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#102 Being Modest about ***

Posted December 3rd, 2008 by Shaun · 21 Comments

*Warning: this piece may be a little PG-13, if you know what I mean. If you are under 13, SAPL does welcome you warmly, but perhaps you should look away now…*

Yeah you know what I’m talking about. ***. Yes that’s right, this piece is about ***. To be totally frank, *** is a perfectly natural human act. Ahh blerg, censorship’s a !@#$%, isn’t it? ***,***, ***, ***, ***!!! It’s not a big deal, most people do it… Alright, it starts with an ‘s’ and ends with an ‘x’… I’ve been told that is all I am allowed to mention. And no, this piece is not about how Asians like being modest about the number six. Or saxophones.

Okay, so this is apparently as controversial as SAPL will get, barring our multitude of pieces on the white guy/Asian girl dynamic. However, I know what a lot of you are thinking – that this doesn’t ring true for you at all. “But I get it on with my girlfriend/boyfriend/partner/self/dog all the time, and I’m not ashamed of it!” Well then, good for you! (Oh btw SAPL does not support bestiality in any way, shape or form). Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately depending on your POV), Asia is far less open in this area than the Western world – and things may not change for the better/worse (again dependent on your POV) in the near future.

It is because Asians have double standards towards inappropriate content displayed by the mass media. Apparently it is okay for Asians to watch films where someone is getting their brains blown up into a bloody mess… but on the other hand, it is NOT okay to watch two consenting adults merely sharing saliva with each other. Do not even mention the act of copulation – that’s totally out of the question. When you really think about it though, one act is totally natural while the other is not (unless you’re an assassin or something). Quite simply, representing mindless violence in film is apparently acceptable in Asian society whereas representing *** is a pure no-no. Europeans must be sneering at our way of thinking…

This has something to do with the way past generations of Asians are brought up. Whilst attempting to avoid generalizing, it is reasonable to believe that Asian parenting methods have had some effect on our perceptions of love. You know that “birds and the bees” talk white people enjoy so much? Well, Asians don’t believe in those birds or these bees… as far as the Asian is concerned, the “birds and the bees” don’t exist! The general idea behind this is that adolescents do not need to be exposed to such “filth”. So due to this deliberate lack of support by parents, Asian youths end up educating themselves on this matter, discovering this “filth” either via alternate technological means… or via puberty.

In typical Asian discourse, romantic attraction is seen as something almost akin to a sin. It supposedly leads to lust, desire and a selfish sense of satisfaction – ideals that are entirely frowned upon in Asian cultures. Perhaps it is because the Asian way of thinking values other aspects of life over “temptations of the flesh” so to speak.

Take Abraham Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs” for instance.


Physical romantic attraction (or ***) is placed right at the bottom, as a “Physiological Need”, while a more complex concept of intimacy is only 3rd in the hierarchy under “Love/Belonging” or as a “Social Need”. So there you go, The Beatles were wrong – Love is NOT all you need. Asians take Maslow’s model a step further, often permanently relegating “love” to a mere “Physiological Need” whilst focusing primarily on improving the “Esteem” and “Self-Actualization” components. Hence we tend to be wary of romantic relationships, are often ashamed of our bodies, and are generally prudish around the topic of ***. (Those asterisks STILL make you uncomfortable, don’t they?)

However, things are changing. Asians are slowly opening up their minds and broadening their horizons now, when it comes to love. Hopefully prudishness will soon be a thing of the past. The Western influence, especially in mass media, is clearly showing in Asian culture, lifestyle and traditional mentality. After all, how do you account for the city of Bangkok? =D

P.S. This piece was not meant to insult anyone nor was it to make judgments upon any person’s lifestyle choices. Any gross generalizations were either unintentional or made merely in good humor.

Last 5 posts by Shaun

Tags: Activities · Chinese · Culture · Customs · Environment · Humor · Japanese · Korean · Medicine · People · Relationships · Social

21 responses so far ↓

  • 1 degenerasian // Dec 3, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    SEX SEX SEX! There I said it.

    I was actually quite fortunate to have parents who was open about sex with me.

    Around the age of 15 my mom would explain to me about boys and hormones and what to look out for.

    She figured it was better that SHE taught me about sex rather than learning it from the first guy I run into in High School.

  • 2 Dynasty // Dec 3, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    You’re misinterpreting Maslow’s pyramid.

  • 3 Virex // Dec 4, 2008 at 1:08 am

    well, i think you are right.. but nowadays, asians are leaning towards that mindset… Though not as open as those europeans or americans.. but we are now open to ***.. things are changing.. and changing fast.. maybe if we change totally, then we cannot be considered asians anymore.. ehehe..

  • 4 account central | Digg hot tags // Dec 4, 2008 at 1:24 am

    [...] Vote #102 Being Modest about *** [...]

  • 5 Van // Dec 4, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    Peter, are you Vietnamese at all??? and you posted this! The word word for “Fishmongeress” takes on a whole new special meaning because those old, bawdy ladies in the country markets take raunch to a whole new level! You haven’t seen a den of Burmese ladies throwing their head back cackling at a wedding? Seriously – raunchiness in Viet Nam is *owned* by the old folks – in a way that no Amercian rap lyric or Sex and the City conversation can match. I don’t look forward to a sweeping westernized sexualization of the country… when sex is everywhere and normal and on people’s lips 24/7, what’s going to be dirty anymore? My Manhattan gal pals are so jaded, they prowl for tail like they’re fiending for a cup of coffee. Do we want that on a global scale??

  • 6 Peter // Dec 4, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    I think you should re-check the author name

  • 7 Claire // Dec 5, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    This is sooooo true and explains so much. My parents taught me absolutely nothing, and I had to go to college, be called sheltered by everyone, and google everything to catch up.
    I think when you said Asians were changing, it’s more Asian Americans that are changing, because they’ve lived in another country for a while.

  • 8 Skawt // Dec 6, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    *** is an intimate thing. i don’t like the mentality that says it’s a dirty thing, per say, but at the same time, i think it’s a parent’s responsibility to educate their child on the matter…not society’s.

  • 9 E // Jan 6, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    Im an asian guy here. And I have to say it can be a miserable fucking existence. The way the dating schematic is going, id say the whole asian race will be over in a couple of hundred years. Im in an asian country right now and some people consider me a “handsome guy”, calling me “suai guh, suai guh”. And I can get asian girls in asian countries. But I know thats BS because once I go back to the states I know Im fucked. They think we’re fucking ugly. And that whole status thing doesnt help either, even if you arent ugly, the whole low status in American society doesnt help out at all… I dont know about anyone else but if I cant date I dont see life worth living. Or Id just like to see the world just collapse.
    Im not going down the traditional self hate / frustration path, at least I hope Im not, that some Asian posters post. But I know whats coming… some people of asian descent will denounce this post, denounce me, deny the validity of this. Well fuck you. Part of the problem is we cant speak out fucking minds in the first place, its all about repression. Well, fuck repression. Maybe someone smarter than I will come up with a better way to deal.

    That Columbia University / Harvard report about interracial dating really got to me. And they say, social Darwinism says that a man who cant date is genetically dead, and will do anything he can, even put his own life at risk through violence to obtain it. I just want to see the world burn.

  • 10 Without_Me // Jan 31, 2009 at 6:58 am

    Modest about sex? Nope, it’s changing fast. All you have to do is watch movies from Korean, Chinese, all they way to India and around back to Japan! I mean, it may be only in the movies, but that does have an influence and it is expressing someone thoughts about sex to an audience. I think Asians are “modest” about sex is because we (past older generation Asians) see it more as for making babies and not for playing with, but we all know that we like to play with the opposite sex or another person, maybe sometimes both, but Asians are far from modest about sex. Just walk the street anywhere Asia and there will be a sex joke somewhere, almost every time, guaranteed!

    I personally think that sex is for the one you love, even if that love doesn’t last, at least at that moment. Yes, I’m a guy saying this, meaning, I am still a … yeah right! I just don’t like the idea of going around and bonking any chick just to get some, plus I’m in love.

    Without_Me – An Asian guy watching out for the Asian guy. Also, on facebook, there is a hug a white person day to balance the hug an Asian person day, please attend.

  • 11 Scarlett // Feb 19, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    It’s changing fast, definitely. But for the older generation it’s still pretty modest. My mom has never educated me about sex (I’ve learned everything from school). And she still believes the “tampons is for people who have had sex already” myth. Yeah…I got in trouble at first for trying to buy those; needed them for dance class. :P

  • 12 Hampton // Apr 19, 2009 at 11:20 am

    I had a buddy in the Navy, and he said that in Japan at least, the crowd he hung out with were VERY open about sexuality. Apparently he bought a sex toy at the equivalent of Wal Mart. Can anyone confirm or deny?

    Michelle Obama Fashion

  • 13 F // Jun 20, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    reply to mr. E // above,
    go fucking boost your self-esteem. Don’t blame it on any status/different beauty values.

  • 14 h // Sep 19, 2009 at 2:25 am

    who cares what europeans think?

  • 15 Honey // Oct 28, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    …the Japanese culture (yes, even in traditional times) always considered sex as a casual act. As long as you didn’t get preggo with the person you did it with who happens not to be your spouse, you’re ok…but it’s quite frightening now that I think about it…

  • 16 Nadra // Nov 13, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    My parents change the channel when two people are kissing, and if I don’t change the channel, my mom will inform me I am watching “nastiness”, never mind sex.

  • 17 #129 Numbering Their Kids « Stuff Asian People Like - Asian Central // Dec 19, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    [...] explaining the concept of the “Birds and the Bees” to their children (please refer to #102 Being Modest about ***). In lieu of the stork myth, asians have come up with other kinds of lies they tell their kids when [...]

  • 18 People these days... (*shakes finger*) // Mar 21, 2010 at 4:16 am

    Really? I think it’s changing, really fast. Just watch any Asian drama on TV, and you’ll see. My parents were always super open with me, like any average American family. (Personally, I always thought some of my white friends were pretty stifled, especially those super-religious Christian ones)

  • 19 Sennyo // Aug 11, 2010 at 11:20 am

    It’s true. :<
    I've been grounded for having a hickie on my neck by my Chinese, American-born, mother. :l

  • 20 kim pam // Apr 27, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    I am not asian, I am latin american. I have read
    about this before, but I am not sure. I have some asian friends ( mostly koreans) and they are not really modest about sex. and something that also made me doubt is that a friend told me about Loveland (jeju loveland) in Jeju island, korea ( if you dont kno what this is, you better look on the internet to see why I think like this, anyways, it is a park full of sculptures of people on very explicit sexual poses and other things)
    So, I am just saying that I also thinkthis is changing really fast

  • 21 Human // Apr 4, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    Sexual conservatism is more ‘human’ than ‘Asian.’ For most of the second millennium, many people in all parts of the world were what we would call sexually conservative. Let us call things what they are to see them more sharply.

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