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The internet now provides for unlimited sexual opportunities," Niluka Perera, a coordinator at Bangkok-based Youth Voices Count, told Al Jazeera.Wing Sie Cheng, a regional HIV and AIDS expert with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), explained: "This really is the new frontier.What makes Asia a sexual paradise for expat men but causes females such angst?Carl Janowitz, a certified marriage and family therapist who's practiced for eight years in Thailand, feels stereotypes play a role on both sides of the cultural divide.
"When I first interviewed for a job in Asia, my boss asked whether I was expecting to date," says Jennifer, a teacher who worked in China for four years.Social networking technologies and mobile apps that allow young people to meet to engage in risky sexual practices are being cited as a key reason for an increase in HIV infections in the Asia-Pacific region, with Bangkok, Jakarta and Hanoi hubs of new infections."Everybody has a smartphone, everybody has access to the internet.People are setting up fake Facebook profiles where groups are formed purely to arrange for sex."After getting over the initial shock of the question, I realized he was being upfront about one of the most challenging issues facing single expatriate women." While I've failed to locate a formal study on the subject, I've met precious few solo sisters in Asia who didn't grapple occasionally with loneliness, body image, and anger that an obese sixty-year-old male could date freely, but a thirty-five-year-old female could not.Furthermore, the subject raises sensitive racial and gender issues that make many women hesitant to talk openly about their feelings for fear of coming across as bitter, stereotyping bigots.