I have recently been going out with a friend called Michael to visit the tourist bars here in Phnom Penh.
It has been a real eye-opener. Going into the bar you are welcomed by beautiful girls who give you the impression they are so happy to see you.
You can see why men who come to the bars can convince themselves that the relationships they are developing with these girls are real and that intimacy can be brought.
But when you speak with the girls it doesn’t take long before you hear stories of sadness where they talk about how they are separated from their families and children.
And when they stop smiling at you, their faces in repose are sad.
Michael who has been doing this for some time has never met a girl yet who says she enjoys what she is doing.
But he believes that he can develop relationships with them where he can encourage them that they are unique, special and valuable and it doesn’t end up in sleazy back room.