• eastern Asia;
  • southeastern Asia;
  • East Asian Social Survey;
  • sex tourism;
  • sex-related consumption;
  • dependency theory;
  • globalization


Previous research has used dependency theory to explain sex consumption by rich, northern men travelling to ‘developing countries’. Little is known about how this perspective can be applied to sex-related consumption by tourists from non-western regions. Analyzing the East Asian Social Survey of 2008, we found that many eastern Asians had engaged in sex-related entertainments abroad. People from the newly rich countries had become exploiters of sexual services in peripheral countries. East Asian tourists also went west and north bound overseas for sexual pleasures. We argue that the increasing economic activities and travelling opportunities across borders may better explain the overseas sex-related consumption of eastern Asians than dependency theory. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.