After black market goods, the most oft-seen variety of bus station bathroom graffiti deals with sex.
There are many iterations on the theme of “call this number to arrange sex with a girl”, including door-to-door service, special deals, and types of girls, as seen below:
Directly translated, this says ‘student little sisters’, but the implication is clearly for commercial sex with barely (or not quite) legal school-age girls. If one believes the prostitution leaflets that get slipped under cheap hotel room doors at night, schoolgirls are just one subset of fantasies catered to by the commercial sex industry, in addition to naughty nurses, policewomen, white collar ladies and more.
Outnumbering the ads by prostitution rings are more personal messages left by and for members of China’s gay community. Notably these “male seeking male” messages are one of the few areas in which Chinese graffiti overlaps with its American counterpart.
The simple statement above was written in tiny print beneath the hinge of a bathroom door covered top to bottom with bigger scribbles for drugs and funny money.
The tiny message above contrasts sharply with this flamboyant script on the side of a urinal. This message appeared in the bus station in Pucheng, a sub-county-level town in the hardscrabble, mountainous interior of Fujian Province – hardly what one would consider a progressive part of the country, and so small that it’s difficult to imagine there being much of a gay culture to get involved in. Who would leave such a forthright, unmissable note at the town’s window to the outside? While could be it a sign of enthusiastic expectation of seeking out a good time with the town’s transient population, one can also imagine it being a rare opportunity for expression by someone who feels alienated from his community.
China’s gay community has adopted the old Maoist term “comrade” for its own.
I’ve had to crop out a great deal of the text around some of these gay solicitations, since some parts are unprintable. Suffice to say, Chinese bus station toilets are well-trained in the school of “blowjobs at 9:00” and “for a good time call Bob” – and then much more. I expanded my vocabulary of Chinese vulgarity by some measure while doing the research for this article.
For those not seeking love or hook-ups via the stall walls, there are occasional messages advertising gay pornography.
China’s black market for sperm and uteruses has a presence on the wall as well.
Ultrasound-plus-abortion combo deals have been driven underground since China began cracking down on ultrasound scans intended to determine the sex of the baby so that unwanted girls could be terminated and the parents could try again. The practice lives on in shady corners of the country.