Male and Female Idols of the Chinese Pornosphere

Authored by: Katrien Jacobs

Routledge Handbook of East Asian Popular Culture

Print publication date:  November  2016
Online publication date:  December  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415749428
eBook ISBN: 9781315643106
Adobe ISBN: 9781317285014


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This chapter discusses domains of popular culture that constitute the “pornosphere” in mainland China, including migratory websites and databases that constitute a zone where people access and share sexually explicit media despite the nationwide ban. Pornography has also become an aspect of popular culture as mainstream media texts and cultural practices are incorporating sexualized styles, gestures, and aesthetics (McNair 2013). While men veer towards an adoration of Chinese-dubbed versions of Japanese porn idols, women recreate the products of queer Japanese animation called Boys’ Love. State media outlets disavow the existence of these products and the pornosphere, but the zone mediates elegantly between government and citizens who interact with their idols and project stories of sexual release. The social imaginaries created in this process will be seen as a creative and symbolic dimension through which people navigate stringent morality and censorship legislation while nurturing sexual knowledge and desires.

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