I had never considered myself a sex tourist. When I decided to go down to the Dominican Republic, I was a photographer and I started a project on prostitution. The idea of the project crystallized after reading Denise Brennan’s book, “What’s Love Got to Do with It?” an ethnography of female sex workers in a small resort town on the DR’s north coast. Brennan’s stories of women moving to Sosua to work in the sex trade paint a picture not of passive victims of circumstances, but of women who pragmatically realize plans to improve their lives and lives. that of their children.
Brennan did not find the unfortunate victims that could be expected. It turned out that I did not either. His book helped dispel prejudices and doubts I had, nothing to do with those of Barcelona escorts. But as I packed my bags for this first trip, I realized that to make the photo project I wanted to do, to enter and represent their world, I would probably need to become their client. I would become a sex tourist.
What is sex tourism?
To be honest, I was eagerly awaiting the prospect of having sex with Dominican prostitutes. It had been a long time since I had been to the DR, a fact probably related to my choice of photo project. My only previous experience with a prostitute dates back several years to London. I remember that she, like most of the women I met in Sosua, came from Santo Domingo.
With the first woman I met in Sosua, I tried to photograph. No sex. It was not a reflection of a hesitation in principle – I did not find it attractive. But she had a service to sell, and she sold and sold hard. I paid for sex and she allowed me to shoot her. I quickly discovered the brothel where I was going to spend a lot of time over the next six months, to know the women who worked there. The first half of the series was portrayed more as a portrait than as a report and shows women at work, living in their professional personality, projecting the promise of sex.
Escorts, how are they?
Over time, the women told me about their life outside of work, how they arrived in Sosua and their weekly routine of sending money home to support their children. As I became better acquainted with two of these women, they gave me access to their everyday lives – their idle time – and photographed them where they lived and wandered during their off-peak hours.
For many years, I was not interested in having a relationship with a woman, which largely explains the lack of sex before this project. During the six months I spent in Sosua, I was seduced by the honest and direct transactional nature of sex – something that I was much more able to negotiate than sex related dating.
I came to really love one of the women I saw regularly. She finally became the woman I saw exclusively. Instead of hanging out at the brothel, we started hanging out at her house. Then, when she left the brothel to go home and spend time with her daughter, we ended up in hotels in Santo Domingo. When she went to St. Maarten for a work contract, I met her there. When she went to Curacao for another employment contract, I met her there. Between visits, we discuss every day on WhatsApp. This has been going on for almost three years now.