Spring is the season for gettin’ randy like rabbits. And despite Shanghai’s drab and dreary weather recently, there’s still plenty of spring fever pulsing through the city, heating it up. From swingers and prostitution, to sex diaries and China’s own set of Hooters, here’s a re-cap of the hot, the heavy and the unjust of recent sex scandals, Sino-edition.
Last week we told you about “Wang Cheng,” the Chinese official who got freaky with over 500 women and then subsequently bragged about it in his diary (because in an attempt to keep this disparaging matter under wraps, Wang copiously documented his every affair in graphic detail on paper. Smart move.).
But we have to admit that the story was less titillating than expected. A high-paid public figure caught with his pants down? Ho hum. We’ve heard this so many times before that a good sex scandal almost seems part and parcel of the public figure status (or at least the United States it sure does, as names like Tiger Woods, John Edwards and Jesse James are now synonymous with sexual douchebaggery).
But what did stand out about this story was that the media often framed it side-by-side with President Hu Jintao’s recent warning for cadres to be wary of the “temptations of beautiful women.” Yet again, China’s gender biasness of the “boys will be boys” variety rears its ugly head. Yes, you high paid officials. Watch out for the evil “beautiful women” trap. Before you know it, you’ve slept with 500 of them and people think it’s actually YOUR fault.
But to some people in China, sex is more about a numbers game rather than the gender preference. As we previously reported, 22 men and women are on trial in Nanjing this week facing charges of “group licentiousness.” And by “licentiousness,” Chinese officials mean group sex, or to get down to the nitty gritty of this particular case, it means “wife-swapping” amongst an online group with over 190 members.
The incident has cracked open an already hot debate on sexual freedoms within China, particularly this age-old law that still criminalizes private gathering (and mutually willing) activities regarding sex. Considered immoral and, most importantly, fully illegal by the government, the 22 men and women facing charges could spend 5 years in prison if convicted.
This same group sex law came under scrutiny last month when China’s most well-known sexologist, Li Yinhe, announced her goal to demolish China’s ban on orgies and same sex marriages. Yinhe stated on her blog:
“The crime of criminal licentiousness in our state criminal laws is severely out of step with the times and should be abolished, the numbers of people involved with this are not many, the activity is based on mutual willingness, it does not harm other people and it does not harm society.”
The government’s hard-lined approach to what others see as basic sexual freedoms becomes perhaps even more confusing when cases like Wang Chang and his 500 sexual trysts surface. In a Los Angeles Times article about the Hooters restaurant chain in China, the Times highlights the country’s sexual contradictions: a place where brothels exist openly, but a sex-themed amusement park named “Love Land” is closed down by officials.
“The restaurant may be another example of globalization in China, but it’s also a snapshot of changing attitudes toward sex in a country full of contradictions. […] Pornography is strictly prohibited. A government campaign last year netted 5,000 arrests for distributing porn online. […]Yet authorities turn a blind eye when it comes to illegal brothels. Often disguised as hair salons, they remain one of the most common sights in any city, operating unabated next door to businesses and schools without the slightest fuss from locals.”
For a season that’s traditionally about blue birds and pink tulips, Spring 2010 has proven to be quite the scandalous time, heating things up with indecent affairs and sensitive sexual debates. Forget summer, it’s hot enough already!
Just kidding..where the heck is that sun?