In Dongguan, southern China, a man with several girlfriends who pay to ‘keep’ him is now the norm, reported by Daily Mail.
Dongguan is an industrial city in southern China’s Guangdong province.
It’s frequently dubbed the ‘manufacturing centre of the world’, but it also has a reputation as the sex capital of China.
After a clean up of the city’s sex industry, Dongguan has once again made the headlines as a sleazy metropolis where women share boyfriends and shack up with these kept men.
As factory girls are only allocated dorm rooms, shared with other women, many have moved out to rent rooms in the city.
To save on rent, some are even forced to share rooms, divided by only makeshift fabric curtains, with other couples.
The young lovers must take turns to go for walks to give their room mates the time for copulation.
One man, named as Li Bin, claims he has three factory girlfriends.
He cohabits with one, is in a romantic relationship with another and treats the third as a lover.
Li Bin even claims that ‘they all know each other’.
He said: ‘My third girlfriend works nearby my workplace. She often looked sad so I went to talk to her.
‘She then proposed that we start dating. But I told her “I already have two girlfriends, I can’t have a third. We can be lovers,” and she agreed.’
Another man, referred to as Xiao Lin, revealed that he also has three girlfriends.
He said: ‘It’s very normal. Those who come to make a life are all the same.’
Xiao Lin added: ‘Several of my friends do it too. One man with several women is very normal.’
‘Young and beautiful factory girls are everywhere. They’re simple and easy to get along with, why not have several?’
‘It would be too embarrassing for someone to have just one girlfriend. Everyone will laugh at him.’
Justifying his approach to dating, Xiao Lin says: ‘Everyone is young, we can play for a few years.
‘When it’s the right age, all the girls go home and get married. They are still decent women.’
The culture of polyamorous relationships has given rise to another phenomenon – that of kept men.
This problem is so widespread that it has even given rise to a local saying: ‘It’s not easy for a male factory worker to find a job but a female worker cannot go without a boyfriend.’
Women who share a boyfriend are said to lavish attention and money on the men in order to become the favourite.
A woman who called herself Xiao Qin shared her story.
As a factory worker, Xiao Qin’s meager monthly salary of 2,000 Yuan (£200) was substantially more than that of her ex-boyfriend. His job at a local supermarket was even more lowly paid.
She said: ‘If I saw that he had less than 200 Yuan (£20) in his wallet, I will immediately add another several hundred.’
‘I was reluctant to spend money on myself but anything he wanted to eat, I would buy it for him.’
For the boyfriend, there was no need to ask for money – his girlfriends are more than happy to give it to him to win favours.
Dongguan’s problem stems from the huge gap between its male and female population.
While the rest of China has more men than women, Dongguan has just 89 men for every 100 women.
This is because female factory workers are preferred, which in turn encourages more female migrant workers to move to the region for work.
A similar effect has also been reported in other cities with a similar skew.
Coupled with societal pressures for women to marry by 27, the problem of boyfriend sharing and kept men has intensified.
Unfortunately for the women involved, China doesn’t yet have a policy to address this imbalance.