Here's the Lowdown on Rapa, the Lush South Sea Island Where
the Gals Outnumber the Guys 6 to 1--and Every Vahine Knows What to Do with
a Good Man if She's Lucky Enough to Find One.
"The Isle of Sex Starved Women"
by Leroy Thorpe
Vol. 15 No. 7, 1958
EVERY man dreams of escaping
someday to an island of enchantment, where dusky native girls with hibiscus
flowers in their long blue-black hair strum softly on primitive stringed
instruments and love is as free as the sun drenched air.
To most of us this thought is generally associated
with Tahiti, in the South Seas. Over the years a great many men have visited
Tahiti and have found the girls lush and loving. Sex freedom is unique
on the island and has been ever since the earliest navigators began noting
in their ships' logs that they had "put in to Tahiti to refresh the men."
There's a very good reason why one of the island's highest landmarks was
named Point Venus.
Yet there's another island not far from Tahiti
where the yen of the girls for love is far more eager, and even desperate,
than anything to be found on Tahiti. Curiously enough, this island is almost
entirely unknown to white tourists. This seems almost incredible in view
of the startling fact that on this little-known island, which is easily
accessible from Tahiti, there are six beautiful vahines to every male.
This is no pipe dream. The authority for it appears in numerous official
publications, such as the Official Directory and Guidebook for Tahiti,
1951 edition. The island is described as "fine and rich" and the tantalizing
observation is made that "the women outnumber the men some six to one."
The name of this paradise for males is Rapa.
People who have been there call it "the island of sex-starved gals."
Men are so scarce on Rapa that quite a few
vigorous ones have established harems there. The girls are so grateful
they refuse to let their lovers do any work; their men just loll around
living the lives of South Pacific sultans. The gals can't afford to be
jealous of each other, but share the available males gladly. There are
none of the hairpulling, clawing, screaming, and even knife-wielding battles
over men that are common in Tahiti. After sampling Rapa's love-hungry females
men have jumped ship with understandable enthusiasm
How do you get to Rapa--that's probably what
you're wondering now.
You will have to go to Tahiti first. If you
have plenty of loot and want to fly, you can get to Papeete, the rollicking
and uninhibited capital of Tahiti, via New Zealand Airlines and Air Tahiti,
or via Tasmanian Empire Air Lines. But if you're like most American males,
the cost of flying will be too expensive. Your best bet will be to grab
a freighter in some West Coast port and allow plenty of time for the trip.
Depending on how thoroughly you shop around, you should be able to make
the trip, one way, for about $350 or less.
You will, of course, have to meet the legal
requirements as to passport, etc., of both the U.S. and French governments.
You will need a French visa. You will also have to have typhoid and smallpox
shots. And when you arrive in Papeete you will have to deposit in a bank
there a cash bond sufficient to transport you back to the States. This
is a precaution against your going broke and landing on the beach The island
authorities are rough on beachcombers, regardless of what you may have
heard to the contrary.
As far as living expenses are concerned, you
can get by very comfortably on $200 a month, with a reasonable amount of
carousing. You can cut down somewhat by buying and preparing the local
foods, or by getting a room with a native family. If you go completely
native you can live on much less, but to do this you should know French
and some Tahitian as well.
All right, let's assume you've arrived in
Tahiti. You can have a hell of a time right there in Papeete, which is
as far as most tourists get. But, of course, you're going further. If you
have the money and the time you should reserve Rapa for last and visit
some of the other islands which are fairly close together and easily accessible
by excursion boats. For instance, the hula dancing on Bora Bora is the
most uninhibited you'll see anywhere and the girls are just the same. If
you saw the movie "Tabu" you know what the Bora Bora girls are like; it
was filmed on this island.
You might also visit Raiatea and watch the
native sorcerers walk on fire--actually a long trench full of glowing coals.
The secret of this trick is carefully guarded but it's certainly a frightening
ritual to watch.
On all these islands it will be a simple matter
to find love. In some places the girls have their own personal thatched
huts, especially built for romancing. But except for Rapa the proportion
of girls to men is about the same as it is in Hometown, U.S.A.--roughly
one to one. For the really love-hungry girls you must go on to Rapa.
While your tiny excursion boat, little bigger
than a launch, is throbbing through the blue sea , toward Rapa, let's find
out why this island is unique, with more females to males than any other
place in the world.
There are two native legends which attempt
to account for the man shortage. According to the first, Moto-rapa, king
of the island, was defeated in battle by natives of another island and
fled with his warriors in a fleet of canoes to mysterious Easter Island,
leaving the women behind.
The second legend is just the opposite. It
holds that Rapa was settled by women from Easter Island, who miraculously
conceived after their arrival and since then have consistently had far
more daughters than sons.
Both these legends, of course, are completely
opposed to biological facts. Regardless of how many more women than men
there might be in any given generation, over the course of several generations
the differences would vanish, for Nature arranges it so that roughly about
as many male as female babies are born. Whenever there are considerably
more females than males, as in Germany today, war is generally the cause.
And it takes only a few generations of peace to bring the balance back
to normal again.
In the case of Rapa there is no history of
recent warfare. But there are two perfectly good reasons, each complementing
the other, why Rapa is so short of males.
Not so very many years ago one of the most
animalistic sex cults known to man flourished throughout the islands of
Polynesia. This was the worship of the erotic god Oro, who was supposed
to be the deity of human reproduction. The songs and dances in honor of
Oro, unless they are cleaned up in the interests of decency, are lascivious
beyond description, nothing whatever is left to the imagination. The present-day
hula-hula, for instance, is a tame descendant of a dance to Oro which frankly
simulated the act of procreation.
The priests of Oro were as lewd as the god
they professed to serve. Since they were supposed to be able to grant or
withhold fertility they possessed unlimited powers over the Polynesian
women. They maintained large harems of temple girls, both for their own
gratification and, for a price, the gratification of the male worshipers
of Oro. Thus the depravity of the cult was as great as anything that ever
happened in ancient Babylon or Greece, which were essentially places of
When the French acquired the islands they
tried first to get the priests of Oro to abandon some of their more debased
practices. When this effort failed, the French levied penalties for various
offenses against common decency that were part of the worship. These penalties
also failed to do more than make the Oro worshipers more cautious. Their
orgies now became secretive, but they went on just the same.
Finally the French decided the only way to
smash the cult would be to exile the chief priests. Together with their
harems these leaders were driven out of the islands and allowed to settle
on isolated Rapa. Thus Rapa was populated by a handful of men and a considerable
number of women. Obviously the women were all of exceptional beauty, for
the priests of Oro had their pick of the crop.
This alone, however, would not have created
a permanent preponderance of women over men on Rapa. The circumstance that
does this is that Rapa is a small island, only about ten miles long by
six miles wide. It has no cities, no industries, few opportunities for
an ambitious man other than to wear himself out making love. Except for
this one factor it's a very dull place.
Most of the young men of Rapa are eager
to leave the island as soon as they're old enough to earn a living. They
crave the bright lights of places like Papeete, even though there are fewer
vahines available and the competition for them is keener.
Rapa is a fantastically beautiful island. Of volcanic origin, it rises
steeply from the sea with waterfalls here and there 'plunging into the
ocean, The coastline is irregular, many fingers of land jutting out and
separating the little harbors with their beaches of fine white sand. Food
The man who steps ashore from the infrequent
excursion boat will be fascinated by the place--the gleaming coral quai,
the palm and hibiscus trees, the searing jungle covered hills, the neat
little huts of plaited pandanu or palm leaves, the slightly larger house
of the resident gendarme. He will be greeted by bevies of girls, tall robust
vahines of somewhat darker skin than the Tahitians because there is less
white blood in their veins. Their costume is a simple knee length chemise
of cotton or tree fiber. In honor of the occasion they wear wreaths of
flowers in their hair and carry musical instruments. Virtually every girl
on Rapa plays either the guitar or the concertina.
These girls are frankly amorous. If they get
the chance they will lure you to their huts or into the hills, which are
honeycombed with caves. If you show some interest you will be escorted
by half a dozen of them. Wherever you go girls will follow you.
The French authorities are well aware that
the gals of Rapa are sex-starved and welcome immigrants who are willing
to settle down there and marry native girls. On the other hand, they make
every effort to prevent the landing of men who come to Rapa solely to indulge
in unlimited sex. Periodically reinforcements of cops come from Tahiti
and search the island for men known to have jumped ship and taken to the
hills, If these men are captured they are deported. But finding a man in
the Rapan hills is like finding a needle in a haystack, particularly since
the women all co-operate to hide him or keep him moving about ahead of
the cops. There's good reason to believe that at least a dozen men, including
Americans, are successfully eluding the police in the Rapan hills right
this minute. Some of them have been there for years.
If you want to get ashore on Rapa be prepared
to offer a legitimate reason for your visit. Some of the valid reasons
are to study the customs of the people, to rest, to paint or write, to
fish and swim, to survey the possibilities of settling down or at least
establishing a vacation home there.
Your stay will be limited to a basic three
months. If you don't make an obvious nuisance of yourself by brawling,
carousing and flagrant fooling around with the vahines, you should be able
to get it extended another three months, and so on. The French are pretty
broad-minded about these things.
So there you are. Nowhere in the world are
he-men more desperately needed than on the island of sex-starved gals.
But as the official , guidebook warns, don't start packing your bag for
Rapa until you're certain you can meet all the qualifications--not just
the one that has to do with romance.