Is Social Media a Safe Space for Whoremongers?
The sex tourism industry is about a century old, but when the Internet first became publicly available, sites like World Sex Guide allowed perpetual whoremongers to form communities online. Founded in 1994, WSG today has more than 30,000 pictures of prostitutes posted by men who talk to each other over the site each day to share insight and exploits.
via Facebook Cubadave's Facebook page has more than 1,500 followers who are willing to link their real-life identities to the sex tourism industry.
This is one subculture that has been pretty reluctant to embrace web 2.0 technology -- and many of the most popular sites promoting the lifestyle/hobby are pretty hokey-looking by today's standards. Message boards still predominate, likely because they allow for relative anonymity.
Slowly but surely, though, men who promote sex tourism are turning to social media in an attempt to monetize their photographs and promote products like e-books that describe how to negotiate with prostitutes in the Caribbean and Latin America.
David Strecker -- better known by his alias Cubadave -- is the most visible of these gringos. He's a 62-year-old former athlete who now gets his glory by sleeping with Dominican prostitutes and discussing it on Facebook. He also feels he is helping local women in impoverished places make ends meet by putting their pictures online and getting them more ex-pat customers who can shop for women before they land at the airport.