With no commitment or strings attached, sex with a stranger can be a thrilling diversion from a monotonous life, and the number of individuals engaging in anonymous sex is on the rise. By way of the internet, men can easily locate women who are game for trading sex for cash, and it's become common for prurient men to travel miles—even to other parts of the world— to make the exchange. In some countries, such as the United States, prostitution is illegal and subject to fines or time spent behind bars, but in others, it's become an acceptable industry that rakes in billions of dollars every year. If a man is on the lookout for commercial, cash-down sex and is willing to travel thousands of miles to get it, he need look no further than the countries of Southeast Asia; primarily Thailand, the Philippines, and Cambodia. In these locations, the prostitutes are many and “sex tourists” are also met with some of the world's best nightlife and accommodations.
Sex tourism is “an activity that entails individuals engaging in both national and international travel to participate in a sexual activity considered to be both illegal and unethical in those individuals' respective nations or countries of residence” (4 Facts, n.d.). On the outside, Southeast Asia may seem like a paradise for non-committal sex and the perfect place to escape the trappings of day-to-day living; it's beautiful, welcoming, and there are plenty of women who are ready, willing, and able to indulge a man's fantasies. But sex tourism is a complicated, dark, and corrupt multi-billion dollar industry where the rich get richer, while the innocent suffer; it is far from glamorous and in no way humane. Despite the damaging physical and emotional consequences of hustling sex, thousands of poor Southeast Asian women succumb to lives of prostitution to provide money, food, clothing, and a simple home for their families.