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Sex, women & brothels in the VI

Strip clubs are legal; whore-houses are not!
Prostitution especially involving a girl under the age of 16 in the VI carries hefty penalties. Photo: abovethelaw.com
Crystal Night Club and Sports Bar is one of two clubs that have women dancing. The other one is Deuces. Photo: VINO/File
Crystal Night Club and Sports Bar is one of two clubs that have women dancing. The other one is Deuces. Photo: VINO/File
These are the two reported brothels in the VI. Photo: VINO/File
These are the two reported brothels in the VI. Photo: VINO/File
Club owners were tight-lipped on how they recruited the dancers. Photo: pccapitalist.wordpress.com
Club owners were tight-lipped on how they recruited the dancers. Photo: pccapitalist.wordpress.com
Acting COP David Morris (left) disclosed that the police never had to handle prostitution related incident, while Jennings revealed its a very touchy subject. Photo: File
Acting COP David Morris (left) disclosed that the police never had to handle prostitution related incident, while Jennings revealed its a very touchy subject. Photo: File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Sex sells and its common knowledge that there are bars and strip clubs that act as a “guise” for what religious leaders and concerned residents frown upon – women selling sex for money.

Due to the sensitive nature of this article, many of the key persons that were interviewed remain anonymous, but were very open about prostitution, which carries stiff penalties in the Virgin Islands (VI).

Crown Counsel Jude Hanley, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) furnished this news agency with sections of the Criminal Code 1997 that dealt with prostitution.

Section 126 and 127 states, “Any person who is the owner or occupier of any premises or who has, or acts or assists in, the management or control of any premises and who induces or knowingly allows a girl under the age of sixteen years to resort to or be on those premises for the purpose of having sexual intercourse with men or with a particular man, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for life.... any person who causes or encourages the prostitution of, or the commission of sexual intercourse with, or an indecent assault on, a girl under the age of sixteen years for whom he is responsible, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years. Where a girl has become a prostitute, or has had sexual intercourse or has been indecently assaulted, a person shall be deemed for the purposes of this section to have caused or encouraged it if he knowingly allows her to consort with, or to enter or continue in the employment of, any prostitution or to enter or continue in the employment of, any prostitute or person of known immoral character.”

Sections 128 and 129 deal with causing prostitution of a woman and procurement of sex of a woman by threats is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years respectively.

However, sections of the Criminal Code have been amended in 2007 to spell out exploitation of a person through prostitution, pornography or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs; and human trafficking tackles the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or reception of a person for the purpose of the exploitation of the person.

If a person is found liable and convicted, he or she faces life imprisonment if it involves a minor and 10 years maximum in the circumstances not involving a minor.

Ms. Hanley also disclosed that for the past four years, no one was indicted or convicted on any prostitution charges.

A profitable venture?

A beautiful American woman, who said she is 21, revealed that she arrived in the Virgin Islands about two months ago to work at a strip club, and the money she receives on the side is worth the trip.

“Hey I have to help pay my family’s bills and I know the risks in doing what I do,” she said with a wide smile. The exotic dancer maintains that nothing happens at the club, since her boss has a strict rule of no sex on the premises.

However, describing herself as a risk taker, the American woman “does her business” on the beach or in a client’s car for a reasonable fee. How much she asks for? According to her, it depends on what the client wants, “but I don’t go lower than $60 baby”.

Meanwhile, a former prostitute, who is now happily married to an Englishman, recalled her wild days of sex, booze and parties.

The Trinidadian national candidly stated that she came here when she was 25 after spending more than two years in St. Maarten. “I was hired as a bartender at the well-known meat house, and with so many horny men coming and willing to pay money for little something.”

Her most shocking revelation is that she met her husband, who was oblivious to her lifestyle, although Tortola is such a small community.

“He was just fascinated with me when I went to a bar with my friends, after five months of dating I told him what I did and within two weeks he asked me to marry and I never looked back,” she disclosed. However, for her many sexual exploits, the Trinidadian beauty has a healthy bank account and was able to “build a two storied house back home”.

Interestingly, a bold Nevisian male, who arrived here about three months ago, said he came because he was told by one of his “friends” of being taken care of by older women.

Calling himself a “companion for moms”, the 21 year-old has three special friends that he services. “I have a job, but I really don’t spend any of my salary because if you want something they gave it to you. It’s like having a mom with extra benefits. The sex is work, but I don’t complain because the money and gifts flow.”

Other women were approached and despite the reassurances of confidentiality, they refused to comment on their profession.

Cost of services

The price range for fellatio is between $20 and $40. The missionary position ranges from $30 upwards, this news agency was told.

“There are two brothels that are in existence. I know in one of them on a slow day the girls take as low as $15 for oral sex. But in the strip clubs the girls tend to be classier so the men are willing to pay for more,” a prostitute, who works at a brothel said.

Requests for anal sex is very rare, and when asked for, the ladies “work something out”. On a good week, “sex workers” can earn $700 and upwards per week.

How are they recruited?

This is where it gets interesting! Virgin Islands News Online spoke with a club owner who was tight-lipped of how the girls are recruited.

Attempts to ascertain the information from other individuals were futile. However, a previous owner said he used to hire entertainers/dancers. “Times have changed now because I think Government has clamped down somewhat...bartenders is now the most commonly used one of the forms although I am told more creative jobs are now the name of the game.”

The Acting Labour Commissioner, Janice Rymer was either unavailable or in meetings when her office was contacted. Her department is responsible for issuing the permits for these young ladies to enter the Territory.

Commenting on the issue, one Immigration Officer acknowledged that he has “the eye” for such women, but once they present “that labour document there is nothing you can do”.

“Anyway this is a small society and people know each other, so I guess people have friends in the Labour Department that helped them out,” he added.

Chief Immigration Officer, Dennis Jennings is currently on vacation and his deputy Guy Hill could not be reached for a comment.

But at the inaugural crime conference held on June 8, 2012 at the Eileene Parsons L. Auditorium, Jennings had stated, “This is a very touchy subject and it is one that should be very difficult to define, but we have had cases where we have been able to do so. I won’t go into any great details, but it is a very sensitive subject. One that has to be very careful in dealing with, but it is on the books and we have to carry it out. We do have a few cases where we have successfully addressed situations of this nature.”

Meanwhile, according to another club owner, new girls are hired from almost everywhere in the world, and accommodations fall on the shoulders of the owners.

When asked for his opinion on the perception that the dancers are used as prostitutes, he stated that he finds it hypocritical that many so called religious leaders criticise “such entertainment”.

“I know there was at least one pastor who had wanted to shut us down. If there was no strip clubs many of the men who came in here would turn their attention to the little girls and we would have a problem on our hands,” he pointed out. “Many of the guys come here to enjoy what they see, and you would be surprised that we have a lot of women who are customers. The allure of scantily dressed women on poles is a fascination for both sexes.”

Furthermore, the club owner stated that many of the young ladies are quite intelligent, and take pride in their work and bodies.

He added, "How can the BVI be rated as one of the world's best destinations to have a wedding and not provide facilities to have bachelor parties? There are more sex scandals in the BVI that include church officials than at these Gentlemen Clubs but who are we to judge on mortality?"

He alluded to the fact of the many sex scandals that involve priests especially in the Catholic churches worldwide.

Furthermore, the club owner stressed that his employees have to adhere to the no-sex policy on the premises. “I have to admit sometimes they sneak somewhere at the back, but if they are found out and get a warning first. The next time it happens, they are out of a job. However, I know most times they usually go out on dates before anything happens.”

He also noted that sex is an underlying factor in many of the bars throughout the Territory, where most times the bartenders wear revealing clothing. “It’s nothing new!”

Police intervention?

Acting Commissioner of Police David Morris weighed in on the matter and divulged that in terms of prostitution within premises and night clubs, “we do not have any specific reports”.

“Obviously if we do, we would take action as we do with every report. I think Mr. Jennings from Immigration Department has concerns about young girls coming in on work permits, who maybe using their trade for sexual purposes, and we are working with Immigration and Customs through the joint intelligence unit to look at the problem that he highlighted publicly.”

He vowed that the Police will investigate any complaints of exploitation, and will continue to look at how “we prevent that from taking place and obviously how we can support these young ladies in terms of repatriation.”

There was once a club in Josiah’s Bay, where young ladies danced; however, it is now closed.

In light of this, it was reported that there was an increase in domestic violence in the community, but when the East End Police Station was contacted, an officer who does not want to be identified laughed and said, “We are living in talk Tola. I don’t know what you are talking about ma’am.”

25 Responses to “Sex, women & brothels in the VI”

  • DADDY FRIDAY (25/06/2012, 09:09) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Just leave the men dem do them thing so dem do not be raping my daughter….
  • Illegal? Why? (25/06/2012, 09:40) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    As a law abiding professional female, I don't even understand why prostitution is illegal. There are two willing parties conducting a transaction in private. The rest of us don't have to see it or be involved why is the law wasting this on this nonsense? We have real crime where there are real victims, like robberies, murder, assault etc. Government please don't waste valuable resources on these kinds of nonsense crimes.
  • bam see (25/06/2012, 09:42) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    how ayo expect the foreign men without women to get an ease?
  • My Humble Opinion (25/06/2012, 09:53) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    When money is your master, nothing else seems to matter: like morals, pride, dignity, respect; as for the mastery of sex, nothing else seems to better now for the lonely single men i can understand, but as for the men who're married and are involved in relationships especially when children are involved. No woman who does this, does it for free, some may receive money, some may receive attention, some sort of ego boost etc, the women who do this are those who have low self esteem and self worth, because they put a price on their bodies. Kudos to the one who got a husband out of it, not many women are that fortunate, but it's not a career choice that will be acknowledge on career day at school, nor a parent would encourage, yet these people call what they do work??? lol
  • hmmmmmm (25/06/2012, 10:07) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Natures Dirty Secrets!
  • Joc (25/06/2012, 10:26) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    That club owner who is stating if there were more of these clubs no man would look at the little girls?? He is sick and I hope they shut him down!! You have a daughter? If she is doing this profession or is abused sexually how would you feel?? SHUT HIM DOWN!
  • on sale (25/06/2012, 11:53) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Sex is apart of the culture so what's the fuss?
  • Concessions and Enforcement (25/06/2012, 14:52) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I do believe prostitution should remain illegal and I believe the manner in which the sex trade is conducted in the BVI needs some strict oversight. A woman should have the right to treat her body in any manner she pleases. If she wants to trade her respect and dignity by taking dollars or items in exchange for sex then so be it. In my opinion, however, it is shameful that she wasn't directed towards an education and taught respect for herself. It is a shame her parents never gave her the confidence to love herself enough to have pride and aspire for a career to provide her independence. It is a shame that somewhere along the line she lost her dignity and no longer saw the ugly, drooling, horny, obnoxious man as disgusting, but chose rather to partake in an act that otherwise she would have found sickening. It is a shame she gave up on herself for the temptation of money. But, her, I see as the victim of circumstances. It is the men’s role that should be checked. It is one thing to watch a naked woman grind and ride a pole but quite the opposite to exchange money for sexual favors. Married men frequent these establishments and place their wives at risk of catching an STD. Married men, who have troublesome youth needing a father figure and an upset wife missing their husband, are choosing to be at these establishments late into the morning hours. Then there are the club owners who are profiting off of these women. Club owners who take upwards of a 50% cut of these girls earnings for both stripping and prostituting; club owners who outwardly act as the "pimp" arranging hook-ups with the "john's". Are these pimps not trading in an illegal activity? Let's not even mention the highly active drug trade that occurs in these establishments. But how is it that a man can act as a pimp and take the earnings of these women in the first place? This is sexual exploitation and female slavery in the flesh. Some of these club owners do have daughters and that in itself, makes it far more disgusting and unforgivable that they lack sight of the harm in violating a girl by profiting from her degradation of self. The excuse that these establishments restrain the rape of women and children is pitiful. I argue that if men did not witness women offering themselves so freely in both the on-stage lewd acts and the off- stage sexual favors that there would be more respect for all women in general. I argue also, that if men did not choose to regular these establishments and choose the strippers over the local female that there would be less minor girls dressing scantily and enticing men through overtly sexual behavior. Men, your daughters are not blind to see what you all are attracted to! Despite, my disgust in the role of the Pimp and the John, in my opinion the BVI should be able to have adult entertainment (as should any free society) however, there should be strict regulations enforced. Firstly, prostitution and pimping should both be outwardly known and stated as illegal activities. The Work description of the strippers should be defined as exotic dancer and any female found to be working under the assumed and untrue work permit of a “bartender”, “waitress” or “entertainer” should be fined and denied further entry into the country for reasons of deceiving Labor and Immigration. The strippers should be required to undergo STD screening on a weekly basis and have their work permits limited with a required time interval between re-entry. Futhermore, the strippers should be asked to submit weekly timesheets and earnings with the mandatory payroll deductions enforced. Their living quarters should be included in their wages as a work benefit and they should be taxed on this benefit also. Any monies paid to the establishment should be reported and if none they should sign to the effect that any failure to disclose all earning whether they have been paid to their employer or not is in violation of their work permit and they will be charged and deported if found to be in violation. If the country sees fit, they should enforce a minimum payroll tax payable by the stripper. These types of rules would place the girls in a role where they hold some responsibility for their actions in the clubs. If facing penalties for their actions perhaps they will choose not to derail into the illegal activity of prostitution. It also may help regulate the number of strippers willing to come into the country if their illegal activities are restricted and face fines and court charges, their earnings monitored and taxed and their sexual health carefully watched. The clubs should also be fined for allowing clientele to come into physical contact with the strippers. If we could change it into a strictly hands off environment where the girls are undoubtedly only dancers of the exotic then we are at least trying to save a little bit of dignity of these women and, in doing so, we are outwardly portraying our intolerance of sexual abuse and exploitation of women in the BVI. As for the establishments that do not act as strip clubs but where all men know they can go to pay a ‘bartender’ for sexual favors these will be harder to regulate. However, the work permits of these young ladies, with neither any actual bartending experience nor mastery of the English language, should be considered by our Labor Department. Why a small bar with minimal profits reported on their financials has reason for 4 – 5 bartenders on any given night is questionable, is it not? Perhaps on occasions the Labor Department should be questioned on who, how, or why a work permit was approved. Of course the most important step would be the enforcement of these rules and regulations of the trade and to ensure that no man profits from the sexual slavery of a woman. Lack of enforcement of rules has always been at the root of the problems in this country.
    • cat walk (25/06/2012, 16:02) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Boss blogs should be short and easy to read..who got time for these long epissal??? suckteeth
  • pope (25/06/2012, 16:00) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Happy to lean that strip clubs are legal now I can attend them in peace..thanks VINO you always bring good information to we the people
  • dude (25/06/2012, 16:24) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    BVI has no pimps....there are a handful but they don't own establishments...........the BVI however is full of Johns.....Therefore there is a market & u can't regulate what you don't tax. I thikn ppl spend too much time worrying about what doesn't concern them, and if there was more entertainment of all types then there would be less focus on the entertainment of this type. But my excuse is the same as anybody else's for going to them....where else is there to go @ 2am? I choose not to be home b/c it's my right so I can't tramp, go fish fry, or go to sat nite club....but there's strip club so that's where I go not even to tip the hoes b/c I am not a john but I do like to mingle withthe ladies I meet in there who are there b/c just like me where the hell else is there to be
    • Hey Dude (26/06/2012, 13:15) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Who are you trying to kid??? Yes there are club owners who are pimps here in the BVI and the girls outright call them that. As in when a John approaches a hooker sitting in a club owners vehicle about how much for a couple hours she responds, "Let me ask my pimp, he'll be right back!!!"
  • stating (25/06/2012, 16:51) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Concessions and Enforcement says you realey had a lot to say........................
  • queen bee (26/06/2012, 01:28) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    What an interesting read vino…good investigative research
  • johny boy (18/12/2013, 17:48) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    founded another great article about Virgin Island´Sex Tourism. Site has all the info where to find streetwalkers, strip bars or massage parlors...

    U.S. Virgin Islands: http://www.wikisexguide.com/wiki/U.S._Virgin_Islands

    British Virgin Islands: http://www.wikisexguide.com/wiki/British_Virgin_Islands

    Caribbean: http://www.wikisexguide.com/wiki/Caribbean
  • Adolph (29/12/2013, 12:06) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Prostitution should be legalized... It will bring revenues to the government via taxes...will regulate the industry and will provide a sorely needed service.... plus will help reduce the rate of sexual assaults and rapes. Best example of a well regulated and thriving sex industry... Amsterdam.... :D
  • Marcus Lu (07/09/2014, 08:21) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    There's no tourism without sex

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