Meet The New Faces of Sex Tourism, TraffickingS

Evelyn Duenos of Ecuador is now (at least) the second person this year — along with Alina Percea — to head to Western Europe to work a low-skill job and "decide" that auctioning off her virginity was a better option.

Like Percea before her, Duenos traveled to Western Europe from a country with fewer economic opportunities and in which she is an ethnic minority (Percea is reportedly Roma) to take a low-skill job, only to publicly and famously decide to auction off her virginity in order to give the money to her parents and return to her country. Percea claimed, like many a sex worker before her, that the money was to fund her college education — though it turns out she'd never completed high school — and changed her story that he younger siblings needed it; the 28-year-old Duenos claims her mother has Alzheimer's and she needs the money for her mother's and for her own education. (Suspicious me checked and Grey's Anatomy, where young Meredith's mother's early-onset Alzheimer's is a prominent storyline, just finished its second season in Spain.) Both women proffered medical certificates to "prove" their virginities, though most reputable doctors (and my own personal experience) agree that no examination can definitively prove or disprove the loss of one's virginity.

Basically, what's going on is that these women — like others before them — are traveling to Western Europe (either of their own volition or not entirely) to engage in sex work that is illegal in their own countries. They, or the families sending them there to procure money through sex work, are taking advantage of a legal and social climate where sex work is legal and more acceptable and of the publicity surrounding the stupid virginity-auction trend. They're telling stories that sex workers all around the world use to minimize the stigma or guilt that they and/or their johns feel by claiming their sex work is a selfless or self-improving act encouraged by their families. And it's no mistake that they're women of color in majority white countries — international sex trafficking is often based around stereotypes of race and the sexuality conferred on people because of their race — or that they plan to return home after they engage in sex work and give the money to others once they get there. In the wake of the economic downturn, apparently, the sex tourism industry, which is often decried by women's rights activists as exploitative, is coming to the former tourists, clad in Western clothes and "sanctioned" by these women's families as a way to head off accusations of trafficking. But just because it's someone's mother pimping her out, doesn't make it not trafficking. And it's getting more than a little worrisome.

Woman To Sell Virginity On Net [The Sun]

Earlier: Another Day, Another Dollar, Another Virgin Auctioning Off Her Maidenhead
Like A Virgin
Hymens: The New Old Chastity Belts?