The story appears on

Page B1 - B2

December 3, 2010

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Feature

Under the covers with university mistresses

SOME female university students in Shanghai are signing contracts with wealthy businessmen to become their mistresses. Both sides appear to be content with the arrangement although lawyers say such contracts are illegal, writes Yao Min-G.

Sunny Zhang, a junior student at a Shanghai university, has received more than 10 calls asking her to become a mistress of rich businessmen after finishing as the runner-up at a campus beauty pageant.

After a few weeks of considering the offers, she called one number and signed a contract with a 43-year-old married businessman surnamed Lin. The contract requires her to offer sexual favors twice a week and forbids her from having a boyfriend or sexual partners during the two-year contract.

She receives 6,000 yuan (US$900) per month and is allowed to stay in a one-bedroom apartment. It also states that she is to receive gifts on significant dates (birthday, Christmas and Valentine's).

Lawyers say that such contracts are illegitimate as selling sexual services is against the law. Still, most university student mistresses don't even have a contract like this - they are bound by oral contracts.

Zhang and her fellow beauty contestants are among some university students who face the temptation of becoming a long-term mistress with a rich businessman, who is often old and married. Some mistresses even post their stories on the Internet, attracting much attention and controversy.

Among the five mistresses and two male mistresses interviewed by Shanghai Daily - all undergraduate or graduate students in Shanghai aged from 19 to 25 years old - none have a sad story such as "I have to do it otherwise I'll starve to death, or my seriously ill parents will die for a lack of medical costs."

None of them are proud of what they are doing, but they don't express any regrets, either. They are reluctant to talk about their relationship. Two women and one man say they have to do so to stay in Shanghai, as they are students from remote and poor villages.

"What else could I do? There was no way I could stay at the company that I interned. They told me they don't need anyone. It is difficult to find a job, and even if I find one, the salary is far from enough to support myself in this expensive city," 22-year-old senior student Angela Xu tells Shanghai Daily.

Her "sugar daddy" is a client of the advertising company where she used to be an intern. The man has promised to get her a position at his friend's company, a much larger joint-venture advertising company, in addition to allowing her to stay in an apartment near the company and 5,000 yuan per month.

Certain schools have always been known for producing mistresses. Foreign language schools and arts, film and music institutes all over the country have this "reputation." It is always said that posh cars line up outside these schools and promotional materials or name cards of some pimps are posted on campus or on schools' online forums. Now, the phenomenon is said to have spread to almost all schools.

A supposed price list for university women mistresses in Shanghai, along with the name card of a pimp, was posted on the Internet recently. According to the list, the annual cost of keeping a mistress ranges from 20,000 yuan to 500,000 yuan.

The better the school's ranking, the higher the price for a mistress. Some netizens believed the price while others think it is a prank. The person who first posted the list was "educated" by the police for spreading rumors, according to a newspaper report.

There is no way of knowing how many university women are mistresses. After all, it is difficult to distinguish between someone on a date with a rich boyfriend or someone who is a mistress.

Some call the situation an epitome of corrupted morals since even well-educated university students are willing to be mistresses. Some condemn the young women while others show more sympathy and place blame on society.

"I don't think we should put the focus and blame on the university women, because it is the inequality between men and women that is responsible for such a phenomenon," says Gu Xiaoming, a professor and sociologist from Fudan University.

"Women are portrayed sexually and in a derogatory way in advertisements, TV and films all over the country, which all deliver the message that women are toys for men. We shall blame society and men for treating women like this, rather than purely criticizing the university girls," he adds.

Gu says that society is still unfair to women. For example, it is still more difficult for female university students to find a job than their male counterparts. Many companies make it clear that they don't want to hire women.

Only 15 years ago when there were far less universities students, they were considered precious. It was unthinkable to have a university student as a girlfriend, let alone as a mistress.

"For people like me, who failed the college entrance exam at that time, university girls were like goddesses. It means a status," says 43-year-old Lin, who owns a trading company.

"So when I heard that one of my business partners got a university girl to be his mistress three years ago, I became interested. I think I deserve a mistress with a higher status than the village girls who come to the city for work," he says.

Through a young pimp Xiao Wang, Lin found the beauty pageant runner-up Zhang, who is a Shanghai native and doesn't have as much financial pressure as her classmates from less-affluent villages. Her parents give her 1,500 yuan every month, but she wants more so she can buy beautiful clothes and expensive cosmetics.

Backstage of the pageant, Xiao gave her a phone number. He claimed to be the personal assistant of a rich businessman. Xiao told her that she should call if she was interested in becoming his boss' mistress.

She got about 10 similar phone calls after the competition. Soon she heard that another finalist may have become a mistress because posh cars were suddenly appearing to pick her up regularly. The girl also started wearing more expensive clothes and using more luxurious cosmetics.

"She is definitely not as pretty as me, so don't I deserve better than she does?" Zhang asks.

"After all, most of my classmates expressed a mixture of jealousy and outrage when I told them this story. They condemn her not because they think it is wrong, but because they can't get as much," she says.

The simple question prompted Zhang to call Xiao, a professional pimp who introduces young university students to wealthy businessmen. Xiao made her feel less guilty about the decision.

"I just told her that many girls like her, and even some of her schoolmates, are doing the same thing. It is simply a redistribution of social resources - their beauty for the businessman's wealth," Xiao tells Shanghai Daily.

Xiao, a former salesperson, started this line of work about four years ago, when a client asked him whether he knew some pretty and clean young women who might be interested in providing regular sex services.

"About two years ago, some rich clients started asking for university girls rather than less-educated villagers or unknown actresses," Xiao says.

"It's simply about quality," he says. "When it is not so difficult to find a pretty mistress, you ask for more - like a university degree. This makes the woman more desirable as they have better manners, are less likely to have a disease and they probably won't expose you to the wife."


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend