Sunday, February 26, 2006

Korean Society and Modern Views Toward Sex

Although I've been studying and observing Korean society for thirty years, I'm often surprised. One recent surprise is the frank, candid talk about sex. To many Westerners, Koreans are stereotyped as conservative and a women's role in society as restrictive and subservient. Not True...

Modern Korean society is very cosmopolitan, That has many manifestitions outside of Starbucks, i-pods, and Gucci. Indicative of this modern cosmopolitan society is that even conservative papers like Chosun Ilbo openly discuss sex and gender roles. This article explores women's views toward sex and relationships.


When Girls Want Sex [ DISCLAIMER:The title and views are the Korean paper's]

Women are not that different from men. They feel desire for sex just as much, but they express it in different ways. The Chosun Ilbo asked modern women what turns them on and how to spot the signs.

The famous line in the film [Korean film] One Fine Spring Day is, Want some ramen [noodles] before you go? ? Why don't you stay tonight? It comes as the heroine, played by Lee Young-ae, seduces Yoo Ji-tae when he drives her home after work.

Some people may think it rare for women to ask a man first. But the days of the modest, obedient woman who waits for the man to make the first move are long gone. Women no longer hesitate to follow their natural instincts. Holding back is bad for mental hygiene, they say.

Where men have their 30-second principle -- that's how often they think about sex -- women also frequently feel the urge. In sexual medicine, there is a principle of equal sexual desire, the theory that there is no difference in sexual desire between men and women. The difference being, perhaps, that men can have sex whether or not their partner is ready while women just can't when they are not in the mood. All men need to do, then, is accept their spouse's desires just as they are -- and fulfill them.

When women feel like having sex differs from person to person. Biologically, experts agree that women tend to feel the strongest desire just before or after their periods and around the time they are ovulating. Indeed, some women want sex more during their periods because of the onslaught of hormones. At the same time, women are more sensitive to psychological or emotional conditions than mere biological drives. Lee Myeong-hee (35), a publicist and housewife, says she would like her husband to be more understanding when they have sex. She feels like making love to her husband when she senses how much he loves her, she confesses, such as when his voice sounds particularly warm over the phone or when he hugs her after a long day at work.


While men are capable of getting worked up watching pornography or explicit sex scenes, that does not necessarily work for women. Newlywed Kang Won-ju (29) confesses that she felt most like having sex when she and her now-husband were watching a melodrama or a film about puppy love while on a date. In other words, romance and the sight of beautiful couples in love is more of a turn-on than the graphic nitty-gritty of a sex scene.

But one thing is clear: today'?s women are more honest and demanding of their husbands. They no longer have any qualms about expressing what they want for fear of seeming depraved or looking like a nymphomaniac. [Koreans use this borrowed term]. One woman admits she sometimes quarrels with her husband when he doesn't make love to her often enough -- a complaint once thought to be the exclusive domain of dissatisfied men.

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