Saturday, August 27, 2005

Sex Shop Shopping

Yesterday, I visited the House of Condom at the basement of Lucky Plaza in Orchard Road. I’ve actually never gone to a so-called sex shop in Singapore. Usually my condom runs are frantic 7-11 stops in the middle of the night when inevitably the default option is Durex, which well, works. Just about.

Occasionally however, I have found myself in apologetic “I’m really terrible with condoms” situations, and had to nurse runaway erections with liberal tonguefuls of Nonoxynol 9. Not very gourmet.

So I went to Orchard in search of a better solution. Different smocks for different cocks, as they say. And the time had come for me to increase the size and range of my condom collection. In particular, I was on a grand quest for snug, Sheerlon Japanese-make condoms (for sensitivity junkies), comfy, ribbed Trojans (for thick dicks, long dongs, chunky monkeys - you get the picture etc.) and some adventure (for me).

I walked into the store and it was reasonably busy. But I might as well have been in a huge elevator – never before had I met a larger group of uncommunicative people trying so hard to studiously ignore each other.

There were lots of people inspecting merchandise, mostly students or early 20s. Not touching anything - oh no, God forbid they interact with the products – but just staring very hard at stuff. Slently, with their arms folded or resting at the side.

Then there were the couples huddled in their respective corners conducting serious discussions (mint vs. strawberry, ribbed vs. studded - I can only imagine) in hushed tones. Occasionally a giggle or two would escape guiltily from them, only to be hastily shushed and instantly disowned.

I was standing behind one such couple when the girl craned her head round to speak to me:

“Do you have any poly..mmm…ter…mdtthh…ane…. mdmmtermmpfthh?” she mumbled.

“What? Sorry? I didn’t quite catch that,” I said in my normal voice (i.e. 30 decibels louder than anyone else’s instore).

“Do you have any…poly…er…the….ran condoms?” she repeated in a vicious whisper.

“Oh poly-U-re-THANE condoms!” I corrected her in a flash of helpful enthusiasm, and watched a dull flush nauseously creep up her face. “Actually you’ll have to ask someone who works here, because I don’t. Maybe that girl by the counter?” I was just trying to be helpful of course but she looked like she could have put a hex on me, so I tried to get out of her way.

I can’t imagine what she (or her protective boyfriend) would have thought had she seen me at the counter 10 minutes later with my hands wrapped tightly around different vibrators, discussing the virtues of anal plugs with the salesgirl. I ended up buying 2 new toys and the condoms I was looking for. So all in all, a reasonably fruitful trip.

However, I really didn’t enjoy my visit to the House of Condom as much as I should have for a few reasons:

First, when did sex shop shopping become such a serious business? The House of Condom was at worst, a little tacky and badly-merchandised. But Singaporeans were treating it like a place of depravity, a necessary evil. Walking into the store, I felt, dirty. And there’s nothing dirty about sex. (Only when the government tries to campaign us into having more of it – but then, that’s just wrong.)

Still, the prevailing mindset of these nervous, hesitant young couples seemed to be: If we go to a sex shop that means that we have sex. Not just do we have sex, but we enjoy sex and we do it not just to procreate and support Singapore’s population. And ooh, if someone else walks into the store, we have to stay at least 5 metres away from them because they enjoy sex too. Filthy animals!

Second: I know that by law these shops are forbidden to display and sell “obscene objects and literature”. So I’m not expecting to see the silicon moulds of actual porn star pussies with their labial lips held wide open in the window. (And trust me, I don’t want to – they are shriveled, leathery looking and not at all, erotic.)

But some porn would be nice. Nothing with grannies or squirrels in it. Just some pictures - maybe an occasional video – of people who enjoy fucking. And there can’t be anything wrong watching two beautiful women suck on each other’s pussies. It’s art, surely.

Third: It wouldn’t have been such a hardship if the store was full of handsome, eligible men whom I could “accidentally” brush up against, preferably in the Trojan “Shared Sensations” section. That way, we’d already have a lot in common. Deep, meaningful conversations to follow.

Or am I just getting carried away here?