Tag Archives: Sex in China
Late new year greetings from western China. I am the lone foreign teacher in a small private school out here. It was kind of strange at first but now I’m starting to like it. I’ll get right to the point. Supposedly, I work with 10 Chinese ‘English’ teachers but believe it or not, there is only one who can really communicate well with me in English. Her English name is Lucy and she is quite an attractive girl. I have to say that I kind of like her and it seems that the feeling is (or I hope it is) mutual.
I guess you can probably figure out my question by now. I want to ask her out. I really really do. And I think she wants to be asked out too. I am definitely not shy and in any other situation, I would have taken her out weeks ago. I am just sure if it is appropriate in my present situation or how the other staff would feel about it. Any thoughts about this? Anything would be greatly appreciated.
Jean answers Bruce’s question
The first thing that I would like to do as I answer your question is to take the whole ‘China’ aspect out of it for a moment. Let’s say that you are back in your home country and you are facing the same situation. Even there, I would urge you to be careful about dating your workmates because if ‘things’ don’t go well, you would most likely face a lot of drama and heartache at work.
With that said, you made it clear that if you were home, you would have asked her out weeks ago. Ok, so you think you could handle all the drama if things didn’t go well. I believe you.
Now, let’s put you back in China. If you date this girl and something goes wrong, you may be dealing with something entirely different here – especially if you can’t speak the Chinese language. She could spread rumors about you amongst your co-workers, say terrible things to your boss, and make your life ‘living hell.’ And depending on how good your Chinese is, you may never even know what was said. But you will feel it.
Neither you nor I know for sure that she would do this, but the language barrier could really work in her advantage and cause trouble for you if things didn’t work out. Simply put, it’s better to not date your Chinese co-workers.
Of course, if you like her that much, you will naturally ignore my advice and ask her out anyway. In case you do that, you may want to check out an article called Dating and Sex in China written some months ago by our own Robert Vance. I certainly don’t agree 100% with his take on things but I do think he provides some helpful advice.
Ask Jean about China is a weekly feature on TeachAbroadChina.com. We welcome any questions related to living and working in China. Feel free to submit your questions by clicking here. We look forward to hearing from you.
I have never met a single mother in China. Not one. Do they exist? Sure, but even in a country of 1.4 billion people, they are few and far between. And if you do happen to run into a single mother, it is more than likely that she lost her husband through a divorce or early death. Women choosing to keep their babies out-of-wedlock in China is almost unheard of.
“I spent a few weeks last winter taking care of a friend who had an abortion,” an acquaintance of mine related to me during my recent trip to western China. “She had a boyfriend in University who got her pregnant and she really had no choice but to get rid of it.”
“Did anyone suggest to her that she keep the baby and at least give it up for adoption?” I asked.
“Of course not,” came the reply. “Having a baby without a husband could have ruined her chance to graduate from university and have a successful career.” According to my friend, the boyfriend had no intention of marrying the girl as the relationship was not that serious.
Unlike in America, where organizations like Planned Parenthood are supposed to present other options to mothers who are contemplating an abortion, there is no such counsel given in China. If a woman is single and pregnant in China, there is only one option; the baby must go.
Not that keeping a baby out-of-wedlock in China would be easy. Most university students in China are completely dependent on their parents for financial support and choosing to have a baby would place an extra burden on them. Just as my friend suggested, for many young women, choosing to have a baby could very well mean the end of their higher education.
But even more importantly, there is still a strong social stigma that is placed on women in China who have children before they are married. It is simply not culturally acceptable.
“It would bring shame on her family,” explained my friend. While the age old tradition in China of ‘checking the sheets’ after the wedding night to make sure the bride was a virgin may be fast fading away, most Chinese parents are afraid of ‘losing face’ in front of their family members in friends. An unmarried daughter with a child would be a constant source for rumors and gossip. Having sex before marriage is one thing, but having a baby before marriage would most definitely bring shame upon the girl’s entire family. And then there would be the question about who the girl could marry someday. It would take a special man to marry a single mother in China and the wedding process, which is so important in Chinese culture, would be naturally tainted in the eyes of the girl’s relatives.
Thus, there is no such thing as pro-choice China. There is only one choice; the baby is sacrificed to secure the future of the girl. In China, an abortion procedure is as common as having one’s tonsils removed.
“She was only one month pregnant when she had the abortion,” my aquaintance told me. “She didn’t see it as a person. It was just a medical procedure.”
Yet, according to my friend, the girl that she took care of suffered both physically and emotionally from the experience.
“It was a horrible thing for her to go through,” my friend admitted. “She was very sad.”
As was I when I heard this story. The girl never had a choice and the baby never had a chance.
It was very nice of Google to apologize to China this week for allowing ‘smut’ links to appear in its search listings. The question is, did Google actually make any effort to modify its search listings in China? Search results for the word ‘sexy girl’ causes one to wonder if Google was simply giving lip service to the Communist giant. These are from the top 10 results:
Not that I am condemning Google. If I were them, I would tell the CCP to ‘get lost.’ Besides, who needs to look for porn on Google in China when you can simply step out your front door and buy it on a VCD around the corner?
The point is, the CCP has tried to control the web before but their efforts rarely make any difference. Sure, they might manage to block a site or few but at the end of the day, whether it is porn or information on the Dalai Lama, people in China can pretty much access whatever they want to find. Good for them, I say. They have been in the dark for far too long.
“Two American men were deported for sleeping with too many girls,” a foreign friend reported to me sometime ago. “They gave a number of girls hope about marriage and traveling to America and the girls willingly gave themselves to the guys.” My friend was a teacher in a small town in Central China were news always traveled fast. She explained that when the girls realized that they had been ‘used’, they complained to the local authorities who promptly arrested the men and sent them out of the country.
While such stories are relatively rare in China, there is little doubt that Chinese women are regularly taken advantage of by a handful of the thousands of foreigners who are living and working in China. Some foreigners arrive in China with the attitude that this country is a ‘playland’ and that taking advantage of Chinese women will have no consequences. Still, there many more foreigners in China who just happen to meet a nice girl that they are truly interested in. Thus, the million dollar question presents itself. Is it a good idea for foreigners to date Chinese women?
The simple answer to this question is ‘yes.’ But wait. don’t close this page quite yet. There are a few tips that you should have in your mind before you step into the Chinese dating scene.
- –Be honest with your girflfriend about your intentions. If you are only going to be living in China temporarily, make sure that she understand this. Do not lead her on by giving her false hope for the future. Doing this could cause trouble for you later on.
- –PDA (Public Display of Affection) is still highly frowned upon in many parts of China. Kissing and even holding hands in public is considered improper by the older generation.
- –Going to visit your girlfriend’s hometown is often seen as a serious step towards marriage in China. If you are invited to visit your girlfriends’ hometown during a holiday, be careful. Accepting the invitation may send the wrong message to her and her family.
- –In traditional culture, the fewer boyfriends that a girl has before marriage, the better. Ideally, a girl should marry her first boyfriend.
- –Having multiple girlfriends in China is never a good idea. As I wrote about earlier, acting ‘the playboy’ in China could have serious consquences on the status of your visa.
A quiet yet powerful sexual revolution seems to have been spreading through China since the turn of the millenium. Attitudes about sex before marriage are gradually changing amongst the younger generation. I wrote about this change a few months ago in an article entitled Sex and Hypocrisy – The Edison Chen Scandal. However, engaging in sexual activity with a Chinese girl is still not a wise decision for the following reasons:
- –If your girlfriend’s parents discover that you are involved sexually with their daughter, there may be ‘hell to pay.’ Chinese parents are often extremely protective over their ‘adult’ children and you could find yourself in serious legal and physical danger. I have heard stories about enraged parents who have taken matters into their own hands if they feel that their daughter’s honor has been somehow compromised.
- –If the local police happen to notice that a young lady is spending an inordinate amount of time at your apartment, they may suspect that she is a hired prostitute. I have heard stories of foreigners being deported on the basis of that very suspicion.
- –Impregnating a Chinese girl is a serious matter in China. Do not assume that because you are a foreigner that you will be able to just leave the girl and let her ‘fend for herself.’ Passports of foreigners who impregnated Chinese girls have been blocked before so don’t count on leaving the country.
- –For most girls in China, having sex is a sign of a serious relationship that is headed towards marriage. While there are always exceptions, most Chinese girls do not want to be simply used as a ‘plaything.’ Thus, engaging in sex should never be taken lightly.
Never forget that you are a guest in China. You are an unofficial representative of your country and every action that you take will be scrutinized by someone. It is also important to remember that Chinese girls, like any other girls around the world, have feelings. In a country where boy-girl relationships are not taken lightly, being given hope by a foreigner, used for ‘pleasure’, and then abandoned, could destroy a girl’s outlook on life. You also need to understand the concept of ‘family shame’ in China. Bringing shame upon a Chinese girl will also bring shame upon her family. In some areas of China, such shame could result in the girl being treated as an outcast in her family and village or even being subjected to physical abuse.
There is nothing inherently wrong with having a girlfriend in China. Such a relationship can you help you become better acclimated to the culture and learn more about your city. It can also be a good way for you to have a positive impact on a Chinese girl’s life. However, it may be a good idea to treat this relationship more as a friendship unless you are seriously considering marrying the young lady. Just be careful and think about the consequences of your actions not only for yourself but also for the Chinese girl and her family.
A Chinese magazine is in big trouble, News24.com is reporting today, after it printed “pictures of scantily clad women posing in rubble for a special report on the country’s devastating earthquake, officials said on Wednesday.” The report identifies the guilty magazine as The New Travel Weekly which according to the article is “a lifestyle magazine” based Chongqing. While I do not support the Chinese government’s constant suppression of the media in this big country, I cannot complain about its decision to shut this magazine operation down. This is the kind of stunt that you might expect from a shock jock radio host in the U.S. to get attention. What was the magazine staff thinking when they shot these pictures? Hundreds of bodies and the occasional survivor are still being pulled out of the rubble in Sichuan and we are in the midst of three days of national mourning. The decision to use the earthquake destruction as a backdrop for a model shoot was highly irreverent and disrespects the victims’ families and the work that is still ongoing in the region. What amazes me is a quote in the report made by an employee who suggests that the magazine could re-open if the government approves. Really? I wonder what the Chinese people will have to say about that after they ‘get wind’ of this story. Forget about Carrefour and CNN. This is something to really protest about.
Read the story on http://www.news24.com/News24/World/News/0,,2-10-1462_2326307,00.html
The ‘ladies of the night’ were frequently and stragetically placed near my hotel in Xi’an when last I visited this city famous for the Terracotta Warriors. These ladies, or the ‘house madam’ would approach me and inquire of me if I desired some company.I always politely declined but I did discover that many of these women could provide very accurate directions if I was lost. Some of them were able to communicate quite well in English and I was surprised by how well they could understand me. It was clear that they had received some English training.
In Xi’an, like in many other major cities in China, prostitues, sex shops, and adult films have all claimed an important place in its local economy. While the growing public popularity of these adult items and services reflect a change in the way that Chinese people view sex, there is also a large foreign demand that is fueling this market. For this reason, many of the sex shops and ‘brothel’ houses throughout the country are located in areas with heavy tourist volume. If you spend some time walking around any large city in China, you are sure to encounter these areas.
Prostitution, like other sectors of the Chinese economy, has had to respond to the growing need to integrate English into their business. In the training center where I teach, it is rumored that there are a number of prostitutes in attendance everyday. I believe that it is probably more than a rumor considering that I live in a city where the hotels are full of rich foreign businessmen. A prostitute is much more likely to have success convincing a foreigner in English that he should the spend an hour with her than in Chinese.The local prostitutes and their masters know that they can expand their client base if they are able to learn even some basic English phrases.
Thus the English boom that China is experiencing is not positive in all aspects. However, it can be hoped that the aqcuistition and spread of English in China will help those who are ambitious enough to be able to improve their lives and take advantage of increased social mobility. Perhaps those ‘ladies of the night’ in Xian, who seemed to communicate well with me in English, can someday move into another service industry such as tourism or sales. But they will have to work hard. Even with English skills, China is an extremely competitive environment.