Porno Pool

Porno Pool

So Cissy’s English training wrapped up for good last week. I graded her final exam and wrote a student evaluation. I actually enjoyed writing the eval– it came out pretty formal and authoritative. Yeah okay, so I got a minor power trip with these turned tables. 🙂

To celebrate the end of the Carrier assignment, John and I decided it was time for a night on the town. So many times before, we had ventured past bar/pub strips in Gubei during the day. We kept saying we had to check the places out at night. After getting all decked out, we were severely diappointed. The place was dead– on a Saturday night. After walking up and down the street looking for some signs of life, we finally caved in to the heat. Seeing a sign that read, “Free billiards upstairs”, we were sold. At least this bar had a few people inside…

As the hostess escorted us upstairs, I started feeling queesy. At first, I thought it was our ascension from AC to no AC. But then when I processed that the magazine pictures taped to the walls in the stairwell were becoming more pornographic with every step. Well as soon as we got upstairs, she switched on the lights, the fan, and the AC (no one was up there, apparently); suddenly, I was surrounded by magazine pages so unmistakeably torn from hardcore porn zines. For a few minutes, I stood there in shock. Goddamnit, porn is illegal in China! Well there was no hiding it in this place. The hostess told us to have a seat while the AC got going… she pointed to the cue sticks and brought out the triangle. We might as well have been in a Chuck E Cheese… for how nonchalant she was. I mean, didn’t she find this room offensive and degrading? I felt so disgusted and dirty… I wanted to leave but we didn’t. I don’t know why not. John, half laughing, apologized and insisted that we couldn’t have known about the room. He said we would cool off, play a few games, get some drinks, and then leave.

It was quite a surreal experience. As I grabbed the cue sticks off the rack, I was met face to face with a blonde with unnaturally and surely painfully large breasts. They were down to her waist, for chrissakes! And of course, no underwear. There were tens of images like this. I tried to think of counter-arguments– these women chose to do this, blah, blah. I was convinced by none of it. John told me to look away, but when I did, I just thought of the poor waitresses who must bring drinks/food to guys playing pool in a room like this. John tried to direct my attention to images on the opposite wall– images of an Asian woman, naked in a natural setting. He said those pictures were more artistic and appreciative of the natural (un-enlarged) female form. Those particular picturers were not pornographic, he said. In some cases, such images are artistic. Maybe. But, whatever. The pool room was definitely not a goddamn art gallery. Even if some images weren’t crotch shots or whatever, the whole place was decorated in a manner intending to objectify. I mean, the walls were plastered with women in unquestionably pornographic poses, then cars, motorcycles, and right a few “artistic” shots. Ugh. I was so annoyed. I probably shouldn’t have stayed… at least it was just John and me. I definitely would have left if others were present. And I probably would have said something to management as well. Either way, I was pissy and irritated the rest of the night.

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