(NSFW) Korean Movie Review #2: Samaritan Girl/Samaria (2004)

(Source: Naver영화)

To my surprise, there can actually be some advantages to being a fledgling movie reviewer.

For instance, lacking the knowledge of experts, I can drop all pretense of objectivity. And indeed, my long-held preconceptions of this movie did have a profound effect on my ultimate enjoyment of it.

Also, only having seen one other of director Kim Ki-duk’s (김기덕) earlier works in passing – The Isle (2000) –  then I am in no position to analyze Samaritan Girl/Samaria (사마라아) in the context of his movies as a whole.

Well of course, I hear you say. But this is more important than it may at first appear.

This is because of the plethora of reviews already available, I have noticed that positive ones tend to include extensive references to Kim’s Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring (2003) in particular, while negative ones are more likely to analyze the movie in isolation. Not exclusively of course, but the division is noticeable. Rather than implying a potential forest for the trees phenomenon here though, I mention it because I have also heard Kim’s movies are very hit and miss, and hence that your opinion of them can be heavily affected by which film you watch first.

And therein lies the problem, for much about Samartian Girl is vague, confused and/or simply incomprehensible, and not in the positive sense that this encourages you to engage more with the movie in order to fill in the blanks. And while I strongly suspect that watching his earlier movies would clarify a great deal, by itself this movie would not encourage most viewers to do so.

samaria-korean-teenage-prostitution(Source: Naver영화)

In fairness though, I did set myself up for being disappointed.

I first heard of it two years ago, via a newspaper article I translated about how 3 in 10 internet dating sites were being used to arrange teenage prostitution. While I haven’t really pursued the subject since, deferring to the excellent work done by Matt at Gusts of Popular Feeling on it instead, the post was picked up by Shinsano at the East Windup Chronicle (as well as by Matt himself), and the back and forth I had with him there gave me the impression that Kim was a much-needed Korean social critic, welcome overseas but ostracized at home because of his constant airing of Korea’s dirty laundry.

That image of him is by no means incorrect. But despite not having seen it, somehow it also inflated the quality of the movie in my mind over the next two years, especially as the blog came to acquire its present focus. Suffice to say that by the time I finally began to watch it last week, I fully expected a fierce and piercing critique of the teenage prostitution industry here.

But just the marketing of the movie itself should have given me pause.

Consider the two promotional posters above from 2004, featuring Kwak Ji-min (곽지민) and Han Yeo-reum (한려름) respectively. Never mind that Kwak is topless, and as a minor when the picture was taken, meant that it was technically illegal; as this case with a 14 year-old in January and this case with an 18 year-old earlier this month demonstrate, the Korean authorities still seem strangely reluctant to prosecute this sort of thing. Rather, the point is that far from discouraging one from having sex with minors, both posters seem to be positively encouraging it.

True, as author of this blog, I can hardly fault someone for using such images for the sake of popularity, even if they send mixed messages. Also, at risk of sounding hypocritical, I’m not going to feign outrage at topless photos of someone just a few months shy of the legal age to pose for them either. But I do have my limits:

samaritan-girl-bathhouse(Source: Celebrity Movie Archive)

This is the second of two bathhouse scenes in the movie, at just 6 minutes and 16 minutes into it respectively. Neither is entirely pointless: the implied lesbian relationship is central to understanding why Kwak Ji-min, pimping for Han Yeo-reum as they save money for permanently escaping to Europe, clearly becomes distressed when Han shows signs of enjoying her work, in particular becoming attached to one of her clients, a music composer. Derek Elly at Variety also notes that:

Wisely, Kim has opted not to show the sex scenes [with clients], and there’s tenderness (with gently lyrical music) in those sequences sketching the girls’ friendship — playing in a park together, or bonding in a Korean-style bathhouse.

Apparently so much tenderness though, that it put blinders on this unnamed reviewer at Asian Film Reviews:

There is minimal nudity in this movie, which is surprising considering the subject matter. The lack of nudity preserves the girls’ innocence and reinforces the integrity of the movie. If Samaritan Girl featured explicit sex, it would seem trashy and the message would be lost in all of the excess. Instead, this movie is a tender, touching story about shattered dreams and lost innocence.

TR at TimeOut London puts it rather differently however:

The actual paedophile sex is kept offscreen, but Kim’s enraptured gaze at the two naked girls washing each other in a public bath is as prurient as they come.

And while both scenes were certainly compelling viewing at the time, I was left wondering if it was really necessary to see them naked to appreciate their bond?

(Source: Naver영화)

Probably not, and this adds a certain poignancy to what Adam Hartzel writes about Ki Ki-duk at KoreanFilm.org:

In tag-lining his Silver Berlin Bear award-winning film Samaritan Girl with the biblical reference, “He who is without sin, throw the first stone,” director Kim Ki-duk has allowed himself cover from critics. Such a tagline deflects any negative criticism before the critic has even criticized. It argues that only the critic who is without criticism themselves should throw damning words at Kim’s film, otherwise, the critic should remain silent. And who among us is without “sin”, hypocrites that we all are? Such underscores the marketing acumen, if not directorial skill, of Kim, a man who has quickly risen, justified or not, to become one of the most recognizable Korean directors throughout the world…

In combination with the posters then, those scenes were arguably far more for commercial reasons rather than the artistic ones Kim Ki-duk is better known for. While that does not make Samaritan Girl a bad movie in itself though, it does point to an emphasis on style over substance that plagues the entire movie, and after just 6 minutes into it to boot.

To a certain extent, this criticism is just personal taste. Friends that recommended Peppermint Candy to me for instance, only to be dismayed by my scathing review of it later, have since pointed out my preference seems to be for movies where everything is explained to viewers. That’s a fair assessment, and indeed my incomprehension at Kwak’s bizarre decision to sleep with all of Han’s former clients after her death, returning their money as some form of atonement (hence the title), means that I would have been unlikely to have ever warmed to Samaritan Girl. And in hindsight, being aware of that element of the plot is what put me off from watching it for two years too.

But I can still acknowledge the benefits of such an approach, and indeed to have provided more detail would probably have detracted from the haunting, slight surreal tone of the film, with occasional combinations of long, drawn-out, but otherwise compelling scenes and stunning cinematography that reminded a newbie like me of, well, the Italian movie Il conformista (1970). There is also a lot of symbolism and references to Christianity, redemption, and – most notably in my book – there is the decision by Kwak and one client to have a liaison on the riverbank in front of the National Assembly Building. A metaphor for something deeper perhaps? A thinly-veiled political message?

(Source: Naver영화)

Alas, probably not. While it would be unfair of me to criticize Samaritan Girl for completely lacking the piercing critique of teenage prostitution I had projected onto it (albeit not unreasonably given Kim’s reputation),  I certainly didn’t expect the movie to almost glamorize it instead. But this is no exaggeration: with the exception of the composer Han became attached to, all of Kim’s clients treat her with (paternalistic) respect and kindness for instance (one can understand Han’s affection for them), most liasons take place in immaculate hotel rooms, and some immediately see the error of their ways after Kim surprises them by giving money back to them afterward.

There is no violence, no refusals to wear condoms, no STDs, no pregnancies and abortions, and apparently no impacts whatsoever on Kim herself, who someone manages to sleep with dozens of men in the afternoons despite being an otherwise ordinary middle-school student.

Indeed, the only unwelcome element in this fantasy is the police, first in the form of the officers raiding the hotel, forcing Han to jump to her death from a hotel window in order to escape, and later in Kim’s detective father Lee Eol (이얼), who discovers what she is doing but who chooses to confront Kim’s clients – in increasingly violent episodes – rather than confronting her.

Of course, Samaritan Girl does have some redeeming qualities. Kwak in particular seems to mature as an actor literally over the course of movie, and the tension between her and Lee – an excellent casting choice – that is the focus of the last third of the movie is both palpable and compelling. But both positive and negative reviews of the movie mention that Kim never quite manages a balance between surrealism and providing a convincing story, and even for those that don’t like to be spoon-fed all the details of a story like myself(!), there are simply too many gaps to make the necessary leaps of faith.

(Source: Naver영화)

Instead of Samaritan Girl then, I heartily recommend You Are My Sunshine (2005) for an examination of the unsavory reality of the Korean prostitution industry, albeit only in passing. But I would appreciate any other suggestions.

Next review: My Wife is a Gangster (조폭 마느라; 2001).

(For all my Korean Movie Reviews, see here)

On Being Green With Envy at Childless Couples…

Apologies for not having a post up since Monday everyone, but for some reason my daughters have been running around until late every night this week, demanding to climb up me to do back-flips, or that I help them build Lego houses. Yesterday, I vaguely recall, I even fell asleep on the lounge floor while watching them…and they proceeded to use the side of my head to put their Lego bricks on.

This morning though, my eldest one thrust the above into my pockmarked face while I was drinking the first of many coffees, loudly exclaiming “Chorok-sek (green) one YOO Daddy! A toast please!”. I decided to forgive her.

I’ll do my best to have one ready by tomorrow. Post I mean. Meanwhile, here is an example of the budding artist’s work from July if you’re curious, and also a brief examination of the gender stereotypes in a popular Korean children’s song if you can’t wait until tomorrow for that sort of thing. But be warned: I wear rather less clothes in Korean summers…


Korean Advertising: Just Beautiful Women Holding Bottles?

Source: Wonder Nostalgia.

Some words of wisdom from Londoner Bruce Haines, currently head of Korea’s largest ad agency Cheil Worldwide (my emphasis):

Q) What’s one big difference between advertising in Korea and the UK?

A) Celebrity endorsement – a huge proportion of Korean ads depend on famous people. Of course, it’s not uncommon in the West for stars to endorse a product, but generally the ad has a core idea and makes use of the celebrity endorsement to enhance the original concept. Not so in Korea. In its crudest form, Korean advertising degenerates to beautiful people holding a bottle. This is one of the things holding back the reputation of Korean advertising worldwide.  (10 Magazine)

At first, I thought “Korean advertising degenerates to celebrities holding a bottle” would have been more accurate myself. And regardless of the rather unflattering picture of Wondergirls singer Sohee (안소희) I chose above!^^

But Haines’s wording does have a nice ring to it. And however obvious his point may be to readers, I confess that it would never have occurred to me personally. Spending most of my adult life in Korea, he made me realize that I fail to notice Korean advertising’s peculiarities sometimes.

Which got me thinking about others. An obvious one, at least to a blogger forcing himself to include more images of men in his posts(!), was that although male celebrities are increasingly used to advertise alcohol in Korea, I really struggled to find any men endorsing a soft drink to illustrate this post with.

Yes: even after half an hour spent flicking through my old Korean advertising magazines, this was still the only one I could think of (although as I write this, this recent one for Powerade is coming to mind; but the actors are not celebrities and thanks to Seri for pointing out that it features the group Epik High). If anyone can think of any more, then please let me know.* But if not, then overwhelmingly having women in Korean soft drink commercials aimed at women seems to provides additional evidence for their preference for passive approaches to losing weight, in the sense that “drink this and get a body like mine” – rather than, say, “drink this as part of a balanced, healthy lifestyle” – is the only narrative offered.

Source: unknown

Of course, soft drink commercials would say that. But the point is that this narrative of passivity is echoed in Korean advertising for a surprising array of products aimed at women.

In particular, as reader Seamus Walsh recently commented, it’s strange (and a pity) just how many Korean female singers get great bodies by dancing, only then to appear in advertisements claiming that it was all the result of drinking, say, a watery tea. A good illustration of which is the Brown Eyed Girls (브라운아이드걸스; above), who – to my great dismay – recently choose to endorse the diet company Juvis (쥬비스), a company I’d already criticized back in February.

And for alternatives? Again I’d struggle, as female celebrities advocating something involving mere exercise instead are unfortunately very rare, either personally or via endorsing related products like exercise equipment or sports clothing. BoA (보아) is one, but can anyone think of any others?

Lest you feel that I’m overemphasizing and/or exaggerating Korean differences regardless though, none of that is to deny that marketing to Korean women does indeed still share many similarities with that of Western countries for instance. And apologies for rehashing a topic already familiar to many readers, albeit from a new and – to me – rather unexpected angle.

But the differences are real, and as a final surprising demonstration of this, consider how gendered yogurt is in Western countries for instance, as demonstrated hilariously by American comedian Sarah Haskins below (see here for many more videos like it). As far as I can tell though, so far yogurt has yet to become “the official food of women” in Korea:

Is that difference because the idea of, well, “drinking” for health is so ingrained in the Korean psyche? Or perhaps for some other reason?

If you reside in South Korea, you can donate via wire transfer: Turnbull James Edward (Kookmin Bank/국민은행, 563401-01-214324)

p.s. For examples of what Korean advertising does have to offer the world, see my “Creative Korean Advertising” series here.

*As soon as my head hit the pillow, a few more examples came to mind, and I realized I needed to make a greater distinction between different kinds of soft drinks: advertisements for tea-drinks at least do indeed almost exclusively feature women, but those for sodas are more mixed, and – with the exception of laxatives – the more medicine-like a health-drink is marketed as, and to be found in a pharmacy, the more likely it is to feature and be intended for men. But I think the distinction I identify in the text is still generally true, and as further evidence for that I suggest thinking of what celebrities you know of that have regularly endorsed any form of soft-drink. I’d wager that while several women will come to mind, you’d still be hard-pressed to think of any men!

Open Thread #1

Source: Gratisography @Pexels.

Why didn’t I think of this months ago?^^

With the proviso that most visitors to a blog about gender and sexuality are usually rather disappointed with what they find(!), the good news is that the popularity of my blog has grown dramatically in recent months, and I really enjoy and appreciate all the additional comments and emails I’ve been getting as a result.

Unfortunately though, all that’s coincided with a much heavier workload at my job. And with a non-working spouse and two young daughters on top of that, then I literally have only about an hour each night to devote to the blog these days.

You’ve probably already noticed the reduction in the number of posts. While I think I’m still pretty good at responding to comments though, that’s definitely at the expense of emails from readers, and I constantly have a backlog of about 20 or so in my in-box. Usually relatively long, intelligently written, and interesting, I consider it a real achievement if I manage to reply to about 3 or 4 in a week.

And as new ones come in, then older ones tend to get further and further down the screen. Some people must surely have given up on me by now, for which I apologize.

But I don’t want to give the impression that I don’t want to be emailed: quite the opposite. And the delay with some isn’t entirely due to my lack of time. More, it’s because I’m not actually the most appropriate person to answer their questions, either because I simply don’t know, and/or I can’t help, however much I’d like to.

In nine-tenths of those cases though, I’d be surprised if readers couldn’t.

I realize what that may sound like: getting my readers to do my work for me. And sure, maybe I am.^^ But by no means is anybody obliged to(!), and regardless it’s surely better to have questions and requests for help getting to the right people rather than have them languishing in my in-box.

Those are just one purpose of having a weekly open thread though, and not necessarily the primary one. The other is to give me a place where I can mention things that are still interesting but which I don’t have time to further develop into a blog post, or – more importantly – for you to bring up and discuss things yourself. Naturally I’d prefer things related to gender, sexuality, advertising and pop-culture, and preferably Korean too, but I’m extremely flexible. And by all means please feel free to link and discuss your own blog posts and so on: with my schedule, that’s probably the only way I’d ever find out about them!

With that in mind, let me provide a few things to get the ball rolling. First, a problem someone emailed me about. I’ve removed the author’s details because – surprise, surprise – I haven’t had time to ask permission to reproduce it publicly sorry, but I’ll make sure to let them know as soon as I can!

…Adoptees, such as myself, who have visited Korea often tend to come back either angry or induced with yellow-fever.  It has often left me wary of my own trip, pending next year and I have been trying to acclimate myself about Korea & culture before visiting.  Korean immigrants often wax poetic about their home country and refuse to discuss anything negative about it.

The reason I’m contacting you, besides to thank you for the well-written pieces, is because I wondered if you have any insight into the adoption attitude in Korea.  So much of what I have read in articles about Korea and how they are addressing adoption is very optimistic and pro-active – they have stated they intend to phase out all international adoptions by 2012.  Yet, from what I understand from other adoptees and social workers, the reason why Korea has such a history of adoption-“exportation” is partly due to the attitudes of single mothers, contraception, and blood-only attitudes.  Most Korean immigrants or visitors immediately apologize when the issue of adoption comes up but then refuse to discuss the topic.  I still don’t have a clear picture of the Korean attitude and was wondering if you have any insight to share.

Source: Center for Korean Studies

And now an interesting point from another email to get some discussion going:

…I enjoy reading your blog tremendously, it is exactly the sort of things I like to think about. I’ve obviously noted that women here in Korea act more “childish” and traditionally feminine than in Europe. In [the European country I’m from] there isn’t really a strong focus on gender or gender roles that much, but women act much more masculine, engaging in sports frequently and heavy drinking. The behavioral difference between genders there is not so great. Still, men occasionally make their silent effort to “out-man” women, by not allowing their girl to become stronger than them, or by trying to unnerve them or trying to have the upper hand. This is all very subtle, and they won’t admit to it usually. In Korea, where the threshold for being more masculine than your girl is so low, it isn’t strange that men allow themselves to adopt relatively feminine characteristics. At the same time they maintain a very macho attitude, to contrast the very femi attitude adopted by women. This is confusing, but interesting all the same.

I’d never considered that, and it puts a interesting spin on all the posts about the development of Korean heterosexuality I’ve written (see “My Constantly Evolving Thesis Topic” on my sidebar). If that’s not up your alley though, then consider Brian in Jeollanam-do’s comment to this post of mine instead, in which he suggests that bottoms are generally viewed asexually in Korea. After reading it, I decided to test his hypothesis by taking a poll of my students’ opinions of the advertisement I wrote about there:

And I’d be interested in hearing what your own (adult) students and Korean friends and partners think too. Personally, while my two classes of 20 and 30-somethings are hardly representative of Koreans as a whole, I see no reason to think that they’re particularly unrepresentative either. And guess what? Only about a fifth of them saw the dancing in that as at all sexual, which simply astounded me…

Finally though, this is the weekend, so the person who writes the best caption to this next wins a free beer when they’re next in my part of Busan!

If you reside in South Korea, you can donate via wire transfer: Turnbull James Edward (Kookmin Bank/국민은행, 563401-01-214324)

Korean-language Sources on Gender and Sexuality #2: “솔직녀의 섹스와 연애 이야기” on Why Sex Before Marriage is Necessary

( Source )

What do you find interesting about Korea? Perhaps even interested enough to study Korean for?

I’d wager that very few of you would consider doing so for pottery or the history of kimchi-making. Unfortunately however, such things are still staples of most Korean textbooks and courses on Korean culture.

But as the blogger I, Foreigner points out:

…sometimes I wonder if Koreans actually know what their own culture is all about. Do they not realize that watching TV on tiny screens on the bus/subway, playing games at the PC bang all day and boiling it up at the Jimjil Bang or Baths are as much part of Korean culture as kimchi is? Would it not be more useful for us to learn more about the history and use of these? Show me ONE teacher who has been here more than a month who has not heard about the whole history of kimchi.

And not just more useful, but also more interesting and more entertaining too. In that vein, let me present the blog “솔직녀의 섹스와 연애 이야기” (An Honest Woman’s Thoughts on Sex and Love) as an alternative Korean study source, and of course as another Korean voice on gender and sexuality in Korea also.

While the author has actually been living in America for 10 years, in her own words she’s had a lot of Korean boyfriends and sexual experiences, and more importantly aims to avoid a loveless and sexless marriage like many of her counterparts back in Korea. In particular, it was this post about teaching Korean to her American boyfriend that first caught my eye, and which readers here might be most interested in. Rather than spoiling that for you though, and being unable to choose from so many interesting-looking posts to translate myself, here is one my wife selected for me instead(!):

( Source )

혼전섹스는 결혼의 필수조건 Why Sex Before Marriage is Necessary

최근에 이글루스에선 처녀 논쟁이 한창이었다.  뭐 보지 않아도 뻔한 논쟁이지만, 아직도 여자는 결혼할때까지 처녀여야 된다고 주장하는 사람들을 보면서 묻고 싶었다.

Recently, on Egloos there was a big debate about virginity and sex before marriage. It was predictable and quite boring really, but it showed me that still some people think that women have to be virgins before marriage. Which made me ask myself the following:

사랑하는 사람이 처녀가 아니면 그 사람과 결혼 못한다는 얘긴가? 누군가를 사귀기 시작해서 좋아하게 됐는데 알고보니 섹스 경험이 있더라.. 그러면 좋았던 감정이 사그라드는건가?  결혼하고 싶은 여자가 있는데 혼전 섹스를 하자고 한다면? 꾹참고 결혼할때까지 기다려 할껀가?

Are there people that would not marry someone they loved if they discovered that they weren’t a virgin? If they found out after starting to like someone that they have had sexual experience, would their feelings for them disappear? How about if a woman they loved suggested having sex before marriage? Do both of them still have to resolutely suppress their desires until the wedding night?

사람마다 가치관이 다르니 누가 옳다 그르다 따지고 싶진 않다. 하지만 누가 나에게 혼전섹스에 대해 어떻게 생각하냐고 묻는다면 난 주저없이 말하겠다.

Everybody’s values are different, and I don’t want to distinguish between right and wrong here. But if anybody asks me what I think of sex before marriage, I wouldn’t hesitate to give my answer:

넌 차 살 때 테스트 드라이브도 안 해보니?

Wouldn’t you test-drive a car before buying it?

모든 남자가 차로 치면 벤츠나 BMW 같을 수는 없지만, 최소한 내가 편안하게 느낄 수는 있어야 되지 않을까?  좀 삐거덕 거리는 부분이 있다면 고칠 수도 있겠지만, 아무래도 어색하고 영 내 몸에 안맞는 차가 있듯이, 사람도 그렇다. 서로 좋아해도 이상하게 섹스에 있어선 영 아닌 경우가 있다.  그리고 섹스가 영 아니다보면 결국 그 남녀관계엔 불만이 생기게 마련이다.

( Source: unknown )

If all men are cars shall we say, then of course not all can be Benzes or BMWs. But at least I should feel comfortable driving it before I buy it, yes? And sure, if there’s a squeaking noise or small problem, then it can be fixed. But still, I wouldn’t feel as comfortable about buying it anymore. Just like people. Strangely, even if a man and a woman really like each other, the sex can be bad. And if it continues to be bad, then of course it will be a problem for their relationship.

1년 정도 사귀었던 남자친구가 그런 경우였다.  원래가 그다지 말이 많은 사람이 아니었지만, 섹스에 관해선 거의 서로 침묵을 지키던 사이었다. 문제는 난 그와의 섹스가 전혀 만족스럽지 않았던거다. 난 나름 그를 흥분시켜주려구 ‘자긴 내가 뭘해주면 좋아?’ 물어보면, ‘음.. 니가 하고 싶은대로 해.’  모든 대답이 이런 식이니..  내가 만족스러운지 어떤지는 한 번도 물어본 적이 없고, 그러니 나도 물어보기 힘들고..  그와는 결국 헤어졌고 (섹스가 가장 큰 이유는 아니었다), 헤어질 때까지도 서로의 섹스만족도에 대해선 한마디도 나누지 못했다.

This happened with a boyfriend I had for one year. Originally, he wasn’t really a talkative person, and although we did have sex we never talked about it with each other. But it was completely unsatisfying for me. I would ask him “What would you like me to do to turn you on?,” but he would always answer “Do whatever you want.” And he never asked me if it was good or not for me, which meant it was kind of awkward for me to ask him n turn. In the end, we split up. Our unsatisfactory sex life wasn’t the biggest reason for that, but then until the split-up we never asked each other even once if it was good for the other person or not.

섹스가 잘 맞는 상대와는 섹스에 대해 솔직하게 얘기하기가 쉽다. 서로 기본적으론 만족스러워하는 걸 아니까. 잘 안 맞는 상대일 수록 섹스얘기를 꺼내기 힘들고, 그러다보면 계속 불만이 쌓이고.. 악순환의 연속인거다.  그런 상황을 피하기 위해서라도 진지하게 좋아하는 상대라면 더욱더 결혼을 결심하기 전에 섹스를 해볼 필요가 있다. 좋으면 다행인거고, 실망이라면 적어도 결혼하기 전에 실망하는게 나으니까.

It’s easy to speak honestly to talk about sex with someone when the sex is good. Basically, because you both already know the other is satisfied. But for those for whom the sex is bad, it’s very difficult to bring the subject up. But that leads to a viscous circle of bad sex leading to not talking about it, which leads to continued bad sex, and so on.  So, if you want to avoid that happening with a partner whom you really like and are thinking about marrying, then you really need to have sex with them before making that decision. It’s better to be disappointed before marriage rather than after.

결혼 상대는 결국 평생의 섹스 파트너가 되는 셈인데 섹스를 테스트해보지 않고 결혼하는건 너무 위험한 결정아닐까?

Your wife or husband will be your lifelong sexual partner, so not having sex before marriage is very risky!

James: Personally, I would rather have stressed the value of talking with your partner particularly if the sex is bad. And I’m a little troubled with her argument that she would still be put off buying a ‘car’ with a ‘small problem’ even if it got fixed, and in turn that she seems to be advocating simply giving up on your partner if they’re bad in bed rather than biting the bullet and talking to them about it!

But I don’t want to potentially misrepresent her views, as I haven’t really read enough of her posts to properly judge her opinions yet. And of course something may be lost in translation, so I invite and would very much appreciate it if any other Korean speakers could check for me.

In the meantime, for those with Korean partners especially, I hope you enjoy the “inside information” she regularly offers!

(For all posts in the Korean Sources on Sexuality and Gender series, see here)