Relationship counsellor and clinical sexologist
If sex is supposed to be this wonderful, beautiful and intimate act between two people in love, why is it always talked about so negatively? Sex isn't everything. But sex is important.
Tell us your story, how did you get here?
I was tired of the lack of any real and meaningful conversations about sex and sexuality. If sex is supposed to be this wonderful, beautiful and intimate act between two people in love, why is it always talked about so negatively? Nobody was acknowledging the importance of sex and sexuality to one’s sense of well-being, not to mention the role it plays in a relationship.
Prior to this, I’d already worked in corporate communications for eight years doing public relations, marketing and advertising. I left a comfortable career to start a non-profit helping young people in the area of career guidance. I did so because I was no longer satisfied with the status quo. I could no longer deny that I care about people more than money. Helping people was more important to me than climbing the corporate ladder. I broke out of my comfort zone and there was no turning back. And yes, it was scary.
After two years doing a combination of volunteer recruitment and management, fundraising and everything in between, I realised my heart was with working with people directly. To “help” from a distance was safe for me and I knew it. I had to put myself on the line.
I realised there was a jarring gap in the dialogue around sexuality in Singapore. I knew, as a professional sexologist, I had the unique expertise to contribute to the well-being of men and women. That includes helping them develop an understanding of their sexuality and better express themselves through sex and intimacy. I also knew in my heart of hearts that I could make a difference, but I had to get the training. So I did.
For most of my life (even in the corporate world), I’ve been told, “You’re a woman. You shouldn’t be talking like that.” What does that mean? And who defines what a woman should say or do? As a woman, am I supposed to be one step behind men (or all men?). And the ones who say so are invariably men – including my bosses. Why shouldn’t I speak up? Don’t I have a say if something affects me directly? I wasn’t trying to be a man. I was being me.
Now, I’m grateful for what seems like the instant rapport and comfort women have when they communicate with me – women who wouldn’t otherwise seek my support if I weren’t a woman.
Sex isn’t everything. But sex is important. I became a clinical sexologist because I had to.
What impact have you made in Singapore?
I’ve worked with individuals and couples on their concerns and challenges around sexuality and relationships for the past 13 years. I’ve conducted hundreds of in-person and virtual workshops in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Australia. I’ve also organised four virtual sexuality festivals over the last two years due to Covid. My focus is to educate and support as many people as I can around sexuality and relationships so they can lead happy, fulfilled and optimised lives.
What does 2022 look like for you?
In 2022, I’ll focus on content generation, putting out more purposeful, educational and useful events and resources for people.
What do you love most about Singapore?
It’s undeniable that I live a life of privilege. Being a majority race in Singapore, being in an economically stable country, and being in a place free of major conflict and natural disasters. From this place of privilege, I take it upon myself to support communities, countries and people where I can.
What’s the one product you can’t live without?
Water. The average human is made up of 60% water. We forget to protect and guard our natural resources and we all have a part to play.
Who is your Local Legend, and why?
I don’t have one, but I’ll always remember one of my mentors, Tisa Ng, who was one of the ex-presidents of SCWO and Aware. Her words of wisdom continue to guide me 20 years on: “The most successful people lead simple lives.”