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Safe sex, a luxury for migrant workers
Latest Updated by 2007-03-22 11:37:19


Workers holding  booklets saying ' guidebook to happy sex life'.[people.com.cn]

"We feel kind of sorry when these young guys struggle against each other to get one condom," said Zhang Jixiao, Director of Home of Green Apples, a sex health education institute affiliated to China Population Information and Education Centre.

"They are young and energetic fellows in their twenties. Physical demands are quite common to them, we bring altogether 4,000 condoms and now they are gone in just few seconds." Zhang makes the remarks when he and his colleagues are busy with lecturing AIDS prevention know-how to migrant workers at a construction site.

"Sex is somehow a luxury for many of them, and this is the last scene I want to see," said Zhang.

When talking about migrant workers, a sweaty scenario of hard labor working always jump into one's mind, however, too few attention have been drawn to their sexual health and wellbeing. Most of migrant workers lack proper and safe ways to vent their long-suppressed lusts.

They are, as a matter of fact, more affectionate than their urbanite counterparts, because they have to leave their hometowns to seek a better life, and that in turn makes them nostalgic and sensitive, Zhang said. To complicate the case, they are accommodated in undesirably small workmate dorms where they have almost no private space.

"By doing this," Zhang said, "their boss can cut short the budget and to avoid unintended security problems, however, the consequences end up with that they have no proper outlets to resort to, when they are sexually in dire need."

Last April, the Research Office of State Council officially publicized the Study on Chinese Migrant Laborers. In the report, psychologist points out that, longish suppression of sex needs will definitely lead to irrational sexual impulse, it will affect one's psychological wellbeing, and in worst cases, those with weak abstention willpower may risk on criminal leeway.

Being physically obsessed but having nowhere to 'quench the thirst' is believed to be the most torturous ordeal for migrant workers. "You got no idea how it feels" said Li Shun, a brickie working at a site near Beijing CBD district. We have nothing recreational when nights draw on, except for playing cards and mah-jongg, sometimes small wages are involved, to make the game a bit more thrilling, that's all. A recent survey conducted by Oriental Outlook shows that, only 5% migrant workers can enjoy sex thrice a week, while up to 19% have already forgotten when was their last time.

About 21% of the surveyed choose 'street-girls' as their major way-out to meet sexual demand, another 25% prefer porn videos or trash talks to get virtually satisfied.

Migrant workers in general, said Director of China Sexology Institute, Hu Kaicheng, dramatically lack basic knowledge of sexual health, they don't know how to protect themselves and how to have safe sex. "AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases are unheard about to most of them," Hu said. "Let alone how to use condom and contraceptive meds."

He cited a true anecdote headlined in a Guangzhou local newspaper, 2 migrant worker were hospitalized because they have their 'things' stuck in mineral water bottles, in wake of conducting bottle-based self-consolation. "It's quite a woeful thing for me to read it, they just don't know how to do that. At this stage, I believe, education is the matter of utmost urgency," Hu said, "the point is to let them know what is safe sex, and how to have safe sex, instead of lecturing them stop thinking about sex."

More or less, society as in general, has the obligation to render proper solutions to meet migrant worker's long-neglected natural needs, such as 'spouse room' or constant education lectures which help to demystify the word sex. In return, a more sophisticated understanding of sexual health and safe sex for migrant workers will play its reciprocal role to both migrant workers and the cities we dwell in, as part of a healthy lifestyle to the former and an indispensable stabilizer to the latter.

Editor: Wing

By:Lei Xiaoxun Source:China Daily Website
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