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Taiwan's very own online love guru
Publication Date : 26-02-2013
Meet Amy Tuan, Internet love consultant
When not studying for civil service exams, Amy Tuan writes tutorials on how a woman can catch a man's eye. She stands by a few points like they're catechisms: “Use silicone bra inserts, but buy them a full size down” and “Wheedle occasionally, but not always.”
“If you do it just occasionally, men eat that stuff right up,” she says.
Tuan, 25, is articulate about why her kind of counsel works.
“Take Ah-zhai, who is the average Taiwanese man,” she says. “He's the kind of guy who spent his formative years applying himself to his studies and playing video games at home.”
Meanwhile, sex education in the public-school system taught Ah-zhai about “parts, but not heart,” according to Tuan. So the grown-up Ah-zhai doesn't know much about the ladies.
“I know all about Ah-zhai. He says things like, 'None of the girls around here are pretty,'” she says.
Barely out of college, Tuan is already an old brand on the Internet.
She is a veteran “love consultant” on Catch, a relationships forum on PTT, which means she answers questions from self-professed “Ah-zhai” and their female counterparts. She also runs The Posture of Soaring, a personal blog that's a podium for her relationship advice.
“I have seen girls rush to a boy's bedside when he's down with a cold and feverish. She comes bearing chicken soup and porridge, and she's thinking she has made the ultimate effort, and still she gets brutally rejected,” she writes on Posture.
“Upon deeper questioning, it turns out that while she was at the boy's house, she picked up after him and then nagged him about it. She said, 'Why isn't there food in the fridge? Why do you sleep so late? You've got to eat more nutritious meals. You can't eat ramen all the time!'”
For this girl, Tuan has just a single prescription: Be fun.
“The girl believes she is expressing deep concern and making a tremendous effort. But he is thinking that she is an incredible busybody not unlike his mother.”
Posture began in 2006, when Tuan was a whip-smart high-school student with a gift for candor. Back then, she was already a “love consultant” for her classmates.
“It was taking too much time to answer every question in person, so I thought to answer online, and then refer the articles to friends with similar questions,” she says.
Since then, Posture hasn't strayed far from the original look and feel: a plain Jane design that doesn't allow much besides scrolling and reading.
Even so, daily hits reach upwards of 18,000 unique visitors at her peak writing seasons, and questions are always pouring in.
“How can I tell if she's rejecting me for real?” asks a nonplussed male netizen.
“I think that when women say clearly that they are not interested, it doesn't mean 'please try again,'” she responds.
Some readers send things besides questions. Tuan has received thank-you notes, homemade cakes and even boxes of elaborate wedding pastries, from people who said they have used her advice to excellent effect. For Tuan, hearing from these readers is remarkable.
“Sometimes I feel that I have given somebody something good,” she says, but confesses that her advice is not revolutionary.
“I don't believe that I can reverse societal trends by myself. But I have been able to teach individual people how to get a better response from other individual people, so that they might find their way to some happiness.”