Hong Kong’s first-ever adult carnival has attracted criticism from an outspoken family concern group over its “sexual liberation” theme.

The adult festival ran from last Thursday to Sunday, featuring appearances by Japanese adult video stars, male strippers from Australia, “naked painter” Pricasso as well as sex stores and a bondage demonstration.

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

In a press release on Monday, organisers said the “groundbreaking event was a resounding success,” attracting over 13,000 visitors to the Central Harbourfront. They said over 70 per cent of visitors were women aged between 25-35, with just under a third being overseas tourists. Project Manager Regine Lau said most visitors found the show “entertaining” and “enjoyable.”

However, Lau earlier told Apple Daily that there had been complaints by family concern groups and pressure from the Development Bureau, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, prompting them to cover up a part of an artwork depicting nudity.

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

Akin to ‘prostitution’ 

Last week, the Family School Sexual Orientation Discrimination Ordinance Concern Group – an anti-LGBT group – made an online call urging netizens to write to lawmakers and government departments to complain about the four-day event.

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

In a reply to HKFP on Monday, the group raised concerns over the morality of the carnival.

It said the it encouraged sexual liberation for women and that “if the women in Hong Kong are influenced by such ideas and believe this is freedom, the moral standards of Hong Kong’s whole society will decline.” The group also likened the carnival to prostitution.

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

The group added that the Central harbourfront is an important location and should be hosting “healthy” events.

“Now that the government has allowed these events, it gives the impression that it supports or approves of them,” the group said.

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

When asked about complaints by family groups, Lau instead hit out at the South China Morning Post’s coverage, adding that their own surveys will reveal whether the public would like the show to return.

18+ Central said that feedback from the media and from the public online was otherwise “highly favourable,” though did not answer questions over whether it attracted enough businesses and vendors to the event.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.