Gringos get into troubles in Rio despite our best advice. Single or married men traveling alone are often tempted to try the local produce, meaning girls.
First things first: most girls who hit on gringos at the beach are not cariocas, but from other cities, and many of them are whores, or dream of catching a gringo who would get her out of the country. Many others are poor or from poor neighbourhoods and have the same intent. There are gay versions of these girls. So, the local produce is more likely to be found in other venues, such as bars, parties and concerts which are also for locals and not on places heavily advertised for gringos, such as the beaches of Zona Sul. And the local produce might not be as easy to catch and more demanding of looks, so they won´t be shamed before their friends.
If the preying gringo is up for a whore he must stay away from the girls he meets at the beach, streets or who are introduced to him by hotel staff. They are certainly cheaper, but he is in bigger danger of being robbed. It is much more prudent to go to a “termas” (or spa), which is a nice name for brothel, and rest easy that he will have a good assortment to choose from, clean environment, good drinks and snacks, and he won´t be charged with soliciting, cause prostitution is legal in Brazil. There are a few good “termas” in town and he should be well served. They are not exactly cheap, but the dollar Exchange rate has been favourable to foreigners.
Another option is the catalog girl or call girl. These are girls who are advertised on sites of agencies. These agencies, like Barra Vip´s, for instance, have sites with profiles where the client can choose the girl, knowing beforehand her specialties, her rating, how much she charges per hour with transportation, for one person (him), two (threesomes, MMF, or FMF). It goes on such detail. You usually pay cash and choose where she will attend to you. Pay cash, be prudent, and leave your valuables on someplace safe, but it is usually pretty safe altogether, cause there is a phone where these girls can be tracked, known by the police and so on.
One trait of Brazilian sex culture that I´ve found that gringos often find charming is our motels. There are love hotels in other countries, even with themed rooms, but many of our love hotels are motels where each room has a private garage, and even the most humble suíte has mirrored walls, catalogues of sex toys that the couple can buy; rooms can be rent for periods of say 4, 6 or 12 hours, and the price varies according to the luxury the couple wants. These motels are not shady at all, and singles go there on a date: many single people live with their parents until their thirties and want privacy, so they use the motels for sex encounters; married couples who want to have sex without kids next door, and to spice up their relationship; people who want to experience in the kinky; people with extramarital affairs; sex workers; people from all walks of life. Famous and anonymous. Even the famous are granted privacy, so much that paparazzi spare them the exposure of photos entering or leaving a motel. Unless they end up in a police precinct, cause then the sanctity of one´s sexual life is tainted by something more scandalous: crime.
In Rio you can do anything you want, as long as you respect the boundaries of privacy, and be smart enough to abide by rules of self preservation.
South Zone is relatively poor in Motel options, mostly because the price of real estate there is super high. The gringo options are: Barra da Tijuca, or scavenging for the few motéis in Botafogo going to centro da Cidade (the historical and financial centre… yes, cariocas do more than eat during lunchtime).
A famous Motel in Rio is VIP´s, perched on a cliff looking over Niemeyer avenue, it has one of the most beautiful views of the ocean one can imagine, private balconies with pools and bathtubs where you can do whatever you want under the sun out of prying eyes, watching sea and forest and close to the high priced Leblon. And VIP are the initials of the sibbling who own it! Many a couple spent their first night of honeymoon over there before hopping on a plane…