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Contact Admin. This article is from the archive of our partner. There's a remarkably national debate going on in China which has reached the front pages of the country' papers: should "happy endings" at massage parlors count as prostitution? Currently, due to loopholes in the country's penal code, they are not, even though China has a strict policy against the oldest profession in the world.
First off, "masturbation services" might be the politest way to phrase the act in question, though according to the AP, the purveyors of such services have more colorful terms to lure in customers like "hitting the airplane" and "breast massage.
But back to the national debate, the fact that it's reached the People's Daily , a newspaper run by China's ruling communist party, sort of indicates that the conversation is bubbling up. The reason they're talking about this is because law officials in the city of Foshan a local news report appears on the right had a hard time convicting a massage parlor owner whose employees were giving out the services.
The massage owner was acquitted because manual stimulation does not fit into the strict definition of prostitution—which involves intercourse. The court said manual stimulation did not belong in the realm of prostitution," the South China Morning Post explained , basing its information on a local report.
It may not be so simple. Essentially, "hitting the airplane" in China is all about the fine print. Tao writes:. Assuming generously and for convenience that 10 percent are gay, that means there are heterosexual boys for every 90 available girls, i. This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire. We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters theatlantic. Alexander Abad-Santos is a former writer for The Wire. Twitter Email.