The Ministry of Health in Samoa recently put out a report called National HIV, AIDS, and STI Policy 2017-2022. In it was some interesting findings from what I understand and even more interesting was the fact that the government actually admitted that prostitution was a problem in Samoa. (like poverty, they have always denying it)
The problem with this is that it is much more common that people admit and it is happening in the villages more often than it is commercial. Many sex related crime happen with older man abusing the importance of titles for sexual benefits. However, the report that was released focused on commercial sex workers.
This is a growing problem in Samoa and it is mainly being fueled by Samoan husbands. It was said that 1 in 2 women in Samoa will have to deal with a sexually transmitted infection at some point. This is actually due to the behavior of husbands more than the wives in most cases.
What the report said about sex in Samoa?
It found that most of the clients were local men and/or local foreigners (i.e. Chinese businessmen in Samoa) and that over half of them had a child with someone that they were not committed to romantically. It is also interesting that most of the workers are below the age of 20.
It was found that 2 out of 3 prostitutes claimed that they had unsafe sex (without protection) the last time they was with a client. Some of them have as many as 10 regular clients and all of it being unsafe intercourse. This is scary to put it lightly.
It is believed that there is up to 400 prostitutes in Samoa ( 1 in every 140 adult women) which is very concerning and much too high at any accounts. This is a public safety concern for everyone in Samoa or traveling to Samoa that would consider sexual contact while there.
How Sex in Samoa works?
I have seen the trade at work when I lived there. The women use to hang around the fruit market that runs all night, over at RSA bar (Returning Servicemen Association) and along the bay. They try and be friendly with anyone that might be interested.
It seems that the main customers where the taxi drivers and the “go to” spot was behind the Central Bank of Samoa. I do not know if the transaction was between the 50 and 200 Tala that the report claimed.
They are also using the Tatiana Motel in Fugalei to use for their fun. It is cheap and they get in and out easily without people knowing why they were there. There is also a few hotels towards Apia Park that they use as well.
What does this mean for a traveler?
The first thing and the most important thing would remember that you are not there for sex in Samoa but for the beaches, waterfalls, bananas and coconuts. This alone will mean you do not have to worry about it.
However, if you do plan to get laid while in the country, make sure you are not dealing with a prostitute and that you are using protection at all costs. There is no way of knowing how widespread the issue really is so any sexual contact is a risk while in Samoa.
An American friend was with me in Samoa and he told me he noticed how hard it was to find condoms in the country. This is something that might have changed (but unlikely.)
Samoa prides itself on being a Christian nation and being found on God. It is interesting how the churches in the country will respond to this. I will be writing an article over at Azusa Report soon that looks like the spirituality of this issue in Samoa.