Introduction: The Impotence Epidemic in China
This introduction raises the question of “why there was an impotence epidemic” in China, particularly in the 1990s. Countering the dominant biological perspective, it raises the question about in what social contexts this impotence epidemic occurred. Then it disputes the negative assessment of this epidemic as only reflecting trauma, suffering, or a masculine crisis, by recognizing the rising desire of men and women to seek medication for impotence in order to enjoy sexual pleasure. As a result, this impotence epidemic is an effect of social, institutional, and discursive encouragement of desire, or “desiring production” in Deleuzian terms, reflecting the significant change that has been happening in the post-Mao economic reform. It also raises the question of what the ethical limits to such desiring production are.