Tuesday, December 19, 2006

postheadericon Romance on the Road: Traveling Women Who Love Foreign Men by Jeanette Belliveau

# Paperback: 412 pages
# Publisher: Beau Monde Press; 1st edition (May 23, 2006)
# Language: English

From the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

It's a largely unspoken phenomenon. Women from wealthy nations who travel to tropical lands to indulge in sex and romance provided by willing local men. Though there aren't clear numbers about how many women pay for sex in foreign lands,it is believed the phenomenon is on the rise.

In Jamaica it's called "rent-a-dread" -- local men who cruise their country's beaches for wealthy, foreign sugar-mamas. And in case you wondered, the going rate for oral sex is about $100, according to research conducted by travel writer Jeannette Belliveau.

According to a review, journalist and world traveller Jeanette Belliveau, 51, is uniquely qualified to finally reveal the hidden behavior of traveling women. After a painful divorce, she spent 12 years in sexual exile, with only cheerful foreign men able to provide the no-strings intimacy that was all she could handle. Her book is based on the sexual experiences of those 12 years.

The idea of women going south for sex doesn't sit well with me at all - the chances of catching sexually transmitted diseases are high, also, I feel certain many of those men who ply that particular trade are married and these rich women tourists must cause their families a lot of heartache. What do you think? Are these holiday flings seedy or are they simply harmless?

I seem to recall however that psychologists been telling us for years that women like to feel an emotional connection with a man before they are intimate with him, so where is all this hedonistic sex coming from? Also, why do women travel south for these adventures, is it for anonymity? Economic reasons? Or is it just because they find it exciting to have a fling with men from cultures other than their own. As you will tell, I haven't read the book but the very fact that this is a growing phenomenon interested me enough to want to find out more.


ML said...

Lotus, I agree with you! What type of person would do this man or woman? And you brought up a valid point about the men having families. It just causes problems all around.

beenzzz said...

Seems to me that these women get a huge power trip off of seducing men of different cultures. I guess it's the same philosophy of, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." Noone needs to know that they are messing around. Also, some men travel to these countries and do some unspeakable things....of course, that's a completely different story.

Lotus Reads said...

Hi ml!

I'll bet if these women were asked about the families they were destroying they would say that if anything, their money helps send the children to school and puts food on the table. That's the same argument men use when they travel to Bangkok and other places for their adventures.

Hi, beenzzz Yes, you're right about the power trip and about the privacy that comes from being in a place no one knows you. And also, if you're over 40 and single, the dating game can be a nightmare our part of the world, maybe that's why going abroad seems so attractive. True, some men have been doing far worse things on the beaches of Goa and Srilanka, making these women's liaisons seem like harmless flings.

ML said...

Lotus, have you read (or know anyone who has read) Bridge to Terabithia? I've seen the reviews, and it looks good, but wondered if you had first hand experience.

My cubie mate wants to buy the book for his wife for Christmas. She was a school teacher and he thinks she would like the book.

Thanks, Lotus!

Lotus Reads said...

Hi, ml So sorry I didn't see this comment earlier. For some reason I am not alerted via e-mail when a new comment comes in on this particular blog.

I haven't read "Bridge to Terabithia" but my daughter did, and didn't like it all that much. She found it a tad old-fashioned and besides, there are some fantastical elements in the book which she didn't appreciate because it's not her favorite genre. Having said that however, I will tell you that it won the Newbery Medal which is awarded only to the best of children's lit. and also, it is now going to be made into a movie, so it must be read worthy. Shucks, wish I could have helped you more, ml!

Canary said...

i like such books because they give me an insight into how women around the world think... otherwise i dont really believe in the theories they prophesize

hellomelissa said...

prostitution just baffles me in every way, but then again, i'm in a wonderful committed relationship, so i can't really speak to the desire of getting paid-for-sex.

interesting and thought provoking for sure, lotus.

MotoRama said...

hmm..i wouldn't want to judge anyone..especially when it's consensual! I don't endorse prostituion but hey they are not kids! When people write books like this it amazes me at their honesty!Just another way of looking at it i guess.

AmateursGuide said...

Hi there, This is the author visiting your blog. I would like to amplify a bit on your post and the comments.

Female sex and/or romance tourism mainly involves women from middle- and even lower-income brackets, including hair dressers and owners of small shops, not wealthy women. Wealthy women have ways to hire men that do not involve travel overseas, although some engage in road romances (at times sneaking out on their husbands during a joint trip).

My book, Romance on the Road, describes a vast set of outcomes to these romances, from harmless mutual benefit to long-term relationships and marriages.

Family breakups do happen, but not in most cases, and in any event, this is a two-way street. At times, Third World men have made it their business to break up the visiting woman's marriage or relationship. There are several instances of this happening among women visiting Kenya, who fell for Masai warriors.

The vast majority of road romances do not involve payment, wealthy women, or family breakups. Women enter holiday romances everywhere from Italy to Nepal, Egypt to Mexico, Bali to Spain. Usually the foreign man is aged 16 to 25 and free of entanglements, in fact, sometimes lonely because local women in his age bracket are sheltered, or preserved for marriage.

Typical are the kind of experiences I describe in my book. In my own case, after my first divorce, I became an adventure traveler, and was open to flirting with foreign men of great confidence, who put my enjoyment first, and helped me on the road to healing and accepting my second husband into my life.

Posted by Jeannete Belliveau, author, Romance on the Road

Lotus Reads said...

canary Hi, thanks for stopping by. I definitely plan on reading this book and Corinne Hofmann's memoir as well (she's the woman who fell in love with a Masai when she travelled to Kenya).

Melissa You said it! I think those of us who are in committed relationships find it hard to understand why any woman would want to do something like this, but had the shoe been on the other foot, who knows what may have happened. Books like these are very helpful in making me see the world from different women's perspectives.

Motorama I do agree, it takes guts to write a book like this. It's interesting to me to see that this phenomenon is on the rise - I want to know the nitty gritty now, guess I'll just have to read the book!

Lotus Reads said...

Hello, Jeanette and thank you for writing in! Although I still have some reservations you've brought a lot of clarity to some of the points I was having problems with. For instance, I honestly thought a huge reason for this happening was the power trip a woman got from seducing economically disadvantaged men with their money! Also, I had mistakenly concluded that these men were married men looking to make a fast buck, also, I hadn't realized what a growing phenomenon these road romances are. The anthropologist in me wants to know more, I will have to read the book and when I do, I will probably move the discussion to my book blog.

Again, it was wonderful of you to write in. I'll be in touch.

Lyrically speaking said...

That's crazy, $100 for oral sex...well thanks for sharing this post with us, I just happen to stumble upon your blog. You have some nice work in here. Happy New year

Lotus Reads said...

THank you for visiting, Lyrically Speaking yes, even I did a double take when I read that bit of information - I get the feeling, there is much in the book that is going to surprise us! ;)

J said...

When Ted and I were in Paris on our honeymoon, we were having a glass of wine with the clerk at our little bed and breakfast. He said he worked for awhile in a hotel in Florida, and the women, married and single both, were after him all the time. He said he liked it at first, but after awhile, he realized that he at least likes to know a woman's name before he has sex with them.

I'm not sure what this has to do with this book, except to say, some women get all hot for men with accents.

Lotus Reads said...

Hi, J!

Nice to see you here. Not sure when you posted this comment, the problem with my anthropology blog is that I am never alerted by e-mail when a comment comes in.

To get to what you were saying, yes, I suppose it is the different accents, the thrill of being seduced or seducing someone different from you, the contrasting cultures...now when I think back on it, some of the most popular Herlequin Romance novels are the ones with Middle-Eastern male protagonists - Harlequin should know best what women's fantasies are! :)

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