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Ok, so this topic is a bit difficult for us to talk about, because it’s one that we can really barely talk about at all. Whenever we discuss a topic that we don’t have any experience with, like the one on Dating in Korea, we can only relate what our friends have told us. Having our Korean friends open up about sexuality, though, isn’t really as easy as it is with our non-Korean friends. Maybe it’s a Korean thing. Maybe it isn’t. We’re not sure. All we know is that we kinda feel like elementary school kids again trying to talk about the things they heard about sex. I heard you put your weiner in a girl’s belly button to make babies! EWWW GROSSSS.

Another thing about sexuality as well: we can’t comment on what an entire race of people are like, because sexuality is very individualistic. The habits of a few people don’t represent the habits of everyone. Even if we had first-hand experience with sexuality in Korea and told you those stories, that wouldn’t really be all too indicative of Sexuality in Korea, you know? This disclaimer isn’t exclusive to just this topic of sexuality. Lots of the topics we discuss are just based on our limited experiences, which can vary greatly depending on who you know or where you’ve been. Our marriage is different than many of the marriages you’ve seen or experienced, our diets are different, and our experiences in Korea are different as well. We can only tell stories, and hopefully you find them interesting :D

The only thing that we could really talk about that was distinctly Korean, though is the Love Motel experience, which we haven’t seen anywhere else, really. Love motels are pretty much motels whose main bread and butter is people looking for a place to have sex. Why, do you ask, do people need to go to Love Motels to have sex? Because of real estate prices, that’s why. If you want to have your own apartment in Korea, you have to put down a giant deposit of $10,000-$50,000, sometimes even more, depending on the place. Not a lot of students in high school or university, or even post-university have that kind of dough. We know people in their 30s in Korea still living with their parents.

So what are they gonna do if they want to get it on and they still live with their parents? Some of you might suggest “sneak off into the basement or the bedroom or whatever so long as it’s far from the rest of the family,” but it’s not that easy. People don’t live in big houses here. Most people live in apartments. You gonna sneak off and get it on in a room whose wall is connected to the living room? That’s not gonna happen! Oh you wanna get it on in the garage? You mean, the public garage where everyone else in your apartment parks? NOT HAPPENING, unless…you’re creative…

Hence, Love Motels. A whole business model, a whole small economy, based on ludicrous apartment deposits. The same can be said of coffee shops, which are overrun by people on dates, who don’t want to do something romantic in the company of their parents. DVD rooms exist as well, which are supposed to be for watching DVDs, but are – errr – known for people having sex in them as well. DVD rooms are cheaper than Love Motels, so if you’re horny and on a budget, that’s the place to go!

What’s odd, though, is that sexuality isn’t really that openly talked about in Korea, when it’s pretty much in your face a lot of the time. Isn’t Korea one of the highest consumers of porn in the world? And aren’t there rub and tugs everywhere? We have a friend who is Korean but living in Japan, and she was telling us about the difference between Japanese TV and Korean TV. She was watching a prime-time Japanese TV program, with celebrity guests talking about stuff on some chatterbox program, and one of them was telling a story about what one of his ex-girlfriends liked to do with his shpoonk. To which we all looked aghast and said “That would NEVER be on Korean TV,” but would it be on North American TV as well? Canadian? I don’t think so. American? I doubt it. Mexican? I’ve got no clue. I think Mexico’s more open about its sexuality, for some odd reason. Probably because it’s hotter there. Oh hell I don’t know what I’m talking about.

We haven’t really seen any sex shops in Korea as well, as much as we see them where we’re from. There’s a condom shop in Hongdae that we’ve seen, but that’s about all we’ve seen. When we were in Akihabara, Tokyo, though: HOLY SMOKES SO MANY SEX SHOPS EVERYWHERE. Multi-level sex shops. Whole floors dedicated to penis pumps. We know this only because we had to research them for the sake of our videos, of course. POINT IS: we haven’t really seen any sex shops in Korea.

As for the more juicy details our foreign friends have related about their sexual experiences in Korea, there’s no real trend that we can comment on. Some Korean girls are shy and timid, and carry the “oppa!” thing to an uncomfortable sexual level, and some girls are friskier and more dominant. Some guys are great and some are inconsiderate dolts. It’s no different than sex back where we’re from. Some people are great at it and some aren’t.

Anyhow, we’ll leave the floor open for discussion now, though we’re not sure how to open this up for discussion without turning the comment section into NSFW territory. We didn’t talk about prostitution here in Korea, which is related to sexuality, but entirely deserving of its own post, if the topic of Se7en’s massage parlour experience is something people want us to use as a springboard. Side note: the whole “I went in there without knowing what it was! Oops!” excuse is clearly, irrevocably, undeniably, 100% bullshit :D

And now that we’re done talking about sex and shpoonk on Japanese TV, how about we talk about helping our North Korean refugees? Highly inappropriate! But, it’s our last chance to do so, and we really wanted to raise more awareness for it. We made a Tumblr post about it over the weekend, but we wanted to mention it in a TL;DR video where we think more people would be interested in participating. We didn’t want to talk about it in last week’s TL;DR, since the topic was a bit more sensitive than love motels and Dildi.

The point is, this Saturday we’re going to help raise funds for LiNK. If you’re in the area, come hang out with us and chip in a few bucks if you can! If you’re not in the area, as 96% of you aren’t, yet you want to help out, you can still donate online to the Seoul Rescue Team. Either way, if you’re in Korea or not, we hope that you can participate in this somehow :D

ToFebruary
  1. Love motels would be pretty cool in America, I think. The only equivalent is really run down, crappy, cheap motels that are more for travel than shenanigans. Too bad that if love motels were a thing in the US, people would have mixed feelings, more on the negative side :(

  2. See http://thegrandnarrative.com/2012/12/09/ga-in-bloom-female-empowerment/
    and comments in http://seoulbeats.com/2012/10/need-a-man-miss-a-says-forget-about-it/
    about why it is not about true female independence.

    TheGrandNarrative (a great site for Korea socio-culture and feminism reviews) – “while Miss A’s “I don’t need a man” looks like it’s gunning for female empowerment, at the end it’s still feeding into a discourse that men made for a “good girl” or a “sensible woman” in Korea.”

    Seoulbeat’s Best ranked comment among many good ones -“They still frame womanhood as something inherently related to men somehow. Is it really that hard to be independent and assert that independence without talking about a man to be independent from?”

    Additionally, it’s clear from the lyrics that Miss A is talking to a man. Their message isn’t that they don’t need a man at all – their message is they don’t need a man to buy them the basics and exuberant luxuries. Which of course in Western culture comes quite obviously – most guys would expect the girls to pay for their own rent, clothing and handbags. No one wants a girl who leeches off them. The Korean perspective on this is explored in TheGrandNarrative article.

  3. I am wondering about religion. Are there churches in Korea? Or is it mainly Buddhism?

  4. There are sex shops in Korea. but they’re very discreet. You have to know what to look for.

    I live in Uijeongbu, and on the main road downtown there’s a sex shop on the 2nd or 3rd floor, but the only way you’d really know it was there is because they put this tiny little yellow sign (it looks like on of those folding signs that say caution wet floor) with simple black lettering saying 성인용품 which literally means ‘adult products’

  5. LOL! Onf Martina my university had the universal condom bag in the main student union building! I remember walking in on my first day and feeling very awkward lol!! There were also giving out free condoms and pizza at an event on campus! You can now tell simon your right!

  6. What does shpoonk mean? 0.o
    And I think there’s a spelling mistake here: “To which we all looked aghast and said “That would NEVER be on…” :D

  7. hi Magda….i totally agree..sex exists …..as do all the related issues of std, pregnancy, abuse, etc. whether folks talk about these things or not. so i think NOT talking and making some stuff illegal or hidden is very wrong. very. abortion is illegal in korea, but not hard to get. premarital sex is a ‘no-no’, and culturally unacceptable, but it’s everywhere (try watching a kpop performance and NOT thinking about sexiness). there is a double standard of what is publiclly valued and what occurs privately. to out myself , i’m an adoptive parent of a 25 yr old born in Korea. I’ve been to Korea several times, and have been very involved in the Korean American community. I’ve also worked in women’s health in the US and have been a support of reproductive choice for decades. And I love history /cutlure stuff so I read on these topics a lot. That being said…think of Korean society as like the US in the 1950’s and early 1960’s. Elvis a sexy singer. The “Mad Men” style affairs at the office. pregnant teens living in shame in maternity homes giving up babies for adoption. It doesn’t make sense as there are so many contradictions. That is Korea now. I know little about Mexico….but I’ll bet big city life and small town life are quite different. That is also true in Korea. What goes in Hongdae where Simon & Martina live….drunk club goers making out in their stairwell…..is not so likely in small Korean towns. same in the usa really. but in the end. sex is everywhere, so why would anyone deny information about it? silly really.

  8. You guise!! I laughed my a** off during this video!! Honestly!! :D

    You sure got a sense of humour!! <3

    And thanks for making these TL;DRs!!!

  9. I am really glad that the school I went to had Health classes. Sports, hygiene, how to eat healthily etcetera were taught in this class but we were also taught about menstration and birth control. We didn’t always appreciate learning about it and often found it silly but when my period started I was glad I knew what was happening.

  10. I think you are right Mexico has been adapting a lot, I live in the north bordering with the U.S. so I think you can actually see more and more people being American influenced(?) that people in the south or at least in my experience. In my college there is lot of talk about sex and protection but I think it has to do more with my career than anything else and I have only once seen a campaign of condoms too, they went around giving boxes with 100 condoms with lube and everything to every boy they saw, funny thing they wouldn’t give you one if you were a girl xD But either way its slowly becoming a more and more openly-talked topic for every one.

  11. you aren’t. usually they dont want you to speak any korean to the students because then they won”t learn. i think they said it in one of their old videos

  12. Wow I wish I’d seen this before I first moved to Korea.

    I have too many stories both wonderful and horrible related to this topic, so I’m just going to pass on the discussion. I just want to thank Simon and Martina for bringing this up, ‘cuz it’s not something openly discussed in Korea. I really respect the topics you guys have been talking about for TL;DR! Kept it up! :)

  13. The was one sex shop on Itaewon near the Jeil Entertainment building, I believe it’s moved off the main street, but not sure where. That’s the only one I’ve seen. Stark contrast to Tokyo. Only saw 1 underwear machine in Tokyo, but there was a VHS (dating myself) machine a few blocks from the house. By day, the tinted screen made it near impossible to see what was inside, but at night it was back lit and visible. After a while I figure out that new releases were on top row going for ~$40 and as they got older, moved down until they were ~$10.

    Another topic, my Korean wife will not kiss in public. After 14 years of marriage, a quick peck is the most I will get, in public.

  14. link fundraiser, kudos for doing something good with your fame and popularity.

  15. I thought they were going to talk about sexuality, as in, the gay/lesbian/bisexual community in Korea. Was kinda disappointed :/

  16. Mexico is not open about its sexuality, neither. In fact, I think they are more open about that topic in the US and Canada.

  17. About birth control in Korea – my co-teacher told me that many high school and college girls take birth control before and during exams so that they won’t have their period during that time. And, as of when I lived in Korea, it was very easy to get birth control in a pharmacy. It was sold without a prescription at a much cheaper price than (American) prescription pills. You may have to put up with judgement from the pharmacist though.

    There is a thread about this over at waygook.org, if anyone wants more practical information.

  18. There is ALOT OF PROSTITUTION in Korea.
    You should read this article about Korean men and prostitution. It’ll give you a good idea about how things are in Korea. BE AWARE. This article might stop you from idolising Korean men. But remember not every guy in Korea is doing this.

    http://thegrandnarrative.com/2010/01/20/korea-sex-marriage-prostitution/

  19. Our Korean friend told us that any place called “motel” is considered a love motel, even if it’s just a family run old-style building that doesn’t look sketch at all. So apparently Koreans avoid going to them because of the reputation of the word, even if most that we’ve been to on our travels have been really clean (gotta pick the right ones!). Our friend also said that some motels are changing their names to “hotel” just because of the reputation around the word “motel.” Funny! Oh well, $30 or $40 a night isn’t bad as long as it’s clean, right?

    p.s. Another Korean friend told us that a huge percentage of Koreans consider birth control to be the man’s choice. I looked up some articles about it on the internet, and most of them agreed with that! Crazy! Maybe that’s why women have babies right after getting married? One of my students the other day said that she was a “honeymoon baby” hahaha!!

  20. OMG THEY USED MY QUESTION! ^_^ this is so cool!!

    also, i’m a boy, lol.

  21. Im vietnamese and i was never had the sex talk at home the only way i learnt was through sex education at high school. The only reason that I know about things like birth control like the pill and condoms is because of school. The only thing my parents ever told me was “Don’t watch porn” literally and that was it. They never talk about these things at home because it is seen as taboo and disgusting. In there minds I should not be “exploring my sexuality” instead I should be studying. Im really grateful of the sex education available at school or I would have went to university knowing nothing about these things.

    • Hey Kim! It’s cool that you see sex-ed this way, as something important that shoould be talked about. I have a vietnamese friend and she told me the exact same thing about her parents (except for the porn) the only thing different is that her school wouldn’t provide much more info on it.Perhaps you can make things different for YOUR kids(?)!! When I noticed that S&M mentioned Mexico and wondered as to how open it is to sexuality, it got me thinking. I’m Mexican and unlike you, my parents (my mom in particular) explained what sex was (the act) by the time I was in 5th year of elementary school (I was like 10 yrs old back then). I mean she explained the basics as to “how babies are made” and that was it. Later on through school and questions I threw towards her I got more info. I think it’s really important to at least know the basics, later on in middle school and high school I got plenty of info, some from school some from friends (which is very dangerous, cuz they pretty much know as much about sex as you do) and so at least back then I knew how to prevent STDs and pregnancy. I would like to mention, that although some kids may recieve all info by the time they are 15/16, it doesn’t mean they are ready to be “sexually active”, because it requires maturity and responsability. Being a parent is no easy job, becoming a parent at 15/16 (or even younger) must be SUPER DUPER hard (not impossible though). So I speak to you as a 22 yr old girl/woman who has graduated from College and has been able to have all the information about sex at hand, who is till a virgin and is waiting for the right time and right person to experience and exchange that side of my sexuality ;) So I have yet to have more experience at my side P.S: I don’t mean to say that everyone should be/feel the same way I am/feel. This is a free world, just take care!! <3

  22. Dothraki man warrior’s chest hair is so in-your-face in this video hahahaha!

  23. It didn’t suprise me the idea of Love Motels because I’m from Argentina and here that really common but We know them as Telos (in lunfardo, Rio Platenese argot, for ‘hotel’: the order of the syllables in words is often reversed, and of course the ‘h’ is silent in Spanish. Every city even the smallest one have at least one of this type of hotel, for example in Buenos Aires (capital) only, there are about 150 pay by the hour hotels, some of them really gross (cheap one) and others really clean.

  24. I’m sure you guys saw them while you were there, but Japan has love motels all over the place! They even have a special love motel interior design related culture thing going on. They have rooms ranging from regular hotel looking rooms to space themed rooms to rooms that cater more towards particular fetishes. I know this from living there for a bit and having friends who went and I also found it so interesting that I read a book about it. It’s pretty bizarre, but very interesting.

  25. Well, now I want to learn about prostitution in Korea.

  26. now i wanna know about prostitution and “message parlor”(Gigitty gigitty boom boom) of korea.

  27. I don’t know what is shpoonk, i searched it on google but…

  28. My female Korean friends were always surprised when I said I was on birth control. The first thing they say is, “But it’s very bad for your body!” They get a lot of misinformation. It’s really different to here where people go on BC pill for acne, for period pain etc. Korean girls struggle a lot with periods as well it seems. They don’t have the option of BC pills for extreme period pain or period problems, or even seem to realise there is medication for period pain. It’s a shame because some of those problems can be managed if they just knew.

    Also about STDs…. if you go to the doctor in Korea and ask for a STD test they will look at you like you are a dirty disgusting person. It’s really unfortunate because people aren’t getting checked but obviously there are STDs going around. Just really different to here where even going to the doctor for something else and they are doing tests they will throw in a STD test as well, just to check.

    • I had to explain why I was on birth control to my Korean friends. They didn’t understand as I am married and have only one partner. They all saw it as extremely weird and only for those that were promiscuous. When I explained that it was for severe cramps and an irregular cycle, they didn’t realize that it had those benefits.They thought it was simply a contraceptive like condoms.

      When I went to the doctor with one of them (because sometimes things get lost in translation) when they asked if there was a possibility she was pregnant she got upset. I explained that it’s not that they think you did anything, they just want to know before they give you something that would hurt you if you were. It was kind of a culture shock.

  29. My school is like what you described… we have an envelope filled with condoms on a door down the hall. It’s the health advisors door :)

  30. I have a korean friends that I think he is tooo open to talk about that or make joke with sexual content. We make joke, and talk his friends experiences, and all that, and one time I say to him Why we always finish our talk about something referred to sex? I asume that is for fun (to him) but well~ I thing I more shy that him in that aspect. But he break that “rules” about korean don’t talk about that =P

  31. ahahahah massage parlour!!
    bwahahahahahaha that story of you guys scaring the couple is hilarious!!!
    …..what a pick up line!!!
    haha love that CSI comment!!

    man this was hilarious!!! (even more so cos i’m childish!!!)

  32. There are lots of love hotels in Japan and sometimes people stay there because its cheaper. http://youtu.be/BhE9cbNZtJc

  33. WANK in love motel please ^^

  34. I know love hotels are big in Japan too, not sure about China. I know China’s pretty cagey about sexuality too though. The girls can be very shy, guys too, depends on the person though, but mostly I found girls and guys to be more shy. One of the few guys that ever hit on me in China turned out to be Korean anyway XD. Other guys were just, brave/older. Gotta give em props though, since most thought I was Russian. But sex shops in China, I knew of 3 in my city, not big ones, but they existed. There are KTV’s(noraebang) that have line ups of girls who’ll sit with you and drink with you while you sing too, kinda like a host club. Oh, and there are plenty of very obvious whore houses EVERYWHERE. Known as pink houses. They look kinda like hairdressers, which can be confusing lol. And you could see male prostitutes, ‘cock’s as they were nicknamed in the clubs, kinda clumped on one table. Not sure who approaches who in that situation… but sexuality in China is… there but not talked about so much. Like Korea I spose. China has alot of bootleg pron DVD’s too lol.

  35. Hey Guys I was wondering why don’t you guys make an EYK app? and how about you visit Puerto Rico!!! (^0^)/ *throws Doritos as confetti*

  36. “If CSI came to a Love Motel, it would be like a disco.” buahahahahahahahahahahahaha ROFL!!!

  37. oooohhh se7en diss there :’)

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