Sex in Korea

This article, Sex in Korea, is probably not what you are thinking it will be, but it will definitely crush any illusions you might have from the world of Korean dramas or the world of Korean idols where Koreans just don’t have sex, let alone kiss or date.

Except for in Soulmate and 12 Men in A Year, my two favorite Korean dramas, because they were so real and honest rather than JUST being ridiculously romantic. So, let’s start from the bottom– prostitution, and work our way up to pleasure and procreation!


Prostitution

Prostitution, or “host and hostess” culture, is still very popular in Korea. Later on, I’ll also talk about clubs, nights, and “spas”, because I think its important to know about them– and the differences between them, before going to them.

Last summer I lived in Nonhyundong, which is an entertainment district right next to the business district of Yeoksam. I lived just a block or two behind this building with a bunch of decorative(?) holes in it.

"New" Nonhyun Exit #3~

How convenient for all those businessmen next door– and for me, because we were all just minutes away from tons of karaokes, restaurants, bars, and clubs. Literally just minutes.

I remember being SO surprised by the abrupt change from my quiet street to Gangnam Road’s busy street to the bright, crowded street behind it as my dongsaeng showed me around Nonhyundong for the first time.

g1

What was behind it~

However, my oppa in America actually told me not to live in Nonhyundong, because it was his old neighborhood, and he knew exactly what it was all about.

But, when I finally arrived in Korea and had to find a place to live, it was my best bet after I spent an entire day in a hot car on a hot day with a NOT so hot Realtor and didn’t find many places in Gangnam that fit my budget AND my lifestyle.

At first I didn’t pay much attention to my surroundings, but after I talked to another oppa that I met in Korea who said he hated Nonhyundong, because it was a “red-light” district, I started to.

I started to notice the prolonged glances from businessman and ajusshis late at night when I was dressed up and waiting for a friend to meet me and just happened to be on the street corner of Exit #3 (the exact place with the holes in the wall from above).

… And the advances and invitations to “hang out” from them when I was on my way to the local convenient store to get a half pint of ice cream– again, always late at night. And, when I finally saw a girl in my neighborhood wearing very Very VERY short shorts and heels, I realized just what my oppas meant.

Pleasure

A sex toy vending machine at a love motel in Korea~

Nightlife in Korea– and the rest of the world, is all about pleasure. After all, after a boring day at school or a hard day at work, people want pleasure. In Korea, pleasure means cafes, restaurants, and bars with delicious food and often expensive drinks, as well as crowded clubs, quirky karaokes, and– of course, sex.

Hooking up happens, even in Korea. However, a vast majority of Koreans live with their parents, and some continue to do so even after marriage. This makes going home together a little hard to do.

So, that’s why there are lovmotels that are open 24 hours a day, and they have vending machines that sell sex toys (and more), too. Pleasure is a part of every sexual relationship in Korea, both casual sexual relationships and serious sexual relationships.

So, there are people who are one night stands. There are also people who are casual lovers, and a person who is a casual lover is known as a “섹스 파트너,” a borrowed word with a questionable connotation that literally means sex partner.

Then, there are people who are more serious lovers, known as aein, which is a word also used for a boyfriend, namja chingu, or girlfriend, yoja chingu.

Love11It’s good be aware of the different relationship statuses that exist in Korea. That way, you will also be aware of your own status in a relationship in Korea and avoid getting confused, embarrassed, or hurt!

One of my Korean girl friends told me that she lost her virginity in a love motel that was actually very close to her university. Her ex-boyfriend took her there to celebrate their 100th day together, but it wasn’t exactly what she had been expecting.

So, just so you will know what to expect, check out this video on love motels; and, after watching it, I just realized that I stayed in one last summer!

Procreation

On the other hand, sex is also a topic that is approached very differently in Korea, especially once you get outside of prostitution or nightlife. In Korea, sex is also seen as procreation– a natural way to build families, which are a very important part of Korean culture.

So, on TV and in the real, you will often hear people ask married couples about their honeymoon and their married life after it. In fact, birth, stamina, and even whether or not a couple had sex that morning is a topic of frequent conversation– at least among older generations and in the context of marriage.

For example, on Korean variety show The Human Condition, a cast member had recently gotten married. He arrived late to that morning’s opening, and several of his fellow cast members asked him whether or not he was late because “a good thing had happened that morning,” or “if he had been busy working on making his second generation.”

Jeju Island even has an outdoor sculpture park devoted to sex! For more on Jeju Island’s “Love Land,” go HERE.  And HERE.

^^~

In addition, 속궁합, sokgoonghap, is a word used to describe whether or not a man and woman “match” in bed; this matching is usually done BEFORE marriage, which might explain why so many Koreans (at least more than I would have expected) have shotgun weddings.

My ex-boyfriend– Korean, once said something about having babies first and getting married later, too. I literally lifted my hand and told him to put a ring on it. He got upset and asked me why I didn’t want to have his babies, and I was thinking to myself, “Are we really having this conversation?” 

We’re not even supposed to talk about or have sex, right? Wrong. But, for more on sex in Korea, including topics from pornography to “pet boys” to date rape, check out this gritty documentary series on Dramafever.com: Shocking Life – Sex.


Finally, learn about sex and make an informed decision about having (or not having) sex, whether you choose to do so in America or in Korea!

Next up, Dating in Korea!

About these ads

2 responses to “Sex in Korea

  1. I really like this blog post I live in Korea and i amblack. And I must say I’ve seen both ugly coins of dating and sex in Korea I’ve been on a couple dates and (for the hell of it) had slept with two guys I met at clubs. It’s really hard when you expect a guy to not want to do anything and he’s ripping off your clothes :|.. And a lot of guys try to do this when I just want friendship first and even if I did or didn’t have sex with some eventually they stop messaging me for possibly ever? Any advice on stuff like that?

    • Gosh, I have so much to say…

      The first thing to know about dating in Korea– its like you have to learn from scratch, and it can suck at first for sure. Why? Well, Korean guys tend to think American girls are really easy and just want to have sex, so it can be hard to show them you’re not what they think you are because of language barriers, culture barriers, etc.

      For example, Korean guys you meet on the street or at a cafe will ask for your number, but who really knows what they want. I’ve had good and bad experiences with that!
      If you meet a Korean guy at the club, after they will ask to just come in for tea or to use the bathroom, and if you say yes, then that means you want to have sex. I learned this fast, and I also learned to send them away after they walked me home, which helped me become friends with one amazing guy I met, but we didn’t meet at a club!

      I’ve learned that “playing hard to get” is better than “being easy” or “putting out.” Especially if you want to actually DATE. Its just cultural differences when it comes to relationships. Learn how to “mildang,” or “push and pull.”

      One thing I have to add, if you don’t speak Korean, and if he doesn’t speak English, then that might also be part of it. I know I had good relationships with Korean guys because I could speak Korean and adjust to them. I’ve never met a Korean guy who could adjust to me (except my ex)… And I’ve met A LOT of Korean guys.

      In the meantime, check out this post:

      http://westerngirleasternboy.wordpress.com/2013/07/08/my-summer-in-korea-part-3-dating/

      Email me or respond, we can definitely talk more! I’ll also be in Korea soon, so maybe we should go out or talk in person, too:)

What's on your mind? Be sure to let me know here!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s