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Love and sex in China - statistics & facts

Finding romance and achieving a healthy sex life can be a struggle for many Chinese people, especially among those living in big cities. On one side, China is facing the effects of its decades-long one-child policy, with couples generally preferencing boys over this period there are now over 30 million more men than women in the country. The gender gap is the widest among those of marriage age. On the other side, pragmatic marriage-oriented dating and a relatively conservative sexual culture is commonplace. These reasons have given rise to online dating and relationship services, as well as adult product e-commerce.

Dating and marriage in China

Dating is often viewed as a pragmatic affair in China. Because of the highly competitive university entrance exam, most young people start dating relatively late compared to their Western peers. According to a survey among college students in China, nearly one-third of respondents did not have any dating experience. However, influenced by culture and traditional values, young people in China usually get married much earlier than their counterparts from Europe and the United States.

The fear of the social stigma against “leftovers” - unmarried men over 30 and women in their late twenties - makes many Chinese adults take dating seriously with a clear marriage goal. Financial status is another crucial factor in partner choices, especially for females. Nearly 60 percent of Chinese considered betrothal gifts necessary for getting married, and the value varies from 10,000 yuan to over 500,000 yuan. Besides a stable career and betrothal gifts, purchasing a house is generally perceived as a prerequisite for marriage. These ideals make it harder to find the perfect match.

Many local companies have scoped out opportunities in the online dating and adult product e-commerce sectors. With 200 million singles in China, online dating and matchmaking is a multi-billion-yuan business, currently dominated by Baihe Jiayuan, with over six million monthly active users.

Sex in China

Undoubtedly, traditional values remain a heavy influence on Chinese sexual culture. Until 2017, sex education was not officially introduced in school. Nearly 60 percent of Chinese received their sexual enlightenment by searching on the internet. Furthermore, premarital sex and casual sex are less common.

However, along with the progress of sexual liberation, sex is no longer a taboo for many young Chinese. Some 65 percent of university students in China agreed to sex before making marriage vows, while nearly 30 percent had had casual sex experience. As a result, online adult product sales have been booming over recent years. Social stigma at brick-and-mortar retail stores results in more people opting for online purchases of sex toys. Among the top e-retailers who are tackling the not-so-discreet demand for sex toys, Zui Qing Feng, Touch, and Orange were the key market players.

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