David Henry Sterry: Cambodian Sex Workers Interview
I found a link to an interview with David Henry Sterry in my inbox today and read it in full. It’s an interview with author Heidi Hoefinger, who wrote a book about Cambodian Sex Workers. And it’s not only an eye-opener but also dispels a few myths I’ve read/heard before. The book is titled, Sex, Love and Money in Cambodia: Professional Girlfriends and Transactional Relationships. The information she obtained for the book came by her own accounts of actually dealing with Cambodian sex workers whom she’d befriended.
There wasn’t much about male sex workers, or transgender sex workers. But I did find this:
There are plenty of women, men and transgender people in Cambodia who do identify as sex workers, and there is a growing sex worker rights movement in Cambodia led by a sex worker union consisting of over 6,000 members. But one of the main points of the book is that no matter how someone identifies — as a sex worker, prostitute, girlfriend, whatever — they should be treated with respect for the decisions they make.
And this was interesting:
Most of the women did not view themselves as victims, and expressed a strong desire to instead be respected for the decisions they make under some really tough circumstances. They often referred to themselves in English as ‘strong girls.’ That’s not to say they didn’t know how to capitalize on empathy. That was definitely a strategy that some of the women used to tap into the ‘hero syndrome’ that many western men experience — which I define as an overwhelming desire by the men to use their status, resources, and knowledge to ‘save’ the women and their families from destitution.
I think a book like this about gay US rent boys would be interesting. I’ve known a few and most claim they’re not victims either. I’ve also known gay males who would travel to places like Bangkok several times of the year just for the male sex workers. Some even bring them home and fund them in the US. But that’s about as openly discussed as the dick dock in Provincetown, MA.