Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

Asia Adult Expo: Despite conservative traditions, Asia’s sex industry is exploding [CNN-GO]

And the Chinese seem unleashed despite the cultural taboos – if anything here’s evidence that perhaps there’s not much difference between the ‘liberal’ West and the ‘conservative East’ – “there’s no denying that China has a massive pent-up demand for X-rated products…”

I am not sure about the unlimited growth this article purports, but surely it is a massive emerging market that will explode if tapped wisely, given the spending power the Chinese now have access to. Furthermore there’re all probably made in China anyways.

To round off, two bits of speculation. It is probably noteworthy an event such as this is held in Macau and not mainland proper, and second, getting the Chinese out of their shells and being comfortable with sex is surely going to have a dent on China’s population control policies – or perhaps that’s their intention – it is time for the Chinese to multiply (for domestic or external purposes). The last time this happened was when Mao promoted population growth after the revolution – thereby creating the world’s largest consumer market that now helps so many Chinese industries thrive. Of course it helps when you have a huge home base to tap on. Comments most welcome, please.

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Asia Adult Expo: Despite conservative traditions, Asia’s sex industry is exploding
By targeting women, sex toy manufacturers forecast near unlimited growth in Asia
by Tiffany Lam
Source – CNN Go, published August 24, 2010

Japanese adult video actress Anna Hisaki works the crowd at the Asia Adult Expo in Macau. Photo - Tiffany Lam, CNNGO

A busty girl in an air hostess costume waves an artificial vagina in my face then shakes it near her crotch. She unbuttons her shirt and slips out of her skirt, revealing a black bikini underneath. Now she returns to pumping the device to the beat of a Japanese pop song.

This was the scene at the press preview for last weekend’s Asia Adult Expo. Japanese sex toy company Tenga was hosting a product demonstration of Flip Lite, their best-selling masturbation sleeve, and the girl in front of me was Japanese porn actress Anna Hisaki. The male photographers around me looked like they couldn’t believe their luck.

Held at The Venetian Macau on August 20-22, the third Asia Adult Expo was a three-day sex fair during which sex toy manufacturers from around the globe paraded their latest curiosities. These included the world’s smallest vibrator and an inflatable President Obama sex doll.

Despite traditional cultural taboos, the sex industry is booming in China. Photo - Tiffany Lam, CNNGO

While attendees were getting close looks at the artificial vagina, in another corner of the exhibition hall kimono-clad adult-video stars Kayama Mika and Mihiro autographed covers of 3D porn flicks. In a booth nearby, two Chinese models in barely-there bunny outfits passed out Playboy-branded condoms.

These three scenes were the raunchiest of the first day. In fact, most of the exhibition booths were pretty routine and the expo wasn’t exactly the risqué affair that some expected — some male friends who paid to get in said they wanted their money back. Still, there’s no denying that China has a massive pent-up demand for X-rated products.

This year’s Asia Adult Expo saw a total of 30,000 visitors, a 20 percent spike over last year. The number of exhibitors and exhibition space has grown exponentially since the fair’s inception three years ago. Kenny Lo, chief executive of Asia Adult Expo organizer Vertical Expo, credits women for the surge in popularity.

“Many high-earning women in their thirties and forties in China’s metropolises get really enthusiastic over sex toys, and can spend up to HK$3,000 in one sex-toy shopping spree,” said Lo. “They’re past their marriageable age, can’t find a partner and have sexual needs, so they turn to pleasuring themselves. And this particular demographic is growing in both mainland China and in Hong Kong.” Lo estimates female adult products, such as vibrators and lingerie, account for up to 70 percent of total income for many of Asia Adult Expo’s exhibitors.

Also rapidly gaining a following in China are inexpensive, mass-produced sex toys. Nanma, a Hong Kong-based firm selling bargain bin sex toys, hosted one of the most popular booths at the fair.

“I’m seeing more cheap sex toys being sold at sex shops and adult expos in mainland China,” said Lo. “Unlike the average of HK$1,000 and HK$2,000 here at the Asia Adult Expo, they go for a lot cheaper –usually under HK$100.”

For all the mushrooming demand, there are taboos that have yet to be broken in the country.

“Marketing in China is very different. For instance, pornography is forbidden in China. We have to be very careful not to mix up with that, so in our posters we have to be very careful and not use such sexy images,” said Arnd Krusche, managing director of Hong Kong-based sex toy distributor Loewie.

“China has enormous potential and spending power, but Chinese society is still conservative,” said Lo. “Sex shops in Hong Kong and mainland China are hard to find, mostly hidden in alleys and inside small shopping malls, whereas anywhere else in the world you can find them on main streets of the city center.”

“Chinese reluctance to shopping in the open (for sex toys) has spawned a large online order business,” said Lo. “In China you’ll find thousands, even tens of thousands, of online shops selling sex toys.”

Read more: Asia Adult Expo: Despite conservative traditions, Asia’s sex industry is exploding | CNNGo.com http://www.cnngo.com/hong-kong/life/asia-adult-expo-290744?hpt=C2#ixzz0xbMDCfbE

Filed under: Chinese Model, CNN, Culture, Economics, Lifestyle, Media, People, Population, Sex, Social, The Chinese Identity

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