The fact that hooking up is now accepted as one of a range of normal dating behaviours thus gave both Wu and his female fans a degree of protection from further public scrutiny and disapproval.
Even if virginity until marriage is becoming outdated as a limitation on the sexual freedom of Chinese women, loyalty in relationships is still a powerful “weapon of the weak”, which they can use to protect themselves in intimate relationships.
The scandal broke during Chinese New Year, which made it a main topic of conversation among families and friends who were meeting for the festivities.
Many of the Millennial students that I taught at Shantou University in 2014 clearly remembered discussions during that holiday gathering.
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The difference illustrates how attitudes toward sex have changed in the last eight years.
The Chen scandal was the first time dating culture among Chinese celebrities was exposed to the public.
This increasingly positive attitude towards sex can be seen in both young men and women, and it has become much easier to assert one’s own sexual rights in public.
In such an environment, the main topic of public discussion around Kris Wu is not the women’s sexual behaviour, but Wu’s practice of having sex with multiple partners.
Jue Ren is a postdoctoral researcher at the SGS of the Harbin Institute of Technology.