Why are prostitutes in China learning English?

The answer is not surprising for it concerns Charles Darwin’s old theory about survival of the fittest.  In this case, survival is marked by the ability to make a living in a city where decent paying jobs for uneducated people are few and far between. For many who aspire to move upward in China, selling their bodies at night in local hotels is a way to pay for exorbitant school tuition fees.

Learning English broadens the clientele base and allows prostitutes to better communicate with foreign clients. The demand for sexual services from foreign clients is a huge factor in the success of the “industry”.

Many students in Chinese English classes hesitate to reveal details as to why they are learning a new language.  “I work in sales” is one classic answer or “I do business for myself” is another ambiguous reply.

Learning English will definitely improve business prospects. A sad alternative indeed for an overpopulated and corrupt culture where only the monied and the connected lead fruitful lives. The others are well, the others, and no one seems to care. It seems almost accidental if a life of prostitution leads to a fulfilling life.

In Xi’an, as in many other major cities, the local economy thrives on prostitutes, sex shops, and adult films. Due to the enormous foreign demand fueling the illicit market of sex, many brothels in China are located in centers known to attract many tourists.

Prostitution has had to integrate the English language into their business just as other sectors of the Chinese economy. Logistically speaking, s prostitute is much more likely to have success convincing a foreigner in English that he should spend an hour with her than in Chinese.

Hence, we have an “English boom” movement that is not really positive in its ramifications. It can be hoped that for some, learning English will provide an avenue for social mobility, a move into other legitimate service industries such as tourism or sales.

In the meantime, coffee, tea or… she?

What do YOU think about this?




M Dee Dubroff is the penname of this freelance writer and former teacher originally from Brooklyn, New York. A writer of ghostly and horror fiction, she has branched out into the world of humorous non fiction writing and maintains eight web sites covering a wide variety of topics. She also writes feature articles for several local newspapers. Her book entitled: A Taste of Funny, and her website, Eat, Drink And Really Be Merry (http://www.ingestandimbibe.com) feature many well researched and humorous articles on the subject of food and drink.