China’s economic boom has turned the ancient role of the concubine into a lucrative career option. There is An online Chinese second-wife ‘contract’, posted at www.timesonline.co.uk and which I found these words very disturbing, what this world is turning into, the contract read,
The master primarily wants the second wife to provide him with sex and face. The second wife primarily wants the master to provide her with a luxurious lifestyle. Both sides have an obligation to behave with decorum toward each other in public places, so as to win the respect of other people.
Sometimes the ernai’s clothing should be extremely provocative sexually, and sometimes it should be refined and elegant, in order to make other men jealous of the master. The ernai must wear high-class, well-known designer clothing and shoes. She is not permitted to use fake luxury goods.
The ernai will provide the master all varieties of sex. The ernai agrees to have intercourse three times a day, or two hours of enjoyment in bed. Whether they kiss is up to the ernai. No ernai should ever employ any behavior that would damage a man’s self-esteem, such as suggesting he ‘does not cut it’.
It’s very common in Thailand and Laos for men to have a second wife, or ‘mear noy’, but just didn’t expect to hear about it in China of all places, but then again it might make sense because there’s fewer women than men, according to economic point of view, then it’s the law of supply and demand. According to this article, having a second wife is a status symbol and it explains,
But everyone who has ever lived in China knows the expression for “second wife”. And most people know at least one ernai personally. Ernai are a modern version of concubines, as common as colds. They are women kept in luxury apartments and goods by married lovers – mostly overseas businessmen and officials but, increasingly, by men at every level of society. The most successful kept women represent entrepreneurs of a sort, floating in a sink-or-swim economy and providing enticing models for what the new China can offer: genuine Prada stilettos, diamonds, iPods and sprawling villas. They work out in the swankiest health clubs, drive Minis, BMWs and Audis, and carry lapdogs in Gucci handbags. They have role models more glamorous than those of most aspiring careerists: from Mao Zedong’s fourth wife, Madame Jiang Qing, to the actress Gong Li’s gorgeous fourth-wife character in Zhang Yimou’s movie Raise the Red Lantern.
And yet, like women everywhere who trade sex for money, ernai are vulnerable to abuse, unprotected by degrees, careers, or backup plans, and often deserted in their thirties. An increasing number of notable ernai now lead lives complicated by corruption and scandal. They are forbidden by law but flaunted in practice, socially both celebrated and condemned, just as concubines have always been.
In the US, a mistress should be a well-kept secret. In most of Europe, she should be kept with discretion. In China, the keepers of ernai get not only the service but also the face (maintaining face, or an unchallenged public persona, is seen as hugely significant). In a second wife’s lifestyle is a reflection of her master’s capacity to spend. Her beauty is a testament to his taste, her role both public and private.
In other words, ernai are both the objects of free-choice attraction, and yet are still engaged in a transactional relationship. If a woman gets only gifts, she may just be a mistress, but if those gifts are given immediately after service, she’s halfway to being an ernai. If actual cash changes hands, she’s formally an ernai. Perhaps predictably, the lines are not always clearly drawn. Some women, Huang says, do it just for money, others for love, and most for a combination of the two.
I know there are mistress ‘second wife’ in China or anywhere in the world but didn’t expect that it’d be something to be proud of by both party. It’d be too long to post the rest of the article, but if you’re interested in reading the rest of ‘Wife Sentence’, here is the LINK, the rest of the article is very interesting.