Chinese Mothers: Sex and Morals


I’m supposed to be a good chinese girl. I”m supposed to do my homework, get good grades, find a reliable job and a good reliable husband whose emotionally (and financially) stable. Oh and btw, no pre-marital sex. but that goes without saying, cause being a good Chinese girl, I don’t think about sex. Period.

Well, little does mummy know about all my extracurriculars. Shag Shop, this blog/magazine, and my future goals to become a sexual health educator and sex therapist.

“So tell me about your life. We haven’t talked in awhile.”

“Well, I’m volunteering at a health promotion store.”

“What kind of health promotion?”

“Ummm, toothbrushes, and general er hygiene, student stuff…..”

“Oh I see. What else are you doing?”

“I’m writing for a magazine. Its just starting up.”

“What kind of magazine?”

“Er um, a magazine for school.”

“Oh okay-” and then she quickly switches the subject.

How the hell do you balance, wanting to share with your mom all about your life, yet not being able to tell her, MOST of it, because it has to do with sex? How do you tell your mom that her tenants wouldn’t keep irresponsibly having babies if they knew how important contraceptive protection is? I know its traditional values. But I’m talking about reality, that and the possibility of NOT being afraid of talking about or displaying sex. I mean, its everywhere, yet we censor and fight with millions of dollars to endorse ‘abstinence programs’ to preserve the sanctity and purity of our modern day amercian youths! (and unwanted pregnacies and STIs are just myths) These abstinence programs dramatically distort scientific facts, ie. stating condoms only work 31% of the time. (its actually closer to around 80%). Not saying my mom endorses these programs, she wouldn’t say it out right, but she certainly wouldn’t talk about it. But then again I think, well, her life was so incredibly different from mine. I can’t blame my mom for that, just like I can’t blame her for a lot of other cultural gaps between us. Her sex-ed, growing up in communist China, was limited and restricted, to say the least; huddled around a book called “Sex Knowledge” that some of the kids read. She said that the ones who refused to read it, were secretly, the most sick- and she pointed to her belly for some reason. I still don’t know why.

Yet, all utterances of “sex education” go completely ignored. So tell me, all the anthropologists and cultural brokers out there, is it better that I never tell her about this then? To keep my relationship with her running smoothly? But is it really smooth if I don’t tell her what Im doing with my life? And the worse possibility, would she just reject it? or perhaps, reject me.

So how do I be a good chinese girl who likes to fuck? And this is where my identity crisis begins. Chicken or the egg? Both please.



4 Responses to “Chinese Mothers: Sex and Morals”

  1. Yun Says:

    As a fellow “good” Chinese girl, I commiserate completely!

    If you really want to tell her, maybe you could say you write for a “sexual education” magazine? And you “educate” students about “sexual health”? I have no clue …

    God. It sucks that fucking is still associated with being a terrible person. In fact, I think the world would be a happier and more peaceful place if people had sex more often.

  2. Madameve Says:

    hehe, yeah I think the emphasis on education would be the key. its still awkward though, its like: why SEX education?? What do YOU know about sex hmmmm?? How did you get interested in it anyways?

    And indeed, fucking, as Monty Python states, is such a versatile word. Its unfortunate it has such a negative connotation.

    P.S what part of China are you from? and why haven’t I met you?? (ie. at the last meeting)

  3. Seb Says:

    Try answering “what kind of magazine are you writing for?” when it comes from your 80 year old grandmother, and then the ensuing debate about changing morals after I bluntly answered “One about sex.” Let’s face it, our parent’s generation and our generation experience sex differently, as will our kids from us and their kids from them.

  4. Yun Says:

    Avoidance tactic: Rattle off a whole bunch of statistics about abstinence-only education being not very effective and try to swing the conversation around to Bush-bashing, so you don’t have to answer the sticky questions.

    Honesty tactic: Tell her you’re finally gettin’ some.

    I was born in Beijing, but moved to Canada when I was just under 2. And you?

    And I actually joined, like, 2 days after the meeting. So I just missed the ball. 🙂

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