Sex and Work on the Move:Money Boys in Reform China
China’s three decades of reform have created a new class of rural-to-urban migrants working in cities, and hidden within this visible flow of labor forces is a growing market for sexual labor. Within this predominantly female population of sex workers is a doubly-invisible population of male sex workers, or “money boys”, as they are commonly known in local parlance.In this talk, I will argue that the money boy is a neglected research subject absent in migration and prostitution studies, or being seen as an “at risk” subject framed mainly in terms of a public health paradigm. Contrary to these approaches, I locate the money boy as a new labor subject under the state’s continual transformation towards urbanization and globalization. Money boys are the product of a booming labor market, a burgeoning male sex industry, and the emergence of tongzhi communities that have been enabled by the state’s active promotion of the market economy and internationalization. However, they are also subjected to structural constraints, such as the hukou (household registration) system, the daily routine criminalization of prostitution, the short life-cycle of the sex industry, the moral condemnation of rural homophobic cultures, and increasingly stratified cosmopolitan tongzhi communities. They are a social group yearning for needs and desires which is simultaneously embedded in the neoliberal discourse of development and empowerment, and at risk of the dislocation and isolation that often comes with the rural-to-urban migration.Through the narratives of money boys’ experiences based on my ethnographic research on the male sex industry in China (major sites: Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen) since 2004, this research throws new lights to the study of migration, prostitution, and sexuality within China’s quest for modernization and globalization.5月13日The Unforgotten and Unspoken: Chinese Older Gay Men’s Use of Space in pre and post-colonial Hong Kong.
The Unforgotten and Unspoken :
Chinese Older Gay Men’s Use of Space in pre and post-colonial Hong Kong
Building on my previous studies on post-war generations of gay men in Hong Kong, London, and mainland China (major site: Guangdong), I have become increasingly interested in understanding what Ken Plummer calls ‘generational sexualities’ – how sexuality is understood for different generations. International research shows that there is an acute research gap in our understanding of older gay men. Whilst sexuality is often neglected in aging studies, the same is true for aging in sexuality studies. This ongoing research started in 2009 and aims to fill the gap of the intersection between aging and sexuality in order to understand the complexity of the living experiences of older (60+) Chinese gay men.Based on 14 older gay men in Hong Kong, I will, in this talk, discuss how they have negotiated same-sex intimacy in everyday sites at two specific times – in their parents’ homes and public toilets in the 1940s–1950s, when homo- sexuality was a crime and homosexual identity had not yet developed; and in their own homes and within the present-day tongzhi world, which presents them with new opportunities and challenges. Using a post-structuralist conception of power/resistance that juxtaposes power and resistance in the same site, I will argue that the private home and public spaces are sites of governmentality/resistance while tongzhi spaces are sites of desire/domination, with class and age being important social identifiers of Hong Kong gay men. Through a look of these men’s radical use of spaces, I will explore how governmentality via British colonialism (and postcolonialism), land use, and the family shape tongzhi bodies and space, expose the domination of hetero-/homo-normativities in tongzhi lives, and rethink the meaning of tongzhi resistance in Hong Kong.Accompany with this talk is a visual exhibition which documents their current lives through photographs and videos and their earlier lives through diaries, letters, and old photos.5月14日Romancing the Boundary: Male Client Masculinities in the Chinese Sex Industry.
Romancing the Boundary : Male Client Masculinities in the Chinese Sex Industry
2014年5月14日（三）14:00｜交通大學光復校區 人社二館 106A 研討室
Male clients of sex workers are a long overdue and under-researched subject in both prostitution and men’s studies. Based on 24 in-depth interviews and 2 focus group discussions conducted since 2012 with Hong Kong heterosexual men who buy sex, I will discuss these men’s involvement with commercial sex in relation to their male identity. Torn between companionate sexuality under an egalitarian model of relationship and recreational sexuality under a promiscuous model of sexual pleasure, Hong Kong men seek their various needs – sexual, material, or affective – in different sexual and intimate relationships. A few types of client masculinity are identified: McSex masculinity refers to those men who are proud of paying for rather impersonal sex with as many women as they wish whilst Titanic masculinity refers to those men who passionately seek intense emotional intimacy with sex workers. Between these two opposing types, ‘bounded’ masculinity refers to those men who seek emotionally responsive women in a time-bounded romance. From the clients’ perspectives, it is this type, which emphasizes the containment of ‘excess’ sexuality and compartmentalizes sexual and emotional needs, that is privileged as it balances companionate sexuality and recreational sexuality without challenging the companionate model of marriage/coupled relationship.Through a sociological analysis of men’s commercial sexual experiences in Hong Kong and in particular, the identification of different types of client masculinity, this research rethinks masculinity in relation to the changing gender order between the sexes under the new urban sexual culture of post-industrial capitalism.