number of sexu al partners th ey have had when they are trying to make a woman intere sted in them. He was interested in me, though. He asked me if I wanted to stay at the resort that night. My dr iver and I left to return to San Jos shortly af ter this interview. I was ab le to experience firsthand, though, how he attempts to initiate a relationship with a female tourist. Carlos explained that bot h men and women might initi ate contact but that the man always initiates sex. Th ey start by drinking and dancing at the bar and talking to each other. He said he is attracted to how a woman acts and how she moves and dances. He goes to her room if they can or they go to any place on the resort pr operty after 10:00pm when everyone is sleep ing. Vicente agreed that many relati onships progress after the other people on the tour are sleeping. Usually most people go to bed at night at 10. You go danci ng later, go for a walk, or stay late in the hotel. Sometimes a mutual attraction brings peop le together. Eduar do said that usually the women are grateful for his se rvice. He said th at both people usuall y initiate. They go to the disco, dance, and have f un. It is romantic. They ki ss. Part of the job is that
152 people trust the driver to take them plac es. They have conv ersations and become familiar with each other. Over two to four days, they tour and go to the beach. If he likes her, then they might get together. They go to dinner. They get romantic. Normally he initiates the sex. Toms also explained how his relations hip began. He said that they both initiated. They went dancing an d to dinner together alone. He said that it moved very fast. They had conversations a nd joked. He explained that sh e initiated the sex. When I asked him how, he told me that she did a strip tease for him when they were alone in her apartment one night after dinner. Jess suggested that women initiate rela tionships by inviting him to dance or to go to the beach. Pedro agreed and said that when women init iate the relationships, they might invite him for a drink or to dance. He also said that she might ask him to come to her room to fix something. Other women ha ve used this technique, as I know a woman who asked the driver to come to her room to fix her air conditioner and answered the door wearing a short nightgown and no underwear. He did not give in to her advances, likely because he wa s already having a relationship wi th a different woman on the tour. He left the room of the woma n with whom he was already having a relationship to fix the air conditioner and was expected to return. He did return. Women ask questions of the men working in tourism as a wa y of initiating further contact with them. Orlando explained that a woma n once asked him to see his nature book as a way of initiati ng contact. The nature book was just a book of trees and animals that showed pictures and gave little e xplanations of them. Lorenzo told me that
153 one woman initiated their re lationship by asking for info rmation and waiting for him after work. By my observations, women seem to easil y approach men for further contact. For example, on the last day of a three-day trip to a ranch in Guanacaste, we went on the canopy tour, traveling by zip lines above the rainforest can opy. We wear a harness and are suspended above the canopy by our waist, using our hands as the break by pushing down on the line. Well, this wa s a particularly dangerous day to be participating in this activity as it was raining and the wet zip lines make us travel across so much faster. Some of us needed some help getting across The guides who are up there to help us will act as a taxi by wra pping their bodies arou nd ours and taking us across. The men who act as guides on the ca nopy tours are known for flir ting with the women, and our trip was no exception. The wo men were interested in thes e men, and were constantly commenting about needing a tax i and hoping to ge t the cute guy to ta ke them across. The women made a game out of competing fo r the cute taxi. Usually the tourists using the zip lines would go across in th e same order every time, but some young women would try to get ahead in the line just to get a cuter young man to help them across the lines. The women had no problem se xually objectifying the men. I think that it makes it more exciting for the women to speak in English about the mans nice ass thinking that he may not know what they are saying because he only speaks Spanish or speaks very little English. In my experience, the men usually know, however, that the women are talking about them. I ha ve learned in Costa Rica that even if the men know very little English they te nd to know words like cute, ass, and hot. They usually know
154 these words because they hear them often. Besides, the women are generally pretty clear when they think that the men are attractiv e. They look at th e men constantly while they are talking abou t how cute they are, and the younger women te nd to giggle quite a bit while talking about how hot a young man is. At this same resort, two years later, Deidre, a free-spirited 37-year-old American woman initiated a relationship with a 21-year-old canopy tour guide. Deidre considers herself to be unconventi onal and unconcerned with what ot her people think about her. The other Americans on our to ur considered Deidre to be a hippy. She was often wearing a long flowing sk irt. She does not shave her le gs or underarms. She does not wear make-up or worry about how her hair looks. She is not at all like the women that men working in tourism in Costa Rica are used to seeing, neither foreign women on tour nor women in their own countr y. Deidre arranged to ta ke a long horse riding tour through the resort grounds after the canopy tour. Th e other people on the tour chose the short horse ride. Because she was alone, only one guide went with her. The long ride explores parts of the ranch th at the rest of us had not se en, and takes her to see many waterfalls. At one of thes e waterfalls, Deidre decided to go skin ny-dipping. Although they were shocked to see it in person, most people on the tour were not surprised that Deidre would do this. She thinks that it is natural. She ha d already done th is while with her group. What is surp rising to me is that she also did this while she was alone with the guide. She told me that he was shocked to see her swim ming naked. She did not think that he had ever seen a woman do this before. Deidre told me that she started talking to him while she was swimming and invited him to come in the water with her.
155 The guide did end up swimming with he r, although he did not take off his clothes. Deidre believed that she had opened this young ma n up to new experiences by showing him that not all women act the same way. She told me th at she thought he was interested in her just be cause she had let him see he r naked and because she was different. He did not approach her, though. After having di nner with the group, Deidre went back to her cabin to read. About an hour la ter, she came back to the bar where many of the people on her tour were drinking and dancing, a nd she looked for the guide. He was not there, so she asked a couple of the other guides there if they knew where she could find him. They told her which cabin wa s his, and she went there. She explained to me that at first they just talked, but then she asked him if she could stay there with him. She said that at first she just wanted to sleep with him, but th at eventually they did have sex. She told me that it just s eemed right. Their relationship continued throughout her stay in Costa Rica, and more de tails of their story wi ll be found in later sections of this chapter. Flirting can be seen in many forms, wh ether it is women asking for help, men giving women flowers, or women swimming nake d in the waterfalls. This flirting seems to be a standard part of the exchange betw een female tourists and the men who work in the tourist industry in Costa Rica. This flir ting may not always lead to sex, but it tends to be the first step. Severa l men in the industry have s uggested that th ey know that flirting makes the women happy and that it may even produce highe r tips for them. Arturo likes to send young dr ivers on tours with the Amer icans because he knows that they will flirt with the women and therefore lead the women to have a good time. When people are happy on tour, they mi ght end up being re peat business.
156 Raymundo said that he was driving on a 13-day trip. Since he does not speak any English, the guide helped to arrange this relationship. The guide also acted as a translator. They initiated sexual relationships with two women who were roommates on the tour, and the guide went to stay with one woman while the other woman came to stay with him. They stayed with the wome n all night when they were able to switch rooms, that is, rather than the two men staying together and the two women staying together as they were supposed to, they were ab le to stay as couples, each in a room of their own. Gustavo told me about an experience he had with an American woman. He drove her, her brother, and hi s wife to Arenal Volcano. He said that they talked and when they arrived the woman invited him to go to the pool with her. Later, they had dinner with her brother and hi s wife. They danced, drank, and went back to the hotel where they had sex. As Gust avo explains, in many ways th is woman treated him as her date, and they were no t hindered by the fact that her family members were traveling with them. Most of the men interviewed told me that the relationships we re friendly. Like Martn explained, the re lationships begin with amistad friendship. They liked each other. As can be seen in the above accounts, that the c ouples went danc ing and drank was a common thread th roughout my interviews. As Daniel said, the relationships usually begin by dancing together and the way of dancing together is a clue to the future of the relationship. Sometimes, having a friendly relationship with a man makes him think that the woman wants more, as one woman learned. On our first night at the lodge, we had a
157 guaro party in the drivers cabin. Guaro is the national sugar cane alcohol of Costa Rica, so really this was just a party where the tour ists could drink a lot. A couple of men who work at the lodge came to the party. Mateo is an old friend of mine and of the bus driver who I was working with, and th e other was a friend of his. After the party ended, which was very early, by the way, at about 9pm, we went to the bar. Mateo spent the entire time at the bar talking to one woman, Patty. He was very fo rward about wanting to have sex with her that night and kept asking her if it w ould happen. He also asked her if they could go take a walk together just to talk. Sh e declined the offer but said that they could continue to talk there. A bi t later, she left the bar to use the bathroom. There were no open bathrooms in public areas, so she went back to her cabin. Mateo followed her and tried to enter her room with her. She pushed him out. When she came out of her cabin, he came right up to her door and tried to enter again. She had to keep talking to him to keep him from entering her cabi n. He wanted to have sex with this woman, and he did not easily accept he r rejection. Patty expl ained that she was not afraid that he would force his way into her cabin, but she still felt more comfortabl e with him outside. The next night, about 15 wo men in our tour group st ayed in the bar until it closed. They were the only people there. Mateo, specific ally, did not come to the bar because he did not want to see the woman who rejected hi m. At first there were only a few of the young men who worked there sitting and relaxing in the ba r. As time passed, more and more of them arrive d. One of the men ha d gone to their ro oms and told them that there were a lot of women in the bar and that they should all come over. This behavior was not uncommon for me to see as I have been on so many trips with different men who usually will try to help each other find women tourists.
158 There is not a dance floor in th is bar. It is just not that kind of place. It is meant to be a tranquil atmosphere in the middle of the very laid ba ck resort area. A couple of the women in the group started to move tables so they could dance. Some of the men who worked at the reso rt helped them. Then they as ked the bartender to change the music to salsa or merengue He did, and the bar quickly livened. Each of the men there asked a woman from our group to dance with him. Not all of the women accommodated, so they started taking turn s dancing with the one woman who was a really good dancer. One of the men kept asking me to dance with him. He would not take no for an answer. Every two minutes or s o, he would come back to tell me that he could show me a good time. This man had been flirting with me on the previous night in the bar. I am not really sure why he seemed to prefer me to some of the other women. I never did dance with him, but he found many other women who did. I got to hear some of the lines that the men give when they are intere sted in a woman at the bar. He told me that I should try to have more fun. He told me that he really knew how to move. He told me that such a pre tty woman should not be sitting at the bar alon e (I was not even alone at the time). These were all things that I had heard before in other places at other times in Costa Rica, and they provide further evidence of how relationships might begin. I suppose that women who have not heard these lin es again and again might be more susceptible to the charm s of the men who use them. Sex, Romance, Love I wanted to know if these relationships were characteristic of flings, brief sexual relationships, or romances which may be long or sh ort term and include more
159 sentimental feelings, an d I wanted to know if these men loved the women or if they only had sex with them. It is impor tant that I begin by explaining that the mens responses to these questions suggested that they have a diffe rent conception of flings and romance than I do. Flings and romance are almost inextricable in th e minds of the men I interviewed. Romance is such a large part of how they appr oach women in general, that they did not make a distincti on between a fling and romanc e. Most men called their relationships aventuras adventures, which can be und erstood in English to mean a fling, however, almost all me n suggested that these were aventuras romanticas romantic adventures. These men also seem to have a different defi nition of love than I do. About half of the men claimed to have loved the women; in fa ct, some men claimed to have loved all of the wo men with whom they had sex while on tour. For some of these men, that number is very high. For exam ple, Jess told me that he has had sex with many female tourists, and he also claimed to have loved almost all of them. I, on the other hand, do not believe that it is possible to love that many people. I think that when most people think about love, they assume a deep emo tional affection that usually develops with time; at least th at is what I think about love. Love and romance are reported to be a si gnificant part of th ese relationships. Sarah said that she was not looking for a relatio nship or anything when she came to Costa Rica, but that she fell in love with a man that she had been friends with for two months of her trip. She said that she fell in love with his personality, but that of course he is a good-looking man. For me, it makes some se nse that she could fall in love over the course of two m onths, but some of these relatio nships that men called love only lasted for one night. I am not sure that I would sa y that a one-n ight stand
160 involved love. The participants depi ctions of their own relationships do not necessarily mesh with my ow n perspectives, but because this chapter is about how the participants in these relationships feel a nd act, it is important to describe their interactions in their own terms. Pedros approach to love is similar to how I perceive it, and he says that he has only loved one of the many tourist women with whom he has had sexual relationships. She is the woman he has known th e longest and seen year after year as she returns to Costa Rica. When [this woman] appeared in my life I was going through the first years of problems with my marriage and thought that there would never be another woman for me. [ She] appeared and me enamore. I fell in love. She has una forma muy especial para mi a way of being that is very special for me. I have begun relationships with m any women, but none were as special to me as [she is]. She knows my life. She knows everything that I like: clothes, shoes, music, food, and cologne. And sexually, she is excell ent. I would have liked to meet someone like this be fore I got married. Romantic love is important to both the women and men who have these relationships. While I was on a tour with Lana, a 20-year-old young American woman, she went to the disco one ni ght with one other woman from the tour and a Costa Rican guide to help them get there. A young man from the hotel decided to go with them. Lana danced with him all nigh t and kissed him for a while when they got back to the hotel. The next morning, before we left the hotel, he spent a lot of ti me with her. He wrote her a love letter tellin g her that he would never forg et her and asking her to write to him and call him again before leaving Cost a Rica. He also pick ed her a flower and
161 gave it to her along with a kiss while the rest of us waited on the bus so we could leave. He is the perfect example of the romantic nature of th e men working in tourism who have relationships with the tourists. He was concerned with lithe details that would make Lana feel special. Bernardo is the only man I interviewe d who did not have sex with a woman while on tour. He did, however, have a relatio nship with one tourist. He told me that they never had sex, but th ey spent a lot of time together during her five-day trip. He said that they kissed. He said that he loved her. He also told me that they kept in contact for a long time after she we nt home. He said that the re lationship was just impossible, though, because she was not there with him. Th is is certainly not th e typical relationship between a man working in touris m and the female tourists he meets. All of the other men interviewed had had sex w ith at least one woman while on tour, and some of them claimed to have had a lot of sex with many women. Juan had relationships with two American tourists. When I asked him if he loved the women, he responded claro que s of course. He ca lled his relationships aventuras romanticas romantic flings. He said that it was not just about sex as the romance was important to him. Eduardo conc urred. He said that he and the American woman with whom he had a re lationship were intimate friends. He said that the relationships were about thing s of love. He had sex with them and had feelings for them, too. Gustavo has had what he called frie ndships with several women, but he has only had sex with one. He said that he did not love her and called it an adventure, but he called it a romantic adventur e with sex. He also told me that a long romance has
162 love, but the other is only pleasure, hay amor en romancia la rga y otro es solamente placer Further, a short advent ure is easier because the women do not expect much from the men in a short-term relationship. Orlandos situation is different. He explained that his relationship is a romance. It started as an adventure, but it changed after a while. It didnt end. She went home. She comes back every six to eight months, and I see her. These relationships may take a variety of forms. Martn explained that he felt a special attraction for the women he had sex wi th while on tour. He said that he was attracted to how they acted a nd cared that they ha d good feelings. By good feelings he was describing a woman who seemed to be nice and who would not treat him badly. At first, the relationships are not love. Some were no ms que aventuras nothing more than adventures. Other relationships were very romantic. . First it is about friendship. Then it becomes more intimate when we both want it. Antonio said that he had many relationships with female tourists. He said that they are lots of fun. When I asked him if he loved any of the women he replied that it is hard to keep up a rela tionship from a distance. Long distance is hard. Inst ead, they are sexual relationships. There was mainly sexual chemistry between us Sometimes we keep up wi th each other for a few months or even years and eventually become friends. He said that he did love a couple of the women, t hough. Love does not need to be a part of these relati onships, though, and Lori pr ovides a good example of a relationship without love.
163 Lori is 24 years old. She traveled to Costa Rica after graduating from college and was going to home to start a job teac hing Spanish. She had a boyfriend at home who she was going to be moving in with when she got home, and she was sure that he was going to propose soon. She was determined to have a good time while in Costa Rica She went river rafting with some friends of he rs. I saw them after they ha d been rafting, and they told me that they had lots of fun with the river guides. She explained that the men kept telling the women how beautiful they were. According to Lori, they asked the women about what they did back in the United States. She told me that the men seemed very interested in them and asked th em for dates later. Both Lori and her friend Iris went out to dinner with these men. Lori told me th at besides kissing, not hing else happened on the double date. Lori did not see her river guide again. I am not sure ab out Iris, because I never spoke to her. Lori did, however, go out with Francisco, a tour bus driver she met on a trip to Arenal. I was the guide on this trip, and th at is where I met Lori. She flirted with Francisco both in the van on the way to and from the destinati on and at the spa. She told him that he was attrac tive. She asked him if he had a girlfriend. She asked him if he liked his job. According to both Lori and Fr ancisco, nothing really came of this flirting on that day. This changed later. I became friends with Lori and went out da ncing in a disco in San Jos with her and some of her friends. Fran cisco and a coup le of other ticos went with us. Lori danced with Francisco all night. They drank a lot of beer. Everyone drank a lot that night. Most people went home by midnight, but a few of us st ayed later. Lori told me
164 that she was thinking about le aving the disco with Francisc o. I think sh e was looking for approval from someone. I told her that she should do whatever she wanted to do, so she asked me if I had any condoms in my purse th at she could have. I gave them to her. Francisco was also thinking a bout taking Lori with him. He and I are very good friends, so we talk about a lot of things. We are very comfortable with each other. He told me that he had not broug ht enough money with him to pay fo r the motel room and asked if he could borrow the 5000 colones ($17) that he would need to pay for it until I saw him the next day. I gave him the money. (He did give it back to me th e next day.) He and Lori decided to go to a mote l. As explained in Chapter Five, motels are specifically used for sexual encounters and ar e not the same as hotels. Before leaving the disco, Fr ancisco helped me get a ta xi. I went home. They both told me that they went to the motel. I heard about the experience from each of them the next day. Francisco and Lori starte d the evening by dancin g and drinking. As the hours went by, they danced more and more closely an d provocatively. They even kissed at the disco before even discussing l eaving together or going to the motel. Lori told me that she wanted to experience something different. She told me that she knew before she came to Costa Ri ca that she was going home to move in with the man she would marry, and she just needed to try something differe nt before she did. She also told me that Francisco was on e final fling. She was happy to be in Costa Rica and to have the freedom to do anyt hing she wanted to do. This freedom to experience new things wa s at the heart of th e relationship that Deidre (whose story is expl ained above) had with a guide from a resort. I got to know Deidre fairly well and saw he r on several occasions in Costa Rica after the tour on which
165 I met her. Whenever she spoke to me about her relationship I c ould not help thinking that she was taking the opportu nity to act lik e a teenager again. She seemed so angstfilled and took everything so seriously. She became depres sed when she t hought that he did not want to see her again and completely elated when she found out that he really did want to see her again. She even wrote poet ry about the experience One poem was very sad and about rejection and th e other was very happy and about the satisfacti on of love. She gave me her poems to read, and, in my opinion, they were very serious. Her relationship was the cause of emotional ups and down s throughout the several weeks that she was in Costa Rica. Her reaction to her relationship was some thing that I did not expect. She really seemed li ke a level-headed 37-year-old woman. She appeared to be a hippy and told me that she does not care what people think about her, and I believed that she was just a free-spirit w ho would have the sexual rela tionship while in the moment at the resort and then just pu t it behind her. I was surprise d that she kept seeing the tour guide after she returned to San Jos. She even traveled back to the re sort area to see him again. Flirting and starting re lationships may cause some pr oblems on tour or afterward as is evidenced in Luiss story. Luis is a 24-year-old tour bus driv er. Currently, he is only able to drive the van. Arturo, the owner of the company where he works told me that he is sending Luis out to do many tours with American tourists because he is so charismatic and because the women like him. Luis met Carly, a 32-year-o ld teacher, on a we ekend tour. There were about 20 women and three men on the tour with him. While I was not there, I heard many stories about this weeke nd upon their return. In fact, the organizer of the tour called the
166 company to complain about Luis to Arturo. Arturo says that a good driver or guide knows that he has to spend tim e with all of the women on his tour. He cannot let anyone know that he favors one woman over another. Because Luis is inexperienced with foreign tourists, he did not realize this. There were several young women on the tour competing for his attention, but he spent all of his tim e with Carly. The biggest complaint from the other young women was that Luis danced only with Carly when he took the group to the disco. Th ey all wanted a chance to da nce with him, too. Luis was not allowed to drive on any more of this groups tours so that Arturo would not have to deal with any problems. Luis did develop a relationship with Carly, though, as a result of this one short tour. A few days after this weekend trip, Luis and Carly we nt on their first date to the movies. I heard about the date from both Luis and Carly, as I met he r on another tour a week later. Carly was enrolled in a Span ish Language program, so she was doing a home stay with a Costa Rican family. They insisted on chaperoning her on her da te with Luis. He was not happy about th is and told me that he did not want to see her again if the family intended to accompany them on thei r dates. Carly thought it was nice that the family was worried about her but also did no t want the family to continue to go with them on their dates. Carly invited Luis to go on a trip to the beach with her and a few of her friends. He stayed with her in her hotel room for fr ee but got his own tran sportation to and from the beach. Luis told me that he was looking forward to th e trip because he could be alone with her and because he knew that they would be able to have sex.
167 Luis was also pursuing another American woman during this time. He had sex with her as well, within days of going on this trip with Carl y. I am confident that this happened, since I was able to speak to all three of these people. The other woman was not interested in havi ng any sort of relationship with Lu is, so she did not mind that he was seeing another woman. Carly did not know about the other woman, though. Luis did not want for her to be jeal ous or to lose future opportuniti es to have sex with her, so he kept the other Amer ican woman a secret. Of course, Luiss life was much more comp licated than this since he had a steady Costa Rican girlfriend as well. He was keeping the American women a secret from her. He was able to do so easily be cause he was able to tell his girlfriend that he was working whenever he wanted to see another woman. I have learned from seve ral informants that this is common among men working in tourism. It is easier for them to have affairs than it is for other men because they can always say that they have to leave town for work. It is not only easier to have affairs with tourists, but it makes it possi ble for them to have Costa Rican girlfriends, too. Ar turo has done this, and so have all of the men I have spoken to who work for his company, except for one. They make up trips a nd tell their wives and girlfriends that they will be gone overnight. Then, they me et their other girlfriends instead. Not one of the stories told in this chapter is characteristi c of sex for money. I, in fact, found no eviden ce of this happening at all. Thes e relationships are not businesslike arrangements in which the men are us ing the women for money or other goods. Whether they loved all of the women they had se x with or not, they told me that they did have some feelings for the women and tr eated their relation ships as romances.
168 None of the men interviewe d said that they accept money or gifts in exchange for sex. In fact, most men told me that if men ar e paid for sex, then th ey are not really men. Some men told me about the beach boys on the Caribbean co ast of Costa Rica who are unemployed and live off of wo men. This is a stereot ype of the men living on the Caribbean coast, many of whom are of Jamai can descent. Antonio told me that this behavior is disgusting and that he does not understand wh y any women would want to be with those men. Pedro said that the beach boys are no t at all like other men in the country. The men I interviewed who mentioned the b each boys attempted to make a distinction between their beha vior and that of the Cari bbean beach boy s. I think Pedros issue with the beach boys has more to do with their level of poverty and lack of employment than it does with their accepting money and other goods from women in exchange for sex. The greatest difference betw een the men in my research and the men in the other published research on female se x tourism (Phillips 1999, Pruitt and LaFont 1995) is that all of the men I interviewed ar e employed. All of the men told me that they make more money working in tourism than they would in other jobs. Some have even left other jobs just to work in this we ll-paying industry. That they make a decent living relative to the rest of Costa Ricans is another contributing factor to why the men do not accept and will not take payments for sex. The men in my research are not at all similar to the people in desperate economic situations described in other sex tourism research (Phillips 1999, Pruitt and LaFont 1995, Cabe zas 1999, Antonius-Smits, et al. 1999) who sell sex to tourists. Even though the women are, in most cases, mu ch more affluent than the
169 men, the men do not desperately need the mone y therefore they do no t need or want to receive any. Ending Relationships Most of the relationships discussed by my informants di d have an end. In fact, the majority of all relationshi ps I heard about only lasted for a few days. For most people, the relationshi ps are short term by their very nature, as the women often go home and do not return to Cost a Rica. Federico, for exampl e, has only had relationships that lasted one or tw o days. Eduardos ex periences similarly last ed only a few days. Cristian, on the other hand, had a relationship that lasted m onths until the woman went home. Some couples try to keep the relationships go ing after the wome n return home. Bernardo and his girlfri end kept in contact for a long time. The relationship was just im possible, though. She is not here with me. We sent letters to keep in touch. Raymundo also kept in contac t with one woman for a brie f time through letters. As cyber cafes can be found all ov er San Jos and in some othe r more remote areas of the country, e-mail has made it easier for tourism workers and the women they have relationships with to stay in contact with eac h other. Karla and Fran cisco sent e-mails to each other for some time. Juan also communicated with a woman via e-mail for a few months. This woman had traveled to the c ountry and resumed her re lationship with him a year after she had last seen him, and he told me that they kept in contact by e-mail for about six months after the last time he saw her.
170 For some couples, like Juan and his tourist girlfriend, contact continues beyond writing letters. Orla ndos tourist girlfrien d visits him in Costa Rica often and has done so for several years. The same is true for Pedro. These tw o mens relationships, however, are not typical of t hose I examined in my research. As is more common, Margie returned to Costa Rica to see a man with whom she had a re lationship. Marlena, Debra, and Hillary all did the same. None of these re lationships ever amounted to much, though, and after one or two return trips to the country, the women never returned to see the same men. It is in this way that the women tourists are wielding power. Within the global economy, women from First World countries can and do exert th eir relative economic power over local lovers and ot hers in the communities to which they travel in Third World countries, but power associated with masculinity complicates this schema (Frohlick 2007:141). As suggested earlier in this chapter, me n routinely initiate relationships with tourist women, and these men said that the man always initiates sexual contact. By virtue of their masculinity, they are able to exert some control over the women with whom they have relationships. Within the confines of th e relationship, the Costa Rican man exerts power, he is dominant and decides how the relationship progresses. Based on the examples above, the man ofte n approaches the woman and asks her to go out with him; determines where they go, what they do, and when; and takes the relationship to the sexual level. Men are power ful because they are men and because they can be. Cost a Rican men in this context abide by their culturally conditioned ideas a bout how relati onships between men and women should be, attributing their behavior to machismo in Costa Rica.
171 It is the economic power of the women, however, that allows them to participate in international tourism in the first place. Their relative position of economic power also allows them to leave the country to return home. The women have the power to act or change in a desired direction (Wingood and DiClemente 2000:543), as they are empowered by their wealth to make their own decisions. Their wealth also provides a context within which they can choose to return to Costa Rica at whim, leaving the women tourists to make decisi ons about the duration of thei r relationships with men in Costa Rica. Tourist women ar e mobile subjects engendered by a privilege that enables them to come and go (Frohlick 2007:143), a nd it is in this respect that tourist women retain their power. With this in mind, it is impor tant to note that no one that I interviewed told me of a bad end to a relation ship. None of my informants told me about teary good-byes or any false promises of a return to Costa Rica. I only he ard of one repeat visit not working out as the woman inte nded. Margie returned to Co sta Rica to see a man with whom she had had a sexual rela tionship the previous year, only to find that the man was engaged and not interested in seeing her sexually any more. They had kept in contact over that year, and he had not mentioned that he was ge tting married or that he would not be interested in seeing her if she returned. Margie handled th e news very well, though, and started a friendship with the man, never having sex with him again. Impacts of the Relationships Personal and Professional Lives Interestingly, none of the men I interviewed believe th at the relationships that they have with tourists have any negative effects on their personal or professional lives.
172 If anything, the relationships made them happy and, therefore, they were in a better mood. Raymundo said, I suppose I feel better after. Antonio said that he is not really affected, but that a good re lationship can make you happy for a while. When asked about effects of the relations hips on their lives, some men focused on how much they cared about the women. Richard sometimes wants to get to know the woman better but does not have the chance to do so. Orlando said that th e woman who comes to Costa Rica to see him every few m onths is always in his he art and his mind. Pablos relationship only affects his life in that he plans to move to Canada to be with his girlfriend. Almost all of the men beli eve that there would be no negative impacts on their professional lives. Only two men fear otherwise. Jes s is worried that he could get a bad reputation, as a man who is looking for sex with tourists, in a particular hotel or tour company, but does not know what, if anything would happen to him. When probed further about effects of hi s relationships, Pedro suggest ed that there could be professional problems if he were to get a bad reputation, as a man who has had sex with many tourist women. However, Pedro alread y has a bad reputati on. Several of my informants told me that Pedro has had a bad reputation for y ears, as six di fferent people told me that if I wanted to talk to someone who had sex with many t ourists that I should talk to Pedro first. Even Pedro has ad mitted on other occasions that some people perceive of him as a man who has sex with many women. There have not been any negative consequences because of his bad reputation, though. He is stil l one of the most steadily employed tour bus drivers because he is very good at his job. He is also very well-liked by both women and men tourists, and as he and his em ployer have explained,
173 groups that return year after ye ar often request that he be their driver if they have had previous experience with him. Most men do not think that they have to worry about any negative consequences in their personal lives either. When I asked married men if their wives suspect that they might have sex with tourists all married men said that they think their wives have suspicions about their behavior. None of th e men told me that they have fear of repercussions. Only Pedro ha s told me that he has developed a bad relationship with his wife. He does not blame this on his sexual relationships with tourists, however; he blames this on his job and the fact that he must spend so much ti me away from home. Pedro has suggested that wives can onl y get upset about wh at they know. Relationships are easy to ha ve because wives do not know about th em. According to Pedro, even what wives suspec t, they cannot prove. Similarly, the women tourists I spoke to do not fear negative consequences. Even th ose who are married do not worry that their husbands will find ou t. They believe that their lives on holiday are separate from their lives at home. They believe that their husbands will never find out therefore, there are no consequences. Their husbands will only k now what they tell them. Some women, just as in the case of the men, have been affected by their relationships in that they care for the men. Linda has returned to Costa Rica several times to see her Costa Rican boyfriends. Her relationship with one man has lasted twelve years. Marlena has re turned and seen the same men that she had relationships with during previous trips. Sarah intends to return to Co sta Rica to see her boyfriend again. Dana even moved to Costa Rica twenty years ago to marry a man who she had met while on an earlier trip. She has sin ce divorced him and stayed in the country.
174 Sexually Transmitted Diseases While few people wanted to talk ab out it, one possible impact of these relationships is the potential for contracting se xually transmitted dise ases (STDs). Safe sex, in some cases, is not a pr iority for some of my info rmants. Three of the nine women I interviewed formally admitted to having sex without condoms. When asked about whether or not she used condoms, Linda said No, not in the beginning b ecause the attitude was that there was such a low level of HIV in Costa Rica that it wasn't a necessity. Stupid but . For the last four years I have because I realized that I needed to get my head out of the clouds and realize that they were lying to me about being faithful. That Linda ever thought that the men she had sexual relation ships with in Costa Rica were faithful to her is evidence of her romanticizing her encounters. She has always known that her boyfriends have wives. She has admitted to knowing that these men have had relationships with ot her tourists. She wanted to believe that she was not at risk, so she acted as if there were no risk. Romanticism of this nature is particularly dangerous because if people do not perceive their sex partners risk, they may change their own sexual behaviors, specifically condom us e (Ellen, et al. 1998). This romanticism has left some of my informants vulnerable to disease. Greta has been in Costa Rica for two years now, and sa ys that the longer she is dating a man the less likely she is to use condoms with him. After th ey build a relationship, she says that it is unnecessary. Orlando al so said that he al ways uses condoms at first. He uses them with women in the begi nning of a relations hip but as time goe s on he does not use them. He also told me that he and his tourist girlfriend who returns year after year to see
175 him do not use condoms with each other but that they do us e them when they have sex with other people. Similarly, Elias said that he always uses condoms with the tourist women and with the ticas with whom he has affairs but that he does not use them with his Costa Rican girlfriend becaus e he has had a rela tionship with her for a long time. He believes that there is less risk with a woman he has known for a long time. Risk for these informants is associated with having se x with strangers, not just with having sex. This is not an uncommon idea. According to Bird, et al (2001:233) individuals in committed relationships are less likely to use condoms consistently than persons in casual relationships, even if they do not know their partner s or their own HIV status. Furthermore, some peoples beli ef that trusted partners are sa fe partners may lead to the perception of decreased risk as trust develops in a relationship over time (Bird, et al., 2001:233). In some cases, risk of exposure to ST Ds is a matter of carelessness. For example, Nestor said that he uses condoms almost always but that it depends on how many drinks we both might have had. Several stud ies have tried to quantify the causal relationship between alcohol consumption and STD risk, and although a relationship between alcohol and se xual risk does exist, many researchers are lo ath to quantify because they do not trus t self-report data (LaBrie and Ea rleywine 2000). I concentrate on the informants who told me about their unsa fe sex in this secti on, for that reason. I feel confident that these informants are trut hful about unsafe sex, because they were not trying to impress me with their stories of how safe they are. Daniel said that he prefers sex natural and that when he does use condoms it is because the women have them and want to use them. Je ss said that he uses condoms
176 sometimes. When he does not us e them it is because he does not think ab out it. He also said that sex is more enjoya ble without condoms but that if a touris t woman asks, then he will use them and that sh e would have to have her ow n condoms because he does not carry them. When asked, however he suggested that he is a fraid of getting an STD even though he does not protect ag ainst them. Similarly, Pedro never likes to use condoms and claims to only have sex with women he t rusts. I asked him if he was afraid of STDs and HIV, and he said yes. Claro que si, tengo miedo. Of course I am afraid [of HIV and STDs.] Usually, I pr efer to have relationships with married women who only have sex with their husbands. It is less dangerous. B ecause I know Pedro well and because we tried to treat this interview as much like a convers ation as possible, I reminded him that married American women probably had a lot of sex with other men before they were married. He said that he had never though t about that before. Pedro did, at least when probed, adm it to being afraid of sexually transmitted diseases, even though he does not alwa ys practice safe sex. In fact, all of the men I spec ifically asked said that they are afraid of diseases, but not all of them think about it very much. For some r eason, men such as Pedro, Jess, and Reymundo, believe that American women are safer than Costa Rican women. I asked them how they could believe that when they all said that American women are more adventurous and experien ced sexually, but the two concepts seem to be unrelated for these men. They believe th at tourists are healthy. Pedro does not use condoms when he does not have to, but if a woman makes him, then he will use them without argument. While most of the men claim to use condoms, some of those said th at they only do so when the woman wants it. Only about
177 half of the men carry their own condoms. Th ey rely on th e women to think about it. Nestor said that tourists are prepared. Raymundo said that the tourist women with whom he had sex carrie d their own condoms, which he used with them. He also told me that gringas are more free; they have more free dom. If a woman in Costa Rica, his girlfriend or another woman, had her own c ondoms, he would fight with her. Women who carry their own co ndoms are viewed as less pur e than women wh o do not. It seems that he believes that carrying your own condoms means that you have already decided to have sex. While gringas with freedom can do this, chaste ticas cannot. Patty told me that in her experience Costa Rican men have thought that she was easy because she carried too many condoms; maybe carrying one or two is fine, but five or six is not. According to Downes (1997) sample of 247 Costa Rican women, men control condom use and, therefore, also control STD prevention. This problem is compounded by the fact that a national committee esta blished in 1987 to study HIV/AIDS and strategies for prevention st ated publicly that HIV is prevalent in homosexual and bisexual men but that the pr evalence of HIV and AIDS will rapidly increase in women who are irresponsibly promis cuous and in men who have sexual contact with these vectors (Downe 1997:3). Th is could leave Costa Rican me n thinking that they are not at risk if they are having sex with responsible tica partners and that th ey are, therefore, not a risk to other part ners such as tourists. This st udy suggests that Costa Rican men control condom use w ithin relationships with Costa Rican women, as these Costa Rican women are the study population. Whether or not Costa Ri can men would attempt to control condom use w ith women tourists, however, is debatable. Pedro, Jess, and
178 Daniel all prefer to have sex without condoms, but would agree to use them if a tourist woman asked them to do so. Therefore, tourist women must try to take the lead in STD prevention strategies su ch as condom use as much as they possibly can. Sarah said that while he r boyfriend does not try to convince her not to use condoms, he has tried to have sex with her without them and she told him that she would not do it. Marlena and Patty reported similar experiences wi th men with whom they had sex. Patty told me that a man took off a condom during sex thinki ng that she would not notice. She immediately told him that sh e would leave if he did not put on another condom. While Richard uses condoms with tourists, he said that he never uses them with ticas. This is one more way in which tourist women need to be aware of their sexual risk behaviors. They need to understand th at these men do not always use condoms, as they tend to control co ndom use within thei r relationships with Costa Rican women, and therefore are often putting them selves at risk. In order to minimize th eir own risk, tourist women need to insist that all men w ith whom they have sex while on tour always use condoms. Economic Impacts on Costa Rica I specifically asked the male interviewees if they believed th at the relationships that tourist women have while in the country have any effect s on Costa Rica. Most of the men did not make a connect ion between the relationships and the country as a whole, but those who did, believe th at these relationships have only positive impacts on the Costa Rican people and the countrys economy. Martn sa id that the relationships
179 positive effect on the country is that the women bring new ideas with them and share those ideas with the men. Lorenzo believes that ther e is a minimal positive ec onomic impact. Santiago said that the women come (to Costa Rica) lo oking for sex, so the re lationships do have some economic effects on Costa Rica. Orla ndo believes that ma ny women extend their stay in Costa Rica, and, theref ore, they spend more money in the country. This is a common occurrence, especially in regards to fe male students. Lana decided to stay in Costa Rica longer after she met a boyfriend. She even called her parents to ask for more money. She will spend more money in Cost a Rica as a result of her relationship. Marlena and Debra returned to Costa Rica sp ecifically to see men they had met there before. Linda even invested in a business in Costa Rica so she could travel there more often and spend more time with her boyfriends. As discusse d in Chapter Four, tourism has had many impacts on Costa Rica. These relationships only c ontribute to those impacts as they contribute to in creased tourism in the country. Summary Both men and women are known to initiat e relationships with each other in the context of female sex tourism in Costa Rica. Whether the female tourist or the tourist industry worker initiates the relationship, most are known to end since th e women often return home and, in most case s, never visit Costa Rica ag ain. While most of these relationships are shor t-lived, they may have far-reachi ng consequences. While none of the men I interviewed said that they had experienced negative co nsequences in their personal or professi onal lives because of th eir relationships with tourists, some have left themselves vulnerable to such consequen ces. Pedro does not at tribute his impending
180 divorce on his long-term roman ce with a tourist but rather on his job in general as it keeps him away from home too much. Additionally, while no on e has admitted to contract ing an STD, many of my informants are vulnerable to disease. Mo re than half of my informants had had unprotected sex. Mo st of those did not perceive a ri sk even though they were, in fact, educated about HIV transmission. This will be e xplored further in Chapter Seven as I examine the applied dimensions of my research, especially vulnerability to contracting sexually transmitted diseases.
181 Chapter Seven: Conclusions and App lied Dimensions of the Research In Chapters Five and Six, the collected data were explained in detail. With a firm understanding of why women tourists a nd men working in the Costa Rican tourist industry enter into sexual and romantic relationships as well as what happens during the relationships, how the relations hips end, and what impacts th e relationships may have on the lives of the participants Chapter Seven is primarily concerned with the applied project that is the culm ination of the data coll ection. In this chapter, after discussing my primary conclusions and recomm endations, I describe the web site developed to promote safe sex to women tourists. Additionally, I provide my recommendations for future research. Conclusions In order to draw conc lusions about the tour ist industry and make recommendations for changes in the tourism industry in Costa Rica, I rely on the opinions, and more specifically, the complaints, of my male tourist industry worker interviewees. Overall, the me n interviewed believe that tour ism is a good idea in Costa Rica. All men who spec ifically mentioned their economic situation told me that tourism provides excellent economic oppor tunities for themselves a nd many other people in the country. They appreciate that they make more money by work ing in the tourist industry. They even enjoy the benefits of getting to have relationshi ps with female tourists.
182 Overall, the changes that they would make to the lived experience of working in tourism are minor. The specific areas that we discussed at length during the interview process were: sexual relationships with female tour ists and tourism and development in Costa Rica, specifically their experiences working in the tourist industry. Relationships with Female Tourists The relationships that occur between fe male tourists and men working in the Costa Rican tourism industry were discussed at great length in Chapters Five and Six. For the most part, sexual attrac tion to an exotic ot her is the motivation to enter into one of these relationshi ps. The relationships are usually sh ort-term, although they may last for short periods of time over several years. The primary re ason for the demise of these relationships is that the woman returns to her country of origin and either does not return to Costa Rica or returns but does not look for the man or me n she had relationships with previously. In most cases, there are few if any impacts on the lives of the participants, except that they had some fun and made some memories. In a few instances, these relationships have led to lo ve, marriage, and women who have moved to Costa Rica to be with the men they met while traveling. Policy Views about Tourist Sexual Relationships As discussed through out this dissertati on, sexual relationshi ps between female tourists and men working in the tourist in dustry occur often. Se veral of the men I interviewed, however, told me that there are rules agains t their engaging in sexual relationships with female tourists. The men at one particular resort were afraid to speak to me at first. Until they trusted that I would not tell a nyone about thei r actions, I learned very little. While the management at this resort prohibits these relationships, at
183 least half of the ten men I met working there had participated in at least one such relationship in the recent past, since he started work ing at this resort. Of course, that number could be higher, but I only talked to five of the ten men. Another interviewee works as a tour bus driver for one of the largest tour companies in Costa Rica, a company that uses very large buses for their tours, quite uncommon in Costa Rica, where most buses us ed in the tourist industry would transport less than 50 people. The bulk of the transportation they offe r is for highly organized and expensive tours. He told me that if his bosses ever found out about hi s relationships with tourists that he could lose his job. He could lose his very well-paying and prestigious tourism job because he has sex wi th tourists, but he continues to do so. While rules such as these ar e not uncommon, they are often disregarded. Some resorts do not want to gain reputations as sex tourism locations; that is why these rules are in place. Not all people in manage ment positions, however, ha ve a problem with sexual relationships between men working for them and female tourists. In addition to my interviews of men working in the industry, I spoke to some small tour company owners and small hotel managers. They all told me that everyone know s what is going on, but that no one really minds. The y, as managers, do not participate in this behavior because as one of them said it is not good business to fool around with the customers, but they do not have specific ru les against this behavior for thei r employees. I talked to 33 men, and none of them reported that they had been fired for havi ng sex with tourist women. Also, none of the men in mana gement positions told me that they had ever fired a man for having these relationships.
184 Recommendations Currently there is no standa rd rule that men working in tourism should not have sexual relationships with women tourists. I am not sure th at such a rule could really be enforced, as many men working in tourism are able to do so independen tly, not under the watchful eye of a manager. At the resort mentio ned above where there are strict prohibitions, these relationships are able to occur for a couple of reasons: at night, especially, the young men who ar e having the relationships ar e the same men who are in charge, taking care of the resort and the tourists needs, and, also, the young men who work there live in dormitory-style living quar ters away from their families and, in some cases, their wives. I believe that if men spent less time aw ay from their wives, there would be less sexual relationships occurring between men working in t ourism and female tourists. A remedy for some of these men would be for tour companies and hotels to allow for family housing on their propert y rather than the current dormitory-style housing where men who move away from home currently live. In addition to the tour guide companies located in popular tourist des tinations, several resorts prov ide this type of housing for men who live on the resort property. All of these men live away from their wives or girlfriends and instead share rooms with othe r men in similar situ ations. More than sexual relationships with female tourists, this time away from home, in some cases, is leading to problems within fa milies, and as was discusse d in Chapter Six, about a quarter of the men I talked to were divorced or were in the process of divorcing.
185 Costa Ricas Tourist Industry Costa Ricas tourist industry is the second largest co ntributor to their economy, after high tech, es pecially microprocessors This makes the indus try very important to the country as a whole, and it has impacts upon the lives of the people who work in the industry. Ecotourism is popular in Costa Rica, as they ha ve a number of microclimates (Clark 2001) and the biodiversity in Costa Rica is amazing given the small overall area of the country. In one day, a tourist could see a cloud forest, rainfo rest, and beach. The number of large tourism complexes has increased over the past 20 years, allowing greater numbers of to urists to travel to the country at once. These large complexes are also a center of foreign investment in Costa Ri ca (Lara 1995). Therefore, while tourism provides ma ny economic benefits for the people who live there, it is also profitable for foreign investors. The Lived Experience of Men Working in Tourism In Chapter Four, I discussed Costa Ri cas tourism industr y, citing the mens experiences working in the indus try. Most of the men interv iewed work as tour guides and bus drivers, although there are a few interviewees who work in service industries such as restaurants and bars. Work as tour guides and bus drivers usually means a great deal of travel away from home, interactin g with tourists most days of the week. Sometimes, travel away from home can last for weeks at a time. This is sometimes stressful for the men and their families, but according to the intervie ws, the high salaries make the time away from home worth it. Men working in tourism can make a great deal more money as bus drivers and tour guides than they can in other industri es, especially since th e job does not require
186 any formal education and becaus e the large numbers of jobs in tourism do not appear to be waning any time soon. There is a sense of job securit y. Experience working with tourists is valuab le, even if a tour ist industry worker finds hi mself in need of a new tourist industry job. Recommendations In order for tourists to maximize their experiences in Costa Rica, knowledgeable tour guides are necessary. So me certified guides ha ve suggested that all guides be held responsible for obtaining the necessary training to become certified guides Even some of the guides who are not cert ified suggested that they woul d like to be. Certification training should be more easily accessible to the men working in the industry. Currently, this training is only available in San Jos and in Liberia. If training were more widely available, then perhaps more men would participate. Tr aining would insu re that all guides earned comparable wa ges and would benefit the guides by making their jobs easier. Additionally, they would learn about Costa Ricas biodiversity, which would allow them to pass on more information to the tourists. Also, all of the men interviewed suggeste d that they would li ke to learn more English because it would make their jobs easier and allow th em to interact more freely with the tourists. If they received the tr aining for certification, then they would have access to this language training as well. However, even if certification training does not become more widely available, the men could still use access to English language training. Travel agencies, tour companies, even hotels, would benefit from providing their employees with instruction in speak ing English, and I believe that a good portion of the men interviewed would take advantage of such training.
187 Self-Reflection in Data Analysis In concluding my dissert ation, I was able to examine my own impact on the study. As suggested in Chapter Three, I beli eve it may be possible that I legitimized these sexual relationships be tween female tourists and Costa Rican men working in tourism through my studying the topic. I may have had a pa rticularly strong impact on Francisco, as I spent more time with him than with any of my other informants. I played a greater role in his romantic life with tourists as well, since I ofte n went out with him and his tourist dates. In one instance, I lo aned him money for a mo tel and gave his date the condoms she asked for before accompanying him there. I also acted as a sounding board when he was trying to un derstand his relationship with Karla. He was trying to gain greater insight into American women, so he asked me many questions about what American women want and ex pect from relationships. My work as a tour guide with groups composed primar ily of women tourists may also have had an influence on sexual rela tionships between them and men working in tourism. Perhaps I also legitimized these relationships for th e women, giving them license to act in ways that they do not normally. Once they knew that I was studying these sexual relationships, many women woul d come to me to tell me about their adventures. In Chapter Six, when I explain my experience s with a group of women in Arenal at a disco, I clearly de scribe how the women would co me to me every time a man would hit on them. They thought that it was funny that they were being approached for the types of sexual relationships that I wa s studying. This was their last weekend in Costa Rica, and they had all been on tours with me before, so they had spent several weeks talking to me about my research.
188 For some women, I think I may have given the impression that these relationships are commonplace, since I was studying them. Lori, one of Franciscos romantic partners, likely would not have had a sexual relation ship in Costa Rica if she and I had not become friends. She and I went out together quite a bit over the summer we were there, so I gave he r increased access to men working in tourism. She would not have seen Francisco again if she had not gone out to a ba r with me, and she may never have thought about ha ving a sexual relationship in Costa Rica if she had never known about my research. I cannot m easure the extent to which I influenced the behavior of any of the participants in my research, but I do assert that I do not think it is common for anyone to decide to have sex with someone just because a third party says there is nothing wrong with it. It is more likely that I gave th e women license to do things that they thought about already. Applied Project Because my degree will be in Applie d Anthropology, specifically, it was important to have an ap plied project as the fi nal product of my disse rtation. I have used the information I collected to create a web site targeting women tourists planning to travel to Costa Rica. Using the data I collected, I was able to demonstrate that women need to assert themselves in sexual decision making and insi st upon safety, specifically condom use. My data were usable, as STD risk is a contemporary issue that my data could speak to, with a web si te designed to empower wo men to negotiate condom use and thereby reduce risk of STD infection.
189 Risk of Sexually Transmitted Diseases As discussed in Chapter One, as the num ber of women who have been infected with HIV has increased in th e past 20 years (Dworkin an d Ehrhardt 2007), so has the need to discuss ways women, specifically, might protect themselves from infection. For this reason, the web site target ing women travelers to Costa Ri ca uses data collected in this dissertation to demonstrate to women th at protection is in their own hands. My dissemination activities ar e centered on reduci ng the risk of transmitting sexually transmitted diseases through an increase in condom use among women tourists who intend to travel to Costa Rica. The web site I have designe d as the final product of my dissertation is aimed at these potential tourist women and re minds them that they must protect themselves. All of the women interviewed during my dissertation research were highly educated, middle to upper mi ddle class North Americans and Europeans. Those who I asked specifically all stated that they know about safe sex practices. They know that condoms are the best pr eventative measure ag ainst contracting a sexually transmitted disease. Safe sex education, however, ha s limits. Middle and upper middle class white women in North America and Europe have been educated about safe sex and condom use for decades. They know how to use condoms, and they know about treatment of STDs. They have learned the statistics a bout incidence of STD tr ansmission. Safe sex education does not spend enough time empowering women to make their own sexual decisions or to be insist ent with men about using c ondoms, even though one of the primary reasons women leave them selves vulnerable to contracting an STD is that they
190 do not have enough power within their relationships (Orubuloye, Caldwell, and Caldwell 1993, McGrath, et al. 1993, and Feldman, et al. 1997, Wingood and DiClemente 1998). If women do not have the prope r attitude about safe sex an d condom use, then actually following through with using condoms will be less likely. Give n that my target population is women travelers, one would expect that empowe ring these women to take charge of their sexual practices would be relatively easy as they are no t dependent upon these men for economic or social resources as is often the case wh en women lack power over sexual decision-making w ithin their relationships (Dworkin and Ehrhardt 2007, Orubuloye, Caldwell, and Cald well 1993, McGrath, et al. 1993, and Feldman, et al. 1997, Wingood and DiClemente 1998). Another reason why women of ten have less sexual de cision-making power than their male partners is that they have a desire to keep their reputations intact. They do not want to be viewed as immoral or sexually promiscuous (Gomez and Marn 1996, Ford and Norris 1993, Cabada, et al. 200 7, Abel and Fitzgerald 2006) This issue will also be addressed in my web site. Based on my in terviews with men working in the tourist industry in Costa Rica, the me n these women tourists will en counter will no t view these women as sexually promiscuous if they talk about condom use or if they provide their own condoms during sexual encoun ters. The vast majority of men interviewed believe that tourist women are differe nt from Costa Rican women a nd are held to a different standard. Raymundo clear ly articulated what I heard often: gringas are more free; they have more freedom. This is both sexua l and economic freedom, a freedom to make their own choices and do as th ey please. The Costa Rican me n will not necessarily think
191 of tourist women as promiscuous, since th ey just think that being more sexually liberated is part of be ing an American woman. As explained in Chapter Six, the majority of the men I interv iewed suggested that they do not carry condo ms with them and that they only use condoms when women insist upon it. For this reason women need to be reminded that they have to take charge of protection against sexually transmitted dise ases, including HIV. Additionally, women need to be instructed in succ essful condom-use nego tiation strategies to ensure that they are, in fact, going to protect themselves (Otto-Salaj, et al. 2008, Abel and Fitzgerald 2006). If women are waiting for men to brin g up condom use, then they may not ever talk about it. Women need to be empowered to broach the topic themselves. I have chosen to target women tourists in an attemp t to increase condom use, because I believe that this strategy is designed to protec t both women and the men who have sex with them. As explained in Chapte r One, it is assumed that prov iding women with successful sexual negotiation strategies wi ll be of greater use than trai ning men (Otto-Salaj, et al. 2008). I have some evidence that the women I in terviewed believe that this is true. In general, the women interviewed agreed that th ere is more to be le arned about preventing HIV and other STDs. I found that men do not think much a bout disease, and most of the women know that. As Sarah said Its just that men in Costa Rica dont think a bout safe sex. Women here have kids young, like when they are t eenagers. The men dont th ink about it at all. Even when I probed the men a bout their fears and attitudes a bout sexually liberal tourist women, the majority of the men interviewed did not associate sexual experience with
192 acquiring sexually transmitted diseases. Beca use the men do not think about STDs, any type of disease prevention w ould have to be left up to the women therefore female tourists need to be made aware of that as well as their options for safe sex. Web site The web site created, www.safesexandt ravel.com, has several components: quotes from men about sexual risk and condom use, citations from published research about protection against STD infection, firs t-hand accounts of female tourists, and links to other safe sex web sites for more inform ation. Views of the actual web site are available below, to show the information provid ed to users. This web site is linked to the web site of my business, Beta Social Research, Inc., (Beta) as the company has agreed to take care of future costs of keeping th e site maintained. As the company is a nonprofit research and consulting corporation, we have decided that this project is going to be one of our outrea ch activities. The in tention is to make su re that the web site reaches as many travelers as possible, so Beta has agreed to pay for th e site to be linked to travel sites and women s interest sites such as Salon.com by 2010, as funding becomes available. First, the home page for www.safesexandtravel.com, is displayed as it appears on the Internet. This page reminds women th at they need to co ntrol condom use when having sexual relationshi ps while traveling.
Figure 7.1: Safe Sex and Trave l in Costa Rica, homepage Source: www.safesexandtravel.com On the next page disp layed, I have used excerpts from interviews with women that are contained in my disse rtation. First, I de monstrate why women in the past have participated in sexual relations hips with men in Costa Rica, with particular emphasis on their desire to experience so meone different than the men th ey meet at home. Then, I emphasize their experiences with unsafe sex while traveling. 193
Figure 7.2: Safe Sex and Travel in Costa Rica, Women Travelers Source: www.safesexandtravel.com Then, the page including quotes from Costa Rican men who have had sexual relationships with female tourists is di splayed. The page be gins by showing quotes about how the men perceive women travelers and their sexual experiences with them. Then, quotes about their unsafe sex with these women are used to demonstrate that these women might encounter men who do not view safe sex as a priority. 194
Figure 7.3: Safe Sex and Travel in Costa Rica, The Men Source: www.safesexandtravel.com Finally, I display the page abou t published research concerni ng safe sex and the need to use condoms. This page includ es reference to Downes (1997 ) research explaining safe sex practices used in Costa Rica in general, specific ally that men c ontrol condom use with Costa Rican women. Abel and Fitzgeralds (2006) research abou t why people may opt not to use condoms includ ing: not wanting to ruin th e spontaneity, being under the influence of alcohol or drugs because they believe that their partners are safe, and because their part ners do not want to use them. This research is boiled down to its most basic elements, making it easy to understa nd. It should prove to be illuminating for people who may not have consid ered why they do not always use safe sex strategies. It may also help to convince so me people that they should be safe in the future. Using 195
references to articles published in peer-reviewed journals likely provides information that the people who visit this web site have not seen previously, but the links to other web sites directs people to places that they have likely he ard of before, su ch as that of the CDC and Yahoo! Health. Th is should give peop le a balanced view of safe sex. Figure 7.4: Safe Sex and Trave l in Costa Rica, The Issues Source: www.safesexandtravel.com The other pages include the link s to other web sites about both travel in Costa Rica and STD prevention strategies and an e-mail address where people can contact me for more information about this topic. Those pages are not included in this dissertation, as there is not much to see on those pa ges. They are very basic in their design, and seeing them would not contri bute to the overall information contained in this chapter. 196
197 Recommendations for Future Research Finally, I will discuss my ideas for future research into the area of female sex tourism in Costa Rica, specifically, and t ourism and development in Costa Rica, more generally. My recomme ndations are based on the inform ation I gathered through my interviews and observations, even when it was not directly related to the topic of my dissertation. For example, it would be a good idea to ask women about their condom use negotiation strategies, an d I did not focus on that in my interview questions. Sex Tourism and Sexually Transmitted Diseases With my web site on the Internet, I wi ll be able to keep track of how many people visit the site, and I wi ll allow visitors to post thei r own messages. Hopefully, I will have the opportunity to do future research to measure the effects of my web site on womens behavior. One project that I would like to do in the future is to concentrate more on the women tourists and specifically talk to them about their sexual experiences and condom negotiati on strategies. While, Romero-D aza and Friedus (2008) have completed similar research in Monteverde, I would like to take a more comprehensive approach, as I did in my di ssertation research, talking to women in many popular tourist destinations throughout the country. Monteverde is an isolated community and is different from the majority of Costa Rica, both in climate and terrain as well as tourist population. This is why a co mprehensive approach in many areas of Costa Rica would be preferable in my next re search project. Ragsdale, et al. (2006) also completed research in Costa Rica that target women tr avelers and safe sex, but they used a survey instrument and relied heavily on statistical analyses, rather than on in-depth qualitative interviewing as a data collection strategy.
198 Sex Tourism, Wives, Gi rlfriends, and Families In my research I focused on the relationships that o ccurred between female sex tourists and men working in the Costa Rican tourist industry with a particular emphasis on the mens experiences and pe rceived impacts on their lives. In the future one might want to discover more about the Costa Rican wives and girlfriends of these men. While it would be unethical to s uggest to mens wives that they are having affairs, understanding how women feel ab out female sex tourists a nd foreign women in general would be an interesti ng complementary piece to my rese arch. Then, we would know not only how the men are affected but how their wives and families might be affected as well. For this research, I w ould suggest a survey instrume nt aimed at women in Costa Rica, asking what asso ciation, if any, the women have w ith the tour ist industry, so I could compare responses from women whose husbands/boyfriends wo rk in tourism and those whose partners do not. Using a survey aimed at a ra ndom sample of Costa Rican women would help ensure that I did not alert a ny wives or gi rlfriends of my male interviewees about their othe r sexual encounters. I woul d not target these wives and girlfriends specifically. Impacts of Tourism an d Development on the Local Population I have explored how touris m affects people working in the tourist industry in Costa Rica, but future research might expl ore how people in the country who are not working in the industry percei ve tourism. It would be interesting to know whether people who are not receiving direct benefits believe that the economic and development consequences of tourism are beneficial for th e country as a whole. It would also be interesting to know if they perceive that they receiv e any direct benefits from the
199 economic development resulting from the touris t industry. For exam ple, several of the men I spoke to believe that improvements in infrastructu re, especially the highway system, can be attributed to a desire to improve the tour ist industry. I wonder if the people who do not work in touris m, specifically would agree. All tourism, no matter the type, has ec onomic impacts on the country visited. Many new jobs in developing nati ons can be attributed to the tourist indust ry. Tourism is often one of the lead ing industries in fore ign investment and reve nue. For this reason, tourism and development should be studied in greater dept h, especially in Costa Rica, where it is the second ranke d revenue earner. Additionally, studie s of tourism should provide a balanced view of possible positive and negative consequences of tourism development. Because my info rmants all work in the touris t industry, they might see the industry as more bene ficial than someone who does no t work in the industry. My dissertation did not lend itself to intervie wing people who did not work in th e industry, because the focus of my diss ertation was men working in th e tourist industry who were having sexual relationships with female tourists. If I had been doing a proj ect about tourism and devel opment in general, it would have been important to inte rview both tourist industry wo rkers and people who do not work in the industry. Maybe so meday I will undertake a proj ect of that type. As my male informants suggested, tourism means more for their country than anything else. As discussed in Chapter Four, th ey attribute advancements su ch as improvements in roads and ecological preservatio n to tourism. Much future research could examine in detail how tourism has affected Co sta Rica, including a discussion of how people living in
200 remote areas feel about tourists coming to th eir small towns. I think their perspective might be in contrast to that of tourist industr y workers.
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Appendix A: Interview Instrumen t: Male Tourist Industry Workers Demographic and Background Information (1) Please tell me your name and age. (2) Are you married? Do you have children? Probes: Do you have a significant relati onship? Are you living with someone? Have you ever been married? (3) When did you first begin working in the to urist industry? (as a tour guide, bus driver, rafting guide) Probes: What was your first j ob in the industry? (If not the same as current job How long did you have that job? Wh en did you start your current job?) (4) What are the duties of your job? (5) Do you enjoy your work? What are the positive aspects about your job? Are there any negative aspect s? Please explain. Probes: Do you enjoy spending time with the tourists? Do you enjoy traveling throughout your country? Do you speak Eng lish? any other languages? Does that help in your job? Does it make a difference? Effects of tourism on the lives of male Costa Rican tourism workers (6) Has working in the tourist industry changed your life in any way? Please explain. Probes: Are you making more money? Do es your current job carry with it any social status? (7) Have you ever accepted gifts from tourists? Probes: Please explain the context of that exchange. (8) Have you ever had a relationship with a female tourist? Please characterize that relationship. (Where was she from?) Probes: Did you love the wo man? Did you have sex w ith the woman? Did you ever accept gifts from th e woman? What attracted you to her? (money, looks personality, green card status, belt notch status, bet w ith another driver/guide) (9) Tell me more about your relationships with American tourists. Probes: What do you and the other men think of these women? Are they viewed as more sexually permissive/experienced? Do you gain any social status with other men in the industry by having sex w ith American women? Once you have been with one American woman, do you thi nk it is easier to find others who are willing to have sex with you? 217
Appendix A: (Continued) Sexual relationships between male t ourist workers and female tourists (10) How did the relationship begin? Who initiates the relationship? How? Probes: Were your relationships with women you met on day-tours, week-long tours? How did you get to know the wo men? Did you feel as if you had your choice of any woman you wa nted? Were there other women competing for your attention? Did you make th e first move? Was she easy to convince to be with you? (11) What kinds of things did you do together? Where did you go? Probes: Where did you typically have sex w ith this woman? If it was a no tell motel, who paid? Did you ever go danc ing with the woman/women with whom you had relationships? Other interviewees have suggested a c onnection between dancing and sex. What do you think about this? (12) When you choose a woman to have se x with, are you looking for a woman who has had many sexual experiences? Are you looking for a virgin? Do you look for anything in particular? Does it not matter? (13) Is there a difference between getting a young or pretty woman and getting an old or ugly woman? Please explain the difference. (14) Are these relationships hidden or displayed openly? (15) Are these relationshi ps generally long term or short in duration? (16) Are these relationships characteristi c of romantic flings? Was it just sex? Probes: Who controlled the relationship? Was it equal? Who decided what you did? where you went? when the relationship was over? (17) Explain the difference between a shor t romance with a tourist and a longer romance with a Costa Rican girlfriend. Is it easier or more difficult to have a romance with a woman for just a few days? Why? (18) Why do you think that tourists have sex with you or other drivers or guides? Probes: Do you know about the idea of the Latin Lover? Is this true? (19) What types of sexual experiences ar e you looking for? from a tourist? Why? Does this have any effect on your decision to have sex with American women? (20) Do you talk to other drivers or gu ides about your sexual conquests? Do you think that the tourists talk to other women about you? 218
Probes: Do you ever choose to have sex with a tourist because other guides or drivers have told you how good the sex was? Appendix A (Continued) (21) Do you consider a relations hip with a tourist to be a co nquest for you or for the woman? Or is it a conquest for both of you? Probes: Would you be angry to discover that you were just a conquest for the tourist? Why or why not? (22) Do these relationships have any effect on your professional or personal lives? (23) Approximately how many women have you had sex with? How many tourists? (24) Do you use condoms when you have sex with tourists? Always? Do you use condoms with your Costa Rican girlfriend/w ife? Always? Why? When you use one is it because the woman wants to or because you do? Probes: If he says no to one or the other . Why is there a difference between the two women? If he says no to condom us e with Americans . If the Americans are more permissive, why arent you afraid of HIV or AIDS? (25) Have women ever offered paymen t of any kind for sexual relationships? Why? How does payment occur? Is it formal or informal? What is exchanged for sex? (By this I mean: Did you ever gi ve accept any gifts from the women? money? clothing? Did she buy you drinks? dinner? Did you get to stay with her in her room as opposed to the room you were supposed to stay in?) Probes: Do you need the money? Doesnt you r job pay well? Is it the same as the situation with the Rasta? Why not? What are the differences? Costa Rican Life (26) Explain the relationships between men and women in Costa Rica. Who controls the relationships? domestic life? Is it equal? (27) Why do Costa Rican men need more than one woman? (28) Are there two types of women? One to have sex with and another to marry? Why? How do you know the difference? Tourism and Development in Costa Rica (29) What impacts, if any, has touris m had on your country in the past five years? How has tourism effected the economy overall? For people working in the industry? For you specifically? Probes: Could these change s in the economy have occurred without tourism? How? What future impacts do you believe tourism will have on your nations economy? On you specifically? 219
Appendix A (Continued) (30) Do you believe that your count ry is dependent on the revenues earned by the tourist industry? In what way? Woul d typical life in Costa Rica be different without tourism? How would your life be different? (31) Much development has occurred in your country as a result of tourism. Please explain that development. What has cha nged in your country as a result of tourist revenues? Do you think that this deve lopment would have occurred without the influence of tourism? What else do you believe could have caused such a change, if anything? Do you believe that t ourism is the best possible development strategy for Costa Rica? If not, what would you suggest? (32) Do you believe that your country is better off for relying so heavily on tourism? Why or why not? (33) Do you believe that the relationships that you have with female tourists have any impact on your countrys economy? How? Why? Probes: Do you believe that the expectation of such a relationship leads women to travel here? (34) What contact, if any, have you had with the ministry of t ourism? What role do they play in your job? (35) What kinds of regulations, if any, are you bound by as a worker in the tourist industry? Probes: (if yes) Where did you learn of these regulations? (36) Have you ever been trained for your job as a driver or a guide? Where? Who trained you? (37) Do you need any type of special license or credentials to work in the tourist industry as a driver or a gui de? Where did you receive this? (38) To your knowledge, has the U.S. government played any role in the growth of the tourism industry in Costa Rica? Have any non-governmental organizations from the U.S. played a role in th e growth of tourism in Costa Rica? (39) Do you believe that more hotels, restaurants, bars, and tour companies are owned by Costa Ricans or by people/corporations from other countries such as the U.S.? (40) Do you believe that the reve nues from tourism in Costa Rica provide more benefits for the people in Costa Rica or for people/corporations in other countries such as the U.S.? (41) Why do you believe that most pe ople travel as tourists to Costa Rica? 220
221 Appendix A (Continued) (42) Characterize the typical tourist in Costa Rica. The typical American tourist. Where do they like to go? What are th ey hoping to see? Describe the typical American. How do you feel about Americans? (43) What preconceived notions about Costa Rica, if any, do you believe tourists bring with them when they travel here ? What preconceived notions about Costa Rican people, if any, do you believe touris ts bring with them when they travel here?
Appendix B: Interview Instrument: Female Tourists Demographic and Background Information (1) Please tell me your name and age. (2) Are you married? Do you have children? (3) What is your occupation? (4) Do you travel often? Why? For pleasure? For business? Have you been to the Caribbean or Latin America before? When? For what reason? Why did you choose to come back? Have you been to Costa Rica before? When? For what reason? Why did you choose to come back? Sexual relationships between male t ourist workers and female tourists (5) Have you ever had a sexual relationship w ith a man in this co untry? More than one relationship of this sort? Was it a man who works in the tourist industry? What was his job? How did you meet hi m? (Do you speak Spanish? Did that help in the relationship?) Probes: (if married) Have you ever had an affa ir at home? Is there a difference in these relationships? (6) How did the relationship begin? Who initiated the relationship? How? Probes: Were your relationships with men you met on daytours, week-long tours? How did you get to know the men? Did you feel chosen? Were there other women competing for his attention? Did you make the first move? Was he easy to convince to be with you? (7) Are these relationships hi dden or displayed openly? (8) Are these relationships generally long term or short in duration? Probes: If they say it was just time to go home, ask them what they think would have happened had they stayed longer. (9) Are these relationships characteristic of romantic flings? Was it just sex? (10) Do people at home know about these rela tionships? Do you tell people about it? Do these relationships have any eff ect on your professional or personal lives? (11) What kinds of things did you do together? Where did you go? Probes: Where did you typically have sex with this man? If it was a no tell motel, who paid? 222
223 Appendix B: (Continued) (12) Did the man expect for you to pay when you went out? Probes: Did you ever give any gifts to th e men? money? clothing? Did you buy him drinks? dinner? Did you let him stay with you in your room as opposed to the room he was supposed to stay in? (13) Did you travel to Costa Rica for the specific reason of engaging in sexual relationships with Costa Rican men or did you happen upon the possibility of this relationship? (14) What did you find most appealing about a re lationship with a Costa Rican man? What do you find most appealing about the men? Do you think that a relationship with a guy in another country is, by nature, different from one you would have in the U.S.? Probes: When she talks about machismo Latin men, ask her what is attractive about that. How did you feel about being with him that is different from how you feel about being with a guy when you re at home? How do men in Costa Rica treat you that is different from the way that men treat you at home? (15) What kind of men do you date at home? Do you date a certai n type? How are the men you have dated in Costa Rica been similar to and different from the men you date at home? Probes: Do you know anything about the Latin Lover stereotype? Is it accurate? (16) Do you believe that one of you controlled th e relationship more than the other? Was it equal? Who decided what you did? where you went? when the relationship was over? (17) Do you find yourself being hit on often when you are in Costa Rica? How do you think Costa Rican men perceive of American women? How do they compare us to Costa Rican women? Are we different? Why? What enables us to be different? (18) What was the least appealing thi ng about the relationship? Why? Probes: Do you think he has had other re lationships of this type with other tourists? (19) Have you practiced safe sex with thes e men? That is, do you always use condoms? Probes: Why didnt you? Aren't you afraid of HIV and other STDs? Have you ever discussed the possibility of HIV or STD transmission with any of these men? Have any of th ese men ever given you an STD?
About the Author Ellen Puccia received a Bachelors Degree at the Un iversity of Miami in 1995 with a double major in Anthropology and Sociology where she graduated magna cum laude She received her MA in Anthropology at th e University of South Florida (USF) in 1998, and continued to complete her Ph.D. She began teaching at USF in 1999 and continued to do so through 2003. She also wo rked as an adjunct professor at Eckerd College from 1999 through 2002 and at Mana tee Community College from 2006 through 2007. While at the University of South Florida, Ms. Puccia worked for three years at the David C. Anchin Center as a research associate and project manager where she completed education research. She is curren tly the Executive Director of Beta Social Research, Inc. and President of Beta De velopment Associates, Inc., research and consulting firms specializi ng in evaluation research.