The topic that I’m gonna discuss in this post will be a sensitive one therefore i hope that everyone will have a more neutral mindset (try not to be judgmental ok?)
Recently, I’m seeing a lot of such news (Example 1, 2) on STOMP and i find it really disturbing… Youths engaging in P.M.S (Pre-Martial Sex) is on the rise and it is something alarming.. Over the years, statistics have shown that Unwanted Pregnancies and STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections) among youths are on the rise! This means that the number of youths engaging in P.M.S are increasing and the worst thing of all, unprotected sex.
In the annual Durex sexual Well-being global survey, findings have shown that Youths in Singapore who are still studying, were 20 times less likely than global youths to use condoms during their first sexual experience. On a global scale, youths who are still studying were on average 1.5 times more likely to use a condom during their first sexual encounter.
(The Durex Sexual well-being Global Survey was developed with the aim of investigating the correlation between using a condom at first sex and its impact on future sexual behavior. The survey has reached out to over 25,000 respondents in 37 countries)
Moreover, there are many myths surrounding ‘Birth Control’ and i will like to share some which i have heard of:
1) Don’t worry, it’s your first time – A person cannot be too young to get pregnant, as long as ovulation occurs, unwanted pregnancy will occur. Even for STIs, you will get infected if your partner has it (even if it is your first time).
2) Douching, Showering, or Bathing Can Prevent Pregnancy – Urinating, showering and douching cannot wash the sperms out.. Douching with Coca Cola will not kill it either..
3) As long as you practice the withdrawal, you will be safe – Nonsense! Even if you think you are in control and ‘pulling out’ before he ejaculates, there’s still re-ejaculate fluid – this fluid contain at least 300,000 sperm (and it only takes 1 to fertilize an egg).
4) Use a substitute if You Can’t Find a Condom – Please do not attempt to use substitute like balloons or wraps and toothpaste in place of a spermicide (it does not kill sperms)..
5) Having Sex Standing Up Works as a Contraceptive – It is not about the position or the frequency – as long as you are doing the deed, you are at risk if you engage in unprotected sex.
Statistics have shown that Singaporean youths are less likely to use condom at first sex compared to global counterparts, this will have a negative impact on sexual health and well-being in later part of their life…
Due to the disturbing statistics and news reports, it is important to spread awareness about the importance of early sexual education and responsibilities so one will have ongoing positive sexual health practices.
Although Singapore has a high literacy and education rate, the average age of Singaporeans when they first receive sex education is 14.5 years, earlier than countries like China (Average age of 15.4 years) and India (15.9 years).. Countries like Austria and Mexico ‘top the chart’ at an average age of 12.3 years and 12.4 year respectively. This might be due to the fact that Singapore is a highly conservative society and we have deep-rooted cultures (hence sex education is deemed as a highly sensitive topic and therefore not touched on unless necessary).
Another part of the survey has concluded that among the sample size (506 Singaporean surveyed), it was found that only one in two Singaporeans (50.1%) used condoms at first sex, while two in five Singaporeans (62.5%) did not use condoms at last sex. On an average, 3 out of 10 Singaporeans have experienced unplanned pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections due to unprotected sex.
All these worrying statistic about youths in Singapore indicates that awareness is needed to be in place so as to positively guide and influence them in sexual educations and practices. Mr Nikhilesh Kalra (Marketing director at Reckitt Benckiser Malaysia and Singapore) said that parents, teachers and peer influences play very important roles and should take on a more pro-active role in this aspect.
Some other interesting findings on the impact of condom use at first sex and future sexual health behaviors and outcomes later in life have disclosed that:
1) Those who used a condom at first sex enjoy better sexual health and well-being: Particularly in Singapore, people who used a condom at first sex are 2.4 X more likely to be satisfied with their overall sex life.
2) Sex education makes Singaporeans more responsible: Respondents in Singapore who used a condom at first sex are more likely to believe that sex education makes them more responsible (significantly higher than the global figure of 1.2 times).
3) Singaporean who used condom at first sex satisfied with overall sex life. People in Singapore who used a condom at first sex are 2.4 times more likely to be satisfied with their overall sex life (twice the amount of the global average of 1.2 times).
4) Confidence in sourcing for sex guidance Singaporean who used a condom at first sex are 2.1 times more likely to have confidence that they know where to go for guidance on sex (a higher figure than the global average of 1.1 times).
5) More likely to have never experienced an unplanned pregnancy: Singapore, once again had much higher results than the global average with people 2.2 times more likely to have never experienced an unplanned pregnancy if they used a condom at first sex. Globally, people are 1.5 times more likely never to have experienced an unplanned pregnancy if they have taken this first precaution.
6) Condom use with main partner: People in Singapore who used a condom at first sex are 3.7 times less likely to always use a condom with their main partner, far in excess of the global average (1.4 times more likely).
Globally, the survey finding indicate that condom use at first sexual intercourse is far from being a universal practice. The results of the survey have proven important and invaluable information to sexual health programs worldwide. This will allow people to better focus on further educational and marketing efforts to get young people to use condoms more consistently when they initiate sex and protect themselves from the negative consequences of sex.
And so, Durex decided on the effort to ‘SEX things up with a bold and audacious “P.S. I LOVE YOU” campaign! In view of these revealing survey findings, this special campaign will be targeted at Youths to further raise awareness and to promote safe sexual behavior.
Hence, i am now playing the role of a campaign ambassador for the ‘ P.S. I LOVE YOU’ campaign! With 9 other bloggers, we will reach out to fellow youths to more effectively spread the message of safe sex to their peers. Personally, i took up this role as this campaign is will be beneficial to many and it will serve as a very powerful platform to share the importance of safe sex.
Targeted at Singaporean Youths ages between 18-25 years old, the idea of this campaign will be to popularize and trend a ‘secret code’ on safe sex. With this code, youths wouldn’t be embarrassed to use it in public to remind each other to practice safe sex. The secret code, “P.S. I LOVE YOU” literally means Play Safe, I Love You. The motive behind is that Durex wants to remind everyone to ‘stay safe’ and to create awareness among people whom you care about.
To self: I love myself and have to practice safe sex because i owe it to people who love and care for me.
To your significant other – I love you and that is why we need to practice safe sex.
To love ones – I love and care for you and want you to be careful and have safe sex.
There are two parts to this campaign and it will kick-start with the ‘leak’ of a ‘Sex tape’ featuring popular blogger, Holly Jean! To launch the communication efforts, a ‘sex tape’ by Holly is deliberately leaked on local forums and websites on 26 November 2012. Holly is feature in a ‘home-made’ video, seemingly engaging in intimate acts with her ‘Ex-lover’, played by a male talent. In the video, Holly Jean is captured saying the phrase – P.S, I love you!.
The purpose of this tape was intentionally filmed and leaked as a tool to get youths’ attention serving as a lead introduction to the campaign. While unconventional, the underlying of the video is to encourage youths to practice safe sex as youths are spending a lot amount of time on the world-wide web. Hence, this video which is uploaded online will be the perfect way to reach out to them and deliver the message of safe sex with better impact.
Anyway, Holly Jean has blogged about this campaign and you can check out the side of her story here!
2nd part of the campaign will be the safe sex tape video making competition and participants will be required to film and submit a 3-5 mins video to educate youths on the importance of safe sex while incorporating the phrase PS. I Love you… This competition is opened to individuals residing in Singapore and below 30 years of age.
At the end of the deadline, videos were submitted by students from Laselle and NTU etc.. The top 10 videos shortlisted will be uploaded for public voting on Durex Singapore FB page till 16 December 2012. The top three videos selected by public voting and a panel of judges will walk away with over $10,000 in cash and prizes.
Durex believes that by leveraging on the video in the form of the ‘leaked sex tape’ and an online ‘safe sex tape’ video making competition by youths for youths, this campaign will alert youths and capture their attention on the importance of safe sex.. Although this can be an unconventional and engaging double pronged approach that anchors on peer influence and youths preferred social media communication, the main purpose will be to promote positive sex education and to create strong awareness towards the importance of exercising responsibilities.
In the next post, i will be sharing about my experience about the judging process of the Durex “P.S. I LOVE YOU” Safe Sex Tape Video Making Competition.. Let see how Durex tapped into the creativity of young individuals to develop ‘Safe Sex’ Tapes to educate youths on the importance of safe sex!
Disclaimer: Photos and content are extracted from the press-kit unless stated otherwise