China’s nude bathhouse reopens despite public outcry

June 9th, 2009 - 12:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, June 9 (IANS) Three weeks after the demolition of a sex theme park, China’s controversial nude bathhouse has been reopened in southwestern Sichuan province, despite a public outcry that forced authorities to shut it down seven years ago.
Developers of the bathing house, which was reopened Saturday in the Yuping mountainous scenic spot, said that they only “wished to allow tourists the pleasure of intimate contact with nature”, Xinhua reported.

We have “no intentions of challenging public opinion of nude bathing,” Li Jun, the general manager of the Yuping scenic spot, was quoted as saying by the China Daily.

The nude bathhouse was first established in 2002, but local authorities soon shut it down alleging “disrespect for spiritual civilization”, Li said.

The massive public outcry cost Shen Shuzhe, Li’s predecessor, her job.

While some sections of people have supported the idea of the nude bathhouse, saying it was a matter of people’s personal choice, many lashed out at the opening and described the concept as a “visual pollution” and a “disgrace to social ethnics”.

Li Jun, however, said it was the “same deluge of public criticism” seven years ago that brought the shutters down on the bathhouse the first time.

“Social opinions on the concept have changed a great deal, for the better, in China in seven years,” said Li.

“I don’t think people will be opposed to the idea,” he said and called it as “a form of art”.

According to Li, the bathhouse has separate divisions for men and women, and well guarded with security personnel to ensure the safety of the visitors.

China doesn’t have any particular regulations or laws prohibiting people from taking nude bath, but the concept remains a taboo in mainstream Chinese culture.

Last month, authorities in the sprawling city of Chongqing had to demolish the country’s first sex theme park, Love Land, before its inauguration following huge public outcry.

The park had been designed with naked human sculptures, giant replicas of genitals, besides planned sex workshops and photo exhibitions about the history of sex.

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