Work (circa 1999)

I’m currently working for the Economic Development Board of Singapore. This is a dream job for me…culminating after a 12 month-long job hunt that took me from Singapore to London/NY and back to Singapore.I overlook a portfolio of agribiotechnology companies, trying to either attract new ones to set up their operations in Singapore, or encouraging the ones here to expand their operations.

Action for AIDS Singapore is the only AIDS activist organization in Singapore. I joined the ranks of AfA pretty soon after getting back to Singapore…introducing myself to the preseident of the organisation somewhere in the bowels of the Velvet Underground one sultry Saturday night. I’m not sure if he knew what he was getting into when he invited me to their next meeting…but here I am, several years later – Executive Committee member, unofficial spokesperson, and scourge of the Singapore media.

The AIDS problem in Singapore hasn’t yet reached the epidemic proportions which our neighboring Asian countries have experienced (phew!)…but that gives rise to its own can of worms. Not only are the authorities slow to respond to the growing health problems, people here are also generally complacent. We are currently conducting an sociological study to look into the sexual behavior of men who have sex with men in Singapore. Believe it or not, we don’t really have a good picture of who’s having sex with whom and how…Truth be told, most of the HIV cases in Singapore belong to the heterosexual realm, and that’s where the bulk of AfA’s education efforts have been directed.

We had originally invited the late Princess Diana to be guest of honor at a gala dinner to raise money for AfA. But you know what happened. Still, we managed to raise close to a million dollars, most of which will go to a new fund which will be used to subsidize anti-HIV medication.

Here’s one of my early designs for Action for Aids.

Mardi Gras 1999

This year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras was nothing short of wonderful. It was different from the 1997 experience for 2 reasons:1 I knew what to expect
2 Friends made all the difference

Ambrose and I planned this trip as early as November 1998…and once the decision was made, we quickly settled on our costumes for the party, and set about a very disciplined gym programme. The goal was to look stunning, and that included getting buffed and ripped. The subsequent months saw the both of us disappear from the social scene in Singapore (some actually thought I had returned to London), going to the gym at least 5, sometimes 6 times a week, and making multiple trips to the tailor’s, the cobbler’s, just to get our costumes perfect.

And it all paid off.

I don’t think the sight of 2 buff ASIAN leather/policemen is an everyday occurence. Let’s just say we got more than our fair share of attention. If you’re an attention seeker, it was heaven. Even if you’re not, it was nice.

Looking very fresh faced just before we entered the Mardi Gras party grounds
But the biggest thrill of the party this year was connecting with the friends who were there. Wherever we happened to be, we were perfectly happy with present company, dancing with perfect strangers, connecting with the groups from KL, Hong Kong, you name it. It was truly a communal and tribal experience…surreal, yet extremely affirming and uplifting for all of us who were there.

This is the type of experience that gets you hooked. It’s partially spectacle, partially connection with a larger community. It truly was amazing. Many of us are already planning to be there next year!

Oh, btw, if anyone knows who these two men in the purple tights are…please tell me.

1998 Wrapup

Has it been another year already? What a year it’s been! This was a year of fabulous memories, hard knocks, being taken down a peg or three, and at the end of it all, I feel more alive, energised, and centered than ever before. I also have a new rule (3 actually) to live by: 1) Show up; 2) Tell the truth; 3) Don’t try to control the outcome. Trust me, it makes life a lot more fun and a lot less stressful.The most important news: I’m finally a free man! I was discharged from the Singapore Armed Forces on May 17th 1998, after an excruciatingly long (but still cushy by most standards) service of 30 months. First chance I got, I left the country…more about that in a bit. I do believe that the only time I’ll ever put on an army uniform again will be for a costume party. Amen.

This was a year of travelling. I spent almost ½ of the last 12 months abroad. In January, I went to Cambodia for almost 2 weeks. Amidst sporadic fighting between nationalist and Khmer forces in the north, I still managed a rather uneventful, and very awe-inspiring time at Siam Reap where the Angkor temples are. I strongly suggest visiting the temples sooner than later…it’s fast becoming commercial, and tourists are already beginning to overrun the place. There is nothing like these temples in the world. Phnom Penh was like a time capsule of Asia in the 50’s and 60’s, the only aberration being the abundant mobile phones. Battambang is a small town in the northwest of Cambodia, with an interesting mix of war-torn French colonial buildings, and the odd scattering of newer, quickly thrown together 60’s style architecture. The town used to be a Khmer stronghold…and a center of timber and ruby smuggling across the Thai border. In any case, it was certainly an eye opener. I was fortunate enough to have Oscar as my guide…he having already spent almost 3 years in Cambodia by that time.

In May, right after I got discharged from the army, I spent 10 days in Bangkok, before flying off to London. Very few people knew I was leaving, and fewer knew when I was returning (myself included). I only had 2 suitcases with me, and enough money to last a few months. I had intentions of moving permanently to London, find a job, settle down with Oscar, and using London as a base to explore the rest of Europe. Before I left, I had organised a few interviews with the big boys of strategy consulting, but the interviews were grueling, and I guess I didn’t make the cut. It became clear as the weeks passed that finding a job in London was not going to be easy. After the first 3 or 4 months, I was almost ready to take on any job I could find…forget the grand dreams I had. I was fortunate enough to have my aunt’s flat to live in, and friends’ to crash at when it got too crowded at my aunt’s in South Kensington.

In the meantime, however, I had an absolutely grand time in London. From Pride in June, to Summer Rites in August, from Oxford to Bath, Cornwall and Brighton, it seemed like a never-ending parade of places to visit, people to hang out with, and festivals to attend. Soho Athletic Club, Heaven and Trade were my three most frequented venues. Imagine waking up at 4am to go clubbing! Initially I thought the Londoners were crazy to do that, but I found myself in the same routine before too long. I could navigate Soho blindfolded by July. I also made some new friends for life, and they were the ones who kept me sane and healthy. Forever grateful will I be to them for being there when I needed it. You know who you are. I also had a constant stream of visiting friends who kept me updated on the gossip at home, and kept the homesickness at bay.

And then it all came crashing down. Oscar, the man I’ve been waxing so lyrically about arrived, and I found out that I had to add him to what’s becoming an almost embarrassingly long list of failed relationships. I was devastated to begin with, but within every failure, there are lessons to be learnt…and boy did I learn. Coupled with being unemployed for what was almost half a year, and running very low on money, you can imagine what it was like. The best option for me was to leave London…a bit browbeaten, but in many ways a wiser person.

Back in Singapore, I started working part-time at Guardian, a retail pharmacy. I work most evenings and almost every weekend. It left my weekdays free, and my social life starts after 10pm most days anyway…so it was a great lifestyle. Most importantly, I’m spent lots of time with my best friends here…people I respect tremendously, and from whom I derive disproportionate amounts of fun and pleasure being around.

I was also busy helping to organise Singapore’s first AIDS Conference, which was held on the 12th of December. The Minister of Health officiated, which was a big step in the getting the government to respond in a much more public way to what’s becoming a public health problem. We’ve achieved some milestones with Action for AIDS this year, and I’m very proud of the work I do with them. I’ve found myself back in the thick of AIDS activism since returning here in November, and it’s great! Earlier in the year, I organised a series of wildly successful parties at Zouk/Velvet Underground, which proceeds went directly to Action for AIDS. Not only did we reach thousands of men with the message of safer sex, we also raised a significant amount of money. I also cemented a reputation for being the WildChild of party throwing. Long live sequins and glitter. My next project after the AIDS conference is to develop and conceptualise our AIDS campaign for the whole of 1999.

This was the year I learnt to be comfortable with uncertainty….my life has always been smooth sailing, one phase leading effortlessly into the next…always going according to plan. For once, everything did NOT go according to plan, and initially, I felt lost, directionless, and very perturbed by that. Here I was, finally a ‘free’ man, with no more obligations, free to be anywhere I wanted, do anything I pleased…and yet with all the planning and effort I had put into my career and relationships, nothing seemed to be going right. Welcome to reality. But my perspective shifted after some soul-searching, and instead of fighting uncertainty, I now know how to embrace it, allowing it to show me opportunities I never saw before.

Now that I’ve found my dream job at EDB, life is even better! It allows me to draw from my pharmacy education, as much as it will expose me to the world of big business. I’m really psyched.

At to top it all off, I just returned from Sydney. Mardi Gras this year was absolutely incredible…in many ways better than the one I went to in 1997. More about that in the next journal entry…with pictures!

Stay tuned.


  Play! Well, I work hard, and I play harder. Life would be ideal if one’s vocation was also one’s avocation. Wouldn’t life be a vacation then! But I’m not there (yet), so I have to set aside play-time. Well, “play” to me encompasses almost everything I do which isn’t work.

I can often be found at the following places outside office hours: 

Hanging out at a cafe with a book or my journal (current favourites are Cafe Operetta – owned by my friends Ernesto Bedmar and Justin Hill and located in a very famous redlight district in Singapore – Keong Saik Street; and Blackjack Cafe, which features a divinely baked apple pie). [Hmm…this needs to be updated. Operetta has since closed, and Blackjack is about to. Am I a jinx or what? Will the same happen to Starbucks?]

In-line skating from Fort Road to Changi Airport (probably about 20 km, if not more), especially on Sundays. I really still can’t do much more than go forward. I’m working on my sharp turns and trick stops stith my good friend Philip’s guidance (gee, now that Philip’s gone off to New York, who am I supposed to skate with?), but the going’s slow, especially since I only get out to blade on Sundays. Honestly speaking though, ever since I got my bearings upgraded to Abec 5, I’ve hardly gotten out. The new wheels and bearings just *fly* though.

Eating at anyone of literally dozens upon dozens of fabulous restaurants and eateries in Singapore. Recently, the loval city paper came out with a restaurant guide to all the good food in Singapore, and I was surprised to discover that in the year and a half I’d been back to Singapore, I had found almost all the ones which were either recommended, or highly reccomended. My parents complain that I hardly eat at home. Well, it’s just more fun (but a lot more expensive) to eat out. Current favourites are Da Paolo at Club Street for the perfectly prepared Northern Italian food, Paladino di Firenze for the heavenly melazane, Spot on the Hub for the ambience, Pearl River Palace for the best Peking Duck this side of Beijing. I could go on and on. It’s really “the Great Singapore Pastime”…hunting down the latest and the bestest restaurants. People spend whole evenings talking about this restaurant and that. Which, to me, beats talking about “them Bears”.

At my computer, working on this infernal webpage that never seems to get done.

Dancing away at the Velvet Underground. This used to be my corner of the universe on a Saturday night. I have since found more interesting things to do. SSDD (Same shit, different day). Same old crowd week in week out. Seriously, the decor is wonderful (Phillipe Starck), and the cosiness of the club endearing…but when you know all the staff by name, and half of the clientele, it’s seriously time to move on. I’m so over it now…(OK…maybe this is old news too. The next door club, Zouk, is my new ‘home’, especially since I’ve recently started a new Sunday night gay concept party called Juicy! I’m trying to bring back some classic, feelgood, high energy clubbing back to the scene, and this is it. Our parties have so far garnered rave reviews, and is the new talk of the town! Yes, yes, I’ve turned a pro party thrower…)

Throwing a party. Between September 96 and 97, I threw something like a dozen parties, which got progressively wilder and bigger. These ranged from ‘intimate’ networking dinners for 40, to an almost legendary New Year’s Eve party (much talked about because of what happened between 15 or so very uninhibited men on the top floor of the house), to a birthday party for 600. My reputation as “Party-maestro” spun so much out of control that I’d get anonymous phone calls from men asking me if I was throwing a party that weekend. Don’t ask me how they got my mobile number…it was cute at first, but then it just got annoying. I’ve kind of upped the ante a little by organising Juicy! @ Zouk (benefitting Action for AIDS), and this is one concept party that ROCKS! Partying has never been better.

Attending some artsy-fartsy event or other. Each time, I keep telling myself I am so over these openings and shows…but what else is there to do on a boring Tuesday evening? I have season tickets to one of the local theater companies – Theatreworks. They do get a little bit adventurous and not too safe, which is something I respect. Singaporeans tend to be too safe in anything they do, so I respect those who push the boundaries, even if the efforts may sometimes come off as amateurish.

(Hmm…an undated entry – I’d place it sometime between 1997 and 1998? – 5 Jan 2007)

Finding love… (was "The Love of My Life")

I know this is going to make my popularity ratings plummet, but hey…I’m in love! That’s him right there…Dr Oscar B, the most beautiful man in the world, inside, ouside, and all around stellar human being.

It wasn’t too long ago that I met Oscar. In fact, we were at the Asia Pacific AIDS Conference held in Manila in October. It would probably best be described as love at first sight for the both of us. In fact, when we first saw one another, we were so shy we didn’t even dare look one another in the eye. All I could think was, “Wow, I have to meet this man before the end of the conference.” We soon ran into one another at the opening ceremony later that evening, and started talking. Turns out we both weren’t even certain if the other was gay in the first place. Well, all our fears and insecurities were wildly misplaced – and for the rest of the week, we were walking around the conference in a hazy bliss.

What’s special about Oscar? For starters, he’s the sexiest man I’ve ever met…his swarthy good looks, the way he moves, the way he smiles…heck, the way he smells – it makes my skin tingle, sends little waves of electricity down my back whenever he touches me. He’s incredibly expressive, especially when he’s speaking in his native Spanish, or adopted French, and his eyes speak volumes. Oscar’s Colombian, you see, and you probably already know all about these Latin men =) Fiery, passionate, suave – you name it, he’s got it.

Add to this potent mix a brilliant mind and a heart of gold, and you have a person who is one in a million. Oscar currently works for Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders) in Cambodia. But most of all, I find in Oscar a deeper connection, a peaceful spirit, and someone who resonates with me on a wavelength unlike anyone else. It’s almost as though we don’t have to explain things to one another – we simply understand where the other is coming from. Even when we disagree, we are still able to see things from the other’s perspective.

For the first time in a long time, I know love, I know how it is to be loved, and I know how powerful it is to love someone. My life has changed radically – it’s as though focus has shifted. I have more reason to do what I do, I feel greater motivation, stonger resolution to do good, create good energy, contribute to those around me, because I feel love in my heart. At a juncture when I was starting to get cynical, wondering if I would ever meet anyone who could stomach me, if anyone would ever have the strength of character to impress me, if anyone out there shared the same values and principles and bad habits…along came Oscar.

So! That’s what’s been keeping me occupied for the last couple of months. I’ve also just returned from a 2 week trip to Italy (Rome/Florence/Venice) with mother and my sister Michelle. FABULOUS. Will keep you updated when the photos are developed and scanned.

Apologies if all this gushing turns your stomach. Get over it. This cynical, conceited, intransigent, recalcitrant little shit (as some of you have kindly emailed me) is human too. Later masturbators. Oh yeah, Happy Holidays!


Gay in Singapore (circa 1997)

I am fuming mad! I basically got told by another gay man that by maintaining this webpage which does nothing short of declare that I am an out and proud gay man, I am in fact jeapordising the entire gay movement in Singapore. His rationale was that Singapore was in no way ready for people to be out, and that each person who ‘flaunts’ his sexuality is giving the authorities more fodder to clamp down on us, discriminate, and carry out other forms of unspeakable acts.

“Ridiculous”, I thought. This man has in other words rationalised that it is better to stay in the closet, rationalised that by staying in his unhealthy and musky closet that he is helping everyone around him because it wouldn’t be ‘rocking the boat’. He explained that we were fundamentally on the same side, that he wanted to see Singapore a more gay-tolerant state, but that this would take time. Perhaps 50 years, he was willing to wait. Hello. 50 years ago, we were just out of WWII. He can wait if he wants. I don’t think the rest of us are going to.

“Just what is the situation in Singapore?” some of you may be wondering. The way I see it may be quite different from most others here, but I think I have a good handle on things. The Singapore governtment is basically a pragmatic one. It tries to award people based on merit, not seniority, and it will recognise those who have made a contribution to society. However, one of its primary roles is to govern a society which it has engineered from 1965. A society which is guided by a certain set of principles and morals – the so-called moral fabric of Singapore. Now, part of this dogma is the unwritten “No Homosexuals” rule. Why “no homosexuals”? Because we threaten the traditional social/family structure. The moral conservatives have always found it hard to rationalise the existence of gay men and lesbian women in modern society, no matter how “natural” we come, and the Singaporean leadership is no different.

Homosexuals’ existence threatens Singapore‘s moral fabric, at least as we now know it, and at least it’s as much as the government leads us to believe. However, they probably know and understand that we are not going to go away no matter how they try, and that the more we are pushed to a corner, the more we will fight back. So, the current status quo is this: Gays in Singapore have been left alone for the most part. There has been a steady increase in the number of gay films, gay-themed books, etc surfacing in Singapore. The scene is more active than it has ever been, with social outlets popping up faster than you can unroll a condom. However, all this has to be done with one caveat. Political and social invisibility. Under no circumstances can all this be a public issue. Breach this unwritten rule, and be sure of a clampdown. It’s been seen. Keep quiet and go about your business, and you will be left alone. If someone complains, then sorry, they have no choice but to do something about it. That “something” has included raids on cruising spots, books being taken off the shelf, etc.

Now, please don’t be mistaken. This not indicate that Singapore is the backwater that some of you may think. In fact, this conservatism may well be a Western import. Nevermind, that’s another issue for another time.

An organisation in Singapore known as PLU (People Like Us) has long been seeking registration as a society in Singapore. However, they have met with countless rejections, most without a word of explanation. I personally don’t think they will EVER get what they want. Simply won’t happen. If the government allows PLU to register, it would be a public contradiction to their social policy. 

So what does this all mean for the average gay person in Singapore? Several things. If you’re happy with remaining invisible, and with the occassional inconvenience (fallout after an indignant member of the straight public complains about some indiscretion or other), then this is the best era for gay people Singapore has ever seen. It is positively flourishing. However, those of you who are with me in frustration and anger that gays are constantly being treated as 2nd class citizens, discriminated against (institutionally and otherwise), forced to be invisible in the media (well, rarely, if ever, mentioned in a positive light anyway)…then hear this:

We in Singapore need to foster change. This change is not as drastic as some of you may believe. I am not talking about loud demonstrations, about Pride marches, nor about political upheaval. This change has to come from within. It’s all about building a community based on understanding and love and compassion. It’s about personal PRIDE…about being sure of who you are, and NOT BEING ASHAMED. It’s about standing up for yourself whenever you hear someone utter something homophobic. It’s about not tolerating another moment of abuse (physical or psychological or otherwise) no matter where you are, because of who you are.

Come out, come out, wherever you are. The closet is an awful place to be, but even if others have placed us there, we have the power to open those doors and step out. Coming out is a personal journey…the first person you have to come out to is YOURSELF.

Singapore won’t change until there is a critical mass of self-respecting, proud gay men and women. No matter how loud the few shout. No matter how many gay plays are written and staged. No matter if the entire government were to change tomorrow. The greatest revolution is within.

It’s time to stand up for yourselves, brothers and sisters.

(note from 5 Jan 2007: Ok – now I know we’ve come a long way.)

Back In The Fray

I’m BACK! It’s been a long hiatus, but that’s another story for another day. Life is getting even more hectic than ever…but just to allow you to catch up with me…here’s what’s been happening (or will happen soon)…

*I’ve lost 4 kgs (almost 10 pounds) in the last 2 months…I’m now leaner and meaner…and hope to stay that way

*Just attended the wildly successful “Fur” party hosted by Esther (who found her lost dog after 2 agonising weeks) and Ambrose Jose (check his rubber pants out). Anyone who was anyone was at the do, and there were cuties galore. Unfortunately, I found myself reprising my role of taxi-to-those-who-passed-out, and thus going home alone at about 6 the next morning. No regrets though.

*The former Princess of Wales, mother of that 6’1.5″ giant of a prince (William), will be arriving in Singapore on September 23rd for a gala dinner to benefit Action for AIDS. We’ve raised a bundle from this event, which will go towards subsidising anti-retroviral treatment for patients in Singapore. The Singapore government has recently pulled funding of HIV treatment of new HIV patients…this is a move that is both unethical and hypocritical. You’ll DEFINITELY hear more about this…

*My birthday’s coming up! I was going to throw a HUGE party for 600 people at a club that a friend kindly offered for my disposal, but frankly, it’s just gonna take too much energy and too much of my time to put together. The theme was going to be “Pimps and Prostitutes”, with the whole club done up as a Chinatown brothel, drag queen hookers, and free flow of booze. I think I’m going to settle for a much smaller, cosier and more personal gathering. Maybe a hundred guests or so?

*A new haircut, new look! If people ever start taking you for granted, change your image! It’s bound to get you more attention than you had before. Worked for me anyway. *shrug*

(note from 5 Jan 2007: OK now this is what I call a “historical” posting. This was pre-Princess Diana’s death, and a birthday party for 600 with a “Pimps & Prostitutes” theme? Is this a harbinger of things to come? The Singapore government ought to have caught on in 1997!)

Cult of Personality

Recently, I took an online personality test which revealed me to be a 60/40 ENTP/ENFP. What does this mean? Well, accepting the limitations of the 70 question test, and according to the Keirsey/Jungian theory of personality, I am more of an Extravert, iNtuitive Perceiver, with almost equal parts Thinker and Feeler. Bleagh. Whatever. At least it didn’t show me to be a bore. Now why isn’t there an equivalent to show if a person is:

interesting / boring,
stylish / fashion victim,
fabulous / doomed to social failure?

Anyhow…to have more insight to who I am, read the following descriptions of ENTPs and ENFPs. They’re actually uncannily accurate (but then so are horoscopes and fortune cookies):


The way I see it, it’s just another exercise in self-affirmation. Are we such failures at self-awareness that we have to take a multiple-choice questionnaire to tell ourselves who we are? Sad, isn’t it? It’s also another attempt to pigeon-hole everyone into a bunch of categories (in this case, it’s a tad better than the 12 zodiac signs), and generalise everyone accordingly.

ENTP: Extraverted iNtuitive Thinking Perceiving

ENTPs are inventors, innovators, explorers, entrepreneurs, and visionaries.
ENTPs are always looking over the next horizon, trying to push the edge of
the envelope, and trying to do what other people say can’t be done. What
is — is never good enough. ENTPs have a vision of what could be and a
powerful drive to turn their visions into reality.

ENTPs value progress and change, both in their personal lives and in the
world as a whole. The idea of a static, unchanging life — appealing to some
SJs — is abhorrent to an ENTP. ENTPs are always seeking out new experiences, new ideas, and new achievements. While other types may worry that the world is changing too fast, ENTPs are more likely to be frustrated that the world isn’t changing fast enough — in the direction they want it to move.

Like other NTs, ENTPs tend to have a rational, empirical view of the world
and often have a strong and early interest in science and technology — but
this worldview and these interests are expressed differently in each of the

While an INTP may be content to design a system or even just prove it is
possible to design a system — ENTPs want to design and build the system and see it working with their own eyes. In this way, they resemble INTJs in
their goals — but not in their approach toward achieving those goals. INTJs
tend to work carefully and methodically with a detailed plan of action —
ENTPs are more likely to have bursts of inspiration that are translated into
reality through intermittent periods of extremely intense activity.

ENTPs tend to be sociable — they enjoy interacting with interesting people
and doing interesting things with others. The key word is “interesting”.
ENTPs have a low boredom threshold, and unlike EF-types, they have little
desire to be around other people simply for the sake of being around other

More than other NTs, ENTPs value intense experiences — including emotional
experiences — and are less likely than other NTs to attempt to suppress
their emotions. When ENTPs are up, they’re on top of the world, facing
unlimited possibilities, unbounded horizons, and an exhilarating future.
When ENTPs are down, the universe lacks any redeeming qualities, whatsoever.

ENTPs are risk-takers — flying, skydiving, scuba diving, hang gliding,
mountain climbing, and fast cars all have a strong appeal for ENTPs. Unlike
STP risk-takers, however, ENTPs are less likely to become experts in a
particular activity, and more likely to sample a wide variety of different

ENTPs have little respect for rules that fail to serve a useful purpose.
Rules that significantly inhibit the ability to get things done will be
changed, finessed, or simply ignored.

While ENTPs value their personal relationships, they find it easier than some
other types (in particular, NFs and SFJs) to leave those relationships behind.
An ESFJ, for example, might be terrified by the thought of leaving all of
their friends behind and moving alone to a
new city. An ENTP in the same
situation may miss those friends, but at the same time be looking forward to
the new people, new places, new experiences, and new opportunities they
may find in their new environment.

Extraverted iNtuitive Thinking Perceiving
by Marina Margaret Heiss (

“Clever” is the word that perhaps describes ENTPs best. The professor who
juggles half a dozen ideas for research papers and grant proposals in his
mind while giving a highly entertaining lecture on an abstruse subject is a
classic example of the type. So is the stand-up comedian whose lampoons
are not only funny, but incisively accurate.

ENTPs are usually verbally as well as cerebrally quick, and generally love to
argue–both for its own sake, and to show off their often-impressive skills.
They tend to have a perverse sense of humor as well, and enjoy playing devil’s
advocate. They sometimes confuse, even inadvertently hurt, those who don’t
understand or accept the concept of argument as a sport.

ENTPs are as innovative and ingenious at problem-solving as they are at
verbal gymnastics; on occasion, however, they manage to outsmart themselves.
This can take the form of getting found out at “sharp practice”–ENTPs have
been known to cut corners without regard to the rules if it’s expedient — or
simply in the collapse of an over-ambitious juggling act. Both at work and
at home, ENTPs are very fond of “toys”–physical or intellectual, the more
sophisticated the better. They tend to tire of these quickly, however, and
move on to new ones.

ENTPs are basically optimists, but in spite of this (perhaps because of it?),
they tend to become extremely petulant about small setbacks and
(Major setbacks they tend to regard as challenges, and tackle with determin-
ation.) ENTPs have little patience with those they consider wrongheaded or
unintelligent, and show little restraint in demonstrating this. However, they
do tend to be extremely genial, if not charming, when not being harassed by
life in general.

In terms of their relationships with others, ENTPs are capable of bonding
very closely and, initially, suddenly, with their loved ones. Some appear to
be deceptively offhand with their nearest and dearest; others are so demon-
strative that they succeed in shocking co-workers who’ve only seen their
professional side. ENTPs are also good at acquiring friends who are as clever
and entertaining as they are. Aside from those two areas, ENTPs tend to be
oblivious of the rest of humanity, except as an audience — good, bad, or

Famous ENTPs:

U.S. Presidents:
John Adams
James A. Garfield
Rutherford B. Hayes
Christopher Columbus
Wernher von Braun
Richard Feynman
Arthur C. Clarke
Francis Ford Coppolla
Steven Jobs
Thomas Edison
Lewis Carrol
Sir Winston Churchill
Bill Cosby
Alexander the Great
Confederate General J. E. B. Stuart
Sir Walter Raleigh

Fictional ENTPs:
Indiana Jones
Calvin (of Calvin & Hobbes)
Mercutio, from Romeo and Juliet
‘Q’ (ST-NG)
Bugs Bunny
Wile E. Coyote

ENFP: Extraverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving

[The following comes partially from the archetype, but mostly from my own
dealings with ENFPs.]

General: ENFPs are both “idea”-people and “people”-people, who see
everyone and everything as part of an often bizarre cosmic whole. They
want to both help (at least, their *own* definition of “help”) and be
liked and admired by other people, on both an individual and a humani-
tarian level. They are interested in new ideas on principle, but
ultimately discard most of them for one reason or another.

Social/Personal Relationships: ENFPs have a great deal of zany charm,
which can ingratiate them to the more stodgy types in spite of their
unconventionality. They are outgoing, fun, and genuinely like people. As
SOs/mates they are warm, affectionate (lots of PDA), and disconcertingly
spontaneous. However, attention span in relationships can be short; ENFPs
are easily intrigued and distracted by new friends and acquaintances,
forgetting about the older ones for long stretches at a time. Less mature
ENFPs may need to feel they are the center of attention all the time, to
reassure them that everyone thinks they’re a wonderful and fascinating

ENFPs often have strong, if unconvential, convictions on various issues
related to their Cosmic View. They usually try to use their social skills
and contacts to persuade people gently of the rightness of these views;
his sometimes results in their neglecting their nearest and dearest while
flitting around trying to save the world.
Work Environment: ENFPs are pleasant, easygoing, and usually fun to work
ith. They come up with great ideas, and are a major asset in
brainstorming sessions. Followthrough tends to be a problem, however;
they tend to get bored quickly, especially if a newer, more interesting
project comes along. They also tend to be procrastinators, both about
meeting hard deadlines and about performing any small, uninteresting tasks
that they’ve been assigned. ENFPs are at their most useful when working
in a group with a J or two to take up the slack.

ENFPs *hate* bureaucracy, both in principle and in practice; they will
always make a point of launching one of their crusades against some aspect
of it.

Extraverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving
by Joe Butt (

ENFPs are friendly folks. Most are really enjoyable people. Some of the
most soft-hearted people are ENFPs.

ENFPs have what some call a ‘silly switch.’ They can be intellectual,
serious, all business for a while, but whenever they get the chance,
they flip that switch and become CAPTAIN WILDCHILD, the scourge of the
swimming pool, ticklers par excellence. Sometimes they may even
appear intoxicated when the ‘switch’ is flipped.

One study has shown that ENFPs are significantly overrepresented in
psychodrama. Most have a natural propensity for role-playing and

ENFPs like to tell funny stories, especially about their friends.
This penchant may be why many are attracted to journalism. I kid one
of my ENFP friends that if I want the sixth fleet to know something,
I’ll just tell him.

ENFPs are global learners. Close enough is satisfactory to the ENFP.
which may unnerve more precise thinking types, especially with such
things as piano practice (“three quarter notes or four … what’s the
difference?”) Amazingly, some ENFPs are adept at exacting disciplines
such as mathematics. Go figure.

Friends are what life is about to ENFPs, moreso even than the other
NFs. They hold up their end of the relationship, sometimes being taken
advantage of by less caring individuals. ENFPs are energized by being
around people. Some have real difficulty being alone, especially on a
regular basis.

One ENFP colleague, a social worker, had such tremendous interpersonal
skills that she put her interviewers at ease during her own job interview.
She had the ability to make strangers feel like old friends.

ENFPs sometimes can be blindsided by their secondary Feeling function.
Hasty decisions based on deeply felt values may boil over with
unpredictable results. More than one ENFP has abruptly quit a job in
such a moment.

Famous ENFPs:
Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)
Walter Wenchell, radio reporter
Will Rogers, humorist
Ronald Reagan, U.S. President
Theodor “Dr.” Seuss Geisel, children’s author (_The Cat in the Hat_)
Mickey Rooney, actor
Geraldo Rivera
James Dobson, “Focus on the Family”
Andy Rooney, television news commentator
+Paul Harvey, radio announcer
Elizabeth Montgomery, actress (“Bewitched”)
Dom Delouise, actor
Dave Thomas, owner of Wendy’s hamburger chain
Lewis Grizzard, author, newspaper columnist
I. King Jordan, president of Gallaudet University
Robin Williams, actor, comedian (_Dead Poet’s Society_, _Mrs. Doubtfire_)
Dave Coulier (Joey on “Full House”)
Candice Cameron (D.J. ” ” ” )

+ Dr. Doug Ross, _ER_
Balkie (“Perfect Strangers”)
Ariel (_The Little Mermaid_)
Cathy (comic strip character)
“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”

(Note from 5 Jan 2007 : Oh dear what do we have here – a personality test. I guess things haven’t changed much in 10 years of blogging. I promise to spare you the agony of reading any more of these kinds of posts…)

Safer Sex – Take the shrink wrap off and have fun

Recently, there were some questions on Signel about safer sex…thought I would include my answer here just for those who might be seeking some information on the topic:

The reason why I will be offering sometimes 2 different answers to the following questions is simple. The ‘official’ answer is what you will most likely read from pamphlets, or get from any government agency. They carry the least liability, and are the ‘safest’ answers as well. HOWEVER, they are also draconian in nature, and very impractical. An analagy would be to take a new couch you just bought from say, Ikea. You don’t want to soil it, you don’t want to spoil it, so you keep it sheathed in its plastic wrap, leave it a corner of the house, and only allow super-special guests to sit on one corner of it when visiting, and then only after a half-hour briefing on proper couch-etiquette. The idea is: If you don’t have sex, you won’t catch HIV. Something like that.

My ‘professional’ answer however, allows you to take the shrink wrap off the couch, and give you not only a few tips on proper cleaning care, but especially ‘Stuart’ secrets on how to PREVENT messy stains, minimise harm, PLUS, some juicy ways to enjoy your new couch in ways you never imagined. However, this would require that you possess:

– a certain level of negotiation skills (sex between adults ideally should be preceded by a certain amount of negotiation),

– a sober mind (sobriety is important…we all get a little more frisky and less safe when caught in the heat of the moment…or are impaired by substances such as alcohol et al)

Alright. Let’s get down to business…..

>>If two people indulge in foreplay, ie. mutual masturbation, kissing, hugging etc, but do NOT indulge in anal or oral sex, is it correct to say that they will not get AIDS?  

AIDS is currently thought of as a result of HIV – the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. While there are theories out there which beg to differ, HIV is currently the best ‘culprit’ we have. HIV is a retro-virus, and it requires to be in a person’s blood stream before it can infect our immune system. Foreplay, such as frottage (rubbing of bodies), massage, kissing, masturbation, etc, WILL not result in the transmission of HIV, and hence not AIDS.

The rule of thumb is this. If there is not exchange of bodily fluids such as semen, vaginal fluids or blood, there will be no transmission of AIDS. Saliva contains some antibodies, but much lower counts of the actual virus, which means that the likelihood of catching HIV from saliva alone would mean you’d have to be drinking several litres of the stuff, and at the same time have severe cuts in your oral cavity, or be foaming in the mouth….you get the idea.

So…bottom line: No exchange of semen/vaginal fluids/blood – no HIV transmission.

BUT let’s say, fluids WERE exchanged….what do we do then? After all, we’re human beings….it’s kinda difficult to have sex without any mingling of our essences…(and a less fun if we don’t)…What is safe, and what is not?

ALWAYS fuck with a rubber. No exceptions, unless you’re in a MONOGAMOUS relationship with someone, and both of you are aware of your HIV negative status. Any contact of pre-come or semen with the anus/rectum is HIGH RISK. No questions about that. The rectal lining is fragile, and anal intercourse is a contact sport. Same goes for vaginal intercourse.

Oral sex…hmm…this is the tricky one. The ‘official’ answer is…if you have to, (oral sex being a prelude to sexual intercourse of course, especially for us Singaporeans) then don a condom….if you minimise contact of semen/pre-come with the oral lining, then you minimise chances of HIV transmission.

HOWEVER, I always add to that, if you DON’t use a condom…then don’t let your partner come in your mouth….and if he does, don’t swallow….and if you do swallow, then…err…rinse your mouth out, gargle, and well, enjoy the rest of it.

Well, the fact of the matter is, oral transmission of HIV MAY have been reported, but these reports have been isolated and spotty. There have been some studies done on oral transmission of HIV, but these studies are faulty and should not be generalised to implicate all oral sex. Will explain under a different note if you want me to explore this. However, consider…if oral sex did indeed transmit HIV, then all of San Francisco, much of New York, and countless other people would be dead by now. I don’t mean to trivialise oral transmission, or to even say it is impossible, but it’s a small (and I consider negligible) risk…one that is further minimised if your partner’s sexual history is not extremely suspect, if your exposures are kept to a minimum (of course, the more times you are exposed to the risk, the more risk you carry), etc.

Same goes for the women. If you have to, use a dental dam…avoid oral sex during certain times of the month (blood carries a higher concentration of virus)…and everything in moderation. But since I am not familiar with lesbian sex, this is the limit of my advice in this area….yikes…someone else more knowledgeable help me out here…

Theoretically, oral transmission is possible. After all, there are viruses in the semen/vaginal fluids, and you ARE ingesting these fluids. Hoever, taking an intact gastro-intestinal tract into consideration, these organs of ours are extremely hardy and have seen countless numbers of yucky things we shove down our throats (including Macdonalds and Singapore air…etc). They are used to keeping foreign particles out. Occassionally, something overwhelms them (as in the case of Indonesian roadside stall food), and our bodies protest by making us dump the offending particles in the Kallang River…but otherwise, few things that were not meant to get through, do eventually get through. Including many bacteria and viruses. Some bugs make a living by infecting people through the oral route, and HIV is thankfully NOT one of them. Credit our gastric juices, gastric lining, saliva enzymes, whatever.

>>Also, I think some kinds of sexual diseases like herpes and warts can spread through the kind of casual sexual contact as described above (excluding anal and oral sex), can someone please enlighten me on how these “other” STDs are spread and their dangers? 

STD’s…ok. The most common STD’s include gonorrhea, syphillis, herpes, warts, pubic lice, chlamydia, etc. It would take quite a long essay to go into each and everyone of them. Most of the STDs are rather evident if you examine the genital area of your partner under reasonable light (so those at Fort Rd, well, you place yourselves at higher risk…). Any sores, discolorations, discharges, foul smell, etc, would typically alert you to such a possibility. If your partner can’t help but constantly scratch their pubes, that’s another clue…Be sure to look at your partner’s genital area carefully…if it looks nice and squeeky clean, you’re probably OK (with the exception of herpes…which is still transmissible even when there are no evident sores…best thing is to ask, never assume). If you are foolish enough to rub your skin against these sores, then well, go visit your friendly STD doc soon to get a jab (yes, most are curable, again with the exception of herpes) because that’s how they are spread, by contact with infected skin. No fluids to transmit.

Let’s not also forget those rimmers out there. You place yourself at high risk for Hepatitis A…so either get yourself a Hep A vaccination, as well as clean your partner’s butt out really well (hey, a mutual romp in the shower qualifies as fantastic foreplay, if you ask me) before you start licking sphincter, OR use a dental dam or plastic wrap stretched across the cave before you go spelunking.

>>It seems that we are so often warned on how AIDS is spread and how we should protect from AIDS, but we have neglected to warn people also the dangers of other STDs which can ruin people’s lifes too. I hope that we can take this chance to inform the people on Signel about other dangerous STDs that one can get *EVEN IF ONE PRACTICES SAFE SEX* (ie. with a condom). 

Well, good point and no. Yes, STDs are often neglected…in part because they are curable for the most part, and in comparison with AIDS, they are at best (or worst) a minor inconvenience when treated. STDs occur in high frequency amongst people who are at high risk for HIV, or HIV-positive persons. Why? Because risky behaviour for AIDS is the same (more or less) as risky behaviour for STDs. Even if the methods of transmission are different. However, condoms DO DO DO reduce the risk of STDs…hey, you’re putting a piece of rubber over the skin which is going to be rubbing the most against your partner’s so why shouldn’t it protect you? However, you forget that MOST of your body’s not covered…so act accordingly.

>>Let’s dispell the myth of “safe” sex. No form of sexual contact is safe. Nothing beats good old fashion love and commitment. But sadly, even that is a myth in the world today.  

Au contraire…..lots of sex is safe. And safe sex can be lots (and loads) of fun. But to a very practical extent, purely safe sex can find yourself running out of ideas pretty quickly, and yearning to get back to the good ol’ in-out-in-out….so, the important thing IS….SAFER SEX. Meaning, risk management, harm prevention/minimisation…remember the couch analogy?

First thing, and the MOST important thing you could do to help yourself, is to get yourself tested. If you know you’re HIV positive, you can get treatment ASAP…therapies which for now look extremely promising, and could perhaps prevent you from developing AIDS. If you’re HIV negative, then you know what to do to stay that way. Action for AIDS has an anonymous test site on Saturdays between 1-4pm – no names taken absolutely…at the Kelantan Rd Clinic (also known as the DSC Clinic)…

If your sex partner knows their HIV status as well, then you could proceed to more adventurous forms of sex. If you’re not monogamous, then of course I would never advocate not using condoms. But knowing you are having sex with someone who is probably *still* HIV negative is hell of a lot less risky than having someone who does not know if they are HIV positive of negative (or even “proabably HIV negative” is not good enough)…

The next thing is something that few people do, but everyone should. Negotiate amongst yourselves, what you feel is risky, what you feel is a calculated risk you’re BOTH willing to take, and what is absolutley no problem at all. Why more don’t do this is simple…we don’t like to talk about sex…a conventionally taboo topic. Yet, you will find that talking about sex will take a load of your back…and you will find it strangely liberating to be able to discuss what you want to do to this dreamboat you found at Raffles City (or wherever). This way, there are no surprises, both partners respect one anothers sexual wishes, and risk is managed in that way.

Don’t do anything you are not comfortable with, but at the same time, GET THE FACTS so that you can make an educated decision. No one can force you to do anything you don’t want to…it’s your body…you decide what risks you want to take. Some find high-risk behaviour more fun, some find it petrifying. Whatever suits you. Your body is ultimately YOUR responsibility. Don’t go on hearsay…GET THE FACTS.

If you engage in sex with multiple partners, or have multiple exposures to risky sex, get yourself tested periodically (ostensibly every six months), just to be sure you’re still where you want to be. If you have one or two or three partners, and you deem the risks to be small, let’s save our precious medical resources. HIV is not an easy thing to catch. It really isn’t. In a way, you have to try pretty hard to get it…before you will.

SO…bearing that in mind…go out there, have safe and responsible sex! 

Destinies of Flowers In The Mirror

I was *inside* Asia‘s largest fountain yesterday. What a sublime experience. This is a fountain about the size of a quarter of a football field, with huge jets of water shooting up about 10 storeys, and a huge ring of water raining down in a circle from a height of about 6 storeys up. Amazing…what a change of perspective. I’ll try to find a picture of it…

The play was produced by TheatreworksSingapore‘s most cutting edge theatre company. This was probably the most avant garde production they have ever come up with…quite an accomplishment for staid/boring Singapore. The whole irony of it was that our very conservative and often-criticised Ministry of Information and the Arts (MITA) granted the license for the production, possibly because it was i) high profile; ii) good for tourism. They failed to see what I felt was a very politically motivated (and mostly critical) subtext. I’m glad they pulled it off. Calling what really was a pice of performance art a play was brilliant. They packed the audience in, despite a rather challenging staging and inacessible script. Great PR job, I must say.

Basically, the work was billed as being based in part on the Chinese fable Flowers in the Mirror, but what they failed to mention that it was even more a showcase of Mahatma Gandhi’s treatise on civil disobedience. “Flower” is a woman who decides to go head to head with society’s ills by not eating, and leads a band of women to “paradise” (which was our fountain) where they proceed to perform miracles like enabling men to conceive and give birth to gender inspecific children. The “Establishment” cannot bear this travesty, and proceed to capture these heretics, lobotomising them (“with no brains, they cannot think”), spreading disinformation about the “cult”, and eventually commiting genocide (akin to the holocaust, gassing the women). Draw your own conclusions.

The plot was powerful (and very sad), but the imagery was even more so. Butoh-inspired white linen costumes billowing in the wind, shaven-heads, spastic movements, fluid dances amongst the jets of water. Perspex, metal sculptures, grey PVC tubes, men with computers who answered your questions. It was chaotic (another oxymoron in Singapore), it was interactive, it was everywhere and no where. This multi-layered excursion was impressive in scale, and accomplished in execution.

I’m quite proud that Singaporeans could produce such a piece of work. It may not have gotten to most people, I admit it was quite “out-there”…but this was performance art with a message. It wasn’t a “me-too” copycat gesture. These talented people CREATED something here. Good on them. They slapped the establishment in Singapore in the face, and no one’s noticed. They got away with it, with good press and publicity. But no one’s talked about the subtext. Classic case of self-censorship. Many people probably went home either puzzled, or quietly nodding to themselves in agreement. Perhaps this is but one step towards more vocal demonstrations of our displeasure. An allegory of our frustrations.