People’s Pornography

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Review by Lai Sze Tso in The Journal of Sex Research,  51:4, 479-481 (2013)

Review by Earl Jackson in The China Review, vol 13. no2 (2013)

Review by Lucetta Kam in China Information  27: 393 (2013)

Review by Giovanna Maina in Participations: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies, Vol 10.1, May 2013.

Mentioned by Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore in NYT times article about China’s “naked hipocrisy”

Research for People’s Pornography featured in  the French radio program France Culture, a special edition about sexuality and pornography in Indonesia, China and Egypt, January 2013. In French

Audiorecording of my talk for Transmediale Berlin 2010–Pornography, Paranoia and Patriotism!

Subashini Navaratnam reviews People’s Pornography in

Randy Malamud discusses sex 2.o and People’s Pornography in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Peter Teffer blog and article for Wordt Vervolgd (Dutch Journal for Amnesty International–In Dutch)

Maria Manoli about my book and Chinese porn for

Chris Ip about my book and the website Adult Friend Finder in South China Morning Post, Nov 27 2011.

Lin Meilian about People’s Pornography and DIY porn in The Global Times, oct 2011.

Peter Foster about People’s Pornography and Confucian Confusion in The Telegraph, sept 2011

Sebastien Le Belzic about People’s Pornography in, jan 2012. In French

Robin Peckham review for Digicult, oct 2011.

Bergstrom Trends, a blog investigating consumer trends in new China, discusses my book in a news item on Chinese Youth and their reliance on pornography as sex education, oct 211.

Katrien Jacobs interviewed by Ronald Yick and Oiwan Lam for Global Voices Online sept 2011.

People’s Pornography in the Wall Street Journal (Beijing) sept 2011

Katrien Jacobs interviewed by James Griffith for August 2011

Katrien Jacobs interviewed by Paris Huang  for Voice of America (in Mandarin) July 2011

Katrien Jacobs interviewed by Sam Leese  for April 2011

Summary: People’s Pornography: Sex and Surveillance on the Chinese Internet

Since its establishment in 1949, the People’s Republic of China has upheld a nationwide ban on pornography, imposing harsh punishments on those caught purchasing, producing, or distributing materials deemed a violation of public morality. A provocative contribution to Chinese media studies by a well-known international media researcher,


People’s Pornography offers a wide-ranging overview of the political controversies surrounding the ban, as well as a fascinating glimpse into the many distinct media subcultures that have gained widespread popularity on the Chinese Internet as a result. Rounding out this exploration of the many new tendencies in digital citizenship and pornography and activist media cultures in the greater China region are thought-provoking interviews with individuals involved. A timely contribution to the existing literature on sexuality, Chinese media, and Internet culture,

  • Chapter One: The Cyber Yellow Disaster: From the Everyday Gaze to Nation-State Espionage.


Chinese people participate in network culture as consumers and producers of sexually explicit media. They also contribute as critical netizens, artists and activists with alternative representations of the sexual body and a quest for civil liberties. What are the political debates and cultural tendencies used to reclaim sexual fantasies within emerging Internet culture? Since ancient obscenity laws and ethical norms hold a total ban on sexually explicit media, there is a discrepancy between the burgeoning industries of online sex/porn and the authoritarian methods of intimidation and extinction. It will shown that China is living a joyful era of people’s pornography despite government warnings about a “cyber yellow disaster.” The ubiquitous gaze of government planning has been at once internalized and atomized as myriad sites of popular pleasures and contestation. Bloggers, artists and sex seekers participate in porn culture with an ethos of do-it-yourself (DIY) media making and viral activism.

  • Chapter Two: The Pride and Pettiness of Sex Bloggers


This chapter highlights the contributions of bloggers in China and Hong Kong. It analyzes the strategies of digital celebrities and activists who widen eroticism beyond the sanctified domains of entertainment and public culture. What kinds of bloggers types and sexual fantasies are being activated or dismissed by netizens and how do they reveal changing gender dynamics and exploding sexual desires? Grassroots journalists and confessional diarists alike address a discrepancy between abounding sexual energy and the “propaganda of impotence” (Hanhan) In addition to a quest for freedom of expression, there has been a growing cult of writers and artists who openly depict their unconventional private sex lives and sexual desires. Sex bloggers radicalize the blogging mission through witty self-photography and ephemeral appearances. Meanwhile, a sensibility of intolerance and moral arrogance shapes itself around some of these digital provocations.

  • Chapter Three:  Gender Variations on and The Aching Sex Scene:


The third chapter analyzes the views and experiences of young adults from mainland China and Hong Kong regarding sexually explicit media and Internet culture. Through in–depth interviews with sixty university students aged 18-25 and an anonymous fixed-response survey carried out on the Internet between July 2007 and May 2009, it probes cultural reactions to sexually explicit media. The aim is to throw new light on self-articulations of sexual pleasure and knowledge in relation to digital media. Now that female and males have entered the era of DIY pornography, what attitudes and subjectivities do they wish to maintain around the porn culture? It will be shown that cultural histories of love and lust are important in understanding sexual involvement. One of those is an historical notion of female frigidity, where women’s lack of aroused is treated as a disorder against patriarchal culture and its phallocentric sexuality. The chapter shows that contemporary Chinese women are indeed aroused yet contribute to online porn culture in their own unique ways.

  • Chapter 4: Lizzy Kinsey and the Adult Friendfinders: An Ethnographic Case-Study about Pornographic Self-Representation and Internet Sex.


Chapter four is based on an extensive case study carried out over two years time, in which the author functioned as participant observant and interviewer of selected members on Their words and fantasies will be extensively quoted, though they wish to remain anonymous for this study. This website has become a massive social network for sexual self-representation and encourages members to find real-life partners for sex–whether it be casual sex affairs between singles, swinging couples, or extra-marital affairs between “aba” (“attached but available”) individuals and their lovers. The chapter is based on theories and practices of participatory ethnography and media activism. It assesses Internet sex as e-commerce and sexual representation by elaborating on people’s fantasies, dating strategies and impression management. The aim is not only to analyze changing social relations and dating strategies, but also to argue that researchers can develop online personalities and be actively involved as emotive and critical participants within Internet sex environments. Women and men from diverse cultural backgrounds shared their sex experiences by means of online communication, online story-telling, and face-to-face interviews. Besides analyzing these interactions with “Adult Friend finders,” the chapter dissects at a sample of member profiles to discuss self-representations as “impression management,” or the way web users manipulate and tweak online identities to establish social relations with others.

  • Chapter 5: Costume Play and the Chinese Adoption Of Japanese Sex Roles as Queerness.


Chapter five will analyze concepts of Chinese sexuality, gender-fluidity and hedonism in the relationship between Chinese consumers and Japanese fantasy and commodity figures. It will discuss the influence of Japanese pop culture and animation fandom on Chinese concept of sexuality and queerness. Case studies will focus on young adults and their trends to take on Japanese alter ego’s such as dolls, maids, Gothic Lolitas and costumed players (Cosplayers). Gothic Lolitas, for instance, are popular embodiments of an erotized “pretty/scary girl” who possesses dark powers and who dreams of escape into old-fashioned decadent life-styles. This Japanese concept of femininity has been adopted by Chinese women as unique mode feminine masquerade. It is partly inspired by French 18th century court narratives, and to a lesser extent by the Western interpretation of Nabokov’s Lolita (1955) as a lustful teenager who desires older men and as such belies a mixture of innocence and sexuality. In the analysis of the dissemination of Gothic Lolita and other Japanese role models, the chapter will track enabling social life-styles and concepts of sexuality.


Katrien Jacobs是一位学者,作家,艺术家和活动家,目前在香港中文大学担任从事数字媒体研究的副教授。她已讲授及出版大量关于数字网络,艺术,和审查制度的内容。 她组织过多场关于互联网文化的国际会议,并出版了《性艺术表演的旅程》(Maska 2005)和《网络色情:DIY互联网文化与性政治》(Rowman and Littlefield, 2007) 她拥有比较文学和媒体的博士学位,发表过有关上世纪六七十年代身体艺术和表演媒体的论文。关于她著作的更多资料,请查看



本书将于2011年春天由英国Intellect Books 出版社出版


  • 第一章:锐利的性凝视: 从日常习惯到网络间谍



  • 第二章:性网志作家与爱的悖论



  • 第三章:不同性别对火辣性爱场景的认知差异


本章将会分析中港两地青年人对色情媒体和网络文化的看法和经验。对60名18到25岁大学生深度访谈以及2007年7月到2009年5月进行的网络匿名固定选项问卷调查探索出青年人在面对色情媒体时所呈现的各种文化反应。我们希望能从新的角度观察与数字媒体有关的对性快感和性知识的自我论述。女性和男性一样都已进入了自制色情的年代,关于色情文化他们希望保持何种态度和主观性呢? 研究显示情与欲的文化历史对于理解性参与至关重要。其中的典型便是女性性冷淡的历史含义。女性性唤起的缺失被视为反对家长式文化及其重男轻女思想的官能失调。(Pei, Ho and Ng, 208)本章揭示出现代中国女性已逐渐觉醒并以自己独特的方式为网络色情文化作出贡献。

  • 第四章: Lizzy Kinsey与 Adult Friendfinders: 一项关于色情的自我展示与网络性关系的民族志研究


第四章建构于一项长达两年多的详尽的个案研究。在这项研究中,作者既亲身参与观察了Adult Friendfinder 网站活动,又选择几位http://www.adultfriendfinder.com的网站会员进行访谈。大量被访者的语言和幻想将会被匿名引用。这个网站已经成为一个大型社交网络。在这里,人们既可以展示性化的自我,又可以发展其他成员成为自己现实生活中的性伴侣。这些随意的性关系可以建立于单身人士,换妻的夫妇,甚至处于开放性关系的情人之间。这一章同时是建构于实地考察和媒介激进主义的理论和实践上的。通过详细论述人们的性幻想、约会策略和印象管理,这章将会分析变幻莫测的社会关系和约会策略,也会论证研究员可以在网络的色情环境中建立网络人格,成为富感情又不失批判精神的参与者。这些来自不同文化背景的男男女女们通过在线交流、在线书写故事或是面对面访谈,分享了他们的性经历。除去这些互动研究,我也选取了一组网站用户在线上书写的自我介绍用以分析作为“印象管理”的自我呈现以及人们操纵网络人格和他人建立社会联系的方法。

  • 第五章:扮装表演及如何在中国利用日本性角色特立独行