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This is in line with a blossoming of LGBT communities in major cities across China.
Beijing, for example, has seen the emergence of a number of gay clubs such as Destination in Chaoyang district, as well as NGOs such as the Beijing LGBT Center.
In his experience, Nick says it's also common for Western men to be targeted as potential sugar daddies, recalling one first date in which the guy queried Nick about his income, and then asked that Nick buy him a new phone. Some like muscles; some like tall people."Nick has plenty of time to find his perfect guy. "I don't want marriage yet." Thanks to growing mainstream acceptance of China's LGBT community, including an increase in services like dating apps aimed at this demographic, it's become easier for gay expats to live and date in China.
Nick said while some expats feel used when Chinese dates approach them for their language skills, "exotic" looks or presumed wealth, Nick himself is holding fast to his predilection for Asian guys. With a stable job, a solid group of friends and a comfortable home complete with a cat, he's committed to living in China long term. Photo: IC The perks and pitfalls of dating as a foreigner Luke, a 28-year-old Brit living in Nantong, Jiangsu Province, was enjoying a stroll through the park with his new friend, a cute young Chinese doctor, when their conversation came to a screeching halt."He suddenly said, 'You are from England; they are very open in England.
Still, he admitted, the fact that his popularity derives from his "foreignness" makes him feel uncomfortable.
Although Luke is open about his sexuality and is out to all of his family and friends in the UK, he doesn't plan to come out to his Chinese colleagues.
"There are not a huge amount of foreigners in China compared to my country, so they are just intrigued," he said.But it isn't just the community that keeps him here; Nick admits that he has a certain predilection for Chinese guys, which has served as another motivation to stay. I like foreigners too, but only as good friends," he says. It was only in 1997 that homosexuality was decriminalized and in 2001 that it was removed from the list of mental illnesses in the third edition of the Chinese Classification of Mental Disorders (CCMD-III).According to the United Nations Development Programme's Being LGBT in Asia: China Country Report released in 2014, social and cultural attitudes toward homosexuality have begun to shift in China, moving from the less tolerant attitudes linked to traditional Confucian and patriarchal values to greater openness and tolerance.Sometimes, instances of Chinese guys coming on too strong, he says, stem from a misapprehension of Western culture.The doctor, for example, having heard that Westerners were more "direct," assumed this meant that he should "directly" ask Luke if he wanted to be his boyfriend.
But he says it's less a fetish as it is a personal preference. Maybe you could be my boyfriend.' I was like, 'No…we just met,'" Luke recalls.