If you grew up in the Friendster days or the Phua Chu Kang days, then you might not have received much sex ed when you went through the schooling system.
SIRE realised that many Singaporeans are curious about sex and therefore we are publishing this guide to all your frequent questions about sex in Singapore.
For adults, proper sexual conduct and preparation can really help you increase intimacy, avoid sexually transmitted infections and legal troubles.
With power comes responsibility. Or as PCK says, “don’t play play”.
Singapore sex is a taboo
Remember Michelle Chong’s character Lulu in the satirical news program The Noose? When she refers to sex, she’ll say “hey shoo hey shoo”.
(Pictured above is Michelle Chong as Lulu. Credit: Mediacorp)
Not everyone is comfortable with speaking about sex openly in Singapore, but it’s something that most people will be interested in.
There are a few factors that may contribute to the perception of sex as a taboo subject in Singapore. One is the country’s relatively conservative social values, which place an emphasis on modesty, restraint, and propriety. This can make discussions about sex or sexual behaviour uncomfortable for some people, particularly those who are more traditional or conservative in their views.
That said, all SIngaporeans should know what they can or cannot do, and how to stay safe and enjoy a natural part of most people’s lives.
Legal age to have sex in Singapore
The legal age to have sex is 16.
This is particularly important for secondary school students to note. If you are under 16, you cannot give consent to sexual activity.
Meaning if you say “yes”, the law still sees it as you saying “no”.
Penalties for having sex with a person who hasn’t turned 16 can turn out severe.
You can receive a jail sentence of up to 20 years, a fine or caning as punishment.
Furthermore, having sex with someone under 14 carries an even more severe punishment.
Sex education in Singapore has evolved to provide more comprehensive and age-appropriate information about sexual health, relationships, and responsible decision-making. While there may have been changes since your time in school, the focus remains on promoting informed and respectful attitudes towards sexual well-being.
Remember, ongoing conversations, open-mindedness, and staying informed are crucial for fostering a healthy and positive understanding of sex education. Whether you’re a student, parent, or curious adult, seeking accurate information and engaging in discussions can contribute to a more informed and empowered society.
What are some common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Singapore, and how can they be prevented or treated?
Six sexually transmitted infections generally afflict most Singaporeans include gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, genital herpes, HPV and HIV.
Abstaining from sex remains the most reliable way to avoid sexually transmitted infections, but that isn’t an option for most Singaporeans.
In such a case, if you have many sexual partners at the same time, then your risk of infection increases. Therefore, limiting the number of sexual partners helps reduce the risk.
Regular testing of yourself and asking for their test results can also help you ensure you are having safe sex.
Use of condoms can also help reduce the risk of infections.
How often should I get tested for STIs, and what does the testing process involve?
Singaporeans should get tested for STIs regularly, especially if they are sexually active with multiple partners or have unprotected sex.
The frequency of testing depends on individual risk factors, but it is recommended to get tested at least once a year.
The testing process usually involves providing a urine or blood sample, as well as a swab of the genital area or throat.
The samples are then sent to a laboratory for analysis. Testing for some STIs, such as HIV, can also involve a physical exam and counseling session.
How can I talk to my partner(s) about sexual health and STI prevention?
Talking to your partner(s) about sexual health and STI prevention can be uncomfortable. There comes a time when you have to have “the talk” before things go too far and too risky.
Start by being honest and open about your own concerns and ask if they have any as well.
Suggest getting tested together and using protection consistently.
Encourage open communication and create a safe space for both of you to discuss any concerns or questions you may have.
What are some common contraceptive methods available in Singapore, and how effective are they?
There are several contraceptive methods available in Singapore, including hormonal methods such as the pill, injection, and implant, as well as non-hormonal methods such as condoms, diaphragms, and copper intrauterine devices (IUDs).
Hormonal methods are generally highly effective when used correctly. Non-hormonal methods, such as condoms and diaphragms, are also effective when used correctly. Copper IUDs with the lowest failure rate.
However, sometimes things happen and your partner might get unexpectedly pregnant. In that case, early detection will allow you to reach for emergency contraception.
You can consider continue the pregnancy and raising the child, put the child up for adoption or having an abortion.
Abortions in Singapore does not require parental consent and you can have an abortion up until 24 weeks unless there’s danger to the mother’s life.
What are some common causes of sexual dysfunction in men and women, and what treatment options are available in Singapore?
There are several causes of sexual dysfunction in both men and women. For men, common causes include erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, and low libido. For women, common causes include difficulty reaching orgasm, pain during intercourse, and low libido.
How can I maintain good sexual health as I age, and what changes should I expect in my sexual function?
Maintaining good sexual health as you age involves taking care of your overall physical and emotional health.
This includes exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, managing stress, and getting enough sleep. It’s also important to stay up-to-date with recommended health screenings and to see a healthcare provider regularly.
As you age, changes in sexual function are normal and can include a decrease in libido, longer time needed for arousal, and changes in sexual response. However, there are treatments available for sexual dysfunction, including medication and therapy.
What are some common concerns that LGBTQ+ individuals may have regarding sexual health, and how can they access culturally competent care in Singapore?
Some common concerns that LGBTQ+ individuals may have regarding sexual health include discrimination or stigma from healthcare providers, difficulty accessing healthcare services, and lack of knowledge or information on LGBTQ+ specific health issues.
To access culturally competent care in Singapore, LGBTQ+ individuals can look for healthcare providers who are knowledgeable about LGBTQ+ health issues, affirming of diverse gender and sexual identities, and respectful of patients’ confidentiality. They can also consider seeking care at LGBTQ+ specific clinics or organizations that provide LGBTQ+ friendly services.
One such organization is Oogachaga, a community-based organization that offers support and counselling services to LGBTQ+ individuals and their families. They also provide resources and information on sexual health, including STI testing and prevention, and can refer individuals to appropriate healthcare providers if needed.
How can I address concerns about body image, self-esteem, and intimacy in my relationship?
Being honest, focusing on the positive, practising self-care and seeking professional help such as therapists and doctors can help maintain a high degree of success in your relationships.
What are some common challenges that couples may face in their sexual relationship, and how can they work through these challenges together?
Couples may face a variety of challenges in their sexual relationship, including differences in sexual desire or preference, difficulty communicating about sexual needs and boundaries, performance anxiety, and sexual dysfunction.
Communication is key in any relationship, and this is especially true when it comes to sexual intimacy. Partners should be comfortable discussing their desires and boundaries, and be willing to explore new experiences together.
For sexual dysfunction, seeking medical help is important. Couples can work together to find a healthcare professional who is experienced in addressing sexual issues such as SIRE or DAME for women.
How can I ensure that I am engaging in safe and consensual sexual activity, and what steps should I take if I feel that my rights have been violated?
To ensure that you are engaging in safe and consensual sexual activity, it is important to communicate clearly with your partner(s) about boundaries, desires, and consent.
It is also important to practice safe sex by using barrier methods such as condoms and dental dams to prevent the transmission of STIs and unwanted pregnancies.
If you feel that your rights have been violated, it is important to seek support and take action to protect yourself. This may involve speaking to a trusted friend or family member, seeking medical attention, or contacting local authorities or organizations that specialise in sexual assault or abuse. In Singapore, organizations such as AWARE, PAVE, and the Sexual Assault Care Centre offer support and resources for survivors of sexual violence.
The percentage of men in Singapore aged 30 and above who experience some degree of erectile dysfunction.