Sun Yat-sen University wants to stimulate masturbation discussion with new contest

Posted: 04/3/2013 2:00 pm

It’s not everyday a public, sexual-themed competition is held by a prestigious university in China, which makes the one being organized by Guangzhou’s Sun Yat-sen university quite notable.

Pei Yuxin, sociology professor at the university and organizer of the contest, wants to bring the topic of masturbation out of the shadows and into the open. She’s asking for people to submit videos, songs, poems, plays, or anything else dealing with masturbation, which is traditionally a taboo subject in China. The best submission wins RMB10,000.

Pei Yuxin (from SCMP)

Amy Li from the South China Morning Post reports the competition is meant to be serious:

This isn’t a porn competition, according to Pei Yuxin, organiser and sociology professor at Guangzhou’s renowned Sun Yat-sen university. Instead,  the “New Media Contest on Masturbation” is a  serious project, which aims to  tap into the imagination of its research subjects.

“If people do it, they should also feel free to talk about it, said Pei and her fellow researchers, who have abandoned more traditional methods like surveys which they found “restrictive.”

“We’d like to learn how people think about masturbation by encouraging them to talk about the topic, and share their experience in creative ways,”reads a poster for the contest published on Weibo. 

With creativity listed as a major criteria, the poster also noted that all submissions “should be able to pass internet censorship and be proper material to circulate online.”

A senior scholar at Sun Yat-sen university, Pei said she had initially conducted discussions about masturbation in classrooms.

“Compared with 10 years ago, students are more willing to talk about it now, ” Pei said during an interview with a Guangzhou newspaper, “They discussed more details and asked bolder questions.”

Apparently 14 individuals and groups have signed up so far, and some submissions have already been received. The whole competition is being funded by the Ford Foundation, with cash prizes for second, third, and fourth place finishes as well.

If you’re interested in participating, you can email [email protected]