After a "wife-swapping" sex scandal that allegedly involved Chinese Communist Party officials made international headlines this month, much has been speculated as to the nature of the swingers' tryst.
But now as photos of the orgy begin to emerge on U.S. websites, the question on everyone's lips is: "Are these the most awkward sex photos ever?"
In this relatively chaste photo of five of the participants, three men (apparently naked) pose behind two women dressed in black camisoles:
(Photo Credit: Baidu)
"[These photos] may just be the cheesiest in the history of online scandals," wrote the Atlantic Wire in response to the group's perplexing portrait.
The group went on to take more than 100 pictures -- most of them explicitly pornographic. Yet as the Atlantic Wire notes, there are still a few "friendly v-for-victory hand signs and cheesy grins thrown in" the mix.
The batch of photos, which allegedly features several participants during a hotel "sex party" in 2007, was leaked online and quickly went viral across the Chinese Internet last week.
According to the New Yorker, two government officials have been implicated as participants in the orgy.
Wang Yu, a deputy secretary of the Youth League Committee of Hefei University in Anhui province, has reportedly admitted that he and his wife are two of the people photographed, China Daily reports. The couple has since been kicked out of the Communist Party and fired from their jobs.
Wang also said he "regretted his behavior" and insisted that the other two men in the photographs are not government officials, the New Yorker notes.
However, Wang Minsheng, the Communist Party secretary of Lujiang county in Anhui province, has also been implicated as a participant. The high-ranking official is said to bear a striking resemblance to one of the men in the photographs, though he's vehemently denied these accusations.
Government authorities were quick to quash any allegations of party member involvement after the photos were leaked.
The New Yorker writes that government censors have been attempting to suppress discussions surrounding the scandal. The State Council Information Office has reportedly sent out an advisory to Chinese news and discussion forums, which states that “all websites must stop following and hyping the so-called ‘Lujiang Indecent Photos Incident.’"
In this Aug. 9, 2012 file video image taken from CCTV, Gu Kailai, center, the wife of disgraced politician Bo Xilai, stands during her trial in the Hefei Intermediate People's Court in Hefei in eastern China's Anhui province. (AP Photo/CCTV via APTN, File)
In this Aug. 9, 2012 file photo, police officers stand guard as officials and court spectators come out from the Hefei City Intermediate People's Court, where a murder trial of Gu Kailai, wife of disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai, takes place in Hefei, Anhui Province, China. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)
Bo Xilai, Gu Kailai
In this Jan. 17, 2007 file photo, Gu Kailai, left, wife of then Chinaese Commerce Minister Bo Xilai, right, attends a memorial ceremony for Bo's father Bo Yibo, a late revolutionary leader considered one of communist China's founding fathers, at a military hospital in Beijing. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan, File)
In this March 11, 2012 file photo, then Chongqing party secretary Bo Xilai attends a plenary session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Bo's wife Gu Kailai who is accused of murdering Bo family associate, British businessman Neil Heywood, went on trial Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012 at the Hefei Intermediate People's Court in eastern China. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)
This video image taken from CCTV shows Gu Kailai, left, the wife of disgraced politician Bo Xilai, in the Intermediate People's Court in the eastern Chinese city of Hefei Thursday Aug. 9, 2012. According to testimony Thursday in one of China's highest-profile murder trials in years, Gu lured British businessman Neil Heywood to a hotel in the southwestern mega-city of Chongqing, where she got him drunk and fed him poison. (AP Photo/CCTV via APTN)
This video image taken from CCTV shows Gu Kailai, second left, the wife of disgraced politician Bo Xilai, being taken into the Intermediate People's Court in the eastern Chinese city of Hefei Thursday Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/CCTV via APTN)