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Everything You Need to Know About Ulsan

Where Did the Love Go?

Korea wasn’t always as conservative as it seems to be these days. Where once sexual activity was considered normal behavior, today one may barely witness couples holding hands in public.  The Choson Ilbo has a nice article on erotic art from the various historical periods. It would appear that earlier Koreans were a lusty lot if their art was any indication.

Silla and Three Kingdom era artwork includes sex aids and clay dolls showing sexual positions. Bronze age relics include naked male sculptures with enlarged penises. Even the relatively conservative Chosun era has its share of erotic art with coins depicting various romps.

As an American living in Korea, this country has always seemed to be ultra-conservative. When my Korean wife and I were dating in 2004, she was hesitant to hold hands or hug in public, although it is common to see same-sex friends walking arm in arm. I gave up trying to get a kiss in public when we’d meet for coffee dates – she’d look both ways to see if anyone was looking and then tell me  나중에  “later.”)  Now that we’re married, a small peck is fine by her, but still it may be hidden if someone she knows is around.

One wonders  when having sexually explicit clay dolls went out of fashion? When did Korea enter their equivalent of the Victorian Era. Some around the late 1300s when Confucianism really took hold is a fair guess.

What about you? Do you see PDAs (Public Displays of Affection) here in Ulsan? Is the sexual culture still repressed? Do you predict changes?