BEIJING – China is discussing its booming Mistress culture. Wherever two adults agree and reach mutual consensus on sexual relationships of any kind, third parties should have no business and moral preachers should remain silent or impartial. Having multiple partners is simply a “private matter”, no?
Yes, but what if (so the critics ask) the magnitude and sheer scale of adultery, promiscuity and polygamy is affecting the housing market and consumption for luxury goods of this nation of 1.3 billion, (possibly, but not proven) destroying families, exploiting women, encouraging prostitution, and leaving tens of millions of financially frail men without marriage prospects?
China’s mistress cultures has in many ways grown out of proportion, so much that not only millions of wealthy Chinese keep mistresses (qing ren), but also tens of thousands of influential Taiwan Chinese, Hong Kong Chinese, Korean and Japanese businessmen and not a few Western visitors now entertain some “Second wives” (er nai) or “Little thirds” (xiao san) in mainland China. In China’s megacities like Beijing, Shanghai, Qingdao, Shenzhen, and Nanjing so-called ‘Mistress Villages’ exists, often luxurious, guarded apartment complexes where wealthy party officials and businessmen “park” their conquests and shower their mistress with gifts and perks.
What has only recently been seriously questioned in Western societies, namely whether monogamous relationships are an out-dated social construct (in world history, apart from the Caucasian race, other civilizations rarely practiced monogamy, so the social theory) and do not reflect human nature and inherent tendency for promiscuity, in China that question seems to have been answered already: quite a few women and certainly most men (if they are able and capable) seem to be happy to have multiple partners for sex, romance, and love.
In China at least it has become (again) social norm and prescription for powerful men to maintain mistresses on the side, and for beautiful and strong women to become the playthings of such men. It is simply an exchange of services and beneficial for both parties. Meanwhile, their legal marriage partner will almost inevitably be someone else. Is this ‘Mistress culture’ the model for the future that Western countries will be following on?
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