4 October 2004
I was watching The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on CNBC a couple of weekends ago and the guest was Dennis Miller. He made a joke about Singapore banning sex on buses.
'WHAT?' I exclaimed.
After some checking, I found out that it was actually in Bangkok where officials were urging students to refrain from coitus while commuting.
But Bangkok somehow became Singapore as the story circulated and the uncorrected error soon became perceived fact.
And thus another unflattering myth about our 'fine' city is born. After all, it made irresistible sense. We are the country that banned chewing gum, Cosmopolitan and Sex And The City. We might as well prohibit procreation on public transportation too.
Unlike Bangkok, a city whose name speaks for itself, the Republic of Singapore is synonymous with buzzkill.
This is despite some less-than-extreme makeover attempts to sex the city-state up, such as a new movie rating system that now allows the uncut DVD version of Titanic (woohoo! Kate Winslet's breasts at last!), and the unbanning of the abovementioned Cosmo and HBO comedy starring Sarah Jessica Parker's nose.
A few years ago, the local edition of FHM was almost shut down for its risque content.
Today, even Singapore Press Holdings has jumped on the laddie mag moneywagon by publishing the Singapore edition of Maxim. (UPDATE: Singapore Maxim folded in 2008.)
However, the venerable Playboy still can't play here. You can print all the cleavage and butt cheek you want, but nipples and pubic hair are still no-fly zones.
We hosted Asia's largest gay fest, although you wouldn't know it due to the lack of local media coverage.
But the foreign press went so far as to report that Thai homosexuals are now fighting to keep the title of Asia's gay tourism capital from Singapore.
Fiona Xie running along Orchard Road in a bikini aside, Singapore's top sex news of 2004 is indisputably the plague of China prostitutes invading our island beyond the usual red-light areas.
This should finally rid Singapore of our asexual wallflower image.
And then the Durex Global Sex Survey 2004 results were released. Sigh.
Out of the 41 countries that took part in the survey, Singaporeans have the second least amount of sex, averaging about twice a week. Only the Japanese have lesser sex.
And to add insult to injury, our virgins are getting older. Although it would explain our low birth rate, the survey doesn't jibe for a couple of reasons.
First, if we're really having so little sex, then all those China hookers have come to the wrong place. They should go to France, which topped the survey (again).
Second, how can Japan possibly be at the bottom of the list? Have you seen those Japanese bondage videos?
This year, Singapore actually moved up a notch in the survey. Last year, we were dead last. So perhaps those China girls made a difference after all.
I appeal to you, my fellow Singaporeans, let's do even better in next year's survey. We already suck at sports. Don't blow this too. When you take the survey, for all our sakes - lie!
- Published in The New Paper, 4 Oct 2004
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