Sex and love in China

Sex and love in China

There are 240 million single people in China, and growing. That means love – and sex – are big business.

What is it like to be gay in China?
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Explains unravels the ideas and context behind the headlines to help you understand news about China. Being LGBTQ in China is complicated. In many ways, Chinese society at large represses the culture – coming out can lead to severe professional and personal consequences. And yet, gay communities are allowed to exist openly in many places without repercussions. China is a place where authorities routinely censor homosexual acts in movies and television, but it is also home to the world’s largest gay dating app. Social and political forces continue to shape the development of LGBTQ rights in the world’s most populous country. With rising LGBTQ acceptance am
A teacher came out as gay in China, and paid a price
It took years – and a move to New Zealand – before Cui Le felt ready to tell his story. Cui was working as a linguistics lecturer at the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies in the southern Chinese province of Guangzhou when he publicly identified as gay in 2015. In August of that year a student named Qiubai, at Sun Yat-sen University, sued the Chinese education ministry over textbooks that described homosexuality as a “disease.” The school counselor informed Qiubai’s parents of her sexuality and they, in turn, took her to the hospital for an examination. Cui, along with the rest of the country’s LGBT community, was outraged. Until that moment he had remained silent, fearful that being g
Unmarried women might get a win for gender equality in China
Women’s rights advocates have applauded a proposal to China’s top advisory body to expand access to assisted reproductive technology. This includes technologies such as in vitro fertilization and egg freezing – medical practices that are difficult to access for unmarried women in China. Under the country’s existing laws, unmarried women and couples who do not “comply with the population and birth-planning regulations” are banned from using those services at Chinese hospitals and agencies. Peng Jing, a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, an advisory body, submitted the proposal to the advisory body, which if adopted would give unmarried women the right to use ass
The pandemic is bad for relationships. Just ask divorce lawyers
Psychologist Huang Jing has been busier than ever since the coronavirus outbreak began in China late last year.  More married couples are seeking her services, as their relationships are pushed to breaking point by the pressures of disease and enforced social isolation, she says. Based in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, Huang has both domestic and overseas clients.  She said the pandemic was putting a “magnifying glass” on relationships, bringing cracks into sharper focus, with many families forced to stay at home together for months on end.  The coronavirus has sickened 2.5 million people globally and killed 177,688 as of Wednesday. In the US, the country most affected by the virus,
9 fascinating China stories you might have missed in 2019
In 2019, Inkstone published some 250 issues and about 1,500 stories about China. By our rough estimate, that’s more than 1 million words, or about the length of the whole Harry Potter series.  That’s a lot of news, owing in part to an eventful year. But as unrest in Hong Kong and tensions between the United States and China dominated the headlines for months on end, there were stories that we liked that you might have missed. At the year’s end, we have put together a list of interesting, but lesser-read articles 📝 and videos 📺 that deserve a second chance. 1. ‘Let’s find somewhere private’: Single, retired and looking for love in Beijing 📝 China's widowers and single elderly people are lo
This Chinese woman is fighting to freeze her eggs
Under Chinese law, unmarried women are not allowed to freeze their eggs for in vitro fertilization. Xu Zaozao, a 31-year-old single woman, says it is time to change the rules to give women more control over their bodies. Xu has filed a lawsuit against the hospital that denied her request to freeze her eggs. The case brought attention to the plight of women struggling to access IVF in China.
Will China legalize same-sex marriage? These people hope so
Nearly 200,000 people have appealed to the Chinese authorities to recognize same-sex marriage, in a month-long push sparked by a review of the country’s civil law provisions. The country’s LGBT community and its supporters have been writing to legislators and leaving comments in favor of a change to China’s marriage laws during a public comment period which ended on Friday with more than 190,000 people responding. Among them is Ling Gu, a lesbian from Wuhan in the central Chinese province of Hubei. All she wants is a marriage certificate. Ling and her partner have had their wedding photos taken and together run a real estate business. In all but the eyes of the law, they are a married couple
‘Let’s find somewhere private’: Single, retired and looking for love in Beijing
For Beijing’s elderly people, Changpuhe Park, next to Tiananmen Square, has long been a popular spot for lonely hearts to meet and find a match for their twilight years, but the search for a companion is complicated, particularly for those without a sizeable pension and other assets. Zhang Daisheng, a 65-year-old widower, wants to find a shrewd woman and, on one of his few trips to the park, met someone just like that. After chatting with him a few times she told him, “If you think we are a good match, then let's find somewhere private to talk, let's not talk here.” Zhang said he realized the woman wanted to catch her fish, but was afraid of being bested by someone else. “That’s quite smart,
What happens when a rich Chinese tech bro looks for love online
A wealthy Chinese tech bro has stirred up a hornet’s nest with a brutally honest online ad looking for love. Actually, he doesn’t talk about love at all. Instead, he lists his salary, job, education, financial assets and family background and gives a detailed description of the kind of woman he is looking for.  The ad was posted on the Twitter-like Weibo last week by an online influencer, Beijing Big Potato, on behalf of the man, who says he’s an employee at tech giant Alibaba. Inkstone, which is also owned by Alibaba, was unable to independently verify the authenticity of the viral ad, but it appears to be a genuine window into how marriage, money, childbearing, gender roles, heightism and
Woman blazes trail for China’s single moms
Chris Zou had just broken up with her boyfriend when she learned she was pregnant. She shared the news with him and, despite his opposition, decided to raise the baby alone. Three years later, Zou is blazing a legal trail for China’s growing number of single moms. Zou, 43, works at a multinational company in Shanghai. She has managed to provide for her son Xinxin alone and has navigated the complex process of getting him identity papers.  But she has so far been unable to make a claim for her employer-provided maternity insurance. Local authorities told her she could not lodge a claim without providing a marriage certificate and the father’s information details. Believing single mothers had