Wes and I have talked about starting a blog for ages. And then we’ve had this blog for ages and either of us can get over this initial fear of posting something that is not perfect. I am taking the plunge. I am going to talk about what I learned from dating in Hong Kong. First, I will share an article from The Atlantic called “Hong Kong’s Troubling Shortage of Men”.
This article discusses the skewed gender ratio in Hong Kong and how that is affecting educated, local Hong Kong women to find suitable husbands who will buy them a house and look after them. Many women in Hong Kong seem to be panicking: “Asian men seem to be attracted to girls around 25 rather than girls over 30, so if we don’t find the right man soon, our chances of meeting a future partner will get slimmer.” The last thing they want is to end up as a shengnü or “leftover women”.
Based on my observations and experience, it’s not just the local Hong Kong men who live this foot-loose lifestyle, where they are either focusing on their careers, or sleeping with as many women as they possibly can. Not that anything is fundamentally wrong with exploring sexually, but men tend to play these games to get women to sleep with them, and sometimes these games aren’t very nice. They play these games on the expense of the women’s emotional/psychological well-being and self-esteem. This is not a phenomenon that is only applicable to Hong Kong men, but with western expat men as well. I have been on the Hong Kong dating scene on-and-off since moving here in April 2012. I am a bit of a racist once it comes to dating- I exclusively date English speaking, western educated non-Asians. I had a ball when I first came to Hong Kong, there are so many attractive, single, educated and fun-loving men in Hong Kong- I’ve had some great dates, some really shitty dates. Some dates became some of my best friends, and others were duds and forgotten. I also met men who literally had ripped me apart- it’s not completely their fault, I was a bit of a mess, but they certainly weren’t considerate of my feelings or needs. Anyway, I found that many expat men, who may not amount to much back home, the ones women didn’t pay attention to, became gods when they arrive in Hong Kong. This town breeds toxic bachelors who don’t need to settle down or be accountable to the women they date because there are unlimited supply of attractive, young women who will throw themselves at them. They get used to this, and they expect this, and they become spoiled and entitled.
When I first came to Hong Kong, I just ended a long-term relationship and was feeling lost and insecure. It’s not easy being in Hong Kong when a woman is in that fragile state, especially since she was not 25 and weighed 120 pounds. After a string of unsuccessful dates, where I was made to feel pretty awful about myself, I started to believe that I was too old and too fat for this town. I’ve been given an array of advice from well-intended friends. You have to play the game, you have to be coy, you can’t just give them what they want (but what if what they want is also what I want?!?). You are too excited, tone it down. You talk too much, you are too fast, too crazy, too weird. Oh, here is a good quote from the article- apparently, we should be “gazing at men while leaning forward at a 45 degree angle and avoiding showing excitement during any conversation.” Really? Is this what men really truly want?
Also, I have been told that as a 31-year-old, healthy and fit woman, I am too old and ‘big’ for the men in Hong Kong. This must be true because according to the article, “27-year-old accountant Laura recently underwent her first liposuction procedure at the Life Clinic, one of the biggest centers in the city, and is planning a second early next year. She believes that she can only find her life partner once she achieves her own ideal of physical perfection.” Wow. Again, really?
Lately, I realized that I don’t want the men who want women who avoid showing any excitement, and get a liposuction because they are fearful that they won’t find a husband. Fuck that. No way I am putting myself through that misery. Instead, I will eat and drink what I please, run my half-marathons, and say and do what I please. I will continue to be excited, impulsive, and start dance parties wherever and whenever I can. I will travel the world, go diving, be free as a bird and not have some stupid guy made me feel shitty because I have a brain, and self-worth.
I suppose I will be a shengnü , and a pretty hot and awesome one.