Note: This post is rated NC13 - Parental guidance advised for children below 13-year old.
I know that this post is almost 2 months late but it is always better late than never.
I was around Chinatown just after Chinese New Year (CNY) to soak in the CNY atmosphere. Like Chun See, I also didn't like crowded places. Chinatown post-CNY was like a ghost town - most of the shops were closed for about a week, which suited me just fine:
While looking through the closed shops' windows, I spotted this shop:
A sex shop right in the heart of Chinatown? It was a business I least expected to find in an area so full of history, culture and heritage. (By the way, this shop was located quite far away from Keong Saik Road, one of few 'officially sanctioned' red-light districts in Singapore.) I could understand if similar shops like 1836 Fantasy or Secret Affair popped up in vicinity of Geylang, another 'officially recognised' red-light district. But in the last few years, such shops are being set up in places such as swanky Orchard Road, heritage-rich Chinatown and even HDB heartlands such as Woodlands.
It is a well-known fact that prostitution is the oldest profession in the world. It certainly has been around in Singapore even before Sir Stamford Raffles founded the country. So in that sense, it can be considered as part of our heritage too, although I am sure that it is not one that we love to shout about. In any case, the proliferation of such shops here is proof that our society is becoming less conservative, which is not necessarily a bad thing depending on how you look at it.
However, when I searched the 2005/06 edition of the Buying Guide aka Yellow Pages, I was surprised that I could not find any listing on Sex Shops. In fact, there wasn't any listing under Sex. It was as if sex didn't exist at all in Singapore. (Ahh... perhaps I should have looked in the C or Commercial Guide instead and not the B or Buying Guide since this type of sex is supposed to be commercial in nature, hehe.)
I may be advanced in years but I am a lot less conservative than you may think. Therefore I actually do not disapprove of the establishment of such shops in appropriate locations. However in my humble opinion, Chinatown is not an appropriate location for such shops.
And as I found out, one positive side of such shops is that the products that they sell can be quite saucily humourous too:
Note: The above photos have been deliberately blurred for those who are conservative or for those below 13 who are reading this post anyway, without parental guidance.
Chun See, bet you didn't know about the sex shops, just like you didn't know who started the 360° revolution?