SG: Sex in this City - is Sex ‘learned’?

The following is a response to 'Solo Bear's' diatribe against homosexuals and the TOC. The first paragraph was posted as 'comment' on his site. Further thoughts on Sex in Singapore follows.

“The Online (Gay) Citizen has recently resorted to (high class) sex talk to shore up its flailing number of visits. The Singapore Daily has its Daily Chiobu, the Temasek Review will splash juicy stories, paparazzi-style, whenever there's news like Jerk Neo. So to up that ante for the share of the internet veiwership pie, TOC puts up "expert" sex advice.

Problem is that this time round, TOC shoots itself in the foot. You see, as we all know, TOC is a gay controlled site. And the gay community has always said that being gay is "natural" and not "learned". Really? TOC sex expert advisor, in an attempt to tell everyone what everyone does naturally (ie having sex) is learned, implicitly gives us message that homosexuality is also learned, right?” - source

ed Says,

Have you ever considered that TOC is not 'gay controlled' but rather attempting to be, to some degree, egalitarian, or, given the numbers attending the Gay Rights event in Hong Lim Park, seeking to appeal to the numbers out there? And have you ever considered that the heterosexuals in singapore might just be homosexual in nature since they are not averse to having relationships with women who obviously dominate them? Hence, your hetero and homo division does not take into consideration the real differences between men and women that might indicate that singaporean women are little more than men in drag and men, women in drag.

Personally, I think TOC is mindlessly pro-opposition just as PAP supporters are mindlessly so as well.

And, like yourself, i'm inclined to believe that socialisation/learning plays a greater role in homosexuality than genetics. If, for instance, a decades-old hetero can turn homo, or vice versa, or bisexual, wouldn't that be evidence of learning over genetics, or at least, that learning can never be discounted in favour of genetics?

Actually, sex is NOT 'learned'. It is a genetic predisposition. If, generally, and for instance, chinese women as opposed to Filipinas, are not similarly inclined, we can look into cultural causes for it. We all know that the totalitarian nature of chinese culture is suppressive of overall vibrancy and intellectual/emotional independence and impromptu-ness as the control, suppression or/and, channelling of these basic impulses tends to perpetuate the power of the state from the 'ground up' - i.e. the government stepping in to ban bartop-dancing some years ago or the need to get a license to whistle a tune whilst standing still anywhere. This has a tendency of controlling a people to the point that the desire to feel independently disappears and one awaits trends, traditions and official thumbs-ups before feeling and thinking. Hence, the sexual/intellectual/vibrant/curious tendencies of a people reared within such a culture can be, well, quite relatively sedate.

We are all programmed to want a good goddamn bang when we come of age. And this tendency can be tempered by social expectations, the difference between gender socialisation, amongst others. However, the means by which we might want to satisfy said desire can be said to be learnt or coaxed in particular and even idiosyncratic directions given the type of overarching socio-economic climate it is reared within. As we move away from a previous sex-for-reproduction period, and focus on the act in itself and the pleasures that it might bring in an undoubtedly increasingly hedonistic climate, the traditional association and expectation that a man and a woman is the precondition for copulation, illicit or otherwise, is diluted. Hence, as reproduction and the traditional family unit founding the acceptable reasons for sex wanes, the tendency to appreciate same-sex persons for sexual intercourse is relieved of its fetters.

I suppose the attempt to 'learn' sex in chinese societies for women, is to get around the suppressive climate of life within a legalist-confucian state. Additionally, as the chinese aren't renown for critical introspection - unless its within 'practical' arenas - it is to be expected that they move on to stating that ‘sex is learnt’ to get past the possibility that this need to ‘learn sex’ might just indicate that there is something wrong with them because they do not desire it as much as those of other cultural races. And we all have often heard the statement discounting western ideas with, ‘they are they and we are we’. This, in addition to the aversion to difference, amongst others, can exacerbate the tendency to absolve oneself from any blame and view the general tendencies of the people as ‘natural’.

I've personally had romantic relationships with Malays, Indians, Filipinas, and Chinese. And i can state, unequivocally, that Filipinas occupy the first position - and are most suited to my passionate nature in the non-intellectual sense - Malays and Indians come second, and the Chinese, the third.

And, i have to add, that the difference between the second and third is by quite the mile and a half, whilst the difference between the first and second is discernible but not as significant as between the second and third.

Such is also the experience of all my non-Chinese friends without exception. And all my Indian friends of the 80s whom married chinese girls, frequently complain of the sexual infrequency or disinterest of their partners, but not so when other Indian friends and acquaintances are paired with Malays (from singapore of Indonesia) or Filipinas.

So, to reiterate, this tendency to state 'sex is not natural' can be attributed to the chinese disdain for critical collective/cultural introspection, and the desire to thus simply state, 'its like that one lah', or, in other words, 'that’s the way it is'. Perhaps, that might also explain why 1 in 3 chinese singaporeans are premature ejaculators according to studies.

The study stated '1 in 3 singaporeans', but failed to supply stats on the number of non-Chinese included in the study. Hence, given the percentage of chinese in singapore, we can assume that it applies to the 'majority what!'. However, I cannot say that the Indians of today, reared within such a climate, would be all to different since their relatively vibrant culture does not have as much and continuous an influence over them given the overarching highly-regulated legalist-Confucian climate. I cannot say that about the Malays as they are quite the close-knit community and their culturally-induced tendencies might be thus kept alive.

I suppose, when one is reared within a suppressive culture, the tendency to enjoy and prolong 'the experience' as opposed to being fixated on the end-result - be it the ‘relief’, reproduction, or using it as a bargaining tool - is compromised. (For instance, in speaking to even Chinese men about their illicit encounters, they frequently add that the Chinese prostitutes they engage are ‘all about money’, whereas they and others have attested to the sexuality and ‘horniness‘ of Filipina prostitutes.) This, in addition to the hallmark apathy and inability to appreciate the detail in things, engendered by being socialised within a traditionalist/conformist state of affairs, will tend to disable one from prolonging the 'event' for the sake of the other, or from appreciating enough details in the 'act' to want to immerse oneself in it past the few-minutes mark as one might when appreciating the work of Michelangelo in the Sistine chapel. Even in conversation with singaporean men about their sexual encounters for decades, I’ve noticed that the Chinese tend to talk about it in superficial terms whilst the Malays and Indians speak about the details.

So, in sum, gentlemen and ladies, sex is not learned, but unlearned, or the energies and mindset that fuels it, channeled into more 'practical' arenas.


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