In The Gambia it is middle-aged Western women that are throwing down rolls of Dalasi, the local currency, in exchange for a grapple with the firm bodies of the young Gambian men.

I have not led a sheltered life and my friends would place my behavior closer to sinner than saint.

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And of the many pairings I observed last night it is hard to conceive any scenario where the men involved would willingly select the abominations that were their highly unmatched pair.

Prostitution is a profession as old as time and the smallest part of me takes some controversial comfort in the idea that sexual equality has progressed to the point that women now have sufficient power to exchange cash for sex.

As the night unfolded and the dancing increased, paranoia circled.

We were two single white Western women of an age that could no longer be considered our twenties and we fit the profile of Sex Tourists perfectly…save for our complete unwillingness to participate in such a vile form of exploitation.

It was a sight so absurd and irregular we dismissed it as the quirky behavior of the curious looking Scandinavian girls. As we sat in a restaurant last night feasting on good, local humus and awaiting the local reggae band our eyes peeled increasingly wide as one unlikely couple (or triple) after another took their seats.

There were two consistencies – the youth and good looks of the local guys and the unattractiveness of the Western women who most likely fit the bill of social outcasts back home.

For two days I grappled with some unfinished work, caught up on some missing sleep and lay horizontal on the beach for several hours turning only with the shift of the sun, but last night, with the company of my good female friend and travel partner, I ventured out.

The very use of the word Strip used to define the street with bars and restaurants was enough to inspire shudders as banished memories of trips to Spain riddled with Brits Abroad hit my mind.

But is the situation different if the person selling their body is male? I’m sure many of the women involved in The Gambia’s sex tourism justify their actions on the basis that the men get to have sex and get paid for the fun of it, so is there really any harm? Our conversation extended to the waiter, the taxi driver on the way home and a number of locals at our hotel and the answer was consistent amongst us – a resounding yes: it is a problem and there is harm.