Over the weekend, photos of the theme park being constructed in Chongqing circulated on websites around the world, prompting an emergency inspection by local officials, according to the Daily Mail. The park featured a photo exhibition on the history of sex, and statues of giant penises and the lower half of a woman wearing a thong. Last week the park's manager, Lu Xiaoqing, said when the park opened in October it would offer workshops to help visitors improve their sexual technique and information on safe sex.
"Sex is a taboo subject in China but people really need to have more access to information about it," said Xiaoqing, "We are building the park for the good of the public. I have found that the majority of people support my idea, but I have to pay attention and not make the park look vulgar and nasty."
But after touring the park this weekend, municipal officials released a statement saying it was, "vulgar and that it was neither healthy nor educational. It had had an evil influence on society and had to be torn down immediately." Officials added that the owners of Love Land were "interested only in profiting from sensationalism,"The Guardian reports.
A demolition team quickly took a wrecking ball to the park, toppling a revolving statue of a woman's legs that stood in front of the park. The swift destruction of the site highlights conflicted view of sex in China (and pretty much everywhere else!), which Daily Mail describes as "a prudish attitude toward the discussion of sexuality paired with an almost clinical approach to its physical aspects." While pornography is banned and there is little sex education, many shops openly sell sex toys and sex outside of marriage is tolerated. Prostitution is illegal, but it's common for businessmen to keep mistresses.
There also isn't much awareness of sexual harassment and laws on sexual abuse are weaker in China than in many other parts of the world. Aside from Love Land, the second most widely reported sex-related story out of China last week was about a government official who paid to have sex with a 13-year-old girl, but was let off with a conviction for visiting a prostitute and a fine because he claimed he didn't know how old the girl was.
China's First Sex Theme Park Closes Before It Opens [Daily Mail]
China's First Sex Theme Park Closes Before It Opens [The Guardian]