Sex Tourism Cambodia

SEX INDUSTRY TOURISM. South East Asia, Cambodia, Phnom Penh. Taxi girls, prostitutes, serve foriegn tourists & Khmer, Cambodians. The sex industry is part of the fabric, servicing all classes of Cambodian society. Girls are forced into prostitution because of poverty and corruption that exists across the country. People might earn 1 to 2 $ per day, even less in rural areas, so the lure of prostitution is high. Families can sell young girls, virgins, for several hundred dollars. Cheap brothels line the streets in parts of the city centre, near railway tracks, and on the periphery. Sex for Cambodians at cheap prices in the street brothels, as low as 1 $ US, to exorbitant fees in penthouse hotel suites for the rich. Sex tourism industry attracts Western and Asian tourists typically paying 10 - 30 $ US. Expressions such as 'yam yam', eating, for a blowjob 'bam bam' for intercourse. There are 'lady-boys', youths, who use the money to pay for  sex change operations. Prostitutes spend lots of money on make-up, clothes, and mobile telephones. They live in squalor. Due to public advertising campaigns and outreach work, Aids and HIV cases have dramatically decreased, in Cambodia, since the late '90s. Condoms are encouraged, are cheap and widely available. This is seen as  a success story by medical and health authorities. There are risks as ex-prostitutes known as 'sweethearts' don't use condoms with their partners. Brothels, v & madams take their cut, but many taxi-girls work as free agents. Bars, pool halls or beer gardens have staff and taxi-girls available to service male clients, some work as barmaids or escorts. There is violence against prostitutes; gang-rape and murder by Khmer gangs. Once a girl has worked as a taxi-girl it is unlikely she can ever marry.




all photographs copyright Nigel Dickinson 2007