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No sex please, we're South Korean - click opera
February 2010
 
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Sun, Apr. 15th, 2007 12:21 pm
No sex please, we're South Korean

A few months ago I crossed swords with Richard Lloyd Parry, the London Times' Tokyo-based Asia correspondent. Parry parried my thrusts (accusations about the visual shabbiness of his blog Asia Exile, and his attitude to Donald Richie) fairly vigorously, and we shook hands and parted company on speaking terms. Since then, I occasionally glance in the direction of Asia Exile to see what he's pondering.

Parry's latest entry there is entitled Flying Seoul-o. It sets out to answer the question "Who are the world's biggest wankers?" and answers it with reference to a page of Pornography Statistics hosted by a company that sells internet filters (and therefore has a vested interest, one might think, in stirring up moral panic).

So, apparently -- according to this page -- the world's biggest (or biggest-spending) wankers are the South Koreans. Whereas the average Japanese spends $156.75 per year on porn (quite a lot compared with the average German's $7.70), the average Korean is spending a whopping, incredible, orgasmic $526.75 on porn. "Despite having a population a fraction of its size," says Parry, "they almost match China for total annual expenditure, consuming a full 27 per cent of the world's porn. Ladies and gentlemen, the Golden Merkin Award for number one in the 2006 Worldwide Pornography Revenues Table goes to . . . South Korea!"

Now, this statistic piqued my, ahem, curiosity. I've never actually seen a Korean porn site. So I decided to try and find one. A keen googler and what I assumed must be the world's largest porn industry (at least by per capita consumption) should have taken mere seconds to connect with each other. But, in an hour of fruitless googling, my seed fell on barren soil. I couldn't locate a single Korean porn site based in Korea.

What I did discover, though, was a wealth of information about South Koreans, the internet and sex. I shall now share this with you. Some of it is astounding.

First of all, the Koreans are incredibly wired. 12 million out of the nation's 15.5 million households are hooked up to the broadband Internet, says The Korea Times. 70% of Koreans are online for an hour or more each month, higher than any other country in the world per capita.

Secondly, the Korean internet is not foreigner friendly. Of the nation's five portals (Naver, Daum, Nate, Yahoo Korea and Paran) only one (Daum) doesn't make it difficult or impossible to subscribe if you aren't Korean, according to the Korea Times article Foreigners Excluded from Korean Sites.

Thirdly -- and this is something you'd expect to be a huge story, and the Times Asia correspondent to have mentioned -- the South Korean government has recently been clamping down on internet sex after some laughably tame incidents in March. An article entitled Foreign Porn Sites Will Be Blocked explains that it all started when two porn videos appeared on Yahoo Korea on March 18th. "Daum, the second-largest portal site, also carried an audio-visual file of foreign fashion models exposing their breasts for approximately seven hours last Tuesday," Korea Times reported. "On the same day, a Web surfer posted a nude photo of a woman at the top portal Naver but the company did not remove the picture for about four hours."

The South Korean government responded to these "wardrobe malfunctions" with wild abandon. “We are set to deny access to porn sites based overseas, with details being unveiled early next week,” said the Ministry of Information and Communication. According to ZD Net Asia, the government's Korea Internet Safety Commission will use domain name and URL filtering methods to check not only IP addresses but also file indexes and sub-directories as well -- "because most of obscene materials originate outside South Korea".

So is that alleged $526.75 per annum per capita Korean pornspend all heading into the coffers of Japanese porn barons? Apparently not. The International Herald Tribune reports that "the Ministry of Information and Communication already has blocked 211 foreign pornographic Web sites, mostly based in the United States, as well as all local porn sites. It plans to extend the crackdown to another 180 major foreign sites by May."

All foreign porn and all local porn blocked? What kind of country is this? Don't they know that porn is one of the main drivers of technological innovation?

But it's Catch-22. The more difficult masturbation gets in South Korea, the more necessary it becomes. The backdrop is a nation with an incredibly conservative attitude to sex. According to the International Encyclopedia of Sexuality, a 1996 survey found that 88.1% of South Korean female students thought that virginity should be kept until marriage. Attitudes to masturbation were shaped by religion, although Korean Christians were more tolerant of masturbation than others: "Buddhists were least positive about masturbation, 54.5 percent, compared with Protestants, 76.9 percent, and Catholics, 91.7 percent."

"As one might suspect from what has already been discussed," the Sexuality Encyclopedia entry concludes rather sadly, "sexual behavior and relationships among Korean single adults are very limited because of negative attitudes toward premarital sexual relationships and the frequency of marriages arranged by parents or according to their socioeconomic status. Thus, it is likely that single adults do not feel a need for sexual relationships."

41CommentReply

electricwitch
electricwitch
For anything, oh! she´ll bust her elastic
Sun, Apr. 15th, 2007 11:41 am (UTC)

"quite a lot compared with the average German's $7.70"

Ahahaha, that´s because you can get them at Media Markt for 2 euros or less a piece. *pets collection of hilarious porn*.


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(Anonymous)
Sun, Apr. 15th, 2007 11:54 am (UTC)
This isn't aimed at anyone. An aimless bird.

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.................... ./... ./ /
............./´¯/' ...'/´¯`•¸
........../'/.../... ./... ..../¨¯\
........('(...´(... ....... ,~/'...')
.........\.......... ..... ..\/..../
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............\....... ..... ..(
..............\..... ..... ...\


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qscrisp
qscrisp
Sun, Apr. 15th, 2007 12:02 pm (UTC)

"Buddhists were least positive about masturbation, 54.5 percent, compared with Protestants, 76.9 percent, and Catholics, 91.7 percent."

What does the percentage represent here - those who admit to doing it, or those who just say it's okay, or something else entirely different?


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Sun, Apr. 15th, 2007 12:08 pm (UTC)

"47 percent of Korean people still consider Buddhism as their faith. Buddhists in general are instructed to give up all desires, including those related to sex, and sexual activities are prohibited in many sects... Yoo, Oh, and Soh (1990) asked about parents’ attitudes toward masturbation to see their relationship to their children’s masturbation. In 75.2 percent of the parents showing positive attitudes toward their own masturbation, there was a linear trend by age: 77.8 percent in the parents in their 50s, 75.9 percent in their 40s, and 56.1 percent in their 30s. In terms of religious adherence, Buddhists were least positive about masturbation, 54.5 percent, compared with Protestants, 76.9 percent, and Catholics, 91.7 percent."


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source? - (Anonymous) Expand
imomus
imomus
imomus
Sun, Apr. 15th, 2007 12:05 pm (UTC)

One pretty incredible fact is that, from the 2006 porn consumption figures in the pie chart, 76% of the world's porn is bought by three Asian countries -- South Korea, China and Japan. Anglo countries (UK, US and Australia) consume less than 20% of the world's porn.


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qscrisp
qscrisp
Sun, Apr. 15th, 2007 01:43 pm (UTC)

I do find this surprising. I remember when I lived in Taiwan, I came across figures that suggested the Taiwanese libido was particularly weak, and my own very casual observation seemed to tally with this. Chinese society on the whole, I had been led to believe, is both very sexually strict, because of Confucian influence, and also not particularly libidinous (therefore not prone to the Victorian dichotomy of outward chastity and hidden debauchery).

The porn figures would seem to be evidence against this view, unless, proportionate to population, the Chinese consumption is, after all, insignificant.


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pay_option07
pay_option07
Sun, Apr. 15th, 2007 12:12 pm (UTC)
Budhists and the Penis?

I know of festivals where a deity goes through the streets wearing a large phallus and rubbing it on everyone! I'm a bit confused about that shinto practice, but in Asia the penis has great significance.


http://www.digitaljournal.com/search/penis%20emporium


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Sun, Apr. 15th, 2007 12:23 pm (UTC)
Re: Budhists and the Penis?

According to that German sex encyclopedia I was quoting, the more positive Japanese attitude to sex is entirely due to Shinto:

"The Shinto religion recognizes neither good nor evil, so the concept of sin and personal guilt so commonly associated with sex in Western cultures does not exist in the Japanese tradition. The persistence of fertility festivals echoes the acceptance of sex and romance as a natural component of everyday life. Rooted in folk religions and primitive animism, these festivals are celebrated by revelers wearing traditional masks representing the more frankly sexual and comical denizens of Shinto myth and carrying oversized papier-mâché phalli and vulva through the streets (Bornoff 1991, 14-15, 89-90)."


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zzberlin
zzberlin
hh
Sun, Apr. 15th, 2007 03:05 pm (UTC)
But wait,,

Since when does how much you spend on porn indicate how much porn you consume? My friends that consume porn do not spend money on it, they pick up binaries from newsgroups

I'm sorry to hear South Korea is a bit prudish. I was thinking Seoul might be a nice place for a U.S. expat hangout


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cerulicante
cerulicante
cerulicante
Sun, Apr. 15th, 2007 03:32 pm (UTC)

Koreans don't ever feel the need to tell the truth to any non-Korean. They think that if you're not Korean, you were cursed by the gods.


A Korean girl will go to church, say she will wait until marriage to have sex and be banging 5 different guys, none of whom know about the other 4 guys.


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aughtstar
aughtstar
Hak(u)
Sun, Apr. 15th, 2007 04:13 pm (UTC)

Yeah, it's same as Catholic schoolgirl syndrome. Normal desire is put under pressure.

Also Buddhists in general are not gonna tell you masturbation is "good", but that doesn't mean anything either. Did they ask if it was "bad" or just "not good"? These are concerns of dualists! (Not...duelists.)


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aughtstar
aughtstar
Hak(u)
Sun, Apr. 15th, 2007 04:14 pm (UTC)

Another thought is they are buying the really good porn.


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electricwitch
electricwitch
For anything, oh! she´ll bust her elastic
Sun, Apr. 15th, 2007 04:48 pm (UTC)
*ding*

Also, what about fanfiction and other community-based porn? Girls everywhere consume lots of that.

And to get to it you need to spend a lot of time online yet spend no money (unless you join something like rockfic). It is furthermore nearly impossible to block or control.


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niddrie_edge
niddrie_edge
raymond
Sun, Apr. 15th, 2007 05:23 pm (UTC)
girl you are a groove, you're like the planets when you move..

Yes. I remember "researching" the Janeway/Seven Of Nine lesbian development at online star trek erotica sites. Suck My Mind as Funkadelic said.


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niddrie_edge
niddrie_edge
raymond
Sun, Apr. 15th, 2007 05:12 pm (UTC)
the penis mightier than the sword

I love all those pics you put up for this post. Deliciously incongruous, but what do I know. There may be some significance I am unaware of.
Have you seen the movie Demonlover?


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beketaten
beketaten
Juliet
Sun, Apr. 15th, 2007 07:52 pm (UTC)

I would make an extremely crappy Korean.


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(Anonymous)
Sun, Apr. 15th, 2007 09:49 pm (UTC)

The oddest part about these no-sex statistics is that the current youth culture seems to be fully sexualized, or at least, sensualized (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4F1xVEBtIA). It reminds me somewhat of the puritannical censorship culture in the U.S. clashing with the kindergartners having make-up parties/worshipping Paris Hilton. Something's gotta give.

Perhaps that's what's happening in Korea now? This 2007 survey says that 33% of teenagers agree with cohabitation before marriage (http://times.hankooki.com/lpage/nation/200703/kt2007030818163511980.htm), and likely the numbers would be even higher for premarital sex in general.


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(Anonymous)
Sun, Apr. 15th, 2007 10:13 pm (UTC)

(...Something odd happened to my links. But I do recommend watching the youtube link. It's a super cute commercial that reflects the "girl power as femininity" idea that Momus brings up now and then.)


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(Anonymous)
Sun, Apr. 15th, 2007 10:25 pm (UTC)
CUNNILINGUS IN NORTH KOREA

http://www.yhchang.com/CUNNILINGUS_IN_NORTH_KOREA.html


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Sun, Apr. 15th, 2007 11:04 pm (UTC)
Re: CUNNILINGUS IN NORTH KOREA

Samsung means to come


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Mon, Apr. 16th, 2007 03:52 am (UTC)
False stats?

I can only think of one Korean porn site off-hand - Ama10 ( http://www.haja10.com/ ). I'm sure there's a few others around but my Hangul knowledge isn't quite up to finding them all. Either way, I think there must be literally a million times more Japanese and US porn sites on the web than Korean ones (and mainland Chinese ones are also quite limited).

So I'm not too sure if those Korean porn stats are reliable. I really doubt Koreans consume more porn than Europeans, though perhaps some of them pay for expensive US porn whilst the rest of us download it free...

But what makes me think the statistics are truly incorrect, is China's porn consumption... Yes there are a lot of people in China, but not that many are actually online, and most Chinese surf from PC cafes (and I doubt too many of those have credit cards). So I can't imagine the number of Chinese who can pay for porn and view it in privacy is that high... and based on my own observations in Shanghai I didn't see that many men having a sneaky wank in the PC cafes.


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(Anonymous)
Mon, Apr. 16th, 2007 04:59 am (UTC)

As a South Korean unmarried female, I would like to jump in on this one.

I'm exactly that girl.. I go to church every sunday, sleep with 5 differnet guys (when I can manage to find the right ones that'll keep their mouths shut about it), and blush convincingly in public at the mere hint of sex. Hence the anonymous posting.

So here's my take - Sex is easy in Korea. It's everywhere! There are love motels on every corner that charge by the hour. There are parties hosted by college clubs/groups that require attendees to get drunk and pick a mate and well...mate.

Yes they (the girls) say that they think it's wrong to have premarital sex but I strongly doubt any of them are virgins and the guys equally understand that it's just something the girls say.

As for korean porn, there are korean file sharing sites (the equivalent to the kazaa or original napster) that can share porn without being detected. I get most of mine directly from people I met on korean chat sites and even some torrent sites. On a sidenote, Korean porn is always amateur porn with bad angles, more dialogue, unattractive people, and about the same amount of whining and crying as Japanese bondage porn.

Koreans are horny people that have fun hiding it from the rest of the world (and from each other).

Don't ask me why we feel the need to hide it so much...it doesnt really matter as long as you're getting some.


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(Anonymous)
Sat, Oct. 6th, 2007 11:54 pm (UTC)
She is totally right...

Im wekukin (foreigner in Korea), and I realized that what koreans say is not allways what they intend. I have sex with my korean girlfriend, with my korean teacher (married), and with the korean secretary of my university's deperment.
Besides, I always ask for "helpers" girls in norebang (karaokes), and also I had sex with them.
But there is just one small secret in all this game. You never, ever mention that you have sex.You never remeber nothing after orgasm and the most important thing...say that you was drunk and dont remember nothing.

I love korean culture Han kuk moon wha ssarang hie!!


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(Anonymous)
Mon, Apr. 16th, 2007 05:12 am (UTC)
what is

the sound of one hand wanking? not to mention several million! ;) B.


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