Inversions of sexual roles in women’s tourist experiences: mind, body, and language in sexual behaviour

L. Berdychevsky, H. J. Gibson, Y. Poria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Women’s sexual behaviour in leisure-travel contexts is an under-researched area. Most attention has focused on commercial forms of sex/romance tourism. The purpose of this study was to address women’s sexual behaviour in tourism, with both steady and casual sexual partner/s, by focusing on their perceptions and related meanings. Drawing upon constructivist grounded theory, 21 in-depth interviews with secular and traditional Israeli Jewish women were analysed using a Foucauldian lens, which incorporated technologies of self, inversions of sexual roles and heterotopia. The findings reveal that for some women, sexual behaviour in tourism is an arena for self-exploration, resistance and self-transformation. The complexity of the inversions of sexual roles is illustrated via the triplex of mind, language and body, that combined produce a counter-discourse to social stereotypes associated with women’s sexual behaviour in their home environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)513-528
Number of pages16
JournalLeisure Studies
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 3 2015


  • body
  • language
  • mind
  • sexual behaviour
  • sexual roles
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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