The annual Hainan Rendez-Vous, a lifestyle and yachting show, ended a couple of weeks ago. But online attention has fixed on sex, not the sea, as rumors of orgies have spread online.
 
According to a widespread online post, one young model earned some 600,000 yuan ($97,053) in a period of three days and over 2,000 condoms were used at one party. Drugs were also said to be consumed at the orgies.
 
The law enforcement agencies are investigating into the reported gallivanting, while the online virtual world has been abuzz with pictures said to be taken at the romp, outrage and condemnation at the controversial lifestyle of the super rich, and denial of participation by high-profile celebrities. 
 
Many would probably frown upon the scenes of drunkenness and debauchery in the Sanya party. But is it anyone else’s business except those participants?  
 
Whatever happened at the lifestyle show largely falls in the realm of personal freedom. The participants have the right to decide whom they want to share their bodies with or in what way. 
 
Those who have long memories may still remember that we used to have a crime called "hooliganism" that could be employed to punish those having extramarital affairs. It was a sweeping charge and could also be used against young women who had more than one sexual partner.
 
In the late 1980s there was a case in which a man was executed for selling X-rated pictures of himself and his wife. It was a time when watching an adult film at home could draw the attention of the police.
 
What the participants in the alleged sex parties did was voluntary, meaning it was nothing more than a group of consenting adults enjoying themselves to the fullest.
 
We are against sex crimes, such as rape or harassment, because of their non-consensual nature. Whatever happened in Sanya, it was, as far as we know, fully consensual.
 
Furthermore, the rumored orgies didn’t damage anyone. Nor did they violate the rights of you or me. Are we supposed to set up standards for other people to follow even their behaviors don’t affect our lives? 
There are arguments that such behavior affects the social order and may lead to other "immoral" acts.
 
Back in 2010 there was a similar case in which a professor by the name of Ma Yaohai was prosecuted for organizing partner swapping parties in his own two-bedroom apartment in the city of Nanjing. His self-defense, though unsuccessful, should force us to think carefully about such charges.
 
Ma said, "How can I disturb the social order? What happens in my house is a private matter."
 
That case took place over 10 years after the crime of "hooliganism" was scrapped in 1997 from our law books. Ma was charged under a clause called "group licentiousness," referring to sexual acts involving three or more than three people.
 
The party in Sanya, if the claims prove to be true, will probably face similar charges and there may be legal consequences based on existing Chinese law.
 
But the law of "group licentiousness" itself is controversial.
 
Sexologist Li Yinhe once wrote in her blog that no matter how much it offends social customs, the private, voluntary, victimless behavior of citizens should not suffer the control or punishment of the state. 
 
In an era when sex shops proliferate, and when extramarital affairs are common, these charges seem a bit outdated. 
 
Believe it or not, society is increasingly more tolerant.
 
A batch of pictures in which five naked men and women from Lujiang county, Anhui Province were shown together were leaked and posted online last August. That caused a stir, but few people called for any legal punishment. Instead some condemned the leak over concerns that the privacy of those in pictures was breached.
 
Our law, which should reflect current social values, may also need to change.
 
The Sanya party should be dealt with maximum leniency unless prostitution or the use of drugs is discovered.
 
SOURCE: Global Times
 
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