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Older Women Seeking Love in Gambia

A recent documentary reports on a new tourism trend seeing older European women traveling to West African country Gambia for love and sex with younger men.In turn, the aspirational Gambian men may often receive gifts of tens of thousands of dollars for their company.
© New York Post

Why older women are seeking love with young men in Gambia

Written by Hannah Sparks, New York Post.
A recent documentary reports on a new tourism trend seeing older European women traveling to West African country Gambia for love and sex with younger men.
In turn, the aspirational Gambian men may often receive gifts of tens of thousands of dollars for their company.

Sex on the Beach

British broadcaster Seyi Rhodes, host of the special on BBC’s Channel 4 network titled “Sex on the Beach,” described the Gambian nightlife scene as “hundreds of older white women with young black men.”
“It’s paradise. You could have a different man every night,” said one tourist.

The Local Perspective

But it’s not just about sex, according to 32-year-old Alka, a local man who claimed to have enjoyed many relationships with older European women who travel to Gambia in search of passion. In his community, they call these women “holidaymakers.”
“Sometimes they are not good tourists. They are holidaymakers,” he said. “Someone who comes to f - - k you and leave you.”
“It really, really hurts me,” Alka continued, and then reiterated his point when Rhodes asked if the money helps him feel better.
Alka told Rhodes that he feels exploited by those types, even when they offer money. “It really hurts me. I don’t like it. I am looking for a good relationship,” he said, insisting he never asks for the payment. “They just give it to you,” he said during the hour long documentary.
Unlike some men and women in this scenario, Alka protests he’s found true love in his wife-to-be, Francoise, a Belgian woman in her 60s. She sent her lover the equivalent of about $70,000 to build a home for the two of them in Gambia.
“He’s a very nice human being,” said Francoise. When asked how Alka makes her feel, she replied, “A second life. A newborn baby.”

Works in Progress

In an article for iNews, Rhodes described his experience talking to Gambian men and their European partners.
“Some of the people I met might look like they fit neatly into a box – ‘sex tourist’, ‘scammer’ or ‘victim’ – but once I’d taken the time to understand them, I could see that [they] were all works-in-progress,” he wrote.
“People don’t always know if they’re looking for love, sex, money or power. In reality, they’re all interlinked, and you can only see that by diving into people’s lives and looking – with no judgment,” he added.
During the show, Rhodes acknowledged a stereotype that many young men might be using the older, affluent women for their money.
Alka scoffed, “Many men? Those are the people that spoil the name of Gambia.”
The original article is available on: https://nypost.com/2020/09/29/why-are-elderly-women-seeking-love-with-young-men-in-gambia)
© New York Post
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Global Intimacies: Sex, Power, Gender and Migration

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