Today’s the eve of my first official panel (and hopefully many more) as the founder and writer behind Shy & Curious and my mind’s in two places right now. Part of me is really stressed and nervous about being on a public stage with others in my field talking about “50 shades of sex: How the media shapes our lens on pleasure” in an official capacity (Why hello there Imposter Syndrome!) .
The other part of me is big-eyed and bushy-tailed going “Oh wow, you mean all I have to do is talk about my favourite subject for the whole session??? I just hope you have a timekeeper to play the Oscar closing song to chase me offstage because I am just going to keep going on and on and on…”
That’s when it hit me that Shy & Curious had her 6-months anniversary earlier this month (the 10th to be exact) and yet, I totally forgot about it.
As a former marketer, my inner brand strategist is going “Booo…. That’s terrible content planning!” As Noorindah the sex and love writer, I’m in awe and gratitude at how much things have changed in the past 6 months, especially when it comes to seeing what happens when you take that small baby step to putting yourself out there and going “Hi, this is me. Inappropriate, Passionate, Neurotic oversharer who really just is a romantic and loves pleasure at heart.”
I’ve made amazing and wonderful friends in the same space who are all on the same mission to destigmatize sexual pleasure and intimacy in general and normalize sex – a topic that WE ALL THINK ABOUT & DO. And yes, male pleasure and relationship dynamics too.
I’ve learned so much from the cool and advanced technologies that go into not just sex toys and play accessories, but fertility, menstrual health, body awareness and mental health.
But more importantly, I’ve been spoiled and humbled at the same time by you.
The ones who read the blog, share the links, save the posts and put their trust in me to share your highs, lows and vulnerabilities too. I’m so happy to have been able to help in any and every capacity I can. It’s weird – it was my main intention when I started the blog yet when it’s actually happening in reality, I can’t help but feel it’s surreal.
I’ve been inconsistent with the writing as you might have noticed. Real life took over with the bill-paying gigs so I took a step back and thought perhaps workshops would be more efficient to reach out to those who need it.
Then I learned that while I do enjoy running them and meeting people in real life and will continue to do so, I missed writing as much as I miss my mum, the original muse for Shy & Curious.
I miss smirking with her over a dirty joke. I miss telling her about my dating life. And I really wish our relationship had gotten to the stage where I can also tell her about the amazing new sex toy that will literally shake her world and pass her a demo set (in the next life perhaps…).
But it’s alright because she’s still right there even as I type.
I always ask myself – at the end of every article, image, post: Is this something my mum would read?
Because if my conservative, shy, semi-religious mother would have initially rejected the subject at first glance but secretly pick it up later and learn something new to help herself and those who need it. Then yes, I hit the Publish button.
Right now, I can hear her voice going “Eh, you said this is a quickie post about the panel and running the blog. No one really wants to read about your dead mum… where’s the sex??? Nama sex blog tapi takde pun!!! (You say it’s a sex blog but there’s no sex!!!)”
And this is where I’ll jump in and say: Yeah, but actually sex really is probably 30% all in the body, 70% all in your head.
(I’m bad at numbers so I’m making it up but you get the point).
I’ve seen some of the fascinating questions we’ve gotten for the Q&A session:
- Why does the Asian society still see women having their first time as a loss (using language such as “losing virginity”)? Why must it be a loss and not a gain?
- How do you talk about Sexual Health with more conservative / religious family members / friends, especially when you feel ashamed to do so?
- Why can’t women be free to express that they like sex and want to have sex? What are your thoughts?
- What would you advise women in terms of managing their expectations in bed? (How do you manage the “expectations” for Asian women in bed?)
So this is why I’ve been doing this for the past half a year and will continue to do so for however long I have to. Until you can safely tell me “Alright Rin, it’s cool… don’t worry, when I’m having sex with my partner right now – it’s just us being intimate. No scary shadows of guilt, shame and judgement hovering around in the same bed.”
And this is also where my dirty brain would go: “Unless perhaps it’s interested in a threesome….”
And my muse Mum would just shake her head and laugh.
Find out my take, alongside (s)experts in the Singapore and Malaysian community in tomorrow’s panel organized by non-profit women’s group Women Unbounded.
Women Unbounded: “Let’s Talk About Sex”
Day 1: Sexual Health & Wellness
Saturday, 17th April: 10.30am – 12.15pm (SGT)
Day 2: Sexual health & Accessibility
Sunday, 18th April: 10.30am – 12.15pm(SGT)
This event aims to encourage open discourse on sexual health and wellness in the Asian context. It’s completely FREE and open to women everywhere.
Sign up here and I’ll see you tomorrow!
(Registrations close at 9pm, 16 April)