This week our local love doctors, Joe Schaefer (right) and Ginger Rong Chen (left), are dishing out advice about local girls' attitudes towards sex.
"I have recently heard that local girls can interpret sex as a sign of serious commitment, as a definite step towards marriage. Thoughts before I proceed with my new girlfriend?"
-Keeping It In My Pants For Now
The Western View
It is my humble opinion that you should have probably sorted out this little dilemma before making the female in question your “girlfriend.” Bravo for taking the pure approach to starting a relationship and avoiding the “screw-first-ask-questions-later” method preferred by many Beijing nightclub enthusiasts. But now it sounds like you have painted yourself into something of a corner. You are already deep enough in that you are calling her your “GF” but haven’t sounded out just how deep you need to get before you’re playing one-on-one water polo.
I highly recommend going over the fine points of what expectations accompany a physical relationship with your girlfriend as soon as possible. There are certainly some local ladies who consider sex and marriage synonymous, and if you are of a more casual mindset, that could be a major bummer.
I have found that it makes life much easier if you lay down the ground rules as soon as you know what you want. The sooner you state what you’re interested in, the less time you waste with incompatible members of the opposite sex. Don’t get too excited however. I can assure you from personal experience that “Look, I’m down for sex, but let’s keep it casual” is not a particularly effective icebreaker at the bar. Women tend not to be ready for that level of honesty. A first date may be acceptable, though, depending on your level of finesse. Who knows, before the appetizer arrives you may have already gleaned that she, too, is into no-strings-attached sex. Then you can skip the entire meal and move straight to shots of Patrón.
So hurry up and ask if your girlfriend wants a diamond ring or if she is cool with just the latex one.
The Chinese View
You heard wrong. Nowadays, local attitudes about sex vary. So it’s time to see your girlfriend as a girl, not one of “the local girls.” Here, to know how she interprets sex is much much more crucial than what “local girls” generally would think according to some so-called China experts’ opinions.
Thoughts before you proceed with your girlfriend? Ha, I am thinking it might be a good start to stop overthinking things. Why not just relax and let the relationship unfold itself―see where it leads. After all, it’s not a marketing campaign or a business plan.
Perhaps what you are really asking is how you can be sure you won’t stumble into a serious commitment “accidentally.” Hmmm ... How would you do that? Again, do not overthink it. Actually I don’t think it’s even necessary for you to seek advice here either. Take the easy and right way—sometimes, the right way is the easiest way of all. Where you should be using your brain instead of your heart is in getting to understand your girlfriend’s viewpoint, for what others think of this issue can be very irrelevant. You are not writing an essay or conducting a poll about local girls and their attitudes toward sex. You are dating this one girl. To understand her and her alone is good enough for you.
In short, when you can get a direct answer from her, why guess around by asking for my opinion? You want to know how she thinks. Ask her how she thinks. It’s that simple. It’s not like talking about sex will get you into a serious commitment or something. As for whether her answer is something you would prefer or not: well, all you can hope is you are meeting the right person at the right time. Good luck and enjoy!