#sexbait: Sex-selling and Selling Sex among Commercial Lifestyle Bloggers in Singapore

Institutionalized sex education in Singapore undertakes a conservative, medicalized approach that preaches abstinence, and is premised on promoting healthy (heterosexual) relationships between married couples for reproduction purposes to uphold a stable family unit. It assigns parents, the school, students, and the community as stakeholders in maintaining a comprehensive sexuality education. However, young people are increasingly turning to commercial bloggers who are trendy, clout rich, and influential on the Internet for firsthand ‘lifestyle’ information and advice. In response, some bloggers have innovatively engaged in various degrees of sensuousness to market sex and sexuality-related campaigns and products, and to lure traffic to increase their viewership. Through ethnographic fieldwork conducted with these bloggers and the long-term observation of social media enterprises, this paper examines the treatment of sexual literacies among young men and women lifestyle bloggers in Singapore. It argues that these bloggers have stepped in as informal educators of sex and sexuality education to provide alternative approaches amidst a state-controlled hegemonic discourse. A close analysis reveals some scripts appropriated by bloggers to disseminate personal and endorsed sex education such as shock and allure, pedantic consumption, and personal illustrations.

Abidin, C. (2014) “#sexbait: Sex-selling and Selling Sex among Commercial Lifestyle Bloggers in Singapore” IR15, Association of Internet Researchers, Daegu. Oct 22, 2014.

Abidin, C. (2014) “#sexbait: Sex-selling and Selling Sex among Commercial Lifestyle Bloggers in Singapore” English Language and Literature (ELL) Seminar Series, National Institute of Education, Singapore. Oct 1, 2014.

Abidin, C. (2014) “#sexbait: Sex-selling and Selling Sex among Commercial Lifestyle Bloggers in Singapore” Media Management and Transformation Centre, Jonkoping International Business School 2014, Jonkoping University, Jonkoping. Jun 29, 2014.

Abidin, C. (2014) “#sexbait: Sex-selling and Selling Sex among Commercial Lifestyle Bloggers in Singapore” Cultural Studies Association of Australia Intermezzo Symposium 2014, University of New South Wales, Sydney. Apr 4 – 5, 2014.

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