Cybersex: a threat to morality?

Posted by Martyn.

The Shanghai Daily reports that a researcher for the China Youth Association has exposed (pun intended) a new threat to public health and morality: naked Internet chatting. “A game for a few mentally abnormal people, a new threat to public health and safety” said Liu Gang, author of the new research paper, as this article attests:

Up to 20,000 Chinese Internet users log on to chatrooms each night in which users in various states of undress talk to each other with the help of Web cams, citing China Youth Association researcher Liu Gang.

“At first, we thought if was merely a game for a few mentally abnormal people,” the paper quoted Liu as saying. “But as our research continued, we found the problem was much larger than expected,” Liu said.

Participants in the sites download chat software and attach video cameras to their computers, the paper reported. They then “talk with others while exposing themselves and performing provocative poses,” it said.

Moving swiftly along from the above line about the problem being โ€˜much larger than they expectedโ€™, Regina Lynn in her Sex Drive Forum goes as far as to say that this is a welcome solution to Chinaโ€™s worsening gender imbalance problem:

China might not like it, but the Internet gives those men a chance to flirt and build relationships with women outside their immediate environment — even outside the country. I’m not sure tradition or prejudice can stop the collective libido of 15 million young men.

Even if international relationships aren’t a realistic option for most people, online relationships certainly are. Face it. When your chances of settling down with the girl next door are limited by the number of rivals for her attention, where else are you going to go?

Cybersex has long provided an opportunity for people all over the world to get off, to explore deeper aspects of our sexuality, and to practice fantasies in a safe environment before attempting them offline. Now that more Chinese are getting internet access and webcams at home, it’s logical that they would explore the sexual possibilities of the technology.

As far as prudish government Internet censors are concerned, banning certain key words like d3m0cr@cy is well within their technological grasp, but how on earth can they prevent people from getting naked in front of their computer?

As the article goes on to remind us, China has not always been a sexually repressive culture, ancient China had, arguably, one of the most progressive cultures in the world towards sexual expression, both heterosexual and homosexual. After lagging behind the rest of the world somewhat, perhaps this is a sign that’s it’s now catching up fast.

The Discussion: 8 Comments

Couldn’t China just freeze the server providing the chat rooms?

September 17, 2005 @ 3:11 pm | Comment

I think there are very many chatrooms in Chinese cyberspace Garn. From what my colleagues tell me, QQ and some others that I can’t remember the name of are really popular. I do not think the govt could ban every China chatroom website that has a webcam option, as every one does.

Also, people use them as they are essentially free methods of face to face communication.

I can’t think of any way the govt can ban them, I think it’s technically impossible.

September 17, 2005 @ 5:53 pm | Comment

I agree with what Luke says. I doubt very much that they could do it even if they tried, the CCP, that is.

It’s an interesting aspect of the limitations of even the CCP to control the thoughts and actions of the people, particularly online.

September 17, 2005 @ 11:20 pm | Comment

Just give the gov time… They will try, in any case.

You cannot show a pussy(cat) in TV, you can hardly blog, you cannot buy books about Feng Shui, but you can chat naked…

What a contradictory society it’s being created.

September 18, 2005 @ 2:15 am | Comment

Heh heh JiaHua, contradictions indeed.

I cannot see the ccp getting overly concerned with 20,000 people in various states of undress in front of their computers every night because it does not constitute a thread to ccp control.

If these people were naked AND talking about demo-cracy or Fa…who-you-who preaching….then it mgith be a different matter altogether!

September 18, 2005 @ 9:32 am | Comment

This reminds me of ‘1984’ when the Party was trying to find a way to eliminate orgasms. Anyone have a page number?

Sex is very subversive, it would seem.

September 18, 2005 @ 3:18 pm | Comment

Daniel wrote:

If these people were naked AND talking about demo-cracy

Haha!

Nudist po1itica1 @ctivists? Now that’s one the CCP might not have planned for.

Not sure how they could publicly organize, though. ๐Ÿ™‚

September 18, 2005 @ 3:20 pm | Comment

I heard people in China get just as much smut on-line as we do. BTW we have so much p0rn on-line because we are gender balanced?

September 19, 2005 @ 3:38 pm | Comment

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