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Do Chinese Have Virgin Complex?

Loss of Virginity

"Loss of Virginity" by Paul Gauguin

Last year some schools in Yunnan introduced a new course on sex education. Its name – “No Apologies in This Life” and it is the product of partnership between the regional Ministry of Education and the American Christian group “Focus on the Family”.

In its original, American, version upon graduation the students make a virginity pledge. Although Chinese authorities opposed to the idea of the pledge, you can easily understand what kinds of things are taught in this seminar.

What I found more interesting, however, was not the course itself but the discussion of premarital sex subject in one forum thread which mentioned the “No Apologies in This Life”. This is, actually, a Chinese forum for people who want to practice English language – so most of the posts are in English and you can follow this link to read the whole discussion. Below I am posting the most interesting reactions which can give some insight into what Chinese think about virginity.

The most often comment people made was a diplomatic “This is a very sensitive topic”. In spite of its brevity, it illustrates two important points: first, Chinese are not open to talk about sex; second, premarital sex is [possibly] widespread.

Now, let’s take a look at more lengthy answers:

Follow your heart, follow your soul, and follow your love, then there is nothing to regret. That’s my point.

Conserving virginity is not only our tradition [passed] from generation to generation, it’s also the principle of our conduct dealing with love. I am absolutely for this attitude: conserve virginity before wedding, conserve your happiness of lifetime.

I think it is essential process for human and maybe called human nature. Let them go. But you can pay if you just play. It’s not a game… If you lose this game you will regret whole life.

I think people have right to choose their lifestyle, including sex. However, the government should tell the public about the bad situations if you are careless before marriage (have sex) via school education and public advertisement.

I have once read the news report that a father in America gave sex education to his two sons, one is 10, and other is 12, after he found the physical change of their bodies. He searched pictures of both male and female genitals from the internet, as well as a video about how the sperm swims into the germ cell. Opening with “you asked the question where am I from since you are a little boy, now it is the time to let you know,” the father showed the pictures and video to his two sons with little shying. The father revealed that his two sons turned into doctor and engineer after their graduation from college.

The above story impressed me, and I to learn from the American father when I have my own children.

It’s hard to say but I hold the opinion that we should follow our heart and our own feelings. Making love with your love is the most sweet thing in the world and I have to say we human beings are also animals and we need to satisfy ourselves by making love with our lover. For me, it’s acceptable to have this before marriage.

It is important to conserve virginity before marriage for traditional Chinese family. But in the modern society, it is difficult for young women to do it, especially under temptation of money and impulse. When lover comes, she will not control her behavior.

I don’t support the sexual behavior before marriage but accept sweet kisses, warm hugs and quiet and tender caress. It is because I know that a girl, who loses her virginity, may meet probable troubles, if she married to a future husband who cares about this. […] Maybe you think that I am fossil and a little feudal. But it is better to avoid hurting yourself and your love like this because you love her soul and heart. Impulsive between boy and girl is a devil […] you need to pay bill for what you have done. Friend, you believe you can pay for it?

In the mental aspect, I think it is not necessary to keep virginity until marriage. […] We just need to know he/she just loves me, and that is all we need.

However, in the physiological aspect I have a different opinion. Actually, I read an article about women’s first time. That article says when women give the first time a man, that man’s semen will make reaction with the woman’s ovum. After that, the woman will be changed […] and fall in love with that man. This is the reason why some people’s sons look like the lady’s former husband.

Who gives a damn about the so called virginity, it’s 2010!! Virginity sux!! Just go get married to people u love. It’s nothing about virginity, it’s just about who u love.  And those who still remain virgins may be those who are in troubles getting boyfriends!! Simply, if u love her/him, marry her/him. If not, find another. However, if u do really care about virginity, u could get it from someone else by paying!!

I am a married woman, I have a daughter, I am so scared that she will grow up, I am afraid that she will face the same problem in the nearest future. As a mother, I of course don’t want her to have such things; I am always worried about it. Having sex affairs before marriage is really dangerous, if the man who you made love with is just your husband later, then it is ok, if not, it must be another thing, not only bodies, but also minds, it surely will influence the marriage. So in my opinion, be careful.

I insist girls should conserve virginity before marriage, and boyfriends should help them.

As a boy I have to say I hate the man who does not take the responsibility for what he did!

If I tell you that I took your wife’s virginity away, what do you feel and what do you want to do?
Obviously, you wanna kill me right? You feel shameful! So I just wanna tell boys – as a man you should not only think about yourself but also others.

Firstly, yes, some men will say, I don’t care whether my girlfriend is a virgin or not, but try to think – if you are not a virgin, he can make love with you, but he will not take responsibility for you. One day, if he doesn’t love you anymore, he will leave you without any guilt.

Secondly, as a wife, you will feel guilty for your husband who didn’t make love before marriage. The bad feeling will influence your marriage.

Thirdly, if you didn’t conserve virginity before marriage, after married, your husband sometimes will think “Can I trust my wife, she could do sex before marriage, how about after married?”
Lastly, if you are a student, it will influence your study, because you will worry if you have pregnancy, or some sex disease.

I think if you really love your bf or gf you can have sex with him or her.

Our lives are not too long. We should do the things we want to. […] For many reasons, all of the people who stay with us finally leave us one day. We should cherish the time we spend with the people we love. Don’t regret after they leave us.

Children should know one thing: you’d better give your first time to someone you love. That is enough. Conserving the virginity after marriage is unrealistic and meaningless.

Maybe the one you marry is not the one you love.

I think you must conserve virginity before marriage. We Chinese should have our civilization.

As a man, I want to say that the female should conserve virginity before marriage. And we should know it is our tradition and our moral. Maybe you will think I am a male chauvinist. However I want you to know that I respect women rights and I never look down upon the female. I’m just a man of traditions. There are many young ladies who may believe it cool and fashionable to make love before marriage. They like breaking rules and rebelling. So do I. But I think we’d better [not] experiment this with virginity. Because most people will regret what they had done before and you’ll find it’s not cool at all.

What do we give to our lover? It’s the best one? Do we hope that we can also receive the best one from our lover?  So, why don’t we conserve the virginity until we find the destined lover?

It’s worthy of reserving the virginity. We know after losing the virginity, we’ll definitely be different, not only in physical body but also in spiritual.

No one should be condemned in both sides of answers to this question. If you feel disgust for a second-hand man or woman, just wait and seek a virgin. But if you are OK about that, make it.

To conclude, I want to give a more objective perspective to the topic of premarital sex and virginity in the modern Chinese society. I refer to the recent research on this topic – “Chinese mate preferences: Cultural evolution and continuity across a quarter of a century” (doi:10.1016/j.paid.2010.12.016)

Authors of this research analyzed the importance of different factors in choosing a mate among young urban Chinese and compared their preferences with the sample made 25 years ago (2008 vs. 1983). The participants were instructed to evaluate different factors in choosing a mate and rate them according to the following grades: indispensable (3); important, but not indispensable (2); desirable, but not very important (1), irrelevant or unimportant (0).

Results showed that the value of chastity, defined as ‘‘no previous sexual intercourse’’ has considerably decreased. Both sexes viewed virginity as nearly indispensable in 1983 (rated as 2.54 and 2.61 for men and women). By 2008 it dropped in importance to 1.70 and 1.36 respectively.

By the way, the factor which in the same period increased a lot was the “good earning capacity”, but this is a topic for another post :smile:

Crystal Tao

  • Inquiring Young Mind

    Is there anyway you could link to that research about mate preferences that you mentioned? I can understand Chinese, and would be very curious to read more of that research. :mrgreen:

  • PL

    Two things spring to mind reading the majority of the comments regarding virginity :

    1) It seems to me that many of the commenters are in denial about the realities of sex in China.

    2) It’s interesting how they all seem to suggest that the WOMEN should be virgins, no mention of men being virgins. Reminds me of the attitude of the English in the Victorian period particularly, but also up to the 1950s. :|

    • Nick

      It is often easier to confirm a female’s virginity than a male’s. This is for physiological reasons and related to Crystal’s recent post about “artificial hymens”.

      There is no physical evidence of a male’s virginity or lack thereof, therefore it is impossible to verify without a confession or a witness of some sort (human or some type of recording).

      With women, there are physical signs that can suggest a lack of virginity, though certain other physical activities can make make those signs appear as if a woman is not a virgin even though she is. (This is one reason women ride side saddle on horses.)

      Also, I am sad to say, I suspect that part of the emphasis on only a woman’s virginity is due to the commoditization of women in certain cultures. Even after women have attained equal status, there are certain hold-over effects from their previous “lesser” status in a culture. Western cultures are just as guilty here.

      • PL

        Nick – I think you slightly missed my point. Firstly, I pointed out the Western aspect of this, i.e. Victorian Britain and the Victorian attitudes which have persisted since.

        Secondly, the kind of men who go on about this and impose this point of view on women do not tend to think it is wrong for men to ‘spread their oats’ before marriage. Whilst I agree that virginity is easier to check in a woman, I am commenting on the attitude that women must be virgins, not the physical symptoms. As far as I am concerned, this attitude is misogynistic hypocrisy, nothing more, nothing less.

        • Nick

          PL, I think we’re looking at the same mysogyny from different angles. You’re looking at the aspect of impregnating as many women as possible, a hold-over from more primitive times (as well as a good strategy to preserve one’s DNA) while I’m commenting on the fact (which you echoed) that it is much easier to attempt to ascertain a woman’s virginity and that I believed that such emphasis on virginity was a result of the same mysogyny that you discussed, only I used a slighly gentler euphamism: “the commoditization of women”.

          The attitude and the ability to attempt to verify go together. One can ask all day long if a male is a virgin, but without witnesses or confessions, it is all but impossible to prove one way or the other. Perhaps that is why people gave up trying.

  • WanderingAmerican

    I bet a lot of those people against pre-marital sex actually had sex before marriage. In my opinion the government has no business getting involved in sex education. It should be the parent’s responsibility. And I think that you should hold out on sex until you find someone worth having it with. bleh

    • Nick


      I think you’re right. Many of the people warning against pre-marital sex most likely had pre-marital sex and regretted it. That is why they are so vocal in their opposition.

    • Michel

      I don t agree society and school have their own responsability. It s good that someone different talk about that, as many parents won’t talk .. or talk less…
      First it look like in previous message that they don t know how babies are born. That is unacceptable for my point of view. they are no shame to show a penis and a uterus, and explain to teenager how it “work”. Then if you don t want to educate kids on HIV and protection. it s your point. I don t agree Biology has to be tought at least as a science! And I think a bit of sex education is better than learning watching porn… :D

    • Teacher in China

      I think school’s should be much more involved in it. As Michel said, some parents won’t talk about it, or they may be just ignorant of certain facts, or mistaken about some things. Better it comes from a standard, more reliable source like a school.

      I really wish they would do more do teach young girls especially about how to have sex safely (i.e., birth control and STD prevention). Things are definitely heating up in China with this generation of young people, and they need to be more well-informed by the time they’re 14 or 15. I guess what I’m saying is, teaching abstinence is all fine and good, but there needs to be a back-up plan since teenagers have been known to occasionally not do what they’re told is best for them…

    • PL

      Firstly, people who have sex and regret it probably did not do it right. That’s probably why men prefer virgins, because they’ve got nothing to compare the experience to.

      Secondly, if you hold off sex until you have it with ‘someone worth having it with’, then you have no experience, end up being crap in bed, and the person ‘worth having it with’ thinks you’re no good in bed and ends up looking for someone who is. So, it’s all kind of not worth it, really.

      • Inquiring Young Mind

        “Firstly, people who have sex and regret it probably did not do it right. That’s probably why men prefer virgins, because they’ve got nothing to compare the experience to.”

        This has a heavy degree of bias towards people of the viewpoint that sex is done for pleasure, not love. Suggest you more properly think out your arguments. I understand that its an individual choice, but I can tell you that not everyone simply has sex because it “feels good.” Some people do it to show their love for someone, and when it doesn’t work, understandably, they regret it, because someone who needed a girl to have sex with them to prove their love wasn’t serious about the girl from the start. And they’ve realized this the hard way, by giving something that won’t ever return. And if the only reason someone wanted to be with was because they thought you were a good lay, that relationship probably won’t be going anywhere anyways. I’d point you to the American divorce rate, or the recent Chinese rates of increasing infidelity if you need evidence. Once again, its an individual choice, and I know people who enjoy casual sex, and people who are holding on to their virginity for marriage (not Christians either, surprisingly I’ve found Christians seem more likely to break this actually). It just depends on who you ask, with some countries having much more prevalent attitudes one way or the other.

        • Crystal

          That’s a very good point! I mean “sex for love and not for pleasure”.

          However, this statement does not compromise the “legitimacy” of premarital sex. On the contrary, in societies which do restrict the sexual activities before marriage – couples often marry without love.

          But where people tie knot based on romantic feelings, they usually are granted freedom to “play the field” before making commitments. In these circumstances virginity by the time of marriage becomes more exception than rule.

          Returning to “sex for love and not for pleasure”, I once read an interesting article which explained that there are few levels of attitude towards the legitimacy of sex:
          1) Sex is good for people who want to make children
          2) Sex is good for married people
          3) Sex is good for people who love each other
          4) Sex is good

      • JT

        that is crap, ive a little experienced, and the best girls are the ones with little experience. You always are learning how to be a better lover

  • ziccawei

    I think the govt should definitely get involved. It should be something done between govt and parents. Which brings me to this? Do Chinese schools have parent and teacher associations? If they did, sex education could be something done in China between both parties.

    I find it just ridiculous that Chinese guys still expect the girl to be a virgin. In my experience I have found Chinese girls to be far more promiscuous than western girls.

    • Crystal

      I am afraid you are the victim of selection bias ;-)

  • Serenity

    I think it is somewhat sexist actually, I think for many it is less the idea of morality but more the feeling of ”I took her virginity.” which for some reason really seems to turn people on (see all the so called ‘deflowering’ porn videos). Have sex with someone you love and trust for your first time.

    Sex is for many couples vital in marriage. If you delay it until marriage there’s a big chance you’re going to disappoint your partner. Sex is learnt from experience, isn’t it. The first time isn’t this magical romantic thing many people want to think it is. It is awkward. It is not something to do on your honeymoon.

  • GentleGiant

    Only one worthwhile comment in the whole posting, and reiterated by Serenity.

    “Have sex with someone you love and trust for your first time”

    I am not one of the guys that sleeps around, but I do believe that you need to know you are sexually compatible BEFORE you marry; however, diving in too soon means that your sexual feelings can cloud your judgement about what type of person your partner is.
    I have a number of friends and colleges who have married and divorced over the years, and too many of them cannot think of a good reason for their marrying in the first place.
    When I asked the one woman, who had been moaning about her ex for several hours, and who had THREE children by this “spiteful control freak”, the only answer she could come up with was “Well, he had a nice bum”.

    This is one of the big ADVANTAGES of internet dating; you get to learn about a person BEFORE the hormones and pheromones get in the way.

    I think if everyone was only allowed to TALK to a prospective partner, for a few months before they jumped into bed together, there would be a lot fewer divorces or stories of battered wives/husbands etc.

  • ziccawei

    I agree with Gentle Giant. This is what is happening in Shanghai now. Divorce rates going through the roof because of the freedom of choice.

    In 2010, there were more divorces than marriages in Shanghai.

    • Crystal

      In 2010, there were more divorces than marriages in Shanghai

      Zicca, you refer to a funny mistake made by one reporter and later spread by different media sources.

      Here is the excerpt from ESWN article, explaining how this mistake happened.

      9. Social matters
      – Registered to marry: 12,050,000 couples
      – Registered to divorce: 1,961,000 couples

      An extra decimal point resulted the error report of more divorces than marriages…

      In China, large statistics are usually reported in multiples of 10,000 (“万”). Thus, 1205 means 1205 x 10,000 = 12,050,000; 196.1 means 196.1 x 10,000 = 1,961,000. The reporter here inserted an extra decimal point and turned 1205 into 120.5. A sensationalistic but erroneous report was the result.

  • miumiuchan

    Don’t really know why so many people were divorced, married for years said divorce reason is because of the personalities clash, if is personalities clash and why married, put marriage on a trifling matter!

    • Bored in Melbourne

      You will never truly know from the outside. We can only have a superficial understanding of any relationship if we are not part of it.

      Marriage is not the most amazing thing in life to be valued above all else, however it should be taken seriously. People are not static, living in a vacuum, we change over time, so who you marry may not be the same person you divorce.

  • Jay K.

    my point on sex. sex is good

    and sex with virgins is not good… im not a cherry hunter but i have had some opportunities(misfortunes?) of deflowering girls in my life. and quite frankly its really not my cup of tea.

    friends of mine who are females or males have also discussed this with me so here are my personal reasons why being the first is a no no

    1. the girl has no absolute idea what she is doing, although i like to coach and teach others, sex is just one of those things u should be selected as a veteran of the game

    2. it can get messy with blood, i am not saying i was built like peter north because quite frankly im not its abotu the motion in the ocean, but seriously blood makes me queazy

    3. being the 1st carries a stigma of u will always be the first for the girl and till the day she dies no matter how much she tries to forget she will always see your face and/or remember your name
    3.1 this means if you are the first and you break up someday (she and all her friends or circle of friends will vilify you like hell hath no fury)<—personal experience and comments from female friends over the years
    3.2 there is an emotional bond that happens for the girl and/or the guy any eventual break up and if you are the sensitive type of guy you will look back someday and realize how much of an asshole u were for taking her virginity
    4. physically speaking and personal experience wise (and maybe this is just me) but seriously every girl ive had who was a virgin seriously needs some feminine know how in caring and management down there because all of them stank like rotting fish in the "danger zone". ive noticed girls who were more active or had several partners were more knowledge with feminine hygiene and care whereas virgins have no clue how to take care of themselves down there
    5. if you are a religious man, and you have sex before marriage God is going to smite you (although im a religious person who at the same time is an paradox believer of his faith, god has probably smithed me many times or will so in the future…more so since doing girls in the butt seems to be a no no of western religion..i play it safe wear a condom and make sure she uses the toto toilet for a personal enema like professional porn stars do!
    6. physically no feeling. let me explain from my personal experience either with a virgin before or female friends who once were virgins, all females of this category have said there first could never give them an orgasm (probably has to do with a variety of reason from no self body awareness to sexual knowledge psychological first of sex=pain so ay future sex=pain, etc etc, seriously i once had a girl who was a virgin until she met me say one time to me "are you done yet?<–no im not joking, yes this is true was my manhood(emotionally and the actual muscle who does the dirty deed) feel a loss of face/reputation.. indeed
    7. if marrying a's like officially saying for both man and woman "hey im going to eat the same cereal everyday for the rest of my life; ive never had any other cereal but i think for the next 50 yrs eating the same cereal everyday will taste jsut as good!" emotional perhaps, physically man's caveman instincts are going to kick in and jsut want to play another girl if they ahve a chamce, discreetly of course. why not marry a man who has experience and more mature physically and emotionally and this also goes to the girl.

    i cant think of anything else right now because im about to go to sleep if anyone else would like to further comment or go crazy and be anti about my comment feel free to post your comments

    • JT

      see i just dont see it that way, ex is just not a pleasure thing, its about the person you are with, and if you love being around that person and admire their character, think they are beautiful and love them, then you can learn/teach. Im still standing by the fact that the least experienced girls i met are the ones that want to learn the most and try things, they aint scared!

  • Jay K.

    i would like to apologize for my vocab or use of chinglish in some of the sentences above. posting something at around 2 am at night after being told by the department head to go ahead and finish your work in an empty office building except for your own office light and opening your secret desk drawer where the so called whiskey is kept is never a good thing<—there i did it again i made a run on sentence

  • Bored in Melbourne

    I think that the reason Chinese boys are currently worried about Virgins is because they are Virgins. It is far easier to find a Chinese guy who is a Virgin than a Chinese girl. I talk to young guy I rent a room to, he is early 20s from central China and I said he can bring back a girl, if he want, that is his life and his choice. He said he would not do that. I did not ask why not as I already know he is unlikely to have the chance.

    However a male friend stayed over, maybe he is not a virgin after all?

  • Anonymous

    Oriental women certainly do have a special quality about them. I was a child in the South during the closing days of Jim Crow. I knew about blacks, whom I sympathized with.
    I did not know about Orientals until I was six or seven. I must have watched a documentary about Japan or Taiwan on television. I remember thinking, “With white girls some are pretty, and some are not. With Oriental girls all of them are pretty.”  

    • Tee Kei

      its disgusting how you can label them as ‘orientals’

      • JohnEngelman

        There is nothing derogatory about the term “Oriental.” I use that word to distinguish between Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese, Tibetans, and Mongolians and other Mongoloids. An Asian can be a Caucasian.

        • Tee Kei

          Can they now? I guess it’s whatever floats your boat then buddy. Gotta say though everything about your post reeks of creepiness

          • JohnEngelman

            The only thing creepy about his thread are your posts,. I clicked on your nickname and found nothing but insults.

  • JohnEngelman

    On average, Orientals are slower to mature, less fertile, less sexually active, less aggressive, and have larger brains and higher IQ scores. Blacks are at the other pole. Whites fall in the middle, but closer to Orientals than to Blacks…

    The races differ in how often they like to have sexual intercourse. This affects rates of sexually transmitted diseases. On all the counts, Orientals are the least sexually active, Blacks the most, and Whites are in between…

    The World Health Organization takes note of sexual diseases like syphilis, gonorrhea, herpes and chlamydia. They report low levels in China and Japan and high levels in Africa. European countries are in the middle.

    – Professor J. Philippe Rushton, from “RACE, EVOLUTION, AND BEHAVIOR”