Andrés Gentry has written one of the most in-depth and compassionate pieces on prostitution in China I have ever read. There’s so much in it and it relies heavily on a vast amount of source material. Just read it.
Seven different categories of sex work can be bought in China:
1. ‘second wives’ have the superficial identity of concubines. However, second wives charge by time, usually per month, providing sexual services without the emotional and family elements which usually accompany the concubine’s role;
2. ‘packaged women’ work similarly to second wives but they do not live with the client, only ‘packaged’ for a business trip;
3. ‘female companions’ are active in cabarets, dance halls and restaurants charge by the hour. This service varies between merely accompanying a client while he visits the venue, to the ‘quickie’, to the ‘overnight package’;
4. ‘ding dong girls’ (‘ding dong’ refers to the doorbell) rent their own room and call clients by telephone after initial contact by another worker in the same establishment;
5. ‘hair salon’ or ‘massage parlour’ girls who on the surface wash hair or feet, or massage clients, but they also “do the business” in the establishment. They have less opportunity to ‘go out’ with clients or provide the ‘overnight package’;
6. ‘street girls’ usually hang around motels, cinemas etc. and perform ‘quickies’ elsewhere once a client is interested. Some accompany clients to the cinema, but they are actually providing a fondling service.
7. ‘underclass women’ generally service migrant workers, living in urban slum dwellings on construction sites. For some this is occasional or part time work, but others live with workers. They represent the lowest stratum of sex work, some doing it for basic food.