When we read that a certain hospital would be punished for putting up erotic literature on its website our curiosity was piqued: Were there other fans of Debbie Does Dalian out there? It turns out that the literature in question is erotic literature from the Qing dynasty, a novel by the name of Secret Lust of Spring Palace, which, this Chinese report tells us, is the racy 《春宫秘史》 (Chun Gong Mi Shi). There’s no “lust” in the title, but we suppose that’s whatever the opposite of being “lost in translation” is. The point of putting this up was to give couples having difficulties conceiving a little encouragement. The hospital treats all kinds of infertility problems, some of which are physical, and some of which are psychological:
He cited the example of a couple who had complained about not having a child a year into their marriage. It turned out they did not know how to have sex and that the wife was still a virgin when they came to the hospital. (emphasis ours)
In case you didn’t catch that the first time around, let us repeat it: still a virgin. They must have been confused — think about how long it took Adam and Eve before they got the hang of it. However, though we have not read any of the great erotic literature of China (the novels are mostly from the Ming and Qing dynasties), we do know that when we have come across sexual scenes in Chinese literature of that period that the wording is usually fairly literary and doesn’t go into racy details. Therefore, as many opinion pieces have noted, this might not help people like the aforementioned couple, who might benefit from an instruction manual — and we don’t mean the Kama Sutra, we mean something along the lines of “INSERT HERE.”
Those who criticize the hospital say that they are going to give people the wrong idea, and that people would read it more for the sex and less for its educational or therapeutic value. At worst, this could lead to certain kinds of delinquency. According to this report (in Chinese), 70 percent of all crimes are committed by young people (we assume they mean minors), and that of these, 30 percent (21 percent of total) are sex-related crimes. That report focuses mostly on phone sex lines; the reporter went undercover and called these lines to figure out what they were about. One of the interesting facts they uncovered is that of the 3 yuan that the customer pays per minute, 1 yuan goes to the phone sex company, and out of that, each “operator” only gets .1 yuan, that’s right, one f#ckin’ jiao per minute for relating to you something as sacred as how they lost their virginity. Is there justice in this world?
There are even more risque and sleazy things happening out there: In a Dalian bathhouse, there was a “show” where a man, half-naked, got out in front of the audience and pierced his cheeks, lips, and nipples. Live. No anesthesia. He then hung a bucket of water on these needles, and spun around a bit for effect. The undercover reporter went back another day, when they said that the same man was going to do a striptease in drag, but it was canceled as the boss had gotten wind of the fact that the authorities were on the alert of the sick and twisted happenings in this joint.
Photo from XO, Isabel’s Flickr page.