Mongers in Heaven: Sexual Tourism and HIV Risk in Costa Rica and in the United States
- Publish Date: 2006-12-20
- Binding: Paperback
- Author: Jacobo Schifter-Sikora
Mongers in Heaven is an exploration of Monger Culture. Mongers, as defined by the author in relation to sexual tourism to Costa Rica, are tourists and expatriates who have developed a unique culture of simulation, lying, marriages, gender games, and sexual liberation. Schifter-Sikora analyzes the relatively new phenomenon of American senior citizens mass-traveling to Central America in search of sex and love from prostitutes. The social and economic impact of their travel, as well as the increase in new H.I.V. infections in the U.S. and the Central American countries, is at the core of Schifter-Sikora's analysis. The author also makes a unique psychological analysis that includes both the sex worker and her American client and their mutual aspirations and disappointments. The study features unique quantitative data on this population of sex workers and clients and the group's reasons for and expectations of sexual tourism. Also under analysis by Schifter-Sikora, is Jean Baudrillard's theory of simulation and simulacra, here in relation to the disappearance of the real in sexual tourism. American sex tourists are creating a sexual culture where truth is no longer relevant or desired. Costa Rican sex workers, for their part, hope for the traditional real that the Americans are escaping from. Both groups are turning a former Banana Republic into a sexualized fantasy land where women who charge are lovers and prospective wives, and those who do not are seen as the real prostitutes.