Sex Report from China

I was at dinner last week in a restaurant in Zhuhai, China when the conversation turned to sex.   Along with a group of other academics from Minnesota, I was  attending a teaching seminar sponsored by a university in Zhuhai.  Some of the undergraduate students of this university were helping our group with translation, transportation, and other logistics.

I sat next to one of these undergraduates, a male, at dinner.  We were chatting casually over Tsingtao beers, and I asked the young man what he did for fun in his spare time.  He mentioned video games.  I asked if he had a girlfriend, and he said “yes, of course.”  Then he mentioned casually that he sometimes went with her to a budget hotel outside of the city for privacy.  He said these budget sex hotels were a booming business because students did not have any privacy in the dorms and they could not afford regular hotels.  I just nodded and smiled and we went on to discuss his major and career aspirations.

The conversation was so casual and off-the-cuff that I was not even sure if I understood him correctly.  Or maybe he was pulling my leg?  I was curious to see if I could find more information on the internet about this phenomenon and I came across this article from Radio Netherlands  which seems to confirm what the student was telling me.

http://www.rnw.nl/english/article/sex-pays-china%E2%80%99s-budget-hotels

“China’s budget hotels used to target small business travellers, but their clientele nowadays is a rather different one. Cheap hotel rooms have become the space where the Chinese can pursue sexual freedom. Sexologist Xiaoliang Zeng writes on budget hotels and sexual liberation in China.”

I can’t say that I have been to any of these budget hotels, so my reporting is incomplete, dear reader.  However, I did stay at a Howard Johnson’s hotel in Beijing, which wasn’t particularly cheap.  I was a little surprised to find that my hotel room offered not only coffee, tea, and peanuts, but also this collection of condoms, “pleasure enhancers” and a “happy vibrations” toy:

P1000634

 

Perhaps these items are now standard fare in hotels, but I have never noticed them before. Have you?

Clearly, the issue of sex, hotels, and China is one that needs more investigative reporting and perhaps a detailed sociological analysis.    Perhaps I should apply for a research grant so I can enlighten the world further on this subject….