*UPDATED WITH CORRECTED QUOTES*
A sexologist in Singapore has raised concerns that a video blog started by a couple gives a one-sided view of sex, and does not address health risks linked to sexual activities.
The couple, Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee, who made news last October for their sex blog, are now playing at being “sex counsellors”, as they make a comeback on social media with a video blog to offer “sex tips”.
Dr Martha Lee, 36, a sexuality educator certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists, said that the couple are giving information about sex “as if it were fact when it is a matter of their opinion” and it “would have been socially responsible to state so”.
Some of the tips they share, for example, are their own sexual preferences and opinions on sex, but it seems like they are passing them on as truths.
The pair have also “reduced sex to a mere physical act”, Dr Lee said, making it “a numbers game where men are conquerors and women should ‘wear something sexy’”, and both men and women are objectified.
Tan, a 24-year-old former law scholar with the National University of Singapore, and his partner Lee, 23, have put out three videos – each five to seven minutes long – on a new YouTube channel.
In the clips, the two of them sit half-naked in bed, bantering on about how to get sexually active or about foreplay before intercourse, peppering their chat with vulgar words.
In one exchange on how to find someone who will have sex with you, their “tips” include “don’t be ugly” and to “approach a lot of girls”.
For girls who want sex, they suggest stalking a guy and letting him know your interest by “brushing your boobs (breasts) against him”.
Another clip shows the couple – who are Malaysians – going around interviewing people in Kuala Lumpur on their sexual preferences.
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Dr Lee, who is a clinical sexologist with Eros Coaching, watched the couple’s YouTube videos and gave more of her assessment to inSing News.
She is concerned that in giving out sex tips, there is no mention of the risk of sexually transmitted infections – such as Hepatitis A or B, gonorrhoea, syphilis, and herpes or genital warts – that can be caught through some of the foreplay the couple purport.
She also highlighted one part of the video which has a reference to rape: “Now I am going to rape Vivian”, Tan says at the end of the clip.
Dr Lee said that rape is a serious matter with dire consequences and lasting damage.
“Such language only goes to show there was little thought about negative consequences on viewers or any real intent to educate viewers,” she pointed out.
Dr Lee said she has no issue with the couple expressing themselves freely online, but the main worry is when young and impressionable viewers watch the content and see it as valuable advice, using this as a yardstick on how to “score”.
“As a society, we already have very little sex education growing up and little meaningful dialogue about sex and sexuality. Videos like these really doesn’t (do) nobody any real favours,” she said.
“If the public takes whatever they are saying with a huge pinch of salt and just watch (the videos) for the laughs, then it’s fine, (but) I hope that the public is smart enough to question what this couple purports to be ‘teaching’.”
The three Youtube video clips have chalked up more than 63,000 views and viewers who have commented on the videos have mixed reactions to the content.
YouTube user “Katherine Lee Chu” thought the couple are “disgusting.”
“Where is your repentance. Stop seeking cheap (and) disgusting publicity,” she said.
On the flipside, others welcome the efforts of the couple to discuss sex in the open in conservative societies such as Singapore and Malaysia.
Another YouTube user, “Ian Loh”, wrote: “I really admire (their) courage despite (the) negative feedback or discouraging remarks. I really believe that after all those things that (they) went through, the society should be more open minded.”
The couple have plans to publish one video every week to “inspire Malaysians and Singaporeans to open up more not just on sex but also other issues close to heart”.
“We feel that sex is extremely important yet under-discussed, especially sexual health, sexual identity, sexual morality, and of course sexual happiness,” they wrote on the YouTube channel.