Ling Gu, the son of an aide to China’s President Hu Jintao, died when his Ferrari crashed on March 18. Details are just coming out now, and it appears Ling was half-naked, and his passengers, who survived, were partially undressed as well. The AP speculates that “they had been involved in some kind of high-speed sex game.” The government is apparently worried that the accident will reflect badly on them, especially after the recent murder conviction of another top official’s wife. And the scandal could have cost his father, Ling Jihua, a coveted promotion.
One blogger thinks the recently released details of the crash could be an attempt to smear Ling Jihua. And if they’re true, it’s still not clear what kind of game Ling Gu and his passengers were playing. Accidents where drivers or passengers were having actual sex make headlines from time to time — in 2007, a Idaho carnival worker blamed his crash on the copulating couple in the back seat, and in 2011, a 23-year-old San Antonio man was killed in a car crash while, police believe, he was having sex with a woman seated on his lap. Stripping games involving cars appear pretty common too — and have at least once led to injury.
References to stripping car games crop up on several social media sites. Urban Dictionary offers a couple of variants, including “Sex Me,” in which spotting a headlight out earns a player the right to make an opponent remove an item of clothing “at a later time,” and “strip-piddle,” in which opponents have to strip while still in the car. In 2009, Washington state troopers arrested a man and a woman who were playing a game they called “Sex Me,” but they weren’t in a car at the time. They were standing on an overpass dropping rocks onto passing cars, while stripping.The woman was in her underwear. One driver was injured by a falling rock, and 14 cars were damaged. The rocks were apparently unrelated to the stripping — they were just something the suspects decided to add when they got bored.
Most people who play car stripping games probably hope not to crash, but some people reportedly have a sexual fetish for car accidents and other disasters: symphorophilia. Characters with this fetish were depicted in J.G. Ballard’s novel Crash, and the 1996 film of the same name. It’s not clear whether an accident has even been linked to symphorophilia, though.
If Ling Gu’s crash did have anything in common with “Sex Me” games or with symphorophilia, we’re unlikely to find out — Chinese censors have been trying to block details about the accident, going so far as to block the search terms “Ferrari” and “car sex” for Chinese users. If that effort continues, the salacious details we already know about the crash will likely be the only ones we get.