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.

Sexual illiteracy is creating an HIV crisis in China
Poor sexual literacy in China has contributed to a rapid growth in the number of people who have contracted HIV over the past decade, even as the disease continues to abate worldwide.  The Chinese National Health Commission reported that 131,000 people contracted the disease in 2019. In 2007 the number of new cases was just under 33,000. In 2018, the Commission said it estimated new HIV patients are growing at a rate of about 80,000 people per year, although that data does not distinguish between people who just contracted the virus or those who may have had it for awhile without knowing. By comparison, the US reported just under 38,000 new cases in 2018. In 2019, the global number of people
Sincere seduction: No tricks, just honesty to charm men
A Chinese state-affiliated newspaper attacked an online class that advertised teaching women how to “seduce men and save marriages” on Monday, calling it “poisonous chicken soup.”  China Women’s News, an official newspaper from All China Women’s Federation, a women’s rights NGO with ties to the communist party, criticized a consulting brand named Lingtongtong in a commentary that read:  “Such techniques do not show the autonomy of women, but rather keep women confined within the realm of family affairs, only measuring women’s value by how much they gain male recognition.” It said such commercial classes disguised themselves as marriage counseling but were simply another avenue to engender o
The ‘markets’ where Chinese parents peddle love for their adult children
Every weekend, hundreds of parents across major Chinese cities head to public parks to take part in loosely organized speed dating. But they aren’t trying to find love for themselves; they are there on behalf of their adult children.  These “marriage markets” have been a curious phenomenon in China for about 20 years. Chinese parents often go to them for their children, usually without getting their consent, believing they are helping the family.  But these markets also illustrate a spiritual clash between the country’s young and old. Parents’ traditional beliefs about romance are at odds with those of a younger generation who grew up with values acquired while watching the country grow into
China’s mandatory sex ed classes are first step on a long road
China has made sex education mandatory for schoolchildren, as growing awareness of sexual harassment and gender inequality prompts calls from parents to improve the country’s sexual literacy.  For the first time, a revised law on protecting minors, passed by the top legislative body on October 17, requires schools and kindergartens to conduct “age-appropriate sex education” for children. It is unclear how the government plans to implement mandatory “sex education.” The law, which comes into effect on the International Children’s Day of June 1 next year, only mentions sexual abuse prevention.  Issues like LGBT rights – a topic that often triggers censorship – will have a slim chance of gettin
China Trends: City tests three million for Covid in two days, and a dating course at college
Every Tuesday and Thursday, China Trends takes the pulse of the Chinese social media to keep you in the loop of what the world’s biggest internet population is talking about. Three million people tested for Covid-19 in two days Officials in the Chinese city of Qingdao tested three million residents, or about one-third of the city’s population, for Covid-19 after three people tested positive for the virus. The city, in the eastern province of Shandong, hoped to stop a new outbreak in its tracks. Officials discovered nine more positive cases after testing the three million people.  On Sunday, Qingdao municipal health committee reported three new asymptomatic coronavirus patients and linked the
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