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  • Gordon Dumoulin

Today's Seniors in China showing intimacy and affection; "we know exactly what we want"

“Can we hold hands and hug right now?” a middle-aged woman dressed in a tight-fitting silk dress asks, stepping toward him. The man, a 60-something wearing a traditional Tang jacket, looks visibly shocked by how forward she’s being. “Holding hands is fine,” he replies awkwardly.

But the woman is having none of it. “Why are you so conservative?” she exclaims, grabbing him by the lapels and planting a kiss on his cheek.

A scene on a recent episode of “Blind Date and Fall in Love” — a TV show hit that airs on the Chinese network Heilongjiang TV in the North-East of China. The format is similar to many other dating shows with a row of female contestants passing judgment on a single man. The twist: almost all participants are over 50.

Matchmaking game shows starring straight-talking seniors are becoming a hot new trend on Chinese TV, sparking a mix of shock and delight in a country where discussing sex after menopause has traditionally been a non-topic for most people. There are around 10 dating shows for elderly and middle-aged contestants currently airing in China, and some of them are attracting big audiences.

Dating shows but also meetups are normalizing intimacy and affection among seniors in rapid speed like never before. The elderly participants don’t just discuss their love lives; they often do so with disarming frankness.

“I can totally understand why they’re being bold and direct,” says Liang Changping, a 68-year-old who’s a regular at dating meetups at an IKEA store in Shanghai. “We’re old, experienced, we know exactly what we want and need. We don’t have time to waste beating around the bush.”

Chinese society in transformation...

Read more in Sixthone article "On TV Dating Shows, China's Elderly Finally Show Their Sexy Side"

#china #chinesesociety #chineseculture

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