African sex tourism is an actual “thing” involving predatory, usually affluent, white women traveling abroad for the sole purpose of having sex with Black men. The topic has been covered in several documentaries and news articles but is getting a lot of Google searches thanks to Adele.
The singer’s recent SNL skit makes light of white women sexually exploiting African men that come from more often than not, much meager financial circumstances. Adele appears alongside Kate McKinnon in a mock “Tourism Board of Africa” commercial. As Adele talks about “massive bamboo”, shirtless Black men escort Caucasian women across a green screen beach.
The skit did not sit well with some Black viewers who took to Twitter to voice their displeasure with the fetishizing.
Sex tourism is not a joke the sexual exploitation of African bodies by the hands of white perpetrators is not a joke today and will never be a joke tomorrow. Hang it up! https://t.co/MbHrwOn0Yz
— LYZA 💎 (@lyzalawal) October 26, 2020
And I love when the actors crack up. But this sketch?? In this economy?? We’re really making fun of sex tourism and fetishization/exploitation African men’s bodies in service of Blonde White Women? pic.twitter.com/zp5aNynDpq
— Andrea Marie (@BLK_Rage) October 25, 2020
Wealthy, mostly Caucasian women, do travel to countries with predominantly Black populations to have sex with men. The men, referred to as “bulls”, are often lavished with gifts and money from the women. Some of the women establish relationships with the men, while others have their fun before returning home to their husbands, boyfriends and/or single lives.
Tourism Review covered the topic in 2017, detailing sex tourism in one Senegalese town.
“In Africa, several countries have become key sex tourism destinations. In Senegal, Saly is a place of clandestine prostitution. This seaside resort welcomes a very large number of sex tourists and it is not uncommon to see young local men accompanied by mature Western women. ‘Saly is the rallying point for aging Westerners interested in partaking of the pleasures offered by young Senegalese – who are not always of legal age,’ a French tourist on vacation explained.”
It’s also happening in South Africa, Gambia, Cameroon, Uganda, throughout the Caribbean and in popular tourists destinations like Zanzibar, Tanzania and Mombasa, Kenya. In these beach town destinations, “beach boys” are hired under the guise of being local “guides.” The men learn German, Italian and English to communicate with the female companions they spend days, or even weeks entertaining.
“The white ladies are very attracted to the warriors. Our culture is world famous and we are like tourists attractions to them. It’s easy for a warrior to get a white woman. It’s easy,” one local Kenyan man explains in the YouTube documentary below. In his town, Maasai and Wuru warriors are sought out by White women interested in the beach boys’ “sexual prowess.”
Adele has refrained from commenting on her controversial skit.
Eric has revolved in and out of passport controls for over 20 years. From his first archaeological field school in Belize to rural villages in Ethiopia and Buddhist temples in Laos, Eric has come smile to smile with all walks of life. A writer, photographer and entrepreneur, the LA native believes the power of connectivity and community is enriched through travel.