The ruined map

From XPUB & Lens-Based wiki


China’s modern encounters with Western industrial countries, and the ensuing comparison with white Westerners, ushered in a collective sense of Chinese male sexual inferiority. Men’s exposure to pornography and public showers fostered a sense of penis envy in settings with other men; men’s fragility and anxiety were further elevated by their sense of being unable to fulfill women’s desires.

The Maoist socialist state created a false image of Maoist socialist utopic superiority that—contrary to its intention of strengthening China’s pride—exacerbated Chinese men’s self-doubt.

Chinese men attribute their masculinity being under siege to China’s global self-repositioning and translated this general social uncertainty into a personal anxiety fixated on a physical organ.


Part 1

  1. In Chinese history, there have been cases of suoyang zheng [the syndrome of penis-shrinking]. This syndrome is actually anxiety that leads one to believe that his penis is not only becoming smaller and smaller, but also shrinking into the body.
  2. Most people had to go to a public shower room. This is another place where people make erroneous comparisons.
  3. The “small male sexual organ” stands as a legitimate articulation of the desire to become “big.” Ironically, the desire to strive solely for “bigness” could reveal an unenlightened “smallness” in the psyche, even amidst the rise of China.
  4. In interviews, most Chinese men wanted a big penis and a short height, instead of a small penis and a taller height.
  5. In Li Yu’s pornographic novel The Carnal Prayer Mat (Rouputuan), written in the Ming period, Weiyang Sheng, the hero, feels humiliated by his small penis after another man comments on it, even though his wife seems satisfied. In desperation, he gets help from a shushi (adept) who teaches the bedchamber arts. The adept implants a dog’s erect penis in Weiyang’s penis. Weiyang gains sexual power through this huge, half-human, half-beast penis; it enables him to realize his ambition of sleeping with all the beautiful women in the world.
  6. Leaving aside the plot point of extreme genital transformation, what is noteworthy about this novel is that Weiyang Sheng’s unease about his small penis size results from another man’s comments and Weiyang’s own subsequent constant self-comparison with other men. Driven by this unease, Weiyang singlemindedly pursues enlargement in defiance of common sense; he ignores warnings that the large size he aspires to would hurt virgins and young women, and he also flouts social norms by ignoring the damage the transplanted dog penis could do to his reproductive ability. Weiyang eventually suffers consequences for his extreme sexual lust; his wife becomes a prostitute and encounters him, without his being aware of her identity, in a brothel, where she commits suicide. After being beaten up by other clients, he recognizes his wife. In desperation and agony, he castrates himself, mutilating the source of his pleasure as well as his anguish. The critical overtone of the caricatured pursuit of a large penis and the anxiety about smallness was obvious.
  7. Under modernity, many men want to have a bigger penis in order to win the male competition by “outdoing other men.” This argument might imply that as male dominance over women’s bodies tended to weaken, the anxiety to outdo other males grew.
  8. More Chinese people think white people have bigger penises than they do, not black people.
  9. Subscribing to the ideal of bigness constituted a primary psychodynamic striving for masculine totality that could also fuel an unfulfilled, unrealizable desire in the symbolic world at a distance.
  10. Watching pornographic videos led to the discovery or reinforcement of a feeling of “smallness.” Pornography that contained images of Westerners and other sources of erotic imagination contributed to what might be called a worship of bigness.
  11. As the Chinese penis shrank in scientific studies, the Western penis grew in some popular discourse.
  12. Most people would attribute this difference to racial differences.
  13. Perceived male smallness embodies the national sentiment that has rearticulated the desire to become big in the reform era—an ironic experience in the midst of China’s rise.


  1. In the late 1990s, concerns about sexual impotence became increasingly polluting. Advertisements and discussions of the treatment of impotence were everywhere.
  2. "impotence" symbolizes the social body, which is caught in a predicament from which neither the failed Maoist past nor the increasingly consumption-centered future seems a way out.
  3. The emergence of nanke in the 1980s was not just a response of the medical system to the changing demands of society. It was also a result of the change in moral symptomatology. Under the moral symptomatology hostile to individual desire in the Maoist period, impotence became a moral experience of the male body as well as the female body, not so much associated with a primordial sense of masculine shame as with the fear of revealing sexual desire in seeking medical treatment to recover potency. The body that desired was more shameful than the body that was impotent. Therefore, it was yijing rather than impotence that commanded more attention from the medical system and for which medical treatment was justified. The changing moral symptomatology that encouraged individual desire accounted for the increasing visibility of impotence in post-Mao China to the degree that yijing could be regarded as a symptom of Maoist socialism and impotence as a symptom of post-Mao China, particularly in the 1990s. Medical systems and the societies they are situated in can "produce" different diseases by giving different kinds of attention to them in accordance with their ranking and nature in light of a certain moral symptomatology and, therefore, can make different types of subject.
  4. When Covid-19 started, it was spread on Chinese social media that the virus was spread to humans because Chinese people ate wild animals. And Chinese men often eat wild animals to improve their sexual performance.

Part 3:

  1. Chinese men like hook up. They can describe precisely how long their lovemaking lasts. They completely separate sex and love. Love is forbidden, avoided and even when encountered, suppressed.
  2. Insecurity and fear of love lead to more casual sex
  3. Sex is now often treated the conclusion rather than the start of a new love relationship.
  4. More people are frustrated about relationship and sex – even more men and women have given up the thoughts/hopes of having sex with another person and building an intimate relationship altogether.

The Intimacy With the Machine

Self-Commodification and Weakening of Social Bond



Commodification of the Other: The New Delight

Situational sexual desire


Asian Fetish

hot, sexy, passionate


the dark Other

symbolic frontier (Bell Hooks)

deny the significant of that Other's history through a process of decontexualization











The next day was going to be a spring trip, and all those keywords were swirling around in your mind.

Masseuses, maids, geishas,

ladyboy, Korean, almond-shaped eyes

young married Chinese,

mature women in cheating,

huge tits, silk, Cum Dim Sum,

blowjob for chopsticks.

You looked at your crotch. The huge cock sucked by the lady from Hong Kong on the screen divided the world in two for the first time, Asia and the rest.

Your sexual knowledge began to weave from understanding the advertisements for penis enlargement and impotence treatment that fill the streets. None of those blondes were your favorite, your favorites were still those Japanese girls. 15 years old, you were in a classmate's room telling dirty jokes, then he talked about Sola Aoi and the classmate with the biggest cock. He offered you to suck each other. You looked at his face and can't remember the Japanese girls, and soon the early morning birdsong reveals your true colors.

In Chinese, "China" literally means a country in the middle. Your grandfather reminisced about Mao again at the dinner table, your sister bought new high heels, you learned to describe your cock size and sex duration precisely to girls after entering university, and sex marked the end of every relationship. The past here was andrology ads, the future would be Viagra, you had no interest in this spring trip, you were always swinging forward like a sleepwalker on the right path of life. No temper. You'd never been a man.

Like you'd only gone through that one cave in the internet cafe, you arrived in Rotterdam expecting nice weather. Luxury shops were filled with familiar Asian faces. The waiter, expressionless, sprinkled yellow, brown, and black pepper over the food of that white family, to add a hot and spicy scent. He then described the history of that plate of pasta, as if he were talking about the weather.

Beneath the neon glow of the night sky, there was a swirling vortex of noise driven by an invisible purpose. No matter how you adjusted your speed, you could never get more than three meters away from a stranger.

Translating pornography was your best part-time job. You translated those words as easily as casually dropping the peel of an orange. Then the bewildered gaze fell back into the glass. Your eyes swept over the East Asian boys and girls who lived in the script. Your fates were somehow intertwined.

It occurred to you how many white men were lying around the house searching for these keywords. The boss was happy with you giving you money for translation. He was straight but thought you were cute and wanted you to suck his dick. What you ate every day reminded you of your first shot of cum, mixed with a mass of solid sperm corpses.

You felt your penis skin was as thin as porcelain as if it would break at the slightest pressure. In order to find an excuse for standing still for long, you took out a cigarette, put it in your mouth, and deliberately failed to strike a match, killing time. It was as if you were set in a landscape that had forgotten to depict people. There were no people, and certainly no history or cars.