Cambodia sex tour pic
Here are some of the fascinating things she has some to say about Cambodian sex workers.David Henry Sterry: Why did you want to write a book about Cambodian bar girls?There are plenty of women, men and transgender people in Cambodia who do identify as sex workers, and there is a growing sex worker rights movement in Cambodia led by a sex worker union consisting of over 6,000 members.But one of the main points of the book is that no matter how someone identifies -- as a sex worker, prostitute, girlfriend, whatever -- they should be treated with respect for the decisions they make.After we got dressed, many of them would go to their respective bars and work their shifts from 7pm-2am.After that, we would go to the dance clubs -- with or without their male suitors -- and when those closed, we would end up at the 24-hour bars to play pool.
Many tried their hand at everything and ended up preferring to work in the bars because they were the most lucrative, there was more flexibility of movement, they got to meet people from outside of Cambodia, and learn and improve their English skills, and the bars were just generally more 'fun' than the other jobs.
In other words, it's assumed that a man will financially support his female partner and her family -- or at least provide a substantial gift.
This is not as rigid as it used to be, and more and more women are equally contributing economically within their relationships, but the point is that just because they get stuff like cash and gifts from their western sexual partners that they meet in the bar does not mean they all identify as sex workers.
DHS: Did you spend much time in the bars, and what happens on a typical night?
HH: During several visits over several years, I spent every night out in the bars with the women.
Most women are very resourceful and entrepreneurial, and the ultimate goal of many of them was to open their own businesses -- like a clothing store, bar, restaurant or salon, so they could support themselves and their families.