This book is the first to focus on why and how foreign Western women engage in cross-border sexual and intimate relations as tourists travelling, or temporarily dwelling, in a Central American country. As an in-depth ethnographic account, the book traces the experiences of heterosexual North American and European women’s transnational encounters, and examines new sexual and social practices arising from contemporary global tourism, shifting sexual cultures both at home and abroad, consumer culture, and women’s increasing mobility. The book combines descriptions of women’s travels and sexual relations across racial and class boundaries with feminism, postcolonial theory, and poststructuralist theories of gender and sexuality, to show how tourism as a wide range and set of desires serves as a central shaping force in the formation of women’s sexual subjectivities in contemporary life in postindustrial capitalism. In doing so it offers new insights into how tourist women express heterosexuality shaped by gender, race, class, and identities.
This fascinating book, focusing on the structure of tourism and role of local culture and social organization in the shoring-up of desire, develops a unique contribution to the understanding of sex tourism. It will be of interest not only to tourism scholars, but also to those interested in sexuality, anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, women studies, gender studies, and geography.