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Laowai, Misbehavior, Sex Parties and China

May 10, 2009 – 1:36 pm

My last article, This Summer in China, stirred up some dust and I’d like to discuss about that a little longer. Let’s get a short chronological overview of what happened first.

In the article I was writing about my ideas for this summer and I also stated that I need a place which is… well can I say girl-friendly? I guess I just said that, so it’s on the table now ;) I also said, that I’m looking for a place that has a bed big enough to serve as a playground.

This was enough for Hoeness, to raise his voice. He argues, that he sees many laowai who just come to China to get as much pussy as they can possibly get. There are fat, old and ugly laowai with beautiful Chinese women at their sides and the Chinese society doesn’t like the laowai just for such kind of reasons. Furthermore he feels that because of some laowais misbehaving, all laowai are judged in a negative way by the Chinese due to extrapolation. I agree, extrapolation is just a way of being economically, therefore a valid and acceptable behavior, yet it can lead to misunderstandings and should therefore be avoided.

Here the previous comments split into two plots.
(1)The problem is an inner problem of the laowai. Why would I listen to a Chinese person who says nasty words to me? In my opinion, it is not necessary to listen to people, who insult me, they are a waste of time. So if some Chinese have a problem with laowai coming to China and taking away their brides, why should I bother. Should I really respect people who insult me?

The other way of seeing it, is as following:
(2)The problem is an society problem and laowai are responsible for their colleagues. Laowai should not act like the kings and furthermore should refrain from activities that are all acceptable in Europe. I do agree, that bragging is a bad habit, but can be quite entertaining at times. Hoeness argues laowai should not misbehave in China (I’ll get back to this later), this means not have girlfriends that obviously don’t match, not engage in promiscuous behavior, etc if I got him right. He argues, that because of the behavior of some laowai, Chinese people look down on his own relationship with a Chinese woman.

And then there is the point about Chinese nationalism, racism and jealousy. I’ll get back to this one later in the article. At this point, let me get something clear, what I haven’t really talked about earlier on this blog, but something I want to make clear now.

About misbehaviour

People talk about misbehavior, they even agree to each other while using this term, but at the same time everyone has his or her own definition of misbehavior. So let’s get on with a definition first.

Junjie’s personal definition of misbehavior: Behaving in a way, that is insulting, threatening others or hurting others.

I definitely disagree, that I should refrain from activities in China, which are fine and widely acceptable in Europe. If my morals say it’s fine to have a One Night Stand, Swinger Party, whatever in Europe, then it’s also fine to do the same thing in China. In the named activities all parties mutually agree to participate, therefore no-one is insulted, threatened or hurt. As my definition of misbehavior is valid on any continent, well anywhere I could possibly travel to, I cannot see any fault in promiscuous behavior.

It has been pointed out, that such behavior promotes social diseases as AIDS and therefore hurts the Chinese society. My answer to this is, that everyone can buy a condom in almost any shop in China. Having sex without protection can be blamed on the non existent sexual education in Chinese schools and on the pope. Any responsible person uses protection, therefore the promiscuous behavior is not the source of the problem. And to praise myself, I’ve told quite some Chinese women about condoms, STDs, etc. so the Chinese government and health system should be thankful to me for doing their work.

Now what about the fat, ugly and old laowai with a young, beautiful mistress at his side? Who am I to judge them? If the age difference is 20 years and more then I guess it’s fine to make a joke about this unusual couple, but if they are happy together, why stop them? Last week here in Germany I saw a man with grey hair, partly bald, maybe 50 to 60 years old, entangled with a women in her late twenties. Once in a while I can see such unusual couple here in this mid sized German city. And yes, both participating parties were European. No-one would make a fuss about them here. Both parties bring something to the table, that the other person is seeking.

However there shouldn’t be a relationship, where one participating party gets abusive. For example if the male part asks for sexual favors the female part doesn’t like and the male part threatens to bring harm to her if she doesn’t agree. In an relationship both parties should state their expectations, before it becomes a serious thing. In the beginning it’s easy to express wishes and to say “yes” or “no” for any party.

Yes, Europeans do have an advantage in Asia

Yes, European men who go to Asia, especially China, do have an advantage there, because of our body shape. But this is not the only advantage we have. Europeans are more bold, open minded and mature. All characteristics women seek. Men really look for attractive women, but women look for a desirable character in men in the first place. Independent, confident, humorous, successful. So the fact that we Europeans are taller is only a small bonus that we have. Chinese men are often insecure, not-mature and sometimes even silly. Not all of them, but many. This is a result of the way they have been raised. Dormitories separated by genders? No wonder Chinese men don’t know how to behave properly when surrounded by women. Blame the Chinese government.

Of course Chinese men try to discourage the Chinese-Laowai relationship, so they have more women available to themselves. But hey, they should rather work on self improvement, instead of bashing others. Unfortunately they bad mouthing about laowai works, some women really do not want to engage in any activities with laoway, because of these stories. What a pitiful case. For self improvement check out Steve Pavlina. For becoming a player (in a positive sense), check out Sushi and Seduction, a blog written by Emergency, a guy from the USA, who has dedicated a part of his life to seducing Japanese women.

Some Chinese women want to have an short affair with a laowai, just to have a laowai experience. Laowai come to China to have fun. It’s all the same in Europe. Here it’s the southern European, especially Spanish, the Arabs, the Latinos, who take their fantasies into reality. And of course there are women who love to take part. I’ve rarely heard negative comments about such behavior. If I did, these comments were mostly of village people, who don’t travel much and have a conservative attitude in general. Why is it acceptable in Europe, but not in China? Double standards?

Nationalism, racism, jealousy

The Chinese government and media has figured this out as well. Most people need a common enemy to work together as a group. And the laowai are a thankful target. Aremonus has pointed out somewhere that there are a little less than 10000 laowai in Chengdu, a city which has about 10 million inhabitants. Thats 1 laowai for 1000 Chinese. It’s insane to blame the laowai. If You want to read more about Chinese nationalism, go to Justrecently’s blog and figure for Yourself.

Then there is this insane sex ratio of 100 women for 115 men in China (world: 100/105). Of course Chinese men have increased difficulties in finding a mate. But once again, the Chinese government and Chinese traditions are to blame. It’s some Chinese people who believe that it’s not worth to have a daughter. How sick is that? Here comes the laowai man and takes away even more women. But how can the Chinese man accuse Europeans of such behavior, if he at the same time goes to Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia to get a wife? Double standards?

The bottom line is, laowai are accused for things that are not their fault at all. Chinabounder has pointed out these issues on his highly disputed blog. I mostly agree with the issues he discussed, but I do not agree with the language he used to do so.

Conclusion
So I’ll hand the question back to my readers and commentators of the previous article.

(1) Am I, as a laowai, responsible for the aggressions of some narrow minded Chinese men? If yes, why?

(2) In case You think One Night Stands, promiscuous behavior, … is acceptable in Europe, then is it acceptable in China? If Your answer is “no”, why the difference?
In case You think One Night Stands, promiscuous behavior, … is not acceptable in any place (Europe and China), why do You think You could tell other people how to live their sexual life?

Comments may be written in German or English, but English preferred, as most of my readers are English speaking.

  1. 16 Responses to “Laowai, Misbehavior, Sex Parties and China”

  2. Yeah, I got cited :D

    Uff, this gotta be a loooong statement!

    To get clear before I start answering your questions: let me say sorry if my answers at the post before were some kind of narrow minded. I am married to a Chinese woman, got a kid, living and working most of the time in China: so I easily get irritated if someone is putting their focus on Chinese women as some easily “picked up” by random foreigners (as I have to admit that it is pretty easy to pick up girls here I gotta state that I was more into the “hard to get” ones) ;)

    About misbehavior:
    I totally agree with you that YOU can’t be responsible for others. I also agree with you that we are not in the position to judge about others live. And still: Since I live in China for quite some time I run into lotta different Expats (or whatever you’d prefer to call laowai in China). Most of them were decent people, trying to find their luck in any way in China, respecting Chinese people, culture and the Chinese way of life. But some just came here to get some “pussy” as you put it, behaving like kings and laughing about China and Chinese people. This is a behavior I can’t tolerate, even if I am not in a position to judge. I don’t say that you should be more Chinese than the Chinese themselves but you are still a guest in this country.
    Let’s put it this way: you go through Berlin, you gonna see some Arabic people. They starting to flirt with a German girl. No harm. They start to threat her like a bitch. They insult her. THIS is the behavior I am talking about in China. Ever been to Suzie Wong in Beijing? At the time I was there with my wife (girlfriend at that time) she got some laowai flirting to her. However: as soon as she told them friendly “no thank you”, she was a bitch, hooker or even worse. Why? Coz they think all Asian girls are easy to get, worthless to be more accurate.
    That’s what I call misbehavior for once.
    I could give you a lotta examples (taking pictures with beggars, fooling vendors, …) on misbehavior in China by laowai. Still: they are a minority but still they are the reason why sometimes I have to clean up their mess and PROOF that I am not like them. They give me hard time..

    Yes, Europeans do have an advantage in Asia
    Sure we do. You’re totally right and your reasons are too. Still you forgot to point out that some of us (as stated above) are not well behaving around women either. Just playing / being rich and taking whatever they get. Again: who am I to judge? It appears that kind of woman wants to have a rich guy, so there’s no harm. Still: it stirs up again some racism against foreigners (and the Chinese gold diggers too).
    And I can’t tell you why there are double standards here and there. Maybe it just takes some more time since the “Asian Invasion” as a friend said already started – just have a look around in almost every bigger German city are loads of Asian peoples these days. It will get a normal picture, mixed couples. Sooner or later..

    To answer your questions:
    (1) Am I, as a laowai, responsible for the aggressions of some narrow minded Chinese men?
    Partially. If you behave like you have said: you’re not. If you are part of the minority of laowai who forgot their manners at the Airport of Beijing, you are responsible for it. As every foreigner in a foreign country should know that they are only guests. Welcomed guests but guests.

    (2) In case You think One Night Stands, promiscuous behavior, … is acceptable in Europe, then is it acceptable in China? If Your answer is “no”, why the difference?
    Of course it is acceptable.
    However: the Chinese way of living is most of the time too traditional to live those kind of life. That stirs up some jealousy of the “free” foreigners. But that’s not your fault. Blame Chinese traditions. Still they are their traditions and still you are a guest in this country.

    My conclusion: suum quique. You don’t have to be what I want you to be, you don’t have to be what society wants you to be (Western or Asian society, it doesn’t matter). However you are responsible for your own behavior and you are a guest who should at least give some thoughts about the traditions and lifestyle of the country you are a guest at.
    Or you’d like to have Chinese people spit in a German restaurant?! ;)

    [Uhm: I am extrapolating too - but I guess you got my point]

    By Hoeness on May 10, 2009

  3. Hello Hoeness,

    thanks for Your reply.
    Your Suzi Wong bar example is of course misbehavior. The guy emotionally harmed the woman. But that’s (unfortunately) very common amongst insecure guys. For those guys I can only say again, they have to read Steve Pavlina. But I doubt, that this is a specific laowai in China problem. I have seen such behavior between Chinese people and also in Europe between Europeans. For You and and Your wife I can only recommend to learn how to ignore such low people. It’s not worth to bother about them.

    By Hendrik on May 10, 2009

  4. I don’t think I’d blame any German who “spoils our image” in China. But I do think that foreigners in China are interconnected. Many Chinese people see us as people who are interconnected. That creates facts, and sometimes trouble which we can’t simply wish away.
    I wouldn’t blame anyone, because I think that we must live by our own values first of all. Criticising one for a kind of behavior that is generally accepted in Europe would – at least sometimes – amount to giving in to a pretty blimpish hegemony.
    But I seem to realize that foreigners in China are more ready to talk with each other and to cooperate with each other in a Chinese environment, than they’d be in their home countries. Isn’t that an acknowledgment of interconnectedness indeed?
    China doesn’t seem to consider any bans on promiscuity among foreigners. After all, it would be an insurmountable task for the authorities to stop promiscuity among Chinese people themselves – my impression is that it prevails among Chinese people too, just not so openly.
    I’d think the right time to ask questions like yours, Junjie, in a fundamental way is when a foreigner actually gets arrested in China for polygamy, or if he or she faced other kinds of obvious arbitrariness.
    That said, I’d try to avoid hurt other peoples’ feelings, even if I think that such feelings are unjustified. My own behavior as a foreigner should not be determined by some kind of now-more-than-ever motivation. Not so much because it would be immoral (a difficult concept anyway), but because it wouldn’t be practical.

    By justrecently on May 10, 2009

  5. I mixed up polygamy and promiscuity in some places. Think of the latter when reading the former. ;)

    By justrecently on May 10, 2009

  6. Hey Junjie..

    Yeah, you may be right. Of course ignoring them is the only practical solution. Still it is offending, still it is racism from both sides.
    And yeah, you’re also right that this kind of misbehavior is not a typical laowai-problem. However we’re the ones in China who are guests, who are the minority.
    Guess I don’t have to tell you what happens if the Chinese “mob” is outraged. That get’s me to the point of “interconnection” as “justrecently” put it: how often did I hear from highly educated Chinese people “Wow, foreigners are not that stupid as I thought”?
    I can tell you: way too often.

    Why’s that? Coz a few of us just can’t behave (behave in a way I stated above or in my reply before).

    By Hoeness on May 10, 2009

  7. justrecently,
    So I spend the last half hour to find the right article about the legal problems of perfectly legal group sex parties in China.

    Quote:
    Though it’s not technically against the law, Chinese group sex – … – wobbles along a shifting, undefined legal line.

    According to China Daily, “in the early 1980s, when in one case of wife-swapping, the person who masterminded a game involving four couples was sentenced to death”.

    More recently, in 2003 police broke up a mZnage ^ trois (the gender ratio was not specified) in a Shenyang hotel but were forced to free the trio after being unable to decide whether they had the personal freedom as consenting adults to mix and match or whether they should be charged with lewd behavior.

    “They didn’t know what to do with us,” he said … “We also paid some money. But we still must be very careful.”

    http://www.asiansexgazette.com/asg/china/china05news83.htm

    being charged with lewd behavior, that’s a fucking joke, if You ask me.

    By Hendrik on May 10, 2009

  8. Everything in China is illegal when you’ve offended a person who is in a stronger position than you, and wants revenge. That can be a local official’s revenge against a police offer who fined him for parking in the wrong place – or a retired cadre who dislikes foreigners and reports them for lewd behavior. That, however, is basically a problem of lacking rule of law. If the old neighbor can report you for something “worse” than lewd behavior, he’ll choose the bigger sledge.

    By justrecently on May 10, 2009

  9. If you travel throughout Asia as a white person, you’ll meet people who love you, value you highly, think you are rich and you’ll find people who will insult you on the street in their language and you have no clue why. It’s not your fault and that is unjust. But hey, White people before us made this impression on the locals, what can you do? You have to accept it. It happens to the Chinese who travel to Germany as well, right? They also experience all kinds of behaviour from locals here. And I have a Chinese girlfriend now for quite a while and I encountered admiration, envy, anger, insults, congratulation… Be it in Europe or Asia. So, Hoeness, if you decide to date or marry someone outside of your race, you have to have the guts. Same goes if you date a woman 50kg heavier or 40years older than you. People are (including us here) superficial, some less, some more. So, I tell you, Hoeness, who cares what people think about you and your Chinese wife? And who cares what people write on blogs? You can always click that X on top, you can always just ignore what people say. And I think we should all mind our own business when it comes to dating and sexual preferations. Jedem das Seine. Sure, we can agree or disagree about someones behavior, which means we wouldn’t do the same, but in the end, each individual has to live up to his own morals and stand behind his own decision. Junjie, you showed very clearly the double standards in these issues. Very good post. One word (Playground) triggered all that :) Internet is impressive.

    By Nino on May 10, 2009

  10. Yeah, Internet is pretty impressive ;)

    “So, Hoeness, if you decide to date or marry someone outside of your race, you have to have the guts.”
    Believe me I do. I have enough guts to “kick ass” if some person insults me or my family; that’s my problem I guess.
    Got too much bad temper to ignore it :(

    Anyhow: I’d like to close my arguments with the statement that everybody should seek their own luck in the way the person prefers. Lifestyle, sexuality, whatever.
    Nevertheless keep in mind: don’t take yourself too serious, keep it decent. You are still guests in China, don’t outrage the creepy “mob” as some stupid laowai did it – until their true identity were revealed by the human flesh search.

    Kinda creepy even though most of them are “Heroes behind the keyboard”.

    By Hoeness on May 10, 2009

  11. I can actually understand it, if a 28 years old farmer here, who’s probably never been to bed with a woman and knows less chinese characters than I do insults me. I mean, this guy is really unlucky – and in a country with 15% more women than men, he’s probably not going to marry. So now if there is a guy who is rich, successful and gets girls, it’s easy to get him jealous.
    If smbd insults u too much, just give him 20 Yuan. That’s cruel, but better than shouting^^

    Anyway, I don’t think the reason for the jealousy of some Chinese lays in the behavior of certain foreignenrs – I think it’s much more, that they feel jealous for them, because they even 20 times their salary if foreigners do exactly the same work as they do. This actually pisses me off as well – economically totally stupid.

    By Aremonus on May 11, 2009

  12. “they feel jealous for them, because they even 20 times their salary if foreigners do exactly the same work as they do. This actually pisses me off as well – economically totally stupid.”

    It’s only “stupid” because you don’t understand the basic laws of supply and demand, the fact that you possess skills or abilities or attributes that are in high demand and short (or no) supply locally.

    And it’s only “stupid” to people who’ve never lived in a country where everyone around them is hostile, where they can’t get a bank loan, where they have few (if any) friends, no family, no support network, where the food is utterly god awful, where the air and the water actually seem to want to kill them…

    Anyway, there are times when certain people do deserve to get paid more. A lot more.

    By MyLaowai on May 17, 2009

  13. Let’s not leave purchasing power out of the account either. Incomes may be distorted in China – but after all, the foreigner won’t stay in China, but return home to a world of pretty different prices.
    People in China who hate the disparity may take issue with foreigners’ incomes if they like. But they could take issue with some compatriots’ incomes just as well.

    By justrecently on May 20, 2009

  14. As you’ve figured out, there are two things that happen when you talk about white men having sex in Asia:

    1. Everybody immediately becomes angry and moralistic. Even libertines suddenly discover an uptight side they never knew they had.

    2. You get tons of page hits.

    Oh, and 3. you get racist behavior from people who ordinarily consider themselves strict egalitarians. Somehow, it’s OK to be an ugly bigot, as long as the correct scapegoat is being used.

    By Naw on May 21, 2009

  15. I think Naw is a bit angry.

    By justrecently on May 21, 2009

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