Hong Kong is home to a rich and business-centric landscape that can be akin to the eastern equivalent of New York’s title as the city that never sleeps. With its citizens always on the go and seeking advancement in career opportunities as their primary objectives, it can be challenging for someone who’s goal-oriented to slip into the dating scene. As with any business transaction, dating has become a high-stakes risk for Hong Kong’s citizens, especially for women.
Dating in modern times
Time is speeding up in terms of surprising and shocking growth of how technology has impacted our way of life. A lot of industries are adapting to the shift to make sure that they aren’t left out in the dust with dated practices and platforms. Online dating has also faced the need to upgrade its medium in the past decade.
The years of the big and convoluted dating website practices have gone as we’re now facing a new age of dating practices. With interconnectivity becoming one of the main driving forces of every industry from food delivery services to business transactions, dating has also taken an enormous step forward in becoming efficiently accessible and mobile.
With Tinder as the pioneer for dating apps breaking open a Pandora’s box of opportunities for different cultures and demographics to meet-up and connect, more and more people are finding the notion of hook-up culture as a viable alternative to having a once in a lifetime fantasy meet-up depicted in movies. Various iterations of the platform from Bumble to Grindr have developed the dating scene to look at niche audiences to include more than just hetero-couples in mind.
Expectations and ambitions
The accessibility of mobile dating is a solution to one of Hong Kong’s dilemmas in terms of its environmental and social landscape. Hong Kong is a bustling, competitive place for any ambitious person. With much of the day spent on international business flights to various networking meet-ups, there’s not much left for any career-oriented person to give way to dating. As dating proves to be an investment that’s high risk together with the commitment of a career path, many people don’t give too much attention to it. Hong Kong women especially have a rough time finding a date or even lasting in a relationship.
Hong Kong women’s dilemma
Hong Kong women attribute to facing a ‘simple and efficient’ solution: to aim low and settle for less. Much of the discussion with regards to the alarmingly high number of single Hong Kong women compared to the population of Hong Kong men suggests that it’s the women’s fault for staying single and too ‘high-maintenance’ for realistic standards
This narrative of ambitious women reflects on the Hong Kong mindset of not settling for less and anticipating a pending better offer puts them on a negative light when they merely see that they deserve better, and they do. It’s not that they have impossible standards; it’s that they have much to consider when it comes to investing their time and commitment for the long term.
The local goods compared to the international market
Hong Kong women shouldn’t be at fault for having scrappy choices in the buffet. Surveys and general perception of Hong Kong women towards the men in their country are surprisingly low, referring to them as man-children who are either inexperienced or uncommitted to being in a relationship. Government surveys indicate that the number of over 900,000 male citizens is sparingly low compared to the one million of Hong Kong women currently residing in Hong Kong, that’s at least a 1000 to 1 difference in number not including the LGBT members of both sexes to account.
With the quality and quantity disadvantage, Hong Kong women are then quick to realize that finding a suitable partner from the international section of the buffet is a much better choice.
The male escort industry
Because it’s that much harder to find a partner that fits the profile of attractive, emotionally committed, and financially stable for Hong Kong’s women, they’ve turned their eyes to an alternative to quell their need for companionship. As an unlikely response to the lack of dating options in Hong Kong, a massive surge in the sex work industry has risen in recent years. Hong Kong boasts a male escorts industry that makes it one of its most significant sectors compared to anywhere else in Asia. However, locals in the scene are facing the threat of a more powerful force, the freelance overseas escorts.
Expat escort routes
Expat escorts make their presence known through profiles and dating applications that cater to both women and gay men as their main target demographic. These overseas escorts usually take a route of rounding a trip around Asia to deal with visa limitations. Male escorts in Hong Kong can stay for up to one week then move on to a journey going from Kuala Lumpur, Beijing, and Bangkok, depending on where their niche market lies. These individuals take the time to advertise their services before they book their trips. The amount they earn beyond their living and travel expenses count as a profitable gain seeing as international meat is much desirable compared to locals in recent years.
Hong Kong’s dating scene as a wake-up call to men
The unexpected rise in recent years of the male escort industry show that the rising difficulty of dating in Hong Kong is not about the stubbornness of the women, but about the fall in terms of the quality of local men. Mixed with today’s competitive career obstacles and the ever-rising living expenses, women have found themselves in a complicated dilemma on whether or not they should lowball their ambitions for the sake of settling down.
But being single has its perks compared to settling down, finding sustainability in a career path trajectory that you’re comfortable with is a million times better than forcing yourself to settle down. Women should take a hint and ignore what society tells them to do. Staying single isn’t as challenging as an obstacle compared to investing in a lifelong committed with the wrong partner.