Adultery laws in Taiwan

So you are Mr. {generic name}, newly arrived from {western country} to Taiwan.  Wow!  What an amazing place.  Beautiful scenery, easy lifestyle, willing enchanting women…you should’ve found this paradise sooner!  You decide to stay for a while.

After some time, you settle down with a nice girl to enjoy a family life.  But as time goes on, you find married life getting rather boring.  You were a bit of a cad back home, and find yourself missing that life.  So you decided to dip your nose – just a little, mind you – to see what the other boys are enjoying.  After all, you don’t want to ruin your life, you just want a small amount of excitement.

One night, out for a raucous drink with the boys, you spy an exotic angel giving you the “come hither” eyes.  Your boys urge you on.  Ah, just a little bit of flirting never hurt anyone, did it?  You strut over to say hi – only to prove to yourself that you’ve still got it!

One thing leads to another, and now you are “visiting” your angel quite frequently.  The nice girl you married gets suspicious and hires a “dick” to tail you.  Evidence is obtained, and you realize that you are headed to the slammer for the next year.  Awww crap.  If only you had known!!!

This story can be changed to have a female protagonist as well.

I just recently found out that in Taiwan, adultery is a criminal offence – punishable by a year in jail – for both people involved.

Living in a country that’s so westernized and forward thinking, it’s easy to sometimes forget that the values held have not changed the same way everything else has.

While I’m not encouraging everyone to go out and cheat on their spouses,  I was shocked at the severity of the punishment for doing so.  It’s always been my opinion that matters of the heart (and nether regions) are best left to those involved.  Granting a divorce? – yes.  Splitting up property? – ok.  But getting sent off to jail??  Doesn’t seem like the authorities should have that much power over a romantic indescretion.

It’s bad enough that people (both parties) get emotionally and financially devastated over such incidents, but adding a government mandated loss of freedom and a criminal record that follows you seems like performing a circumcision with a howitzer.

Really – do grown-ass people need Daddy to spank them and keep the peace?

Digging deeper, I found out that adultery is only the actual act of sex.  All the peripherals are fair game.  So, you can have a mistress and get all the handjobs, blowjobs and anal sex you want, but if you stick it in her hoo-haa, then you’ve been a very bad boy – jail for you!

Oh yeah, homosexual sex is also fair game.  So you can have a mistress AND a mister.

In the courts, adultery is difficult to prove.  The defendant must be shown (in pics or video) to be definitely having sex with someone other than their spouse,  BUT evidence got without knowledge of the people in the video can be dismissed as illegal evidence.

Funny thing here, if you are charged for taping or photographing someone without their knowledge or consent, you get something like 3 years behind bars.  Not only that, your footage cannot be used in court because it was illegally obtained.  Added to that, the penalty for adultery is only 1 year – why would anyone risk it?

So no secretly videotaping your spouse for evidence.  There have been cases where infidelity has obviously been going on, but because of lack of (legally procured) hard evidence, the adulterer gets away, but the spouse who videotaped the affair gets thrown in jail.

End result – you need hard evidence to convict for adultery, but it’s very difficult to obtain, short of asking the couple to make a nice sex tape for you.  Good luck with that!

Another point to note in this legal morass is the fact that the accuser can choose who to prosecute and who to “forgive”.  This leads to a lot of slimeball husbands being forgiven while their mistresses are taken to the cleaners for the crime of “tempting” these otherwise virtuous paragons.

A common abuse of this technicality occurs when one partner seduces someone (rich), then the other partner comes out screaming bloody murder, but only chooses to prosecute the outsider, not their partner.  The outsider is then faced with having to pay loads of cash to try to avoid jail time, and the couple gets away with bundles of free money.

Sometimes, during a divorce, partners may allege adultery charges against the other if they don’t want to break up or want more in a settlement.  This can cause a hell of a lot of additional headache, and the fear of jail may put a stop to the divorce proceedings leaving an unhappy couple together.  Sure the divorce rate in Taiwan is less than back home, but if fear of jail is a factor, I really have to wonder how happy these couples are?

To be fair, there has been constant talk of decriminalizing adultery in Taiwan.  The government is encouraging this issue to be discussed but for now the status quo remains.  With shifting values, change will probably take place in the future, but only when the people of Taiwan want it to.  So be aware, Mr {generic name}.  Playing in someone else’s backyard may lead you to the clink.

EDIT May 21 2013.

I just read this article in the Taipei times.  Really, you do go to jail!


2 Responses to “Adultery laws in Taiwan”

  1. 1 Phillip March 21, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    You have just opened a can of worms in my tiny brain. The age of consent in Taiwan is 16, and not 18 as in most western countries. So that means that it is acceptable for a married man to have anal sex with a 16 year old girl. You would not be breaking any laws by doing so. Why don’t they slap a stamp in your passport notifying you of this fact when you enter the country. It could read something like this:

    WARNING! Drug trafficking is punishable by death under the laws of the ROC, but hey, here’s some good news guys! Anal sex with 16 year old girls is however permitted.We hope this makes your stay even more enjoyable!

    Now, furthermore, I cannot help but to wonder what the law states about bestiality then. Can a married man shove it to a goat as long as it is in the stinker? Getting caught fucking a duck will certainly be cause for confusion in the courtroom because as you may, or may not know, a duck has only one hole which it pisses out of, shits out of, lays eggs out of, and gets fucked in. How would a judge rule in this instance? Even with clear photographic evidence this would most definitely raise many objections from both the prosecutor and the defense. Foul, isn’t it?

    • 2 islandsidechronicles March 22, 2013 at 1:49 am

      I wasn’t aware of the legal age of consent being 16. So yeah, bang all the 16 year old’s you want, but stay away from the ganja. And in terms of the vividly painted animal questions, I really have no idea what Taiwan’s stance on bestiality is. Maybe that will come in a future blog post, but you’re right. Some of the questions this law raises does leave an undesireable taste in one’s mouth.
      The good news is that Taiwanese are aware of it and there is talk and a slow movement toward change. Lets see when it takes place.

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