5 Fascinating Stereotypes of Western Women in China

After years of living in China, there’s one thing I’ve learned – many of the locals, including the local men, have some rather fascinating ideas about Western women. What stereotypes come into their minds when they look upon a face like mine? Here are 5 stereotypes about Western women that I’ve personally encountered during my time in China.

Stereotype #1: Western women are sluts and like to sleep around.

(photo by Joel Gillman via Flickr.com)

Many moons ago when I first set foot in China, I went with an American female colleague I’ll call Sheila to a nightclub just around the corner from the school where we taught. The plan was to relax over a few beers, maybe dance, and just try to unwind after the end of an exhausting semester.

What I didn’t count on, however, was all of the leering we were subjected to in that club – especially when we decided to dance. There was even a guy who kept purposely trying to touch me in ways that, well, were completely out of bounds for a stranger. I remember storming into the bathroom, where I took refuge for part of the night (before deciding to ditch the place…something I should have done earlier). All the while I kept wondering, just who do they think I am?

A slut, as it turns out. Or even a Russian prostitute. (See my post on Stereotypes About Couples of Chinese Men-Western Women for more on this.)

It took me years to learn that some Chinese men automatically assume Western women love to sleep around or are simply easy sex for the taking.

I blame it in part on the ubiquitous Hollywood movies and TV you’ll find in China at the local DVD vendor or online, where Western women’s sex lives often turn into a revolving door of one-night stands and disposable boyfriends.

Of course, we’re not all sluts. As I’ve written before in the post Western women in China are NOT all sluts:

…the majority of Western women are just looking for that ONE guy we can settle down with. A soulmate. That best friend we can fall in love with. Or, to borrow from Jerry Maguire, someone to whom we can say “you complete me.” And that takes time — as in, getting to know someone as a friend first, and then upgrading to “dating” that person. But sorry, that usually doesn’t happen in one date, or even one week.

But it’ll take some time before everyone in China gets that message.

Unfortunately, I personally knew a Western woman who was almost raped by a taxi driver in Shenyang. I was also once sexually assaulted in China.

So, to all the foreign ladies out there in China, please be careful whenever you’re out and about.

Stereotype #2: Western women don’t care about family as much as Chinese women do.

That amazing Winter Solstice dinner you had at the family home in China? Nobody gives a damn about it.

I’ve faced my share of rejections and breakups with Chinese men in China. And there’s a particular one that I’ve encountered on a couple of occasions – the guy who tells you his family could never accept a Western woman.

There could be a lot of reasons why the family would be against us. Certainly if they buy into the above-mentioned slut stereotype, that wouldn’t exactly make us your number one choice for a new daughter-in-law. Sometimes it’s just a matter of worrying about those cultural differences (i.e.: how will we raise the future children?). But I believe sometimes Chinese families don’t want Western women coming into their lives because of another stereotype – that, supposedly, we don’t care enough about family. Not like the Chinese do.

Well, it’s not hard to imagine where people would get this idea. The same aforementioned Hollywood movies and TV – promoting “the Western woman as slut” stereotype – do us no favors in this department. Add to that the popular belief that Westerners toss their elderly into cold, impersonal nursing homes instead of caring for them in the family. Plus, the Chinese people often see Westerners — including women like me — as more independent. Surely, the independent young woman who left her family back in America to come to China couldn’t care that much about them?

The fact is, most of us are just like the Chinese – we care about our families too…sometimes, even, in ways that seem very Chinese. For example, my paternal grandfather lived with my father and stepmother for the last years of his life, and my maternal grandmother still enjoys care at home from her children. My dad and stepmom also provide day care for their granddaughter during the weekdays, echoing the way Yeye and Nainai often take care of the grandchildren here in China. And there have been times in my life when family members helped me in times of need with a little money.

Nowadays, though I live far away from my family, they still remain close to my heart. I regularly Skype with my dad and stepmom. I send gifts and greetings back home to my relatives, and e-mail with them from time to time. Though I wouldn’t easily admit it, I do look forward to the day when I can return to Cleveland, Ohio once again and see them all.

I’d like to think there’s a deeply filial side to my personality. Maybe it’s no surprise, then, that during our wedding ceremony, John’s father actually called me “filial” in a speech welcoming me into the family.

Stereotype #3: Western women don’t care that much about material things (like having a home, car and lots of money upon marriage), so you don’t have to work as hard.

No house? No problem…we can just live in the wilderness! 😉

Several years ago, I shared the financial and material realities of my marriage to John in post titled, Marriage in China is Home, Car, Money?:

We faced “Money” all the time — hadn’t we survived summer 2006, when some months I never knew when the checks from my new business would come in, and wondered what bills to pay and what to leave aside? Hadn’t we just managed to scrounge the cash together for plane tickets? When it came to “Car,” we were just grateful that our secondhand 1991 Toyota station wagon — teeter-tottering with every bump on its barely-there shocks — still ran after some 170,000-plus miles. And as for “Home,” we felt lucky to manage the rent on our place — owning just wasn’t in the cards for us yet.

Even today, we still don’t own our own apartment. We’re far from wealthy. We sold our car before moving to China and still haven’t the means to purchase one yet.

People who know of all this often say my husband is so lucky to have me as his wife. After all, they believe my story proves what they’ve thought about Western women — that we don’t care about all those material things.

That if you’re a guy like John, you don’t have to work nearly as hard as you would for a Chinese woman.

(It’s totally nuts!)

Maybe I am different from many Chinese women, who expect their men to have a home, car and enough money before marriage. But that doesn’t mean I never want a home, car or money. I’m just willing work with my husband to get there — because he has always wanted to work hard for our future together.

In other words, I wouldn’t be pleased to be with a guy who just wanted to freeload on me.

Plus, it’s not as if Western women don’t care about these things. Just consider what Ember Swift wrote about her own husband:

When I first met Guo Jian, he was one of the few Chinese people I’d come across who had a car—young people, that is. Especially in the world of musicians who make so little per gig, cars are rare here. He was working with a famous Chinese rock star at the time, though, and he had become pretty famous himself as a result of that initial association, so I figured he just made a fair bit of money and that he was able to afford it. It wasn’t a new car, but it was his.

I also discovered early on that the apartment he lived in was also his. He owned it, he told me, when he first invited me for tea and I had a glimpse at his spotless abode. (Oh, how he tricked me into thinking he was a neat freak!) And, about his possessing property, I am a bit ashamed to say that I was impressed. I knew even then that housing is very expensive in Beijing, particularly compared to the average wage. I immediately viewed him as stable, mature, and financially secure.

There you go.

So to all the would-be bums out there, sorry – we’re not interested!

Stereotype #4: Chinese men will never be able to sexually satisfy Western women.

(photo by Mario Izquierdo via Flickr.com)
(photo by Mario Izquierdo via Flickr.com)

A driver in Beijing once told me about how he broke it off years ago with his Russian girlfriend. When I asked why, he provided a shocking reason – her supposedly insatiable libido. He even told me that Chinese men could never possibly satisfy Western women in THAT department, so why even try?

Ridiculous, I know.

It’s bad enough that Westerners promote that incredibly offensive sexless/dickless stereotype of Asian men. Men in Asia don’t need to pile it on by essentially shooting themselves in the genitals.

Trust me guys, judging by my experiences and those I’ve heard about through the hundreds of Western women with Chinese men I’ve connected with, your member can rock our world just fine.

Stereotype #5: Western women are stronger than Chinese women.


A Chinese female friend once said to me, “Western women don’t need to do zuo yuezi because you’re much stronger than us.”

Zuo yuezi, for those of you who don’t know about this, is the month-long confinement that new mothers generally observe in China after birthing their child. During that time, they rest, eat nourishing foods, and usually have assistance with the new baby (often from their mother or mother-in-law). It’s an extremely important recuperation custom for new mothers in China.

Now, zuo yuezi is not a tradition in most Western countries. But it’s not because the women are so strong they don’t need a rest! According to Taiwanxifu, it’s mainly a matter of money and priorities:

When I first began writing about zuo yuezi, some readers were aghast at the cost. One friend, with whom I shared my post about the cost of postpartum confinement centers, thought that the hotel-like accommodation was only for the extremely wealthy.  Actually, while the per night tariff is not cheap, many people I know have stayed at them for a month or longer after having a baby.  Others have spent between US$1,000 and US$2,000 a month on special home delivered postpartum meals.

Why is there instead a perception in Western cultures that it is wrong to spend money (and time) on a woman’s recovery?  If a husband loves his wife, why wouldn’t he want her to have the best care?  And if she loves herself, why doesn’t she demand it?

….getting someone to come in and help the mother with cooking, cleaning and looking after baby so that she can get some sleep?  What extravagance!  Why, people would think she was lazy, or that she was a negligent mother who could not perform her duties.  Real mothers prove themselves by feeding through the night, changing dirty nappies, cleaning up vomit and doing several loads of washing.  Then they put on some lipstick and try to look glamorous as they entertain guests.

Unfortunately, most supermums fizzle out eventually.  In my case, it took less than a month with first baby before I began to get worn out and very cranky.

Taiwanxifu, who is Australian, clearly wasn’t some “supermum” who could just power through things after giving birth (which is why she did a modified zuo yuezi for her second baby). Canadian Ember Swift also did modified zuo yuezi after giving birth both times.

It’s kind of crazy that the absence of zuo yuezi in Western countries could lead people to conclude Western women must be stronger – though it’s not the first time I’ve heard this sort of thing.

People in China also claim Westerners are tough because we’re taller and larger than a part of the population here in China — with some even attributing this physical difference to diet (that Westerners supposedly consume loads of dairy and red meat). Naturally, this leads to bizarre conversations among friends. For example, one of our friends here in China proudly announced she planned to feed her toddler lots of cheese, because it’s supposedly the “food of champions” for foreigners. All the while I kept thinking to myself, where did she learn this nonsense?

Trust me guys, we’re not superwomen…though we can be “super women” to date and marry! 😉

What do you think? What stereotypes have you heard about Western women when you’ve been in China? 

59 Replies to “5 Fascinating Stereotypes of Western Women in China”

  1. Ah, just the right list to whet the appetite of Asian guys for western women! But really, quite true some of the stereotypes of western women you listed. We here have more or less the same views of western women. Sexually 随便 , not family oriented, and too independent to our taste, etc. Sadly a lot, I think, has to do with the celluloid portrayals of western women. Just like the typical ones of effeminate Asian guys. It is quite unfortunate, but stereotyping does leave one handicapped sometimes. I guess on the individual basis, one just have to be open to discover for oneself whether stereotypes are what they are in truth. A good piece, Jocelyn.

  2. The stereotype about western women being slutty is something that has really bothered me for a long time. I agree with you that Hollywood has had a lot to do with that portrayal of us, but has anyone else noticed the same trend in Chinese media? Not just tv and movies, but commercials and advertisements. Any advertising that involves anything remotely sexual, such as underwear or condoms usually involves a white woman. I think there’s been a huge increase in this kind of association in recent years and it has had a negative impact. 11 years ago, when I first went to China it wasn’t unusual to be stared at, but a man who would actually grab me or follow me home or outright ask me to have sex with him was far more rare than it is now. I’d been thinking about writing a post about this as well, but maybe I don’t need to now!
    Of course, everything else you wrote was dead on as well, but the slut stereotype affects my day to day life far more. Great post.

  3. Jocelyn,

    That’s why I love your type of women! I said many times here that you need women who will work together with you to build your dreams with you. I just don’t like people who always base everything on materialistic things. sometimes, you need the timing and the right business or the right job in order to be rich. No matter how hard you work, you won’t be rich if you don’t have what I mentioned. Yes, don’t give too much pressure on chinese men because we might go crazy.

  4. Another interesting topic!

    I am a bit familiar with all of these. As far as women’s strength and things such as zuo yuezi go, I think it’s very complicated because traditional Chinese medicine comes into play. No matter how strong I am perceived, I am often scolded by Chinese for eating cold things, walking around barefoot, etc. Zuo yuezi was a complete nightmare for me, though I do see the value in letting a woman recover after giving birth. But I guess that’s more a topic for a different discussion.

    Let’s talk about sex. . . I think at the heart of things, Chinese women and western women are not very different. People have different likes and dislikes and completely different libidos. I think Hollywood paints us as being slutty, but the truth is, most westerners date A LOT compared to many Chinese people. We often start having partners younger and get married later. Many of my western friends have sexual partners in the double digits, though most (if not all) of their lovers were NOT casual or one night stands. And with experience, also comes a certain amount of “wisdom” (hopefully) so maybe that’s why we can be difficult to satisfy?

    In the end, it’s important not to make too many assumptions. Attitudes towards sex and family vary a lot between cultures, but they also vary a lot from person to person.

  5. My thing here is that “Western women are not all sluts” presupposes that “slut” is really a thing – that a woman who does have an active and varied sex life is a “slut” and a “good” woman just wants one guy (making the girl who wants to try the buffet before ordering one entree a “bad” girl).

    That’s not right. It’s okay to be a sexually active woman and behave in a way that some backward-thinking folks (and I don’t mean to imply any race here – certainly America is full of these people) would call “slutty”…it doesn’t make you a bad person. It just makes you a person with different sexual desires and priorities and it’s nobody’s goddamn business and if they judge you, that’s their own narrowmindedness and sexism (many of them don’t clutch their pearls about men sleeping around – only girls are “sluts”) talking, not anything wrong with you.

    So my issue here wouldn’t be “not all Western women are sluts” but “it’s really crappy of you to think a woman who makes sexual choices you don’t approve of is a ‘slut’. Grow up!”

    Also, I agree that we love family just as much as a person in Chinese culture does. But…come on, we do show it differently. If you lived abroad and your parents said “okay you’ve had your fun, now you have to come back to take care of us”, would you? Maybe maybe not, but if you came from that culture you’d be far more likely to do so without even questioning whether you might disobey. We don’t generally send our parents money, and are not expected to buy them cars or upgrade their living quarters (through buying a new apartment or decorating their old one) when we become adults (in turn, our parents wouldn’t take it as a given that they should pay our university fees or buy us an apartment or car if they are able whereas in China they well might). A Western wife is not as likely to obey her mother-in-law (certainly a Chinese wife might defy her MIL, it’s just more likely that she won’t – I’m trying to avoid stereotyping as much as possible here). In the West if my mother-in-law gets in my grill I could reasonably expect my husband to tell her to back off and support me at all times, making decisions for us as a family unit rather than us as we fit into a larger family unit to which we are somewhat beholden. I could reject the status of “zhang xi” if I’m married to the eldest son, and refuse to take on family responsibilities that I don’t want. We could decide not to prioritize his family for every major holiday and instead announce that “this year we’re going to the wife’s family”. In China these things surely can and do happen, but they go against the expectations of the culture.

    We love our family just as much, but we don’t generally obey them as much. We just don’t.

    And there is some culture shock to be dealt with there if you marry into a Chinese family and find that you don’t want to do things their way, whereas they might expect a daughter-in-law to always say yes.

    1. @Jenna Cody, that’s why an Asian guy will try to avoid a person like the ones you mentioned. A ‘slut’ according to one definition is one with many casual partners. But, whether that is right, okay or not, depends on how one see it. But such a one is still called a ‘slut’. We can embrace a slut and see nothing about it. Others might not. Unfortunately or not, the term ‘slut’ has acquired a negative halo about it if you like and as it is, few find that attractive. Still, I am not going to flog the issue. Others, like you, see having casual partners an exercise in choice and nothing wrong with that. So be it.

  6. With regard to the slut stereotype for Western women in China, Hollywood and the Western media more broadly certainly play major role, but that’s not the only reason. The stereotype also stems from the fact that the Western society in general has a more liberal attitude toward matters of sex and romantic relations and Western women as well as Western men exercise their right to indulge in sexual activities with greater freedom than their non-Western counterparts. To be sure, many Chinese people mistakenly take this liberal attitude to an extreme, but the basic assumption of the average Western woman being more “open-minded” in comparison with the average Chinese woman is not wrong. Perhaps this will change once the Chinese women have had their own sexual/feminist revolution.

    It’s also worth noting that the Chinese are hardly alone in having this stereotype. Many Western women, for example, will tell you about their experience of being approached for cybersex by Korean men on KakaoTalk when they simply wanted to practise the Korean language.

  7. Copy-paste this and then replace “China” or “Chinese”, Japan and Japanese and many people wouldn’t bat an eyelid. A lot of the stereotypes are similar and lead to similar reactions/situations. :/
    Regarding the sleeping around though, from what I have understood, Japanese women are just a lot quieter about itーexcept during joshi-kai (girls’ nights out). ^^;

    1. @Ri,

      What you say about Japanese women is hilarious but true! But the thing is, from the perspective of many Asian men, the way that Japanese women go about their promiscuity is kind of endearing as opposed to slutty. I think it’s because with Japanese women it is not done with the authoritative “I am woman, hear me roar!” undertone that is associated with Western women.

  8. All these kind of stereotypes are always really annoying. Of course I have myself some stereotypes in my mind but usually I remind myself that I can’t say anything about other people (from other countries, different regions, religion etc.) when I haven’t met at least a big bunch of them. There are always few people who perfectly fit a certain stereotype but those are just so few of the big pictures that they can be disregarded….

  9. I have definitely encountered all of these.

    Regarding the slut thing, obviously the leering and groping guys are awful. But I can’t completely object to the stereotype because honestly, like most westerners in my opinion, I have had more partners and dated more casually than the average Chinese girl. All in the name of finding the right person eventually of course. If others judge those actions as immoral, I don’t care. Some of my very conservative friends in the U.S. judge me too. I don’t completely agree with their value system, so I have to accept that they may not agree with mine.

    The family thing actually bothers me more. In addition to different ways of expressing love and care culturally, I think to some extent this comes from the fact that you are the traveler and they are the ones who stayed home (at least, I think that’s true for most readers of this blog). What I mean is, us foreigners in China are separated from our families, so Chinese people who have never been to the West don’t witness us caring about each other. A Chinese friend of mine once said, “Americans love to live overseas, but Chinese people couldn’t do that because their parents would miss them too much”. Which is obviously ridiculous – LOTS of Chinese people live overseas, and most Americans don’t. But from her Chinese never-left-her-home-province perspective, this seemed true.

    I’m also driven crazy by the “westerners are stronger” stereotype, especially because it always seems to stem from some idea of genetic racial difference rather than culture or upbringing. I always ask why, if this is true, do Chinese-Americans generally not observe zuo yuezi? And why was my female Chinese CEO able to skip the whole thing without disastrous consequences. I have also heard this same reasoning about why westerners drink cold water, and why we are better at sports (definitely has NOTHING to do with actually playing sports/exercising more).

    Sorry that was really long! After many years in China I have run into these too many times!

  10. Stereotypes are fascinating. I have been told hundreds of times in China that, apart from my physical appearance, I could pass for a Chinese girl because I’m not the “usual foreigner”. For the people who told me that, foreign girls without exception are noisy, chatty and love dancing and clubbing. Well guys, I’m sorry to break your bubble but there are also shy, quiet and not so good at dancing foreign girls.

    I am surprised to read about Chinese guys harassing you or other girls. I have never experienced anything like that, but again maybe it is because I don’t go to clubs often, and when I have gone I was always with male friends.

    I have a friend, when she started dating a Korean one of his friends was very mean to her, after a few weeks this friend explained her that he thought all Western women were like in adult movies and he was afraid she would sleep with his friend and leave him afterwards.

    Regarding the topic of strength, I think it is the perfect excuse Chinese girls have when you question their traditional beliefs haha. When I told my colleagues that during my period I can eat cold things and nothing happens, they say it is because I am stronger, but if they eat cold things during their period they will get sick. Oh well. It reminds me when decades ago in Spain our grandmas were told that if they had a bath during their period they would die…

  11. I agree with Taiwanxifu. One of the reasons many women get depressed after giving birth is because they have to “be strong”. Being strong is not only a stereotype of Western women in China, but in many Western countries, women are actually expected to “be strong”. They are expected to take care of baby, cook and run a household right after giving birth. I like the zuo yuezi approach (taking care of mum is just as important as taking care of the baby).

  12. How about “NO women are sluts”? Slut is a very, very derogatory, misogynistic name thats always been used to shame women for having sex (or any many times, just to dehumanize them and justify the dehumanization by basing it on a woman sex life). It doesnt matter if a woman does have a new man every night, it doesn t matter what she does or who does or how many she does. Consenting adults should be able to enjoy whatever kind,of sex life they want and not be shamed. Men,l certainly arent shamed for their sex life. It bothered me how on ome hand you say the stereotyping is wrong then say “not all wetern women” which is implyingthat you do think at least some are deserving of tge stereotype.

    1. “It doesnt matter if a woman does have a new man every night, it doesn t matter what she does or who does or how many she does. ”

      If it doesn’t matter who a woman “does” (has sex with), then why are YOU so judgemental of a man who is making a CHOICE about who HE sleeps with. Why are YOU judging a man for not wanting a woman who has slept around? Judgemental attitudes can and do go both ways.

      And scientifically, it DOES matter. Need a list?

      #1: a woman who has had many sexual partners in the past is statistically proven to be vastly more likely to cheat on their partner (perhaps it’s merely an indicator of libido, but nonetheless true).

      #2: a woman who is “sexually liberated” and sleeps around casually is extremely likely to have STDs. The majority of non-virgin women have STDs. 110 million people in the United States have an STD. Monogamy is very underrated and casual sex very overrated. It’s like eating sugar. Sure it tastes good, but it hurts your health, you’ll regret the gained weight, and it may give you a disease (diabetes).

      #3: a woman with the mindset you have is not well-disposed towards being loyal to the one she is dating.

      If anything there is not enough slut shaming to BOTH genders (men should not be praised for sleeping around, this only encourages the spread of STDs and meaningless sex that causes unplanned pregnancies, abortions, and other horrible things).

      You can and should decry the double standard. But not for the purpose of removing the stigma from women, but ADDING it to men. “manslut” is a fitting term that seems to be working well these days.

  13. I’ve experienced all of these! 🙁

    My husband was actually asked recently how long it took to ‘bed me’ and how he could also score a white woman for a romp one night. My husband was so mad he had to physically leave the room. :/

    Some people.

  14. I heard literally every single one of them. I could also add ‘milk cows’ and not ‘dead fish in bed’. I was like ‘what the hell’, but then I thought ‘pity you if you believe in that’. That’s all.
    Great post as always 🙂

  15. You Western female commentators above are so funny sharing your “sexperiences” in China. I cannot help but to laugh a little. We Asian/Chinese males are stereotyped for lacking masculinity and for being emasculated asexual beings, while Western women are stereotyped for being too sexual (i.e. slutty) and for having a voracious appetite for sex. I do not know which one of the two stereotypes is worse. Personally, I prefer to be stereotyped for being too sexual than being emasculated.

    So, I think that you Western girls should enjoy having the better of the two stereotypes.

    1. I’m not in the mood of commenting. But just to give you $0.02 perspective, you’re thinking from Men perspective whereas most of the western women here are thinking from their women hood perspective.

      For men to get the erection, a picture of a sexy girl bending over to give you a better view of their behind is all you need. For women to enjoy the sex, they need
      emotional connections, sensual feeling, bla bla bla.

      Perspectives of both sexes are fundamentally different.

      Players Vs Sluts

      We hear the stories like he was a player when he was young. He now finally settled down with a good wife. That’s common across every society.

      The reputation of “Slut” immensely downgrades the marketability of a woman to find their potential partners to settle down. Of course unless you Fred is looking for some sluts to settle down.

      Only do we reach an era, when your parents proudly say “Now we are relaxed because our son, Fred, finally managed to marry a slut of the town.”, can you categorically say that “You western girls should enjoy having the better of the two stereotypes.”

      By the way, are you nuts by default?

      1. @ RDM

        One has to have a sense of humor in this world or else he/she will be a miserable individual. Thus, I think that the 2 negative stereotypes must be viewed with a sense of humor, or else if one takes these stereotypes too seriously, he or she will not be able to enjoy life.

        I am in agreement that neither of the 2 stereotypes is good for one’s self-esteem. I definitely do not endorse them, but I like to laugh a little.

  16. re “you Western girls should enjoy having the better stereotype.”

    Pretty much anything that starts with “you Western girls should…” or “you [group of people that I don’t belong to] should…”is bound to be cringe-worthy.

  17. Also, to “how about NO women are sluts” – hear hear!

    The idea that the word simply means “someone who has a lot of sexual partners” is false – it is applied only to women, therefore, there’s sexism in the term itself. You don’t hear a lot of people going on about how men are “sluts” – only women get slut-shamed. It’s not right.

    Which is why “so some people just have different values, this is what Asian guys want” is also not quite right. Those same guys would (or do) have whatever sexual adventures they like, if they can find a willing partner (I’d add “or pay one” but I don’t want to further the stereotype that Asian men visit more prostitutes – just note that men around the world do). He wouldn’t call himself a slut, and yet he might have very high expectations that the woman he dates is not a “slut” – see, only she gets shamed for her choices, not him. He can stick it anywhere he likes and nobody will say that makes him an undesireable partner.

    It’s so hypocritical it’s sad. Of those guys (Asian or not) who expect a woman to wait until marriage, or have very few sexual partners, which men held themselves to the same standard? Not many I’d guess.

    Which is why, I’m sorry Jocelyn, but “not all Western women are sluts” is the WRONG conversation to be having.

    1. The constant need to be politically correct all the time gets exhausting. I get what your saying that we shouldn’t use the term “slut,” but we do, as Jocelyn did, and I think it was meant to be tongue in cheek.

      I agree that the double standard is ridiculous, but I do think it’s perfectly fine to want a partner who hasn’t slept around a lot or even who is a virgin, depending on your own sexual experience and values. I would have found it off-putting (and maybe even a deal breaker) to date a guy who had had a lot of casual sex and one night stands. And I do think it is my “goddamn business” to know a bit of the sexual past of someone I’m in a serious relationship with.

      In response to your comment below about gender specific drinks, I thought you might find this interesting: http://www.slate.com/articles/life/drink/2013/12/gender_specific_spirits_cognac_for_men_and_whiskey_for_women_are_dumb_and.html

    2. @ Jenna.

      I am in agreement with you that society has imposed a double standard whereby a woman who sleeps around is labeled a “slut” with a very negative connotation, while a man who sleeps around is complimented for being a “stud.” This is definitely not right. What is good for the goose should be good for the gander also. This is the sad truth about our double standard society.

  18. In Taiwan, most people assume that foreign women love to party and love to drink. I attended a party once hosted by one of my husband’s Taiwanese friends and most were shocked that I only had a glass of wine. Some guys even said ‘But you are a foreigner and foreign girls drink so much.’ I was happy to inform them otherwise.

  19. As far as the Chinese-American thing, Bree, I’ve had many Hong Kong people tell me they believe the strength comes from the environment and food, not the race. They think that Chinese-Americans are much stronger because they grew up in the American environment.

    And while I definitely don’t know how much food and environment affects growth, I have definitely noticed a change here. Most middle-age men in Hong Kong are about the same height as I am, maybe a bit taller or shorter. On the other hand, most teenage guys are my height or much taller. They’re getting bigger! I’ve wondered if a change in diet is affecting this or if there are other factors. Some people I’ve met think it’s because they’re eating more meat and dairy now. But who knows?

  20. Really?

    It’s been my experience in Taiwan that people don’t generally differentiate Western from Taiwanese women in that way (but there are negative stereotypes about foreign men as sex hounds who come here just for fun times with Taiwanese women – also not fair, even if I can see where they got that idea).

    Most people I know/meet are shocked when they find out I drink whiskey, for example, and often straight or in an Old Fashioned, not in some tarted up sugar or sour concoction and that I prefer dark, dry red wine and very dark or amber beers. They associate “women” with “light alcohol” – sweet white wine, fruit beer, cherry blossom or pomelo sake, juicy low-alcohol cocktails – and “men” with the hard stuff: the whiskey, Chivas, XO, red wine, dark beer, expensive sake etc.

    Which is a problematic stereotype in itself, because it’s not right to assume that women always prefer one thing and men always prefer another.

    But, my point is, they assume that because I’m female, regardless of my ethnicity, that I prefer girly alcohol. I’ve had people assume that expensive whiskey I’m buying is for my husband (who doesn’t even like whiskey!), or send my whiskey order to him and his wine order to me, and are surprised when we switch.

    And many Taiwanese friends are surprised to find that Western women can and do drink quite a bit in college. They know Western men do – compared to Taiwan anyway – but seemed to expect that women act like their stereotype of women around the world.

    1. Caucasian girl drinking a lot!!!??? Not a surprise!!! I see too many girls drinking like crazy during my University days!!! But of course not all Caucasian girls drink a lot!!!

  21. Actually, I’m not so sure that it is your “goddamn business” to know the entire sexual history of someone you are in a relationship with. The general outlines, OK. Anything that could cause a health issue, yes. The rest of it. Not actually your business.

    But mainly that’s aimed at people not yet dating – if a guy I might’ve dated (before I married) or any person who thinks they have the right to judge me thinks they have a right to know, and comment on, my sexual history, then no, it’s NOT their goddamn business and they are wrong for judging (just as I’d be wrong to judge someone who wanted to stay a virgin as a prude – that’s also his or her business, not mine). The same goes for someone’s family – eg “son, don’t date a Western woman because…” – not their business what my past is, and if they judge that’s their problem.

    The thing about what you say above – that it’s OK to want a partner who does/doesn’t have a particular sexual past – would be generally fine if the guys who expect a girl not to have had too much history hold themselves and other men to the same standard. Then, like can find like. The ‘traditional values’ types can find each other and the libertines can find each other and that’s okay.

    But…those men often don’t hold themselves to that standard, thinking a woman shouldn’t sleep around, but it’s OK if a man does, or if he does.

    I don’t think that’s ‘tiresome political correctness’, I think it’s just gross. The whole attitude is gross. And I don’t attach it to a particular ethnicity or culture, because you see it around the world.

    I would agree it’s “tongue in cheek” except, I still strongly disagree that the response to “many Chinese think Western women are sluts” should be “not all Western women are sluts”. Rather, “why do you have these tiresome double standards about how women should act?”

  22. Also as above for RDM, you might be surprised to learn that there are men who need more than a booty in the face to get aroused and can really only get it up for women they truly want, and there are women who can be rarin’ to go because she danced with a hot guy in a club.

    Don’t assume things based on gender. You don’t know what everyone thinks or wants. You just don’t.

  23. Great read! My Chinese husband told our doctor that Westerners don’t need to rest as much after having a baby and are stronger because we eat dairy and a varied diet. Even he thinks it’s insane for women to lay in bed for a month without showering and eating the same stupid soup every day. That can’t possibly be nutritious.

  24. I love this post! I agree with all of your points and have encountered each one! (Many times)

    I also agree with a few of your commentors that the word “slut” is extremely problematic in any culture. It is a word that is designed to vilify women’s sexual freedom and autonomy. When (or if?) Chinese ever has that sexual/feminist revolution that we foreign women who live here are all hoping desperately for (!), then I think this stereotype may be overcome. Until then, we shall wait.

    My MIL and I have often argued about two particular stereotypes, one of which you’ve mentioned. It’s the “westerners (both genders) don’t care about our elderly” stereotype. My 95-yr old grandmother lives in a nursing home, but I have to constantly remind her that she lived with my parents for 18 years before she went into a care facility at 91! (Because she was both lonely and needed to much in the way of surveillance.)

    The other is “parents don’t care about their kids after they’re 18” stereotype, and in her case, she’s referencing my mother who condoned my independence at that age. It’s frustrating to say the least! I argue that maybe they cared MORE and so offered a safety net in emergencies, but still gave me the freedom to learn how to live in the world out from under their wings!

    Other stereotypes:
    *Food: that we can’t cook well, that we eat too much in the way of flour-products (面试), that we like all like sweets.. (and you mentioned that we all eat meat and dairy–geesh)
    *Appearance: that we’re all tall, that we all have small faces, that we all have big eyes, that we all have big breasts, that we are all (for the most part) “fatter” than Chinese women…
    * Child Rearing: that we don’t care if our child falls down, that we want to freeze our children (especially their feet), that we don’t care if our kids cry, that we don’t love our children enough to let them sleep with us everyday until they’re 7-10 years old (forcing them to sleep alone–how treacherous!), … I have about a zillion of these!
    * Personality: that we’re all too direct and outspoken, that we’re all stubborn and unyielding, … well, mostly that we’re the opposite to bookish, conservative, shy and accommodating, which is the Chinese female stereotype!

    Geez, this isn’t a comment, it’s a follow-up blog post! Maybe I should write this out! haha!

    As always, great post!

  25. @Jenna,

    If somebody asks me about 7 billions people opinion on “Slut”, I know that I can’t answer on behalf of everyone.

    But if I have to put my opinion based on the majority of straight MEN, I can fairly and surely say that my opinion will count as 99.99% of the time regarding on “Sluts” from the perspective of men. Add more to the discussion on mutual coitus and sexual arousal, libido, again my opinion for most straight MEN erection will count as something worth of considering. I’m talking from the point of a man.

    Now the situation we’re talking about is pre-marital stage. So let’s dig more into that. Shall we?

    You don’t refute my assumption, instead your comment further supported my idea of sexual requirement for both sexes. Booty bounces, bending over your pleasure, spreading your thighs (Reader’s discretion is advised), are what guys want in their sexual fantasy world, no matter which races we’re talking about. Ask any guys if they have had any NUDE pictures of girls in their younger hood.

    Now let’s turn our head to what women wants. Let me ask you, are you used to secretly keep a hot NUDE guy poster in your room when you’re young? Or maybe with their shlong pointing up with their leery eyes starting at you? I’m not being sarcastic here. This is the reality I’m talking about.

    The pre-requisite for sexual arousal for both men and women started off with different paths, and converge into the same zone, and got orgasm (albeit might be at different time), and parted away later.

    Even in your description, you said “Hot” guy in the club, he must be “Hot”. That’s the connection you need. And I also admit here that that’s also the connection that enhances the guys performance as well. To break it down, “a hot sexy” girl will be a plus for a guy who frequents the bar and looking for a one night stand in a club. That works both way.

    What I’m point out here is pre-requisite for a guy and a woman for sexual arousal is generally different. Of course there are certain exception to the rules where a guy can’t get up his big brother because he’s waiting for his true love or a woman who just wants a fling with a random guy in the club. But he’s gotta be “hot” though.

    And I’m assuming “things” based on gender because we’re talking about “sex” and “slut” issues here. I have no idea if a woman likes green color or blue color. That’s out of my imagination.

  26. @Jenny Cody. It is not about fairness. Is there fairness in anything? It is about people’s perception, rightly or wrongly. If they perceive you as a slut, than in their eyes, you are. No amount of trying to disabuse them to your view by your logic or argument is going to change their perception of you. Yes, it is a person’s personal business whether she/he wants to know about your past sexual history if she/he plans to have a relationship with you and it is your personal business, if you want to engage in it, or leave in a righteous huff or whatever. If you are not happy about the term ‘slut,’ get the dictionary guys on your side for a change. And yes, there are people, of either sex, who still much prefer their partners to be less casually sexual. Still, that is talking about preference, not about rights.

  27. @Ordinary Malaysian
    I think you’ve raised some good points. Personal preferences are hard to change and they may not be fair but certainly we have a right to seek particular things out in a partner.

    You bring up a lot of interesting issues. Caring for the elderly in many Western countries is hard as most children (of aging parents) still work. People are often living into their 80s and 90s, going through a long and gradual decline in health. As China develops, I dare say more people will end up in nursing homes for similar reasons.

    Food–yes! So many Chinese are shocked that I am able to cook Chinese food or even cook anything at all. It’s not rocket science and plenty of Chinese people can’t or don’t cook.

    Child rearing in China is definitely an adventure as the ideas about how to properly care for a child differ, sometimes wildly, from the western perspective. There is even a great divide between my m-i-l’s thinking and my husband’s.

  28. That our skin feels bizarrely rough or strange? I had a guy poke my arm to see if the skin texture was as he had heard but he was disappointed to find out it felt the same. I can see where some women might have more arm hair than others but I think he expected something wildly different. This was at work and all my coworkers seemed to know what he was talking about.

  29. @R Zhao & OM… I agree with both of you but I would go a step further and say that there is in fact nothing unfair about what you guys are suggesting. People want what they want, and there’s no reason why they should self-impose a limit on their choices for the ideal partner just because they have slept around. What we’re talking about here is consenting adults making INFORMED decisions about who they want to be with and if a guy has slept with too many women then it’s up to his prospective partner to decide if she wants to be with him – the guy is under no obligation to stick with other “libertines”.

  30. I think westerns come with many more varieties than Asians to begin with. It will bring quite a bit curiosities. Question like, “She has red hair. I wonder ……” Because you are foreign, Chinese naturally think they can apply different cultural rules on you. I don’t think many chinese men think about gender issues the same way. Even a lot of chinese women don’t necessarily feel the same way. Culture plays a big role in this. I don’t think China will become as individualistic as US. So chinese will probably always incline to stick together no matter what.

    Big part of the problem is education. Countries like China has been under communism so long. There was little sex education. I don’t think the sexual revolution just happened. It came after society became more affluent and more advances being made about sex as a science subject. With more ignorance about sex, comes more curiosities.

    Dating culture does not exist in Asia. At least it is not the same context as in US. The sexual revolution has been happening in urban areas in China. It is quiet.
    The experimental age for sex is much shorter lived compared to some other countries. For women, you are expected to marry at a certain age. Good girls don’t kiss and tell. It is probably remain truer in China.

    I do think men in Asia is more sexist. They can get away with being sexist easily. Sexual freedom has come earlier to western women. Once you can display a different attitude comparing to Chinese women, you are easily mistaken being loose.

    One last point I want to bring up is being “loose”. Chinese men have this idea western women are loose down there because those women are bigger boned in general. That is not true. I do think when people start to have more opportunity to mingle, the myth will be gone.

    It is too bad people have been trying to fit you in a box. Something I have to deal with constantly being a minority too. Sucks to be different sometimes.

  31. Hmm none do apply to me. One thing I am kind of confused about is this:”#3 Western women don’t care that much about material things (like having a home, car and lots of money upon marriage), so you don’t have to work as hard.”

    I often assumed that those particular things are very expensive, and the way I think is this: I’m not expecting for someone to be millionaire and I don’t care about that lifestyle, but stability and professionalism is very important for me. And if they don’t have one of those things but are going to work for them, then its okay by me.

  32. Strange, despite frequent articles about how western women in China..most of them at least (according to Jocelyn’s Huffington Post article)…wont date Asian men, a stereotype that “all western white women are racists” is not included in the list. By the way the Chinese men I know who wont ask white women out on a date here in the East Coast of the US adhere to the stereotype that white women are racists…at least your average white American woman.

  33. @ David.

    I cannot subscribe to the view that Chinese men view the average white American woman with the stereotype that she is a racist. There may be some hesitation to pursue the American girl but certainly not see her as a racist. This is not accurate.


  34. Let me go to china to test out if those western women are really racist or not. ahhaahahhaha. Why you think like this because it’s built into you already. David, don’t think like this man. Try it but don’t assume that all people are racists.

  35. @Fred…Agree..definitely not in coastal California, Hawaii or the West Coast. But, here in Virginia, it is about 50-50 and a bit south of here the ratio is a lot worse.

    1. I noticed many ladies on this forum stating that in the beginning, they never thought they gonna date a Chinese man even they were already in China.

      Why is that the case? Is there DISCRIMINATION involved???

  36. Wow, never knew about #1.

    Maybe the reason why they think we don’t care about material things is because lately a lot of young chinese woman are all about money and much more demanding than we are. It’s all relative.

    Stereotype 5: Totally due to feminism in western countries..

  37. Unfortunately, as I have indicated previously, I think it’s really the readily available hardcore material that’s largely responsible for how Asians (and guys in the West, as well) view women as “sluts.” And those guys getting “touchy-feely,” they remind me of a video depicting “fans” at an Adult entertainment convention, putting their grubby hands on a popular XXX-rated movie actress who understandably tried to back away.

    My advice to “Western” women, interested in interacting with “non-Western” guys who do not share your culture and values. Just be very, very careful. And don’t expect them to “change” their ways and their mindset, once they establish a romantic liaison with you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.