Walking to my apartment I heard her casually utter I was trying to seduce her.  But her tone was that of mock disgust.   She was wearing white jeans.  They weren’t tight, merely form fitting. Her legs nicely filling them out.  She was a dark girl, which for us Westerners was nothing to detract from.    

Indeed, it actually denoted a wisp of legitimacy to her.  Chinese girls are so fascinated with having those mythical, highly sought after porcelain features.   Refusing to accept  the fact Chinese girls tan so easily.   Of course I knew her darkly tanned features had not come from the beach, or time strategically spent at poolside. 

She was a peasant.

I tried to imagine her parents.  Were they dark, sinewy and taut, wearing those floppy wide brim hats in the fields?

Here in Shenzhen one could frequently see well dressed peasant girls walking arm in arm with their plump peasant mothers.  One could hear the local dialect in passing.   I remember a story of a girl’s father who had come to town(Shenzhen, city of 14 million) and while out on a brief stroll had become lost.  No cell phone in hand, unable to speak Mandarin, he was finally able to convince a good Samaritan to allow him to dial his daughter.

I don’t recall how I met this particular China Girl, though I’m sure it was in a club.   And I can’t recall where we met up the following day.   And I don’t remember her name.  And I won’t make one up. But it was a 15 minute walk to the apartment, full of small talk and false protest(see above).  I recall to being a bit taken aback by her banter.   I’d never heard it before, I guess.

Upon entering my apartment I’m sure I had offered her something, though once again I cannot recall what it may have been.  (Tea, good ole boiled water?)

It was a mildly sunny day and she enjoyed looking out the window, onto the distant streets below.   

I’m sure it took her awhile to take everything in, the view of the distant green hills, the vast concrete square below, always empty during the day, due to the heat.   I lived on the top floor, which supposedly had its privilege but in future I decided the lower floors were always best.  Top floors had no water pressure, the showers were cold and the sun incessantly beat down on the roof.

She was quiet, an introvert, and quite frankly was a boring conversationalist.  She had little to no charisma and her face was always devoid of expression.   I was able to quickly ascertain standing before me was a beautiful young girl in her mid twenties, full bodied with a probable full body tan as well.   But with little to no self esteem, naturally quiet, used to obeying commands from others.   And probably a boring conversationalist.  This China Girl would never be a leader, and yet I could tell she was fine with that.

She mentioned she’d never been with a laowai before.

I asked where she was from, but I can’t recall her answer.  Like everyone else, she’d been in Shenzhen a few years, and had come alone.   Once again, I wondered to myself what was the more harrowing trip?  Taking the Titanic on its maiden voyage or simply coming to Shenzhen alone, looking for work?

She had a job of course, and you guessed it, I don’t recall what it was.

As she was around 25, I finally asked the marriage question.  Her eyes lit up.  It was around this age many a China Girl will go back home, leave Shenzhen behind, and start the process of meeting a potential suitor, perhaps more than one.   Many for some daft reason willingly, happily return, ready not only to get married, but spread their legs and have children.   I’ve met a few, one of which is an Ivy League graduate, whose sole purpose it seems in life is to procreate.   I mean, they just can’t wait to add to the surplus population.

But most simply use the age of 25 as a trigger.  A way to gracefully “bow out” of a job they disdain.  Even more simply stay put, refusing to just  “go back” home.   And why would they?  Remember that old WW1 ditty?(“how can you keep them on the farm when they’ve been to Paree”)

“Look at me Ma.  Why in the hell would I want to go back to my stinking village with its open sewer, roaming chickens and no running water, zero bright lights after 7pm, when I’ve survived Shenzhen?  I might be a nobody here, but I don’t wanna be anything there….”

I frequently found myself talking with the Chinese on this subject.  It was a topic all young Chinese are quite versed at.  Rather, I liked to listen.  Working in the factory all day, I was always surrounded by slick Salesmen, or gritty Engineers.  Or quiet QC types that mumbled more than spoke.   The noise of machines, the walking in heavy shoes, the smell of a factory day in and day out that I took for granted as much as I did the breathing of air.  Forgive me, but during my down time, I much preferred the company of women in my quiet apartment.   And their stories.

And standing before me, as I sat on the sofa was a typical China Girl.  Trying to survive, believing she had done just that, with no aspirations in life rather than just swimming with the crowd.  It would be too obvious to call her a simpleton.  And unfair.  She seemed marginally content in Shenzhen, and in my view was happy enough to live day by day. 

I always ask myself the question,

“Where will I be next year?” 

“Will I be better off?”

“Will I meet my goals?”

Not this Peasant Girl.   I sensed she was free of the burden of career aspirations.   Knowing she’d never be rich, but not at all concerned with any long term “plan”.    There is something to be said for that.  I myself remain a long term prisoner.

The problem was others had “aspirations” for her.    And chief among them was her mother.

As you may have guessed by now, China Mom wanted her daughter to get married.  Now.  Pronto.
As I alluded to above, the bond between China Girl and China Mom is particularly close.  Want to know more about China Girl?  Meet her mom!  Understand the way she thinks and without having met her daughter you’ll already know 90% of China Girls mental makeup.  The dreams, the fears, her goals in life.  But I think without being intellectually lazy I can readily proclaim,

“Their all the same.” 

All China Mom’s want their kids to get married young, have kids….become grandmothers…repeat cycle.   This institutionalized way of thinking is “the reason” why China’s population is so big today.   Changing this cultural mentality would do more to drop China’s population than any new fancy contraceptive ever could. 

Ask any proper China Girl her aspirations today and without thinking, even if it’s not true, she’ll utter


It’s a lazy thing to say, but unless one probes, what would you expect them to blurt out?

If you go back(way back) into the archives you’ll recall that China Mom herself lives a horrid existence. Sex free.  Long since devoid of romanticism(this is a young person’s emotion) or any sense of exhilaration.   Never mind China Mom might not even be 50 yet.(!)

An enormous swath of China simply lives for one thing:  their Children.  One could even say through their children.   They have long, long since stopped living for themselves.   Their only purpose in life is to berate their own children into having….children.  And that means marriage. 

China Mom’s life…her remaining years on this Earth depend upon her kids having kids. 

China Mom’s Face depends upon it!  Her sense of purpose….how can she look the other China Peasant Mom’s in the face if her child is the only one not married!     

So Pingping, Tingting, Lingling…let’s get this damn show going!

From China Mom’s perspective, is this really a hard thing to do? If you only have one child, and that child is a girl, well don’t the numbers add up in your favor?  And hasn’t China Mom already indoctrinated her children from an early age? 

“You, China Daughter, meet man, hopefully rich man, get married, have kids….done.”

“Just like I did, except I was younger than you of course.  I had this all complete by 19.  Me and your father haven’t had sex since I was 23, sleep in separate bedrooms but forget about all that Be quick, squeeze one out MAYBE TWO, we are peasants after all, and make me happy.”

Do your fucking job.

Now, do I exaggerate?  Of course I do.  By a lot?  I don’t think so.

“Hasn’t China modernized, you ask”

“Eh….no, not really,” I reply

Modernization comes from within.  It is a way of thinking.

Lots of people own fancy bags, drive Maserati’s.  These things though are only seen through the prism of China Mom’s eyes as a tool for even more quickly getting what China Mom wants you to have.   The expectation placed upon them never goes away. 

And the key to changing China is the way those 300 million Peasant China Mom’s think today.  And they’re not so old.   Almost all of them born during the death throes of the Cultural Revolution.    Will China “modernize”?  Of course it will, but see above. Those 300 million have to die out first.   
Like the dinosaurs, they simply have to go.  And then maybe over the next generation that 300 million will drop in half, etc, etc….

China Girl finally sat down, and I waited for another spiel of a story I’d heard so many times.   I think to myself I’m only just killing time.   Except what she had to say not only chilled me, but has stuck with me to this day. 

In so many words it went like this:

“My mother wants me to marry.  She can’t stop talking about it.  I feel this intense pressure.  Every time we talk on the phone she brings it up.  She doesn’t understand why I haven’t found a man yet.   I simply don’t know what to tell her.”

Not to sound unsympathetic, but I’d heard this before.  Par for the course.

“My mother doesn’t listen to what I have to say.  She repeats over and over it’s my duty to get married.  She blames everything on me.  Then she hits me.  She calls me useless.  


She pulls my hair and I cry a lot. “

I’ve spoken a lot about this.  The violence is real enough.  So of course is the verbal abuse.   Every society has this, and I’m prone to believe China itself certainly does not stand out from the crowd here.  But the real killer is the emotional abuse.   From parent to child, I don’t think a Chinese child growing up in a typical Chinese household can ever escape this.  Having lived in both societies, I believe it is far more prone in Asian cultures than Western societies.

Time and time again, I’ve seen the cultural tactic of a Chinese parent beating down their children.   

Telling them how worthless they are, reminding them they have no ability.   From a very young age, making it a point to strip every ounce of self worth away from their children.   Because children with self worth don’t listen.  They don’t pay attention and they don’t do what their told. The very tool a child can develop the parent wantonly makes a serious effort to destroy.   Instead of looking at self worth as a tool for self improvement and confidence building, the Chinese parent instead looks at it as a Western Disease, that keeps one from developing modesty and obedience.   Only with these two traits can one truly succeed.  

Counter intuitively, one must believe he is of no worth in order to become successful.

 And so it was with China Girl.

I was silent for the longest time.  I did not know how to react to the story of a mother pulling a daughters hair and beating her own child for the simple failure of not getting married.  For the insinuation that she was useless.

But this proved to be the ice breaker I needed.

She stood up in front of the mirror and looked at herself intently.   And for the 2nd or 3rd time said out loud,

“I know you are going to seduce me.”

I understood her meaning perfectly, and off to the bedroom we went.   I realized a few hours had passed.  

As we undressed I could tell my intuition was indeed correct, and she did have a full body tan.   I loved it.

I gave her oral sex for the longest time.  She became wet very fast.  Finally, I entered her.  Her dark body really contrasted with my white, Southern Skin. 

Then, once again I got yet another surprise.  Soon as I entered her, both her arms grabbed my hips.  Each hand was a tight vise on either side of my body.  She began to thrust.   I was quite startled by this and a bemused look came over my face.   Her eyes were closed and her neck was arched over.  If she had opened her eyes the first thing she would’ve seen would’ve been the ceiling.   She continued thrusting as if she was the only person in the room.  As if she was having sex with herself. 

With each thrust she made her voice slowly rose.  Finally she orgasmed.   Then she let out a long, deep breath and her back collapsed against the bed.   She opened her eyes and saw me staring at her.   From the moment I entered her until her orgasm no more than 30 seconds had elapsed.   It was the damnest thing I ever saw.  On top of that I could tell she was ready to call it a day.

Keeping a straight face, I could only ask, as I gazed upon her,

“Would you mind if I still finished”? 

Without hint of a smile or laugh she told me to go ahead, so I did.

Shortly afterwards both of us lying in bed, she suddenly got up and got dressed.  A content, yet business like look on her face.    As if she realized she still had things to do.  I wondered afterwards where that contentment came from?   Was it really from the pseudo sex, or simply from the opportunity to get her own personal burden off her chest, safely, to a stranger with no repercussions?
We afterwards tried to maintain contact.  I even saw her once in a club.  Alas, it just didn’t work out.   
We never really met up again.  I sometimes wonder how she fared?  I’m sure she is married by now, though.  And probably with kids.   And most likely with someone either from her village or very close.   I dare not think of the alternative.   Domestic family violence over the sin of simply not getting married is a bit too much cultural reality for me.   

Is she happy Or is it more likely she simply married to shut her violent mother up?  A mother that firmly believed the only reason she wasn’t married was simply because no one wanted her.  Because she lacked the ability to get married.   The thought her own daughter just MAYBE(like so many others) chose not to marry never crossed her mother’s mind.

I’ll never know.  And for me, that is probably best.


  1. Good piece. I think that's a part of what this blog was missing. Cherry on the top of the cake from time to time.

    Thanks for the post on the young bucks starting the career. Do you often come to Shenzhen? Do you ever meet up with your readers base?

  2. Much thx for the comments! And glad you liked the post on the "young bucks".
    I felt this was an important piece to write, and I obviously tried not to make it all about one thing. I'd been wanting to write this piece for quite some time, and was just waiting for the when I felt the time was right. I have at least one more piece similar to this to put down. Maybe two. But I'd prefer to space them out a bit. Otherwise folks will begin to simply mislabel this blog. But to not bring up sex while living in China is dishonest, as long as you have a legitimate story to tell.

    As for me and my readers, they do ask me for advice from time to time, which I'm happy to oblige offline whenever I can.

    1. Different Reader-The uninformed will simply see this as a sex-related piece. Actually, the important part is societal discussion and her mother's view of the world, her daughter's value, etc. I think by the next generation this way of thinking will have diminished a great deal. It already changed once with the one-child policy. This China Girl's mother own mother probably didn't care when her daughter got married. Because daughters were useless. She would have only cared about when her son was getting married.
      FWIW, I have know multiple Chinese girls with a "farming" background who have married Laowai and stayed on/moved to North America to live with him. They mentioned quite openly that one of the benefits was not having to be near,nor communicate with their parents regularly.

    2. ha ha really?? Marrying a city girl such as I eventually did does at the end of the day have it's drawbacks. Though it's interesting to note nearly every single Chinese female I know here is a city girl. All with a college degree of course, and domineering and with their first boyfriends, and pretty much living for their kids at this stage of their life.


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