Today’s news that a Singaporean man has been charged with posting nudes his OnlyFans account is kind of surprising in more ways than one. There are the obvious ones of course; shock that a Singaporean would do such a thing and that it would actually make him money.
Singaporeans like to think of smut as something that comes from outside. Not from local sources.
Porn is consumed on the lowdown, through the use of VPNs (as most mainstream porn sites are blocked outright) or through Incognito browsing on unblocked (as of now) porn sites.
Nobody really admits to watching porn in Singapore, but pretty much everybody does it.
Like it or not, we’re still mostly conservative (some would call us repressed) in our values. At least, that’s the image most of us are trying to project.
The fact of the matter is, like other aspects of Singaporean society, our views on sex, porn and how they’re taboo is slowly evolving. Let’s use the local movie regulations as an analogy.
Back in the early 90s, cinemas were heavily censored.
Nudity of any sort in movies was pretty unheard of, not unless you’re going for the heavily restricted R21 rating. Even then, only a handful of cinemas played those softcore movies. If one of those movies played in regular cinema? There’d be hell to pay.
NC16 movies have nudity, gratuitously at times and they’re shown in all mainstream theatres. Nobody bats an eye. We’re still not allowing porn, but the restrictions on nudity and even on-screen sex (as long as it’s not super explicit) have lessened a ton.
Our views and sensibilities have gradually evolved as the country moves on to join in the global community.
That beggars the question; should we allow local creators to dabble in softcore (not hardcore) smut then? As in selling their nudes for cold hard cash.
I don’t have the answer honestly.
With my upbringing, the hard and fast answer would be ‘Hell no’. Then again, that might just might be the result of my cultural indoctrination that’s resistant to such a drastic change in our society.
What I do know is that the younger generation, both politicians and normal people, might need to take a look at this and come to a consensus. As the internet evolves and becomes even more integrated into our lives, more and more people will inevitably turn to producing porn (or at least selling nudes) as a way to generate income. In fact, I guarantee that some are already doing it right now.
It might soon be time to re-evaluate our laws and have a mature debate on whether they should still stand in light of societies’ evolving views on sex and porn or be changed to adapt to current times.