With drinks served in breast-shaped cups and beers opened with bottle openers shaped like a wooden penis, the father and daughter team behind a Beijing S&M restaurant are encouraging customers to mix food with sex.
Owner Lu Lu, a 27-year-old divorcee, said business has been good since opening just under a year ago, with young Chinese streaming in to feast on seafood, such as lobster, under the gaze of mannequins wearing bondage gear.
Lu’s father overcame initial reservations about some of the decor and took charge of the kitchen, dishing up a menu that features items such as ‘Horny’ and ‘Sensuous World’.
“‘Food and sex are the basic desires of humans,’ and the phrase has not changed in more than 5,000 years,” Lu told Reuters. “‘Release your basic instincts’ and ‘Liberate yourself’ are the two concepts we used as the basis for the restaurant.”
Lu said she was catering to a new generation of educated city residents who are increasingly willing to explore sex.
Chinese society has long left behind the days when talking about sex was taboo, but sexual education in schools remains almost non-existent. The government also keeps a tight rein on what it views as vulgar content on television or online.
Venues like Lu’s can also fall foul of the authorities.
In April, police ordered the two-week closure of a bar in the capital, Beijing, after it staged a performance art show in which the audience was invited to touch a woman’s breasts through her clothes.
Apart from one visit by police, Lu said, she has been left to continue to run her establishment, where inflatable naked dolls sit on shelves and waiters wear aprons with breasts on them.
That may change, though, with Lu planning to ramp up the kinkiness by putting women customers in handcuffs and getting their male companions to feed them. She also wants to offer customers the chance to whip the waitresses.
One customer was keen for Lu to push the boundaries.
“I think they could scale it up a bit,” said 30-year-old technology worker Eric Deng.
(Reporting by Reuters TV Writing by Natalie Thomas Editing by Patrick Johnston)