SEX LAWS AND RULES AND EFFORTS TO INCREASE SEXUAL ACTIVITIES IN SINGAPORE

SEX LAWS IN SINGAPORE

In Singapore, prostitution by women is legal if carried out at approved areas, but soliciting is an offence. Anal and oral sex as well as frontal nudity are forbidden under some circumstances and Playboy magazine remains on the ban list and TV shows like Sex and the Single Girl stays unaired.

Pornography is banned in Singapore. People possessing or selling pornographic material can be sentenced to up to two years in prison. Despite this it is not uncommon to see pornographic videos sold discreetly on the streets at night. There are some members-only pornography stores that require a password to get in. In the 2001 Time sex survey 20 percent of males and 11 percent of females said they had watched pornography in the past three months. When asked if they ever used cybersex, 16 percent of males and nine percent of females said yes.

AFP reported: “Local laws state that it is an offence to sell, distribute, exhibit import or export an "obscene object". Those found guilty can be jailed for up to three months, or fined, or both. But the jury is out as to what local authorities deem obscene, with the police advising interested parties to consult their lawyers first before setting up shop.” [Source: Agence France Presse, January 23, 2005]

Efforts to loosen up have been mostly cosmetic. According to Bloomberg: “Since 2003, Singapore has repealed a ban on bar-top dancing, extended nightclub opening hours and rolled back a 21-year prohibition on the sale of Cosmopolitan magazine -- provided it is sealed in plastic and carries a warning label. Playboy magazine is banned entirely. Still, government censors clip nudity from television shows and films, and authorities ban home satellite dishes that may beam in channels not carried by state-run broadcasters.” [2007]

Singapore Relaxes Laws on Oral and Anal Sex but Not for Gays

Under Singapore law, oral sex, anal sex and homosexual intercourse were all defined as acts "against the law of nature" and punishable by up to 10 years' imprisonment. In the mid 2000s the Singapore Government flagged oral and anal sexs law for review due to mounting public opposition - and international ridicule. [Source: Mark Baker, The Age, February 18, 2004 +++]

In 2007, AFP reported: “Singapore on Tuesday, Oct 23, legalised oral and anal sex between heterosexual couples but retained a law which criminalises intercourse between gay men. In the city-state's first major penal code amendments in 22 years, parliament repealed a section criminalising "carnal intercourse against the order of nature." Parliament however kept the penal code's section 377A, which makes sex between men a criminal offence, rejecting a petition by gay-rights activists and their non-homosexual supporters to abolish the law as well. Opponents of the law say it is a relic of British colonial rule. The law punishes offenders with up to two years in jail, although it has rarely been enforced. [Source: Agence France Presse, October 19, 2007 <^>]

“Under the just-approved amendments, new offences were enacted to tackle child prostitution and sex tourism as well as cover crimes committed with the use of technology such as the Internet and mobile phone text messaging. But a rare petition read in parliament to abolish the law banning sex between men sparked the most passionate debates in the normally staid legislature dominated by the ruling People's Action Party. Legislators supporting the law's retention centred their arguments on the need to maintain family and moral values in the conservative Asian society, while proponents appealed for equal treatment of minorities guaranteed by the constitution. <^>

“Member of parliament Siew Kum Hong, who supported the petition, said legalising sexual acts between two consenting heterosexual adults while refusing to decriminalise the same acts between homosexual men was discriminatory. But Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong weighed in for the retention of the law, saying that Singapore remains a conservative society -- with the traditional family as its main building bloc -- and homosexuals cannot set the tone for the mainstream. Abolishing the law could "send the wrong signal" and push gay activists to ask for more concessions, such as same-sex marriage and parenting, Lee said. <^>

Gays "are free to lead their lives and pursue their social activities," the prime minister said, citing the existence of gay websites and gay bars. "But there are restraints, and we do not approve of them setting the tone of mainstream society," he said. "They live their lives, that's their personal space. But the tone of the overall society, I think, it remains conventional, it remains straight and we want it to remain so." <^>

“Lee said keeping the statute unchanged while not aggressively enforcing it remained the best option. Singapore would adapt to global economic changes in order to stay competitive, but must take a more cautious approach when it comes to moral values, Lee said. "We were right to uphold the family unit when Western countries went for experimental lifestyles in the 1960s -- the hippies, free love," he said. "But I'm glad we did that because today if you look at Western Europe, the marriage as an institution is dead, families have broken down, the majority of children are born out of wedlock and live in families where the father and the mother are not husband and wife living together bringing them up." Gay rights activists say the law against homosexual sex affects about 200,000 people in the wealthy island-republic of more than four million.” <^>

Getting the Singaporean Ban on Oral Sex Lifted

Efforts to decriminalise oral sex between men and women were stepped up following a highly-publicised case of a 27-year-old policeman jailed for two years in November 2003 for receiving consensual oral sex from a 15-year-old girl. The Sydney Morning Herald reported: “That case provoked rare public criticism of Singapore's government. Protests over the law filled newspaper forum pages and buzzed in internet chat rooms. In an earlier case detailed in the Straits Times a wife tried to punish her unfaithful husband by performing oral sex on him and then reporting him to the police. In parliament Junior Home Affairs Minister Ho Peng Kee said, "One option being considered is to decriminalise consensual oral sex between a male and female so long as it is done in private and both of them are above 16 years of age.” [Source: Sydney Morning Herald, January 7, 2004]

Critics have pointed out the irony of the law in a country where prostitution remains legal. Ho said the law was mostly used to prosecute cases involving minors, or mentally and physically handicapped people. Singapore is relaxing other laws such as rules on bungee-jumping, bar-top dancing and chewing gum in a bid to shake off its stuffy image and lure foreign professionals. The lingering ban on homosexual fellatio could stoke controversy at a time when Singapore is emerging as an Asian gay entertainment hub following the opening of a number of gay-friendly cafes and clubs.

Singapore Judge Defends Prison Sentence for Oral Sex

In 2004, Mark Baker wrote in The Age, “Singapore's 77-year-old chief judge has given an earthy defence of his country's notorious prohibition on oral sex - declaring the law should be upheld to safeguard Asian standards of decency. Jailing a 25-year-old former policeman for 12 months for receiving oral sex from a teenage girl, Chief Justice Yong Pung How said that despite growing permissiveness in some countries there were "certain offences that are so repulsive in Asian culture". "There are countries where you can go and suck away for all you are worth," the judge said. "People in high places do it for all they're worth. I'm not an expert, but you read about it in the papers. But this is Asia." [Source: Mark Baker, The Age, February 18, 2004 +++]

“Justice Yong was hearing an appeal by Annis Abdullah against the severity of his two-year prison sentence for receiving oral sex from a girl originally described by prosecutors as 16, but later revealed to be 15 and a minor. While agreeing to reduce Annis's sentence, Justice Yong refused to admit fresh defence evidence contradicting the original prosecution case that he had seduced the girl through an internet chat room. +++

“Defence lawyer Surinder Dhillon said the girl, who met Annis at a party, had later phoned him five times before he agreed to the "date", at which they had sex in his car. In one of the other cases involving the same girl, the accused man was charged with receiving oral sex on two separate occasions and sentenced to eight months' jail on each count - after Annis was sentenced to two years' jail on one count by a district court judge.Mr Dhillon revealed that the girl was involved in two other, unrelated oral sex cases. +++

“But Justice Yong spurned arguments that the lack of aggravating circumstances made an extended prison sentence "manifestly excessive". "This is Asia. That is why originally it was life imprisonment," said the judge. He said Singapore's laws prohibiting oral sex and other "unnatural" acts had derived from colonial India and were "attuned to Asian conditions by the British Empire". +++

“Justice Yong said that although some public attitudes were changing, whether or not there was consent in such cases made little difference to many people, particularly when minors were involved. "Times have changed. Women are freer, they don't just run around the kitchen, as it were," he said. "But ask any mother or your sisters and you'll get a different answer. No lady or woman would ask what aggravation is needed... The offence itself is an aggravation." The judge ordered Annis, who had been on bail pending the appeal, to begin a 12-month prison sentence. He said detailed reasons for his decision would be given later - acknowledging that three other oral sex cases had been adjourned in the lower courts awaiting his decision.” +++

Married Couples in Singapore Too Tired to Have Sex

Married couples in Singapore are too tired to have sex, according to a survey published in December 2004. AFP reported: “The survey of 200 married couples carried out by the Sunday Times showed more than three in five couples have sex once a week or less and 75 percent of them cited tiredness as the reason. "I have no time to have sex, let alone the commitment to bring up a child," film producer Chan Pui Yin who is married to a businessman was quoted as saying in the newspaper. [Source: Agence France Presse, December 5, 2004 ==]

“Sociologists were not surprised by the results which they said were a reflection of the emphasis on career and social status by Singaporeans. "The definition of success has changed," said marriage psychologist Dr Frederick Toke. "It's measured not by your family, but by your career and your good social status," he said. Tan Thuan Seng, president of the Christian group Focus on the Family Singapore, echoed similar sentiments. "People are more selfish now, because of the focus on individual freedom and pleasure," Tan said. ==

“A majority of the couples polled placed love as their number one priority, followed by financial security, children and then sex. Christine Goh, who placed financial security as her first priority, said she would not be having any children. "I don't want kids," Goh said. "To me, they're parasites. They're like mushrooms growing on trees, feeding on the host," she said. ==

“Singapore's low birth rate has become an urgent concern after the fertility rate hit an all-time low of 1.25 children per woman in 2003 with only 35,000 babies born in that year. Singapore needs at least 50,000 babies to be born each year, or a fertility rate of 1.8, just to naturally replace its population of 3.4 million. Experts say 2.1 births per woman is the ideal rate for constant renewal. Fixing the city-state's baby shortage woes has become a national priority with the government dishing out a new S$300 million annual package of cash and other incentives to encourage couples to have more children

Singapore Joins Say-No-to-Sex Club for Singles

In 2002, Singapore signed up to "No Apologies: The Truth About Life, Love and Sex", a programme launched in the United States that advocates abstinence until marriage. Singapore teens that enrolled in the programme participated in a four-hour workshop, learning how to handle sexuality issues and signing a pledge not to have sex before they marry.

AFP reported: “The talk in Singapore these days appears to be all about sex, but the government message has apparently become confused, with married couples doing it too little and singles doing it too much. Singapore has long been obsessed with its declining birth rate, to the extent where the government encourages flexible work hours so couples can spend more "quality time" together. There is a baby bonus scheme to encourage bigger families, and the government runs its own dating agency and publishes guidelines on courting. But this has been to no avail within marriages and the population continues to decline, while much to the concern of political elders there is evidence of escalating pre-marital sex. [Source: Agence France Presse, May 28, 2002 /=/]

“In an attempt to redress the situation, Singapore Tuesday signed up to "No Apologies: The Truth About Life, Love and Sex", a US-originated program which advocates abstinence until marriage. "Why not advise (children) no pre-marital sex. Why not ingrain in them that sex is at its best in the context of marriage," the minister of state for community development, Chan Soo Sen, said at the launch of the programme. Chan said it was alarming to note that teenage abortions have been on the increase, with 1698 abortions, or 13 percent of the total last year involving women aged 20 and younger. "When teens get curious or tempted enough to experiment with sex, these lead to undesirable consequences like emotional roller-coaster rides, teen pregnancies and abortions." /=/

“Chan said the idea of abstinence may sound "Victorian and unrealistic" in the modern world, but children would accept clear advice from people they respect. At the same time the government is ratcheting up its "get married" campaign. The latest in a slew of ideas in recent years is to put its match-making service on line by the end of July, posting details of men and women on the lookout for a spouse on the www.LoveByte.org.sg website. /=/

A year and half later, AFP reported: “ A pro-virginity group has convinced more than 6000 Singaporean teenagers and young adults to sign a pledge not to have pre-marital sex and is planning to organize a march on Valentine's Day to spread its message, the Sunday Times reported. The Focus on Family lobby group, an offshoot of the US-based movement that promotes Christianity by preserving traditional and family values, said its aim was to spread the message that pre-marital sex was immoral. "Our message is this: If I have pre-marital sex, I am not a person of good character," said Joanna Koh-Hoe, the group's vice president for programmes. "In fact, any sex outside of marriage is immoral whatever the age of the person," she said. The group runs many programmes and the most popular is the No Apologies workshop that tries to convince teenagers to remain virgins and "save themselves for marriage," the report said. [Source: Agence France Presse, November 23, 2003]

It has convinced more than 6000 teenagers and youths, or eight out of the 10 attendees of the workshop, since May last year to sign the abstinence pledge: "Believing in saving myself for marriage, I make a commitment to myself... my future spouse and my future children to be sexually abstinent from this day onward until the day I enter a lifelong, committed, monogamous marriage." Computer engineer Jackie Cheng is one who has pledged to "save himself" for marriage. "Sex is meant for the one that you love," the 24-year-old said. "Otherwise, how are you going to show that you are committed to this person," he said. The group aims to step up its efforts with plans to hold an Abstinence Day and a Purity March on the city-state's famed Orchard Road shopping belt on Valentine's Day next year to spread its messge.

Singapore Uses Shock Tactics to Deter Teenage Sex

AFP reported: “Singapore teens are to be bombarded with horror pictures showing body parts disfigured by sexually-transmitted diseases in a government attempt to quell a growing cavalier attitude to casual sex. A 10-page magazine called Teenagers Ask, depicting the horrors of sex diseases, will be distributed to secondary-three pupils next year, a Health Promotions Board spokesman said Thursday, Dec 12. The 15-year-olds will be shown colour pictures of people suffering from diseases such as gonorrhoea, chlamydia and syphilis, to illustrate the horrors of casual and premarital sex. "We have used graphic pictures before, the only difference about this is that it is more conversational, it's in a magazine format to appeal to teenagers," the spokesman told AFP. [Source: Agence France Presse, December 12, 2002]

Singapore authorities have repeatedly expressed concern about rising teen promiscuity, with a recent survey finding that nearly one in five Singaporeans aged 13-18 have engaged in sexual intercourse, up sharply on 3.4 percent in Teenage abortions are also on the rise, with 1698 abortions, or 13 percent of last year's total being performed on women aged 20 and younger. A recent global sex survey found one-third of some 870 Singaporeans aged 16 to 30 surveyed practise unsafe sex. Nearly half said they would have sex with a new partner without a condom.

Parents and teens shown the new magazine were said to have been shaken by the pictures. "The pictures are gross, but the scarier the better because it's the fear factor that will stop people from taking sex casually," 15-year-old Ben Tay told the Straits Times. The Health Promotion Board said it wanted teenagers "to feel comfortable reading about 'the other side of the sex story'," which has to include awareness of AIDS and other sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs). The straight-shooting magazine also contains a "Dear Aunt Aida" column, which provides candid answers on questions about sex.

Increasing Sexual Activity

In a 2002 survey by Durex of 50,000 adults in 22 countries, Singaporeans finished last in the number of times they had sex in a year. The study found that one of the main reason why was that Singaporeans were to tired and stressed out from work to have sex.

In an effort to encourage couple to go at it a little more: 1) the Ministry of Community Development and Sports began offering marital sexual intimacy courses; 2) the Development Bank of Singapore shortened its work week from six days to five (presumably so couples would have more time and be less tired for sex); 3) the government sponsored “love boat” cruises to an Indonesian island that offered courses on sex and pregnancy; 4) and a reality show was aired in which couples competed to be the first to conceive.

The Straits Times newspaper ran a 12-page supplement on good sex. It offered tips on the best places to have sex in a car (many married couples live with their parents and lack privacy) and offered advice on how to tape newspapers to the windows to prevent people from looking in.

There were also: 1) exhortations for men to “rise to the occasion”; 2) choices of “favorite romantic/sexy CDs”; 3) advertisements for French ticklers and, metal-studded underwear and rubber “replicas of private parts”; 4) and tips on putting together a “Make-Out Kit,” including K-Y jelly and Wet Ones to “clean up, freshen up, and mop up.” [Source: Joshua Kurlantzick, Atlantic Monthly]

The topless French cabaret troupe from Crazy Horse opened its first Asian production, "Taboo," in Singapore. The half-century-old began performances in a 450-seat theater with red velvet sofas, chandeliers and gold-leaf mirrors. The one addition to the Asian performance: thongs for the dancers. [Source: Bloomberg, December 7, 2005]

Modern Singapore Opening More to Sex

In 2012, Seah Chiang Nee wrote in The Star, ““In recent weeks, this once conservative city has been discovering just how a large portion of its well-educated people have changed since the era of Lee Kuan Yew where the ban on long-hair and Playboy magazine was enforced. Lately two Malaysian students, Alvin Tan and Vivien Lee filmed themselves having sex and posted the videos for public viewing. In open forums they expressed “no regrets” but advised people to be open about sex. Tan, a bright law student, was a Malaysian permanent resident and an Asean scholar at National University of Singapore (NUS). Although the couple does not reflect the average youths in either Singapore or Malaysia, their explicit, close-up shots of their crude sex acts shocked even the most liberal-minded. [Source: Seah Chiang Nee, The Star, November 3, 2012 =/=]

“Generally, Singapore remains a conservative society where people are serious about families and their work. The Alvin Tan-Vivien Lee episode has not raised much peer support for the couple. Lee’s appeal to Asians not to remain too conservative, but be open about their sex life evoked more condemnation than praise. “There is nothing wrong talking about or having sex. It is a normal thing between two consenting adults. There should not be any stigma when a couple wants to talk or be frank about this,” she said. =/=

“Most believe that public fornication is not the way to go. A polytechnic student said: “There are certain things that should remain private.” Others have shown hostility towards their action. “This is what happens if you send your children to higher education institutions but forget to teach them morality,” one surfer wrote. =/=

Sex Toys Arousing Interest in Singapore

In 2005, AFP reported: “Saleslady Jenny Lee thought she had seen it all. Still, she was taken aback when an "average-looking" middle-aged man walked into her sexual aids and novelties shop one day and asked whether she sold inflatable male dolls. "He said he wanted to buy it for one of his girlfriends as a Christmas gift, but I couldn't take the order, as such dolls are prohibited in Singapore," said Lee, 39, whose shop 1836 Fantasy is smack in the heart of Geylang, Singapore's red-light district. [Source: Agence France Presse, January 23, 2005]

Blow-up dolls may be a strict no-no in Singapore, a country known overseas for its squeaky-clean image and sanitised ways, but adult shops peddling vibrators, kinky lingerie and dildos that put even the most well-endowed men to shame are doing good business here. Shop owners estimate that there are seven or eight such outlets in the tiny island-nation of four million people. Some shops make up to S$1000 (US$606) a day.

"People are starting to use these items to spice up their sex lives, which may have become monotonous, especially married couples," mused 38-year-old Lincoln Chan, owner of U4Ria, located near the banking district. A salesman who asked to named only as "John" and his wife are a case in point. Painfully aware that sex was becoming dull and routine after six years of marriage, he bought a rabbit -- a strap-on device that stimulates both the male and female genitalia during intercourse -- from such a shop one day, hoping to rekindle their relationship. John claimed that things between him and his wife have never been better. "These items are a great tonic for couples bored with love-making, they've definitely boosted the fun-factor in our relationship," said the salesman, who makes it a point to shop for new toys with his wife twice a year.

According to shop owners, popular items include vibrators, massage oils and artificial vaginas made of silicon that leave little to the imagination. Yet according to shop owner Chan, the items in his shop are tame compared to those sold in similar shops in Japan and Western countries. "We have customers turning up, usually the younger ones, asking for more realistic and vivid sex toys they've seen overseas. Unfortunately, we have to turn them down, or offer them alternatives," said Chan, the father of a three-year-old boy.

Adult-shop owners are having a field day teasing their customers into shedding their inhibitions, even if it can be an arduous process. "Asians in general don't have open minds. Some of my customers who are first-time buyers dare not ask how the various items work, or even worse, be seen by their friends entering my shop," said saleslady Lee.

She has strong opinions about some local men who visit her shop. "A few can sound like experts when explaining to their friends the benefits of buying things like vibrators for their partners. But they themselves will never buy the products, preferring to pop by later alone," she scoffed. Shop owners are more impressed with female customers, who tend to be frank with their sexual needs and are not afraid to ask direct questions. "For example, when buying a vibrator, they want to know the intensity of the vibration, so that they can get the exact piece they need," said Chan.

But not everyone in society can readily accept the presence of adult novelty shops. Shop owners say they have encountered foul-mouthed parents who accuse them of leading their children astray, as well as critics who claim that such shops promote sexual promiscuity. Lee, who is married to a car audio shop owner in his 30s, said some customers claim to have wives stricken with terminal disease who are unable to have sex with them. "They tell me they don't wish to cheat on their wives, and are only looking to relieve themselves through these toys. How can that be possibly wrong?"

Public Nudity on the Rise in Singapore

In 2010, Reuters reported: “Strait-laced Singapore, where chewing-gum sales are restricted and graffiti artists can be caned and jailed, is heading for a record year of public nudity. Police received 105 reports of indecent exposure in the city state of 5 million in the first six months of 2010, or at least one every other day, and the numbers had been on the rise since 2007, police said. Public nudity cases soared 22 percent to 166 in 2009 from 136 in 2007, the police force said. [Source: Reuters, December 16, 2010]

The state-run Straits Times newspaper said police received two reports of public nudity last week, one on Sunday when a man in his 20s went naked to buy a coffee at a McDonald's restaurant and the other on Thursday when a man in his 40s sat naked on a pavement in a suburb. Psychiatrist Ken Ung, who has treated many cases referred to him by the courts, said many of those who exposed themselves were either exhibitionists or attention seekers.

"Exhibitionism is a sexual disorder where the exhibitionists get a sexual thrill from the look of shock and horror on their victims' faces," Ung told the newspaper. Ung did not say why the number of cases had been increasing. People found guilty of appearing nude in public, or in a private place but visible to people outside, face a fine of up to S$2000 (US$1530) and up to three months in jail. [Source: Reuters, December 16, 2010]

Doctor Love and His Effort to Make Singapore Sexy

John M. Glionna wrote in the Los Angeles Times, “It's past 4 a.m. and the music is throbbing at the Attica nightclub as Wei Siang Yu works the still-surging singles crowd like a celebrity. Drinks in hand, patrons lean in close, shouting into his ear over the booming bass. Most just want to say hello, but a few seek something else: sex tips. The doctor is in the house. From taxi drivers to tax accountants, residents in this conservative city-state seek out Wei for bedroom advice. With the self-styled sex guru who bills himself as Doctor Love, they know they'll get good counsel -- without any moral judgment. "This city is still very repressed when it comes to open talk about sex," he said. "With me, they get a listening ear. I don't judge them. I just answer their questions. "Sex problems are normal. I tell them, 'Go ahead, try it again.' " [Source: John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times, November 23, 2006]

A kind of Larry Flynt-meets-Dr. Ruth, the 37-year-old physician presides over an Eros empire that has so far included a late-night sex-advice TV show, holiday "love packages," sex-strategy books and a drop-in advice center known as the Playroom. Last month, he launched Singapore's first adult magazine.

Wei embodies the lower-case sexual revolution now sweeping Singapore. In this tightly controlled island nation of more than 4 million people where Playboy magazine is still forbidden, the government is loosening long-standing restrictions on adult-themed entertainment to allow frank public talk about once taboo subjects. Sporting oversized, box-shaped glasses that look like relics from a 1950s 3-D movie audience, he was an unlikely recipient of approval to publish the new adult magazine, which features soft-core nudity.

But Wei doesn't aim merely to titillate. He calls it "adult edutainment," a concept that includes forums, advice and articles on vaginal surgery and maintaining healthy sperm and eggs. The main feature for the launch edition was a story on "Tokyo Love Hotels: Made for Extreme Pleasure." In the mix also are artsy black-and-white nude photographs in heavy shadow."The magazine is not men-centric," Wei said. "It's for sex-doers, not lookers."

Both have the same goal in mind, but Wei says he differs from government officials on how to boost Singapore's fertility rate. "Making a family should first be about passion, not duty," he said. "It's not about numbers. It's about good, healthy sex. The baby comes as a bonus, the icing on the cake." He attributes high divorce rates to a sexual disconnect. "Babies should be born into a sexually and emotionally stable environment," he said. "That way the marriage will last."

Educated in Australia, Wei rejected a typical medical practice to apply modern wireless technology to sexual research. His first project was a hormonal mapping program aimed at helping women understand their ovulation and menstrual cycles so they could plan their pregnancies. He used a cellphone to alert women of their ovulation period. He made headlines in 2002 when he organized a teenage sex education campaign called "Sex in the Air," in which youths could anonymously text-message a panel of doctors and therapists.

What soon followed was a string of ideas based on better sex -- such as Love Boat cruises that ferried stressed-out couples by yacht to luxury resorts, a series of sex-strategy books and newspaper advice columns. In 2004, when government restrictions began to loosen, Wei aired a series of 30-minute TV programs that offered sex tips and tutorials -- at midnight, when many couples were getting into bed. He also launched Love Airways, taking the Love Boat concept into the air via charter flights to exotic destinations. His Playroom in downtown Singapore, decorated in 1960s Austin Powers-like polka dots and bright colors, features a love swing, sexual aids and outfits for visiting couples to dress up in for carnal role-playing.

Wei has his critics, who dismiss him as a pornographer or a flake. "He's supposed to have a following," sociologist Chan said. "But most people see him as an opportunist and entrepreneur with a bunch of wacky ideas." Wei acknowledges that he is no run-of-the-mill sex guru. He's coy about his own sex life. Still single at an age when many men are already fathers, he lives at home with his elderly widowed mother. "People ask, 'Why are you qualified to talk about sex? You're not even married. You live at home with your mom,' " Wei said. "If they ever got to know me, they would know that this is my life's work."

He is also coy about his finances, saying only that he makes enough to launch new projects. In the works is a new unscripted TV show, a "super baby-making contest" that will offer $100,000 to the first of 10 contestant couples to conceive. He sends women in miniskirts and leather boots onto the streets of Singapore for sex surveys to be published in his magazine. He's also researching his own line of condoms as well as Asia's first "clothing optional" resort. "I'm in the right place at the right time to help shape public attitudes about sex," he said. "Because of the fertility dilemma, officials are willing to stomach Doctor Love. Hopefully, they'll see that what I'm doing is part of a public health effort. "Maybe one day they'll understand it."

Image Sources:

Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, Lonely Planet Guides, Library of Congress, Singapore Tourism Board, Compton’s Encyclopedia, The Guardian, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, The Economist, Foreign Policy, Wikipedia, BBC, CNN, and various books, websites and other publications.

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© 2008 Jeffrey Hays

Last updated June 2015

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