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  Europe
Ukraine Is Thriving as Sex Tourists' Destination
Ukraine is thriving as a sex tourists' destination.

A short, swarthy man hits the dance floor at Arena, an upscale night club in the centre of Kyiv, on a summer night. He moves to the rhythm of the music and smiles encouragingly as he watches female hips gyrate a hand's breadth away.

He spots a pair barely covered by low-rise jeans and moves into position behind the dancing girl. His hands reach out for her hips, and his excitement is now clearly visible. The man presses his body toward the dancer until the girl finally turns around and pushes him away.

But Ibraham, a 35-year-old Argentinean, isn't complaining. During the first five days of his Kyiv trip, he's already slept with three girls - quite an experience, he says.

"My friends back home told me girls here are beautiful and that you can have one for $50-100 per hour, which is good price for such beauties," says Ibraham. He smells strongly of a sweet scent when he bends over to make himself heard above the deafening music.

"And I found it all true; there's so many girls here that you could never have back home,"he grins, turning his eyes back to the dance floor.

Meanwhile, a bunch of middle-aged guys crowd the club's two bars - Americans, Europeans, Turks, Asians, Some are sipping their drinks while scanning the crowd; the luckier ones are struggling to make themselves understood in pantomime conversations with long-legged Ukrainian blondes.

Arena's art director Vitaliy Lytvynenko says it's all normal for a club like Arena, which is centrally located and has a lot of beautiful girls.

"We usually have tough face dress control, but we do not ask girls at the entrance if they come to pick up a foreigner or not, or vice versa,"Lytvynenko said. "People usually go to the night clubs in search of some kind of relationship," he added.

Sex Rising

Ukraine may be far behind Thailand on the list of sex tourists' favorite destinations, but it's moving up. One Internet sex-site administrator says interest in Ukraine has grown along with the country's international profile. It doesn't hurt that U.S. and E.U. citizens no longer need visas to come here. Oleksandr Melnikov, head of the Kyiv police department bureau responsible for fighting human trafficking, says he worries that the sex business here will only continue to thrive.

His worries are not groundless. According to the State Border Service's statistics, a million more foreigners entered the country during June, July and August of this year that during the same span in 2004. Only a fraction of these are here as sex tourists, of course, but the increased numbers have their effect.

And statistics aside, posts in the Ukrainian sections of Web sites dedicated to sex tourism speak for themselves.

"I am now hooked up on these women," confesses a participant on the Web forum international - sexguide.com after his summer trip to Kyiv. "The only problem is how to find excuses to spend every vacation in Ukraine."

Experienced sex tourists, like William, a 34-year-old Australian of Asian extraction and a member of the forum, rank the quality and prices of Ukraine's intimate services lower than those of Southeast Asia. But even though William's sex experience in Ukraine was not the best- the "girls spoke little English," he said, the sex was "mechanical," and there was some prejudice toward Asians- he still regrets that he is not subject to the liberalized new regime for EU and U.S. citizens.

"I have only visited Ukraine once, and the women are possibly the best-looking Caucasians in the world," William said.

From his first trip to Kyiv this August, William has also learned that "Ukrainian women are more agreeable, dress more revealingly, and are cheaper than Western women."

"Guys from the West can get away with saying and doing things we could never get away with the women in our native countries," he said.

The sex forum is apparently also frequented by ex-pats who live in Kyiv.

A 50-year-old American who has lived in Kyiv for three years and wished to remain anonymous says he contributes to the forum to help travelers get "a true picture of the Ukrainian sex scene."

"There is such a concentration of prime stunning and beautiful talent here, all ready and willing, that you can meet most anywhere, from club and bar pick-up to prostitutes, for a night or week of pleasure, that massage parlors are just not on my radar screen," the ex-pat told the Web community.

The same ex-pat told that Ukraine is not yet a major destination for sex tourists because it's expensive to get here, sex providers don't usually speak good English, and the tourist infrastructure is still primitive.

Since only a few local ladies speak decent English, linguistically capable ex-pats, like him, "have an obvious advantage in that the choice of ladies increases significantly and the communication of specific needs and desires becomes much easier."

He admits that he sometimes likes to sample "local professionals" and recently had a great time with a Kyiv-based porn actress.

Meanwhile, another traveler, who describes himself as an American businessman in his thirties based in Moscow, fears increased competition from Europeans and other traveling sex tourists. Until now, he says, most people using sex services in Ukraine were foreign men coming here on business trips and local ex-pats.

"But with no visa requirement, just wait for the Italians to invade Ukraine, if you thought Americans were bad, you haven't seen anything yet," he says.

Turkish Invasion

If Italians are not here in overwhelming numbers yet, Turkish men have enjoyed vacations in Ukraine for a while.

Suha, 31, boarded a plane from Istanbul to Kyiv this summer, curious to check if all the stories about the beauty and availability of Ukrainian women are true.

"I have a lot of friends who come to Ukraine for girls," confesses Suha. "In fact, all Turkish men come here for the summer."

Suha, who owns an electronic business in Istanbul, is not a newcomer to sex tourism. He is single and is enjoying his freedom by checking out sex scenes in different locations around the world during the holidays. Luckily for him, his business allows him to take as many days off as he likes.

"Usually, I take a month on holiday a year, and I go to Amsterdam, China, Thailand. I do it mostly in summer time, as I like seeing women's bodies, and not just their eyes," says Suha.

In Amsterdam, girls like group sex, and in China, they do a fabulous massage, Suha says.

Back home in conservative Turkey, Suha says, you can get in trouble when engaging in even an innocent chat with a girl.

"But Ukrainian girls are so much easier to talk to," Suha says.

Turkish women are not the only singled out for criticism by sex tourists.

Worldsexarchives.com - another online resource with extensive information on world prostitution-claims that Western women are at least partially to blame for the phenomenon of sex tourism.

"Women in Western countries are spoiled bitches," the site's introduction reads. "Do you know why [an] American woman smiles on her wedding day?" The answer is that she knows she will not have to" perform any more acts of oral sex.

"But there are many places in the world where women will treat you like a king for a minor fraction of what your western girlfriend costs," the site goes on.

Not All of Us

Some of Kyiv's younger ex-pats, like Briton Joe Field, 31, say they've been innocent victims of the negative perceptions associated with foreign men seeking sex.

"If you look foreign, you are more interesting to girls anywhere in Europe, not just in Ukraine," says Field.

But in Ukraine, Field says, it all comes down to money.

"In Denmark, if a 60-year-old American approached a young girl with a proposition of sex or even marriage, he would hear 'fuck you' in response," says Field. An 18-year-old Danish girl does not need him or his money in order to have everything she needs or to become everything she wants to become."

But just yesterday, Field recalls, he saw an elderly American in an Internet cafe looking at the photos of young Ukrainian beauties.

"There was a Ukrainian girl sitting next to him, and he would ask her all these cheesy, stupid questions, which he used as an excuse to talk, even though his aim was absolutely clear," said Field. "The girl was very nice to him, and it was unpleasant to see that he thought there was nothing wrong with his behavior," Field said.

This article is reprinted from Kyiv Post




 

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