This is the last part of Sex in China, and tomorrow I’ll be moving in a different direction with a new theme. I hope this series has been as interesting to you as it has been to me while I’ve been researching it and writing about it. But before I close the book, there are a couple of areas I haven’t mentioned that are worth touching on in brief here.
China produces over 70% of the world’s “marital aids” and yet until recently local consumption of these products was close to zero. This is changing rapidly, the China Daily ran a piece late last year talking about how it has become fashionable for Chinese women to hold “sex toy hen nights” for their friends. At these parties the lucky bride to be is inundated with advice about her coming nuptials and showered with “plastic pleasure pals” to enable her to get a bit of practice in first.
This trend of course is only apparent in the big cities, and while the industry is experiencing amazing growth in China the overall consumption of sex toys is still fairly low when compared to developed nations.
Strictly speaking porn is illegal in China, and you won’t find it for sale in any shop neither in magazine form nor any type of video (except of course dodgy back street places prepared to take a risk for profit – this is much less common in China than in Thailand or Malaysia, countries with very similar laws).
It used to be that porn was also strictly filtered (as much as possible) from Internet access in China, this has now officially ceased to be an area of concern for the censor and anyone with a net connection can access erotic and adult material online. Having said that it’s not a good idea to get caught doing so, as that’s still a criminal offence.
By this I mean that broad category that includes everything from swinging to BDSM, furries to crush fetishists, etc.
It’s not that these people don’t exist in China, in fact in one high profile case last year a committed swinger was sent to jail for his overly public behavior, but they are at risk of persecution and/or prosecution. And also are likely to be a very, very small part of the population – sexual kinks appear to be a middle class pre-occupation and China’s middle class is still tiny.
It’s possible I might revisit this series at a later date if more meaningful data becomes available on any of these areas.
And that brings this theme to a conclusion for the time being, if you have any questions on this or any other topic please feel free to post them below. Also if you’re enjoying this blog please take a minute or two to subscribe to it (there’s a subscription option under the menu on the left there) and to my twitter feed @ShardsofChina – thanks very much for your continued readership and support.