On Chinese Dating Shows, the Stars Are Old, Single, and Ready to Mingle


Inside a colorfully lit TV studio, a middle-aged woman dressed in a tight-fitting silk dress is trying to convince an older man to loosen up. “Can we hold hands and hug right now?” she asks, stepping toward him. The man, a 60-something wearing a traditional Tang jacket, looks visibly shocked by how forward she’s being. “Holding hands is fine,” he replies awkwardly. But the woman … Continue reading On Chinese Dating Shows, the Stars Are Old, Single, and Ready to Mingle

China Has a Problem With Bad Sex Advice. Can a New Exam Fix It?


Guo Yun finally found the courage to step into a sex shop last year to buy a dildo for her birthday. Before long, however, she retreated back to the streets of downtown Shanghai, confused and disappointed. “It was one of the most elegant sex shops I’ve seen in the city, and I thought they’d have professional sales assistants as well,” says Guo. “But instead, they … Continue reading China Has a Problem With Bad Sex Advice. Can a New Exam Fix It?

Late Bloomers: China’s Elderly Embrace Sex After 60


SHANGHAI — Every Wednesday afternoon, Xue Xiaoqing grabs her favorite purse and heads to a beauty salon in the city’s leafy former French Concession. There, the 70-year-old receives special massage therapy that her therapist has coyly named “private maintenance.” The treatment for vaginal dryness is designed to help Xue improve her sex life with her husband. After a year of weekly sessions, she says she … Continue reading Late Bloomers: China’s Elderly Embrace Sex After 60

Fighting China’s Shame and Ignorance on Postpartum Incontinence


SHANGHAI — When Chen Lijun explains the damage giving birth can do to the body, the young women in her audience gasp. Unsatisfying sex, prolapsed organs, and an inability to hold in your pee aren’t exactly the sorts of things their mothers told them about. But, to her audience’s obvious relief, there are solutions, says Chen, a health instructor who specializes in the pelvic floor — the … Continue reading Fighting China’s Shame and Ignorance on Postpartum Incontinence

For China’s Disabled People, Sex is Still Taboo


BEIJING — A spinal tumor paralyzed Nie Shujie’s legs when she was little. Growing up, she never considered intimacy possible. Nie was ashamed of her own body and wouldn’t let herself think about sex. She was never rejected, but she also never gave anyone a chance. “I wasn’t sure whether I could or should have sex,” she says from her wheelchair. At an event for … Continue reading For China’s Disabled People, Sex is Still Taboo