China’s ‘rotten girls’ are escaping into erotic fiction about gay men

Danmei is by some measures the most popular genre of fiction for women in China, and its popularity hasn’t gone unnoticed by the Communist party. Danmei fiction draws women into romantic stories that don’t have to confront the realities of being a young woman in China, says Megan Walsh, the author of The Subplot: What China is Reading and Why it Matters. There is no risk of pregnancy, no pressure to marry, and sexual desires can be felt and acted upon without judgment.