Booze, sex, and the dark art of dealmaking in China

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Booze, sex, and the dark art of dealmaking in China
« on: February 27, 2015, 03:57:35 PM »
An on-the-ground look at booze, sex, and the dark art of dealmaking in China

Turning down an after-dinner invite to a brothel is always a social minefield. But the city’s Party Secretary, a 50-something man with baby-soft hands, had been gently fondling my thigh underneath the banquet table for the past 45 minutes, making me even more eager than usual to make my excuses and leave.

Perhaps the spa in the small-town Shandong hotel where I was dining with a cluster of businessmen and officials was an entirely legitimate establishment, and I was misreading the nature of the invitation. But the neon sign outside advertising the “Health Body Center” (康体中心) had replaced the upper strokes in the character 心 with flashing red hearts.

“Health Body” is an approximation; I was sloshed on baijiu, the near-undrinkable spirit ubiquitous at social events, and my memory of the evening is dubious.

I had been doing the rounds of provincial cities as my boss’ token foreigner for the whole summer, though, pitching training courses to the dim children of the rich so that they could study at foreign universities, and the routine of hard drinking followed by a group excursion to a brothel was becoming a familiar one. My status as a foreigner was enough to excuse me from the sex itself after only a light barrage of gay jokes from the others, but not from the social obligations around it.

That was in 2004, but the routine of much interaction between businessmen and officials has remained the same over the past decade. An initial banquet and heavy drinking provides social lubrication, until, at about 10-11 pm, the party shifts to a KTV, a spa, or a club. Another two or three hours are spent in a shared social space, either accompanied by hostesses making professionally flirtatious conversation, or naked together with other men in a hot bathtub. By 2 am, some of the party collapse in bed, and some retire with the girls....




Read more: http://www.chinafile.com/reporting-opinion/postcard/bro-code#ixzz3Sy9tEwax

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Re: Booze, sex, and the dark art of dealmaking in China
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2015, 05:58:37 PM »
What I like particularly about the article is the how and why of why we were seeing group sex scandals. Because back when group sex and in particular photos of group sex were showing up, that was like, woah, where did that come from in this society.

Also, the article provides some background for why the Party seems to spend so much public time being prurient.

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Re: Booze, sex, and the dark art of dealmaking in China
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2015, 07:39:46 PM »
I have to admire them.

By day they give off a sheen of 'almost respectability' but by night they are purvier than a Catholic Priest at choir practice.

Nothing will be changing here for a century or so.....

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Re: Booze, sex, and the dark art of dealmaking in China
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2015, 08:28:39 PM »
i've seen this a while back. it's really well written but a little too sensational for my liking.
I've spent the last 11 years being dragged around and sure, I've seen my fair share of KTVs and drunken business meeting but nothing as extreme as they describe. Then again, i'm swimming in a lake with goldfish, not an ocean with sharks  agagagagag
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Re: Booze, sex, and the dark art of dealmaking in China
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2015, 09:14:52 PM »
I've been on a few drunken excursions with businessmen and even some low-level government types, but sadly must report that they all ended without any wild sex parties. ananananan
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Re: Booze, sex, and the dark art of dealmaking in China
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2015, 10:12:45 PM »
Qua businessman, I don't know any. Nor officials. I may have once been visited a KTV. I have seen the inside of a bar or two. So I have pretty much no direct evidence of anything. But I think, based on everyday circumstantial stuff, the shoe fits. The attitudes to women, the way everyone lives. Casual vice with the goal of bonding or blackmail... it makes sense. In particular, the narrative inside the article (if not the particular details) makes sense of how joyless eating and drinking seem to have become in the culture. Even sex too. I mean, there're probably people enjoying these things somewhere, but who hasn't felt banquet pressure before, and why is it so widespread?

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Re: Booze, sex, and the dark art of dealmaking in China
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2015, 10:20:59 PM »
Also, "homosocial". For that word alone, the article wins.

It's a real word and refers to a real sociological phenomenon, but I'd never seen it before and it just seemed exactly to capture some special something about current Chinese culture.

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