Why do Western men manage to attract Chinese women? Issues in Chinese masculinity.

Essay by Keir October 2005

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What is most striking in my conversations with friends at school here in Beijing is the extreme difficulty Western women have dating Chinese men, which is in sharp contrast to the renowned ease with which Western men help themselves to Chinese women. The purpose of this essay is to examine the reasons for this.

Every Western woman I talk to here describes her love life in Asia as highly wanting, and each offers the same explanation; namely that Asian men in general and Chinese men in particular seem to fear Western women and are unwilling to risk asking them out for a date. Two of them said they felt it had to do with the "sissyness" of Chinese men and the third, when I referred this to her, embraced it as truth. Indeed, she went on to say that it went on more than this, but it may also have something to do with Chinese men's habits of clipping their toenails in the bedroom, spitting and urinating everywhere outside, not using a handkerchief but simply blowing their snot into their hand, and throwing their litter everywhere.

As she told me, there is a supreme difference between a man having a 'feminine' side and being mommy's boy, who lacks any and all ability to empathise with a woman.

Is the argument therefore that Western men demonstrate their masculinity in a distinct way by being forthright, uninhibited while at the same time hiding their fears, and thus come across as strong and dominant -these seem to be traits that Chinese women find alluring. At least enough of them to keep Western men such as yours truly in China very busy.

Unfortunately the same is not the case for female expats who simply do not have it as easy. "Chinese men are...