Li Yinhe: China Should Relax Law against 'Group Licentiousness'

January 6, 2015
Editor: Amanda Wu

Because having sex constitutes a political right, China should ease its law against "group licentiousness," says Chinese sexologist Li Yinhe.

Li, who recently caused quite a stir online after posting an official statement confirming that she has been living unmarried with a transgendered man for almost 17 years, said that China hasn't modified its sex-related law for over a decade but such articles outlawing group sex or x-rated merchandise don't exist in most countries in the world.

"I have been retired from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences for two years, but I'm never one to remain idle. I still continue with my efforts to develop and propagate sex education in China," Li added.

In 2014, Li published five books, including An Introduction to Sexology, Sexual Discourse Studies in New China, Li Yinhe: My Spiritual Reading, Li Yinhe: My Observation of Society and Li Yinhe: My Philosophy of Life.

"I didn't expect 2014 to mark my most fruitful year. Actually, I completed most of these books before I retired," said Li. "For example, I wrote An Introduction to Sexology at the invitation of Peking University more than 10 years ago; but due to its sensitive subject matter, the book didn't come out until 2014."

"Times have changed. From what I can see, society as a whole is witnessing a growing acceptance to sex. People have come to know about things like same-sex marriage, and the living conditions of homosexual people have been improved," said Li.

When Li's first husband, Wang Xiaobo (1952–1997) — a renowned contemporary Chinese novelist and essayist — died of a heart attack, people callously ventured that he had been driven to death by Li's "homosexual orientation."

That same dialogue emerged once again when people got wind of the fact that Li's current cohabitant was female — by birth, that is. "I have grown used to such personal attack, but I now consider it an opportunity to promote sex education," said Li.

"My cohabitant's sexual orientation is heterosexual, because now he is recognized as a male in terms of his male traits in both psychology and physiology, after several sex reassignment operations. He is a pure man in my view; one whose sexual preference is female — me [making us a heterosexual couple]," clarified Li.

"In China, most people don't have enough knowledge on the subject of sex, and many have never even heard of the term 'LGBT' (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender), which is quite popular in Western countries. In the United States, it has been an important political idea. If Barack Obama didn't know the term, he couldn't have succeeded in his presidential campaign," added Li.

"It's good to see that my private life has gotten more people to learn about a sexological term, 'transgender,' and its relatively unknown group," added Li.

Li revealed that if times continue to change, she will eventually get started on a project that has been at the back of her mind for some time: a novel written on the topic of sadomasochism. "No publisher dares to release a book on this topic, but I think the day will come," said Li.

Note: Professor Li Yinhe is a sexologist and researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and has long studied marriage, family and sex in Chinese society.

The above opinions represent the opinions of Li only and are not necessarily shared by Women of China (

(Source: Qilu Evening News/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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