Wikivoyage talk:Sex tourism policy

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I mainly started this page in order to give a starting point for discussion on sex tourism in Wikivoyage. This is definitely not "final" policy, and I'm seeking some cooperation from Wikivoyagers in helping to formulate our policy on this issue before it becomes a problem. -- (WT-en) Evan 08:32, 18 Oct 2003 (PDT)

Strip clubs[edit]

Also, there's no point on here about listing sex services that are legal in many Western countries, such as strip clubs. I'd like to see some discussion on that, too. -- (WT-en) Evan 08:37, 18 Oct 2003 (PDT)

Well, I was planning on mentioning the strip clubs in the Tenderloin, simply because that is a big part of the neighborhood's character. My impression would be if a certain district (in any city) is characterized by prostitution and sex services, then we should say so. It's important information for travelers choosing where to spend their time; a family with kids, for instance, would probably choose to avoid certain neighborhoods based on that information. Omitting all mention of prostitution would make Wikivoyage less useful for everyone. On the other hand, I can appreciate drawing a line between stating general facts ("the area is known for prostitution") and creating a guide for sex tourists ("the cleanest hookers hang out on Geary St, but the cheapest ones are on Polk"). As for the strip club issue, I don't feel strongly about it, but my inclination would be that it's a legitimate subject for a travel guide. Perhaps there could be a policy about separating out "adult" content into specialized itinerary pages? -- (WT-en) Shannon

I tend to have a skewed view of the world, being from Nevada and all, and my opinion is that strip clubs should probably be included. And unless there is overwhelming demand prostitution and brothels should be excluded. It seems to me that prostitution information can be more of a slippery slope. (WT-en) Yosemite 15:18, 22 Oct 2003 (PDT)
I also feel pretty comfortable with listing strip clubs, where warranted (like, say, in Las Vegas or something). But that might just be my cultural bias and such. -- (WT-en) Evan 19:23, 27 Oct 2003 (PST)

I think creating this policy is a good thing, and you have made a good start (WT-en) Evan. It seems to me (WT-en) Shannon has the right idea; the end goal of the policy should be to draw a line between general facts useful to most travelers, and facts that are useful only to those who plan to patronize prostitutes. Strip clubs (or a particular one anyways) may be a unique part of the nightlife or history in a particular area/city and so would deserve mention just as any other particularity would. I don't think we should separate out "adult" content because that is more likely to create exactly the "too much information" that the policy seems to be driving at avoiding. I'm going to try and incorporate these thoughts into the policy; feel free to change it back. -- (WT-en) CL 23:34, 18 Oct 2003 (PDT)

Including info[edit]

I have changed the definition of sex tourism. The previous definition inadvertently considered the act of visiting a country for a crochet convention to be sex tourism if adult prostitution was legal in that country.

I think it very appropriate to mention the sex laws and mores of a country. If you come from a country where prostitution and homosexual acts are legal, you need to know if those activities are illegal or strongly disapproved of in the country you’re visiting. To be consistent and avoid undue moralising, it should also be mentioned if prostitution or homosexual acts between consenting adults are legal in a country.

A distinction should be made between sex tourism and the ordinary sex services available to locals and, incidentally, to visitors. A distinction should also be made between legal adult sex services and sex services that are illegal in that country or which involve child sex. I don’t agree with excluding, for example, locations of districts where prostitutes or bordellos can be found, particularly in countries where prostitution is legal. People may want to know the location of red light districts are so that (a) they can avoid them (b) they can walk down the street for a curious look (c) they can actually avail themselves of the services - incidentally to the main purposes of their visit to the country (d) visit the country for the prime purpose of using the sex services. I think we should cater for (a) through (c) – by my definition they are not sex tourism.

Sex industry info should be included but kept in proportion (ie a very small part of any country/city’s info), be frank but tastefully expressed and avoid giving offense to the vast majority of readers. RP 27 Oct 2003

"Get In, Get Out, Get Around, Get Laid"? -- (WT-en) Evan 18:05, 27 Oct 2003 (PST)

Child prostitution laws[edit]

AFAICT, Australia, Canada, and the USA as well as possibly some other countries have child sex tourism laws that make it illegal to travel places to have sex with children. I don't know what the status is on non-child sex tourism, nor do I know what kind of liability we put ourselves in for if we have sex tourism info on the site -- nor can I afford an international lawyer to find out! I know that traditionally there's not a lot of censorship just talking about going someplace, but when that runs into issues of children and sex -- and, let's face it, "sex tourism" is often conflated with "child sex tourism" -- there's not a lot of openmindedness in the laws of many countries. Throw in the fact that most legislators love the idea of censoring the Internet, and we've got problems, Houston.

New Zealand does too. The law also goes beyond just engaging in sex and applies to anyone who even promotes or organises tours for NZ citizens and residents, whether or not the tour took place. The relevant wording is:
... Prints or publishes any information that is intended to promote conduct that would constitute an offence against section 144A of this Act, or to assist any other person to engage in such conduct. ...
... The publication of information means publication of information by any means, whether by written, electronic, or other form of communication; and includes the distribution of information. ...
I suppose it would even be technically and legally possible to extradite said promoters to New Zealand to prosecute them and imprison them for 7 years. (Or be arrested on arrival at the airport if you just happened to travel to NZ for a visit!) This sort of legislation is a developing trend that is supported by child advocates and the United Nations too as part of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, so may be present in other countries too. I think this sort of legislation should make every Wikivoyager think very carefully before rejecting the policy as it currently stands. -- (WT-en) Huttite 20:30, 2 Jan 2005 (EST)

Let's just say the whole thing makes me real, real nervous. Probably more than I should be, and there's probably a good common-sense level where we have colorful info on red light districts yet not intricate do-it-yourself details that will get us sued. As a counter example, I am told (I never read the things, myself) that some other travel guides include notes on where red light districts are, but not a lot of info on how to solicit or what prices are. Can we live with that? -- (WT-en) Evan 19:19, 27 Oct 2003 (PST)

Bangkok bars[edit]

So the question of gogo bars has come up on Talk:Bangkok/Sukhumvit. How do we deal with places that a really sex-trade specific (OK, sure, maybe you're just there for the great drink specials and decore) that have become tourist attractions? It would be like having tour buses stop at Tenderloin street corners or something... I guess going with the "Just enough info to get you there, not enough to help you do whatever you might want to do" is the way to go? It's sorta hard to seperate the price of admission/drinks from the sex show you'll get... (WT-en) Majnoona 12:27, 8 Jul 2004 (EDT)

Hi I'm the one who deleted the so-called go-go bars. What happened is that one anonymous user changed the title of the section from "Adult Entertainment" to "Prostitution". So I said "hmmm, which one is right?" So I did a google search of the first "bar". There's no question but that this is a place to find prostitutes and that the bar's own website advertises this as the primary feature of the bar. The policy states We prefer not to include... locations or listings of bordellos and bars where prostitutes can be found.
We are allowing a flaming, gaping hole in the sex tourism policy if folks can evade the policy merely by describing a place of prostitution as a "sight to see."
But let's go one further than that. Suppose we're talking about Amsterdam. Many folks I've worked with have gone in a group to walk around the red light district just as a tourism "let's go see that because we can" kind of thing. I don't see any way to list such "tourist specticals" without also providing the requisite info that is needed for sex-tourism so I personally think we should not list that kind of information at all.
But I'd like some opinions on this. There is another Bangkok article with exactly that kind of information (describes a prostitution complex as a place to see), and I'd like some input on my interpretation before clearing it too. -- (WT-en) Colin 15:10, 8 Jul 2004 (EDT)
I think we have a lot of room to move between not saying anything and a "how to" manual. As mentioned above, you should say a place has prostitution (otherwise how can people who don't want to see it avoid it?), but should not say "These girls cost X dollars, ask for Joe at the door." I mean, if we provide _any_ info on Bangkok at all-- like how to get from the airport-- you could say that someone will use that info on their way to go buy sex, but other travellers won't.
I think if we approach gogo bars as just another site: we say where it is, what it is, and leave the rest up to the individual. Same for A'dam-- we can't avoid saying the Red Light district is there, we should mention what happens there and that it's legal, but we dont have to review the details...
I can't see how else we can deal with it without leaving a big hole in a lot of cities... (WT-en) Majnoona 15:26, 8 Jul 2004 (EDT)
Agree with Maj. Bangkok, like Vegas, has an immensely sleazy rep and many tourists head out for a beer or two in Patpong without any intention of engaging in sex tourism; hell, the last time I went to BKK with my gf, the first thing she wanted to see was a go-go bar! So I think Wikivoyage should certainly note the existence of these places and (as the Bangkok/Silom pages does now) even recommend a couple where you can go take a sip and a peek without getting gorilla-marched to the nearest ATM to pay your $5000 bill.
And one more thing: Patpong is not a "prostitution complex". Sure, it's an alley or two full of strip joints where every girl has her price, but the bars make their money from selling drinks. They do not regulate prices or provide places to engage in sex, and thus aren't brothels in any sense of the word. (WT-en) Jpatokal 23:40, 14 Jul 2004 (EDT)
It's pretty obvious that these Bangkok pickup joints are nothing like the Vegas I visit. Here's what it all boils down to for me: Look up the Nana complex in Google. Find their home page. What are they advertising? They are not advertising go-go dancers (as the term is used in American English), nor are they advertising Drinks, Food, or anything else except Women for Hire.
AFAIK Nana doesn't have an official home page; [1] is somebody's privately run site. (WT-en) Jpatokal 03:16, 15 Jul 2004 (EDT)
So here's my stawman du-jour. Brothels in Nevada uniformly contain a bar. Shall they be listed under places to drink?
Err.... yes? If the brothel in question is the kind of place that you can actually imagine a tourist wanting to go to for only a drink, that is... (WT-en) Jpatokal 03:16, 15 Jul 2004 (EDT)
So in sum, I think it only sensible to tell folks going to Bangkok that such bars exist. What I don't understand is why the heck we're directing them to them, and if we are going to have such listings I have no idea what the phrase we prefer no to include... locations or listings of bordellos and bars where prostitutes can be found means so someone should delete it.
I also recognize that I appear to be in the minority in my opinion, and I accept that. So I've said my piece and will now leave it alone. -- (WT-en) Colin 01:06, 15 Jul 2004 (EDT)
IMHO that sentence doesn't mean "thou shalt not list bars with prostitutes", but "thou shalt not list places of prostitution". It's a fine distinction, but an important one, and should be made clearer. (WT-en) Jpatokal 03:16, 15 Jul 2004 (EDT)
I think the purpose is to avoid having a sex tourism focus in any part of Wikivoyage, and to give editors a rule by which they can cut sex tourism stuff they deem excessive. Obviously, for some areas sex in any way is a large industry, and people DO enjoy sex stuff even if they don't hrie prostitutes. Strip joints are part of "sex" tourism. Or famous red light districts - a lot of people associate Hamburg with the Reeperbahn, for example. And you won't be able to avoid that some people read about it on Wikivoyage and then do go there for the prostitutes. It's just important to keep a neutral POV, and to make sure that no contributor adds text in support of truly abhorrent practices (child sex, for example). -- (WT-en) Nils 03:24, 15 Jul 2004 (EDT)
The trouble with defining "truly abhorrent practices" in regard to prostitution is a huge mess though. For example. in many of the major prostitution areas in Asia (not so much in Bangkok or Pattaya though) a substantial although hard to confirm number of the prostitutes will be working as forced labour (under the same debt bondage system used for many child workers -- ie you have to repay your boss for the price she paid for you to someone else, the cost of your keep and a huge interest rate before you can stop working or even choose your clients). This is also a truly abhorrent practise, even if the prostitutes are adults. Some travel guides do specifically note this, but it's a tough job for wikivoyage: researching the ethical underpinnings of red light districts (or anywhere else) before we list them is hard work.
Pragmatically, both prostitution and drugs policies are hard because of three things: their varying legality, their varying public perception, and their varying but often not terribly distant connections with either abhorrent ethical practises like forced labour or with organised crime. -- (WT-en) Hypatia 19:05, 29 Nov 2004 (EST)


I took a second look at this page and I don't like it. The rationale for banning sex tourism info is:

  1. Sex tourist information gives the impression that Wikivoyage is purely a sex tourist information site. We want Wikivoyage to be useful for all travellers, not just those seeking paid sex.
  2. Sex tourist information clutters already crowded destination guides with information only pertinent to a few readers.

Here's a thought experiment:

  1. Diving information gives the impression that Wikivoyage is purely a diving information site. We want Wikivoyage to be useful for all travellers, not just those going diving.
  2. Diving information clutters already crowded destination guides with information only pertinent to a few readers.

Doesn't work? Didn't think so. So why is sex so special? Point three tries to say why:

  1. There are legal ramifications for listing sex tourism information, especially child prostitution info. In the United States, sex tourists can be subject to prosecution, despite the fact that they were outside the jurisdiction of the US at the time of their actions.

Sure, but pedophilia is illegal and hence covered under the Project:Illegal activities policy. Why do we need a separate page for this? (WT-en) Jpatokal 02:58, 31 Dec 2004 (EST)

Read it like this "There are legal ramifications in the US for listing sex tourism information for countries where it is legal." -- (WT-en) Colin 03:39, 31 Dec 2004 (EST)
Sex with pre-pubsecents is legal in some destinations (at least, as long as you marry the object of your 'affections'). In other places it's accepted.
I don't understand why this keeps veering off towards child prostitution: AFAIK there isn't a single jurisdiction on the planet where it's legal (or accepted) to go around raping little boys' butts. But legal or not, I'm fine with a blanket ban on child prostitution info, I don't think this is much of a point of contention for anybody. (WT-en) Jpatokal 21:15, 2 Jan 2005 (EST)
There are countries with very young ages of consent, particularly for women (it's hard to verify, but my understanding is that world-wide, girls are more commonly the victims of rape than boys). It's certainly easy enough to find places where it's as low as 12. This usually interacts with the marriage laws, and also varies in its acceptance. It probably is a bit of a tangent, however, the test of a policy/law is usually "does this clearly acceptable thing fall on the right side of it, and this other clearly unacceptable thing on the other side?" Unfortunately, I don't trust the lawmakers of the world enough to allow their laws to be the sole test of it.(WT-en) Hypatia 21:36, 2 Jan 2005 (EST)
This is sticky: there's a difference between illegal and unethical practices. Does Wikivoyage care about describing unethical practices? It's unclear to me that we should happily say "X destination doesn't care enough about Y to make it illegal, so Wikivoyage articles should provide all the information necessary to pursue and enjoy Y there," for all values of Y. (WT-en) Hypatia 19:14, 2 Jan 2005 (EST)
For example, here's another rationale (not in the article at all) for discussion: prostitution, particularly in developing countries, is frequently associated with kidnapping of and enslavement of the prostitutes. Assuming we care about that, the diving analogy fails to work (at least, as far as I'm aware very few divemasters are kidnapped and forced to work off the price of their purchase while being imprisoned at the dive shop).(WT-en) Hypatia 19:14, 2 Jan 2005 (EST)
Please point me to a country where this verifiably happens and prostitution is legal. I don't think there are any. But if there are, I think the correct way to handle this would be to note that prostitution is legal, but such practices exist. (WT-en) Jpatokal 21:15, 2 Jan 2005 (EST)
I was going to say India, but Google thinks its illegal there. Certainly, the major offenders that Louise Brown cites in Sex Slaves (India, Pakistan, Thailand and Japan) seem to all have criminalised prostitution. I don't know about the other source countries (Bangladesh, Nepal, Burma). There has been the odd case in Australia where prostitution is legal (I'll try an archive search of the Fairfax papers, but don't expect much luck, not being a paid subscriber) but this is, it seems, rare (expensive and the majority of patrons prefer willing sexually experienced partners anyway). Nevertheless, I think my point stands. Visiting prostitutes is not the only potentially unethical travel activity that will come up here (I can imagine a future time where a similar discussion will happen for cruelty to animals) and while I very much doubt we can formally lay out some kind of Ethics policy, the terms we frame this debate in will have ramifications. I really don't like "if it's not a problem to the lawmakers, it's not a problem!" as the limit of the debate. (WT-en) Hypatia 21:29, 2 Jan 2005 (EST)
The United States. Do I win a prize for finding the example? -- (WT-en) Colin 15:44, 28 Jan 2005 (EST)
And kidnapped prostitutes in the US are working in jurisdictions where prostitution is legal!? (WT-en) Jpatokal 12:21, 30 Jan 2005 (EST)
Your original comment was about countries. In the US, it haapens within a distance of about 100 km. But if that doesn't satisfy you... then how about Amsterdam? -- 20:03, 30 Jan 2005 (EST)
The original author of the policy has tried to be very clear that (s)he is in no way personally opposed to prostitution or in any way puritanical. While it's certainly uncool to be puritanical or to pass judgement on what other people want to do with their genitals, I'm going to be uncool and suggest that the ethics of Wikivoyage articles can't be left entirely to local laws. Having said that, I'm not totally opposed to Wikivoyage having sex tourism information, but I am opposed to having it solely on the basis of "it's legal and fun for some travellers." I'd prefer to have it on the basis of "it's legal, fun for some travellers, and, as best we can tell, ethical." (WT-en) Hypatia 19:14, 2 Jan 2005 (EST)
I disagree with the proposer of this critique and believe the sex tourism policy is reasonable and rational. The comparison the proposer makes is a poor one. Even in places where prostitution is decriminalised it is still illegal to have sex with underage sex workers. Most societies and cultures have some moral and legal standpoint about sex, alcohol, tobacco, prescription and recreational drugs, and weapons. Those standards vary around the world. This is not generally the case with diving. Even so, if the word sex in the policy were replaced with the word diving (or any other activity, for that matter) then underlying spirit of the policy would generally still hold true. We should have articles that meet the needs of most travellers and do not seem biased to just one group, like divers or those wanting sex. -- (WT-en) Huttite 19:48, 2 Jan 2005 (EST)
Jpatokal: my original idea with this page was to distance ourselves from Web sites like . (A Google search for "sex tourism" will turn up a lot more.) Now, I'm not going to address whether or not somebody should set up a free content wiki to do a Consumer Reports for prostitutes and houses of prostitution around the world; but I can say definitively that it's not what we wanted when we started Wikivoyage.
So, I want to ask you to clarify your critique: do you have problems with the way this policy is stated or justified, or do you think that having prostitute and brothel reviews is a good idea for Wikivoyage? We can rephrase the page (or leave out the rationale altogether), but I'm going to need a lot of convincing that having prostitution reviews/guides is going to help, not hinder, us getting to our goals. --(WT-en) Evan 06:34, 3 Jan 2005 (EST)

Short and sweet: I'd like to know why a separate Sex tourism policy is necessary, instead of this being merely covered under the Illegal activities policy. So (as far as I can see) the following arguments have been presented:

  • We should have articles that meet the needs of most travellers and do not seem biased to just one group, like divers or those wanting sex.
    • Sure. So why do we need policy for sex tourism specifically?
  • " I really don't like "if it's not a problem to the lawmakers, it's not a problem!" as the limit of the debate.
    • This points the way towards an Ethics policy, which would certainly be an interesting expiriment. It doesn't, however, say anything about sex tourism specifically.
  • Even in places where prostitution is decriminalised it is still illegal to have sex with underage sex workers.
    • Which is why I suggest rolling this into the Illegal activities policy.

As you can see I don't find any of these particularly convincing.

The reason I'm personally interested in this is that I (mostly) live in Bangkok, a notorious den of sin, and have on several occasions had to fight off the Morality Police for wandering into the gray areas of the policy with coverage of, say, Patpong. (Which I last visited half a year ago at the insistence of my girlfriend, but that's another story...) So I'd like to see the Illegal activities policy in general, and the 'naughty nightlife' bits in specific, tightened up to leave as few gray areas as possible. (WT-en) Jpatokal 07:58, 3 Jan 2005 (EST)

So, your proposal is to drop the sex tourism policy altogether, since it's been superceded by the Illegal activities policy, correct? And that we allow sex tourism info for destinations where prostitution is legal? --(WT-en) Evan 08:08, 27 Jan 2005 (EST)

As a newcomer to this discussion, I have read the policy. It is based on the assumption that (a) there is something wrong with travelling to a place because of the sexual opportunities it offers, and (b) there is something wrong with paying for sex. These are of course opinions held by many people, but they are opinions, and they are far from universally held, as shown by the fact that large numbers of people do travel to places for sex and do pay for sex (and also large numbers of other people sell sex, of course). I fail to see why an encyclopaedia should force contributors to conform to a particular set of opinions on this subject. Let me stress (not that I should have to) that I am not talking about sexual exploitation of children. I am talking about sexual and commercial agreements between adults.

Any article on travel to Bangkok which does not give a full discussion of both the "free" and "commercial" sex industry is seriously deficient, and I object to having my contribution on the gay scene in Bangkok censored on the grounds that it discusses how the commercial sex industry operates, including an indication of prices. This amounts to imposing someone's moral opinions on me - and on many other people, Thai and western, who find these transactions perfectly normal, mutually beneficial and lots of fun. I would like to know what the justiiation for this policy is. (WT-en) Adam Carr 23:01, 26 Jan 2005 (EST)

Okay. And other people disagree with you. Many people disagree with various and sundry parts of the policies regarding this site's content. But we still live by the policy unless there is consensus for change. And sometimes people leave this site because they don't like a policy. Life happens, and we go on. So if it makes you feel better to have gotten that off your chest, then good. But I don't think your rhetoric has altered anyone's opinion. If you think the site should change a policy, you can propose it, and lobby for change. Or you can learn to live with the status quo. Or you can leave. It's a free world. -- (WT-en) Colin 00:54, 27 Jan 2005 (EST)
Colin, not only do I find your 'love it or leave it' rhetoric offensive, but I refer you to your own words earlier:
I also recognize that I appear to be in the minority in my opinion, and I accept that. So I've said my piece and will now leave it alone. -- Colin 01:06, 15 Jul 2004 (EDT)
So when did your minority interpretation of the policy become canon, and why aren't you leaving it alone?
As I've said earlier, I don't like the gray areas in the policy at all, and have attempted to suggest ways to sort them out. But Wikivoyage doesn't offer any formal mechanism for getting policies changed. (WT-en) Jpatokal 01:10, 27 Jan 2005 (EST)
What "gray areas"? There are four bullet points at the beginning of the policy saying what's not acceptable. Descriptions of red-light districts for general use are totally OK. We can call out some more things that would be OK (bars that have prostitutes in them that aren't just about prostitution, hotels that prostitutes use that aren't just brothels, etc.) if you need it.
Yes, this is the one of the grey areas. The other major one is handling places where prostitution is legal and aboveboard. (WT-en) Jpatokal 02:58, 28 Jan 2005 (EST)
Wikivoyage has an excellent and time-tested mechanism for changing policies. It's called the Edit button. --(WT-en) Evan 08:08, 27 Jan 2005 (EST)
This is neither a censorship nor a morality issue. It's an editorial issue. It's about 1) keeping the site useful for as wide a group of people as possible and 2) covering our butts legally. --(WT-en) Evan 08:08, 27 Jan 2005 (EST)
I think it is clear from this discussion, that it is a morality issue. I do not have a problem with the policy, but the reasons do not hold water. There are definitely destinations where detailed information would be useful for a significant part of travellers. If it clutters a destination, we would deal just as if it was anything else (eg diving), and mentioning a price would not do much cluttering. The legal issues we already have a policy for.
The Bangkok article still violates the legal policy (underage boys) but that is covered by the Illegal Activities Policy
If this is not about our morality, then it is about the morality of our audience (appealing to a broad and varied audience) --(WT-en) elgaard 02:32, 28 Jan 2005 (EST)
Touché! You are correct; this is, in fact, a morality issue for our audience. I don't think Wikivoyage needs to take a moral stand for or against prostitution, legal or not. But we do need to serve our readers and reach our goals, and I still don't think having a world sex guide does that. --(WT-en) Evan 10:30, 28 Jan 2005 (EST)
It is a little more than that. We are to some extent a mirror of our audience (also we are part of the audience). If Wikivoyage become wildly popular with people with a very different morality, I do not think we would just accept that. Or to put it another way, we have a good idea about what kind of audience, we are aiming for-people like us. I think we should put in the rationale, that we are afraid it could be a slippery slope and we do not want to take WikiTravel too far in that direction. Also I see a moral stand here against e.g. child abuse, legal or not, and that should be in our policy. I do not at all like that the reason is only legal ramifications in some countries --(WT-en) elgaard 16:01, 28 Jan 2005 (EST)
I fully support Elgaard point of view in this matter. Loosing a policy too much now may result in new audience that will vote to loose it yet more. And so on. Where will we end? -- (WT-en) JanSlupski 17:25, 28 Jan 2005 (EST)
Agree with Elgaard. If this is not a moral issue, then we don't need a separate policy. (WT-en) Jpatokal 02:58, 28 Jan 2005 (EST)
I personally don't care to see sex-tourism (especially listings) in Wikivoyage, -- call me a prude -- but Evan's assertion that not having it "keeps the site as useful for as wide a group of people as possible" demands to be backed up. It seems the assumption is that having sex tourism info will drive away more people than it will attract (or at least not drive away). Is there any evidence for that? This doesn't seem to be the case so far among the editorship-readership.
So the traveler comes first -- except those who engage in sex-tourism?
There are people who would urge foreigners not to travel to, for example, Myanmar or North Korea for political reasons. Does having these destinations drive away such travelers and reduce our readership to our detriment? Should we care? -- (WT-en) Paul Richter 05:35, 28 Jan 2005 (EST)
This is why I think we should accept the moral aspect. Most/many here seem to accept a policy on prostitution. But if it turns out that mentioning resturants that serve meat or mentioning non-christian places of worship scares away a big part of our readers, I suspect most of will tell them to go somewhere else. --(WT-en) elgaard 21:00, 28 Jan 2005 (EST)
Yes, you're correct, the assumption is that having sex tourism info will attract more sex tourism info to the detriment of other travel guide info. Is there any evidence for that? No, except anecdotal evidence; the conclusion is deductive and not inductive. So, I see three possibilities here: first, we allow sex tourism information, and the site becomes all about sex tourism, drowning out any other tourism information, alienating the majority of readers, and all the work of thousands of people for 1-1/2 years is for naught. Second, we allow sex tourism information, and it remains a small part of the site. Or, third, we don't allow sex tourism information, we lose a few contributors who won't add other information, and we turn out a really good general purpose guide.
Like I said, if somebody wants to start a wiki for world sex trade info, that's up to them. But that's not our goal for Wikivoyage, and it never has been. So, to get to our goals, we can either gamble on allowing sex tourism info, or take the more-or-less sure course of not allowing it. I am strongly in favor of the second. --(WT-en) Evan 10:30, 28 Jan 2005 (EST)
What's the anecdotal evidence? Do you have specific cases that you've been involved in or heard about (I'm asking out of curiosity actually, rather than to advance a point for or against current policy.) (WT-en) Hypatia 23:00, 28 Jan 2005 (EST)

Uh... just a suggestion here. I don't go to places specifically for sex, but sometimes I do partake. So I read some sites that are specifically oriented to sex tourism, and some sites that are not. It's funny though - you guys have this policy against sex tourism info (like every other general interest tourism site), and one of the justifications is that it would overrun all the general info - but ironically the sites ostensibly devoted to sex tourism have far more up-to-date and detailed information on non-sex stuff (visas, border crossing, transport, food, shopping, drinking, sightseeing) than any general interest site.

I actually have pointed this out to some friends of mine that never pay for sex, and most of the male ones agree and have started using these sites, whereas my female (and some male) friends can't stand to even glance through the sexual stuff to find the nonsexual stuff. So, I think the reasoning behind this no sex rule is that lots of people (mostly women) find it icky. I think with this rule you are missing out on a lot of useful participation from sex tourists - i.e. even if you don't want to hear about how to find girls for $5 in Phnom Penh, these guys can still clue you in on where to find some great food for $2 in Phnom Penh.

But I totally understand - most people, if you add up nearly all the women and a few men, find this sex talk disgusting. Maybe you could solve this in a technical way though? Just have a "I am interested in sex tourism" option you can select (default to off, obviously) and make people tag their sex info so that people who don't want to see it won't see it.

As for legal issues... Obviously you still need to ban information on sex with children. It makes people (and the politicians that need their votes) everywhere blow their stack, so they'll find a way to lock you up if you don't keep it out. Banning information on prostitution for places where prostitution is illegal might be going too far, though - e.g. prostitution is illegal in Thailand. People bring up this stuff about "human trafficking" all the time but I think it's overblown - seriously, most of these women do these jobs voluntarily, because if they go back to their home country they only have even worse opportunities. It's just like any other migrant worker picking fruit or building roads for crap pay in crap conditions. 07:41, 24 May 2008 (EDT)

Sex as a travel destination[edit]

Data point courtesy of this week's Economist: [2] (WT-en) Jpatokal 02:58, 28 Jan 2005 (EST)

Following the above discussion:

  • Colin makes no attempt to engage the arguments I put forward. He merely tells me to accept the policy or leave. This is unacceptable arrogance. I await a justification of the policy.
  • Jpatokal tells me that the policy cannot be changed. This raises the question: who wrote the policy, by what authority did they write it, by whom and by what process was it approved? Why is a policy once adopted eternally imutable? Since when was Wikipedia run like the Catholic Church?
Hey hey, you're seriously misreading my comments here. The policy can (and should) be changed, but the forum for that is the policy's talk page, not this one. And the way to change the policy is to achieve some sort of consensus that it can be changed. (WT-en) Jpatokal 05:35, 28 Jan 2005 (EST)
You said: "Wikivoyage doesn't offer any formal mechanism for getting policies changed." That seems pretty clear to me. And as far as I can see this is the policy's talk page. (WT-en) Adam Carr 05:49, 28 Jan 2005 (EST)
Adam: you can edit any page on the site, including policy pages. If you think a policy is wrong, say why on the talk page, and plunge forward and change it. If there's not concerted opposition, it will stick. If there is, you're going to need to work out a compromise until the opposition dies down and some change does stick. That's how this and other policies came about in the first place (check the page history for details).
But let me be clear: Wikivoyage is not an exercise in freedom of expression. We have goals, and I for one want to make sure we achieve them. If you think we're going to make a better travel guide by having sex tourism information, then make that point. But if you think that Wikivoyage owes you a soapbox, you're sadly mistaken. If what you have to say doesn't help us make a free, complete, up-to-date and reliable world-wide travel guide, then there are lots of other places on the Internet for you to say it. --(WT-en) Evan 10:30, 28 Jan 2005 (EST)
  • I was careless in my use of the term "underage" in relation to male street prostitutes. I meant too young to get into the gay venues (under 20), not below the legal age of consent for sex (under 16). I do not condone sex with legally underage persons whether free or commercial and I agree that information on such practices should not appear. I will amend my text accordingly. (WT-en) Adam Carr 05:17, 28 Jan 2005 (EST)
I did not engage your arguments because there is no law that says I need to. Unless I think there is a serious chance of consensus for change occuring, why should I bother arguing with you for the sake of arguing? Also, you don't have to leave: there are a range of options available to you including lobbying for change. But here's the problem: at Wikivoyage decisions for change are made by consensus, and keeping the status quo is what happens when there is no consensus. This is a problem when change is wanted: if you can't get consensus, you can't get change. Now, as it applies to your pet issue.... I think it appears that neither Evan nor I have joined in your call for change, and your rhetoric appears to be more "help help I'm being oppressed" rather than anything really designed to move opinions.
Additionally, you seemed determined to talk about morality rather than the reasons put on the policy page. The reason I don't talk about morality is because the current policy page halts descriptions of activities I find morally abhorrent -- because I assume the preservation of human rights by the police in Bangkok is not quite up to the levels I presume occur in Amsterdam. But really, who cares what I think about something that isn't allowed on the site per-policy? Should we also have long conversations about child abuse when that also is disallowed by policy? Should we have long conversations about which country's police departments can be hired for murder when that too is disallowed by policy? -- 10:23, 28 Jan 2005 (EST)

My thoughts:

  • I don't support comparison between sex-tourism and diving. I don't see it equivalent. Just: sex-tourism subject is quite controversial, while diving is not so. Otherwise why there is so long discussion on sex-tourism, and there is no such on diving?
  • for the same reason (that sex-tourism is controversial), and because there is high pressure from industry, and writers we may consider sex-travel policy to be especially emphasized and have separate policy thus. Also bigger chance that contributors would read it then.
  • I don't think anybody of us would like to make WikiTravel flagged as adult content (eg. rejected by parental control filters), that may happen if we go to far...
  • do we want to have sex activity section in any destination? I believe that go-go-like bars exists in any larger city: Paris, London, NY, etc.
  • we may think of softening current policy, but maybe it would make sense to separate this content from main destination page, so readers that are not interested are not forced to read (or print) it. We may allow red-light districts (so general tourism) information in the main article, but any further details should go to subpage. This can be more general rule, so content that is very controversial (eg. opposition, or Tibet topic in China article) to be allowed, but on separate page, so nobody is forced to read/print it.
  • allowing go-go etc. bars listing/rating, will open WikiTravel to self advertisement (edit wars?) of such businesses. Somebody may say that we are open on diving centers self advertisement, but as we all know sex-businesses is much more active in Internet than any other. Did we have any spam from diving community ever?
  • I wouldn't like to be offender in New Zealand just because I do spell check the article with deep sex-tourism informations (and thus being co-author of that page, what may be considere a crime in NZ). This is another reason to separate sex-tourism and diving. And thus maybe skip some details...

-- (WT-en) JanSlupski 09:33, 28 Jan 2005 (EST)

Gray areas[edit]

I tried to clarify the following two gray areas, which were apparently unclear:

  1. As with red-light districts, it's OK to list bars, hotels, restaurants, town squares, Internet cafes or whatever if there's a good chance that they'll be of general interest.
  2. The policy applies even where prostitution is legal.

--(WT-en) Evan 10:45, 28 Jan 2005 (EST)

Retain the policy[edit]

I'd just like to add another voice in support of the "ilk" of Colin, Jan, and Evan. There are plenty of places on the web to find sex-tourism information, and there's no good reason to duplicate it here, for all of the reasons that Colin, Jan, and Evan have expressed.

Wikivoyage is about making the best possible general interest travel guide we can. The sex stuff just gets in the way. -- (WT-en) Mark 15:19, 28 Jan 2005 (EST)

I'm going to stick my two cents of support for this policy as well. I like this comparison: when families travel, sometimes they hire a babysitter. So far we don't list the names, numbers, costs, or reviews of babysitters, even though this would be helpful to some travellers. If someone were to start this, I'd oppose it for two reasons: first becasue it would be too much detail for a specific subset of our travellers; second, to cover our ass legally if there was a problem later on.

I don't think we're going to make everyone happy all of the time, but I think the current policy is a nice middle-ground: tell people what's there so they can find more about it or avoid it as they want. The reason it has it's own policy is mostly to bring attention to this specific sticky issue. (WT-en) Majnoona 17:00, 28 Jan 2005 (EST)

I'll keep bitching. Two points in particular:
  1. Two of the rationales posted above by Evan & Jan seem to say that if sex tourism info is allowed, then a) the entire site, evidently including Salt Lake City, Mecca and Kabul, will be inundated with sex tourism info, or b) virulent sex spammers will sodomize our DB server repeatedly. The slight flaw with both these theories is that, um, there isn't actually a shred of evidence in favor of them-- so far sex tourism info has been posted only for places where there are lots of sex tourists, and I haven't see a single gogo bar hyping their services.
  2. This segues nicely into my second point: how about places like Pattaya, where the majority of visitors are sex tourists?
Wikivoyage's a tourism guide. We don't need info on Harlem crack whores, because there probably aren't too many tourists going to Harlem to see crack whores. But there obviously are people like Adam going to Bangkok to score with pretty Thai gay men, and I still don't see how having a just-the-facts-ma'am section about this in the Drink section is going to a) take away from the temple listings in See, or b) lead to, and I quote Evan here, "alienating the majority of readers, and all the work of thousands of people for 1-1/2 years is for naught". (WT-en) Jpatokal 12:33, 30 Jan 2005 (EST)
Look, we list restaurants, right? But we don't list exactly what's on the menu and how much it costs, because it's just too much information. I don't have a problem with "just the facts" when we mention what's where, but do we really want to have descriptions/reviews of people and their services? I think there's a big difference between an overview of the redlight district and listing of what girl in window 88 will do for 50 euro. Morality aside, it's just too much detail... Why should sex attractions/services get more focus than, say, language lessons or sushi bars. (WT-en) Majnoona 19:07, 30 Jan 2005 (EST)
I'm not asking for more focus than any other topic, I'm asking for some focus, because the current policy seems to allow none at all. I neither want nor need listings that say Noi in Dollhouse gives good head and Nok in Superboys has a cute ass; I do think it's reasonable to forewarn the gay traveller that a) the cute Thai guy he picks up at Telephone Club (not a place of prostitution) is going to think he's extremely cheap if he doesn't give some "taxi money" in the morning, and that b) the cute Thai guy doesn't consider himself a prostitute. Or that, if farang guy meets gogo girl in a bar, he a) has to pay a "barfine" to get her out before closing time and b) this barfine does not entitle him to bedroom gymnastics. Under the current policy, or at least Colin's Wahhabian interpretation of it, this isn't allowed. (WT-en) Jpatokal 13:06, 31 Jan 2005 (EST)
Just as a point of reference... the "Telephone Club guy" scenario is exactly how some illegal prositition works in Western Countries (with the difference that the prositutes in the West are likely to self-describe themselves as prositutes.) The whole taxi money thing would be fine with me if it were more generally used. For example, if Thailand#Respect said that generosity -- particularly monetary -- was a norm when you get friendly with someone (for example, if a friendly person takes you to an interesting sight and shows you around). Then in the discussion of spending the night with someone, it would be good to remind the reader that the suggestions Thailand#Respect apply.
And the point of intentionally obfuscating information like this is...? (WT-en) Jpatokal 23:03, 31 Jan 2005 (EST)
Also, is there any chance we can try to keep the namecalling out of the conversation? I'm a little tired of the whole "prude", "homophobe", "Wahhabian" spiel given that I've never responded in kind. -- (WT-en) Colin 13:46, 31 Jan 2005 (EST)
So Pattaya might be a place with a "majority" of sex tourists (I'm not sure I totally buy that), but are you going to say the same about Vegas and Amsterdam or even Bangkok? and, finally, you really don't think this is a slippery slope? You really really don't think that kinda a lot of open stuff on the world wide internet maybe once in a while gets overrun with sex spam?
Anyway, lets try and come up with a compromise of some sort-- can you explain, in a couple of sentences, what you'd like to see changed about the policy? (WT-en) Majnoona 19:07, 30 Jan 2005 (EST)

As stated earlier, I want to see this policy absorbed into the Illegal activities policy entirely. But as this isn't very amenable to compromise, here's my list of suggestions.

  1. Define "prostitution" clearly, Wikipedia's sale of sexual services for cash, generally indiscriminately with many persons is a decent starting point. This needs to be phrased carefully, because especially in poorer countries like Thailand or the Philippines the line can be quite blurred: if asked, the Telephone Club guy above would be quite offended to be called a prostitute, as the taxi money is not payment for the night. A real pro would agree on the price in advance and enforce their side of the contract by calling in reinforcements if the john doesn't pay up.
  2. Explicitly allow coverage of sex-related legal issues.
  3. Explicitly allow coverage of sex-related health issues.
  4. Explicitly allow coverage of sex-related cultural mores.
  5. Explicitly allow entries for legal adult entertainment businesses like go-go bars and strip joints (with opening hours, pricing info and whatnot, just like any other bar/nightclub). Escort services and out-and-out brothels can be excluded, be they legal or not. Define out-and-outness with the Drink Test: would you go there for a drink if you have no intention of getting laid?

So there. Feedback welcome. (WT-en) Jpatokal 13:06, 31 Jan 2005 (EST)

Thank you for laying out your suggestions, it's very helpful. I'm afraid it's just going to keep coming down to whether or not we want to have 'that kind of guide.' (WT-en) Majnoona 16:52, 31 Jan 2005 (EST)
So it all boils down to a puritan disdain for the practice of prostitution after all. You started the talk of compromise and I took your gambit, now it's your turn. (WT-en) Jpatokal 23:03, 31 Jan 2005 (EST)
I'm starting to think this belongs as much on the Project:Goals and non-goals page as the illegal acticities page. In much the same way that we are not working on a web directory or a travel story site, even though these are both useful to travellers, I don't want to work on a sex tourism guide-- even a dating guide really. (WT-en) Majnoona 16:52, 31 Jan 2005 (EST)
Nobody wants to turn Wikivoyage into a dedicated sex tourism guide. The question is how much information, safely cordoned off inside a subpart of the Drink section, is OK.
Take a look at the Lonely Planet Bangkok. My 5th edition has 3 pages of background info on the sex industry (including, gasp, average prices!), exploding the usual myths and discussing how things work, and a page of gogo & massage parlours listings, complete with names and addresses. It also has around 260 pages of everything else. I don't understand why we can't do the same on Wikivoyage. (WT-en) Jpatokal 23:03, 31 Jan 2005 (EST)
I can see your point about sexual mores, health, and legality etc, and generally useful information should be included in the Understand, Stay Safe, and Stay Healthy sections, but again it's the level of detail and focus. This isn't a "culture shock" guide-- for example we also don't cover how to buy a house or conduct a business meeting in various countries, even though that would be useful to some travelers. (WT-en) Majnoona 16:52, 31 Jan 2005 (EST)
Since when is Wikivoyage for casual backpackers only? Why don't we have information on how to conduct business meetings or go about finding an apartment? (FWIW, my Lonely Planet Bangkok covers both.) Should I go delete every good hotel I've stayed at and every domestic airline I've taken, because Real Wikivoyageers sleep on park benches and cross Siberia on the back of a pickup truck? (WT-en) Jpatokal 23:03, 31 Jan 2005 (EST)
This isn't a judgement call on the sex industry or anyone's sexual freedom any more than our choice not to be a photo gallery or to include the local opinion on Star Trek for each destination is a judgement on those topics or formats-- it's just not what we set out to do. (WT-en) Majnoona 16:52, 31 Jan 2005 (EST)
WTF is your talk of "that kind of guide" then? It is nothing but a judgement call: you're saying it's OK to list a club which has skimpily dressed people dancing, but it's not OK to list a club which has skimpily dressed paid dancers. (WT-en) Jpatokal 23:03, 31 Jan 2005 (EST)
Perhaps ethics should be added to Jpatokal's list: the likelihood that a sexworker met in a particular context is a victim of human trafficking or under the thumb of a pimp. This might vary quite a lot from venue to venue, city to city, and country to country. (WT-en) LADave 15:34, 21 September 2007 (EDT)
"This might vary quite a lot from venue to venue, city to city, and country to country.", for that reason, the fact that the business is often illegal, and many other reasons, I suspect that this suggestion is totally unrealistic.


So would you people be happy if I paid a lawyer's retainer for finding out Evan's legal liability under Canadian law for hosting a site that contains (non-child) prostitution info? Any other issues of realistic concern? (WT-en) Jpatokal 12:33, 30 Jan 2005 (EST)

Won't do you a blind bit of good for countries other than .ca, so probably a waste of money ;-) -- (WT-en) Nils 18:01, 31 Jan 2005 (EST)
As long as the server & Evan stay in Canada, and Wikivoyage doesn't transform into a nexus of international child porn or something, legislation in other countries is effectively irrelevant (despite .nz's delusions of grandeur to the contrary).
But I'm quite serious about my offer: if Evan or others feel that the legal issues are a major concern, then let's get a professional opinion. If not, then, well, stop whining. (WT-en) Jpatokal 23:14, 31 Jan 2005 (EST)
I'm not staying trapped inside Canadian borders just so you can put prostitute reviews on Wikivoyage! B-) Sorry, d00d, but that wasn't in the job description when I signed up. Maj and I will gauge our own level of risk on publishing Wikivoyage, and we'll act accordingly. Remember also that Wikivoyage is an Open Content guide -- we want our guides to be as redistributable as possible (while remaining useful). --(WT-en) Evan 08:10, 1 Feb 2005 (EST)

A different comparison[edit]

I'd say a better comparison would be between prostitution and homosexuality.

  • Both are sexual behaviours which many people have engaged in throughout history.
  • Both are illegal in some countries, legal in others.
  • Both are considered quite normal by some and utterly degenerate by others
  • Many places have bars or whole districts associated with them
  • Many tourists will be interested in finding one or the other, perhaps both
  • Many will prefer to avoid one or both

So if we have info on gay bars and warnings for gay travellers about laws and predjudices they might encounter, then to be consistent, we should also have info on hooker bars and local prostitution laws.

I'd say we should have both. Not prices, or tips on picking up hookers, but info on where they are and warnings on local laws, mores and scams as appropriate. I'd say the current text in Bangkok under "Drink" is a fine example of doing it right, but it is not clear to me that it fits the current stated policy. If not, I'd say the policy should be ammended to match. (WT-en) Pashley 02:43, 3 May 2006 (EDT)

The analogy is mostly sound (I won't quibble over the gay-identity vs. homosexual-activity distinction, which gets swapped back and forth in there), but there is one significant difference that keeps coming up: prostitution is not always consensual. I don't believe anyone in any of the (more than a few) gay bars I've been to was there against their wishes, and I'm quite sure that any of the (not very many) people I shared more than a drink with did so because they chose to. But that's not always true for sex workers. That's a fairly objective ethical difference, not just a subjective moral one. I don't think that difference requires any outright ban on information about sex for hire, but because the subject has additional ethical baggage, it does have to be handled more carefully than information about gay bars. - (WT-en) Todd VerBeek 09:03, 28 July 2006 (EDT)
Good point. Does it mean we need warnings about areas where the sex workers are being forced? Of course arguably, all prostitutes are being coerced and exploited by the economic system. However, some prostitutes are controlled and exploited by fairly vicious pimps or gangs. (WT-en) Pashley 00:10, 2 August 2006 (EDT)
That would be the entire planet -- even the US and Europe have sex slavery problems. -- (WT-en) Colin 00:18, 2 August 2006 (EDT)
This goes right back into the moral dimension though. Should we start boycotting restaurants that offer fruit because peaches in California are picked by exploited illegal migrants and Central American bananas are a tool of oppression for corrupt governments in cahoots with multinational fruit companies? (WT-en) Jpatokal 01:34, 2 August 2006 (EDT)
Just to be perfectly clear, when I said "slave" I meant the word literally. It was not a euphemism for "exploited worker." -- (WT-en) Colin 03:29, 2 August 2006 (EDT)

For that matter, we have Gay and lesbian travel and Project:Information for gay and lesbian travellers. I'd say Travel for those who use hookers is just as valid a travel topic. —The preceding comment was added by (WT-en) Pashley (talkcontribs)

My main concern would be the same as for Drugs and Bribery: any location-specific information should be in the various destination articles, and what's left isn't enough for an article. What's different about this compared to Gay and lesbian travel is where I do have to quibble over identity vs. activity: Going to San Francisco or Fire Island isn't (necessarily) about engaging in homosexual activity, but being part of a safe and open gay community; that article helps people locate such destinations. Do people who hire prostitutes seek out particular destinations so they can hang out with other people who hire prostitutes? If not, then we're just talking about a particular activity... one with the sort of ethical baggage that makes a "here's where to do it" article troublesome. - (WT-en) Todd VerBeek 09:03, 28 July 2006 (EDT)

Comment, anyone ?[edit]

I've just added a section under China#Massage. To me, it seems obvious that it should be there, and for that matter equally obvious that I should have included general price range info for the sexual services. However, it is not clear to me whether current policy allows what I've written, and quite clear that it disallows price info. Comment, anyone? (WT-en) Pashley 03:26, 2 August 2006 (EDT)

It's almost fine as-is. The information regarding selection of the establishment is useful to the person who seeks a mere massage and wants to avoid the incompetent massage you describe the sexual establishments as providing. The only quibble I'd have is that a mention of "receiving relief" should be ommitted since it is not useful to the person seeking just a massage. -- (WT-en) Colin 03:32, 2 August 2006 (EDT)

The text Colin deleted was:

  • and some girls will provide manual relief if the client appears to want it, but nothing beyond that is generally offered.

As I see it, that text should be there, or perhaps made more precise:

  • and most girls will provide manual relief, typically for 50 RMB, if the client appears to want it, but nothing beyond that is generally offered.

There are two reasons it should be there.

  • One is that many men may want that service — it is far more fun than doing it yourself and both cheaper and safer than prostitutes. I'd say that this is a perfectly valid thing to have in a travel guide. However, current policy seems to disallow it. Methinks this is an example that shows the policy needs change.
  • Another reason is that men who don't want it should be aware of the practice so they can say "bu yao" early on. This might be a valid reason even within existing policy.

(WT-en) Pashley 03:58, 2 August 2006 (EDT)

My personal opinion is that what you suggest is informative and fine — however, I don't see a way to square the "50 RMB" bit with the policy. I'd suggest rewording it along the lines of "...good massage, although even then the masseuse may suggest manual relief if the client appears to want it. You'll be liable for a hefty tip if you let her go ahead, so just say bu yao (don't want) if this is not what you had in mind." (WT-en) Jpatokal 05:43, 2 August 2006 (EDT)
I have scoliosis and sometimes parts of my back hurt when massaged. "Bu yao" will work for that too, right? I guess I'll make it more general. -- (WT-en) Colin 15:04, 2 August 2006 (EDT)
Alas, your new bowdlerized version now omits the critical bit of information that, if you do let her go ahead, you'll need to pay more than the listed price, so I've taken the liberty of reverting. As for massage being painful, I've found that "ouch!" works pretty well no matter where you go... (WT-en) Jpatokal 21:32, 2 August 2006 (EDT)
Ouch is rude compared to simply asking. Also, as TVB has already pointed out, it's unneccessary to point out that money is involved for this since that is obvious. -- (WT-en) Colin 22:27, 2 August 2006 (EDT)
"Rude"? It's a rather instinctive reaction if you ask me! I don't see TV saying what you tell me he's saying, and at any rate, I think your assumption that it's "obvious" is a little blithe as there's no sign outside saying "handjobs 50 yuan". Here in squeaky-clean Singapore, there was recently a crackdown of "health centers" (fully legit-looking to the untrained eye) specializing in extra services, and I can fully see a backpacker wandering into one by accident and getting a little more than he bargained for. (WT-en) Jpatokal 22:46, 2 August 2006 (EDT)
I will confess to reading more into TVB's comment that he actually said.
What you have said about Singapore matches up both with China and matches up with news stories I've read about the US. So it's pretty clear this isn't a travel-related issue anyway since it occurs in all countries where Prostitution is illegal. Between the common sense nature of indicating one's lack of interest in the activity, and the worldwide commonness of the situation, I see no reason why we need to go beyond how to say no, nor can I comprehend how pricing information is relevant to saying no. -- (WT-en) Colin 23:10, 2 August 2006 (EDT)
Prostitution is actually legal in Singapore, but unlicensed handjobs in massage parlors aren't. (Don't ask, it doesn't make any sense to me either.) (WT-en) Jpatokal 23:32, 2 August 2006 (EDT)
There are people who would readily hand over an extra $X for a "happy ending", but would balk at $X*10. For some it's a question of ethics or morality, but for others economics is the deciding factor. I'm not in favor of listing prices per se, but I'm afraid that matter is relevant. P.S. "TVer" is not a meaningful subset of my name. Sorry if the CamelCase surname is confusing, but I inherited it that way and I'm not about to disappoint Dad (again) by abandoning it. I use "TVB" as my initials, if anyone wishes to abbreviate me that way. :) - (WT-en) Todd VerBeek 00:03, 3 August 2006 (EDT)
Fixed the abbrev. -- sorry bout that.
Whether it's $X or $X*10 is the customer's problem in my view, not ours. The only case where we'd need to warn them is if they are thinking it's $0 because the massuese is doing it out of the kindness of their heart. As we've already warned them that some massage parlors are brothels, I can't imagine them seriously thinking money is not involved -- that would required Bushian levels of underthinking [3]. -- (WT-en) Colin 00:48, 3 August 2006 (EDT)
I'm going to feel a lot more comfortable without the price information. I think something along the lines of Jpatokal's text above sounds OK. (WT-en) Maj 09:17, 2 August 2006 (EDT)
I rewrote it along those lines and Colin promptly deleted the reference to "manual relief", again. This strikes me as nonsense. (WT-en) Pashley 16:35, 2 August 2006 (EDT)
What's the problem with the way it is now? The only issue I take up is that it should be noted that prostitution is illegal despite being socially acceptable. -- (WT-en) Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 16:47, 2 August 2006 (EDT)
I don't have a problem with information about the general cost, but the slope feels pretty slippery when we start quoting numerical prices. Keeping that information vague may be a slight disservice to the traveler (insert "the traveler comes first" joke here), but "putting a price on it" is a threshhold that many people are uncomfortable with. (And aren't prices for sexual services rather variable anyways?) I'd suggest we draw the line short of quoting numbers and try to stick to description, analogy, or comparison (e.g. "more than the cost of the massage itself") instead. - (WT-en) Todd VerBeek 16:10, 2 August 2006 (EDT)
Sorry for pulling unusual circumstances out of my hat, but is there any chance that someone may get an underage masseuse and the client could get busted because he received "manual relief"? Are Chinese laws on the side of prostitution or against? I really don't distinguish between a "massage" and the hiring of a prostitute. I guess my question is would the Chinese government see it the same way I do? -- (WT-en) Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 16:24, 2 August 2006 (EDT)
Prostitution is illegal but ubiquitous. One could get busted, whether or not she was underage. (WT-en) Pashley 16:30, 2 August 2006 (EDT)
Project:Illegal activities policy bans information about illegal activities except in a few unusual cases -- like it should be mentioned if the punishment will be unexpectedly severe (like drugs and Singapore), or if it affect the traveller's safety. So even if the Sex tourism policy was changed, the Illegal activities policy would still apply to China. -- (WT-en) Colin 16:56, 2 August 2006 (EDT)
If you want to include sexual service information generally, you will need to change existing policy first, then change the text. Jpatokal's phrasing was carefully worded as advice for avoiding unwanted sexual services in order to avoid the current policy. If it had been advice for someone seeking sexual services, it would not have been permitted under existing policy. -- (WT-en) Colin 16:56, 2 August 2006 (EDT)
I am trying to change the policy, which I think is unnecessarily restrictive, by initiating discussion here. I was tempted to follow Evan's advice above "Wikivoyage has an excellent and time-tested mechanism for changing policies. It's called the Edit button.", and just change it, but this is clearly controversial so I'm doing it here instead. A draft of what I would like to see is at User talk:(WT-en) Pashley/STP.
Just editing is a good way to try for a policy change when no one is commenting on your proposal, and you're unsure if there's any objections. Sometimes you have to plunge forward before the objections come out. But once a change is contested, we have to discuss it and find consensus before moving away from the status quo. -- (WT-en) Colin 18:29, 2 August 2006 (EDT)
You note that "Jpatokal's phrasing was carefully worded ...", but I copied it almost exactly and you promptly deleted parts of it. (WT-en) Pashley 17:42, 2 August 2006 (EDT)
Ask yourself, "what traveller found the removed text useful?" If you have an answer that conforms with policy, we might need to address that. But I thought the reason for the sentence was to help travellers who wanted a non-sexual massage avoid undesired situations. -- (WT-en) Colin 18:29, 2 August 2006 (EDT)
Under the definition as given in current policy -- "Sex tourism, for this discussion, is the practice of travelling to countries with liberal or poorly enforced sex laws for the purpose of engaging in sexual activities." -- the hand jobs in Chinese massage shops are not "sex tourism". No-one travels to China for those. Some may come for the whores, but that is another issue. (WT-en) Pashley 17:47, 2 August 2006 (EDT)
Colin's point was that the illegal-activities policy would have to be changed as well. - (WT-en) Todd VerBeek 18:02, 2 August 2006 (EDT)
I agree with Colin and I also do not understand why we need to get into pricing a hand job or blow job if the only point was to tell someone a masseuse may feel you up. (sapphire)
Right, we don't really need price info, even though some travellers might want that. I think we do need to mention that the masseuse is likely to fondle some. (WT-en) Pashley 03:41, 5 August 2006 (EDT)
Personally, I don't know why someone would travel to get laid when it would be easier to go to a bar buy a girl a couple of drinks and ask her out on a date. (sapphire)
I certainly do! I'm in my late 50s, somewhat overweight and was not particularly handsome even as a young man. In China, I get far more female attention than at home:
  • If I sit in the right bar with a male friend of similar age, English-speaking students and professionals will gather to talk to us. Many are good-looking women, any age from highschool to 40 with late 20s most common. Of course the vast majority of them are not the least bit interested in sex with us, but they are still great company. Many will happily play translator or tourist guide or dinner companion.
  • I've had several marriage proposals, all from attractive women in their 30s. Some were prepared to pay me. Of course, they wanted the passport more than the bearer, and they almost certainly would have dumped me after getting the visa, but it might have been fun in the meanwhile.
  • Quite a few bars here have bar girls — professional flirts who pour your drinks, light your smokes, etc., cuddle a bit and want to play drinking games so you drink more and they get more comission. Almost none are available for a quick trip home to bed, though quite a few are "kept women" for wealthy, usually married, Chinese men. These girls can be fun too.
  • Then there are the hookers; plentiful, cheap and some are gorgeous
  • Finally, there are the massage girls who may or may not give hand jobs but are fun either way.

(WT-en) Pashley 03:41, 5 August 2006 (EDT)

Maybe, I'm old fashioned, but I dislike the entire idea of even providing the slightest information that could be used for getting sex for money even if we say our purpose is otherwise. I understand that in some places prostitution is perfectly acceptable (Hell, in Austria a prostitute damn near gets the same kinds of benefits a government employee does) but I still think we need think about the who needs the information? Do the children and families that use Wikivoyage need this information? I'd hope not. The lone business traveller? Maybe, but I think it makes much more sense to keep Wikivoyage rated PG - PG-13. Also, since IB is hosting the servers I think it would be a good idea to avoid this, because of damage it would do to their reputation and in turn hurt Wikivoyage. -- (WT-en) Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 00:11, 3 August 2006 (EDT)
Some Chinese courts have ruled that a "happy ending" in a massage shop is not legally prostitution. [4] Perhaps the government will change the law so that it is, but it is a very common & popular service so maybe they won't. Pashley (talk) 15:53, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

In case you need the newest issue of Hustler[edit]

Monroe (Ohio), a town outside of Cincinnati is now known solely as the home to a Hustler Hollywood Superstore, which seems to be the town's sole tourist attraction. (There's pleanty do here, but hmm hmm seems to be the main "See" and "Do".) Would it be appropriate to list the store and should I provide a link to Hustler's web site? (It's website is not exactly kid friendly) -- (WT-en) Sapphire 16:04, 7 October 2006 (EDT)

Can we get some comments on this issue? -- (WT-en) Sapphire 21:38, 10 November 2006 (EST)
I have no comments on the newest issue of Hustler. --(WT-en) Evan 22:58, 14 November 2006 (EST)
Should I take that as I should save my money? -- (WT-en) Sapphire 23:00, 14 November 2006 (EST)
I'd say list it, since you say it's "the town's sole tourist attraction". If I were in the area, I might visit, if only to howl at the tackiness. (WT-en) Pashley 22:06, 13 November 2006 (EST)

Strip clubs part 2[edit]

This has been brought up before and I'd like to get a consensus on this, because policy does not address the idea of listing strip clubs. Should we allow strip clubs to be listed in Wikivoyage guides? I really don't care one way or the other, but if we decide to allow strip clubs to be covered there should be no more than a set number such has five. Also, I think if a strip club can also be called a brothel that policy should forbid that "strip club" to be listed. -- 21:38, 10 November 2006 (EST)

I'd say list strip clubs if they're on offer, except in places where they're illegal. If someone were crazy enough to open such a club in, say, Saudi Arabia where Islamic law applies (unfaithful wife can be stoned, lord knows what they'd do to strippers!), then we'd want nothing to do with it and they'd not want publicity.
I don't think forbidding a listing because it's also a brothel makes sense. To me, brothels are the least weird of sexual entertainments. It strikes me as much more perverse to go to a strip club to leer than to pay a girl for sex. I'd be interested in comment from the female point of view; which would be more degrading? (WT-en) Pashley 22:22, 13 November 2006 (EST)
Well, I'm not a woman, but I've been dragged into strip/gogo bars by no less than four different members of the fairer sex. One was a lesbian, one was bi-curious, and the other two were just plain old curious. I don't think there's anything particularly perverse about appreciating the unclothed female form, and they didn't think so either... and in some places like Bangkok and Jakarta, there's not much nightlife left if you steer clear of the dodgy stuff ! (WT-en) Jpatokal 22:41, 13 November 2006 (EST)
Barring any objections we'll admend policy to clearly allow strip clubs. Should we include these listings in with other clubs, bars, or discos? I'd like to distinguish between sexually oriented clubs and the tamer clubs. I think that should be a requisite for strip club listings to avoid sending a Wikivoyageer to an XXX establishment when they may have intended to have visited a tamer establishment.
Lastly, current sex policy states we should not list "locations or listings of bordellos and bars where prostitutes can be found" so I think if a so-called "strip club" is also a brothel we cannot list it. -- (WT-en) Sapphire 14:07, 14 November 2006 (EST)
I don't think a separate section is necessary, unless of course the Drink section gets so big that it's already split up into bars, nightclubs, etc. If it's an out-and-out strip club, then it should be made clear in the description.
Also, that line about can be found is hopelessly vague and I think I've complained about it before: I don't think you can find a five-star hotel anywhere on the planet that doesn't have prostitutes sitting in the bar. Here's my suggestion:
Locations or listings of bordellos or bars that sell sexual services
Sound OK? So the bar in the Hyatt and even the ground-floor go-go bars in Bangkok squeak in, but the Bunny Ranch, the Golden Palace de Sauna KTV and the second-floor BJ bars in Patpong are out. (WT-en) Jpatokal 22:06, 14 November 2006 (EST)
I like that wording. As for the distinguishing between sexual establishments and non-sex establishments I think a very simple disclaimer saying "Strip club" "sexual establishment" would work. We don't need a big blatant banner saying "This establishment is geared towardven. -- (WT-en) Sapphire 22:32, 14 November 2006 (EST)
I like that change because it clarifies that a bar in a brothel doesn't get listed which seemed like a way of evading the policy. -- (WT-en) Colin 02:52, 15 November 2006 (EST)
This is what I changed the text to:
Locations or listings of bordellos or bars that sell sexual services (strip clubs and adult oriented stores are acceptable, but do not link to graphic websites) -- (WT-en) Sapphire 01:19, 15 November 2006 (EST)
"Graphic"? C'mon. If they have a home page, then link to it and let the traveler decide if they're going to get a heart attack from seeing a picture of a mammary. (WT-en) Jpatokal 02:15, 15 November 2006 (EST)
I'm just trying to play it safe for the kids. The last thing you want are these bastards barking over a kid clicking on a link to hottest new donkey show in a given destination, which he heard about on Wikivoyage. -- (WT-en) Sapphire 02:38, 15 November 2006 (EST)
Kid-safe is not currently a Goal. As long as the content at the other end of the link is not a surprise to anyone who read the listing, I don't think we should make that our problem. (I can understand that some children are too young to be smart enough to avoid clicking on links that will take them to content they aren't ready for. But as I parent I'd like to know what kind of total moron leaves a child like that unattended at a web browser -- they're making the rest of us parents look bad). -- (WT-en) Colin 02:52, 15 November 2006 (EST)


I think we should abandon the term "sex tourism", at least the way it is defined here. What we are actually talking about is "prostitution tourism", no more no less. Name the spade, and let travellers go for their "normal" sex. (WT-en) Mariusm98 21:08, 21 August 2008 (EDT)


why not wrap it all up under a ==Sex== header? including the following info:

acceptability of public displays of intmacy/nudity

  • how tolerated is homosexuality vs. heterosexuality?
  • what constitutes unnacceptable? kissing? holding hands?
  • what levels of nudidity are locally tolerated? two-pieces on the beach? bear ankles a no-no? no boobs exposed? what about topless sunbathing?

local sex laws?

  • is that hot 19 year old gonna land you in jail for paedophillia?
  • what if you pay her?
  • any funny laws on having sex with someone else's spouse?


  • std's prevalent locally? (aids in africa for example)
  • where to get contraseptions
    • emergency contraception
    • std treatment
  • any local problems like, e.g., the natives being in the habbit of a cute girl leading guys back to her place, where they are mugged by big men?
  • how common is rape?

local 'sex' places:

  • pick up joints
  • sex-shows
  • prostitutes (but only if common local knoledge, e.g. red-light district?)
    • ethics -- are local prostitutes free or forced?

with reguards to 'local sex places' (esp. prostitutes), the only real (non-puritan) problem is the age of the prostitutes. a few suggestions on policy wrt this:

Neutral: it's not up to us to legislate morality: if it happens (e.g., if there is, in fact, a red-light district with x-year-old whores) then include details about it. Readers can use the knowledge to avoid or go to as their morals dictate.

Legal: if it's locally legal, include it; elsewize don't (goes against the illegal activities policy). Avoids enforcing one countries age of consent on the entire world (i'm british -- i'd prefer we could keep our own AoC of 16, and not have anything pertaining to sex with 16 y/o's excluded from this wiki as 'paedophillia' please). also avoids presumably endless debate about wether 'child sex' is sex with <14 y/o's, <16 y/o's, <18 y/o's etc etc etc.

Practical: if the site owners could get in trouble under local law, don't report it (from above, this means canadian law?). if anyone doesn't like it, they can a new wikivoyage website, as this is open-source.

Safe: no info on under-18 sex. 18 is high enough that that should ensure we're not counted as 'aiding and abbetting in under-age sex-tourism' in virtually every country.

My vote is for Neutral, tho site-owner may want to go for Practical :D

Please try to be aware of just how ingraned bigotry is wrt sex. sex isn't dirty in and of itself, it shouldn't be suppressed by us, and just having one sub-section per article won't make us a 'sex-toursist's handbook' (i.e., exclusion based on 'they can get that info elsewhere' argument -- so what? they could get all this info elsewhere).

-- 20:35, 10 January 2009 (EST)


This topic was mentioned in the Pub as one that needed review. User Pashley came up with a rewrite at User talk:Pashley/STP. My comments on this proposal:

Divide the page up with headers (which would be after introductory paragraph[s]):

  • When paid sexual acts are legal — "red light districts", when prostitution is legal but regulated, strip clubs/"sexy shows"
  • When paid sexual acts are illegal — self-explanatory, no advice on skirting around laws,
  • General policies — This would be overarching policies — no reviews/pricing, do not call out better parts of town for this (that is "Road A" or "area around attraction such-and-such is popular with prostitutes"), and above all nothing relating to underage sex.

This topic was also brought up over on that "other" travel wiki site. Basically, my thoughts were that information listed should be bare-minimum necessary to protect travelers from legal trouble, but otherwise not list anything to endorse or otherwise promote such activity or include any encyclopedic content (surveys or examples of people caught up in legal trouble over this). We should also add to our policy information should be limited, even when it does fall into our guidelines. I can see some ultra-liberal person in respect to sexual attitudes come over here from Wikipedia and add a 4 paragraph exposé on the topic, discussing the ins-and-outs of the law and provide general information that really flirts with the boundaries set forth by our policy page here.

Another idea is to have a topic page called "Sex tourism" which would be a place to discuss general topics related to this (descriptions of types of venues, safe sex, general legal issues). This page would be written within the guidelines (with a big, bold statement at the top that Wikivoyage does not promote sex tourism—legal or otherwise) and, most importantly, can be used to keep clutter (general info) off destination pages, which might otherwise draw undue attraction or imply that Wikivoyage condones this activity. This would be accomplished by adding "See also: Sex tourism" at the top of the section. AHeneen (talk) 04:21, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

Why on Earth should we have "a big, bold statement at the top that Wikivoyage does not promote sex tourism—legal or otherwise"? Or even some milder concession to puritansim? Sex is part of life and very much (given a bit of luck) part of travel. Whether it is college kids trying to get laid in Fort Lauderdale over Spring Break, gays looking for bars they would be comfortable in, or travellers looking for Thailand's rent-a-hottie services, we should provide a guide. Pashley (talk) 12:16, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
Any position on listings which are clearly about sexual activity ("love hotel" or no-tell motel rooms by the hour, on-premises "swinger" or wife-swapping clubs, gay baths and saunas) but which are not directly sex-for-money because they merely provide a venue for activity between clients? K7L (talk) 20:52, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
Love hotels are covered in the "Sleep" section of the Japan article: [5]. On Pashley's point, I think that it makes sense to cover any legal activity on this guide, and I like his proposed sex tourism policy. I don't think the issue is whether Wikivoyage "promotes" sex tourism or not. Do we promote everything we mention, or just provide information useful to travelers who might want to use it? To me, it's all a matter of balance. If prostitution is legal in a certain place, I actually think it's fine for there to be entries on locally well-known houses of prostitution and for them to mention rates, and I don't see the problem with that but also won't fight hard for it because I don't care much and won't use such information. However, I would not like to see more than a relatively small percentage of this site be devoted to information about sexual services, and I would argue that we should try to keep things tasteful. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:39, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
I'm a little unclear on what proposals are being floated. Our policy as of right now is pretty straightforward: no prostitution listings or advice on how to go about finding pros, even in cases where it's legal. That's nice and simple, at least. --Peter Talk 02:05, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
The only specific proposal I know is a rewrite, mostly mine, at User talk:Pashley/STP; that is not cast in stone, just a first cut, but I think it is much better than what we now have. There is plenty of discussion above too. There may be some on global WMF policy pages or other language versions too; if so, that needs consideration. Pashley (talk) 02:47, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
I'm trying to pin down exactly what the changes are there, though—it seems more muddy. Listings for brothels would be OK, but no price info? Drafts are useful, but a point by point proposal of exactly what changes are proposed would help to evaluate a draft. Maybe they are in a different discussion. --Peter Talk 03:02, 26 November 2012 (UTC)


Here's a commented comparison of (most of) current Wikivoyage:Sex tourism policy with the draft at User talk:Pashley/STP, in response to Peter's question above;

now: Sex tourism, for this discussion, is the practice of travelling to countries with liberal or poorly enforced sex laws for the purpose of engaging in sexual activities.
draft: Sex tourism, for this discussion, is travel that includes engaging in sexual activities which might be illegal or less available in other areas.

The draft's definition is broader and less judgemental. It includes travel where sex is just part of it rather than "for the purpose of".

now: (as a sentence in a paragraph) Sometimes the term specifically refers to travel for the purpose of sex with children.
draft: (as a separate paragraph) Sometimes the term "sex tourism" is used specifically to refer to travel for the purpose of sex with children. Any information on that is against our policies and will be deleted immediately. Note that many Western countries have laws which allow prosecution of their citizens for this, even if the act takes place in another country. Also, the countries where it takes place are cracking down heavily on it.

I'd say that, on one hand, this is a stronger statement against child molestation and, on the other, it narrows down what we object to leaving more room for reasonable discussion of other sexual behaviours travellers might engage in.

now: We prefer not to include sex tourism information on Wikivoyage, including: [several points about prostitution] Strip clubs and adult oriented stores are acceptable. Descriptions of locations or areas where prostitutes may be found -- so-called "red light districts" -- may be useful to non-sex tourists. For example, Amsterdam's red light district is a major tourist attraction, even for those who aren't soliciting prostitutes. The same goes for bars or restaurants or hotels or other sights that may be of general interest.
draft: Other aspects of sex tourism would include singles bars and other pickup spots, gay bars, prostitution, strip clubs or other sexy shows. For many destinations, these activities are an important aspect of tourism. Where that is the case, we should provide general information, enough to let a tourist find or avoid them as he or she chooses.

The draft limits the amount of information we provide without what I see as the utterly bogus notion that we should provide only info for "non-sex tourists". The goal is to avoid judging how readers ought to behave, just give info and let them find or avoid as suits them.

To quote Shaw "Chastity is the most unnatural of perversions". Personally, I would see less to object to or feel guilty about in hiring a prostitute than in sitting drooling at a stripper (though I could watch belly dancers every night), let alone getting into homosexuality. But that's just me; the site should cater for a far broader range of tastes. Pashley (talk) 15:32, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

I'm less looking for a clear description of writing changes than policy changes. We already allow listings for pick up bars, sex shops, strip clubs, burlesque houses, etc—just not brothels. We do, however, allow general information about prostitution, just not advice on how to find it. --Peter Talk 16:00, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
Is Belfast/Gay and lesbian Belfast#Saunas appropriate (other than the question of this being on a subpage)? K7L (talk) 16:05, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
Per current policy? I don't see why not. I've personally added a lot of information to D.C. articles about gay clubs, with the occasional reference to "notoriously dimly lit dance floors" and whatnot. --Peter Talk 16:15, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
Existing policy equates "sex tourism" with prostitution, says flatly "We prefer not to include sex tourism information on Wikivoyage", then adds some exceptions. My version is broader; see above. It also allows more information:

(quoting) For example, all of the following should be briefly described:

General information telling a visitor what to expect is OK, especially if it is not what might be expected elsewhere.

Warnings about overpriced tourist traps, about any scams practiced on tourists, or about particularly high risks of sexual diseases, should be given where appropriate.

However, going into detail is not required. ... (end quote)

I would argue that of course we should include some limited info on prostitution; it is impossible to adequately describe many destinations without it. I'm not sure I have the limits quite right yet, but I think the draft is closer than the current policy page. Pashley (talk) 16:29, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
I ask this because I think that virtually all the examples you provide are allowed under our current policy. But I find your version more confusing and vague ;) Would anyone mind if I edit the current version to make it clearer that we're not against adding information about sex tourism other than advice on how to find pros or on how to engage in sex with children? --Peter Talk 17:04, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
But why exclude not advice but mere listings of "pros" in places where prostitution is legal? I agree with Pashley's approach of providing information for visitors to choose to use or not use, as they wish. As I said before, I wouldn't want this to become a main focus of this site, but I think it should be OK to include such information. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:14, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
We also exclude listings for other things travelers use, like hairdressers and laundromats. Where would brothels go, anyway, "drink?" --Peter Talk 03:24, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
Your point on hairdressers et al. is well taken. Also, we definitely don't want to give any openings to sex-related spammers. So upon reflection, my tentative thought would be that brothels that are particularly famous would be reasonable to list. So for example, such listings could be included in articles about relevant parts of Nevada where there are large and well-known houses of prostitution. I don't know whether it's reasonable to list those under "Drink," even if such isolated houses have their own bars, so I'd suggest a separate sub-section of either "Do" or "Buy" ("Do" seems more tasteful). In other places, where bars also function as places to pick up prostitutes, they can already be listed under "Drink" under the current policy. Ikan Kekek (talk) 12:01, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
I don't feel comfortable about an approach where the Nevada brothels are considered acceptable and all other forms of prostitution are unacceptable. That may be lawful in that one US state, but it's exactly backward to the criminal code in my country. In Canada, prostitution in and of itself is not illegal... profiting from the prostitution of another *is* exploitation, however, and has long been criminalised. There are no restrictions on independent outcalls at the federal level. I wouldn't feel comfortable listing "Mafia, Inc." as a regular commercial business and some of this looks about as shady. Describe the legal situation in each country, but no individual listings please. K7L (talk) 16:09, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
I have to say that I'm not sure I can support adding gay saunas to our guides. I mean, they're nothing but sex dens. They are NOTHING LIKE GAY CLUBS/BARS. Gay clubs/bars are not places for sex; People really do generally dance. Avoiding listing specific sites, to me, is still a good idea. Even in countries with more liberal laws, it doesn't mean that the women/men have not been trafficked or sold into sexual slavery and (no offense) but I don't trust that we can make judgement calls. In many countries where regardless of the laws sex tourism is common this is especially problematic and I think on those grounds I'm more comfortable with our current policy (although like Peter, I don't see much difference. Even this post is mostly in response to discussion that branched off unless I'm mistaken...) ChubbyWimbus (talk) 08:42, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Pardon me for being ignorant, but are you saying gay saunas are normally places where there are gay prostitutes, rather than simply ordinary gay men who pay to go to a sauna and then can decide to have sex with one another if they want to? Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:39, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
I've heard that some attractive men are payed to stay in the gay saunas to keep people coming (by having sex with them), but don't give much credence to the word 'sauna'. They are basically brothels without actual prostitutes (sex dens). Deciding to go there to begin with almost guarantees that you're going to have sex. I suppose a voyeur could go and watch others while fending off gropes from 'interested parties' but I would guess that type of guest is rare (and even going as a voyeur is still highly sexual). It very much sounds outside of our scope. I've spoken to a few who were willing to admit going and stories are surprising (at least to me). It just doesn't seem to be in line with our current or even newly proposed policy regarding the types of sex tourism we are willing to write about. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 15:24, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Is there any specific in the sex tourism policy other than the first sentence (which I don't think is meant to apply to consensual sexual activities between non-prostitutes) that you believe would make gay saunas beyond our scope? I am not seeing it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:55, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
There are no straight saunas for men and women to romp in as far I know of (aside from real saunas, of course), so I guess this can only fall under GLBT which currently has no limits as to what can be said according to the policy, but I also have never seen discussion of them. But our guides have never facilitated sex dens or orgy venues (gay or otherwise), which seems to me an indicator that these are something we don't want. It's not mentioned in the Wikivoyage:Information for gay and lesbian travellers article and Wikivoyage:Where you can stick it does not give information about gay anything (I'll add a few because it may be helpful), but saunas are listed as 'Do' activities. 'Do' indeed... ChubbyWimbus (talk) 00:15, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Whatever our policy on prostitution, I don't see any reason for this guide to be officially prudish, so if gays want to go to saunas and not just roast but also have sex, why should we make such listings off-limits? Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:48, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
It's more truthfully 'If gays want to have sex and also (maybe) roast'. The thing about this, though, is that we currently do have something against listing sex dens in the straight context by stating that we don't wish to list/advertise specific places where people have sex or go for sex. If that is the case, allowing gay saunas seems impossible to justify (It cannot be stressed enough that no one goes to a gay sauna to 'roast'; they're venues for sex with strangers). If these are permitted, then how can we not also allow people to provide info about other places to have sex? If we don't want to create a 'Have Sex' category under 'Do' or some other category, exactly where can we stick sex dens? ChubbyWimbus (talk) 05:41, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
No-tell motels go under "sleep", last I checked, despite their reputation for sexual activity. K7L (talk) 05:43, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
The two seem very different to me. I've never heard of a love hotel where you enter and people are having sex all over the place and you find people willing to do it with you (or they find you). If we do list these places, though, we cannot simply call them 'saunas'. According to our policy, we don't say 'massage parlor' to mean 'come here for a bj/sex and maybe a massage' so we would in fact have to directly state that these are sex dens for gays, bicurious, or otherwise sexually liberal men in our listings. It sounds against our policy to me, but I'll hold off on further comment though until more people weigh in on this. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 06:05, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
I can think of plenty of "hotels" that are for the explicit purpose of casual sex. In Colombia, for example, it would be kind of irresponsible to ignore them—going home with a hookup from a bar is dangerous, which is why people use the anonymous, neutral ground provided by that type of hotel. --Peter Talk 07:05, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Per ChubbyWimbus: "The thing about this, though, is that we currently do have something against listing sex dens in the straight context by stating that we don't wish to list/advertise specific places where people have sex or go for sex."
Please point us to this policy, because I don't see it. What I see, instead, is this:
"More generally, we prefer not to include information on purchased sexual services on Wikivoyage[.]"
It really strains the definition of "purchased sexual services" to include paying to go to a sauna where other paying customers may have sex with you. I really don't think that, as it stands, prohibiting such listings seems to be the intent of the sex tourism policy. If I'm wrong, the sex tourism policy needs to be edited to specifically prohibit the listing of any establishment that exists mainly for the purpose of having sex with strangers, and then there will unfortunately have to be debate over which establishments are and are not in existence mainly for that purpose. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:22, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
In terms of the social responsibilities we have per Peter's example, I'd say in the case of these saunas, it'd be more socially responsible to leave them out as they're excellent places to get/spread all kinds of STD/STIs which are already a big problem in the gay community and the world. With many sex venues, there is also still the issue of human trafficking and while some indicators make a place suspect (like having Filipinas/Filipinos), we can't really know if we're listing a place in which all of the 'workers' are truly there by legitimate means. And prude or not, I'd rather err on the side of caution to not inadvertently support human trafficking/sexual slavery by advertising places that are willing to employ or force work upon these people as a broader comment about actually listing sex venues.
The problem with the current policy is that these venues don't seem to have been considered at all. They're not listed as banned but they're also not listed as accetable, and in trying to find how we treat these types of places in practice, I'm finding it difficult to find where we treat them at all. Even our Bangkok article doesn't really have listings that are like this. In fact, "Babylon" is given mention as the "top gay sauna in the world" in the gay section on the main page but it does not even have a listing as far as I can find in the district article. Even in the main article, it doesn't even hint at the fact that it's a place to have sex. It's rather flowery and even sounds like it could be fun for straight or not horny travelers which I think is deceptive. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 09:38, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
The Project:Sex tourism policy has a narrow purpose — it is intended to exclude sex-for-money and sex with underage partners. (Even then, it fails to warn against a very nasty and widespread sex-for-money scam known as heterosexual marriage, where far too many have lost houses and other assets in divorce courts.) The policy is an entirely different animal from a definition of the scope of the project, à la Project:What is an article? I'm hesitant to see a sex tourism policy distorted or expanded to address wider questions of which listings are scope as it's intended to address one very narrow issue of commercial sexual exploitation. This discussion likely belongs with the discussion of whether Going to the doctor in Burundi will ever be a valid article topic. (It may also overlap Project:Where you can stick it.) K7L (talk) 17:04, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Legal status[edit]

Quite a few articles mention prostitution laws under "stay safe", especially if punishments are severe. e.g. Pakistan#Stay_safe covers laws on both prostitution & homosexuality.

Should such information be included as a matter of policy? Required for some article status level? Guide? star? Added only for unusual (defined how?) cases:

  • Illegal in most of the US, but legal in (parts of?) Nevada
  • Most forms illegal in Canada, including both any sort of brothel and any public soliciting by either party, but "escorts" are listed in the Yellow pages and as long as the service provider does not provide the place but comes to the client, that is legal.
  • I have been told that in Sweden selling sex is not illegal but buying it is; a prostitute cannot be charged but the client can.
  • Severe penalties in some places.
  • Legal in some.

Should we have the map from the WP article? Or link to that article? Pashley (talk)

Should we add a "Stay legal" section in country articles that summarises local laws on things that are legal in some places, illegal in others — prostitution, homosexuality, marijuana, alcohol — and mentions any odd laws like blasphemy in Saudi Arabia or insulting the monarchy in Thailand. We already cover most of these, but should it be a separate section? Pashley (talk) 18:06, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
I think this belongs in "Stay Safe". K7L (talk) 18:32, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
I agree. But I think it's fine to create a 2nd-order subsection within "Stay safe" called "Stay legal," if you like. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:41, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Some of this is now covered in the last few columns of Retiring abroad/Table. Pashley (talk) 16:49, 19 June 2017 (UTC)


Based on discussions above, I'd like to talk about our sex policy as it refers to places and activities that may not involve prostitution but are wholly sexual. Our current policy appears to have an 'anything goes' attitude about this but I'm not sure that is or should be the case.

In the discussion of gay saunas above, it has been suggested that these are places we should list and that they should be listed under 'Sleep'. I'm interested in how everyone views the following and how they think our readers would view the following:

---Sleep--- (listings)

  • Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites, 1000 Imperial Av., Rothschild (US-51 "Rothschild/Business US-51" exit), (715) 355-1111 or (888) 272-2792[6]. The old Wausau Holiday Inn was finally replaced by this version around the year 2000. 148 rooms on four floors with a full service casual restaurant and bar as well as an indoor pool, whirlpool and small fitness room. Close to a variety of restaurants. $72-$179.
  • House Sauna, 90210 Dive Drive (555)555-5555. The largest of CityTown’s gay saunas. Front desk, lockers, and baths on the first floor. The second and third floors are organized into maze-like structures with open nooks scattered about the path where you can lay and wait to be serviced by interested parties or service those already waiting. The third floor is only for those under 30. The set up is similar but a password is required to enter. Although there are obviously no rules regarding the kinds of pleasures you can partake in, Patrons of House are generally more hardcore sex (as this is what it’s known for). If you prefer just to cuddle or oral, consider the Lotus Sauna (see below). $15 for 3 hours, $20 for the night (or any entry from midnight to 4am).
  • Jefferson Street Inn, 201 Jefferson Street, downtown Wausau (Exit I-39/US-51 at WI 52/Stewart Av (exit 192). and follow WI 52 east to downtown), (715) 845-6500 (Reservations only (866) 855-6500), [7]. Price includes a continental breakfast buffet in the City Grill restaurant (off the lobby) every morning. Rooms include refrigerator and microwave, honor bar and snack basket. In-room complimentary coffee, ironing board, movies. Suites include fireplace, jacuzzi tub, couch, kitchenette. Indoor pool, whirlpool, sauna and fitness room on site. $119-$269, corporate, AAA, AARP, and government rates available.


I tried to make the gay sauna listing both truthful in regards to what it is and helpful to a traveler seeking such an establishment.

In addition to the above, what about other cruising spots? Gay saunas are essentially massive 'cruising' spots, but there are many places (parks/gyms/bathrooms/etc) where people go to find others and currently as long as we don't advocate or state that people have sex in a public space (violating our illegal activity policy), it seems okay.

I'd like to propose specifically banning cruising sites in the policy and on the GLBT page with gay saunas falling under that umbrella, but based on above discussions, it needs further discussion. Thoughts? ChubbyWimbus (talk) 06:27, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

I'll think further about this, but obviously, "Sleep" is not the right place to list anyplace that doesn't have rooms for sleeping. Love hotels are fine because you can quite clearly sleep there and have privacy in your own room. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:47, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
I feel like this is a policy that wouldn't apply to any edits I've ever seen. Do we need it? --Peter Talk 06:48, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Here's one: Belfast/Gay_and_lesbian_Belfast#Saunas. It might be the only one. K7L (talk) 06:59, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
I think those entries are clear enough (though a little touty), and should be in "Do" in the Belfast article. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:16, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
The sauna entries in that article are incomplete with no descriptions (ex: The Garage 2-6 Union Street (near the Kremlin)). If descriptions were added to be truly helpful to the traveler, they would need to describe the set-up, what to expect in terms of your sexual encounters, maybe the average age group of patrons, what you can do in various parts, etc. depending on the site or culture there.
There is the mention of the 'world's best' gay sauna in the Bangkok article, but as I stated in the other discussion, the description there is deceptive and sounds like it could actually be a fun place for anyone. If we are going to allow gay saunas, then we would need to allow them to have discriptions that are honest, informative, and helpful to the travelers, which may include information that turns uninterested readers off.
And that brings me to the other question; even if some of us here have no problem with that sort of listing, we still have our audience to think about. Personally, I think our audience would be shocked, offended, and/or appauled at such a thing. I mean, if the above were in a real article that I was looking for hotels in, I myself would think, "What the f**k?!?" We can ignore people who are offended by homosexuality, because that's not our problem, but I think a lot of people would take issue with the strictly sexual nature of such a listing and would not want to have to that sort of thing while trying to find a hotel to book.
In regards to general cruising info, we don't have any listings as far as I am aware however, it's currently permissible and it's a very big part of the sexual side of gay travel. If we nip it in the butt now, that'd make it easier to just delete such additions if someone does try to add them. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 11:25, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
I find "nip it in the butt" instead of "nip it in the bud" exceedingly amusing. Genuine error? Cleverness? Freudian slip? Pashley (talk) 14:04, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Skip the details[edit]

My suggested rewrite User_talk:Pashley/STP did not mention saunas until I added them just now. It has "we should provide general information, enough to let a tourist find or avoid them as he or she chooses ... However, going into detail is not required."

So I'd say keep the listing, move it out of "sleep", and cut it down. Example above is:

  • House Sauna, 90210 Dive Drive (555)555-5555. The largest of CityTown’s gay saunas. Front desk, lockers, and baths on the first floor. The second and third floors are organized into maze-like structures with open nooks scattered about the path where you can lay and wait to be serviced by interested parties or service those already waiting. The third floor is only for those under 30. The set up is similar but a password is required to enter. Although there are obviously no rules regarding the kinds of pleasures you can partake in, Patrons of House are generally more hardcore sex (as this is what it’s known for). If you prefer just to cuddle or oral, consider the Lotus Sauna (see below). $15 for 3 hours, $20 for the night (or any entry from midnight to 4am).

I'd have:

  • House Sauna, 90210 Dive Drive (555)555-5555. The largest of CityTown’s gay saunas. Front desk, lockers, and baths on the first floor. The second and third floors have private cubicles. $15 for 3 hours, $20 for the night (or any entry from midnight to 4am).

That is enough for anyone to find the place or stay out if it is not their style. All we need. Pashley (talk) 14:22, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Of course, I'd apply exactly the same policy to brothels:
  • Susie Q 90666 Dive Drive (555) 666 4242 Large upmarket brothel Open 24/7
  • Sexy Samantha 42 Side Street Brothel that serves mainly students. Closed Mondays
Again, enough to find or avoid the places & some general info, but no details. Pashley (talk) 14:29, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
More thoughts/responses/I want to make a numbered list:
1. To me, based on the discussion above in which it seems nobody really knows exactly what a "gay sauna" is, we would still need to be more explicit even for the sake of those who wish to avoid it. Not only for non-gay people but also for gay people who don't know. I saw it as falling under the massage parlor example in which if we say massage parlor, we must be talking about it literally as a place to get a massage instead of using it and assuming readers know it means 'happy ending'. In this case, the code word 'sauna' and it's being used to mean 'sex den' or that 'private cubicles' means 'open nook with no door so that people can enter and exit freely to try and have sex with you or beside you if they found a partner but all the nooks are occupied'. That's clearly not obvious, even with 'gay' in front (most gay venues are not places to have sex). That's why it seems necessary to give some details but the process of describing what these are took a bit of back and forth in our own discussion and that was even with the sexual context. Everyone knows what a 'brothel' is, but not everyone knows what a 'gay sauna' is Once again, with the Bangkok example, the description is so squeaky-clean it sounds like a place any guy might want to go, and being in the Sin City of Asia, people might say 'What the hell, that's what the city's about' and go without knowing what they're getting into. When it's something like this, we need to avoid the cutesy, tongue-in-cheek one-liners that otherwise add flavor to the site and instead give a clear description.
2. Another thought about this, is just that if we do have to censor what we say, such as details about House Sauna being a place for fans of 'hardcore sex' as opposed to the Lotus Sauna where there are more cuddlers, kissers, and suckers, which would be invaluable for a traveler I imagine in deciding which to visit, then we can never really do it justice and with sites dedicated to Cruising around the world, including of course, gay saunas, why should we bother?
3. The other sex venues seem to be covered in a defensive way, in which brothels and places with prostitutes are written about for what they offer otherwise with the sex aspect being mentioned more as a warning/downside. With these gay saunas, that's not really possible. We can't really talk about the accommodation, because you don't necessarily get a room; you just pay to roam around the maze finding sex partners. And it would seem ridiculous if not a bit humorous to say something like 'Any guest may sleep in any nook as there are no rooms assigned. You may be wakened throughout the night by other guests but just put in some earplugs, hold your blanket tightly around your entire body with as little skin showing as possible (if there is one available), and remove or swat off any hands or other body parts that may wander onto your body and you can get a good night's sleep." ChubbyWimbus (talk) 15:56, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Actually, I'd think they know quite well what this is. Do we really need to link w:gay bathhouse to spell it out? And yes, there are rooms, although clearly this is not the Paris Hilton. K7L (talk) 16:05, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
No, we should not spell it out; existing policy at Wikivoyage:No advice from Captain Obvious prohibits that. Existing policy at Wikivoyage:Illegal activities policy also prohibits listing gay venues in places where homosexuality is illegal. So does common sense, since the authorities in those countries might read it too. Same for brothels in places where prostitution is illegal.
I'd say, though, that we should list both where they are legal. Pashley (talk) 17:12, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
But who is 'they'? People who already go there know, but I don't think our readers all know. It's not a part of most people's vocab like "brothel" is. Not all of them have rooms, or at least not private rooms.
It looks odd in the Sleep section to me among all the real listings. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 15:07, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
I agree. Does anyone go to these places to sleep? :) I'm not sure we should be including brothels and massage parlors in most articles anyway. Perhaps in cities that are sex tourism destinations but I don't see why they should be of interest in most places. --RegentsPark (talk) 15:13, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Is someone actually arguing that "Sleep" is the best section for listing these kinds of establishments? I'd like to read that argument. My suggestion is that unless we decide to prohibit such listings, they need to be in "Do." Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:03, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
I'm not saying we should prohibit these listings. But, they should only be included in destinations where people go for sex tourism. Not much sense in adding "XYZ Brothel on 69th Street" for, say, Chennai or Seattle. --RegentsPark (talk) 02:00, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

Is WV clean?[edit]

Swept in from the pub

This may be a sensitive subject for some, and I hate to mention the t-word, but has anyone gone back and edited the problematic material that was specifically mentioned in the Signpost article? I would point out that the stuff that was mentioned about WT was removed before the pixels were even dry on that Signpost report. And I wouldn't put it past Tony to come back in 6 months and write a new article. You know, during a slow news cycle. Regards, —Neotarf (talk) 03:41, 20 December 2013 (UTC)

Here's the link: [8] [Warning: may not be suitable for younger or more sensitive viewers.] —Neotarf (talk) 03:50, 20 December 2013 (UTC)

I'd call the chances of a follow-up article highly unlikely. The reaction to the original article—not only from us at Wikivoyage, but from the entire Signpost readership—was, by an overwhelming majority, that it was a shameful example of yellow journalism that played fast and loose with the facts and was written by someone with a clear conflict of interest, and that the fact that it was ever published calls into question the journalistic integrity of the Signpost. It's a debacle whose message can't have flown over the head of either Tony or the Signpost editorial staff: even if they truly felt that publishing the article was a fair thing to do, the fact remains that neither the Signpost nor any wiki exists in a bubble. Rather, like any other publication, the Signpost depends to a large degree on the response of its readers to its content, and they would be truly foolish to do further damage to their reputation by pressing this issue.
Bearing that in mind, I'm not convinced of the need to "clean" Wikivoyage. If we change the content in those articles, it should not be because we were embarrassed or pressured by outside forces into doing so, but because consensus among our community dictates that such changes would improve the articles. When such a consensus is demonstrated, I'll say by all means let's edit the articles accordingly, but I haven't seen anything like that yet.
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 06:00, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
I think if you look at the edit history of some of the articles cited by the Signpost you'll see that cleanups were made to those that were in violation of Wikivoyage:Illegal activities policy and Wikivoyage:Sex tourism policy (example: [9]), but we haven't whitewashed articles to remove information about drugs or red light districts solely because a signpost article disapproved of the content - see Amsterdam#Cannabis and other drugs for one example of an article that has remained mostly unchanged. -- Ryan • (talk) • 06:16, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
Ryan, yes I agree the cannabis article is valuable, my first night in Siem Riep I saw a Dutch tourist--or perhaps I should say "ex-tourist"--carried out on a stretcher. I should hope the Bali article has similar safety information for Kuta's magic mushroom venues. But I am talking about going beyond giving mere information, for those tourists who want to use the influence of their tourist dollar to make a positive contribution to the country's economy.--Neotarf (talk) 02:20, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
Well, someone else could always write an article. You could even ask for a rematch, and present your own op-ed for publication, showcasing all the wonderful things WV does to promote eco-tourism, provide information about AIDS and human trafficking, or protect endangered species. If you did that last bit you could use some cute animal picture, that's always a big hit with the public.
I checked all the WT links and they had all been cleaned up at the time (I have an account at WT too). The WV links I spot checked and none of them had been touched. I can't do it all myself, but if someone would make a list, I would try to work on it. Is there a central place to report items that might violate the terms of service? Regards, --Neotarf (talk) 02:01, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
There were indeed articles that were touched; one I remember was the Tijuana article. I'd say there are three ways to deal with articles you believe are in violation of site policies: (1) plunge forward and edit out the violations yourself, noting as much in your edit summary; (2) post about what you think is in violation in the talk page for the articles in question; (3) post the links to the articles in question right here in the Pub, inviting people to look at them and see if they agree with you. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:25, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
If anyone it thinking of taking an additional, systematic "cleaning task" upon them, I would like us to have those articles listed somewhere so we can discuss. Sure, clear violations of policy should be deleted or changed, but many of the issues that were mentioned in the Signpost should imho not be "cleaned" at all. WT is a rather American and then a corporately managed site. They don't think twice about anything that might seem disturbing for their legal team or the general US audience (which, without any disrespect, is prudish compared to some other parts of the world). I don't think we should look at them as an example. We think about travellers first and should find a middle ground. I'm not even sure having vague notions about going rates is all that bad, at least in a few articles. I've seen multiple times how tourists in Amsterdam are bargaining with the girls to get some for 20 euro (which was not going to happen, as they had a 50 euro minimum pre-crisis). Just saying... :-) JuliasTravels (talk) 11:11, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
Oh great, just when editors have been talking about how embarrassing it is to have their names associated with WV, we find out that 1) WV editors are such losers that they can't get it without paying for it and that 2) prostitutes charge WV editors double of what their other customers are willing to pay. I can just see the Signpost headlines now, and I cringe to think of what file image might be pressed into service to illustrate such a point. Regards, —Neotarf (talk) 20:21, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
Neotarf: Are you suggesting that Julia is paying the prostitutes in Amsterdam? I don't think you read her remarks carefully. I'd also suggest that instead of making these kinds of meta arguments, you post your list of articles that you consider problematic, so that we can discuss them individually. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:23, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
What the Julias wants to do in that neighborhood is their business, not mine. The readers would be better served if instead of teaching them how to exploit desperate peoples in the third world, to inform them of the likelihood of the girl or boy they are trying to buy having been kidnapped from their family, or what percentage of them might have AIDS. —Neotarf (talk) 13:13, 26 December 2013 (UTC)
I didn't realize that Julia talking about what she knows about prostitution rates in Amsterdam had to do with exploiting desperate people in the third world. Would you like to be constructive and either provide links to articles you consider problematic or just plunge forward yourself and change phrasings you consider to violate the current sex tourism policy, so that we can possibly accomplish something, or would you rather merely engage in polemics? Ikan Kekek (talk) 16:20, 26 December 2013 (UTC)


Ikan Kekek (do I just call you "Ikan" or what?), note that JuliasTravels has proposed including pricing information ("going rates") for prostitution in articles. So is WV a guide for sex tourists, or what?

In response to your query about Amsterdam, according to en.wp: "The Netherlands is listed by the UNODC as a top destination for victims of human trafficking. Countries that are major sources of trafficked persons include Thailand, China, Nigeria, Albania, Bulgaria, Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine, Sierra Leone, and Romania."[10]

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, of course, but if there is no consensus to apply the policies, I would be wasting my time, wouldn't I. And just to make clear my relationship to the Signpost, Tony is a colleague of mine. If I choose to involve myself here, you can bet I'll be hearing plenty about it behind the scenes.

My time is limited at the moment, but I will try to get something together in the next few days. Regards, —Neotarf (talk) 11:35, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

This sort of question has been extensively discussed at Wikivoyage_talk:Sex_tourism_policy and this thread should be moved there sometime soon. Anyone participating here who has not read that, should.
My answer to your question "So is WV a guide for sex tourists, or what?" would be that, since they are travellers, of course it should be, but there are both ethical & legal complications. However, there is nothing close to a consensus for that position. To my amazement, there are even people who appear to think that your section title "Is WV clean?" might be sensible, where I see it as obnoxiously puritanical nonsense. Pashley (talk) 13:05, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
Neotarf, I don't think that calling attention to particular articles is anything close to a waste of time. At the very worst, it will give us concrete details to argue about. But despite what Pashley says about dissension on Wikivoyage's sex tourism policy, we do have one, and unless we decide to change it, it should continue to be enforced. So do please post your "naughty" list for us to look over. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:21, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
I agree. Pashley (talk) 17:42, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
The Signpost reserves the right to cover any aspect of Wikivoyage it assesses as of significant interest to readers. Tony (talk) 06:45, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
The Signpost needs to serve the interests of the Wikipedia community if it is using Wikipedia or Wikimedia resources, or if it appears in any way to be speaking on behalf of that project or the community as a whole. Freedom of the press for anyone who owns one... K7L (talk) 16:59, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
Let me clarify, Neotarp, as you clearly misread my comment and I must strongly object to the (false) interpretations you've given to them. What I was saying, is that while we should follow policy and remove content that does not follow the spirit of it, these issues are of a rather sensitive kind and should be dealt with carefully, on a case-to-case basis. Amsterdam, as that was my example, is still a sex tourism destination and prostitution is legalised in the Netherlands. Do I endorse it? No. Does it have downsides? Sure. But for me it would be naive to think that a visitor looking for this will not get it in Amsterdam because WV "cleaned out" information about it. And then yes, IMHO it's better to provide neutral information about how to engage in such activities in a legal way, in a registered brothel following the price levels and regulations advocated by the prostitutes trade union, than to have people go out bargaining in a backstreet and (perhaps unknowingly) ending up exploiting some poor under-aged illegal girl who has no way out. This is my opinion for Amsterdam: in many other places -especially where there's no regulation at all- the situation will be very different, and so should our coverage be. Therefore, I'll repeat what Ikan and others said before: let's just discuss specific problems or articles. I'm happy for us to reconsider such sections, as long as we will not blindly wipe out all information on controversial or illegal activities with a mislead idea that that will keep bad things from happening. JuliasTravels (talk) 22:19, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
I think that's a very balanced and sensitive position Julia and I, for one, approve of the way you've handled this. Happy New Year! --118.93nzp (talk) 22:26, 1 January 2014 (UTC)


A few points:

  • Juliastravels, my understanding is that WV is different from WT in that it does not accept advertising and does not promote specific products. Your proposal seems to be that we not only list these venues, which I understand is against the policy, but also that we recommend the readers patronize the ones that are run by international trafficking rings, rather than independent "poor under-aged illegal girls". And even if these activities are legal in certain countries, there may be sex tourism laws in the travelers' own countries that make it illegal for citizens to engage in this activity abroad.
  • My understanding is also, from the links provided above, that there is a consensus that WV should not be a niche guide for a narrow type of reader, but should be a "friendly space" for all travelers.
  • What's with archiving this page to a different page archive? Isn't there a standard archiving procedure here? When I post to this page, I would expect the page to be transparently archived to the the archive for the some page. Where are the archiving bots? It seems there is plenty of software talent around here.
  • I also see in the threads above that there is no problem with talking about "bot cleaned unwanted attributes", or "BrokenRedirects not being cleaned", or people who "do a lot of good cleanup", but as soon as there is mention of cleaning up the problems mentioned in Tony's article, there is all this sudden freakout and ugly fingerpointing. I don't find the "obnoxiously puritanical" and "naughty" characterizations to be particularly helpful, likewise with the disparaging remarks about various nationalities. Regards, —Neotarf (talk) 14:44, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
To me, this discussion is really mostly about Wikivoyage:Sex tourism policy so it seems obvious that at some point it should be moved to the appropriate talk page. That is normal procedure on WV. I am neutral on whether it should also be copied to the pub archive.
On the other hand, I've no strong objection if people feel archiving all pub discussions in a pub archive makes sense. I think we then need links from various talk pages, though. Pashley (talk) 22:21, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
Neotarf, there's much too much general discussion in this thread. When can we expect your list of offending articles? I again say, it would be helpful to see that list. Thanks. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:12, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
To Neotarf
Quoting Wikivoyage:Keep Wikivoyage fun:
"In some cases consensus may be against you.... In these cases, be prepared to let go rather than continuing to try to find a way to 'win' the argument. The issue can always be revisited in the future, but sometimes it's best to just move on to the next discussion."
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 01:19, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Andre, I really don't think that's the issue. We haven't seen Neotarf's list of specific offending passages, so we lack the information on which to determine the existence or lack of a consensus. We need to discuss specifics. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:41, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Just a suggestion. The Wikivoyage_talk:Sex_tourism_policy has not been touched since June. If there are a list of articles in question then why not post them and discuss them there? Andrewssi2 (talk) 01:55, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
I completely fail to see your point here, Andre. While I personally think Neotarf is dead wrong about parts of this, I think it is at least premature (& possibly just wrong) to suggest that "consensus may be against you". Nor does "it's best to just move on" seem sensible to me; there are real issues here and, if we can, we need to deal with them. Pashley (talk) 02:00, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Pashley: despite Neotarf's attempt to defibrillate back to life what had been a dead discussion, all the comments on it other than his have been some combination of "Wikivoyage should not take a puritanical tone", "we should change articles only based on our own consensus, not because of outside pressures", "the articles that were truly in violation of our sex tourism policy have already been edited accordingly", "the traveller comes first", and so forth. Add his unsavory accusations against JuliasTravels and his failure to enumerate specific examples of the problem he's citing, as he was repeatedly exhorted to do by Ikan and others, and I regret to say I'm finding it increasingly difficult to conclude that this is anything more than a simple case of concern trolling. I'd love to be proven wrong, but I don't think I will be. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 02:42, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

Can anyone point to an example of an article that violates the current policy? If not, this discussion should be ended. --Rschen7754 07:38, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

+1 to ending a very long and abstract discussion. Andrewssi2 (talk) 08:07, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

Apparently no one has bothered to read my initial statement. The Signpost (i.e. Tony) published a piece that claimed both the WT and the WV had material in their articles that was in violation of their stated policies. Between the time I saw Tony's working notes, and the time I saw the piece after publication, WT had already cleaned up the violations. WV has not even bothered to look. This is not a policy discussion.

I offered to help out with this, and stated that I could not do it alone, but I have been viciously attacked, and by people who have not even bothered to read what I wrote. You want new editors here? Don't treat them like that. I see there is another new editor in one of the threads below who is getting the same treatment.

The link to the Signpost piece is in my first statement. If you want to comment further about this, please read it. Regards, —Neotarf (talk) 03:58, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

That's one interpretation. Another might be that lots of Wikivoyageurs have looked for articles with objectionable material and found none. We don't really know, of course, because nobody has found the time/had the inclination to post "a list of articles in question"...
PS: Which is the other "new editor in one of the threads below" who is getting "viciously attacked", please? (I'd like to know so I can gallop to their rescue...) -- 04:37, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
Neotarf, you're totally wrong in claiming that no-one would be willing to work with you to edit articles that violate this site's sexual tourism policy, if there indeed still are any, but you steadfastly refuse to produce examples for us to look at. If all you want to do is refer us to the tendentious Signpost article, you are indeed trolling. Prove the accusation of trolling wrong by finally posting a list - any list, even if it's a list of a single article, to start with - of material that violates this site's policies. Otherwise, please stop wasting your time. And if you think that's a hostile remark, what do you consider this derogatory but vague thread? Ikan Kekek (talk) 13:45, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

Neotarf, the answer is yes, articles have been cleaned. Here are diffs from just the first 3 pages mentioned in the Signpost article.

There was also this policy change

Your statement that "WV has not even bothered to look" is false. It appears that you are the one that has not bothered to look. Nurg (talk) 10:15, 10 January 2014 (UTC)


The Wells (Nevada) article lists a couple of Brothels under 'Adult Entertainment'

Wikivoyage:Sex tourism policy#Prostitution

Should the listings be removed? --Andrewssi2 (talk) 04:56, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

The policy article is unambiguous:
More generally, we prefer not to include information on purchased sexual services on Wikivoyage, including:
  • Locations or listings of brothels or bars that sell sexual services
So unless we were to decide to change this policy, the listings have to be removed. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:06, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
Actually, the wording "we prefer" adds an element of ambiguity. :)
I guess the article description could be rewording to indicated that such establishments exist in this town. Andrewssi2 (talk) 05:34, 17 March 2014 (UTC) the Do section, of course, where the brothels were! :D ϒpsilon (talk) 05:41, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

Why exactly does Wikivoyage "more generally prefer" to avoid listing brothels? We have a widely accepted practice of including strip clubs, many of which are basically the same thing except they lie about it. Excluding legal brothels is a silly morality front. Also, I would just like to point out that the main Nevada page has had a brothel section for quite a while now, including individual business listings, and that page has been averaging over 200 views a month with no complaints.
Thatotherpersontalkcontribs 06:46, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

Please read through the comments in the "Point-by-point" section above, and you'll see remarks explaining why some Wikivoyagers don't want any listings of brothels. As for strip clubs, you have to draw the line somewhere, and the "somewhere" where the line is drawn here is that if a place doesn't exist more or less solely to sell sex acts, and it's operating legally somewhere (e.g., bars that are frequented by prostitutes but where it's also perfectly normal just get a drink, strip clubs where it may be possible to take a stripper home for a fee but it's perfectly possible and normal just to have a drink and watch the show), it's listable. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:35, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
Reading through that section and other large chunks of the page, I'm not seeing much of a consensus in favor of the current policy. In fact, some of the key words and phrases in question, including "prefer not to include...locations or listings of (bordellos/brothels)", date back to the first revision of this page on Wikitravel from 2003. Essentially, we are debating whether or not to axe all of Wells' Do listings based on an opinion that was written by one person 10½ years ago on a different website.
Thatotherpersontalkcontribs 08:32, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
The way this site works is that a consensus is needed to change a policy, not to keep it. In the absence of a consensus to change a policy, it remains in force. So what is your specific proposal for a new policy? I think that's the key question, and that you would probably want to make it a clear one and start a new section beginning with it, so that we can discuss and debate it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:52, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
Alright then:

Proposed rewrite[edit]

I say we delete the Prostitution header and the bulleted list under it, while moving the paragraph about not using euphemisms to the bottom of the Acceptable information section. Add a bullet in that section saying that brothels can be listed if they are both legal and likely to be sought by tourists. Yes, I'm proposing that we codify the allowability of brothel listings in places like Nevada; the traveler comes first, and this is traveler-relevant information. The existing policy against promoting illegal activity can stand on its own as our defense against becoming the underground guide to every city's red light district.
Thatotherpersontalkcontribs 09:33, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

See also the policy rewrite I suggested some years back, User talk:Pashley/STP. & explanation of it earlier on this page. Pashley (talk) 11:24, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
Before proposing the rewording of the policy, we need to establish that the community actually wants a policy change in the first instance. I for one really do not.
Just to state my position, I am against the listing of businesses that sell sexual services on Wikivoyage. Although we shouldn't judge people who wish to travel to purchase such services, I see this as a slippery slope for other vices.
The current policy is fine because it directs both consumers of prostitution to, and others away from, red light districts. Why does Wikivoyage need to list these establishments at all? Andrewssi2 (talk) 11:47, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
Regarding User talk:Pashley/STP, could it be split into sections to make it clearer what we're trying to convey? Perhaps "Overview" (the first couple of paragraphs), "What to include", and "What not to include". -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:17, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
Apart from the policy questions all the headings within this article should be deleted on style and readability grounds. Pashley (talk) 15:00, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
Did that. Also changed the definition.
Should the paragraph on child sex include a statement that we will co-operate with police in tracking down anyone who posts such stuff here? Would we need to consult WMF legal before doing that? Are there other things -- e.g. bestiality -- that would be completely unacceptable?
I want to delete the utterly redundant paragraph "It follows from ...". Any objection? Pashley (talk) 15:19, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
The only "we" actually able to "track down" anyone would be checkusers, which aren't local but shared with other WMF projects. As for what to do with the Tijuana donkey show legends, there are two potential issues. One is exploitation, where any worker (whether officially acknowledged as an "employee" or not) is expected to engage in or submit to sexual activity or risk not getting paid. The other is informed consent, which would catch most of the issues regarding minors, intoxicated or drugged persons, animals or anyone not in a position to freely consent to what's happening. Relying solely on local law has its limitations, as different jurisdictions will give actually opposite results. For instance, homosexuals may be protected by the European Union and hunted as criminals in Uganda, while Nevada's regulated brothels (where half the take goes to "the house", possibly a shady mob of some sort) contradicts Canada's law (which criminalises profiting from the prostitution of another, while independent outcalls remain lawful). If we want to take a stand on exploitation vs. informed consent, we may need to go beyond relying on inconsistent and variable local law. An Afghanistan#Do listing for "Stone the evil adulteress for Allah" is offensive even if, under Taliban rule, it was lawful. K7L (talk) 18:09, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
I'm a little undecided about this. On the one hand, I would at least in theory support allowing listings of names, addresses, websites, and contact info - but not rates - for houses of prostitution in places where prostitution is fully legal. If mobs control houses of prostitution, they could just as easily control casinos, which I don't think anyone is suggesting not listing. On the other hand, some of the objections regarding differing ages of consent and laws or practices regarding bestiality carry some weight with me, and of course there are issues having to do with luring women into prostitution through deception or worse. I'm not sure this is a slippery slope, but there are some things to think about before we decide to allow listings in places where prostitution is legal. The other alternative is simply to state that there are legal houses of prostitution in a given town or neighborhood and leave those who want to visit or patronize them to their own devices in finding them, which is current policy. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:59, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure about this. But if we do allow such listings, I would prefer them to be initially hidden in an adult listings box, with the reader having to click a + sign to reveal the content. Some readers may want this info, but others may not, and a single listing that somebody finds distasteful is likely to put them off using any of our pages. AlasdairW (talk) 23:04, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
We also have an issue where people may not want to contribute to pages where such listings exist. This doesn't impact me personally since most of my contributions are in countries where this is illegal, but I would be really be uncomfortable editing or reading an article where my content would have to coexist with brothels.
Using the 'traveler comes first' argument is erroneous, because it will actually put off people reading content. Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:53, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
I don't think a hideable box is going to fly. We don't use them anywhere else, and it'll only call attention to what we're hiding. Since this is a sensitive issue, with concerns related to possible exploitation even in places where it's strictly legal, I think we're best off continuing our current policy of letting readers know where the action is without providing details. Powers (talk) 00:43, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
I agree with pretty much every point above against changing the policy. We have no way to verify if all of the employees/workers in any place are working there completely out of their own free will and desire to work there even if the practices are legal in that country/area, and I don't like the thought that we could even potentially be encouraging/supporting human trafficking of any kind. I think it's fine for us to include morals/ethics in our policy when it comes to this sort of issue. I also believe that Andrewssi2 makes a good point that we will likely put off both casual visitors and potential editors by including such information。ChubbyWimbus (talk) 01:26, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

Article with a statistic[edit]

Interview with a British guy who uses Amsterdam prostitutes and blogs about it.

"The blog now attracts about 100,000 visitors a month" which, it seems to me, shows there is some interest in the topic. Pashley (talk) 20:12, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

A compromise?[edit]

I have always felt, & have argued before, that much of this policy is a mistake. To me, most attempts to exclude info on prostitution are just attempts to inflict someone's views on morality on others. I find those quite objectionable, no more justified than excluding LGBT stuff because some find that "not family friendly" or removing all bar & pub listings because some religions forbid alcohol.

Nor do I think the other arguments hold water. The Wikivoyage:Illegal activities policy applies in some places, but WP shows dozens of countries where it is legal. Human trafficking and abusive pimps are real issues, but there are thousands of whores for whom they are irrelevant. We do not exclude bars because drunk driving is dangerous or gay hangouts because AIDS is (or used to be?) a larger risk for them.

I think our policy should say that general information on prostitution — enough that readers can find or avoid it as they choose — should be included in every article for places where it is reasonably common, which is most of the world.

On the other hand, I could accept the idea of not allowing listings for bordellos, since that would offend some people. I wouldn't list gay saunas either, for much the same reasons. Perhaps not strip joints? Sex shops? Fetish clubs? Gay bars? Hetero pickup places? It is not quite clear where a line might be drawn, perhaps nowhere one goes to mainly to get laid? Or nowhere that you pay for it?

Is there a workable compromise here, once details are worked out? Pashley (talk) 21:26, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

The business is indeed legal in for example Germany. Would Berlin#Prostitution be a good example of how much information about this we should/could include? No contact information to individual "pleasure houses", just two paragraphs of general information. ϒpsilon (talk) 21:41, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
Caveat: given the general nastiness that this subject has elicited from the Signpost I'm hesitant to get too involved since there seems to be a desire to use anything we do or don't write on the subject to paint this site and its contributors in a negative light.
That said, since this is an important issue to deal with, I think the key with any information in our guides is ensuring that it is relevant to travelers. We need to acknowledge the Red Light district in Amsterdam since it's a place that tourists will visit (most of whom aren't looking for sex). Similarly, in cases where prostitution is likely to be encountered by travelers we should point out any safety considerations and make travelers aware that the many girls fawning on them at a bar may have ulterior motives. However, in places where prostitution is legal I think we want to be careful to make sure we're focusing on being a good travel guide and that this site isn't used as a yellow pages for brothels, particularly since individual listings would likely delve into very questionable areas (for example, we don't want to list number, ages, and cost of girls at a brothel per our existing guidelines, among other reasons). We can acknowledge that these businesses exist (where legal) without giving them individual listings just as we would for chain restaurants - something like "Town X is home to ten legal brothels, mostly clustered downtown between 3rd and 5th St". Travelers who want to know more will find it whether we list it or not, and that keeps us from having to make judgment calls on establishments that might be truly vile. As with anything, exceptions could be made on a case-by-case basis, if for example lots of people visit during daylight hours to take a tour of a particularly famous establishment. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:31, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
What do you all think about whether or not it's OK to mention names of specific brothels without giving any other information about them other than that they are in Town X or Neighborhood Y? This question is relevant to current discussion in Talk:Nevada#Brothels. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:43, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
My personal opinion is that charitable donations should not be used to defray the cost of the Wikimedia Foundation hosting what is basically a yellow page listing of for-profit businesses. At some point, this has nothing to do with "adult education", the stated 501(c)(3) mission. We're here to educate, not to promote. We don't print lists of realtors, lists of travel agents, lists of department stores. What makes brothels special? K7L (talk) 02:36, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
I should say at the outset that my opinion is that if a type of business can't be listed, its name also shouldn't be mentionable. However, I'm not sure your particular argument is a strong one from a promotional standpoint, because I would argue that full listings actually promote a business more than mere mentions of names. On the other hand, full listings are certainly more informative and, thereby, educational. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:48, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
K7L, I 100% agree that we should not be a directory of brothels and don't want to do anything that would move us in that direction, but I think it's next-to-impossible to write about some destinations without recognizing the reality of what is happening there. Regarding any concerns with Wikimedia, w:List of brothels in Nevada goes much, much further than anything we're proposing here. -- Ryan • (talk) • 04:01, 19 March 2014 (UTC) seems there is an issue here balancing A.the interests of travellers B. wikivoyage's image and C. The health of our editing community.

Prostitution is legal in many countries and many travellers view the practice as an integral part of their travels, censoring this type of information on moral ground could divide the editing community. A comparison might be drawn to India and the "bangh lassie", even LP lists shops selling them because the practice is widespread and there is community demand

That being said though, listing such "businesses" would expose us to a vast amount of strife with law enforcement, offend users and damage our reputation. On what basis could we recommend such a venue? Personal experience haha? On a more serious note how could we ensure we didn't promote venues where drugs, child prostitution or human trafficking were present? It would likely also result in is being censored in countries with strong views or because children can access wikivoyage. That to me is a strong practical consideration

There are too many grey areas. Do we de-list an otherwise notable bar or hotel because they are engaged in the sex trade? Could we even verify this confidently? Should we mention an area famous for its sex trade like Amsterdam's red light district and become afraid of stating the obvious? Should we warn travellers of issues relating to the sex trade like illegal police extortion, HIV prevelance or scams?

Personally I vote we avoid making a formal policy simply because it would lead to unending personal conflict between editors. We warn travellers of risks that those who do not wish to be involved may encounter because the traveller comes first. We remove listings of sex trade venues unless they are genuinely notable for another reason because listing them would drag us all into territory nobody wants to be in, because our reputation is so important and because the niche interest would quickly skew our content.

We are all individuals and collectively our better judgement has always prevailed. —The preceding comment was added by Billbarrelrider (talkcontribs)

Billbarrelrider, I signed for you. My reaction to your remarks is that this policy has not led to anything remotely close to "unending" conflict. Have you read the policy? Is there anything in it that you object to or would like to change? As you say, we're all individuals, but Wikis are collectives that run based on consensus. This policy was adopted and has been sustained by consensus. It could be changed only due to a new consensus, just like any other policy or guideline. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:47, 19 April 2019 (UTC)

Revised proposal[edit]

Ryan suggested above that User talk:Pashley/STP needed headings to clarify it. Trying to do that, I found some text needed moving to make it fit the headings, then some parts could be improved, and there were other changes suggested by the discussion above.

I ended up doing a fairly extensive rewrite. Comment on current version solicited. Pashley (talk) 03:18, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
I have one demurral: You say that prostitution in Pattaya is "legal." Before drawing a firm conclusion on that, perhaps you'd like to read the quotes from the Thailand Prostitution Act that were posted to Talk:Phnom Penh#Specific names of places to pick up sex workers. My conclusion from reading it is that prostitution is at most questionably legal in Thailand, but I am not an expert on the current state of Thai law. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:51, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
I think this new draft is going in the right direction, and makes clear that anything beyond travel-relevant info is out of scope, but that we do want to give travelers enough information to be safe, whatever their individual choice about patronizing such businesses might be. Since it's in your user space, is it OK for others to make changes to the draft as discussion continues? -- Ryan • (talk) • 04:01, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
It arguably goes a little too far in the right direction. I think that photos of prostitutes, even though we see only their backs, are not a good idea. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:04, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
Changes from others are fine, indeed encouraged, but as long as it is in my user space I reserve to right to unilaterally revert anything I really don't like.
Prostitution illegal in Thailand illegal? Not what I've heard in years of living in nearby countries, but I could be wrong. w:Prostitution in Thailand is a bit ambiguous, "not strictly illegal". Other online sources [11] [12], much to my surprise, say illegal.
I like the photo but perhaps it is a bit over-the-top. Pashley (talk) 04:29, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
I'm not a prude and don't mind the photo at all, but I don't think this site is the place for it, and I would feel that way even if we approved listings for legal houses of prostitution. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:00, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
It is probably another reason why a change in policy isn't a great idea. The legal status of prostitution in the vast majority of countries is not clear cut. The case in point is Thailand, where it is both illegal and apparently widely accepted. Basically we would have to analyze each country from a legal point of view in order to determine what would be safe legal ground, and do so constantly as laws change over time. Andrewssi2 (talk) 13:47, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
When reading it over, I actually thought that most of what it said is what we already do. A few thoughts, though. The section that simply says "Allowed" is too inviting and is sort of confusing when pitted against the following section. I think we need to separate what is "Allowed" in terms of listings from what is allowed in the terms specified in the explanation below. For example, gay bars and gay nightclubs are allowed to the same extent as any other bar or nightclub. We DO list gay bars/clubs with opening hours, addresses, descriptions, etc. Gay saunas on the other hand, I would oppose allowing because they are strictly meant for sexual encounters. For gay saunas, I would say they fall into the category of the details that follow (basically only mentioning that they exist and only if they are particularly prevalent in the area) like prostitution. It does say that in one line below, but it's not so clear with that big "Allowed" heading.
I belive strip clubs are also allowed in the terms of actual listings, right? Fetish clubs are just nightclubs with target audiences with 'strange/unique' interests, right? Do we already allow those to get full listings? I don't actually know in this case.
In terms of sex shops, I actually think they mostly have no business in a travel guide. This is not a morality issue. It just strikes me as really odd that a place where people buy dildos and blow-up dolls would be seen as important/worthy enough to add to the "Buy" section. I would only list it if it is particularly famous, like the "world's largest" or if it is really like an attraction in that area. Otherwise, I don't think it belongs in a travel guide. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 13:58, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
I thought we had Dildo already. Fetish clubs seem to exist in two groups, "off premise" (an overpriced bar, niche marketed so the 'swingers club' brings in the wife swappers and turns away all single males) and "on premise" (where sexual activity actually takes place between clients at the site, like a gay bath house). We list "no-tell motel" or "Japanese love hotel" with the other hotels and "queer bar" with the other bars, but spaces for sexual activity between patrons are a grey area and businesses which require their workers to engage in sexual activity as a condition of employment should be a clear no-no. I do not agree with the big "Allowed" section in Pashley/STP as it's pretty much an open invitation for businesses in every listed category there to spam WV with advertising. There are plenty of online "escort review boards" funded by (advertising from) the very pimps whose ladies are being "reviewed"; this should not be part of Wikivoyage's mission. K7L (talk) 15:51, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
We're really talking about banning listings of shops that specialize in selling sex toys? I think it's fine to list them, as long as the listings are tasteful. "Sex shops" are very frequently not places where sexual activity occurs on premises, so they should not be in violation of any site policies. Ikan Kekek (talk) 15:58, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
I can see it now... "My grandma went to Dildo, Newfoundland and all she brought me was this French tickler". Otherwise, what does any of this have to do with travel per se? We don't want a list of every local hardware store. K7L (talk) 16:02, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
I would tend to agree with K7L that it's tough to see sex shops as being in scope for our guides in the vast majority of cases - like a hardware store (or florist, office supply store, etc), just because a tourist might visit a store doesn't mean it needs to be listed in our guides. If a sex shop caters to travelers or is a common tourist destination then it would be worth considering, but otherwise I think they are out of scope in almost all cases. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:25, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, it's a very well-argued and persuasive point. Therefore, the current wording (at least last I checked) - that only particularly famous sex shops or those that particularly serve travellers - should be listed. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:13, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
I've made changes, mostly based on discussions above. They included getting rid of the photo and adding some text about sex shop listings. Pashley (talk) 17:24, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
I support the new draft in its current form and compliment all who have taken part in writing and editing it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:47, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
It's definitely looking better. Per the description given by K7L, I think fetish clubs would belong in the same category as the gay saunas, prostitutes, etc. (mention but no specifics) ChubbyWimbus (talk) 23:49, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
I would agree. If the point is not to list any establishment which exists for the express purpose of sexual activity, we should be consistent about our policy toward such establishments. I like that wording - "the express purpose of sexual activity." I may look to see whether that wording would make the draft policy clearer. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:15, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
I made a couple of edits. Let's talk about this statement, though:
"In general, any activity that is illegal in the destination should not be mentioned at all per Wikivoyage:Illegal activities policy. The only exception is if it is so common that travellers are almost certain to encounter it."
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that penalties for drug use are mentioned for the benefit of travelers in many countries in which they are not unusually severe and travelers are not almost certain to encounter the use of illegal drugs. Or are drugs the exception to the general case and, therefore, not a reason to rephrase this statement in the context of a sex tourism policy page? I could accept that, if there's a consensus behind it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:25, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
"In general, any activity that is illegal in the destination should not be mentioned at all" contradicts "strip clubs or gay bars can be listed at any destination" as, in some destinations, strip clubs or gay bars may be very thoroughly illegal. 2001:5C0:1000:A:0:0:0:283 03:15, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
You're absolutely right: No such club would be listed in a place like Saudi Arabia. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:38, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
Surely all bars are illegal in Saudi Arabia? Andrewssi2 (talk) 05:00, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
Any bar in Saudi Arabia that serves alcohol is illegal. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:23, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
I moved things around just a bit in the draft. I still question the idea that illegal activities should normally not be mentioned at all, though. I don't read Wikivoyage:Illegal activities policy that way. Should we instead say that any activity which is illegal at the destination should not have listings, or is something more needed? The fact is, we distinguish between different kinds of illegal activities. We would never mention any "how-to" information about murder, rape, theft, etc., but I recall reading an article about a place in Saudi Arabia that mentioned a type of alcohol available illegally, warning that it's illegal and saying "good luck" if you choose to get it, anyway. I can't find it now, so perhaps that information was deleted, but I do think we treat drug use and sexual activity differently from crimes that we would all agree have a clear victim. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:58, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
I find the Other topics section very unclear. Are these 'other topics' allowed or not allowed? What guidance should the contributor be following from this section? Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:50, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
The "other topics" seem to be an odd mix of partially-allowed items (which can be mentioned but no listings) and allowed items. A "queer bar" is allowed on the same basis as other bars, a "brothel" does not get a listing as a matter of (proposed) policy. K7L (talk) 02:15, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
I feel that it is still not clear. Unless I have misunderstood the discussion, I think (for example) a listing for a gay bar is fine, whereas a listing for a brothel is not?
The following are allowed as listings:
  • singles bars and gay bars
The following are not allowed as listings:
  • saunas related to sexual activities
  • prostitution
  • strip clubs or other sexy shows
  • fetish clubs
The following are allowed when they have a high visitor interest:
  • shopping for sex toys, fetish clothing or other "adult" merchandise
Andrewssi2 (talk) 02:28, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
The current wikivoyage:sex tourism policy prohibits anything involving minors and anything (other than description of a city district in general) which pertains to prostitution. The proposed user talk:Pashley/STP appears to restrict gay bath houses (saunas) and "on-premise" swinger/fetish clubs at the same level as brothels - general description but no listings. The "love hotel", "no-tell motel" or "gay/lifestyle bar" listings are unaffected in any case. Overall, the proposed policy appears more restrictive than what we have now, as currently the policy is less restrictive on establishments where patrons have sex with each other than on establishments which require their workers to engage in sexual activity as a condition of employment. K7L (talk) 04:10, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
Andrewssi2, where are you getting that strip clubs can't have listings? I believe that's incorrect, and that they can be listed if they're particularly notable for travelers. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:13, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
You're right, they should be included. I think we should remove the words 'sexy shows' since it sounds a bit odd. Andrewssi2 (talk) 05:18, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
I agree. Arguably, some Broadway show or other could be regarded as "sexy." Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:19, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
Conversely, a term like "sexy show" is likely to be confused with "sex show". Tijuana donkey show, anyone? K7L (talk) 22:02, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

Interesting article[edit]

Lies, damned lies and sex work statistics. Pashley (talk) 21:01, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

Yep, very interesting, indeed, and it puts in some perspective the claim that allowing entries for legal houses of prostitution means condoning sex slavery or deceptive trafficking. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:19, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

Sex tourism policy proposed change[edit]

Swept in from the pub

There is a discussion on Wikivoyage Sex tourism policy that is underway. The proposal (in brief) is to allow brothel listings in locations where brothels are legal.

I think this is a rather fundamental change, so community views would be appreciated. Andrewssi2 (talk) 11:52, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

As opposed to sex change tourism? Apparently there are some medical doctors in Thailand who can make you feel like a new woman. :) K7L (talk) 21:57, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
Umm.. Plunge forward? :) Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:14, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

Trafficking links?[edit]

Various have NGOs and/or gov't programs working against w:human trafficking. For example, travelling around the Philippines I see ads for this hotline. Should we include links to these in country articles? In which section? Pashley (talk) 23:34, 21 April 2017 (UTC)

Stay safe? It's certainly about people's safety, so I can't think of a better section. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:42, 21 April 2017 (UTC)
Why would we list these in a travel guide? Surely such adverts are directed at Filipinos living in the Phillipines? --Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:46, 21 April 2017 (UTC)
In case visitors come across trafficked people and want to help, presumably. Besides, I'm sure Filipinos read this guide: Look at all the edits to articles about places in that country. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:50, 21 April 2017 (UTC)
In my opinion it just doesn't appear to be travel related. Most countries have a wide variety of support structures for vulnerable people in many difficult situations, but I just don't think WV has any mandate to cover those. Where is the line drawn? Suicide hotlines? Child abuse support groups? Alcoholics Anonymous?
We could create an article specific to this however and link to it. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 08:42, 22 April 2017 (UTC)
I think it is travel related. As a male traveller, often solo, I have encountered whores more-or-less everywhere I have been & I have no objection to that. However, I have also heard things both from the press and from other travellers about trafficking & child prostitution. If there is a way to help stop those, I'd say any traveller should consider getting involved. Pashley (talk) 09:23, 22 April 2017 (UTC)
I'd support having a dedicated article on this, especially if you feel strongly about the subject, but not on the country article itself for all the reasons I stated above. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 09:47, 22 April 2017 (UTC)

(Indent) If in the article, Philippines's "Prostitution" heading under Stay Safe is where it seems most suitable. If the Philippines has such a visible nationwide campaign, I actually think it might be worth mentioning in that article but I don't think we should scout phone numbers for every country article. A campaign against trafficking due to its prevalence in the Philippines would definitely relate to the traveler. Aside from perhaps nurses, sex workers and human trafficking are probably what the Philippines is most known for or associated with worldwide. Mentioning it along with the campaign wouldn't seem forced to me. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 13:34, 22 April 2017 (UTC)

See Philippines#Prostitution for current text. Improve it if you can. Pashley (talk) 02:29, 10 April 2018 (UTC)

Re-start discussion?[edit]

I have thought for a long time that this policy needs change, & I'm not alone. See much previous discussion on this page, and User talk:Pashley/STP for my draft rewrite. As I see it, the basic problem is that the current policy attempts to prohibit all information on prostitution, but prostitution has been part of life for thousands of years ("the oldest profession" & there are quite a few references in the Bible) and is part of travel today (a common practice in some places & available in almost any high-class hotel).

As far as I can see, the only reason for this is some sort of moral scruple which I see as fairly obnoxious & thoroughly outdated Puritanism. It baffles me that people who act puritanical about this do not object to strip club listings; I'd feel more guilty about exploiting women going to such a show than contracting with a lass for sex. Nor do I understand why these people object to WV covering prostitution but not to covering homosexuality (see #A different comparison for discussion). Perhaps I'm just misunderstanding their objections entirely.

See #Interesting article above for criticism of the common tendency to conflate sex work & human trafficking and attack the former while trumpeting concerns about the latter.

Turning to specifics, see Talk:Philippines#Prostitution. Quite a bit of text, mostly my writing, was deleted. I think it should be restored and policy amended to prevent such deletions in future. This sort of "Go-go bar" or "bikini bar" exists across much of Asia and we mention them in many places (offhand, Bangkok#Go-go bars, Cebu (city)#Drink, Sabang (Mindoro)#Drink). I think we should explain how they work. Pashley (talk) 10:55, 8 April 2019 (UTC)

There's a lot to unpack in your remarks above. Your feeling that paying someone for sex is moral while paying to see a strip show is not is noted but I think it's unlikely to be shared by many other people. But also, the fact that strip clubs can be listed demonstrates the lack of Puritanism on this site - you think strip shows were legal in the Massachusetts Bay Colony? And then you go on to equate the entire category of homosexuality with sex for pay. What point are you trying to make there? There are both gay and straight whores and customers, and most homosexual sex acts, just like most heterosexual sex acts, are not for pay.
Now, getting to your proposal: I am perfectly comfortable with this being a site where the specifics of how to hire a prostitute, what to expect to pay for various sex acts, how to choose the "best" prostitute, where the "best" prostitutes are in terms of travel destinations and so forth are banned topics. There are other sites where prospective johns can look up this stuff. It's well-known, I think, that Wikis tend to skew male. If we make this a site that focuses on the objectification of women for sex, sure, we can serve johns better, but we risk turning off a lot of women. And for what? It's a World Wide Web out there. Maybe you'd like to start your own Sex Travel Wiki. If you do, fine, and I won't support making it part of Wikimedia. My objections to paying for sex are not based on Puritanism, but I'm one of many people who thinks it's a disgusting practice, although I support legalizing, regulating and taxing it and strongly oppose putting prostitutes in jail. But I see no great need for this site to cater to sex tourists. I support the existing policy, in which ways to keep johns safer are in bounds and ways of facilitating their use of sex workers are out of bounds. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:12, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
I agree that we should not be going into specifics such as giving prices or listing brothels. On the other hand I think some of the text that was deleted in the Philippines article should have been kept:
The areas around major US bases during the Vietnam War—Air Force at Angeles and Navy at Subic—became, and still are, hot spots for prostitution. Other areas where the trade is common include Puerto Galera, the EDSA and Makati parts of Metro Manila, and Mango Avenue in Cebu City.
That lets travellers find or avoid these areas as they choose.
Dancers often spend time at customers' tables chatting and flirting; buying a "lady drink" for one of them will cost at least double the price of a regular drink, and she will get a share of the price. Some big spenders or groups of lads enjoy having a swarm of girls about, so they buy a lot of these drinks even if they are not planning to bring a girl home. If a customer wants more than just flirtation, then he pays a "bar fine" to take her out of the club for the night; she gets a share of that but she will also expect a tip in the morning.
The sentence about big spenders could go, but I think the rest should stay. It is worth warning a customer that, while his beer might cost ₱80, one bought for a lass will be ₱300 or so. As for the bar fine system, that is common in much of Asia & is mentioned in several other articles (some links above); I think explaining it here obviously makes sense.
I realise that some of this text is (at least arguably) blocked under current policy. Hence I think we need to adjust the policy. Pashley (talk) 14:41, 15 April 2019 (UTC)
OK, I think whether some of this could be allowable under the sex tourism policy is reasonable to discuss. AndreCarrotflower's views are important here, because he wanted to draw hard lines, and I think he is unlikely to want to reconsider. For my part, I oppose allowing a mention of bar fines or the fact that a sex worker would want a tip after providing sexual services. Those are nothing but "how-to"s. I think it should be OK to mention the areas where prostitution is most prevalent or visible, for the reasons you state. I think it's definitely OK to mention that if you order a drink while sitting with a working woman at a bar or strip club, it will cost much more; that's just a service to the average Joe. Ikan Kekek (talk) 15:05, 15 April 2019 (UTC)
An adult male cannot travel in the Philippines, or various other places, without getting some come-ons. w:Prostitution in the Philippines cites a UN estimate of 500,000 prostitutes in a population around 100 million (& a higher estimate from a Filipino politician). That's about 1 in 200 people, perhaps 1 in 40 women in the right age bracket. Some are obvious, but there are also many one might pick up in a disco or on a dating site who might have a financial agenda. I think a travel guide would be woefully incomplete without some mention of this. Pashley (talk) 15:12, 15 April 2019 (UTC)
For an example of what I think is an appropriate warning, see "Why Not? disco" under Dumaguete#Along the boulevard. ~~``
I definitely agree that it's worth mentioning what areas prostitution is particularly prevalent or visible. That's useful information for many kinds of travelers. —Granger (talk · contribs) 15:22, 15 April 2019 (UTC)
I was under the impression that our sex tourism policy was already about as permissive as it could possibly be without wading into potentially problematic legal territory. If that's the case, then whether anyone considers it outdated or puritanical is beside the point.
And even if that's not the case, I can't help but remember the article that Tony wrote for the Signpost a few years ago regarding this very issue. Yes, it was a horribly one-sided hack job written by an author with an ax to grind against this community, but it also served to highlight the point that even content that's allowable from a legal standpoint may still not be a "good look" for Wikivoyage, which like any website, has to retain the goodwill of its reading audience in order to survive. You can call said reading audience Puritans if you want, but we're already a minnow in a shark tank when it comes to publications like Lonely Planet and Frommer's, and we should be doing everything in our power not to alienate what readers we do have.
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 21:18, 15 April 2019 (UTC)
The reminder of that horrible article and its aftermath is welcome. Wikivoyage has just overtaken Wikitravel in views. We should be careful about doing anything that might risk undoing some of the work that produced those gains, or of creating unwarranted controversy again - that's not the kind of publicity we want to court. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:14, 15 April 2019 (UTC)
For those who don't recall that nonsense or weren't here for it, see #Is WV clean? above. Pashley (talk) 22:45, 15 April 2019 (UTC)
For the record, I object to Andre's recent deletion of all Tony's comments as "trolling" and some of his own as "troll feeding". I did not agree with Tony's article at the time (see my comments at #Is WV clean? above), don't agree with him now, & consider discussion of that article a dead horse that need not be beaten. However, his comments here were part of this discussion & arguably just legitimate self-defense after Andre attacked him.
Can we get back to the main point? I think this policy needs change in at least two places:
  1. When prostitution is common, we should tell readers where it is so they can find or avoid it as they choose. This includes things like mentioning that many Chinese massage places give hand jobs and nearly any with pink lighting do more than that. Also mentioning where there is extensive prostitution, e.g. the go-go bars in Angeles#Drink.
  2. When visitors are unlikely to understand how the business works at a destination, we should explain that. e.g. for the go-go bars in Thailand & the Philippines (& elsewhere?) we should explain "lady drinks" and "bar fines".
To me these changes seem to be just obvious common sense. Other opinions? Pashley (talk) 10:17, 17 April 2019 (UTC)
To me even creating a travel topic article on go-go bars & linking to it from various places where these bars are common would make sense. I realise this would be far outside the bounds of current policy. Pashley (talk) 10:31, 17 April 2019 (UTC)
I find it extremely strange that you're coming to Tony's defense here. His comments were described as "trolling" because that's precisely what they were. Bad-faith, gratuitous Wikivoyage-bashing that added nothing to the discussion. They were deleted and they're not going to be undeleted. My only regret is having tagged him in the first place. It's something we do out of habit when making reference to other editors in our comments, but as soon as I clicked "Publish changes" I had a feeling it was a bad idea. I should have listened to my gut. And if you doubt that it was a bad idea, go to my Wikipedia talk page and see what he wrote on it.
Anyway, as far as the policy is concerned, I see no need to alter the status quo. In fact, this unrelenting fixation on the supposed necessity that our site host detailed information on prostitution, list massage parlors that offer sexual services, explain the procedure for buying drinks for prostitutes in go-go bars etc. is also something I find strange and frankly a little creepy. It may be an essential part of the experience in some places according to some people, but that's trumped by the fact that the vast majority of the reading public will be put off by the inclusion of such information, and even more so by the fact that including such information may get the site into legal hot water.
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 13:59, 17 April 2019 (UTC)
I think that it is a pity that Tony's first response was deleted, having invited him to the conversation. Generally I think that we should keep the policy about what it is at present. Explaining "lady drinks" is ok. I would avoid "bar fines" unless there is a government website that gives regulations on the operation of these fines. It is more important that we appeal to families (and "family friendly" internet filters) than a small minority of potential readers. AlasdairW (talk) 23:03, 17 April 2019 (UTC)
Bar fines are specifically applicable to hiring prostitutes. If we allowed descriptions or even a mention of those, we might as well junk this entire policy. There are so many sex-related sites on the Internet. This is not and should not be one of them; it's simply a travel guide. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:12, 18 April 2019 (UTC)
AlasdairW - as I said, I did not consciously invite Tony to the discussion. I Wikilinkified his name out of pure force of habit, and while I regretted doing so as soon as I realized what I'd done, I didn't bother to delink it because I thought it unlikely he would actually show up and comment. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 01:25, 18 April 2019 (UTC)
Ikan Kekek writes "If we allowed descriptions or even a mention of [bar fines], we might as well junk this entire policy." We do mention bar fines, or just girlie bars that have bar fines, in several places; see links I gave above for some. Our slogan is "The traveller comes first" (no pun intended), & lots of travellers do use these services; Angeles for example gets quite a few charter flights, mostly from Korea or China, bringing men who are coming mainly for those bars. If the choice is bowdlerizing multiple articles and ignoring a whole aspect of tourism vs. scrapping this policy, I'd certainly say scrap the policy. Others have suggested that before, arguing that it is redundant given the illegal activities policy.
However, I do prefer a more moderate solution. I have a draft policy rewrite at User talk:Pashley/STP & previous discussion here includes me suggesting #A_compromise?. Pashley (talk) 08:52, 18 April 2019 (UTC)
I would suggest removing all mentions of bar fines from this site. You might as well argue that we should be telling tourists to New York how to buy cocaine. The fact that some travelers do these things is not a good argument for covering the specifics of how to do them. Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:21, 18 April 2019 (UTC)
If New York got frequent charter flights using large aircraft full of cocaine tourists, then I'd say we should consider whether safety tips were required. If the business worked differently than in their home countries, I'd say explain the differences. Pashley (talk) 09:34, 18 April 2019 (UTC)
I reread your earlier efforts to edit the sex tourism policy, and you expressed no desire to completely do away with this site's sex tourism or illegal activities policies, but the idea of explaining to planeloads of tourists how buying cocaine in New York is different from buying it in some other country, beyond the fact that it's illegal and can get you in a lot of trouble, would really junk this site's illegal activities policy. Similarly, why on Earth is it important to explain that in the Philippines or wherever, if you pick up a prostitute at a bar, you are expected to pay such-and-such a fee to the bar in addition to tipping her? I suppose if someone really wants to patronize prostitutes in the Philippines, they'll find out pretty fast how to do that, but why should we help them in any way, other than, as you said, by providing non-obvious safety tips? Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:18, 19 April 2019 (UTC)
"Non-obvious safety tips" are already allowed per policy. Look, this discussion has been ongoing for almost two weeks now, and it seems apparent to me that we have a pretty good handle on the kinds of changes Pashley would like to make to the sex tourism policy, and also that we have a pretty solid consensus against actually making those changes. This discussion has been getting progressively more and more troubling the longer it's gone on, so I'd just as soon we mark it as resolved that the status quo should remain in place and shut it down. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 04:46, 19 April 2019 (UTC)
I tend to agree and think that the current policy shouldn't be loosened. Mentioning red-light districts is fine. If a reader is specifically interested in paying someone for sexual services, they can always find further information on websites which are not trying to appeal to a broad audience, unlike Wikivoyage. Gizza (roam) 05:28, 19 April 2019 (UTC)
I think that we can mention where the red light districts are, and whether prostitution is legal and if so, what types of prostitution are legal. I think it's also fine to mention that in say, Bangkok, many of the bar girls are also prostitutes. But beyond that, I don't think we should be encouraging sex tourism on this site. The current policy already provides for all this.
And I know that this is getting a bit personal here, but I grew up in Southeast Asia, and I can tell you that these prostitutes are subject to a massive stigma from society, and are more often than not forced into it (sometimes by their families) out of financial desperation. To highlight this, if you ever go to a brothel in Singapore, you'll find that it is very difficult to find a local Singaporean prostitute, and the vast majority of prostitutes are from poorer countries like Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam, and that's because there are not that many women driven to that kind of desperation in a richer, developed country like Singapore. And that's not to mention how massively exploitative the sex industry is. If we truly care about the welfare of women from poorer countries, the responsible thing to do will be to encourage people not to engage in such activities. The dog2 (talk) 15:22, 19 April 2019 (UTC)
My take is that even though Wikivoyage's advantage is to surpass the technical limits of a printed guidebook, we need to limit the scope. We're not Wikipedia, nor Wikihow, nor a self-help book. Many romantic and sexual activities are legal (at least in most Anglophone countries) and common reasons to travel in their own right: finding a same-sex partner in a gay sauna, doing online dating, or finding a partner abroad for marriage; still, this kind of information is not expected to be on Wikivoyage. I guess that other online guidebooks could handle these questions in a more direct way than Wikivoyage could. /Yvwv (talk) 19:18, 19 April 2019 (UTC)
I can't remember any other travel guide presenting such details either.
I'm of the same opinion as The dog2. If a country, city, district etc. is famous as a sex destination, then we can very well mention that in the article, so that it doesn't come as a surprise to people who travel there. Perhaps also if it's legal or not. It's also necessary to mention types of places where travelers (not looking for sex) may end up that look like "normal bars" or something else, but are really fronts for prostitution (see Siem_Reap#KTV). But really nothing more than that. Out of our readership, I believe there are far less people who would actually benefit from detailed information including bordello listings with descriptions and what have you, than people who'd feel uncomfortable encountering it in a travel guide. -- ϒψιλον (talk) 20:23, 19 April 2019 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── So can we consider the matter closed, then? At this point, all we're really doing is piling on. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 22:33, 19 April 2019 (UTC)

The stronger the consensus against it is now, the less likely it will be raised again in the near future, which is a good thing. Just to add, as Ikan Kekek and The dog2 hinted, there is a strong racial and sexist angle in all of this. If in theory, opening up the policy a little bit meant that e.g. information on straight women or non-white men wanting to get laid abroad would be included, I wouldn't necessarily be as strongly opposed to it. But it's clear that in practice, because of the skewed demographics of our editor base, that most of the added information will be about baby boomer, straight, white men satisfying their yellow fever and fetish in poorer Southeast Asian countries (and to a lesser extent, gay, white men). Not a chance in hell I'll support this. Gizza (roam) 00:41, 20 April 2019 (UTC)
Ypsilon's comment sums up my feelings. We should note areas, legality, and types of establishments that travellers might stumble into by mistake. How-tos and listings for brothels are, on balance, more likely to make readers uncomfortable than anything else.
The guiding principle, in my mind, is that if information is useful or relevant to visitors who aren't looking to hire prostitutes, then we should mention it. If it's only useful to people who are hiring prostitutes, then we should generally leave it out (except non-obvious safety tips, as mentioned above). —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:58, 20 April 2019 (UTC)

@DaGizza:To be fair, it's not just white dudes. Many people engaged in such activity are middle-aged men from the richer Asian countries. Either way, it's just as exploitative and something we should not encourage. The dog2 (talk) 02:42, 20 April 2019 (UTC)

@The dog2: in all likelihood though, whatever information that would be added will not be written from the perspective of someone travelling from a richer Asian country, but someone from the US, UK, Canada, Australia or New Zealand, or possibly some continental European countries. But yes it doesn't matter. This sort of information doesn't need to be within our scope. Gizza (roam) 02:57, 20 April 2019 (UTC)