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Prostitution in South Korea

July 11, 2013

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So, basically, we wanted to spend this TL;DR to talk about how widespread prostitution is in Korea, and how the language of it versus the reality of it are at loggerheads. Prostitution in South Korea is illegal, mind you, but it’s everywhere, and it’s in your face. So much so that 1 in 5 men pay for sex FOUR GODDAMNED TIMES A MONTH. It’s not just “1 in 5 men have visited prostitutes before in their lives.” Oh no. 1 in 5 men go to prostitutes REGULARLY, so much so that if stamp cards were offered, 1 in 5 men would have boxes full of them. And it’s not just 20% of the men going to some girls who are exceptionally dedicated to their jobs to service as many men as possible. Supposedly 1 out of every 25 women in the country is selling their bodies for sex. Prostitution here is big. It’s too big for us to talk about in one video and blog post, but we’re hoping at least that we can express the scope of it.

The point of this post and video isn’t to freak you out and to make you think that every guy is a pervert and every girl a prostitute. Please don’t think that, as tends to happen with our TL;DRs whenever we say something remotely unfavourable about South Korea. What we’re trying to get across through this is the painting of a more reasonable landscape with which to understand the Se7en scandal of his going to a massage parlour. Some people are shocked by it. For others who know South Korea a bit more, it’s not really that shocking at all. The idea of “oops I didn’t know,” or “I only went there for a massage, nothing else!” is far less believable the more you understand how widespread prostitution is in South Korea, and how common it is for men to partake in it. Se7en got busted, but don’t think that your favourite Kpop bands and Kdrama actors are all pure and innocent and that Se7en’s the perverted exception. If anyone else in the industry gets busted, well…no shit.

And, yes, prostitution is illegal, but as to how much the police uphold the law is another discussion. Some nights, for example, when we leave the studio at 2AM or so, and we’re taking a taxi home, there’s one strip of the block that has tons of stairwells lit up with pink lights and lots of girls standing outside these stairwells walking back and forth……aaaaand on the next block is the police station. The lax nature towards prostitution is not even subtle. It’s everywhere, and if you know what you’re looking for, it’s in your face all of the time.

Another thing we skipped out on talking about in this video is Kissing Rooms. We just found out about these today from Soo Zee when we asked her about prostitution. There are PC Bangs, where you play PC Games, DVD Bangs where you watch DVDs (and sometimes get it on with your significant other), and there are also rooms called “Kis-suh Bangs.” Think of em this way: in a PC Bang you play PC games, but you don’t have to bring your PCs with you. The shop provides PCs for you. In a Kiss Bang, you kiss girls, but you don’t have to bring girls with you. The shop provides them for you. You can also supposedly fondle the girls as you’re making out with them. Frankly, we’ve never seen these anywhere, so we can’t say much more about them, and – no – we won’t go on a WANK to a Kiss Bang to investigate! Supposedly also outside of Kiss Bangs you can order coffee to your home late at night. A girl will bring you a coffee and some sex as well. Oddly, there aren’t any strip clubs in Korea, supposedly. I remember seeing them in Toronto, but I’ve yet to see one in Korea.

The other problem we have with the sex industry in Korea is – in the face of how omnipresent it is – the lack of legalization seems to be a harmful factor. Korea has a thriving sex industry, which – whether Korean people want to admit or not – is still happening. Because it isn’t legal, though, it allows for more situations involving people being forced into prostitution, where it instead could foster an environment in which people choosing to go into prostitution could do so under safe conditions. I read about legal brothels which provide testing for STDs for both clients and staff, provide condoms, conduct background checks, have managers rather than pimps, and set up alarm bells for sex workers in the case of a client becoming abusive.

In contrast to controlled environment such as these which would be safer for all parties involved, I’ve read that STDs are on the rise in Korea, which can partly be attributed to a lack of sex education. There are also issues of women from other Asian countries being forced into the sex trade by being promised modelling or waitressing jobs in South Korea, and upon arriving, experience having their passports taken from them by their agents, and in turn are forced into sex work. The point of all of this is, if Korea is going to have such a rampant sex industry which the Korean government is doing nothing to stop, apart from stigmatizing it by outlawing it and protecting nobody from it, the government should at least take steps towards making the industry a safer place for women to work.

No? I don’t know. It’s a big topic to discuss. It’s a big industry, and the implications go beyond what’s happening in South Korea. I’m sure we’re going to get some people defending Korea and saying prostitution isn’t big here at all, it’s illegal and the law is strongly upheld, that they don’t know anyone who pays for sex, and it’s just Americans who come here to pay for sex and not Koreans, yada yada yada. We don’t know what to say to that, really, apart from basically pointing to what we’ve read and what we’ve seen, as well as what we’ve heard from our Korean friends who have opened up to us about the matter. Also, doing this topic was very worrisome for us, because we know that the topic of sex-working is a sensitive topic for some, and so we apologize if we used language here that people find offensive. We’re not up to date with the terminology and theories on the subject. We’re not passing judgment on anyone here. What we were only trying to do is to show how widespread prostitution is here in Korea, and how silly it is to pretend that it doesn’t exist.

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Prostitution in South Korea

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  1. What I still don’t get at all is that there are still people defending their ‘oppas’?

    Se7en (cheated yes) but proved clearly that they are still men. Men have needs and when they don’t have a girlfriend (or one close by… /I’m looking at u Se7en).

    Most want to be with their oppas (some not but most want in a more perverted way) but then act all ‘omg’ to this. Like come on Fanfictions guys?

    It’s everywhere.
    Can people stop being so hypocrite and just accept that their idols are far from innocent?
    Or should we start again about G.O.’s Pigeonfile?

    3 years ago
    • Globally I agree with what you said, but… until which century will this “men have needs” crap still justify everything? Men have also a brain and some self-control.

      3 years ago
  2. Well it’s not just vegas. I’ve been offered those cards when i was there vacationing but sorry nope not interested. Hooker cards are also prevalent in Thailand as well. Not in those shopping districts but those pretty sleazy places where you know you’re gonna get/have sex. And it’s not just catered to the heterosexual people too. There would be pimps who would actually advertise go-go boys and attempt to talk your way into it *shrugs*

    3 years ago
  3. This is not a new thing, trust me. I am adopted from S Korea, and when my parents went to get me in 1988 (year I was born and the year of the Seoul Olympics), the very taxi driver my parents found once they finally had me in their arms, went loads of sidelanes in order to keep an eye on every prostitute that I guess he either 1, was “acquianted” with or 2, owned. After almost an hour of this kind of stupidity my father, the big nosed foreigner, got so mad at his beheaviour (I was a baby after all, there was no ventilation back then, and I was literally really unhappy about the heat). My father started yelling at the taxi driver to step on it back to the hotel. The man did, we got there and none of us ever saw the man again (to my knowledge).

    3 years ago
  4. I haven’t watched this TL;DR yet (since I’m currently in lecture) but I read the blog post and your concerns about the lack of prostitution regulation is pretty spot on from what I learned at school (I’m studying criminology and sociology). Prostitution is speculated to always be prevalent in every time period in every type of society and if that’s the case, it’s theorized that it may be better for everyone all around to legalize and regulate prostitution and focus on criminalizing those extorting the unwilling, and the forced minors. Especially if the society has prostitution blatantly in yo’ face.

    Also, I found the fact how the police seem so lax towards prostitution there in Korea is so similar to the Torontonian police with marijuana lol sure, it’s illegal but… yeah ^^ LOL

    3 years ago
    • In technicality, marijuana is still outlawed here. Technically. So that means if that particular cop actually cared enough to, s/he could charge you with possession and you’d have a wonderful criminal record on you. If it was just decriminalized, that means they can’t charge and convict you of possession or trafficking, but can still fine you. That hasn’t really happened here yet. Pretty sure it hasn’t anyways ^^

      But yeah, most of the time that’s not the case since the police here aren’t that anal to shake down every shady-looking individual that smells like weed. I mean, there’s a friggin cafe somewhere downtown where you can bring your own weed in and rent out a bong for a smoke.

      The police are more interested in catching speeding vehicles and giving out parking tickets because each individual cop on that particular duty have a quota to fill. Which sucks if you’re like, 5 km above the speeding limit.

      3 years ago
    • Problem with this is that I still don’t think this will save the minors. And it will technically be harder to put the cautious signs on the sexual deceases. However, I do agree that the illegal status does cause some issues.

      3 years ago
      • No, I agree with you, legalizing and regulating isn’t the full complete answer to ending sex trafficking, or forcing minors into doing something they have no control over. But NaToTheWak is right in pointing out that the issue would at least be accepted as a problem if it goes undiscussed.

        What legalizing/regulating prostitution would do is take the effort that is put into hunting down prostitutes and their clients, and put it into something that actually matters like trafficking and minors. There’ll always be awful crimes like that, because people, you know? But at least effort and resources will at least being going into something that matters (in this context).

        Guise, this topic aside, I’m actually so happy to in a civilized discussion about social issues in a none academic environment :)

        3 years ago
      • Sorry, that sentence came from a long drabbel, that I ended up deleting. I did a small essay on prositution in Nepal a few years back, and I kept going on and on about it, until I realised it made no sense and deleted the whole thing. So just ignore that last sentence.

        I studied Asianstudies, specializing in China, so the whole Asia packet is really interesting to me. Sorry for being a bloody academic.

        3 years ago
        • No problem! I find it interesting actually. I volunteered in Cambodia 2 years ago and I was shocked to know that 2 girls from the orphanage I worked at had been sold for prostitution… I’d really like to know how to end that horrible traffic!

          3 years ago
        • Thank you!

          3 years ago
    • Hey… I remember something like too from what I have seen in class.
      /I had some lighter form of sociology in school so/

      3 years ago
  5. dsd

    woah, thats pretty bad. what abt host clubs? is that in korea too? O_o

    3 years ago
  6. i just hope se7en didn’t “force” his dongsaengs bigbang to do those stuff too… >.<

    3 years ago
  7. I can understand you soo well. I am always amused by the thinking of some fans, that their kpop stars are “angels” and “pure”. I mean they are only human! Of course they are dating and of course they have flaws. I don’t understand: what is so bad about that? I like it more when a human is showing his real self. Now it is more like watching dolls. I still like them, but I can’t understand the fans that don’t even want them to be happily in a relationship.

    3 years ago
  8. I come to know about Korea because of K-Pop that is full with pretty looking boys wearing colorful outfits, so I hope u can spend some time talking about “Pretty Guy VS Macho Guy In Korea.” TQ!

    3 years ago
    • Simon and Martina did a TL;DR on fashion sense and cool trends in SK that aren’t considered cool in the west. People in SK are totally cool with pretty boys and don’t really think of them as gay. As far as I know there aren’t as many “Macho Guys” in SK, but Im sure there are some.

      3 years ago
  9. Is it normal for Korean men to go to these while in relationships? I’m really curious now seeing how common it is o_o

    3 years ago
    • I would say yes. I don’t live in Korea, but I can say I’ve seen references in Dramas. There are two references in the drama I Love You actually. One is that the character Minho was caught by his wife with another woman. While fighting he was making the argument of “oh honey I am NOT SEEING her, no I paid her…” and cue wife to storm off. When I first watched it I was confused and thought it might of been a prostitute, but now watching this TLDR I am almost positive that is what they implied.

      Later in the show the wife decided to get back at him (and all the other boys the other female characters are dealing with) by going to a host club. In the middle of their stay there was a police raid saying there were “underage hosts.” The whole story makes this big stink about how one of the hosts is working there to raise money for his sister’s education etc and not to look down upon on him.

      3 years ago
    • Go ask a Pinay. There’s over 10,000 Kopino children in the Philippines without fathers. Wealthy Korean men sometimes go to the the Philippines for “Sex tourism.” They have sex with often underage females, and then go back home to their wives, and family…. Koreans were also brutal during the Vietnam war. Nobody ever wants to bring it up, but they used a lot of Vietnamese women…

      3 years ago
    • It’s fairly common. Especially when they are going out for company business dinners or hweshiks. These occur frequently during the week and are quite mandatory. That bit they mentioned in the video about social hierarchy (sunbae-hoobae relationships) is very important and dictates what happens in most Korean peoples’ lives. To really understand it, you refer back to the fact that Korea was deeply rooted in Confucianism. In fact, if you really want to understand Korea at all, look at Confucianism.

      Check out the “Major Confucian Beliefs” in this wiki article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_Confucianism#Major_Confucian_beliefs

      Anyway, if a boss, superior or simply an older person in a group wants to do something, they all must follow. I once heard a story about a Korean guy who worked for a man who hated his wife. So he never went home at normal hours–which mean that no one beneath him could leave until he, the boss, was ready to go. Collectivism is loud and proud in the ROK. It’s difficult for Americans and Westerners alike to wrap our heads around this but just because we can’t make heads or tails about things here doesn’t make them right or wrong.

      So yes, if your man is going to a hweshik, he more than likely will be required to drink more than he probably should and that could lead to sam-cha, or sa-cha, or perhaps oh-cha (rounds 3, 4, or 5 –or rather the third, fourth, or fifth place you go to that night) to end up at a palor of some sort. I say “could.” It doesn’t always…but yeah.

      Despite how negative this information about Korea seems, I still love this country and there is no place I’d rather live. ^^

      3 years ago
      • Actually, it’s not just Confucianism.
        In Korea every male has to serve in the military.
        In the military there’s a very clear hierarchy, and you have to follow orders.
        So, I think this military culture influences the nature of Korean companies and other organizations as well.

        3 years ago
      • Well darn.. That sucks ._.

        3 years ago
      • You’re right, I can’t wrap my head around that; I’d either laugh in the guy’s face and walk off, or snap at him out of anger. I have a very strong sense of individualism, I don’t like it when people expect me to do things for them just because they’re older or something of that nature.

        3 years ago
  10. I am a huge kpop fan, but I’m not delusional like that. I know that idols and actors aren’t pure and innocent. I find it ridiculous that some fans are defending the idols like their life depends on it.. Idols and actors are people too, they can do all sorts of things, and some delusional fans should get that in their heads. >>”

    3 years ago
    • And since most KPOP fans don’t even know the people (not truly know them), I don’t think they really have a right to defend someone they don’t know without knowing the real situation. Famous people are just that, people. They get angry, sad, some could drink and swear, smoke, have sex, and (the very good point made earlier by someone) could even be homosexual. Welcome to the real world :) (It’s a beautifully awesome and scary place)

      3 years ago
      • I suppose the image that idols have is also what gets them international fans in the first place. I first started to like KPOP for the lack of “sex” portrayed in the MV’s (though that seems to be greatly on the rise -_-) and how idols seemed to be perfect. And in a sense, it made me gain hope for the American artists who seem to always talk about sex/drugs/”chicks” (keyword: Mainstream artists SEEM TO). I know that not all idols are perfect (as I started in my other post) but I do like how their music doesn’t always portray topics that are “adult” if you will. There is a way to do the “sex” concept in music tastefully, sadly, most groups (Korean AND American) seem to cross that line….. (Just realized how off-topic this is. Hm… EYK gets the party started!)

        3 years ago
  11. Can you also talk one day about the suicide mentality that is over there? I’m from the states and it seems like the western culture tries to keep this from happening. On the other hand (in general) it appears that Asian cultures, maybe don’t embrace it, but are not adverse to someone going through with it. Is there a reason that this is more prevalent over there? Sometimes is seems that people “do” it to get away from scandals or due to depression. Is there a lack of psychiatrists or medication like there are in western countries?

    Thank you for your awesome work! :)

    3 years ago
    • I think a big factor too is the religion… suicide isn’t a sin in all places. Some christian denominations give a lot of guilt and what not on the issue. In bhudism, taoism and others asian religions suicide isn’t so negative… the priest or religious leader will do the rituals and all that. And in some ways it was seen as a honoroble thing to do after commiting a crime or some shameful thing…

      3 years ago
    • I would be interested in hearing about this. I noticed there are a LOT of Korean actors and actresses that commit suicide. Clearly there is a little more to it than “they are over worked.” I wonder how much help and openness there is to all mental illnesses, including anorexia (which is closely linked to depression)

      3 years ago
    • I think the #1 reason for high suicide rate in SK, is stress, both physical and mental. If I am not mistaken, Korean constitution specifies “life long labor” as an obligation of all its citizen. You have to remember that SK was poorer than Ethiopia back in 1960s. Now it’s in 10s(16th? I think). That’s very rapid. And they did it WITHOUT having any significant natural resources, nor having had any colonies, nor being financial heaven for rich people(Swiss, Singapore). Then the wealth had to come from somewhere. I think it came from rote labor. So it’s citizens are tired and stressed.

      Other contributing factors are

      1) poor mental health care and recognition of it
      2) education system
      3) hyper-capitalism

      3 years ago
    • Another Youtuber, SweetandTasty has a video on suicide and the suicide mentality, which is often attributed to college exams and being overworked.

      3 years ago
    • I definitely would love to hear a TL;DR on this; i think it’s not so much to avoid facing a scandal though, so much as historically, in many Asian cultures, it was an act of responsibility. Ultimately, if you fail at something, the consequences rest on your shoulders, so to speak. However, I think today it’s more commonly because of depression, bullying, and stress from family and work.

      3 years ago
  12. So i was wondering then if it’s mostly man going, is there a secert under ground thing where the LBGT community goes. Because i remember you saying that Korean’s don’t like to think they are gay but it’s American’s and Canadians who brought that over. which we all know that impossible. So if thats the case is that stuff like underground??

    3 years ago
    • Yes… and there are areas where you can go to hang out with the local LBGT community, there are certain streets that have those kind of bars :) But it’s pretty much on the down low. It seems like it can be pretty easy to hide since it’s okay to be affectionate with those of the same sex in Korea.

      3 years ago
  13. Kind of took me by suprise this TLDR… but you wouldn’t blame men for being horny… with all the nakidness in kpop – . -‘ ….

    P.S: you blurred the first swear but you forgot the second :P

    Thank you!

    ♥♥♥♥♥♥

    3 years ago
  14. i knew about the “massage parlours” but i didn’t realize host clubs were a thing outside of japan [where they also have snack bars, with pretty women instead of sexy mens] … but yeah not super surprised about how rampant this is :P however…. TAXMANNNNNNN why u no sing song martina?

    3 years ago
  15. Well in my opinion… going to massage parlors n all~! dint come as a shock.. i mean do people expect to believe that they don’t have sex? @__@.. n well.. where they go is up to them n all… what made me angry is the fact that he was in military service.. so like DUDE~!! COULDN’T YOU HOLD YOUR “NASTY” FEELS FOR 2 YEARS?? -_- thats where the issue got big~!

    3 years ago
    • If anything military men goad each other on to do that sort of thing ;) I assume anyway since U.S. military folks only seem to get more horny while in the military… something about being around a lot of testosterone?

      3 years ago
  16. I’m really glad you guys are starting to enlighten us on these controversial topics. The little advertisement cards are also very common in Las Vegas – people on the street hand them out to everyone, including women and children. Why? A lot of these people are forced into giving these cards out and the company watches them to make sure they give out *all* of their cards. It’s a harsh tough reality that you don’t realize is happening underneath the icky surface :/

    3 years ago
  17. Yeah, but that’s VEGAS. It’s called Sin City for a reason. No one thinks Vegas has any moral standard to uphold. It’s a pretty sleazy place, come on.

    3 years ago
  18. When this first broke out, I personally wasn’t all the shocked about the Prostitution thing. I’m not Korean, but I know that it’s almost expected that men participate in this kind of activity. I’m not saying it’s right, but it’s just what happens. Anyway, I’m really glad that Simon and Martina talked about this. It sheds some more light on the issue. :)

    3 years ago
  19. Since prostitution is illegal I was wondering if it’s the same like in Japan that you can do anything to satisfy the customer but not intercourse, so it makes it legal… (or so they say)

    3 years ago
  20. Conservatism with stuff like this always means repression. It’s comforting to see that, okay, it’s out in the open.

    3 years ago
  21. I must be so naive that I did not notice this at all while I was there lol. I totally believe you, I just kind of walk around with rose colored glasses on. xD
    Nope, nuh uh, don’t see it.
    I did notice the blow up things with the girls in bikini’s on it though… didn’t think it was for happy endings however. xD

    3 years ago
  22. Since we are on the sex topic, when are you awesome people going to make some awesome babies ?:D

    3 years ago
    • Eh, babies are overrated… lol

      I only say that because I will be 33 next month… my fiance and I are not even close to having kids even though we have been together since 2008. Maybe we should get married first and then see how we feel eventually :p

      Kids are a lot of responsibility and I think more people shouldn’t rush into it. Just like marriage… in the last year my sister got married when she was 19 and her best friend got married (she is 20.) My bf’s family friend had a kid at 18 and got married at 19…. and these are all kids from rich areas in big cities (Dallas and San Francisco.) I really don’t get it.

      3 years ago
    • no no no! awesome babies mean no time for us! i will be selfish and veto any children!

      3 years ago
  23. free speech, so um yeah……… but they should nail them for littering, those things get all over the place- that could slow it down. probably not…….

    3 years ago
    • Haha, I live in Las Vegas and they passed a law banning those cards a few years back. It didn’t work of course, but whatever. And they don’t advertise prostitutes, they advertise strip joints mostly. Besides, there are news paper stand on every street corner on the strip that have porn in them… like right up on the glass are topless women… so you can’t avoid it. I’m 25 now but when my friends and I were in high school we would go walk the strip sometimes. Once I collected a bunch of those cards (like hundreds) and gave them to one of my friends. He walked in front of the rest of us and started throwing them on the ground like confetti while we held hands, skipping, and singing, “follow the porn brick road.” So, yeah… Vegas isn’t really that much of a family place despite all the lame re-branding the city has been trying to do for the last thirty years or so. Not that I’m complaining.

      3 years ago
      • Dang. That’s unfortunate. I actually visited Vegas probably ten years ago and I’ve never seen what you described. Guess the parents really sheltered us there.

        3 years ago
    • Free speech should have a limit when it comes to little kids…. c’mon.

      3 years ago
  24. Hooker Hill (itaewon)

    3 years ago
  25. whoa!! didn’t know this was THAT big in Korea!!

    i think it’s nice how people respect their elders in Korea, cos that’s how i was raised, but there should totally be a limit!!
    like sometimes in dramas, holy crap i get so angry when one of the characters has to listen to an elders order and it’s just something so ridiculous!! i always at those times, that if that was me i’d be like screw you and be outta there!!

    3 years ago
  26. Is like I always said: they’re so hush hush in dramas and banning MV, and trying to give the image of purity and we don’t talk about sex, and our idols don’t see porn o visit prostitutes, they’re angelic ect.. , but behind closed doors most of them are the contrary, like a lot a people in the world. I think that’s the reason birth % is so low, they don’t need a stable partner and don’t need to deal with all the complications and responsabilities a relationship brings to have sex, when they can have it anywhere XD

    3 years ago
  27. i’m not surprised prostitution happens in Korea, it happens everywhere. Just variations on a theme, I didn’t know they had host clubs in Korea, I’ve heard of them, in Japan though. There is an interesting documentary film called “The Great Happiness Space” about Japanese host clubs and the men that work there and women that partake. It’s kinda depressing actually.

    I think the scandal with Se7en is less about visiting a prostitute and more about the special treatment celebrities in the military get. Cause doing a musical in Seoul is equal to patrolling the DMZ boarder? yay right.

    3 years ago
    • I think the westerners are like ‘whoa, he went to a prostitute?’ and Koreans are like ‘whoa, he went to a prostitute during his duty hours?’.

      3 years ago
  28. Sam

    One thing I want to say on this topic, all you Korean drama watchers out there, you know how a lot of the times there are scenes where the men go to noraebangs, or karaoke places, as a sort of second round after drinking? And there’s always these call girls, or women working there, for each of them to play with and drink with. I kind of find it funny that that kind of thing is shown on dramas, which are often very censored. I guess it’s such a normal thing among men in Korea, especially when office workers (many of whom are married men) always go out to eat together, which are called 회식, and go to noraebangs afterward. I wonder what happens if you’re a female office worker, that would be kind of awkward, hmm…

    3 years ago
  29. D.

    I currently live in a big city, and my house is located is a very crowd area and that obviously mean a lot of people… so he have a lot of hostals like 3 blocks from here, and guys who make lines for their services =.=’ it’s a big business in the world I think…. it was funny how you talk about this xD

    3 years ago
  30. Woahh thats insane… but to be honest im not that surprised, since from my perspective it seems like one of the main ways to meet people is through Blind Dates – which can be quite restricting, and in most countries guys have one night stands through clubs, and since thats not really what happens in Korean clubs (or so i am told).. so guys i would assume need to ‘release their sexual tension’ somehow. But its still surprising seeing as condoms/contraceptives etc aren’t openly sold.. How would a woman get a contraceptive pill? or do they just not even do that :O

    3 years ago
  31. Same here. I never would have guessed. Thanks for bringing this up Simon & Martina!

    3 years ago
  32. Even though it’s 1/5 guys pay for sex regularly, what about how many adult males paid for sex at some point in their life? Since some of them maybe did in their youth then got married and such.

    3 years ago
  33. I mean. I have HEARD of there being a porn/prostitute problem IN Korea. So, this doesn’t come as a huge surprise to me. But, at the same time, though, Korea is a slightly conservative society, so it’s weird to hear about it at the same time.

    But here’s my question:
    It just seems like that in Asia, there is a rising suicide rate, especially in Japan and China. How does suicide affect S. Korean society and how high are the rates?

    3 years ago
    • Plot twist: What if sex is one of the biggest ways people in Korea relieve stress?

      3 years ago
    • If I’m not mistaken, porn is banned in Korean

      3 years ago
      • It’s forbidden to produce porn in Korea, but not to watch foreign porn (which makes no sense if you ask me). Korea is the world’s biggest porn consumer.

        3 years ago
        • Like prostitution, if Korea taxed it it would become the 1st world economy! ^^

          3 years ago
      • Nope, that is definitely not true. However, porn is banned in China.

        3 years ago
        • Korea has been blocking every Internet porn sight that they can find for the last year or so. Proxies are still used, but straight connections are blocked by the government.

          3 years ago
    • They’re #1 in suicides in Asia sadly.

      3 years ago
      • South Korea is second. The biggest country for suicide is Greenland. :)

        3 years ago
        • I said in Asia :)

          3 years ago
        • Jesus. I don’t care what you meant because I was putting across a point that I wanted to say. It’s like your desperate to make Asia the best place in the world to kill yourself.

          3 years ago
        • Woaaaaa are you serious? I only reply saying that I said Asia and you are ranting about it? Calm down, are you ok? Very agressive o_O Someona ask something, I reply to her, you correct me and I explain myself I have the right to explain myself or reply back, is called manners. And saying that make me wanto to show what? Well let me tell you something dear, you look like and blinded fangirl trying to denying the fact that suicide happens in there and they have a big problem, very big. Not is not the best place to suicide but it happens. great day for you.

          3 years ago
        • Last time I checked Greenland wasn’t a part of Asia…

          3 years ago
        • But the question specified Asia..

          3 years ago
  34. Can you please talk about #changeinkorea? Since you reently talked about racism, it would be awesome for you guys to spread the word about that iniciative and peharps discuss the problem of the missrepresentation of black people in South Korea.

    3 years ago
  35. HI! I just wanted to get in a comment while there weren’t many… I love all your videos!! they are so interesting :) thanks for addressing some NASTYY topics :D

    3 years ago
  36. I can’t phrase this another way without sounding awkward but I guess SK is being “westernized” or being “modernized” I guess. It’s about time they start teaching college/older high school kids about sex/puberty etc etc because I feel like Korea puts out an image on being “innocent” and I actually thought that SK was innocent compared to America or Canada (mostly cuz of the censorship things though. But after this post I guess I have a better more realistic understanding of Korea. I really like these types of TLDRs like someone said before, the “hushhush” topics :D You guys should do more ~ (btw, if you think that not everyone will like these darker topics, it’s all righty because I’m a nasty that will never stop my support~)

    3 years ago
    • “I can’t phrase this another way without sounding awkward but I guess SK is being “westernized” or being “modernized” I guess.”

      It sure wasn’t last time I went to Gangnam/Seoul, but okay. Yes they have Shopping Malls in Korea. That doesn’t mean they’re westernized. :| It’s a super traditional society.

      3 years ago
    • I had this view about SoKo too, that initially their media makes them come off as just really innocent. I think a lot of people are attracted to that aspect of Korean society but that sure is a lot of pressure to uphold a “perfect” image.

      I hope that someday Koreans can be more open about sexuality yet still enjoy that innocent facet of their society that so many people love :)

      3 years ago
      • “I hope that someday Koreans can be more open about sexuality yet still enjoy that innocent facet of their society that so many people love :)”

        You can’t do that. You can’t say to a group of women that they should be more sexually open and still expect them to look/sound/act innocent. Once Korean men/women lose touch with their traditional values, they will lose much of the ‘charm’ of what makes Korea such an interesting culture/place. The two forces are inextricably linked. Seoul’s traditionalism is what keeps it from becoming Los Angeles, which is a very good thing.

        3 years ago
        • To each their own. Some might think it’s a good thing, while some might not. However, I feel that if SK was slightly more open it would be better because from what I’ve heard, the environment is judgmental and as Cari said, your image matters a lot. However in North America I feel that there is more “space” to express yourself and you’re pushed to be an individual~

          3 years ago
    • I hope you realize that Prostitution was a big thing in their historical past as well. So my guess is that it just carried over to modern day. This is why prostitution is practiced in most every country.

      It’s not just because of the obsession with image, it’s also because well first off Asians, for some reason, are still seperating boys and girls & treating them as unequal genders.
      In schools you rarely see boys AND girls just “hanging out” to hang out. A boy and a girl are either friends from childhood, dating, or are friends with them just because they’re dating their friend.
      This makes for a lot of people, men, to not know how to sociallize with women -> lonley -> LUST FOR SEX
      But of course this isn’t the case for EVERYONE. Just for some people.

      3 years ago
      • I completely agree! Prostitution has been a part of every long-standing culture, and it was even used in some cultures as a practice of religion. As for SK, which is a relatively new nation when compared to many of the other East Asian countries, it inherited many of long-standing social obligations about sex, sexuality, gender roles, etc. that are seen in places like Japan and China.

        3 years ago
    • Prostitution has been around for millenia in every part of the world. This isn’t an issue of westernization or modernization at all. And let’s be real–this sort of “Korean” prudishness about sexuality exists in the U.S. to an extent, too. But that’s not to say that no one talks about sex, either. If you watch more adult, non-drama programs you’ll see plenty of humor involving innuendos and other kinds of sexual jokes.

      3 years ago
      • Oh I should have phrased this better. I’m not saying that prostitution is the modernized part but the fact that all of this is coming out and there is (like you said) MORE sexual awareness. I need to learn how to express myself (properly through writing) more OTL

        3 years ago
  37. Ah yes. I lived in Gangnam and there were toooooons of places with prostitutes.

    Interesting thing, though – I actually taught a girl who worked at a host bar. Haha She was really sweet and really matter-of-fact about her work. She goes, “Yeah, I serve the drinks and then sit with the ones who seem really lonely.”

    It was a challenging thing to force myself not to look shocked about what she said haha

    3 years ago
    • I know someone who worked at a host bar in Japan. As a foreigner she made A LOT of $$$. Claimed it never went beyond fancy dresses, drinks, lighting cigarettes and a lot giggling.

      3 years ago
  38. Gosh, I love that anime <3

    3 years ago
  39. btw i cant find jay park’s new song on kpopcharts

    3 years ago
  40. all that’s left is a TLDR about drugs in korea! or did i miss that one? (i’m genuinely interested, especially the prevalence of soft drugs like marijuana and insight into whether korean youth are also affected by the recent upsurge of mdma use etc)

    3 years ago
    • that sounds interesting, i will definitely check it out, good tip!

      3 years ago
    • You passed the most voted suggestion! Ha! Congrats I guess…

      3 years ago
    • i want them to talk about the sasaeng fans in Korea….

      3 years ago
    • i want them to talk about the crazy sasaeng fans in South Korea :)

      3 years ago
    • drugs are not that widespread as prostitution and alcohol is and it’s definitely done less then in America.

      Drugs is a big culture amongst American students from high school to undergraduate but in Korea it’s extremely not common and if done, done very secretly unlike America where it’s done inside the school or with the school officers.

      3 years ago
    • Yeah that would be interesting. I know they make a really big deal about it, but idk if there’s any specific reason besides being “this is a drug” or “you’re an idol” reason. Like the GD issue where he had 3 puffs apparently, I don’t get it. And it’s unfortunate because people should care about the singer’s music more. Maybe it’s just me, but in the US no one really cares anymore, and I guess we just got to that point. People do it, unfortunately, but now we’re just like whatever.

      In my CRJ class I took about a year ago, my prof says the US spends a few billion only to prevent less than 2% from actually getting into our country. He says they needa stop treating the use of marijuana like it’s a social ill, because people still gonna do it regardless. And we don’t die from usage of marijuana, unlike smoking cigarettes or other drugs. It’s interesting stuff hahah.

      3 years ago
      • You can die from smoking marijuana… It puts like 10x more tar in your lungs per puff than a normal cigarette does…

        3 years ago
        • People simply don’t smoke pot the same way they smoke cigs, though.

          There may be a few people out there who can afford, and have a supplier for, enough pot to smoke the equivalent of a pack a day… but the average smoker does it recreationally, once in awhile. It’s akin to having a beer on Saturday night while playing poker with the guys – as opposed to going through a 12 pack a day.

          Also, this: http://adai.uw.edu/marijuana/factsheets/respiratoryeffects.htm
          “…three-fold greater amount of tar inhaled and retention of one third more tar in the respiratory tract.”

          And not necessarily because of the pot itself, but because of how it’s smoked.

          3 years ago
      • It’s not the blood. There’s usually a urine test (most jobs in the States seem to require passing this to get officially employment), but it passes out of that within days. It’s the hair (and possibly fingernails? not sure on that) that it stays in for a while – hair absorbs chemicals as it grows, and the test looks for the chemical markers. That’s what nailed both GD and DMTN’s Daniel (Dan’s urine test was negative, but the hair test came back later as positive).

        3 years ago
        • From what a quick google search shows, blood tests *can* be done, but they’re (obviously) more invasive and less reliable due to how quickly it passes out of the bloodstream. 2-3 days and it’s gone, unless the person is a really heavy user, so it seems to be used more in cases of suspected DUI or accidents. It wouldn’t have been an option for either GD or Daniel, since they were accused of it months afterward.

          As for Daniel’s case… first they were saying he’d only hooked people up (as in, ‘where can I get it?’ “oh, lemme give you this guy’s number” or whatever) and translations of the early articles said his tests for it were clean… which is why you could practically hear crickets chirping from the direction of Dalmates when a follow-up article later said the hair was positive. Couldn’t really shield him on the basis of, ‘…well at least he wasn’t smoking it?’ after that.

          3 years ago
      • yeah… in western culture/north america people seem to love to watch celebrities crash and burn… it’s sick if you ask me. both cultures seem to be on two extreme ends of it – one wants their celebrities to be “trashy” for entertainment, the other one wants them to be “pure” for entertainment! very strange and interesting i think..

        3 years ago
        • I won’t say North Americans love it. We like a good Cinderella story or a comeback also. Look at Britney Spears recovery after 2007 when people thought it was over for her. After she went away she was able to have a very successful comeback tour and album with Circus. Robert Downey Jr and his incredible comeback after overcoming drugs and going to jail he became box office star he is today. I’ll say we tend to like to see flaws in our celebrity, but we like a good Cinderella story to go with it. There are more examples.

          3 years ago
        • I think it has to do a lot with philosophical and religious foundations. In the US it doesn’t matter how badly you screw up, you can always be forgiven. Hello there Christian values! Didn’t notice you hiding there! Ah, the colonists hid you in our cultural memory. The US loves a good redemption story (ala Downey) because it doesn’t threaten our cultural values, it reinforces them. On the flip side, as I understand it, part of Confucianism believes that whatever your particular roles in life are, you should do your best to do them well and correctly. So that would mean that in a confucian based culture a moral or ethical failure is also a cultural failure.

          3 years ago
        • Yeah, I totally agree with you. Both aren’t great.
          I was kind of thinking about this subject (celebrities acting out) earlier today. On the radio news they were talking about how a popular US singer peed into a mop bucket at a restaurant. I was thinking it’s really as that a). he thought it was ok to do that and b). his actions were considered “news.” It’s just more junk to gossip about. Sigh.

          3 years ago
      • I am not saying that America has their crap together…I mean obviously if you have access to the internet it glaring that we don’t. I mean the sex industry here is treated similarly it seems. There are places were I can go and buy accessories or clothes and down the street is a strip joint…and a place were prostitutes were really famous for standing in the broad daylight. I mean the fact that marijuana use is looked down upon as deviant or women not wanting to be seen as sexual objects and protesting about it is considered too progressive…the idea of prostitution seems far more serious. I am all for respecting elders, but using them as a excuse to cover up personal behavior or questioning morality issues is pretty low. These guys should use their heads for more than a hat rack. (No matter how good looking or amount of influence they possess)

        3 years ago
      • I think it’s good that they crack down (omg no pun intended lol) on celebrities doing illegal things because they set the example for young children and impressionable teenagers. They’re called ‘idols’ for a reason. The breakdown of America caring isn’t a good thing in my opinion; I feel like now we have more problems than before :c

        3 years ago
        • Yeah, but they’re still examples set before the entire country. Which they knew they would be when they chose that lifestyle. They weren’t forced. I’m not saying they have to be perfect, but it doesn’t seem so hard to avoid drugs, prostitution, and public drunkenness does it? I don’t think so.

          3 years ago
        • Because that’s an accepted, and sometimes encouraged, part of Korean life.

          3 years ago
        • Because the point of an ad for soju is to sell alcohol. The point of a song isn’t to sell alcohol, which is why they ban it.

          3 years ago
        • …so it’s ok to sell alcohol, but not to talk about it! Just like sex, actually…

          3 years ago
        • You’re moving away from the original point of this discussion. Idols set the example, so it’s good that their misdeeds are reprimanded. This is my opinion.

          3 years ago
        • You can drink alcohol, just don’t become an alcoholic. It’s about knowing your limit.

          3 years ago
        • Ads are meant to sell. It’s your responsibility to know when to stop (teenagers can’t even drink in the first place) and it’s adults’ responsibilities to monitor and teach the youngsters.

          3 years ago
        • Consuming alcoholic beverages (at the appropriate age) is legal in South Korea. Cannabis and prostitution are not legal, which definitely contribute to how taboo they are for idols to partake in. Whether or not it’s “fair” or “right” for certain things to be legal or not is something Korea needs to openly discuss and talk about, which goes beyond holding idols to a higher standard.

          Whether we like it or not, idols and celebrities are role models. Personally, it’s refreshing that society helps to ensure accountability to that role, unlike the US where vices are glorified in the media. Of course, some people take it too far. As the saying goes, everything in moderation.

          3 years ago
        • But alcohol is illegal for teenagers, you implied it. Who do you think Big Bang’s “So Fresh So Cool” aims at, for instance?

          3 years ago
      • So true. I live in the Netherlands and here they allow drugs and prostitution. And we sometimes just say something like alcohol is just as good a hard drugs like all the others. It’s also damaging your body and it can also be addicting. While soft drugs does almost no damage to the body and is actually saver then alcohol. I all ready told my friend once I never want to touch drugs (I don’t drink much alcohol aether) but if it ever happens that someone made a space cake and asks me if I wanted a little bid of it I would maybe even consider in trying it.

        3 years ago
        • definitely! it’s a point of view that people should really consider more, not that i am keen to promote drug use, but… imagine this – if you legalize things like marijuana and prostitution like in the netherlands, not only can you regulate it and make it safer, but you can tax the sh*t out of it! i would have thought most countries would be salivating at the mouth at the prospect of a cash influx of that magnitude, especially if in korea prostitution is already apparently so prevalent. (then again korea doesn’t seem like the kind of place that is particularly lacking in money these days :P)

          3 years ago
        • I’m not keen on drugs aether I know how damaging it can be same goes for alcohol seen it all in front of me with other people and learned my lesson from it. That’s also why I’m not drinking a lot of alcoholic drinks + I only like those expensive drinks but that’s an other story whahaha. But it does feel a lot saver but now that I see that Korea actually has a red light district I’m also wondering if they actually have loverboys? Or what Dutch people call loverboys. The kind of men that tries to seduce some shy innocent girl with presents and a lot of love and tries to break contact with family and friends and get to the point that she needs to go to the prostitution or other things like that. (I think they do know I see that they have this)

          3 years ago
        • Well weed and THC is actually proven to be healthier than most meds doctor tend to give people with skin or other forms of cancer. Still doesn’t make it right but, smoking other creates people for those who tend to abuse it, just like alcohol.
          And now I can’t help but think of my loving infinite and B.A.P when this topic comes up red light district and kpop I wonder???

          3 years ago
      • Meanwhile, people passed out drunk in our stairwell every weekend…

        3 years ago
        • from a complete outsider’s perspective, it appears to me that korean people tend to hold up their stars to super high moral standards, as if the way people act in k-dramas (super innocent and “pure”) is what people are really like in real life. it completely baffles me! perhaps people are scared to recognize those very real human desires (alcohol, sex, drugs, etc) within themselves and feel like they’re proving to the rest of the world how “moral” they are when they admonish celebrities for acting how they, in reality, act themselves. is everyone simply in denial? wonder how that’s working for them when they’re passed out in the stairwell…

          3 years ago
        • Rather that S. Korea being a partying nation, maybe everyone’s drunk because they’re unhappy? Kpop idols have this fake happy fantasy land that’s held up to “regular people” like a dream they can never catch to give them some hope, if the idols break the illusion, it’s bound to make people angry/unhappy.

          3 years ago
        • I am currently reading about the Korean culture and one of the main points is that in Korea “face” or “image” is a large part of the way people view each other. The whole levels of respect and image is about showing yourself at a high standard. I would guess that the Koreans would want the people in the eye of the public (especially international) to hold themselves to a very rigorous safe/good image. This would make the country look better and bring more positive views from others.
          When comparing America (I know it is mainly the USA) to other cultures I think it is important to remember that the USA is a relatively young country and that it has tried to allow for freedoms in diverse cultures. However, it is not to say that Americans are ok with sex, drugs, etc it has just reached the point that people here are numb to it happening. We see it on tv, hear it in music, see in our neighborhoods, and we know it will happen but there is not enough police to stop it and not enough room in the jails to hold all the people doing it. Also, by making it such a taboo, it has become an excitement giver until a person realizes it is not that major of a deal.
          Personally I feel education about sex should be more widespread, especially considering the diseases and consequences. I think our kids would be better off forewarned then “pure” and at risk because of their ignorance-it allows them to make smarter decisions. I don’t care what country, religion, race, etc we are losing our futures to the aspects of our lives we want to protect them from.

          3 years ago
        • “Face” or “image” and respect for elders is ingrained in every Asian culture. Just that Korea has a very strong Confucius system where there are clear demarcations on respect. Other Asian cultures don’t carry it to the extreme Confucius teaching like in Korea.

          3 years ago
      • ” Like the GD issue where he had 3 puffs apparently, I don’t get it.”

        lol It’s funny because i don’t get your way of seeing things. Different cultures i guess.

        3 years ago
    • Maybe they could talk about Daniel from DMTN’s case as well…

      3 years ago
      • From fan perspective: He only confessed to passing the drugs from one person to another not “pssing it out to people” (aka selling it) or smoking it”. There is a lot of confusion, though, because of several misinformed allkpop articles that the company has pleaded with them to take down but they have not. Yes, it was stupid of him to posses it at all with the extra pressure put on him as a star, but his crime was small so I, personally, am hoping this trial finishes soon and he gets off with some public service or something so that my DMTN can be back together and making beautiful music once again. With him as one of the lead singers in the group, it’s difficult for them to continue promotions without him, though they have been trying…

        3 years ago
      • Ouch. I feel like they’re going to treat him more harshly than GD

        3 years ago
        • Not really sure but isn’t he Korean-American this might end up being like Jay park and him just leaving.

          3 years ago
        • Yup and being a “nugu” from a barely known group and company isn’t going to help. But to be fair, what Daniel did was worse than what GD did so he was going to be punished more harshly regardless.

          3 years ago
        • Yeah, passing it out and smoking + nugu status = a lot more punishment

          3 years ago
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