What Is A Chinese Orgy Actually Like?

China has been abuzz over orgies recently, thanks to a set of scandalous pictures that surfaced last week featuring three pairs of swingers. (You can see several of these 120-some NSFW photos here.) Amid speculation (since dispelled) that the men were high-ranking government officials, one of the men, Wang Yu, confessed to being in the photos, and he and his wife have since been fired from their jobs and expelled from the Communist Party.

All of this is a longwinded way of asking: what are Chinese swinger parties actually like? We asked someone who’s actually attended one.

Justin Mitchell was among the 20 or so participants (we use the word loosely) of an orgy in Dongguan, Guangdong province in 2006, and he wrote about it for Hong Kong-based The Standard. We asked, via email, how awkward that experience was on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the equivalent of getting caught masturbating by your mom and 1 being the scene from HBO’s Rome (you know the one). Mitchell replied:

Environment rating? 8 or so at the beginning…after things loosened up a definite 2, except if you were a guy with a miserable head cold.

The loosening of nerves was facilitated by ample wine, of course. Although it doesn’t seem like the love-in escalated into a wassailing bacchanalia, there was indeed sex. Mitchell continues via email (minor brush-ups of typos):

It was surreal and funny and yes, titilating (pun intended) at times. I was there about four hours watching, giving “English lessons” and going into the bathroom occasionally to take notes. I don’t remember how much sex I saw. The Canadian guy and his gf on the couch, Chu-chu several times. The host and his wife, the host and someone else’s wife, the host’s wife and two guys — one Chinese, one foreign. The funniest thing was how miserable the Belgian with the head cold looked in contrast to his spouse/gf who had a definite voyeuristic streak and kept leaving him to sniffle and cough by himself to watch others having all the fun.

And there was a mysterious Chinese couple, very well dressed and elegant who came in to the living room looked around briefly, shrugged more or less, and left. I suspect the scene was too tacky or declasse for their tastes.

Go read Mitchell’s full account in The Standard if you want more details.

2006, of course, was a more bohemian time in the history of the People’s Republic. Just four years later, computer science professor Ma Yaohai, who “organized and engaged in at least 18 orgies,” according to the NY Times, was sentenced to three and a half years in prison for “crowd licentiousness,” “a relic of the days when the government charged people with ‘hooliganism’ for sex outside of marriage and other flights of turpitude,” notes The New Yorker‘s Evan Osnos.

I ask: when one can’t even have sex in the comfort of two dozen people’s limbs and other bodily parts without fear of government reprisal, what has our society come to?

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