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Beyond Sex Tourism: Gay Tourists and Male Sex Workers in Puerto Vallarta (Western Mexico)


Correspondence to: Cristóbal Mendoza, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Iztapalapa, Dpto. de Sociología, Av. San Rafael Atlixco 186, Colonia Vicentina, Delegación Iztapalapa, Mexico City, DF 09340 Mexico



Literature on sex tourism has largely focused on the experiences and opinions of heterosexual tourists. Filling a gap in the literature, this article gives voice to male sex workers, and it analyzes their reasons for engagement in sex services addressed to men in tourist-oriented Puerto Vallarta (Mexico). By doing so, it explores the different layers of sex tourism that go beyond pure monetary transaction. This article also considers aspects regarding sexuality and identity in gay-friendly Vallarta. It concludes that sexual practices are negotiated, but sexual identities do not. Rather than an identity based on sexual grounds, what binds the sex workers together is a common (gay) lifestyle. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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