Wikivoyage talk:Sex tourism policy

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Is WV clean?

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)Reply

Here's the link: [1] [Warning: may not be suitable for younger or more sensitive viewers.] —Neotarf (talk) 03:50, 20 December 2013 (UTC)Reply

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)Reply
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: [2]), 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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply


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."[3]

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)Reply

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)Reply
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)Reply
I agree. Pashley (talk) 17:42, 27 December 2013 (UTC)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply


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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply

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)Reply

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

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)Reply

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)Reply
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)Reply

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)Reply



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)Reply

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)Reply
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)Reply the Do section, of course, where the brothels were! :D ϒpsilon (talk) 05:41, 17 March 2014 (UTC)Reply

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)Reply

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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
Alright then:

Proposed rewrite


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)Reply

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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply

Article with a statistic


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)Reply

A compromise?


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)Reply

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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply 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)Reply

Revised proposal


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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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 [4] [5], 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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
"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)Reply
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)Reply
Surely all bars are illegal in Saudi Arabia? Andrewssi2 (talk) 05:00, 20 March 2014 (UTC)Reply
Any bar in Saudi Arabia that serves alcohol is illegal. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:23, 20 March 2014 (UTC)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
I agree. Arguably, some Broadway show or other could be regarded as "sexy." Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:19, 21 March 2014 (UTC)Reply
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)Reply

Interesting article


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

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)Reply

Sex tourism policy proposed change

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)Reply

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)Reply
Umm.. Plunge forward? :) Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:14, 22 March 2014 (UTC)Reply

Trafficking links?


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)Reply

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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply

(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)Reply

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

Re-start discussion?


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)Reply

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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
"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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply
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)Reply

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── 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)Reply

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)Reply
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)Reply

@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)Reply

@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)Reply

Gay saunas


After a side discussion on the vfd page regarding LGBT Stockholm, I think it is most consistent with our current policy and the way we seem to treat heterosexual sex-only or for-sex venues to ban them from having listings. Gay saunas are explicitly designed as places to have sex and therefore qualify, in my opinion, quite clearly as within the bounds of "Locations or listings of brothels or bars [or places in general] where sexual services may be purchased (directly or indirectly)." While in the discussion, it was described as a place where you "pay to use the sauna facilities" and could hypothetically use without engaging in any sexual activity, I find that to be extremely deceptive/dishonest, to such a degree that it puts travelers at risk for a potentially traumatic experience as you are still almost certain to be touched/groped or at least witness others engaging in sexual activity. The policy was clearly written with heterosexual sex-based industries in mind (it specifies "brothels" and "bars"), but particularly if users become more invested in the "GLBT in City" articles, we need to take a stance on some of these homosexual venues that do not necessarily have one-to-one comparisons with the heterosexual venues but are completely sex-oriented nonetheless.

In a discussion above ("Cruising") it was posed to only mention them as part of gay districts in cities that have gay districts, in the same way we talk about red light districts where we say that they exist and where the district is located, but we don't actually give any of the specific brothels listings, and those that are isolated,scattered about cities, or are located in cities that don't have distinct districts are not given any mention at all. This would also seem consistent with policy, but I want to put this up for discussion (without the "Sleep" section focus that I essentially derailed my own discussion with previously). ChubbyWimbus (talk) 14:03, 27 January 2020 (UTC)Reply

On the face of it, your position (oy, unintentional pun) on this makes sense. I would say, though, that if we decide not to ban listings of these, they need to be much blunter and more accurate - and since we aren't going to want to be blunt about sexual activity going on in what sounds like the gay version of a sex club, I think your point is made, that such listings should be banned on this site. Ikan Kekek (talk) 14:36, 27 January 2020 (UTC)Reply
I want to add though that I once went to a massage parlour looking to get an actual massage only to find that it was a brothel in disguise, and that was really awkward because I wasn't there looking for sex. So I'm not sure if banning their mention is a good idea. To be fair, I was pretty young and perhaps naive, and I didn't know such places existed. We certainly need to inform people that de facto brothels that use some other name as a euphemism exist so people not looking for sex will know how to avoid them. For instance, I think that it could be helpful to tell people how to distinguish genuine massage parlours from those that use the term "massage parlour" as a euphemism for a brothel. So while I agree with not promoting sex tourism here on WV, I think we should have content that tell people how to avoid these brothels-in-disguise. The dog2 (talk) 02:55, 28 January 2020 (UTC)Reply
I don't have a problem identifying gay (or straight) saunas where people meet for sex as such. The risk of someone going to a gay sauna unaware that sex takes place there is almost nil, but there is no harm in adding that information. As noted in the other discussion, claiming that paying to go to a sauna is "indirectly paying for sex" is stretching the meaning of "indirectly" unreasonably. A sugar daddy lavishing gifts on a young woman who has sex with him is indirectly paying for sex. Someone paying for entry to a sauna will only have sex there if the other people in the sauna what to have sex with him or her. Payment of the sauna fee does not get you sex. We have listings for bars frequented by girls-for-hire, but buying drinks there doesn't get you sex. There were claims in that other discussion about prostitution and sexual exploitation possibly going on in the sauna in question, but no evidence was ever provided. Ground Zero (talk) 11:25, 7 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • I've went ahead and added the information. Should this be given specific mention on the Wikivoyage:Information for LGBT travel since it is a guide specifically for users with an interest in adding LGBT information? Maybe a line after the one about looking at this policy (the sex tourism policy) to state that gay saunas do not get listings according to this policy (and possibly including "cruising spots", although those will mostly be banned under the illegal activities policy)? ChubbyWimbus (talk) 12:54, 7 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • I've reverted the addition. Two people in favour of prohibiting such listings and two against does not add up to consensus for banning listings for saunas. I will add this to the request for comments page. Ground Zero (talk) 13:28, 7 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
It's fine to wait a few more days, but no one in this discussion has stated they are against it, including yourself. You stated directly that you have "no problem" with it, and I added the straight "sex clubs" specifically because of your request. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 13:48, 7 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
The dog2 wrote "So I'm not sure if banning their mention is a good idea."
I wrote: "I don't have a problem identifying gay (or straight) saunas where people meet for sex as such." If they aren't listed, per your arbitrary policy change, then we wouldn't be identifying them as places where people go to have sex. I thought that was clear, but let me me absolutely clear. Like The dog2, I don't think that banning the mention of saunas or massage parlours is a good idea. For the record, two nights ago I had a massage by a young woman in Cambodia. The place looked legitimate, but it wasn't a very good massage, so I wonder if her real business is something else. She didn't offer anything else, and I would have walked out if she had. Ground Zero (talk) 13:57, 7 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
I think you are both misunderstanding then (I saw Thedog2's comment as just wanting to make sure it didn't go too far rather than opposition). It is not a ban of saying they exist. It is a ban in giving them listings. We don't ban mentioning prostitutes but we ban giving them listings. We don't ban mentioning brothels that masquerade as massage parlors, but we ban giving them listings. We also don't ban warning travelers about how you could be tricked per Thedog2's scenario, and I believe that scenario is explicitly mentioned as something that is permissible if it helps someone avoid such a situation. Even in my initial post, I explicitly stated that they could be mentioned as existing in a subsection about a city's gay district, but they shouldn't be given listings. In most cases, there is no reason to mention them, particularly in normal city articles, but in the LGBT ones, I could see an acknowledgment of their existence but feel that it is consistent with policy not to give them listings. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 14:11, 7 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
I fully support the policy of banning listings that involve physical or financial coercion relating to sex, but banning listings for places where consenting adults go for sex doesn't seem to have any basis other than prudishness. I do not agree that this is covered by existing policy -- that is why we are having a discussion about changing the policy. And as far as your accusation that the payment us for the sauna devices and not for sex is "dishonest", I would ask you to provide proof that the payment to a sauna is for anything other than use if the sauna, e.g., that payments entitle you to sex. As far as I know, and you have not refuted this, the sex that goes on in gay saunas is normally sex between consenting adults who receive no payment for it and are not coerced into it. If you're going to accuse me of being dishonest, please have the decency to back up your accusation. Ground Zero (talk) 14:48, 7 February 2020 (UTC)Reply

(Indent) It's dishonest to characterize what you've admitted is a SEX DEN as a place where you merely "pay to use sauna facilities", treating it like a regular hot spring or sauna (or a budget lodging option) when it is definitely not. If we characterize them as you suggest to readers, it would be clear deception. I've already agreed that you could hypothetically pay to enter, bathe yourself, and leave, but I don't think characterizing the venue by hypothetical scenarios where men pay to enter but don't engage even a little in anything sexual is helpful. I think it's more important to focus on the reality of what they are, why they exist, what goes on there, and what people patronize for, which is not to bathe and leave. We have to think about the traveler/reader. If we have to lie about what a place is in order to justify its listing then we shouldn't list it. Paying to enter a building or "use the facilities" when the "facility" is a sex den seems like a very clear indirect way to pay for sex. You keep wanting to separate the facility from the sex, but there is no sex without the facility and there is no facility without the sex. The policy is not that sex venues are okay as long as there's no coercion. That may be your vision of what the policy should be, but that is not the current policy. There is precedent for not giving listings to venues whose purpose is exclusively/primarily for sex and it's all but directly stated in the policy where it says that districts known for sex should be described in terms of "non-sex-related aspects" and in a manner focused more on avoidance. Every few years this topic seems to come up and proposals to allow such listing have been rejected. Even your "prudish" assertion has been made before, but it's not an argument any more than calling your proposal "degenerate" would be. Maybe the precedent is "based in prudishness", but it is there nonetheless. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 16:51, 7 February 2020 (UTC)Reply

ChibbyWimbus, I see that there was discussion in Feb 2013, and you seemed to be the only one arguing to ban listings for gay saunas. Most of the discussion on this page is about prostitution and child sex, where there is almost universal agreement that we don't want to allow those listings. There has been discussion of saunas and yet they have not been specifically listed, so your claim that they are already prohibited by policy doesn't ring true. Let's see what the community says, and then make the policy clear on whether they are allowed or not.
As I wrote above, I have no problem including a brief note indicating that sex goes on in these places, even those it is obvious. There is no need to go over the top, but a neutral earning like this would work: "Customers come here to have sex with each other." By the way the Wikipedia article on w:Gay bathhouses says "Unlike brothels, customers pay only for the use of the facilities." Ground Zero (talk) 00:39, 8 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
My reading of the policy page is that it talks about paid sex only. I know little about gay saunas other than what I have read here, but as I understand it, they are about places where consenting adults go for sex, with none of the persons having sex getting paid even indirectly. Then comparing them with brothels or bars with "girls-for-hire" is quite far-fetched. Instead we should compare them with night clubs were people go to find one night stands. You might more often be lucky in the gay saunas and you might have to go elsewhere after finding your match in the night club, but both are about going somewhere to find consenting adults to have sex with. We might want to forbid listing those night clubs as well or we might want to forbid the gay sauna listings regardless, but I think talking about brothels distracts from the issue at hand. --LPfi (talk) 20:23, 7 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
I actually did state that there is not a one-to-one comparison, but I would say that the night club comparison is much further from reality and more distracting as it completely removes the sex aspect of gay saunas. It's not like a night club. You don't go to night clubs to have sex, even if you are hoping to find someone to take home. Night clubs are places to dance, socialize, and drink. Most people who patronize night clubs do not have sex and have no intention to have sex. Even if you find someone you like you are not permitted to have sex with them right there on the dance floor. Gay saunas offer nothing but sex. There is no reason to go but for sex and you have sex on the spot. There's no dancing, they ask you to be quiet as socializing "ruins the mood" and is distracting for others (who are having sex), and there's no drinking.
That also doesn't address the precedent about how we currently deal with sex venues in terms of how we advise users to treat them and talk about them. There is precedent for not giving listings to venues whose purpose is exclusively/primarily for sex. Even the current policy says that districts known for sex should be described in terms of "non-sex-related aspects" and in a manner focused more on avoidance. It creates an inconsistency in policy (and goes against precedent) to not allow explicit content when talking about districts but to allow it in listings, and if we describe gay saunas in terms of "non-sex-related aspects" it brings us back to deceptive and dishonest descriptions of "bathing and sauna facilities". ChubbyWimbus (talk) 00:50, 8 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
We allow strip clubs and sex shops and fetish clubs. We can address your concern about deception, even though almost no-one going to a gay sauna goes there innocently, by adding an explanatory note, "Customers come here to have sex with each other." That solves the problem. Ground Zero (talk) 00:57, 8 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
Strip clubs aren't for having sex, so I don't think they're specifically relevant to this discussion. And my reading of the sex tourism policy is that Chubby is right:
In addition, regardless of the legal situation in any given destination, Wikivoyage does not include information on any purchased sexual services, including (but not limited to):
  • Locations or listings of brothels or bars where sexual services may be purchased (directly or indirectly).
A gay sauna is neither a brothel nor a bar, but it's a place where sexual services are purchased, indirectly but, both of you agree, quite clearly. I don't know where hetero sex clubs are listed on Wikivoyage, but my reading is that they would fall under the same ban. And it doesn't seem sensible to ban listings for bars where sexual services may be purchased indirectly (though I have to wonder what that would consist of, under the policy) but permit the listing of saunas where sexual services may be purchased indirectly. So if there's a consensus to include sex clubs/gay saunas in our listings, I think that should require clarifying language in the policy, and in that case, I would agree with your wording, but right now, there is at best an ambiguity in the policy's phrasing. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:02, 8 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
No, the customer is not paying for sex directly or indirectly. Payment of the sauna fee does not entitle you to sex. If you have sex, it is consensual with someone else who has also paid the sauna fee. That person does not receive any payment, and is not subject to coercion. The sauna, which receives the payment, does not provide any sexual services. The sex is completely independent of the fee paid. Yes, people go to saunas to have sex, but they are not paying for it in any way. Ground Zero (talk) 02:20, 8 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
I'm with ChubbyWimbus in finding that reasoning for the fee not being intended for sex, even though sex isn't guaranteed, to be dubious, but I think that if there's agreement to allow these kinds of listings, there should be greater clarity in the policy, such as with the statement you just made given as an example. I'm OK with the line being drawn at fees not guaranteeing contracted sexual activities, if that's the consensus. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:25, 8 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
I don't want to get into argument over semantics, but I don't think that this meets a plain language definition of "purchase" because the supplier of the services if any (sex), and the person receiving payment (sauna fees) have no connection to each other. The person providing the services does so with no compensation and is under no obligation to do so. Perhaps it would be useful to have an example of another situation where person A pays person B for something, and is considered to have purchased some other thing from person C who provided it freely and entirely at their discretion. I cannot think of any such example. Ground Zero (talk) 05:55, 8 February 2020 (UTC)Reply

The topic has been given mention and acknowledged by more than just myself, with users seeming to believe there is precedent not to list them, possibly wanting them banned, and believing the are permissible. In the "Revised Proposal" discussion above, Ikan Kekek made the following comments relating to this topic: -"Sex shops" are very frequently not places where sexual activity occurs on premises, so they should not be in violation of any site policies." - It shows some belief that on-premise sites are in violation. -"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." - Agreeing that this makes the banning of on-site sexual activity listings more clear (again, providing evidence that at that time at least, he assumed they were not allowed and did not oppose the idea. -The user who brought forth the discussion (Pashley) also presented "gay saunas" and ""on-premise" fetish clubs" as falling under the category of: "It is OK to mention the district, just not specific businesses." This could be assumed to mean that's what he wants or that he was trying to clarify precedent by placing it into the policy. -K7L seemed to think the same as Ground Zero in terms of what the policy permits (noting that it "seems more restrictive") but did not give any personal opinions on whether or not it should be permitted. In most of the discussions, responses have avoided giving concrete opinions. There's a lot of "If we" responses, confusion about what these venues are, acknowledgement of points made without adding personal views, etc. I think it's best if we make a decision on this. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 05:42, 8 February 2020 (UTC)Reply

Easier to Understand


Since "gay sauna" is not well-understood by a lot of people, perhaps it's clearer to say that we're talking about (as Pashley put it): "establishments that exist for the express purpose of sexual activity". Do we want listings for establishments whose sole purpose is sexual activity? There are two proposals that I'm aware of:

  • Ban creating listings for establishments that exist for the express purpose of sexual activity. It is OK to mention the district, just not specific businesses.
  • Permit the creation of listings for establishments that exist for the express purpose of sexual activity if they don't violate other policies.

Obviously, for myself, I prefer to ban listings but allow mention in a general description without mentioning specific businesses. I personally feel that this is already how we operate in practice and don't see sex only venues as being the kind of places our average readers are seeking or expect to see here. It has been argued in other sex-related proposal discussions, but I think in this case, too, the solely-for-sex businesses will repel more people than it attracts and in general, sex content only attracts more sex content/users. I also think it makes a much more solid and easy-to-follow policy to simply state that we aren't the place for sex-only venues. It's clear, concise, and unambiguous. Plus, even though the venues are technically "patron to patron" sex, prostitutes do frequent these establishments, since they already know the people there want sex. Here are just a handful of articles about bathhouses/sauanas and prostitution: (About Spain. See "Sex work in gay saunas" [6] ), (Soaplands in Japan operate as "special public bathhouses" to get around prostitution laws [7] ), (Indonesia. Police claim a gay bathhouse was being used for prostitution, while LGBT advocates claim it's a fabricated crime to arrest people for being gay[8]) , (Prostitutes using gay saunas in Lebanon [9] ), Gay saunas in Brazil have "rent boy" prostitutes [10]). ChubbyWimbus (talk) 05:42, 8 February 2020 (UTC)Reply

Of the four examples cited, only two are "gay saunas" as we are discussing here: the ones in Brazil and Spain. The one on Lebanon is a hammam, not a gay sauna/bathhouse as would be understood in places like Stockholm, Toronto or New York. The article Japan is only about female prostitution. Countries like Indonesia and Egypt have a long history of using false charges to persecute LGBT people, so I wouldn't take the word of the Indonesian police on this. They are not a credible source. I have no objection to removing an establishment that facilitates prostitution, but removing a whole category of establishments based on some of them doing so is but justifiable. Ground Zero (talk) 06:26, 11 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
I oppose this. There are lots of hotels around the world where prostitution takes places, but we don't ban hotel listings. (There was a persistent woman offering her services to my husband and me in a chain hotel on Shanghai, and tuk-tuk drivers frequently offer "girls" to single male passengers.) With respect to the particular listing in question, a gay sauna in Stockholm, I asked if there were any record of prostitution or sexual slavery, and I get examples in other countries to justify removing that one. People don't go to strip clubs for the music or the wine list, and they don't go to sex shops for the ambiance People have sex, and people like sexual things. I don't think we treating readers like adults in prohibiting listings related to sex beyond those involving financial or physical coercion. If we ban all gay saunas because some have a problem with prostitution, then let's talk about banning Catholic churches because of their well-known, widespread problem with child sexual abuse, and the organization's persistent sheltering and protection of paedophiles. Ground Zero (talk) 05:55, 8 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
The crimes of the Catholic Church don't amount to visits to churches being for the purpose of having sex, and listings for hotels that present a scene of open sex upon entry, or which are set up such that every patron understands to expect a prostitute's services as part of admission could be banned, too. I think we should hear from User:AndreCarrotflower on this topic. I suspect he would strongly disagree with you and agree with Chubby, but let's see what he says. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:05, 8 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
I bring up the Catholic Church in reference to the attempt to tar all gay saunas with the same brush. I don't understand why we are averse to listing sites where consenting adults do things together. Is that more offensive than strip clubs where young women's bodies are objectified and commoditized? Strip clubs are offensive to a lot of people, and not just because of their sexual nature. I don't think we should be policing morality or politics here, but focus on being a travel guide providing information to travellers who then select what interests them. Ground Zero (talk) 08:27, 8 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
If it is for the "express purpose" of purchasing sexual services then I would oppose listing it. We talked about this in the context of heterosexual services last year in April (the previous discussion on this page) and the same should apply to homosexual and pansexual services for the same reasons. Gizza (roam) 09:15, 8 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
[Edit conflict:] I don't feel strongly about this. If it weren't likely to offend lots of people, I could imagine what an attempt at tasteful listings of legal brothels might consist of. Where we draw the line is a decision about what is more likely to turn off readers than attract them, and it could be misguided. I just don't think the sex tourism policy is intended to ban only brothels, but as I said, I'll respect whatever the consensus is, as long as the language in the policy is very clear and unambiguous about where the line is. And if you want to argue for banning strip clubs, I think many of our European regulars may disagree that there's anything weird about listing them, but we should hear anyone with a pro or con viewpoint. I've never found them appealing, myself, but if we go too far down the path of objecting to nudity, art museums will become off-limits... Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:18, 8 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
I see that I argued the opposing viewpoint above (that listings for places serving as venues for guests to have consensual sex with each other without any participant being paid are not banned unless the policy is changed to explicitly state that listing them is banned). I guess my bottom line (excuse the expression) is that the language of the sex tourism policy should be clearer and really unambiguous about where we're drawing the line. Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:23, 8 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
I think that prostitution (illegal in most countries) and paedophilia (illegal in almost all countries) are clear lines that we can draw. After that, such as trying to guess what will offend what proportion of readers, it becomes difficult to draw lines and crosses into the realm of policing morality. Ground Zero (talk) 09:28, 8 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
I think "illegal in most countries" is a gross oversimplification. See w:Prostitution law & then consider places like China or the Philippines where it is illegal but widespread & apparently tolerated by the authorities. Pashley (talk) 11:27, 8 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
I think we all need to remember the Signpost article and ask ourselves what we'd be OK for this site to be accused of promoting. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:03, 9 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
Could you provide a link to the Signpost article? Are we promoting Christianity by listing churches? Are we promoting the killing of animals by listing steakhouses? Are we promoting the exploitation of women by listing strip clubs and Hooters? There are lots of people who oppose tourism to Israel, Russia, Cuba, Iran or the United States for a variety of reasons. There are reasons to boycott every country in the world (other than Ireland, of course). Some people object to sex, others object to other things. Ground Zero (talk) 01:18, 9 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
I think we all need to forget the Signpost article which, as some of us said at the time, was mostly rubbish. Pashley (talk) 01:27, 9 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Ground Zero: [11] --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 01:29, 9 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
I said "accused of promoting", and it's hard to accuse this site of particularly promoting travel to x country when this site doesn't discriminate at all in that respect. That article was indeed rubbish, and I am not making the argument that listing something promotes it, but there are P.R. risks for certain kinds of listings, and we shouldn't ignore that factor while we continue improving this guide. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:51, 9 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
And there are those who would accuse us of promoting cruelty to animals by listing zoos and aquariums. I think our approach has been to list controversial sites, identify the concerns, and let readers decide for themselves. Ground Zero (talk) 06:11, 9 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
It looks like I've been called on to opine here, and I'm sorry for the delay in doing so. I've been following this discussion, but being neither gay nor at all a fan of steam baths, I didn't (and still don't) feel qualified to weigh in on the nature of gay saunas vis-à-vis our policy. But with that as a caveat, I think the opinion I most agree with is LPfi's. Regardless of what people come to gay saunas to do, I think the question of whether money changes hands (for anything other than entrance fees, obviously) is the paramount one. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 02:03, 10 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
OK. Then my feeling is, let's make that unambiguously clear as where the line is drawn and be done with this discussion for now. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:10, 10 February 2020 (UTC)Reply

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Um, so that sounds like we would prohibit saunas where people get paid for sex. I'm okay with that. What about bars that facilitate or tolerate prostitution? Proposal B below addresses that. Ground Zero (talk) 02:18, 10 February 2020 (UTC)Reply

Whatever people want to do is OK with me, as long as we have clarity. I guess my feeling is, under the terms of the current policy, if the bar facilitates prostitution by accepting bar fines, we can't list it because that's an indirect purchase of sexual services. I'm not sure about other types of facilitation. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:20, 10 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
Well, by way of framing my position a bit more clearly, let me start by acknowledging that Ikan made reference to the infamous Signpost article upthread. I think that we should not let ourselves be unnecessarily cowed by Tony's bully tactics. The reaction to that article anyway was almost unanimous condemnation, which we should interpret as a vote of confidence for the status quo. So I think the thing to do is to clarify our sex tourism policy, as opposed to making it either more or less restrictive than it currently is. I think that's the angle LPfi was approaching the issue from, and I know it's the angle I'm approaching it from. As to Ground Zero's follow-up comment, I would say there's a difference between facilitation and toleration. If the business has actively arranged for the presence of sex workers, and/or is receiving a portion of the revenues from paid sex on the premises, that's something I'd forbid. But if the paid sex just so happens to be occurring through no prior arrangement on the business owner's part - even if the business owner knows what's going on but chooses not to get involved - I would let the listings remain, on the grounds that the responsibility for enforcing laws against paid sex falls on the police, not business owners. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 17:59, 10 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
OK, so do you think bars that permit bar fines are or are not listable? Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:15, 11 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
Not listable, assuming the bar keeps all or part of that money. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 21:46, 11 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
I think then that that should be made explicit in the wording of the policy. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:49, 12 February 2020 (UTC)Reply

Two proposals to help focus the discussion


There are a lot of issues here, so I think it would be helpful to try to focus the discussion with a couple of proposals.

Proposal B: tighten rules around prostitution — Prohibit listings of bars, hotels and saunas that facilitate or tolerate prostitution. (This would ban bars where prostitutes openly ply their trade or have short-term rental rooms upstairs, and saunas that allow prostitutes to work in them.)

Proposal C: stop listing sex-related businesses — Prohibit listings of strip clubs, bars and hotels that facilitate or tolerate prostitution, saunas that allow sex on the premises, sex shops and theatres, and fetish clubs.

Proposal B gets at the concerns that Wikivoyage may be too lax around prostitution, and Proposal C addresses the concern that some people will be offended or that Wikivoyage will get accused of promoting these businesses. Ground Zero (talk) 06:11, 9 February 2020 (UTC)Reply

I consider both proposals quite objectionable. I've argued previously that parts of our policy need to be loosened considerably; see #Re-start_discussion?. However, I did lose that argument (even though, in my view, I was obviously correct) & it likely is not worth re-opening. Pashley (talk) 07:38, 9 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
One question about Proposal C: Are love hotels sex-related businesses? I think they're in a different category in that they tend to be patronized by couples, but in a strict sense, they are places of refuge for couples who want to have sex in private, so I'd have to say they are sex-related. I wouldn't really care which way a consensus goes on strip clubs and so forth, but not listing love hotels would ill-serve travelers who might want to patronize one, for whatever reason (and simply spending the night in one and not having sex is perfectly OK; there could be other benefits to simply using it as a hotel). And about fetish clubs: Some fetishes are not sexual. For example, a friend of mine had a friend who worked as a professional dominatrix. That work was perfectly legal in New York, for the simple reason that it didn't involve sex at all. Instead, she was paid a lot of money by business executives to order them to wear diapers and crawl around on the floor, etc., during their lunch hour. Sure, some people would find that weird, but sexual, it isn't. Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:49, 9 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
Proposal C is intended to address the issue of listings that will offend people, so yes, it should include love hotels and fetish clubs. This would be a "no sex, please, we're British", or "family-friendly" approach. Love hotels, like sex saunas, are principally about sex, even if they can be used for non-sexual purposes. (I'm assuming that were not going to try to distinguish between different types of sex between consenting adults. It seems that either we should accept it, or decide we're not comfortable with such listings.) And fetish clubs are usually sexual, as far as I can tell, even if sometimes they're not. (I'm not advocating this proposal — I'm just putting it forward to see how far other contributors want to go in addressing the issue that has been raised here about sex-related listings.) Ground Zero (talk) 10:00, 9 February 2020 (UTC)Reply

I still prefer mine and think it at least deserves consideration:

Proposal D: Ban creating listings for establishments that exist for the express purpose of sexual activity. - This was proposed previously by Pashley and was never openly opposed but also never added to the policy. I find it to be very reasonable, easy to understand, and eliminates most controversy. I think "sex-related" would likely make the policy less clear. A lot of non-sex places could be thought of as "sex-related" (any LGBT venue, for example, being that LGB are sexualities could be considered "sex-related"). In current practice, I don't think many love hotels are actually listed. I personally don't add listings if I realize they are love hotels. While I believe they are basically just regular hotels with more gaudy rooms and hour-based fairs in addition to overnight fares, it feels a bit like a trick to mix them in among regular hotels in the travel guides, so I don't. Sex theaters probably don't make much sense as listings already, since we don't list regular cinemas. In previous talks about sex shops, we agreed that in most cases, they are not travel-related, but that there are a handful of very famous ones in certain places that have in fact become tourist spots. I think in practice, most of the "sex-related" sites you've listed have very few listings and many actually have a very narrow range in what merits a listing to begin with. This discussion started as a proposal to specifically address venues that are solely for sex, so I think strip club talk is getting off-topic. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 11:38, 9 February 2020 (UTC)Reply

What is the rationale for banning places where consenting adults have sex? Do we not approve of sex between consenting adults? Let's be grown up about this and recognize that adults have sex, and in 2020 this is no longer taboo. Is a place like a love hotel or sauna where consenting adults have sex more offensive than a strip club where old men pay to ogle young women (or young men)? I think that strip clubs are exploitive, whereas places for sex between consenting adults are quite the opposite. But I wouldn't support banning listings of strip clubs because I don't think we need to police morality here.
As far as your comment that "any LGBT venue, for example, being that LGB are sexualities could be considered "sex-related"", I think that shows your perspective on this. You don't seem to realize that being straight is a sexuality too. It's in the name, "heterosexuality", and yes, there are straight venues. In most straight bars around the world, two men dancing together would be told to leave, or worse, assaulted.
There are probably very few sex saunas listed too (and I have no intention of adding more), but here we are having a policy discussion about them, so the number of listings is a non sequitur. Ground Zero (talk) 13:05, 9 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
@ChubbyWimbus: could you please elaborate on what you mean by "any LGBT venue"? Should we not mention anything about the Stonewall Inn in the Manhattan or Greenwich Village articles? Should we not have an LGBT Travel article that speaks to special concerns of some travelers?  –Nucleosynth (t c) 16:53, 9 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
[Edit conflict:] Love hotels are listed some in articles about Japan. And regular cinemas can be listed. We wouldn't list them in an article about a city that has dozens or hundreds of them, but I've surely seen them listed in articles for small towns. And yes, of course most venues are straight, and the only reason not to think about that is if we're treating "straight" as an unmarked category that doesn't bear mentioning - but that's just a lack of consciousness that enables the domination of heterosexuality to continue implicitly without even being aware of it. In terms of the question of whether or not to list places that exist solely for people to have sex or watch others having sex, to me, it has nothing to do with whether I approve or disapprove of what they're doing. I fully agree that whatever people do that's consenting is none of my business and should be legal everywhere, and when there are sufficient safeguards to prevent coercion and deceptive recruiting and hiring practices (big ifs!), that includes prostitution. It's really just a question of scope. We also choose not to include listings for most kinds of guided tours, hardware stores, catering services (I just deleted a listing for one), dog-walking services - so it's solely up to us whether to include sex-provision services of any kind or not. I don't have a dog in this fight, though; I just want an unambiguous policy. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:03, 9 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
I think proposals B and C are both non-starters (but thanks for focusing the discussion on concrete proposals). What about a district or town where most or all hotels tolerate prostitution? Would this mean we'd have no "Sleep" listings in that article? If a hotel is visited by a significant number of people who aren't engaging in prostitution but also tolerates prostitutes working there, I don't think that's a reason to exclude it, especially in a destination where prostitution is legal. Proposal D seems feasible (not sure if I support it or not, but I think it would be a coherent policy). —Granger (talk · contribs) 06:48, 10 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Nucleosynth: I said that as a response to Ground Zero's proposal that suggested banning "sex-related" venues as an example of how much less clear and more problematic that phrasing would be. It has nothing to do with "Proposal D". It is a criticism of the previous proposal. It does not "represent my views" at all. In fact, the bars that Ground Zero brings up would be equally up for deletion under the phrasing "sex-related". I used the LGB example because I thought it highlighted well just how bad the wording was. Ground Zero has been working on LGBT articles recently (one which led to this discussion), so it seemed apt to mention that those could easily be called into question by the wording of his proposal. It seems my point was missed but also reinforced in some ways by the responses. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 12:22, 10 February 2020 (UTC)Reply

A third proposal


I seem to be in a minority here, but I'll make my view explicit. It is part of my suggested policy rewrite, specifically User_talk:Pashley/STP#Acceptable_level_of_detail.

That version excludes gay saunas, but some of the arguments above for allowing them almost convince me; certainly I'm not going to object strongly if this discussion reaches a consensus to allow them. Pashley (talk) 07:05, 10 February 2020 (UTC)Reply

Quick reaction: Most of that seems OK, if people would like to support it, but the information on bar fines is a how-to for clients of prostitutes, so I can't see it being allowed on the basis that this guide should cater to clients of prostitutes by providing them with practical information. I'm also a little uncomfortable with "girls" being used to describe adult women. Also, while it certainly appears as if a consensus is for allowing the listing of gay saunas and other places where consenting adults pay an admission fee and then have consensual sex with others, if there's a decision not to allow such listings, the focus can't and shouldn't be only on gay spas or saunas, but also on heterosexual sex clubs and the like. As Ground Zero said, no differentiation should be made in policy or guidelines that treats sex differently depending on the genders or orientations of the partners. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:29, 10 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
I've changed parts of it, including replacing "girls" with "women" (thanks, Ikan) & allowing the saunas. Pashley (talk) 12:33, 10 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
I think the gay saunas/bathouses should be written with the brothels and "on site fetish clubs" given that the discussion stemmed from that, but either way, the description still puts them at "okay to mention but not to give listings" under the "express purpose of sexual activity" section, so it's good. Does anyone else see any issues? ChubbyWimbus (talk) 12:52, 10 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
ChibbyWimbus and I clearly disagree about whether there is consensus here to prohibit listings of saunas/bathhouses where consenting adults have sex. I don't think there is consensus for such a prohibition. I think we need one or more other editors to make that determination. And it should clearly apply to straight bathhouses, like the one in the article I linked above, unless CW can provide a good explanation for why he thinks the prohibition should apply only to "gay saunas/bathouses". Ground Zero (talk) 06:15, 11 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
There clearly is no such consensus. Instead, the consensus is to allow listings and mandate that they clearly state that such facilities exist for customers to have sex with each other. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:20, 11 February 2020 (UTC)Reply

I was pointed to this debate by a friend. I am surprised and shocked to read some of the opinions formed above, as if it is the year 1920 instead of 2020. Some proposals are very far from reality. I am a 26 year old female and have been working in the industry for 7 years, first in a brothel and now as escort (in Russia, London, and Dubai). Some facts and corrections:

  • Prostitution exists in every country, even the most conservative ones (for example Dubai etc.). Every major city has brothels, strip clubs, fetish clubs, swinger clubs, and escort agencies. It is not marginal thing but a huge industry.
  • Sex tourism, defined as people traveling to a destination for sex, is niche phenomenon isolated to a few countries (Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Bangladesh, Kenya, ...). Most of my clients are men who are traveling for business. I do have tourists as clients but they do not travel to St Petersburg for sex alone, instead they see sex as one of the many attractions of the city or country.
  • Almost all women involved I have met are doing prostitution work by choice. I started it as a student to become financially independent from my parents, and decided to continue the work after I got my university degree just because I enjoy sex.
  • There are cases where women are pushed into prostitution by poverty or through trafficking, but other sectors have the same problems. My work brings me to many different hotels, and it is not hard to see how many room maids in cities like London are Polish, Czech, Romanian, ... Not all of them have ended up in these jobs by choice either. Then be consequent and remove all hotel listings from this site too, because some could employ women who are victims of trafficking.
  • Those who oppose prostitution with the argument that many prostitutes are being forced should also oppose zoos where dolphins and whales are also forced to entertain clients. Go ahead and remove Sea World from the site.
  • The image of clients of strip clubs or brothels as middle aged, overweight, ugly men is incorrect. Some of my clients are students in their 20s, or attractive single men who don't have the time to date. I have friends who strip in strip clubs, and they just enjoy the attention from men. Of course some clients are less pleasant than others, but if you work as a plumber to fix toilets then not all jobs are equally much fun either.
  • Not every school girl is a victim of child abuse. I know several highschoolers between 14 and 18 with a daddy kink who just enjoy having sex with older men because they are more experienced than teenage boys or guys in their early 20s. You can choose to ignore reality, it doesn't make it go away. Sexual preferences differ.
  • It is pointless to try to push venues in different categories because there are too many. I saw love hotels mentioned. There are a lot of steps between a love hotel in a red lights district and a Hilton. I have been to love hotels where most guests were students travelling on a budget. And yes I do meet clients in a Radisson too, does that make them ethically unacceptable?
  • The same applies to swinger clubs and fetish clubs. On one side of the spectrum there are swinger clubs that cater exclusively to couples with a kink (like offering dungeon facilities), other swinger clubs cater to couples and single males by employing prostitutes, and on the other side of the spectrum you would find FKKs like in Germany. Some of these are very famous and important tourist destinations. I see Artemis is listed for Berlin as example.
  • Every individual has different views and ethics, but this site does not force them on travelers. For example images of God are considered unacceptable by many Muslims, but still the Sistine Chapel is listed on this site.

Almost everything can be offensive to some culture or religion somewhere in the world. Why is it so difficult to just list everyting and let the traveler decide what they want to visit and what to skip? No one is forced to go watch a dolphin show, to eat dog meat in a Chinese restaurant, or to visit a brothel. KatarinaSV95 (talk) 14:45, 10 February 2020 (UTC)Reply

Katarina, thanks for adding your perspective. I appreciate it and you make some very good points which I don't have time to focus on right now. I have a few quick reactions, though: I don't think this is about anyone participating in this discussion being a prude. I may be misremembering something, but I don't think there have been any calls in this thread for gay saunas or similar heterosexual establishments to be shut down. It was first of all a question of accurately describing gay spas and saunas, which has been agreed to. Otherwise, this is really a matter of scope and image, and in that connection, I would note that we don't list plumbers, either. To deal with some marginal questions: Of course prostitution exists everywhere, including Saudi Arabia, but we are not going to list illegal businesses, because that would get us and travelers in trouble. We have a similar policy toward drugs, though some of us favor across-the-board legalization or decriminalization. And on your point about minors who like to have sex with older men - we will never consider promoting or facilitating child abuse in any way. You're talking about minors. It's not that we're ignoring the problem, thinking that it'll go away; it's that we all agree (except you) that it's illegal, immoral and indeed a felony that would quite correctly get travelers in big trouble if they are arrested and prosecuted. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:32, 10 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
To provide an alternative perspective as someone who grew up in Asia, sure, many women are forced into various jobs because of poverty too. The difference is that there is a huge social stigma against sex workers, while there isn't the same kind of stigma against, say, bartenders, waitresses or hotel housekeeping maids. Women who have worked as prostitutes (and their kids) are often considered "impure" by society, and hence would often be shunned for marriage. Just to highlight the difference, the stigma against prostitutes is so strong that if I decided to marry someone whose mother is or was a prostitute, my grandmother is sure to vehemently object to it, just as she will vehemently object to someone whose mother or father has a criminal record. On the other hand, if that woman's parents were cleaners or had other low-wage jobs in that vein, though my grandmother would certainly prefer that I marry someone whose parents have more glamorous jobs, she can still accept it if the woman I'm marrying is well educated and has a successful career herself. Perhaps the attitudes of society are wrong and need to change, but that is the reality of the situation. The dog2 (talk) 21:10, 10 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
The fact that we have a person who, at the behest of a friend and avowedly so, has shown up on a relatively obscure policy page to share what could charitably be described as an extremist viewpoint despite having no previous contribution history at Wikivoyage nor any other apparent stake in the outcome of this debate, makes me very concerned that this is an example of stealth canvassing, which is a major no-no in Wikimedia site governance. I don't know who the "friend" is that put this person up to writing this note, though I have my suspicions, but let me just say this: at Wikivoyage we operate under the principle of one end user, one voice. Meatpuppets are not welcome here, and the comments by KatarinaSV95 should be disregarded on that basis. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 21:35, 11 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
For the record, your "suspicions" are unfounded.
To me, your argument for ignoring her seems utterly bogus. Pashley (talk) 23:10, 11 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
For the record, I'm not in principle opposed to prostitution. While I personally do not engage in it, I think that a woman who truly enjoys being a prostitute should be free to do so (and likewise with a man who truly enjoys being a gigolo). My only concern is that there are proper regulatory systems in place to ensure that prostitutes are not victims of human trafficking or coerced into it by their families. Therefore, I don't think her views are particularly extreme just based on that one single post. The dog2 (talk) 23:35, 11 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
The dog2, look again at the seventh item down on Katarina's bullet-point list. I think that, irrespective of a person's opinion of paid sex between consenting adults, and irrespective of whether Katarina's comment was the result of canvassing (I think her admission that she "was pointed to this debate by a friend" makes it pretty much the dictionary definition of canvassing, but for the sake of argument let's pretend otherwise), anyone who seeks to defend or normalize sex with children ought to be considered as waiving their right to have their viewpoint seriously considered. And as I said above, I think "extremist" is frankly one of the nicer adjectives one could use to describe a pro-pedophilia viewpoint. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 01:23, 12 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
OK, I guess I must have overlooked that then. Thanks for pointing it out. I'm definitely not on the side of pro-paedophilia, so that changes things. The dog2 (talk) 03:11, 12 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
Indeed it sounds like Katarina wants to rewrite the Wikivoyage:Illegal activities policy in addition to radically changing or getting rid of this one. Just because many people commit crimes while travelling (whether it's pedophilia, trafficking drugs and weapons, hunting endangered wildlife, etc.) doesn't mean that Wikivoyage has to discuss these activities as if they were normal. Nobody is denying that all of these things occur but the focus should be on the traveller's awareness and safety, not promoting these activities. And it's very hard to take a Wikipedia:Single-purpose account seriously as Andre says. Gizza (roam) 03:16, 12 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
Let me make perfectly clear that I do not endorse pedophilia in any way. Pedophiles are interested in children, whereas my previous post was referring to consenting teenagers. If you don't know the difference between a child and a teenager then read those Wikipedia pages first before resuming the discussion. Whether you like it or not doesn't change the fact that teenagers do have (consensual) sex too. It's called puberty. Ignorance is no reason to attack people with other opinions personally. Or do you have a problem with me being a woman or prostitute? If so then say it. Legally, the age of consent is between 14 and 16 in most countries, by the way, which is what I referred to in my previous post. Again, you may prefer to think of teenagers as older "kids" who catch Pokémon full time, but that doesn't change the facts.
Anyway, my intention here was to help the discussion forward with advice from someone with experience in the sector. I came here to give people the chance to ask questions before forming an opinion, not to be attached for my own beliefs.
For the sake of argument, think for a moment about all the listings on the site that involve coercion:
  • zoos with dolphin and primate shows, or any circus with live animals
  • shops that sell electronics (phones from Apple) or carpets from Pakistan, made by child labor
  • elephant rides for tourists or "animal sanctuaries" where tourists pose with half sedated tigers
  • attractions built with slave labor (such as our own Transsiberian for example)
Even though most people would find these to be at least ethically/morally questionable, they are still listed. I guess the reasoning is that well informed travelers should decide for themselves whether they want to visit these attractions or not (and endorse/support the problem by doing so, if you consider it a problem). Why can the same logic not be applied to adult venues such as swinger clubs, (gay) sauna clubs, fetish clubs, brothels, strip clubs, escort agencies, etc. which only offer/facilitate services between consenting adults (and therefore are less morally objectionable than the 4 examples involving coercion I listed above)?
As I have already said before, but carefully ignored: listing a sauna or brothel doesn't force any traveler to visit these venues, it only gives them the choice. KatarinaSV95 (talk) 07:51, 12 February 2020 (UTC)Reply

I am not wrong. Please reread the proposal. Gay saunas fall under this provision: "Do not create listings or provide contact details for establishments that exist for the express purpose of sexual activity". They can be mentioned but specific establishments do not get listings. It's very clear and sensible. The topic is not banned. Specific establishments just doesn't get listings. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 10:20, 11 February 2020 (UTC)Reply

Then the policy has to be rephrased more clearly, because there's a clear consensus to allow such listings. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:45, 12 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
If you apply the same logic you could argue that bars, pubs, night clubs etc. are also "establishments that exist for the express purpose of drinking alcohol" (which is just as morally unacceptable to Muslims as sex is to you). Does that mean we should start arguing to remove all listings of bars, pubs, and night clubs?
If Muslims are okay with bars, pubs, or night clubs being listed, or Indians with restaurants with beef on the menu being listed, why is it so difficult to be tolerant towards listings of venues that involve sex or sexual services between consenting adults? KatarinaSV95 (talk) 07:57, 12 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
It's really at bottom a simple proposition: Wikis operate on consensus. If the consensus accepts the other kinds of listings you mention and doesn't accept listings for brothels, we have listings for those other businesses and not brothels. That doesn't mean that most of us think brothels should be illegal; we just choose not to list them. And how many other travel guides list them? Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:21, 12 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
This is precisely why the policy as stated is so much better than loosening it. It's a very clear slippery slope (if it can even be called that with the agenda kind of laid out). We haven't even MADE the policy change yet, and we suddenly have "friends" popping out of the woodwork steering us towards discussions about pedophilia and treating anyone going through puberty (which can start as young as age 9) as adults with "daddy kinks". Words like "prude", "morality policing", and "living in the 1920s" have been thrown around, but can we not see where this is going? Obviously my stance on this issue has not been swayed, because all along I supported the clause of "Do not create listings or provide contact details for establishments that exist for the express purpose of sexual activity", but KatarinaSV95 makes me even MORE concerned about allowing for-sex venues. It's quite clear this is just a stepping stone for those who have been biding their time to essentially make the "sex tourism policy" moot. We're just a few "friends" away from a consensus to ban zoos in favor of "14 year old girls with daddy issues" as a new example of "lively writing"... ChubbyWimbus (talk) 11:23, 12 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
Simple majority is not how consensus works. No matter how many random one-issue accounts pop up, we will not be publishing information which allows or encourages adults to have sex with people who are not adults. Apart from being an absolute moral red line, it would be breaking the law of both California and the United States, where our servers are held. It's not an option, it's not happening and I would advise everyone to stop talking about it as if it might.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 13:05, 12 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
The "slippery slope" argument is used by anyone who is ever against change. No regular contributor has argued in favour of allowing listings involving underage people, and only one regular contributor has argued in favour of a more relaxed approach to prostitution.
The point is that we do not agree what the current policy means, so it must be clarified. I believe that allowing sex saunas is clarifying the status quo, ChibbyWimbus believes it is loosening the policy. He believes that not allowing them is clarifying the status quo, and I believe it is making the policy more restrictive. There is no point arguing this point anymore as we cannot come to an agreement on that, so it is best to make the policy clear.
I don't think that ChibbyWimbus have consensus to prohibit listings of places where consenting adults have sex, which I believe means there is consensus to clarify that such listings are permitted. Ground Zero (talk) 13:12, 12 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
I want to thank KatarinaSV95 for her writing what she wrote, as some remarks here might seem like attacks on her. I do not share her opinions, but they gave me some new perspectives. Of course she or any other newcomer do not decide how we want to write our travel guide, but those who want to can take her viewpoints into consideration. --LPfi (talk) 15:20, 13 February 2020 (UTC)Reply

Trying again to resolve this


It seems that we are not getting anywhere on developing a consensus on overhauling the sex tourism policy, but there are some common ideas coming forward, that will not get unanimous approval, but I'd like to see if we have consensus on at least this clarification on the original question.

Thus proposal is to

  1. specifically permit listings for saunas and other places where consenting adults have sex, and
  2. prohibit listings for saunas, bars and other establishments that take payments from prostitutes or from their customers.

Agree or disagree? Ground Zero (talk) 13:17, 12 February 2020 (UTC)Reply

  • I'm OK with this: It does not revise the overall policy as I think it should be, but that's not the topic here & there does not seem to be anything like a consensus for my view anyway.
If this is a consensus answer to the original question about gay saunas (& to me, it seems to be), then I'm for it. Pashley (talk) 08:11, 13 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Comment: I agree to point 2, supposing it is not about fees just incidentally taken also from them. For point 1, I am not requesting a ban, but "explicitly" allowing them might seem like recommending such listings everywhere where such places exist, which I do not see being our mission. I'd suppose listings are OK in articles where they might be of special interest. --LPfi (talk) 15:32, 13 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
    • The policy says "writers are free to mention other kinds of regulated adult entertainment venues... such as...." I wouldn't see that as recommending listing strip clubs, etc., only permitting. The only reason I added the one sauna that led to this discussion was because some people argued for merging the LGBT Stockholm article out of existence because it didn't have enough content, and this sauna was listed in other travels guides for the city. Ground Zero (talk) 00:18, 14 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • I agree with the proposal. There may be scope for fine tuning the wording, but I don't have any specific suggestions. AlasdairW (talk) 22:46, 13 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Question: LPfi, what do you mean by "fees just incidentally taken also from them"? Can you give an example of how that would work? Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:58, 13 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
    • I mean that a club taking the same fee for prostitutes and their customers as from everybody else should not prohibit the listing by this change. If we want that, we should make other changes, which there is no consensus for. --LPfi (talk) 21:24, 14 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
Right. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:54, 14 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • I agree with this for now, mostly Ikan Kekek's reasoning. Listings place where adults happen to have consensual sex is fine as long as it doesn't morph into a how-to-get-laid guide. Gizza (roam) 00:11, 14 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose I can see consensus already, but I do regard this as the thin edge of the wedge and just want to register my discomfort. Andrewssi2 (talk) 07:50, 14 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Sorry, I have to oppose. I worry that part 2 will force us to remove perfectly good hotel and bar listings in destinations where prostitution is common and legal. I'm thinking, for instance, of small towns in Nevada where prostitution is one of the main industries. I'm okay with part 1 if it's understood that these saunas are only supposed to be listed in articles where they're particularly relevant and not in all articles for cities that have such establishments. —Granger (talk · contribs) 13:20, 14 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
    • What does "particularly relevant" mean? How do we administer such a test? These listings have not been specifically excluded before now, and I doubt that we have more than a few listings. I've only seen two. So the concern that there is going to be a sudden flood of these listings is not supported by the evidence so far.
    • Are there "perfectly good hotels" in places where prostitution is legal that take payments from prostitutes and their customers? I don't think this is intended to mean payment for drinks and rooms, but rather taking a cut of the prostitute's fees. Is there a way to clarify this?
    • Please keep in mind that this long debate has resulted from a lack of clarity in the current wording. Voting down this proposal means the policy remains unclear. Ground Zero (talk) 13:35, 14 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
I don't think it's fair to claim that the choices are either to agree with you or have an unclear policy. The obvious other options are to introduce a better proposal or to make changes to the current proposal that address the new concerns or better clarifies what is meant. Barring a surge of opposition, it seems that there is a general consensus here with possibly a few things to clarify. If that requires a bit further discussion among those who favor the proposal then further discussion can be had. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 13:54, 14 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
That is why I've asked for clarifications. Opposing the proposal without identifying what changes are needed doesn't move us toward clarifying the policy. I have already brought forward several proposals through the discussion to try to get consensus. Ground Zero (talk) 14:22, 14 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
Is it possible for us to implement part 1 of the proposal without implementing part 2? I don't really see that part 2 is necessary to address the key concerns here, but I may have missed something in the discussion above. If part 2 does address some key concern, maybe we can tailor it more narrowly. —Granger (talk · contribs) 14:25, 14 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
Part 2 aims to address the concern raised by ChibbyWimbus about prostitution in saunas. I can live without it, but I think that it makes others feel more comfortable with this change. How about, to exclude payments for drinks and rooms:
2. prohibit listings for saunas, bars and other establishments that take payments from prostitutes or from their customers in respect of the prostitute's services.
Ground Zero (talk) 14:38, 14 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
Good edit, but I'd tweak the language slightly: "prohibit listings for saunas, bars and other establishments that take payments from prostitutes or their customers as part of the cost of sexual services. This does not include charges that are the same for anyone, such as a hotel's normal room rates or a bar's normal charges for drinks." —The preceding comment was added by Ikan Kekek (talkcontribs)
  • Comment: I think we should allow the listing of places like love hotels. That's certainly not akin to facilitating prostitution, and there is no rule that you can only have sex with prostitutes in a love hotel. I don't think anyone will find it morally questionable if a married couple decides to get a room in a love hotel while on holiday in Japan so they can have sex. There's no reason why we can't cater to such travellers too. Besides, isn't that a perfectly normal activity for honeymoon travel? The dog2 (talk) 16:50, 14 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
I think it's clear that these listings are acceptable to a consensus, and I fully agree with your points. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:02, 14 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
Indeed love hotels (at least in Korea/Japan) are targeted at couples rather that prostitution, even though it is accepted that prostitutes are sometimes used there (as indeed they are used in high end luxury hotels as well). In fact they are a good 'last option' when you are in a city with all the 'regular' hotels are booked out (World Cup, Olympics, other event) and just need somewhere clean to stay. Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:38, 14 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Let me give a concrete example to illustrate my concern. In rural Nevada there's an "Area 51 Alien Center", a roadside alien-themed gift shop with good reviews on Google Maps. I haven't visited, but it looks to me like it might merit a listing. But the shop is attached to a separately named legal brothel which appears to be run as part of the same business. Would this proposal prohibit us from listing the shop in the "Buy" section of the relevant article? (I suspect that there are places where prostitution is legal where many hotels and bars would have the same problem, though I don't have any specific examples.) —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:43, 15 February 2020 (UTC)Reply

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I believe there is consensus to implement this proposal with Ikan Kekek's changes, so I have done so. Further adjustments can always be made. I would suggest starting a new section with any proposals that anyone has in order to make for easier navigation. Ground Zero (talk) 01:21, 15 February 2020 (UTC)Reply

I don't see how there can be consensus for Ikan Kekek's version when almost no one has had time to comment on it. I also don't think it's appropriate to shut the discussion down so quickly while people are still workshopping the wording and raising and responding to objections. —Granger (talk · contribs) 05:57, 15 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
This discussion began on 27 January, and Ikan Kekek's wording is a refinement of a proposal that reflects the discussion that has been ongoing and that had consensus. You didn't propose any alternative wording. As I noted above, "further adjustments can always be made". I think that makes it clear that this discussion is not being shut down. (Also, I have no authority here to tell people to stop discussing anything.)
I implemented this in order to avoid this becoming one of those many discussions in Wikivoyage that drag on, go around in circles, and end up petering out with nothing being changed.
I think this is a good change, but there is nothing to say it can't be made better. I look forward to seeing your proposals for further changes. Ground Zero (talk) 06:11, 15 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
Fair enough. My suggestion was to leave out part 2, but I'll see if I can think of another refinement. —Granger (talk · contribs) 07:26, 15 February 2020 (UTC)Reply

Further changes, February 2020


Could "saunas" be changed to "gay saunas"? I've understood the latter term is never used for saunas not meant for sexual encounters, while the Finnish sauna is definitely not about sex (and other saunas probably not), while prejudice might be common. --LPfi (talk) 07:50, 15 February 2020 (UTC)Reply

The policy also applies to saunas used by straight people for sex, like this one.
The policy permits "Saunas... where consenting adults have sex" in the context of the discussion of sex tourism. There is no restriction on saunas where consenting adults don't have sex. Ground Zero (talk) 08:06, 15 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
I suppose the new addition of "Listings for saunas, bars and other establishments that take payments from prostitutes or their customers as part of the cost of sexual services (this does not include charges that are the same for anyone, such as a hotel's normal room rates or a bar's normal charges for drinks)" could be changed to something more narrowly targeted like "Listings for saunas that allow prostitution" or "Listings for saunas that take payments from prostitutes". Would that be sufficient to address the concerns that prompted this addition? —Granger (talk · contribs) 08:21, 15 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
The thing is, there's no consensus to delist hotels or bars that simply allow prostitutes and johns to patronize them, but don't get any kind of separate fee or cut related to the purchased sex acts. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:26, 15 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
[edit conflict] OK if that kind of establishments are common. It is just a problem of cultural appropriation, where it is sad for us Finns to have our "most significant contribution to the world's vocabulary." used for something we do not recognize. --LPfi (talk) 08:40, 15 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
[edit conflict] @Ikan Kekek: I agree. I'm suggesting we limit the new addition to saunas so that hotel and bar listings aren't affected at all. My thinking is that we should allow hotels and bars whether or not they allow prostitution and/or accept a cut, as long as they also get significant traffic from customers who aren't hiring prostitutes. —Granger (talk · contribs) 08:45, 15 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
I don't see why we should make a difference between gay saunas that allow prostitution and strip clubs allowing prostitution, or rather, if one business is primarily for consenting adults doing whatever and the other for customers paying to watch, touch or have sex – unless we are OK with prostitution I cannot see why the former would be forbidden and the latter allowed. But aren't we now back to the original question, which seemed resolved? --LPfi (talk) 08:48, 15 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
My main concern is that I think we should allow listings for shops, hotels, etc. (especially in places where prostitution is common and legal) that are visited by significant numbers of travelers who aren't interested in prostitution, but where the business also works with prostitutes on the side. I gave a specific example above of an alien-themed novelty shop in Nevada. [insensitive suggestion removed] —Granger (talk · contribs) 08:57, 15 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
With respect to LPfi's concern about the use of sauna, I suggest replacing it by sauna/bathhouse, as the latter is also commonly used to describe places where consenting adults meet for sex. Would that help? Ground Zero (talk) 09:01, 15 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
Probably yes, as that would parallel saunas to a well-known word not connected to prejudices (in my understanding). --LPfi (talk) 09:10, 15 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
If the main purpose of a sauna or bathhouse is not bathing, then we should clearly say so in the description. Ypsilon (talk) 13:14, 15 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
I think Mx. Granger's suggestion is fine. If the place offers prostitution but is also of interest to a traveller not looking for sex, we can list it. This will also allow us to list the "mixed" massage parlours that offer both legitimate and erotic massages. Some massage parlours in China are like that; you just tell the staff what type of massage you want. The dog2 (talk) 14:57, 15 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
OK, but one of you needs to suggest a new wording, unless you want to completely eliminate this bullet point from establishments Wikivoyage does not provide information on:
Listings for saunas, bars and other establishments that take payments from prostitutes or their customers as part of the cost of sexual services (this does not include charges that are the same for anyone, such as a hotel's normal room rates or a bar's normal charges for drinks)
You all want to allow all such establishments to be listed? In some countries, could that open this site to any legal problems? Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:14, 15 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:14, 15 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
I'd rather keep the limitation as a general one and allow specific exceptions by consensus of participants on talk pages of articles. We could add a rider that establishments that would otherwise fall under this prohibition can be listed if a discussion on the article's talk page can establish that it is of significant interest to a traveller not looking to pay for sex (and sex shows, if we also want to ban listings of those, which I think we do, but that could be discussed if the legal situation is different for those). Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:19, 15 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Ikan Kekek: How about this wording for the bullet point you mentioned, incorporating Ground Zero's suggestion:
Listings for saunas/bathhouses that allow prostitution
I don't think it's necessary to require discussion on article talk pages - as I understand it, the purpose of adding this bullet point was to disallow "saunas" that involve prostitution. I'm trying to tailor it more narrowly so it doesn't stop us from listing interesting places visited by travelers with no interest in anything sexual. —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:05, 16 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
Why would we want to delist only saunas that facilitate or profit from prostitution and no other institution that does? I don't understand that. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:03, 16 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
I don't know. My original suggestion was not to add the bullet point at all, but I was told that it was needed because of the edit to allow gay saunas.
I think it's a significant problem that we've prohibited all businesses that take payments for prostitution, even those that are mostly visited by people who aren't interested in prostitution or anything remotely sexual, and I'm trying to fix that problem. But I feel like most people in this discussion don't see it as a problem, so maybe I'm overreacting. —Granger (talk · contribs) 12:36, 16 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
For me at least it may be that I am unaware of how common that problem is. I was chocked when I (long ago) realized that mainstream hotels offered to charge for porn as "communication", to allow having an employer pay for it. Now I suppose you are telling me that mainstream hotels effectively run brothels so commonly that delisting those that do would make us useless to people searching for a place to sleep (in some regions at least). I am disgusted, but if that is a fact, I have to acknowledge it. If it is not true worldwide, I still think we should allow the listings only where needed, after a discussion about the region or individual city. --LPfi (talk) 14:09, 17 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
The prohibition on establishments that take money from prostitution was added because of concerns about prostitution in sex saunas. I don't see why we would impose that restriction on saunas and not on other businesses like hotels and bars. Do we need listings for such establishments? Or should we apply it it only in jurisdictions where prostitution is illegal, i.e., it's okay in Nevada and some other places? Ground Zero (talk) 14:22, 17 February 2020 (UTC)Reply

[unindent]In the mid-70s, the cheapest hotel in Kuala Terengganu that was listed in Lonely Planet had what my parents and I believed to be not merely a very loud disco on the top floor but one for prostitutes and their clients. We saw them in the elevator and drew conclusions about them. Yet we continued to stay at that hotel because my parents usually liked to economize on hotels, conditions there were tolerable, the location was quite good and we were nevertheless able to sleep. However, I don't believe Lonely Planet warned us about those conditions, and at the very least, if we choose to list hotels like that, we should clearly state that they host very loud discos patronized by women of very dubious repute who may be employed by the hotel and men who are with them, which is the most that we could have safely stated in print. And I would reiterate that, whether prostitution is legal or illegal in a given city, whether to list such hotels (or bars, resorts, etc.) should be a matter for a talk page discussion that proposes an exception to policy for the clear benefit of non-john travellers. And that's assuming this site doesn't open itself up to potential legal jeopardy in case of such exceptions where prostitution is illegal (such as Malaysia). I'd like to hear from people more familiar with Wikimedia policies on what constitutes the promotion of illegal activities before we come to a decision on how to handle exceptions to the sex tourism policy. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:46, 17 February 2020 (UTC)Reply

I agree with Ikan Kekek. The policy makes sense for most of the world. If there is a city/town where it is TRULY a challenge to find a hotel or attraction that isn't crawling with prostitutes, we cannot (and should not) ban the town from having an article. Instead, the user who is aware of this should make it known on that article's talk page and justify WHY it's an exception. We don't need to scrap a policy just because a handful of exceptions exist, but we do need to be clear that such a location is an exception and for what reasons so that users don't misunderstand the policy or complain that we're being "unfair" in policy adherence. We have always allowed exceptions (the world is messy) but they need to be agreed upon as actually being exceptions and on what grounds. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 11:12, 18 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
I agree with both the above comments. Pashley (talk) 11:48, 18 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
We could add something like this:
"Exceptions: where there is a good reason to include an establishment that violates this rules, such as all of the town's hotels accommodating prostitutes, it can included of an explanation is provided on the article's talk page."
The wording could be better, but is this what you're thinking of? Ground Zero (talk) 12:47, 18 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
No, an explanation isn't IMO sufficient; a consensus on that talk page to allow an exception should be required, as in the case with exceptions to other guidelines and policies. That's all assuming that this causes no legal problems for Wikivoyage or Wikimedia, which we should know before a final decision is made on this proposal. Ikan Kekek (talk) 12:57, 18 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
Speaking of which, I think we should allow the mention of terms that are used locally as a euphemism for prostitution. I think we already allow that, but it's not explicitly mentioned on the page, which may be a cause for confusion. As previously mentioned, this will be useful for travellers not looking for sex, as it will allow you to avoid such establishments and prevent unsuspecting tourists from going to one by mistake. The dog2 (talk) 20:06, 18 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
If they're not obvious, yes. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:03, 19 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Ikan Kekek: what wording would you prefer? Ground Zero (talk) 00:38, 19 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
I offered this phrasing above: "Establishments that would otherwise fall under this prohibition can be listed if a discussion on the article's talk page can establish that it is of significant interest to a traveller not looking to pay for sex". We should probably change "establishments" to "businesses". But the key point is requiring a discussion and not merely an explanation on the article's talk page. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:45, 19 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
That looks good to me. I agree that "businesses" works better. We're not talking about churches and mosques here. Ground Zero (talk) 05:57, 19 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
I'm coming around to the idea of allowing these as case-by-case exceptions. Ikan Kekek's wording, with "businesses", looks okay to me. —Granger (talk · contribs) 06:19, 19 February 2020 (UTC)Reply

"That's all assuming that this causes no legal problems for Wikivoyage or Wikimedia, which we should know before a final decision is made on this proposal. " So is Wikimedia going to weigh in on this, Ikan Kekek? ChubbyWimbus (talk) 11:06, 19 February 2020 (UTC)Reply

I'm happy with Ikan Kekek's wording too. The dog2 (talk) 18:00, 19 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • I've adjusted the page per the consensus here. I don't see that consultation with the legal team is needed to add an exception to a policy we implemented without their input less than a week ago, but of course anyone is welcome to contact them if desired. —Granger (talk · contribs) 13:44, 20 February 2020 (UTC)Reply
I just made this edit. I don't think it should be controversial, but I'm posting this because I'm not totally sure. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:08, 22 February 2020 (UTC)Reply

Sorry, I am late to this discussion, but Pashley hinted that I might want to weigh in. As to the wording of policy, I see that that is in the hands of some capable editors and will result in something that will be serviceable, yet open to revision if it is not.

My take on this is simple: gay saunas should be listed, but only if they are great saunas. A great sauna is a place that is fairly priced, provides good service and hygiene, and results in happy customers. What people may want to do in changing rooms is their business. Overt sex of whatever variant would not be on display.

Similarly, a gay nightclub would be listed if it is a great nightclub. I am reminded of the one I used to frequent with my male friends and our female dates. We were warmly welcomed and had a great time in a venue tolerant of appearance and absent the macho vibe present in so many “hetero” clubs. The fact that it was known as a “gay” place was irrelevant.

In northern Thailand, I know a club run and staffed by ladyboys. They put on a fabulous nightly revue of singing and dancing that attracted scores of people, including families with children. Deserves a listing, even though there may have been bargaining over fees for sex off-site and sexual assignations arranged. How would I know if the establishment extracted a bar fine? It was unobtrusive.

A bordello is de jure illegal here where I live, but de facto legal in practice. Put aside the reason that it is illegal because the existing arrangement allows the police to extort money from an illicit business. Because it is illegal on the law books, it should not be listed in WV.

One more Thai example: a venerable hotel in Bangkok is viewed as a piece of history, a retro hotel that dates back to the Vietnam War. It is funky in many respects, but is affordable, has a great pool and breakfast buffet. Right across the street is Nana Plaza, a sexual playground. Thus the hotel unobtrusively heaves with guests and their hired playmates. Because it is a great hotel it deserves a listing in WV notwithstanding its sexual backstory.

I hope that this is relevant to the discussion. Best, Seligne (talk) 09:41, 2 April 2020 (UTC)Reply

Sex tourism, porn, etc.

Swept in from the pub

Just so you know, whenever I see editors adding links to things like porn sites, escort sites, brothels and so on, I have been adding them to the spam blacklist even if they were only added once. It may seem harsh, but since porn is irrelevant and inappropriate for a travel guide, and we do not cover sex tourism as per Wikivoyage:Sex tourism policy, I think a "one strike and you're out" approach to such sites is appropriate since I don't see any reason why anybody editing in good faith would want to add such links to a travel guide. The dog2 (talk) 21:07, 18 February 2021 (UTC)Reply

I have thought for a long time that the sex tourism policy needs a rewrite, though I've failed to convince others. My suggested rewrite is at User talk:Pashley/STP. Pashley (talk) 01:46, 19 February 2021 (UTC)Reply
Even if it did, though, online porn links couldn't possibly be relevant. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:28, 19 February 2021 (UTC)Reply
It's not appropriate; even on, commons or any wikimedia project. TravelAroundOz (talk) 06:12, 19 February 2021 (UTC)Reply
On Wikipedia, articles about particularly high-profile or in some other way important porn sites are relevant, because it's an encyclopedia. Wikivoyage is not, and there really isn't an active debate about this site's sex tourism policy. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:17, 19 February 2021 (UTC)Reply
I agree that for spambots, advertising porn or anything else, "one strike & you're out" is the right policy. A permanent block on the account should be the minimum response, then consider additional things like a WMF-wide block or adding the advertised site to the spam blacklist.
I also agree with Ikan that "there really isn't an active debate about this site's sex tourism policy", though I'm inclined to think there should be. My last attempt is at Wikivoyage_talk:Sex_tourism_policy#Re-start_discussion?; it failed.
However, we should be careful not to impose a long ban on anyone for good faith edits, adding information for travellers on things like Bangkok go-go bars or other sexy facilities. Some such stuff should be deleted & in a few cases a short block might be needed, but nothing close to "one strike & you're out". For one discussion of such edits, see Talk:Philippines/Archive_2017-2018#Prostitution. Pashley (talk) 09:43, 19 February 2021 (UTC)Reply
The advertised site can generally be added to the list without problems, as we don't want links to it, and it can be removed after discussion if we ever do want to link them. For the user account I don't see much difference from other spam accounts. They are probably one-offs, so a one week block is effectively a permanent one (and so could be used if there is any doubt about the bad faith).
I agree with Pashley, that a good faith user adding a link about a go-go bar they would like to recommend should not be blocked for that, just pointed to our sex tourism policy, if the link or language were inappropriate. The porn links I've seen have all been obvious touting spam; I suppose we could err on the side of good faith with no bad effects.
On the policy: There are tweaks I might want to make, but that is opening a can of worms. I think there is quite strong consensus on most of it, and little support for Pashley's version. It is unlikely that has changed in less than two years. We can have a new discussion next year, if something new turns up.
LPfi (talk) 11:29, 19 February 2021 (UTC)Reply
Sure. In the case of someone adding listings for a Go-go bar in Bangkok, or a brothel in Amsterdam's red light district, those are actual tourist attractions, the person adding them could potentially just be unfamiliar with our policy, so we should show leniency in such cases. Those sites I've been adding to the blacklist after only one strike are very obviously inappropriate for a travel guide (eg. porn sites, and more recently, an escort agency). The dog2 (talk) 17:22, 19 February 2021 (UTC)Reply

I vote for Pashley's policy! Seligne (talk) 12:20, 21 April 2021 (UTC)Reply