Travel Sex in Indonesia

Image courtesy: © Thinkstockphotos/Getty images – Sometimes it’s hard to find the appropriate outlet for sharing the sexy stories. I think it’s great to have travel sex life as a resource to go read, write or learn about what’s really going on behind closed doors

Sex Motels
Travel sex isn’t at all a taboo in Indonesia — and not just if you’re a foreign tourist hiring a Indonesian sex worker, as is the case in places like Thailand. Indeed, when I visited the coastal city of Pattaya last November, my first walk down the city’s main strip at night was fascinating and saddening all at once. Hoards of girls, boys and ladyboys lined the street and spilled into it, being plucked from their posts one-by-one as mostly older — and entirely Western — men made their proverbial draft picks.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say nobody minds this kind of behavior in Thailand, but rather that the ubiquity of that country’s sex industry precludes anyone who has the power to do so from legislating against it. Simultaneously, the majority of locals who might have something to say about it are either too poor or invisible to have their voice’s heard — and, in some cases, have even been made to participate in it themselves.

In Indonesia, on the other hand, motels such as the one I found myself in my second night in Seminyak are literally on every corner in some parts of cities and frequented as much by Indonesian-Indonesian couples as by horny Westerners indulging themselves. Although sex workers almost certainly make use of these facilities, I can’t say I saw an obvious one any of the several times I visited such an establishment.

Several times? Yes, I said “several times.” When a taboo is lifted, you’ll be amazed at the kinds of things you do.

Public Displays of Affection
Before I arrived in Bali, I was told that it wasn’t at all uncommon to witness a couple fornicating on the beach in broad daylight.

Although I’m happy to report that wasn’t the case — being back in the West, I have at least partially re-affirmed the taboo status of casual sex, particularly during the daytime — it’s not entirely accurate to say that all sex is kept behind closed doors in Bali.

Or even indoors, for that matter. In Bali, a giant rock called south Beaches. I happened to be there my last night in the country, when I was strolling the streets of Bali with a Skandish named Annemarie. Ironically, the two of us were deciding whether or not to get a room in a motel or to attempt an extremely public display of affection.

As we made our way up onto the rock, it became clear that any lack of privacy we’d face doing it outdoors would be not from the prying eyes of passers-by, but rather any of the literally dozens of other couples doing exactly the same thing. Without much haste, we opted to drop the US$30 for one night at the Hotel V in Uluwatu.

I mentioned earlier in this post the casual sex wasn’t at all limited to encounters between foreign visitors and professional sex workers — but that doesn’t mean that Indonesia lacks a sex industry. In fact, all it takes is a closer look inside any phone booth to notice a veritable wallpaper of the most explicit advertisements, women, men and third-sex all represented.

The difference between the sex industry and Indonesia and many other developing countries is that it simply isn’t as obvious. Most foreign visitors to Surabaya, for example, spend their days on Dolly, places so generally crowded that hook ups, related to prostitution or otherwise, go essentially unnoticed to most passers-by. At night, prostitutes are more overtly visible and more aggressive in their recruitment tactics, although they simply aren’t as concentrated as they are in places like Pattaya, where they literally cover the streets completely.

Another important difference is that many Indonesians want to have sex with Westerners for the sake of having sex with Westerners and not for any financial gain. It’s OK to be skeptical if someone extremely good looking offers to bed you — see the introduction again if you failed to read between the lines the first time you read it — but unless she explicitly states she expects you to pay her, just go with it and have a good time.

It should go without saying, but it is absolutely essential to use a condom — or if you’re receptive, have your partner use one — to protect yourself during random encounters in Indonesia, particularly if you hire a sex worker. In my experience and those I’ve heard from others, Indonesians are generally proactive both in providing and using condoms.

If you don’t have a condom on hand and are already inside a sex motel about to perform the deed, open the drawer of the nightstand beside your bed. Inside, you’ll find a menu that appears to be for room service, but actually provides and supplies condoms which can be delivered to your room for a premium. Get pissed off about the price gouge later, when you have the peace of mind that your health hasn’t been compromised.

Happy Green Travels!

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