CHINA / Regional

China hospital defends posting erotic book online
Updated: 2006-07-30 17:21

A Chinese sexual health clinic on Wednesday defended the posting of excerpts of an ancient, erotic novel on its Web site, saying it was intended for treatment, not for personal gratification.

Hefei Red Cross Sexual Health Recovery Hospital in China's central Anhui province, shocked Web surfers by uploading chapters from "Secret Lust of Spring Palace" -- an ancient novel with explicit sexual content -- Chinese newspapers reported.

A doctor surnamed Zong, however, said the hospital had been unfairly exposed.

"It's absolutely not pornography. It's literary stuff and a classic from the Qing dynasty," Zong told Reuters by telephone, referring to China's last imperial house which was overthrown in 1911.

Zong said the hospital offered treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and gynaecological services, but specialised in tackling sexual problems, both physical and mental, that led to infertility.

He cited the example of a couple who had complained about not having a child a year into their marriage. It turned out they did not know how to have sex and that the wife was still a virgin when they came to the hospital.

"So we tried teach them about the techniques in sex. Literature helps educate," he said. "Sometimes it's not medicine that solves problems."

In China, pornographic literature is banned. But sexually explicit content is widely available online and on street corners.