The Dominican Republic’s poor economy has created numerous necessities, particularly in the prostitution sector that is associated with tourism. Tourism not only plays a vital role in the country’s economy but also significantly impacts the prostitution industry. Within resorts, young Dominican men often search for women who can assist them in leaving the country or providing financial support. Likewise, many young Dominican women are also seeking similar opportunities. Both “Sex Trips for Girls” documentary and chapter 4 of “The Devil behind the Mirror” offer various examples illustrating how tourism affects both individuals and the nation.
The documentary “Sex Trips for Girls” follows the life of “Spaghetti,” a young man employed at a 3-star hotel. In his pursuit to seduce tourist girls, he managed to have a relationship with Jhoan, a British woman. Jhoan claimed that their relationship lasted over a year, but no physical intimacy or financial support was involved. Spaghetti expressed his desire to improve his circumstances and leave the entertainment industry. He believes that marrying a tourist and obtaining a visa to relocate to another country would offer him a chance at a better life.
Chapter 4 of “The Devil Behind the Mirror” recounts the tale of a woman named Noella, who was born near Santiago. Noella became involved in prostitution after breaking up with her partner, working occasionally as a sex worker. She was planning to marry an Italian man named Paulo, who had been sending her money to assist with her journey expenses. However, Noella ultimately chose not to leave with Paulo due to his possessive nature. She feared that he would confine her and prevent her from working and supporting her children in the Dominican Republic. Another individual mentioned in Chapter 4 is Ivelisse.
She is enrolled in a cosmetology course because she believes that having a profession and the means to support herself are necessary in order to attract a hardworking man. Ivelisse serves as an illustration of how numerous sex workers in the Dominican Republic transition seamlessly between informal and formal employment in pursuit of economic stability. Engaging in the tourism sex industry allows women to enjoy a lifestyle that would be unattainable based on their financial circumstances. For instance, these women take pride in owning cellular phones, modern gadgets, stylish clothing, and availing beauty products and services.
Women working in the tourism industry view their job as a means of self-improvement and gaining privileges typically enjoyed by middle-class women. Meanwhile, male prostitution plays a role in boosting the local economy in the Dominican Republic, as foreign women frequent the country to visit these individuals and spend money on resorts and various tourist attractions. For male sex workers, foreign women provide an opportunity to leave the country and seek success elsewhere or acquire financial support from their “partners.” Although this dynamic can occur with male foreign visitors, it is less prevalent.
In the Dominican Republic, there is a clear distinction between female prostitution and male prostitution. While women engage in sexual activities for payment, men seek assistance in leaving the country instead. Unlike their female counterparts, men do not consider sex as a profession. Both the documentary “Sex Trips for Girls” and Chapter 4 of The Devil Behind The Mirror highlight the importance of tourism in the Dominican Republic.
It is beneficial for the country and individuals but some males engage in morally wrong actions to leave the country, manipulating people’s emotions and abandoning their partners. Women involved in prostitution, on the other hand, receive payment for their services and may marry foreigners to escape the poor economy. Prostitution provides an “easy” means for Dominicans to escape the numerous hardships they encounter.