Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Mating Habits Of The Sex-Crazed Korean Business Weasel

When I think of cities famous for prostitution (hey, it happens more often then you would think), I'd say Amsterdam pops to mind first. Then perhaps Bangkok. But Seoul, Korea?
The South Korean government is handing out gifts for office workers who promise not to visit brothels this holiday season.

"If you promise yourself to make it a healthy night out at the end of the year, and if you recommend this to others, we are giving lots of prizes," the Ministry of Gender Equality said in an Internet posting.

It this a real problem? Are there hordes of drunken businessmen descending on the brothels like the Visigoths sacking Rome? I'm fairly well read, and I try to keep up on world news and whatnot, so you would think I would have at least heard about rampaging packs of sex crazed Koreans before now.

But, perhaps it's not quite as the Ministry of Gender Equality would have you believe. Obviously some do not agree.
Many South Koreans were bewildered by the plan, saying it was a waste of money and gave the impression that South Korean men cannot keep away from brothels.

"Do they really think men buy sex every time they have a dinner party?" wrote one Korean on a comment page of the South Korea's largest daily Chosun Ilbo.

Hell, do they buy sex anytime? Well,
in general, I mean. I'm sure there are some, otherwise there wouldn't be any prostitutes at all in Seoul. But I imagine the men of Korea are much like all men around the world. Using my state-of-the-art making shit up because it sounds right, I would say: some buy, most do not.

The cynic in me says this is an end-of-year budget thing. To justify getting at least the same budget as last year, an agency or department has to show it spent all of the previous year's budget. Maybe staples were cheaper than anticipated this year.

I've been to many a work-related dinner before. And some of them have even had Koreans in them. Not once was going and finding a prostitute even raised as an option for an after dinner activity (and there was plenty of the drinking). However, the thought does creep in that I, in fact, am not Korean. What if there's some subtle body language I'm not picking up? I'll just have to pay closer attention next time.

And bring extra cash.