Huángpiàn Hunger: Survey Reveals Porn Consumption Habits of Young Chinese

Huángpiàn Hunger: Survey Reveals Porn Consumption Habits of Young Chinese

For a country where people go to jail for producing, disseminating, or selling adult videos, where all sexually explicit content is banned, sex scenes get cut out of films, and cleavage has to be blurred on TV, there’s no actual shortage of porn in China — whether it’s called huángpiàn, A-piàn, xi?o diàny?ng, or any of its many other names. Fueling the demand, as it turns out, are China’s urban millennials: 70 percent of men and 50 percent of women report watching porn at least once a week, according to a recent study.

The survey, published last week, was conducted by China’s leading mobile platform for women’s sexuality, Yummy, and the sex toy app Taqu?? (Touch). It questioned 1,261 young, urban Chinese on their porn-viewing habits and how it influences their sex life (Guangdong and Beijing had the most respondents, while about 7 percent reported living abroad). The majority of the respondents were born after 1990. Many reported that viewing porn has improved their sex lives and is educational.

The founder of Yummy and one of the study’s authors, Zhao Jing ??, told SupChina that she was inspired by PornHub’s 2018 user statistics. “We already know that Chinese people do watch porn,” she said. “However, we don’t know much about what exactly they like to watch and how it influences them.” The survey should inform and create a public debate to break the taboo, she added. “After all, everyone does it.”

For comparison, in the U.S., 91 percent of men and 60 percent of women reported consuming pornographic material in the past month, according to a 2018 study by researchers from Stony Brook University, New York.

“People say watching porn is bad — but the type of content young people view today has improved a lot, it has approached reality, and men who give pleasure to women has become the standard,” Zhao said.

For Zhao, who built Yummy to give women in China a platform where they can exchange and ask questions about female pleasure, the survey shows that porn serves a similar function for young Chinese who are curious about sexuality. “Porn does have value,” she said.

The types of adult content young Chinese like differs slightly from other parts of the globe. Among the most searched terms on PornHub, the world’s leading porn site, “lesbian,” “hentai” (erotic anime), and “MILF” top the list. In Yummy’s and Taqu’s survey, Chinese men said they like realistic scenes with active and expressive women, and high-quality productions. They fancy local Chinese or Japanese porn. Women like content tailored to them and gay porn featuring Japanese, Korean, or Western actors.

Two Japanese adult movie styles for women, “Silk Labo” and “Xart,” are among the terms that Chinese users search for the most. According to Zhihu, which is basically China’s version of Quora, those two categories feature a dominant man and idealized woman, and emphasize romantic storytelling over sexual action. A male Japanese porn star, Suzuki Ittetsu ????, and a Swedish female porn director, Erika Lust, are also among the most-searched terms.

Two-thirds of Chinese men said they were into Chinese adult movies, but only one-third of women said the same. On the other hand, 60 percent of Chinese women fancy porn produced in Western countries, while only 40 percent of men said the same. Everyone likes Japanese porn though: two-thirds of both men and women said so.

Both men and women said they least enjoy porn featuring mature actors.

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – JULY 05: Korean Air chairman and CEO Cho Yang-Ho arrives at the Seoul southern district court on July 5, 2018 in Seoul, South Korea. Cho has been under investigation for a variety of charges, including embezzlement and dodging over 50 billion won (US$45 million) worth of inheritance taxes, as South Korean prosecutors seek an arrest warrant for the 69-year-old chairman, deepening woes at the country’s flagship carrier. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

In the West, numerous studies have been done on the potential effect of porn consumption on young adults. Porn is criticized for creating unrealistic expectations, objectifying women, or being addictive. A study published in 2018 in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, for example, showed that the more frequently people watch porn, the less satisfied they are with their sex lives.

For China, Yummy’s and Taqu’s survey implies that watching adult content might correlate with increased sexual health. A majority of respondents said that watching porn educated them, inspired their sexual practices, and improved their sex lives. While about 90 percent said that they were aware that porn and real-life sex were different, nearly half of the men and 30 percent of women said they have tried to recreate, with their sex partners, what they had seen in adult movies.

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