Gigolos, beach boys or male escorts, Bali’s sex scene has long been focused on sex tourism for men, but this idyllic Indonesian island is a popular hotspot for women who want some holiday action.
In 2016, 1.248 million visitors from Australia visited Indonesia making it the nation’s number one holiday destination for the 6th year in a row. Bali is undoubtedly a prime location and offers plenty in the way of fun, relaxation and, for the past decade, a place to pick up some alternative entertainment.
In this feature, we look at the growing trend of Aussie women who visit Bali specifically to experience the beach boy gigolo.
Bali’s Gigolos & Western Women
Ever since the release of the award-winning documentary by Wendy Dent in 2003, ‘Kissed by a Crocodile’ which highlighted the trend of Western women falling in love with Balinese men, the trade of Bali’s gigolos has come to international prominence.
The documentary itself focused on the love affair that visiting tourists had with the country itself and the ease by which holiday ‘romances’ flourished with attentive male locals.
Holiday romances aren’t uncommon in any culture and the abandon with which single women display themselves whilst vacationing is as age old as the Grand Tours in Victorian Europe.
A popular destination for many Australians, Bali is a beautiful country that knows the true value of tourism doing everything it can to entertain visitors. In a way, the gigolo trade is just as much a service industry as hotels are.
Certainly, the combination of the spirit of holiday hedonism and a willing market of Balinese men looking to earn some cash makes gigolo affairs almost a guarantee rather than just a possibility.
What is the Appeal of a Balinese Gigolo?
A tropical country, Bali’s beach boys are usually offering an eyeful of their dark skinned, six-pack torsos. Mostly in their early twenties, it’s not hard to see the appeal of a taut young body with those dark eyes and hair as the sun makes their skin glisten in the heat. As hot blooded men, we can see the attraction of a bit of holiday action with the locals.
However, it would be sexist in the extreme to imagine that all encounters between Aussie women and Bali’s gigolos were simply a holiday romance; a case of girls falling head over heels in love in a cray love affair. Though this sometimes happens, the majority of women who have had encounters with a gigolo in Bali know exactly what they are doing. If we think about the relationship between male punters and their regular female escorts, it’s easy to draw a parallel of a physical desire and the need for something known as GFE; a girlfriend experience. In the case of Aussie women and the Balinese beach boys, they are paying for a BFE.
Many of these Aussie girls aren’t looking for a relationship but they do appreciate being treated well, getting paid lots of positive attention and having good sex. Of course, in Bali this comes at a fraction of the cost of paying a male Australian escort. For around $30-$100 (AUD) a day, Aussie women can have a companion to share their holiday experience with but without the hang-ups and compromise of being in a relationship.
There is also the added benefit of anonymity. What goes on in Bali, stays in Bali.
As a service industry (though not legal) Balinese gigolos offer Western women all of the above and, with a high demand for their services, there are plenty of men willing to prostitute themselves in this way.
Who Uses Bali Gigolos?
According to the beach boys themselves, women from all nations use their services with Australian women being regular customers. But it’s not just the Aussie women who are looking for a gigolo. Female Japanese and South Korean tourists are also rather partial to a bit of holiday action with Bali’s romeos.
Typically, women are aged between 30 and 45 and, judging by the pairings you can see around Kuta Beach, are usually quite attractive; they certainly wouldn’t have any problems getting a bloke into bed without having to pay for it.
So why are women paying for sex in Bali?
The answer to this is given readily by the many gigolos who talk to journalists. These women are not just interested in getting laid, they are looking for attention and to be treated well. A one-night stand might be good enough to get your rocks off but these women know that paying a beach boy to be their companion means they will be treated like a customer; and the customer always gets what they want.
Whether that’s a massage, to be complimented or plenty of oral sex, the boys of Bali’s beaches have made it their business to satisfy women’s needs and demands.
And the needs are as varied as the women who pay for the services. Some want to cuddle, hold hands on beach walks or just be listened to when they talk. Others are sexually demanding and find paying for sex can satisfy them better than a casual pick-up. So much so that many Balinese gigolos say they prefer Western women because they are ‘wilder’ in bed.
Finding a Boyfriend Services of Bali
Though prostitution in Bali is considered a moral crime, the business of sex tourism is widely tolerated and, in some respects, regulated. So much so that a few more legitimate gigolo services have begun to emerge in Bali.
Set up by former beach boys, you can find the services of young Balinese men online and arrange a holiday hook-up before you even arrive in Indonesia.
Known as Bali Boyfriends, there are many guys who advertise on dating sites so they can fix up clients in advance of their arrival. The routine is similar to an escort service in Australia in that clients pick up the bill for any expenses incurred during their time together and pay an additional ‘fee’ at the end of the visit. It’s a transaction that suits both parties with the ‘boyfriend’ getting a week of meals out, hotel accommodation, trips around Indonesia and the company of a woman who generally wants a lot of sex. The women get companionship and an experience of the island to share with someone who pays them a lot of attention.
Generally speaking though, women who want to avail themselves of the services of a gigolo in Bali need look no further than the beaches, Kuta Beach (Lombok) in particular. There is an abundance of men who frequent these areas who will approach women at the drop of a hat.
Featured image via Flickr.