THE FORBIDDEN CITY: Power, God and Sex in Beijing


BEIJING – It has a titillating ring to it, akin to whispered promises of steamy delights. FORBIDDEN CITY.

China offers a host of these thrills, of course. Think of cobra potions, and the cock of a tiger and powdered rhinoceros’ horn. It really shouldn’t surprise anyone. The links between power and sex have always been strong in this vast, unwieldy country where invaders from the steppes, emperors, communist bigwigs and powerful tycoons have held sway over the masses for centuries.

There is grandeur aplenty in the Forbidden City, home to Chinese emperors. There are also plenty of hints about dangerous liaisons, with all those pavilions dedicated to concubines and wives; never mind tales of footloose emperors tasting the dangerous thrills of hobnobbing with the plebes.

The Footloose Kit

BEIJING – It has a titillating ring to it, akin to whispered promises of steamy delights. FORBIDDEN CITY.

China offers a host of these thrills, of course. Think of cobra potions, and the cock of a tiger and powdered rhinoceros’ horn.  It really shouldn’t surprise anyone. The links between power and sex have always been strong in this vast, unwieldy country where invaders from the steppes, emperors, communist bigwigs and powerful tycoons have held sway over the masses for centuries.

There is grandeur aplenty in the Forbidden City, home to Chinese emperors. There are also plenty of hints about dangerous liaisons, with all those pavilions dedicated to concubines and wives; never mind tales of footloose emperors tasting the dangerous thrills of hobnobbing with the plebes.

1ARCHIVAL - 080Women — from Manchu dowagers to the feared wife of the late helmsman Mao Tse Tung — have played major roles in Chinese power plays…

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