Sex Tourism / Romance Tourism - Page 2.

The vast majority of prostitutes in the Dominican Republic are not found in the tourist areas, but those likely to be encountered by tourists are of course, in the tourist areas.  The local police discourage outright prostitution in tourist areas, even though it is not illegal in the Dominican Republic.  Pimping is illegal.  Still, locals that hang out looking to meet tourists risk frequent arrest and exploitation by police for sex and money.  Charges are sometimes never filed or are vague such as loitering.  Getting a local job at one of the numerous bars or restaurants, often for no pay beyond tips, is a common way that locals use to be able to meet tourists without the risk of arrest.  At some bars, I’ve seen nearly as many cocktail waitresses as patrons.  Other ways to help avoid arrest include getting a ride directly to the club because locals usually won’t be bothered once inside or if leaving with a tourist.  Leaving a club alone, especially walking, can be risky for locals.

In the old days,  nearly every local, male or female, could technically be called a prostitute, although not in the way most people think of prostitutes.  While many of the interactions that occur are in fact, sexual exchanges for money, lots of hook-ups occur where no money is discussed.  Make no mistake, it’s implied and even if it isn’t asked for, it is expected.  If a tourist “hooks up” with a local, it doesn’t matter if it’s for an hour or a couple weeks, the local expects to be paid.  Request for payment may be subtle and indirect.  For example, a local might ask for help to pay for food, diapers, gasoline, the salon, or any number of creative expenses.  If the tourist doesn’t pay, it can get ugly and isn’t worth it. 

How much?  Even if a tourist asks what the local wants, they might find themselves being told, whatever you want to give.  Locals know they’ll often get more this way than asking for a direct amount and would rather everything be informal and less explicit.  Anything over US$100 per day is probably too much, anything under US$20 for an encounter is probably too little.  If you see another tourist prowling the clubs and restaurants, they are probably doing the same thing you are so you can always chat up a fellow tourist and ask.

Do not mistake taking a local out to a restaurant or letting them stay with you when you visit as a form of payment.  While you might think they enjoy an expensive meal or staying in a fancy resort, it isn’t payment of any kind no matter how much you spent.  Neither do gifts count as payment.  They are, strictly speaking, gratuities that are most appreciated.


Where to go.
If a tourist meets a local, they can’t generally bring the local back to their all-inclusive resort.  Some will allow it, some only if presented at the front desk during daylight hours for registration (no night registration), sometimes only if the local was on the original registration, and most certainly, there will be a charge equivalent to any other guest.  The guest is less likely to be accepted if improperly dressed.  Policies are often discretionary and few hotels will allow a guest that cannot prove they are at least 18 years old by presenting a valid id.

Most tourists opt to take their new friend to one of the many available local hotels or hotels in town, for both safety and discretion.  Prices vary from US$25 to US$45 per night for a room.  Do not expect the management to be surprised, as this is not an infrequent occurrence. 

With romance tourism, it isn’t uncommon for a tourist to come for a week or two, having pre-registered a room for themselves and their local lover.  This can be a low cost motel or even the most expensive all-inclusive.

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