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Feeling the vibe of Hong Kong's sex toy market

Samantha Leese CNNGo.com 08/19/2010 04:51
Feeling the vibe of Hong Kong's sex toy market - lifestyle - sex - Hong Kong

Some would argue that taking out a large, maroon vibrator over drinks at posh bar Café Gray is embarrassing. But not for the ladies at Passionately Yours, an online adult products boutique that regularly holds toy-sharing sessions -- like a Tupperware party, but with state-of-the-art sex toys.

As the sleek cylinder revs up via ingenious Bluetooth technology, pulsing in time to Britney Spears' "Piece of Me," the founders of the Hong Kong-based online sex boutique muse on the merits of wireless masturbators. Their female audiences is enraptured. Waiters and patrons carry on their business unmoved.  

The lack of reaction is noteworthy in a city where public talk of sex remains scandalous. That we are surrounded by a crowd of expatriates probably has a lot to do with it; generally speaking, Hong Kong's Chinese population is cagier about sex than its Caucasian minority.   

"People here can't talk about sex socially," says Kat Leung, one half of the charismatic pair that runs Passionately Yours. "It's a hard wall to break down."

That wall, she believes, is a vestige of the Confucian doctrine that has guided China's outlook for millennia.

"I find that in Chinese culture in Hong Kong, there is an infantilism of women. They are encouraged to be meek, ignorant and dependent on their men," says Leung. "So, even if you are smart, or you do know about your body, you're encouraged to pretend you're this cute, virginal, totally unspoiled little girl."

Leung helps organize "Passion Parties," where she and her business partner (who prefers not to be named) aim to tap into taboo by creating a comfortable environment in which to explore the world of sex toys. The gatherings, booked via phone or email, are private.  

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