Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sex Tourism in Ukraine

When you're travelling in Ukraine, it's likely that a lot of the middleaged men you see are there not on business or as regular tourists, but as sex tourists. Ukraine and Russia are both major destinations for this. Marriage agencies flourish across the country--there was one just down the block from the Rus hotel. I suppose some are legitimate, but many are covers for prostitution or other scams. Even the Bradt guide to Ukraine warns about them.

And even with the legit ones, there is the question of disproportionate means--rich Westerners compared with poor Ukranian women. True, many Ukranian women are gorgeous, and I suppose some of these deals work out well. One older American man I met admitted he was planning to meet five or six women in Odessa after our Dnieper River and Black Sea cruise was finished. He hoped to find someone to marry, or so he said.

You see very few western women looking for Ukranian men to marry. Ukranian and Russian men do not have great reputations, and alcohol is usually the culprit. There are some hunky guys in these countries (think Vlad the shirtless one, Baryshnikov, etc.) and in addition some of them are very smart, but not many women are looking for heavy drinkers.


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