Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sun, sand, sex and stupidity

I've heard a couple of true confessions myself from women who have got conned by such boy-toy con-men into parting with a lot of cash. I obviously couldn't write about those stories without betraying personal confidences. But these articles have elaborated the issue quite nicely. So heed the warning and just be careful.

From The Daily Mail

Sun, sand, sex and stupidity: Why thousands of middle-aged women are obsessed with holiday gigolos

. . .Writer Jeannette Belliveau, a self-confessed former "sex tourist" and author of a book called Romance On The Road, says the problem is becoming endemic and that these women are deluding themselves about the dangers such flings present.

"The ultimate risk is death," she says, bluntly. "In the past two years three Western women have been killed for their money by their foreign 'toy boys'."

Some of these women tourists never went home after their holiday. Barbara Scott-Jones, 61, from Leeds fell in love with Jamaica and was building a home on the island when she was found dead earlier this year.

Trouble in paradise: Charlotte Rampling as a sex tourist in the movie Vers Le Sud

Labourer Omar Reid has been charged with her murder.

Police believe Barbara had been having an affair with the 30-year-old and had just ended, or was trying to end, the affair when she was killed.

The number of older women who form long-term relationships with holiday gigolos is growing year on year.

Statistically, a third of all cross-cultural "marriages" end in divorce. . .

. . . The trouble is that for divorced or widowed women in their 40s, 50s and 60s, their male peers in the UK are either very unattractive or are looking to date much younger women.

"In countries such as the Gambia and Kenya, there is both a surplus of men and the fact that women there tend to marry men at least ten years older than themselves, which is the culture. So for 18-year-old and 20-plus men, there is no one to date.

"Poverty is rife. Then, over the past ten years, planeloads of mature single British women have started arriving, their handbags full of cash. They're fit, good-looking men and it didn't take them long to realise that there are rich pickings here.". . .

. . .

Five years on and Sarah Jarvis no longer looks back on her holiday romance with rose-tinted glasses. "I must have spent more than £20,000 on Mohammed," she says. "On my final trip last year, I rang his mobile as usual when I arrived at the airport. There was no reply.

"I drove to the hotel where he worked as a waiter, and stormed into his tiny room. He was in bed with an elderly, white woman - like me. He rang me, sobbing, saying it was all a mistake and he loved me.

"Later I marched up to the woman in the hotel dining room and asked her, very calmly, what she thought she was doing. She looked at me in surprise. 'But he's my boyfriend,' she said. 'We are in love, and I have been flying backwards and forwards from the UK to see him.

"I told her I had, too. She said she had promised Mohammed she would leave her husband and marry him. I said she was a fool."

Sarah then told Mohammed that his lies had been exposed and ended the relationship. "Speaking to some of the hotel staff, I found out Mohammed had at least 40 white girlfriends," she says. "It must have been a real juggling act making sure we didn't all arrive at the same time. Goodness knows how much money he was making out of us all.

"I know people will think: 'How could you be so stupid?' But you have to realise just how seductive it is, if you feel fat, old and ugly, to have a beautiful young man saying he cannot live without you and making love to you as if you were a stunning creature."

But Sarah adds: "More than anything, I want to send out a warning to all the British women planning a holiday romance this summer: don't do it!

"It will cost you thousands of pounds, and you will end up feeling ridiculous and despised. These are practised conmen - they don't think you are beautiful; they laugh at you behind your backs." . . .

Read the Entire Article on The Daily Mail

Also read a similar article in The Sunday Independent

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