It may be an understatement to say that China’s views on sex are on the conservative side. But according to the Huffington Post, 30-year-old Chinese lawyer Sophia Hu believed that adult male bodies looked exactly like the bodies of baby boys. She, of course, admits that she had no sex education.
Then there’s the married couple in the city of Wuhan who made headlines in 2011 for spending three years believing that lying next to each other would result in pregnancy. Although both individuals were college graduates, it’s safe to assume that neither had any form of sex education.
“In China, schools are focused on grades, so non-examinable subjects are often changed to ones that will raise grades,” said Maggie Hu, who works for the Guangzhou-based sex education provider SexualityZone.
“In Beijing, Shanghai and other big cities, women are very influenced by Western, Taiwanese and Korean culture so they have very modern attitudes to sex,” said Jay Zheng, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Kaohsiung Medical University in Taiwan. “But in rural areas, some women know nothing.”
In fact, many Chinese parents encourage abstinence and use sex as a scare tactic. One woman claimed her mother told her sex was like being shot with a gun. It’s no wonder the subject became taboo and many Chinese young adults learned to either fear the act or consider sex shameful.
Now, teachers like Ma Li are trying to get rid of the taboo. Ma, who is certified by the U.S.-based World Association of Sex Coaches, offers two-day tutorials on everything from anatomy and psychology to techniques of intimacy. Her lessons include explicit videos showing various types of sexual acts and even (gulp) specifically shaped fruit to practice with.
The tutorials cost more than $400, but women have been lining up to learn and lessons are booked weeks in advance. Many of these students are 30- to 40-year-olds seeking to decrease the anxiety before their first sexual encounter. Sex ed for adults? Clearly necessary in China.