The South Korean Love Industry

[Applause] all across East Asia a demographic crisis is looming birth rates are declining and couples are getting married later or not at all faced with the prospect of a dwindling workforce governments from Japan to Singapore are spending billions of dollars on programs to spare their nation’s fertility rates with little success but nowhere is this more pronounced than in South Korea in the 60s Korea’s birth rate was so high that the government curbed population growth with propaganda and sterilization programs but the process worked too well and Korea saw the average amount of children per family dropped from six point six to one point two now with one of the lowest birth rates in the world the South Korean government predicts its entire population will be extinct by 2750 as Korea struggles to catch up with huge demographic changes it seems like the nuclear family behind the question is what will replace it it’s like 5:30 a.m. I’ve had about like three and a half four hours sleep yeah I’m just really tired and I’ve gotten up this early to go put on makeup before a kdrama style wedding shoe these days the fashion for young Korean couples is to arrange for a pre-wedding photoshoot before they get married the latest trend was to get your photos taken on the set of the hit Korean TV drama my love from the star the premise of the series is that an immortal alien falls in love with an actress but in our reenactment it would be me and our Korean fixer we’ve had to get our fixer Sydney to be the bride they’re not how she feels about that which isn’t a choice it’s gonna need a lot of work to get like the dark circles of tiredness out from underneath my eyes I look so much healthier now I mean I don’t really like what they’ve done with my hair it looks a bit weird but whatever I feel a very stiff like kind of like a Ken doll but not as attractive so the hairstyles just told me never touch my hair today oh really yeah like don’t even touch should get this wedding on the road [Music] where should we said looking at the camera or at each other oh yeah okay okay okay it’s my eyes line okay okay all right I like this this is where I said Oh mr. president okay one run whatever team spoon to a clinic in Ruby I can’t enjoy become all alone cool cool [Music] Oh kevie okay despite getting fake married to our translator on a kdrama TV set I still hadn’t grasped the nuances of Korean dating culture to get to the bottom of it I headed to the most romantic place in the country Jeju Island Jeju Island is like the Hawaii of Korea since the 50s it’s dreamy landscape has made it the number one holiday spot for newlyweds earning it the nickname honeymoon Isle what is it you guys like so much about Jeju my wife next month we have one year anniversary for my our marriage so to celebrate the video game it’s fantastic to have pairing with a boyfriend or girlfriend one of the main attractions in Jeju is a place called Loveland that was erected in 2004 to break apart cultural taboos about sex [Music] we’re at the Jeju Loveland theme park it’s a giant vast garden filled with sculptures but unlike most sculpture parks every sculpture here is about sex [Music] so when I first came to Korea I’ve never envisaged that I would be walking on a giant penis shaft and look at the view [Music] you’ve got your wooden penis your robot penis it takes the word dickhead to a whole new level there’s no shame in any of these sculptures whatsoever there’s no subtlety at all this is just pure pornography in sculpture form this is called awesome threesome and it’s one of those ones that does what it says in a 10 I like this one I’d say this is my favorite one so far this is a sculpture called turn me on so I guess you crank it and it’s quite vigorous I think sometimes it’s more better to just you know it doesn’t have to be loveland is one of the stranger things you can do on Jeju Island and I guess it kind of comes out of there being a serious stigma around sex and intimacy for a lot of young Koreans sex is a big secret it’s something you’re not supposed to know about until after you’re married it’s difficult to imagine a giant penis Park existing in Korea 20 years ago the average marriage age in Korea is now 31 years one of the highest in Asia and attitudes towards casual sex have had to change fast to keep up Saros external weston day she based on a funny movie she would put up on each other occasionally marketís component elements nothing I wanna I was thrown into this ship will go down like most young Koreans still live with their parents this is given birth to a booming industry of themed motels that you can rent by the hour this streets filled with love motels now in my experience the words love a motel don’t usually go together but when you’re in a culture where most young Koreans still live with their parents and even university dormitories are gender segregated this is kind of the only opportunity you get to avoid the prying eyes of parents and basically have premarital sex [Music] hi how’s it going okay tell Adam Mira [Music] Yahoo Jared Omaha whoa cool the give me a circumcision to kick room check out some beer oh hello you tomorrow uh Brock Lesnar can you hear through the walls are they soundproof yeah parliament has do you provide safe sex materials condoms that kind of thing yeah it could really call to the computer with 25,000 won that’s about 25 dollars an hour to have sex how many love my talents do you have Tom Bergin’s again I’m Natasha vo gets on voice no you got whirlpool Tim I will we’re gonna cap it Trevor kitchen we do kannada udita Bhavan okay Spain burning in them on a parcel hola learn moderator Jim Bowie ball club you know what you gotta take in the interior promoter like no you think to him then cookie young tier cattle area those you enjoy a battalions of intricate ahlu l-bayt exposed brickwork and double-decker buses it’s exactly like London autumn bundle three electing good with all but party in poor management Bureau Xavier Oviedo hajikko you got to attach embellishment day max angry other things already woodojo value okay could they don’t have to keep nothing I can do detail do you get single people who come and rent rooms just just for themselves yeah come on Dorian she was put on the wall will hear me so what’s in here oh wow okay that I get oh cool so it’s like a camping themed love experience it’s kind of like a festival camping vibe in here kind of the kind of place that most people don’t really like making love and actually yeah just realized that there must have been hundreds of couples who have had sex on this bed that I’m currently lying on maybe we should go even though this is your job don’t you think it’s a bit extreme the measures that young people have to go to just to be intimate with each other we’re not a hunk o captain girl and magic thought on money in the all happy now you don’t get to talk Hargitay Malay Europe talking Rho kiss on the cheek 20 samosas on to the Ranger pakodas Hannah okay come on Samson a Toyota Sienna’s oh what a Valentine in German singer on th and double singles picnic open don’t talk in virology okay tiles up get hang on go to our harbour Tom Booker : yo Don oh my god yep look terrible toll on Tokyo love motels present a challenge to the traditional family image but casual sex of a more illicit kind has always been readily available in Korea even after the government made prostitution illegal in 2004 the country is still notorious for its thriving sex industry okay so this is hooker Hill I need to tell you what we’re gonna find here it’s gonna be hackers despite prostitution being very illegal in so you can get a prostitute here it’s very easy the sex trade currently accounts for four percent of the country’s GDP making it about the size of the fishing and agriculture industries combined up to one-fifth of women between the ages of 15 and 29 have at some point worked in the sex industry prostitution is so common that in 2006 the South Korean government began offering cash incentives to companies whose male employees didn’t pay for sex during staff outings generally speaking though sex workers aren’t too happy for guys with cameras to hang around and ask questions so to learn more about the industry we met up with a local journalist named Kwon Sang Soo who specializes in Seoul’s criminal underbelly what are all of the different options for someone who wants to buy sex in Seoul yattaman she named Shannon Holden guarding the red light street reso achievement amazing cosmetics R&D cuckoo Simon Cameron human chromatin or market and the world hidaka from joy data language reserve the Integra we don’t imagine so it took the Thunder Bushman from Choi possibility no we keep callamezzo you don’t have an oppa stability region Gong Gong Sun Zhi hua Chi Chi 100 coup d’etat manikyam is an important common rule the general pool with Internet is awesome whoo-hoo patter so whoever took cheers hello that came to mind as well how do these establishments evade law enforcement you don’t was a jungle without cigars not internet what you and then sorry okay tell me about Peter ended up in zero afternoon time I didn’t understand so talking about later to tolerate not to mean it has a pop wounded engine don’t supervise up the tons of work to keep the most I wasn’t Italian our producer heating Lady Jaye we heard about a disturbing new trend in solo sex trade elderly prostitutes known as Bacchus ladies were selling their bodies for as little as $10 in some of the city’s parts this was surprising in a society that valued respect for elders over everything so we met up with dr. Lee ho sung an expert who is studying this recent phenomenon where does the name Bacchus lady come from Kassadin you Joanie at Hangang Youngjae no you drink attend a Picasa a man in doing it is a guru hana some may Marilyn and Qin Yun dong it okay Tony takeaways from the current day turns around to neon young man on an evildoing on your some ketchup on a quick it go Chris a caucus of arrow Picasso drew with animals has she done some we made her having a Sony that Iran middle Picasso’s moragne get out we didn’t go out we followed dr. Lee to jongmyo Park where she was conducting research we had to film secretly so our producer built a makeshift pocket camera [Music] the Pakistan young man in English Andhra most who drives copy azimuth harem Jasmine example a doctor they come oncome doing it his anger on a song memmio same antenna go Joe dr. lee began to interview some elderly women selling coffee at the end of the street in the middle of our conversation an old man suddenly approached that woman also current practices mother is able to – the whole city later for men on your one border management go unattended okay negates you can buy the Philistine silver caps lock a door – Julia [Music] otaku aware because as a mother like they’re all Nazis and the Richard Hoggart my torturer but you are over oh dear Sonia nobody got hurt you know what’s what are you there good Mauro Mauro Baldi Lucha Libre canta new Zehra Zehra it’s surprising to hear all this because Korea’s is a culture that has such a deeply ingrained respect for their elders because my junior contempt Indian gay you get the 100-ton tone jogging cats Akane what who knows about Indian from data if even ammonia or layer Odin good I got an order nigga Jokinen so check your car ammonia me on Salman said that again Sierra to go Salman said that the reggaeton boob-o-meter cool littering a tune Buddha then engage come on in Bhutan and social system image again then go out Don sistema Cottonwood taco turbo Janek oh sorry sorry suck up to the ribbon drew young Buddha body with them with them there are about 400 Bacchus ladies working in jongmyo Park traditionally South Korea’s elderly would rely on their children for help but as that social structure disappears the state is only just starting to provide a welfare alternative and as the population continues to rapidly age nearly half of the country’s elderly are left to live in poverty back in their day this generation was having so many children that the government initiated sterilization programs to lower the fertility rate we wanted to meet this super fertile generation who had witnessed one of the sharpest demographic shifts in history so we’re in yeongdeungpo which aside from also being one of the most dangerous areas of Seoul is also one of the best places to hang out if you’re old it’s filled with these things called coal attacks which are basically really loud nightclubs where people dance all night so if you’re old and you’re in Seoul this is the place to be [Music] Herman Haram delicious another ycombinator ha Tonio chun-yan t ha T V Seamon honey touch your own own photo or Buddha’s are nothing the winner your own ship and your two simian Corinne de aqui got the receipt Oh truly amo mucho majima [Music] [Applause] this generation isn’t handing down the torch they’re keeping it what do you think the grandchildren would think about the fact of their grandparents are going out clubbing all night whoo she got nada mail done so I get some water – giving we’re not put on a boogie single ha generic Lucinda I imagine when this generation of elderly people were younger they were expected to be very involved and taking care of their grandparents do you think maybe now that happens lesson I’m gonna do all I’m gonna do community of chiana so get your Hindery known Taylor Dugan and the you gemenon Hakadosh to do it so true so nurui not the main channel didn’t research akiha dong hua Zhu da channel they will go out on to tourism come on oh oh I’m a taquito you don’t do know that continue animu not looking the honey down sitting in a loud nightclub surrounded by dancing koreans septuagenarians I couldn’t help thinking is this what East Asia’s future looks like Korea’s population was aging at a speed that’s never been seen before in human history and like many countries in the region its economy grew way too fast for welfare to catch-up extinction still seems like a far-off claim but what is certain is that Korea’s family structure has changed forever and in that sense this is a very modern issue in most developed countries the nuclear family is in decline with longer lifespans faster paced jobs and a freer attitude towards sex each generation moves further away from marriage and procreation all across the world the priorities of young people are changing and if we really are witnessing the global death of the nuclear family South Korea could well be ground zero [Music]

100 thoughts on “The South Korean Love Industry

  1. The photographer stole the show ☺️💔 but this isn't really true of Korea in 2750 we'll all be extinct. Even foreigners come to Korea and get married and have long relationships

  2. there is nothing moroccan about them otel the china isn't the tiels are spanish and the lantels are middle eastern also i don't think that a muslim country would advocate for pre-marital sex

  3. Developed 1st world countries population is on the decline, while poor 3rd-4th world countries population is going through the roof! You can see where this is heading and what the world is going to look like in 50 years. Not good

  4. I miss the early days of vice when Shane Smith made it practicly alone, no agendas, just interesting investigative journalism.

  5. I can't imagine abandoning my parents when they are old and retired. it REALLY pisses me off that a bunch of young people in South Korea are doing this. despicable. they take care of you your whole life and love you completely and you just abandon them. i hope they are ashamed

  6. Korean Comfort Women in Taiwan, had to prostitution by himself falsely Japanese the 'Mizusawa Maki' a lie.

  7. HUman will not live till 2100 anyway, my gut tell me.
    And what is so bad about low birthrate? It actually needed to reduce the population, Human population is too much now, and less population means less competitors in business. Thats very good actually

  8. The only thing that will increase fertility is to take women's rights away. But the government would rather force their people into extinction than challenge women

  9. Young people sneaking around….Not too different from the US. I wish we had motels like these. Would have made things a bit easier 😛

  10. Predicts their population will be extinct by 2750. Too many variables. Too many years. A simple ratio equation we learned when we were 12 can’t be used to solve and predict everything. Lost me there. Lmao. 1:20

  11. Okay but talk about Asia thought towards daycare. Once a women a married they want them to stay at home and not continue their career. A lot of women opt out of children because no one can watch them and daycare is usually a two year waitlist.

  12. Don't you feel ashamed of your self?
    You on VICE!
    How can you manipulate a society and transform it towards people that haven't visited that society and country !
    It's all about the money ha !
    I am a truly Greek man that has visited Korea four times..have hanged around with local koreans and know seven korean families until today.
    No shame ?

  13. expat in the Philippines, almost every town has by the hour hotels as here most young adults still live at home and the sex industry is very heavy here, most sex for sale females are bisexual which makes for more fun but hotels charge extra for more then two. Still cheap as even with four people only about $20 for 3+ hours, most places are not very clean so always bring my own towels and TP as no TP in hotels.

  14. Emirates is not from Spain, nor a Spanish country… It's Dubai or the middle east yo.. could hv done a better job like the flag at least? Like you did with England 🤦‍♀️😂

  15. That social worker or whomever they talked to shouldn’t be blaming the older women in prostitution for ruining Korean values and respect for the elderly. Clearly, these women are poor, as I’m sure everyone would prefer to be seen as wise, and respected.

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