chapter  7
14 Pages

The intimate bazaar of female sex tourism

WithMarie Bruvik Heinskou

Transnational and transactional sexuality and desire between women from the global north and men from the global south relating to travel and tourism is a challenging subject matter for feminist scholarship. Political economic asymmetry and racial hierarchies along with gender relations challenge these complex intimate encounters. This chapter explores white women’s sexual transactional encounters with black men from the Gambia. Excerpts from interviews and fieldwork in the Gambia will be analysed in order to illuminate the ambiguities of these transactional relations. The analysis challenges the most widely accepted research on prostitution, where instrumentality and exploitation are singled out as primary values within the encounters. This chapter will analytically and empirically explore the search for existential authenticity that anchors transactional sexual relations, and opens up a new concept, the intimate bazaar.