Thu, Oct 05, 2006 - Page 4 News List

`Animal sex' magazine to hit Singapore news stands

AFP , SINGAPORE

Wei Siang Yu, nicknamed ``Doctor Love,'' poses with a sample of his upcoming magazine in a play bubble in Singapore last week.

PHOTO: AFP

Animal sex and nude photography will soon be on Singapore news stands when self-proclaimed love guru Wei Siang Yu launches what he calls the conservative city-state's first "adult edutainment" magazine.

Wei, nicknamed "Dr Love," says 10,000 copies of Love Airways magazine will be in circulation the week of Oct. 22.

"It's about time," the Australian-educated medical doctor said.

He said the 100-page monthly will offer "sex-centric content" including reviews of overseas love hotels, nude photography, medical science, nutrition and the "sexual habits of other animal species."

The target audience is men and women aged 18 to 80 "who are ready for sexual transformation and better awareness of sexual and reproductive health," he said.

Wei has previously said that stress over the pursuit of material success has ruined the sex lives of many Singaporeans.

"Love Airways magazine hopes to promote a non-judgemental approach in communicating sexual wellness issues openly and objectively," he said.

The retail price of S$4.50 (US$2.83) will support groups involved in AIDS awareness and conservation of endangered animals, he said.

The magazine will feature "body" images, Wei said when asked about the plan for nudity in a country where Playboy magazine is not allowed to circulate.

"It is fairly artistic but it is still `body,'" Wei said of his proposed content.

He said he has already shown most of the magazine to the country's Media Development Authority, responsible for the censor board.

The city-state has been gradually relaxing some of its social strictures. Last year scantily clad dancers began performing at the Crazy Horse Paris cabaret. Bikini models feature in some magazines on public display, and bar-top dancing is now permitted.

Wei will act as chief editor of the magazine, part of the "multi-media Love Airways platform" which includes a Web site.

Last year the Love Airways television show, Singapore's first television program dedicated to sexual matters, was aired by national broadcaster MediaCorp.

Wei has developed a burgeoning business offering advice to Singaporean and foreign couples finding it difficult to have babies.

Singapore is trying hard to dispel its conservative and strict social image and is positioning itself as an Asian arts, entertainment and media hub.

It is also desperate to boost its population.

Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng (黃根成) said in August that the number of babies born per woman in Singapore fell to a historic low of 1.24 in 2004 and last year.

Singapore needs a fertility rate of 2.1, or at least two children per woman, for the population to replenish itself.

Wong said this meant Singapore needed 60,000 births a year -- a long way from the 35,500 babies born last year.

In August the government said it planned to ease immigration rules in an effort to offset the population shortage, which officials have warned could threaten the country's long-term survival.

In conjunction with the magazine, Wei has launched "Dr Love's Playroom" equipped with a love swing, costumes, and free chocolate to give uptight Singaporean couples an outlet for sexual role-playing.

"There's no channel for people to vent their libido," he said.

Wei said he has attracted about 30 contributors and signed "less than 100" subscribers for the magazine that will be distributed by local publishing giant Singapore Press Holdings.

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