This is why Asia needs sexologists

Posted on 29 September 2011

This is a 60-second summary of these articles here and here .

Indonesia's only sex therapist seems confident enough in her subject matter

Zoya Amirin has come across every myth imaginable in her job as sex psychologist in Indonesia: An uncircumcised girl will become sex-crazed. Clove cigarettes increase virility. A gecko’s saliva can cure AIDS.

Knowing such misinformation can ruin relationships and even lives, Amirin — the only woman certified in her field in the world’s most populous Muslim nation — has decided to launch a weekly podcast to provide some frank, accurate talk about the bedroom.

Despite having modernized a fair bit under former President Suharto, the nation of 240 million remains socially conservative in most areas, including relationships. Yet these customs are coming under pressure from a more freewheeling approach to sex, in part due to increased wealth and more females living and working alone before marriage.

Nearly 40 percent of teens have had sex, a new survey shows, and the Internet has opened the gates to a subject long considered off-limits in public schools.

That’s Indonesia. You’d think Singapore, a cosmopolitan city-state would fair better. Think again.

The World Contraception Day 2011 survey found that of 200 Singapore respondents, eight in 10 did not use any contraceptive method such as condoms when having sex with a new partner. Of these, about a quarter attributed this to their partner’s preference. The survey also found that 25 per cent of Singapore respondents believe in at least one contraception myth.

More stupefyingly, the most frequently cited misconception was that withdrawing the penis before ejaculation (34%) is an effective method to prevent pregnancy. Other misconceptions about ways to prevent pregnancy which were cited were having a bath or shower after sex (6%), “staying upside down for two hours” (3%) and rinsing the genital area “with Coca-Cola” (3%). (Can a urinary tract infection prevent pregnancy?)

The culprit? The internet, which was cited as the most common source of misinformation on contraception, followed by friends and religious leaders.

The article unfortunately didn’t quote Singapore’s own version of Zoya Amirin – Dr. Martha Lee, a clinical sexologist. But we’re sure she would have said something wise as well.

This post was written by:

- who has written 268 posts on New Nation.

Joey is an intern at New Nation. He hopes to be as funny as Belmont one day and get laid at least twice a month.

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  • Mary-Anne Lee

    I love that washing privates with Coke bit. It’s so ridiculous.

    • Lady with one child

      I washed my privates with Coke after sex four times. I only got pregnant once. This proves this method is 75% effective.

      • Skipper149

        Doesn’t  Pepsi work?

        • Skipper149

          Actually I washed my privates with Coke every single time after we had sex. But she still got pregnant. So it didn’t work for us at all.

          • Terence Lee

            Shit. It doesn’t work?

          • megabigBLUR

            Is it tingly?

          • Skipper149

            it was ok initially but i made the mistake of peeing without washing it off. Damn stuff stung like crazy man!

  • megabigBLUR

    I think one of the things contributing to people being dumbasses and failing to use contraceptives is that local insurance companies do not cover so-called “women’s health” issues. If you have to pay out of pocket, contraceptives can be damn expensive. When I moved to Sg a couple of years ago (I’m from Malaysia, studied/worked in the USA) and signed up for medical insurance I was shocked to find out that that neither birth control nor birth is covered by the standard packages and you have to pay for everything yourself. Yea, condoms are cheap, but let’s face it, they’re hardly fun to use.

    It’s sexist to think of reproductive health as “women’s issues” only cos men get women pregnant, sire babies, and transmit/catch STDs…duhhh… but in Asian culture people seem to think you’re some kind of raging radical feminist if you think it’s unfair for women to shoulder all the burden.