Clips, Foreign

China Bulldozes Yet-To-Open Sex Theme Park

Digital Journal, May 18, 2009.

Chinese businessmen had been getting ready to unveil the country’s very first sex theme park in the south western city of Chongqing, due to open in October, this year.

But even before the ribbon-cutting ceremony could take place, Chinese authorities brought in the cranes and bulldozers. In a word—demolished it, for no apparent reason.

The Guardian reports that the project, called “Love Land,” would have featured “naked human sculptures, giant replicas of genitals, and an exhibition about the history of sex and sexual practices in other countries.”

“The park [would] also [have] offer[ed] sex technique workshops and advise on anti-AIDS measures and using condoms properly.”

Sex remains a taboo subject in the Chinese society. Unsurprisingly, the project had raised a lot of eyebrows and drawn criticism from the public, who dubbed it as “vulgar” and “inappropriate.”

A female police officer told the newspaper that she didn’t feel comfortable looking at naked human statues in a public space and condemned them as “too exposed.”

But park manager Lu Xiaoqing, the brain behind the idea, believed that setting up such a facility would have promoted healthy dialogue about sexuality and helped people to lead better sex lives.

Li Yinhe, an expert on sexual attitudes at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, had told the British daily that throughout the nation’s history, the country’s attitude toward sex has alternated between forced abstinence and cautious tolerance.

More open to sex during the ancient times, the populace clammed up under the Cultural Revolution—the 10-year campaign launched in 1966 by the-then Chinese Community Party chair Mao Zedong. Many came out of the sexual exile, of sorts, in the 1980s.

In an interview with the same publication, prior to the government clampdown, she also said that the opening of the park was symptomatic of a broader cultural shift: that discussion about sexuality was no longer restricted to the fringes of society, but had moved into mainstream conversation.

One of her researches indicated that the percentage of people having premarital sex in Beijing had jumped from under 16 in 1989 to over 60 in 2004.

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