Gadgets & Toys, Lifestyle

A New Sex Toy For Those In LDRs – Vanessa Tai

Whoever said Singapore isn’t a sexy country? Two Singapore-based entrepreneurs have created an ingenious new sex toy, slated for launch in October 2013. Vibease is the world’s first hands-free vibrator that taps on the body’s biggest sex organ – the brain.


Well, the Vibease vibrator connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth. Fire up the Fantasy App, and download an audio fantasy of your choice. Then just lie back, relax and enjoy the waves of pleasure that are sure to ensue (the vibrator is designed in a way where you can tuck it discreetly into your underpants.) The vibrator and the Fantasy app work hand-in-hand – when the narrator in the fantasy app says something like, “Your skin feels so soft,” the vibrator pulsates gently. But as the plot heats up and the narrator says something like, “I miss you badly,” the intensity of vibrations increases. Basically, the vibrations are personalised to each storyline! Even better, you can even upload your own personal fantasy to the Fantasy Library and let other people listen (and get off) to your fantasy.

material world singapore-vibease

Choose from a wide variety of fantasies … or create your own!

Isn’t technology mind-bogglingly fantastic???

material world singapore-vibease-2

Sexting has just been taken to a whole new level

But wait, there’s more. Vibease isn’t just for DIY fun; couples living on separate continents can also get in on the steamy action. The Vibease Intimate app allows your partner to send you sexy private messages while controlling the vibrations from anywhere in the world (just make sure you have a reliable Wi-Fi connection!)

The idea for Vibease came about when co-founder Dema Tio was in a long-distance relationship with his then-girlfriend, now-wife. In an interview, he shared that despite having tools like Skype and instant messaging, the lack of a physical relationship was challenging. In fact, his girlfriend was one of the first few game enough to try the earlier prototypes of Vibease!

Whatever your take on sex toys is, this marks yet another exciting new frontier for Singapore’s tech start-ups and I can’t wait to see what else we’ll dream up.

Would you be interested to try out the Vibease? Tell us in the Comments section below!

About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 26-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. She believes women should take charge of their own orgasms. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets.

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Condom TV Ads We Love – Deborah Tan

Creative-Durex-Condom-Ads-1In Seoul last week, I chanced upon a TV commercial by Durex.

A young girl is seen going around her house, tearing up pieces of tape, and sticking things together.

Her door bell rings and she rushes to open the door. Her boyfriend is on his knees frantically picking things up and, among his belongings are some condoms. The girl shrugs her shoulders sheepishly and it appears she has been hiding condoms all over the house in anticipation that they might need it later.

I found the ad very well done. Without being overtly sexual, it effectively highlights the message that couples do not want to be caught in a situation where they find themselves without protection. I think Singapore needs to find a way to allow condom-makers to advertise their products in a fun and non-judgemental way. The rare times when we do see an ad about condoms, it’s always scientific and unsexy, talking about the thinness of the material, how it’ll be comfortable for the couple, how we can hardly feel it there … but examples around the world have shown that you can approach this in a myriad of creative ways.

There is an even more important message why we need to allow more creative condom advertising: it removes the stigma of women buying condoms. In my previous job, I was told that a certain health body wanted to promote the message that it’s not “shameful” or “embarrassing” for women to take the initiative to buy condoms. When a woman needs to buy condoms, she often does it by going into the supermarket, fills a basket with groceries she may or may not need, then at the counter, quickly throws a 3-pack box into the mix.

I’ve seen the looks on people’s faces whenever I go into a convenience store just to buy condoms. They were probably thinking, “Shouldn’t she just buy something else to ‘hide’ it?”. But to me, buying condoms is like buying Panadols. I buy Panadols because I know I have monthly migraines and period pains to cope with. I buy condoms because I want to prevent an unplanned pregnancy. We women need to take control of our reproductive rights and if taking something like The Pill is something you won’t consider, then why shouldn’t you take the proactive approach to contraception and buy condoms yourself?

Perhaps, after watching these ads, you might be more receptive to the idea of buying your own condoms.

[Note: I tried to find the Durex ad I saw in Seoul … but unfortunately, I couldn’t.]

Get In On
A creative, funny, lovable way to interpret what “rubber” can do!

Save Your Date
A fantastic app by Durex that delivers you condoms when you need it most

A Million Different Reasons
Starring the then very fresh-face Dominic Cooper!!! Swooooon …

Extra Safe
For a balloon that doesn’t burst ….

Women’s Day
Where men go the extra distance to deliver a good time

The Closer We Get
Best use of a small car … ever

About The Author: Deborah Tan is a founder of Material World. After 10 years of working in magazines Cleo and Cosmopolitan Singapore, she is now a freelance writer/editor who works on this website full-time. She likes liquid eyeliners, bright red lipsticks, tattoos, rock & roll, Mad Men, Suits, and wishes that there are more funny, creative TV commercials that push the boundaries … Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

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Should You Have Sex Without Love? – Deborah Tan

We all know it’s possible to have sex without love. But lately, I’ve been wondering, should we have sex without love? And when it’s a woman who finds herself in this conundrum, does it change the way we should answer this question?

We hear about a great number of men who have sex without love, and through years of social and media priming, we have come to “accept” that “it’s just men”. Lots of jokes float around the cyberspace about how men are ruled by their penises, so yeah, it must be in their nature to want to sow their seeds and sleep around with women whom they feel nothing – emotionally – for.

For women, the media has made it such that if we were to engage in sex without love, we are either doing it for money or we are sluts. For us to have sex, we must first fulfill the condition that we have to be in love. Being in love means we are offering our bodies unconditionally to the man we have promised to stay faithful to. Being in love means we want to have the man’s babies and that is why we have sex. Sex is an act of love, sex is for procreation … can women have sex for sex’s sake?  Should women have sex for sex’s sake?


My first question is: Why must women have a reason to have sex?

See my Venn diagram above. If a woman’s only motivation for being with a man is sex, what would both men and women call her? If a woman never wants to have sex and believes only in love, pure love, which occupation would you see her in? The so-called ideal where sex and love happen in one place … what do you call that? Is that the place where Marriage also fall into?

I’m not encouraging anyone – both men and women – to throw their inhibitions out of the window and go have one-night stands with random strangers. Similarly, if you want to wait to have sex, you should be able to do so without anyone guilt-tripping you about it. You just have to ask yourself, “What am I waiting for? For love or for when I’m ready to explore my sexuality?” Once you know that, the waiting becomes a lot more meaningful.

What I’m asking is, is it wrong for us to have sex without love? If I don’t do it for money, if I’m not cheating on a partner, if I am fully aware of the arrangement and take sufficient precaution, can I have sex simply because I enjoy it?

Second question: Why is love so important whenever sex is concerned?

I am not downplaying the importance of love in itself. What I take issue with is how love and marriage are often used as a “moral leash” on women when it comes to sex. Often, the media is not allowed to talk about sex unless the woman and man are in love. In some countries, magazines can only write about sex if they start by mentioning something to the effect of, “… tonight, with your husband …”.

To fulfill a physical need women must meet an emotional condition. If they don’t, they are seen as immoral and promiscuous. Is this logical?

In my opinion, it is more empowering for a woman to understand that it’s okay to have sex as long as it is she who WANTS it. I’ll always remember the “sex education” we had in school where a teacher would sagely tell us, “If a boy says, ‘You’ll do it if you love me,’ do not fall for his lies.” There is a flaw in the argument.

It ties sex with love. At an age where most of us had no clue what love really meant, it was a bit vague and confusing. Then the second piece of advice came up, “You should wait till you get married.” She probably meant to tell us that (1) we will fall in love soon (2) when we do, we will marry the man we love (3) when we are married, we can finally have sex (4) we can afford to wait when it comes to sex.

OK. I’m 34 right now. I’m not married. I’ve found the man I love, I’m pretty sure I know what I want and how to protect myself … can I have sex already?

The tighter you tie sex and love together, the more you will find that it hurts more than it empowers.

The “love” guilt-trips us emotionally whenever a relationship does not work out: “Oh, we had sex already. Now that he wants to break up with me, does that mean no man would ever want me?”

When women are made to think that love and sex have to go hand-in-hand, they often get confused over the physical and the emotional. It is possible to have good sex with a man you don’t love just as it is possible to love a man who is average in bed. The sooner we make peace with that, the sooner we figure out what is more important to us, the less likely we are to find ourselves in a disappointing relationship.

At the end of the day, I do not think anyone has the right to judge a woman for wanting sex without the emotional bonds. What is wrong is when a man uses this emotional bond to exploit a woman sexually. What is wrong is when society labels a woman for not wanting to fall into the “ideal” place where sex and love should happen together. What is wrong is when we are made to feel bad for simply wanting the right to do what we want – sexually and emotionally – with ourselves. It’s not about whether we should have sex without love, it’s whether if we do, should we be made to feel like sluts?

About The Author: Deborah Tan is a founder of Material World. After 10 years of working in magazines Cleo and Cosmopolitan Singapore, she is now a freelance writer/editor who works on this website full-time. She likes liquid eyeliners, bright red lipsticks, tattoos, rock & roll, Mad Men, Suits, and hates it whenever people try to label women. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

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Euphemisms: Good or Bad – Deborah Tan

Foreword: If you are uncomfortable with the f-word, we recommend you give this article a miss. 

Writing about sex can be very painful.

Obviously, we can’t use words like “cock”, “cunt”, and “clit” when we write a sex article. Those are considered “pornographic”. If you want to write about sex, you need to use scientific terms like “penis”, “vagina”, and “clitoris”. You don’t “bang”, you “have sex”. You don’t “get laid”, you “have sex”. Sometimes, you can’t even say “have sex”; you have to say “become intimate”. You don’t “cum” (or “come”), you “have an orgasm”. At times, when it seems you have too many “orgasms”, you have to substitute it with “climax”.

I’m just glad that we haven’t gotten to the stage where we have to say, “I knew him … in the Biblical sense” instead of “we had sex”.

When it comes to describing sex, things get a little more challenging. Of course, there is the ever trusty missionary position that everyone is more familiar with. But what about “doggy style”. Nope, you will need to say, “he enters me from behind” because some people may take offense at the suggestion that a sex position could be associated with an animal. You know how one thing leads to another and, someone may end up saying you are promoting deviant sex.

You also cannot be too graphic when writing about sex. You can’t write, “When he thrusts his penis into your vagina, you need to thrust back …”. Apparently, most of us are supposed to lie back, spread our legs and let things happen to us. The active role of trying to build up your enjoyment in sex has to be implied:

So, no bouncing up and down his penis, no thrusting back and forth, no getting him to rub … oh, sorry, it’s “stimulate” … your clitoris … you just have to assume your readers will lie back, open their legs and know what to do to get that orgasm.

I have a real problem with the way we are expected to approach sex.

Fine if we have to use the scientific terms. I think it’s better than expecting writers to use euphemisms like “honeypot”, “manhood”, “pleasure button” … But there is something really unsexy about this rule as well.

For example, if we were to write about foreplay, one of the tips could go, “have him finger your clit for a few minutes”. But it’s too graphic and “rough-sounding”. So we probably have to edit it to read, “have your man gently stimulate your clitoris for a few minutes”. The longer vowel sounds in the second sentence give the illusion that it’s more “refine”.

I just want you to imagine yourself when you are having sex with your boyfriend or husband. Do you say “stimulate my clitoris” or, do you just go, “rub my clit”? I think it’s important for sex to be portrayed (1) honestly and (2) realistically.

Honest – because women don’t just “lie back”. We want to know how to get our orgasms.

Realistic – because sex needs to be accurately portrayed not just in the information bit but also in the depiction of the dynamics between the couple. No one says, “Slide your penis into my vagina now!”, we simply go, “Put it in!”

And there is also the bit where we have to moderate how much we love sex. Once, I wrote about trying a sex toy mentioned in Fifty Shades Of Grey. I had to take out how I was happy to finally achieve the orgasm I was hoping to get through my use of them. The portrayal of a horny, sex-loving woman who is unmarried is apparently not kosher.

cohabitationOh, “unmarried” is also a very important word to note here. So, women in this country do not live with their boyfriends. All of us are virginal, and happily living with our parents until the day we are legally married and allowed to have sex. Co-habitation is a practice that should not be actively promoted because we are individuals steeped in traditional values. I’m being sarcastic here, in case that is lost on you.

If an unmarried woman were to talk about having sex, “boyfriend” needs to become “partner”. Because “partner” could be mean “fiance” or “husband” too. It’s not clear what the legal status of this “partner” is but it’s okay because “boyfriend” clearly means you are having pre-marital sex. And … pre-marital sex is not okay … no matter how old you are, no matter how long you both have been together for, no matter how committed you are to the relationship … as long as ROM does not give you a certificate, you really shouldn’t be having sex.

I am all for being honest and open when it comes to passing on sexual knowledge. But at times, I feel this works against the media who wants to deal with the topic without glossing over the facts or using cheesy euphemisms. Why do I say that? Because sexually-suggestive songs are being played on the airwaves and getting away with it. Just yesterday, I heard a song that went something like, “Can you blow my whistle, baby, whistle, baby? … You just have to bring your lips real close … and go slow …”

Are you seriously telling me it’s really about blowing the whistle referees use on the soccer pitch?

And what about Shaggy singing, “Suck my sugarcane, baby”? You really think he’s promoting healthy eating here?

But I don’t want these songs to be taken off the radio.

They are euphemistic expressions of sex. And for songs, it’s really much better to use euphemisms to achieve that “poetic” thing. But you need to know what you are listening to. And in order for you to be able to do that, isn’t it just better to be able to talk openly and honestly about sex without glossing over the details already?

About The Author: Deborah Tan is a founder of  Material World. After 10 years of working in magazines Cleo and Cosmopolitan Singapore, she is now a freelance writer/editor who works on this website full-time. She likes liquid eyeliners, bright red lipsticks, tattoos, rock & roll, Mad Men, Suits, and hopes to meet Steven Tyler in person one day.