It’s estimated that one in five woman traveling to Kenya are on a mission to find sexual partners. They are playing risky business in a country where AIDS is prevalent. Research shows that these women don’t pack condoms for little fantasy trips.
The young men that they find enjoy the gifts bestowed upon them and don’t mind being with a woman old enough to be their grandmother. The women are talking their cue from men who have played this game for centuries.
“We both get something we want — where’s the negative?” Allie a 64 year old from southern England asked in a bar, nursing a strong, golden cocktail.
While drawing the line at calling these sexual favors outright prostitution it’s playing in some very gray areas. Hotels owners have tried to discourage the behaviours by refusing to change single rooms to doubles but they can only do so much.
Kenya has long been known as a haven for sexual tourists. Years before though it was older men preying on little boys and girls. About 15,000 girls aged 12 to 18 have or are involved in sex for money. Up to 3,000 young boys and girls are working full time in the sex trade. The acts they are asked to perform are often the “most horrific and abnormal acts.” It seems sexual tourists sometimes have some kinks in their desires.
Kenya is a prime location for this type of market. Poverty makes for desperate measures.
When the elderly women come around they may be hoping for romantic and legal encounters with young native men. The younger men have no problem with joining them for a drink when they cruise the bars. It’s a chance to dine in the best restaurants and sleep on fine hotel sheets. Some experts say that it’s a thrill to the women who are on the top of the social chain when they take on their poorer, younger lovers.
“This is what is sold to tourists by tourism companies — a kind of return to a colonial past, where white women are served, serviced, and pampered by black minions,” said Nottinghan University’s Davidson.
The men go through the women quickly. One such man is Joseph who at 22 claims to have slept with more than 100 of the rich white women that are on the prowl. They are sometimes 30 years older than the handsome young man.
When I go into the clubs, those are the only women I look for now,” he told Reuters. “I get to live like the rich mzungus (white people) who come here from rich countries, staying in the best hotels and just having my fun.”
The women seem to be enjoying their chance encounters with nubile young men who cater to their desires.
Sex sells in Kenya. And the Cougars are on the prowl.