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Fifty Shades of ‘Vulgar’ – BDSM Lifestyle Slammed by Chinese Media

A young couple from Dalian recently made headlines in China by posting kinky pictures of their BDSM lifestyle on Weibo. According to experts quoted by Chinese media, their “sexual abuse addiction” can – and should be – cured.

Manya Koetse

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A young couple from Dalian recently made headlines in China by posting kinky pictures of their BDSM lifestyle on Weibo. According to experts quoted by Chinese media, their “sexual abuse addiction” can – and should be – cured.

A man who calls himself a “master” (主人) and a woman who calls herself his “slave” (奴隶) recently caught the attention of Chinese media after they repeatedly put kinky pictures on Weibo. The pictures, that feature the girl kneeling on the ground in various places, some with red skin from being slapped, were soon deleted after they made the news and local police intervened.

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The only two pictures made available by Chinese media.

Journalists came across the pictures when a concerned netizen tipped them about the unconventional couple.

 

“The couple suffers from a disease called ‘sexual abuse addiction’. ”

 

Chinese state media outlet Global Times, often called the Party mouthpiece, dedicated an article to the couple on September 27. According to the article, the two have been posting their self-taken pictures since this summer.

Some photos depicted ropes and cuffs, with the woman’s bruises clearly visible. According to Global Times, many Weibo netizens were “disgusted” with the “vulgar” pictures.

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An expert interviewed by Global Times says that the couple suffers from a disease called ‘sexual abuse addiction’ (性虐待成瘾).

 

“’Sexual abuse addiction’ conflicts with China’s social norms.”

 

Global Times writes that “sexual abuse addiction” conflicts with China’s social norms. According to China’s leading psychologist Zhao Xiaoming (赵小明), the causes of this ‘disease’ are complex and can be traced back to childhood abuse or sexual violence, leading people to search for “abnormal stimulation” as an adult.

The public display of ‘sexual abuse addiction’ negatively affects individuals and society at large, the article argues, but can be completely cured. The Weibo couple should, therefore, “seek professional medical attention” in order for them to be able to “lead a happy life”.

 

“Clearly, this is just art, but you say it is vulgar.”

 

On Weibo, the accounts of the man and woman mentioned have been emptied of any pictures from before September 26. The woman, nicknamed Nuo Xiaozhao (@诺小昭), commented: “I didn’t expect this. But my conscience is clear.”

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The man (@黑黑老大爷主人) only posted: “Our pictures have nothing to do with you. Right, my little slave Nuo Xiaozhao?”

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He also posted a picture, writing: “Clearly, this is just art, but you say it is “vulgar”. This storm will blow over and we will continue.”

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One female netizen wrote to the woman: “I respect every kind of lifestyle, people are entitled to do their own private things. I understand you, and everything will be ok. I’ll support you!”

Other netizens also offer their support, saying: “Believe in yourself!”

Some pictures previously posted by the couple also leaked online through various Chinese blogs (update 6 Dec 2017: we were forced to take these photos, that did not contain any nudity, offline by Google censors as long as we display Google Ads on this website. Sorry.)

One Weibo user comments: “Actually I think different people will have different views on this. Some will think you have no sense of shame. That’s because in China we’ve always been conservative. The people who applaud you also don’t necessarily approve of you – they just want to see your pictures and fantasize about them.”

“If they like it, what does it matter?” another netizen writes: “What does the police have to do with it?!”

 

“A crusade against vulgar, immoral and unhealthy content.”

 

BDSM is a variety of roleplaying involving bondage, discipline, dominance and submission, that gained much attention after the popular Fifty Shades of Grey book series and movie.

Its popularity is evident on China’s e-commerce giant Taobao, where dozens of sellers offer accessories related to BDSM.

Although Fifty Shades of Grey was banned from cinemas in mainland China, the film found its way to Chinese streaming sites and DVD stores. Since it was heavily censored with all sex scenes cut out, the Chinese version was much shorter than the American one.

China censors have been on a crusade against “vulgar, immoral and unhealthy content”. Regulations implemented earlier this year ban any content that “exaggerates the dark side of society”. Homosexuality, extramarital affairs, one night stands, underage relationships are all illegal on screen.

 

“Most Chinese even have no basic knowledge about sex, let alone alternative sexual practices like BDSM.”

 

The recent article in Global Times is especially noteworthy because the newspaper published an article with an entirely different tone in 2015.

The article, simply titled “BDSM in China“, refuted that BDSM was a form of sexual perversion or abuse.

Peng Xiaohui, a Chinese sexologist, stated in the article that BDSM comes with mutual, informed consent, where the level of stimulation is discussed and agreed upon in advance. According to the sexologist, it is therefore much different from sexual abuse, which is “arbitrary and reckless, intended to hurt the victim, and constitutes a criminal offence.”

Global Times further quotes Peng by writing that BDSM has a bad name in China due to ignorance and prudishness when it came to sex. “There’s a huge gap in attitudes toward BDSM in China and other countries,” Peng said: “Most Chinese even have no basic knowledge about sex, much less about alternative sexual practices [like BDSM].”

– By Manya Koetse

©2016 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of www.whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer and consultant (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, popular culture, and gender issues. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Robin Dahling

    October 3, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    There are any number of fetish groups and organizations in China that keep a low profile because of these attitudes; groups meet anonymously in public and form connections and build off them, but whenever in public, the discussions are kept neutral to avoid drawing attention.

    Regardless of the government’s position, the communities are supportive and understanding, and continue to grow.

  2. Avatar

    KRIS

    October 14, 2018 at 6:56 pm

    I am dominant in China, and practice SM, but it should not become public, it is private.
    As usual in China, people are ready to do everything to create buzz and be famous.
    It is not the Right things to do… of no.
    Good article and analyze.

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China Local News

On Wuhan’s ‘Reopening Day’, Even Traffic Jams Are Celebrated

As the COVID-19 lockdown has ended in Wuhan, many people are happy to see the city’s traffic finally getting busy again. “I hated traffic jams before, now it makes me happy to see them.”

Manya Koetse

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It was chilly and grey in Wuhan when the coronavirus epicenter city went into a full lockdown on January 23 of this year. On April 8, 76 days later, it is sunny and twenty degrees warmer outside as people leave their homes to resume work or go for a stroll.

The end of the Wuhan lockdown is a special day for many, as the city finally lifted the 11-week-long ban that shut down all travel to and from the city in a radical effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

On Wednesday, city residents returned to work as public transport started again. Roads, bridges, and tunnels were reopened, and the local airport resumed flights.

On Chinese social media, various hashtags relating to the Wuhan lockdown end have become popular topics. Using hashtags such as “Wuhan Lifts the Ban” (#武汉解封#), “Wuhan Open Again after 76 Days” (#武汉暂停76天后重启#), and “Wuhan Reopens” (#武汉重启#), the end of the coronavirus ban is a much-discussed news item, along with the spectacular midnight light show that was organized to celebrate the city’s reopening.

The Wuhan lightshow, image via Xinhua.

“Today has finally arrived! It’s been difficult for the people of Wuhan,” some commenters write.

According to China’s official statistics, that are disputed, over 3330 people have died from the new coronavirus since its outbreak; 80% of these fatal cases were reported in Wuhan. On April 6, authorities claimed that for the first time since the virus outbreak, there were zero new COVID-19 deaths.

Some state media, including People’s Daily, report that the reopening of restaurants and food shops is going smoothly in the city, as people – for the first time since January – are back to buying pan-fried dumplings and noodles from their favorite vendors.

Meanwhile, the fact that the traffic in some Wuhan areas is back to being somewhat congested is something that is widely celebrated on social media.

Some call the mild traffic congestions “great”, viewing it as a sign that the city is coming back to life again after practically turning into a ghost town for all these weeks.

“I hated traffic jams before, now it makes me happy to see them,” one Weibo commenter writes.

“I won’t complain about congested traffic again, because it’s a sign the streets are flourishing,” another Weibo user posted.

While netizens and media outlets are celebrating the end of the lockdown, several Chinese media accounts also remind people on social media that although the ban has been lifted, people still need to be vigilant and refrain from gathering in groups and standing close to each other.

For more COVID-19 related articles, please click here.

By Manya Koetse (@manyapan)
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China Local News

Online Anger over “Special Treatment” for Quarantined Foreigners in China

Are foreigners in quarantine being treated better than Chinese nationals? This Nanjing Daily article has triggered controversy.

Bobby Fung

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On March 27, an article titled “For the Good Health of 684 Foreigners” (“为了684个“老外”的安康”) sparked controversy online over the alleged special treatment of foreign nationals during their mandatory 14-day quarantine period.

According to the article published by Nanjing Daily, Nanjing’s Xianlin Subdistrict set up a special WeChat group for foreign nationals and their families returning to the city after the Spring Festival holiday, which coincided with the outbreak of the new coronavirus.

In special WeChat groups, subdistrict officers, doctors, translators, and property managers provide assistance and daily services to these China-based foreigners. Examples of such “daily services” include delivering fresh bread or contacting pet boarding facilities.

“One young man loved online shopping on Taobao, and once we delivered twenty packages for him within one day,” one member of the service group told Nanjing Daily.

Although foreign residents in China and foreigners with previously issued visas are currently no longer allowed to enter China, they needed to undergo a two-week quarantine period upon entry until the travel ban of a few days ago.

Jiangsu Province, of which Nanjing is the capital, tightened quarantine rules on March 23, making every traveler from abroad subject to a centralized quarantine (e.g. in a hotel) for fourteen days.

The special services for returning foreigners reported by Nanjing Daily triggered controversy on Chinese social media this week. Many netizens criticized it as a “supra-nationals treatment” (超国民待遇).

Under one Weibo post by media outlet The Cover (@封面新闻), which received over one million views, many people are criticizing local officers’ favorable treatment of foreigners. One commenter writes: “Will they provide the same comprehensive services to their compatriots?”

Another person writes: “Why don’t they also adhere to the slogan of ‘Serve the People’ (..) when dealing with Chinese citizens?”

In discussing the supposed inequality between the treatment of foreigners and Chinese nationals in quarantine, many netizens raise a recent example of a quarantined Chinese student who asked the civil police staff for mineral water. In a video that circulated online in mid-March, the girl quarrels with the police for not being offered mineral water. The student, demanding mineral water over the available boiled tap water, was ridiculed for suggesting that having mineral spring water is a “human right.”

Ironically, the Nanjing Daily article explicitly mentions how the Xianlin Subdistrict deals with foreigners drinking purified water: “[This] Laowai [foreigner] wants to drink bottled purified water, [so] we bought four barrels for him (..) and carried them from the community gate to his apartment.”

The contrast in treatment of quarantined foreigners versus Chinese nationals prompted some Weibo users to reflect on their previous remarks on the female student: “I apologize for previously mocking the Chinese student at the quarantine center in Pudong, Shanghai, for demanding to drink mineral water,” one commenter writes.

In response to the online controversy, the office of the Xianlin Subdistrict clarified that Chinese nationals would receive “corresponding services” during their quarantine period. Some netizens question what these alleged “corresponding services” exactly entail.

In another media report, the official reply was that “the Subdistrict treats Chinese and foreign citizens the same.”

Over recent years, there have been many online controversies on the issue of privilege in China. Earlier this year, there was public outrage over two women driving a Benz SUV into the Palace Museum, where cars are usually not allowed.

The issue of the perceived privileges of foreigners in China has particularly triggered anger among netizens. The “preferential treatment” of overseas students and the “dorm disparities” between Chinese and foreign students in China, for example, previously became major topics of online discussion.

A popular WeChat article that comments on the Nanjing controversy of this week also lists examples of special treatment for foreigners, including cases where foreigners were not fined when breaking rules in China or being “treated better” in other ways. By now, the article has received over 100,000 views.

For more COVID-19 related articles, please click here.

By Bobby Fung (@bobbyfungmr)

Follow @whatsonweibo

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First-time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

©2020 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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