“She keeps a starfish in there. I crouch down to taste the salt, to run my fingers around the rim. She opens and shuts like a sea anemone.”
Who do you think the author of this quote was, and what do you think they were writing about?
A secondary school student trying to impress his teacher by likening his muse to the ocean? A drunken emo-kid’s Facebook status about drowning? Maybe my own thoughts about a recent trip to the aquarium?
Nope. Rather, it was written by Jeanette Winterson—author of the acclaimed and prize-winning novel Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit—in Written on the Body.
And guess what? She was writing about sex.
Unsurprisingly, erotica is perhaps the most difficult thing of all to write. In fact, it’s so tough that much of serious literature is littered with instances of many otherwise fantastic writers, poets, and novelists trying and failing to describe the intimate act of consummation.
Haruki Murakami described sex as feeling as though there was something “special” inside of his protagonist’s lady friend, slowly working its way through his “organ” into him. Paulo Coelho, the dude who wrote The Alchemist, has employed phrases like “a burst of light” and “entering a kind of black hole in her soul” when describing the female orgasm.
Apart from being hilarious, a lot of this is also cringe-y AF.
Yet, the enormous difficulty of such literary endeavours hasn’t stopped a select group of Singaporean men from attempting to capture both mind and manhood through the written word: Sammyboy forum (SBF) members.
From my experience as a shoddy wordsmith (never take anyone who calls themselves a ‘wordsmith’ seriously) for this publication, I’ve learnt that there’s always a degree of truth in everything one writes. By this I mean that consciously or not, authors always leave glimpses of their true selves in their work.
With this in mind, let’s explore what Singaporean men seem to really want from sex.
These guys don’t just want sex. They want sex with people they know they shouldn’t even be going near.
What, they share the same DNA? Please. The taboo is what makes it so much more desirable. In fact, the closer the relationship is, the more likely these guys are to crave it. Which in a fucked up way, kinda makes sense.
Think about it for a second. When you were a kid and told you couldn’t have ice cream, what did you want most? Yeah, only this time, it’s a horny middle-aged man (probably) wanting to run his tongue over the sweaty nether regions of someone they frequently see at Chinese New Year family gatherings.
Which is absolutely terrifying. Because it means that sometimes, the imaginary monster under your bed actually lives and sleeps in the next room. I would love to assume that these are merely works of fiction posted in a dark corner of the internet. But occasionally, fiction crosses over into reality, and you can read about men who have filmed their sisters or female relatives in various states of undress, before uploading the videos to the Tumblr porn sites of old.
If this isn’t seriously alarming, I don’t know what is. But it does seem that Singaporean men want to keep it in the family.
If we are to assume that the main participants on SBF are your typical lonely, horny, broken-hearted Singaporean men, it would make sense that these guys don’t actually have healthy dating lives. As such, they gravitate towards those closest to them—those who, by virtue of being family, they can easily get access to.
In other words, these obsessions with familial relations hint at a possible inability to find love (or sex) outside of the home.
This may sound like mere speculation, but we see indications of this in the moral conundrums that play out in these pieces of erotica. They buy into the idea that women are just pieces of meat, and that they can force female relatives to give them what they want, even though they know it’s wrong.
Accordingly, rape fantasies abound, despite the highly descriptive internal struggles with whether what they’re doing is right or wrong.
At the heart of it all lies a straightforward conclusion: it doesn’t matter how you get laid or who it’s with, as long as you make it happen.
I’m sorry ladies, but Singaporean men just want to come. Fast.
SBF erotica writers frequently transition with lightning speed from describing their initial encounters women to “pumping” them. Foreplay, to them, is the devil’s handiwork. It’s not something worth investing time in, and completely beside the bloody point.
Once again, this tendency to hastily fast-forward to the action speaks to the idea that sex isn’t about fun or building an intimate connection with someone. It’s about the conquest and its accompanying bragging rights.
They go hard, go fast, and then go home. It’s just another notch in one’s belt.
Erotica in Singapore is rarely seen, much less published on public forums, so there’s little we know about the diversity of male fantasies.
Not to mention, the SBF comes up short in another department since all the stories come from a male-centric point of view. Sex is a two-player sport (most of the time anyway), but where is the other half of the story?
Why are there no stories from women about the lurid ways in which they would like to plunder men’s bodies?
A woman’s sexual exploits or fantasies often remain in the backrooms of gossip amongst female friends—”girl talk”, so to speak. Even when women do write about their experiences or fantasies, they’re often hidden behind pseudonyms in the glossy pages of women’s magazines.
And so, we at RICE will attempt to restore a little balance to Singaporean erotica by challenging you (yes, you!) to come up with a short story of your own. Get those creative juices flowing and once you’re done, submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Men and women alike, we want to hear from you.
If we like it, we just might publish your nasty little pieces of fiction.