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China's sexual revolution

'We have humanized sex'

Public displays of affection are becoming more common on the streets of Beijing.
Public displays of affection are becoming more common on the streets of Beijing.

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BEIJING, China (CNN) -- It's a common scene in many western countries: Half naked women dancing on tables, bleary-eyed men watching intently.

A scene like this in China would have been unthinkable a decade ago. No more.

Meet Bao Huai, a Chinese youth set out to demystify sex in China.

"People no longer use sex as a yardstick of personal ethics. We have humanized sex, " says Bao.

He is writing a book titled "In and Out" on the explosion of sex in traditionally modest and prudish China.

"When you walk on the street, you see billboards advertising Calvin Klein underwear. When you watch a DVD movie, the first scene may be lovemaking. People are stimulated by these images and start to think more about sex," Bao says.

A sexual revolution is now afoot in China, where men and women no longer hesitate to touch each other in public.

Talking about sex is also more common and shops in Beijing now offer an array of marital aids and specialty condoms.

Pan Suiming, a sexologist at People's University conducted a nationwide survey on Chinese sexual behavior.

His most notable finding: half of the urban males in their thirties say they have had more than one sexual partner.

"It's not a shocking revelation compared to the West, but compared to China's own history, compared to the time when I was young, it's something amazing. If half of Chinese urban men in their thirties are unfaithful, what about their wives?" Pan says.

During the Cultural Revolution forty years ago, love and sex were denounced as bourgeois decadence.

Pan explains "After the Cultural Revolution,as soon as politics changes, sex rebounded. That's why we say the Cultural Revolution is the father of the current sexual revolution."

If politics is the father -- what's the mother of sexual revolution?

"That's the one-child policy adopted in 1980, which shattered the Confucian belief that reproduction is the only purpose of sex, " says Pan.

But he warns that as Chinese men and women seek sexual fulfillment comes some unintended consequences: Teen pregnancy, extra-marital relations and divorce; already on the rise as China breaks the boundaries of sexual satisfaction.


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