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Polygamy and Sublime Passion – Sexuality in China on the Verge of Modernity - Hawaii Scholarship Online
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Polygamy and Sublime Passion: Sexuality in China on the Verge of Modernity

Keith McMahon


For centuries of Chinese history, polygamy and prostitution were closely linked practices that legitimized the “polygynous male,” the man with multiple sexual partners. Despite their strict hierarchies, these practices also addressed fundamental antagonisms in sexual relations in serious and constructive ways. Qing fiction abounds in stories of female resistance and superiority. Women—main wives, concubines, and prostitutes—were adept at exerting control and gaining status for themselves, while men indulged in elaborate fantasies about female power. This book introduces a new concept, “passive ... More

Keywords: polygamy, prostitution, sexual relations, female resistance, wives, concubines, prostitutes, polygamous marriage, polygamous sexuality, Qing dynasty

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780824833763
Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016 DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824833763.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Keith McMahon, author
University of Kansas