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John Abbot is co-owner of ChinaLoveMatch.net. Married to a lovely Chinese Lady and living in China, John knows and respects China, Chinese Women, Chinese People and Chinese Culture. His blog will include good stuff about Online Dating, Chinese Women, International Relationships and Things Chinese. Join John Abbot on Google+
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Er Nai (Concubines) and Threesome Relationships – What’s Up With That?    

By John Abbot
9246 Views | 20 Comments | 11/11/2012 2:55:47 PM

Concubines have never been restricted to China and have existed in many cultures, but they are a hot topic in today's China.

This blog is going to go into two topics that are confounding us on how exactly to deal with each of them. They don’t come up very often but when they do they are the subject of great debate here in the back end of CLM/ALM. Being a westerner where we tend to let everyone have their own philosophy to live by, to live and let live as they say, I think quite differently about how we should deal with these issues than our Chinese manager and staff think. So I thought I’d canvass how the members feel, both East and West. I’m particularly interested to hear from the women members, both the Chinese women and Non-Chinese Asians, to see if there is a difference between the two.

1. Er Nai

Er Nai is, I am told, the Chinese (well, pinyin) word that means “concubine”. We have infrequently but recently had a western male person registering to be a member post on their “About Me” section the fact that they are seeking a relationship with someone to be their “er nai”.

Oddly, the member seeking an er nai is single, which strikes me as being someone for whom having an er nai is logically impossible. Encarta Dictionary says the following regarding the term “concubine”:

“1. official mistress in some cultures - a woman who is the lover of a wealthy married man but with the social status of a subordinate form of wife, often kept in a separate home, especially in imperial China” (there is a second definition but Encarta indicates it is “dated”).

It has always been my understanding that a concubine was an official or recognized lover of a married man, and that if the man wasn’t married it would be impossible to be his concubine.

However, that is an aside as far as the debate that is raging behind the scenes on CLM. My viewpoint is that CLM and ALM are about long term heterosexual relationships between people and that if two adults agree to a relationship in which the woman is the “concubine” or “er nai” of the man, that is their choice. It won’t appeal to 99% of the women on CLM (I am not sure about the percentages on ALM, but I suspect they would still be very limited) but that’s not for us to decide. Our western part timers (males btw) concur.

The Chinese management and staff all vigorously object to this. They say that in modern times “er nai” is a hugely unpopular concept in China, and that the very suggestion on CLM that it should be allowed will be a great affront and cause of anger among our Chinese women members. They are telling me that if we allow this the Chinese ladies will be leaving CLM in massive numbers.

So, dear members, please enlighten me on how you all feel about this. Is a man asking for an “er nai” relationship really insulting Chinese women so much that you would quit CLM if we allowed someone to post this desired relationship on his profile?

2. Long Term Threesomes

On both CLM and ALM we more frequently have members try to register who are already a part of a married or long term couple and are seeking a Chinese or Asian woman to become a third member of the relationship on a long term or permanent basis. So far we have never had a couple seek another male; it has always been a female being asked to join the “group”.

By way of example, on gentleman recently registered who is already happily married to a Chinese lady, living together in the west, and they are jointly seeking another Chinese lady to join them as a third member of the marriage. They specifically state in this case that the current Chinese wife is too old to bear children, and they would like to bring in a third partner who is young enough to bear children and to then raise her and his children together. They promise it will be a warm and loving family group that the new member will be joining.

Again, I say that this is both a long term relationship and basically a heterosexual one (there is no hint that the current Chinese wife is interested in sex with the Chinese woman being invited to join them) so in my opinion we should let the small percentage of Chinese females who might be remotely interested in participating in this arrangement have a chance to do so. Who does it hurt?

But my Chinese colleagues once again heartily disagree. They feel this is so offensive to our general Chinese membership that we should absolutely ban it from our site.

I might add that in the case of long term threesomes we have in the past had similar proposals being made on ALM.

Again dear members, please give us your thoughts on this.

Copyright owned jointly by Author and CyberCupid Co., Ltd. Breach of copyright will be prosecuted.
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(Showing 1 to 10 of 20) 1 2 More...
#2012-11-11 16:30:36 by aussieghump @aussieghump

Maybe you just identify the relationship as being 'alternative' and leave it as that! Then the curious can explore their own options without using 'potentially offensive' words in the descriptions.

I also wonder what other issues this opens - male to male communication is restricted now, should it be? Ok, the site advertises itself as heterosexual, but some members' profile may indicate a preference for bisexual relationships (possibly mistaken, platonic or other) in the wording.

What happens if a member is from Thailand and identifies themself (legally and legitimately in Thailand) as transgender?

Personally, I am 'each to their own' and have no strong opinion...but it is an interesting dilemma!

#2012-11-11 17:31:56 by justpmitch @justpmitch

here's something that might help the disscussion. http://thestandard.com.hk/news_detail.asp?we_cat=11&art_id=18093&sid=7701659&con_type=1&d_str=20060506&fc=10

#2012-11-11 21:49:14 by anonymous4694 @anonymous4694

From my western point of view, I would say: so what, let them go ahead! But I am also thinking about next level. There is a big danger in opening the door for more and more various kinds of social interaction and . . . . it may lead . . . .. to prostitution. Means, once it is known (your tolerance as site owner), you will find real hookers, not only gold diggers here. My advice (if it is worth it at all) : open second page for "special requirements" !

#2012-11-11 23:50:40 by fireman197 @fireman197

All the above, goes against everything this site is about. This is one , if not the only, cleanest run , monitored ,and honest sites on the Internet. Do not bring down the standards by accepting their money. There are other sites for them. I am not saying I object to the lifesyle, ( but I am too old to cut the mustard anymore for this. ) this is not the arena for it.
As a new member. I am learning, but I like what I see, and I am very protective of my kind, new "family". I say to them, no thank you, not here.

#2012-11-12 00:48:57 by mandy0113 @mandy0113

如果这对夫妇的真正目的是想要一个属于他们自己的小孩,根本没有必要去找这样一位专门负责给他们生孩子的中国女性,他们只需要选择代孕妈妈就可以达成这个愿望了。三个人的婚姻太拥挤了。各位亲们,你们同意吗?

#2012-11-12 00:54:32 by anonymous4698 @anonymous4698

John, I have learned quite a bit since I joined CLM. I have several good friends who are Chinese women and they tell me things which (at first) caused me western brain to short circuit. Now I understand things a bit better. You mentioned threesomes...to western minds we automatically jump to the sexual conclusion...that this is a wild sex orgy they are talking about. But I have since learned that there are MANY women who want to stay married to their Chinese husbands for security/stability reasons, but want to satisfy their emotional/physical needs with a westerner. This sounds BAD at first. It really does! However, you have to look at it from the woman's perspective. She gets no sort of communication or attention from her Chinese husband. She is treated like a robot...a thing. This is cruel and unusual punishment if you ask me. So, these women seek love and attention. Not wild and uninhibited passion mind you...they just want a man to sincerely talk to her and attend to her emotional and physical needs. In other words, she wants to feel human! So John, when I hear things about threesomes, extra partners in a marriage, additional male friends, etc. I can't help but feel sorry for some of these women. They are completely neglected in Chinese society. I know what I just wrote doesn't exactly match the scenario you mentioned above, but it is a form of threesome. If you look at all of this in a very practical sense, it's like people are becoming more modularized. One man can perform a financial function, whilst another can perform a physical/emotional function. Is this the future of earth society? Since there are so many people on the planet, do we pick and choose a person to satisfy a specific role and need? This can mean having multiple partners in one's life at the same time...is the traditional all-in-one husband/wife model still relevant in the modern world?

#2012-11-12 01:54:09 by anonymous4700 @anonymous4700

Whilst the staff of CLM/ALM are concerned for the impact these topics may or may not have and have concern for the livelihood for business aspects it may curtail. Ultimately it is the individual that should make the final choice, regardless of the mainstream morality stance. Personally, I concur with the staff save for those instances that may prompt the "alternative" approach.

#2012-11-12 04:06:38 by sevastra @sevastra

Who would it hurt? The image and legitimacy of the entire site in question.
If one allows this kind of thinking to flourish on a 'dating site', it will turn into yet another 'hey u r hot, letz hook up??' piece of nonsense.
And as such, any respectable worthy women will leave out of pure exhaustion of coming to expect every message they recieve to be of this nature.

I don't see any reason to 'aid' someone that is already married in finding a third partner, it does not matter if it is with his/her partners agreement or not. You just don't do it. You don't play the 'devils advocate'.

How can this site genuinely claim to help people to find happiness together if it at the same time aids couples in engaging in affairs? It would be like trying to sell faith and deception in the same package.

As for my more personal opinions, i consider these men to be scum of the earth and in no way are they entitled to any 'easier' way to find a third partner. I don't care what the reason is. They are the reason why many Chinese women remain apprehensive towards westeners, they are the reason why the idea of western men as unfaithful sex-crazed cheaters still persists.
How could anyone want to keep this image alive? It disgusts me, frankly.

Alex, 27, Male, Sweden.

#2012-11-12 06:51:38 by anonymous4707 @anonymous4707

At first thought, I saw no harm in allowing an alternative relationship status. I know that most of the Chinese women here will claim offence and act as if only horrible, loose, predatory, bad girls would ever behave in any alternative lifestyle manner. They would never go home with a man they dont intend to marry unless they have black hearts and no morals.

However, I have met many nice Chinese women who will do so and I have dated some too. I was honest with them and told them I was lonely when I came to China and I only wanted a girlfriend, not a wife. I treated them well and they were great girlfriends for as long as it lasted. My transient lifestyle was not a secret to them and they knew I came and went fairly regularly between countries and never knew for sure if I would return. They accepted the arrangement and I loved some of them and felt it in return. They never pressured me for a visa, they knew my situation was not completely in my control and we just enjoyed what time we did have together. I would argue strongly that it does not make them bad women, only less traditional and a little more like the women back home. Maybe they are single mothers or divorced, or over 30 or for some reason they are already not considered pure as snow by other Chinese so nobody wants to marry them. This doesnt automatically make them bad. They deserve to feel the connection to another human that intimate relationships bring even if they are assuming this guy will not ultimately marry them because he cant or because they consider themselves damaged goods and unmarryable. I think there is no place for us to judge them and deny them a place here or the guys who dont live a stable lifestyle and arent prepared to settle down due to job related issues outside their own control. If everyone is honest and both sides are happy, then how is this bad?

I also think, however, that you cannot be all things to all people. And i dont really see the benefit to this community of being more than a place to seek a long term "regular" marriage targetted relationship. There are other websites on which to seek those types of connections. I would worry that it will only draw more people who seek casual encounters or other alternative arrangements and will ultimately create confusion and undermind the trust we all work to build here that those we contact are actually serious about their long term intensions to eventually meet and marry. There enough barriers to trust and enough issues for us to get through with scammers and cultural misunderstandings that we dont need anything else muddying the water. Thus I will have to vote no. We should, in my opinion, not open up to this additional relationship catagory. I think it has the possibility to hurt our little community more than it can help us.

#2012-11-12 10:27:39 by anonymous4711 @anonymous4711

quote above "there are MANY women who want to stay married to their Chinese husbands for security/stability reasons, but want to satisfy their emotional/physical needs with a westerner."

well, don't blame that MANY men who also want to find an ER NAI or two, if they are treated as a paycheck / atm Robot machine, to satisfy their emotional / physical needs too.

"The key to creating a deep friendship with a spouse is to continue building commonalities with each other’s work, play and world. Jaynes says men long for wives who will take an active interest in their work, instead of only being interested in their paychecks. Coworkers are there to share in common goals, stresses and victories. “All too often a man comes home from work to a wife who has no idea how he spent his day,” Jaynes says. A wife needs to be informed about what her husband’s job entails and ask about his workday in ways that will initiate communication in marriage"
Read more at Suite101: Build a Friendship With Your Husband: A Husband Shares Common Interests with the Woman of His Dreams | Suite101.com http://suite101.com/article/build-a-friendship-with-your-husband-a99713#ixzz268Dp7FKk


everyone have different, but basicly it is a human's ego characteristics. Most everyone is selfish by nature, 'what's is it for me?' "what can you do for me?' And everyone can only choose the good in their own perception. And usually for their own good.

people should have been mandory to attend a proper psychological / relationship / marriage 101 to 303 in school / university.

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