18 Nov 2005

Singapore sex exhibition under close police watch

Spot the odd one out..."sado-masochism, bestiality, homosexuality, paedophilia and promiscuity."
18 Nov 2005 05:38:09 GMT

Source: Reuters

SINGAPORE, Nov 18 (Reuters) -
Singapore opened its first sex exhibition on Friday with police saying they will also attend to make sure organisers and exhibitors comply with the city-state's strict laws.

Police and the Singapore's media watchdog have reminded event organisers of rules restricting the display of adult toys such as vibrators and warned them not to promote homosexuality.

"Organisers must not promote objectionable sexual behaviours or lifestyle, such as sado-masochism, bestiality, homosexuality, paedophilia and promiscuity," police spokesman Victor Keong said.

Titled Sexpo 2005, the three-day event will feature erotic dance competitions, an array of sex toys and sex-friendly furniture, as well as a series of seminars on sexual health.

Keong said police will visit the exhibition site to ensure that the rules are not breached.

Under Singapore laws, it is an offence to "sell, distribute, exhibit, import or export an obscene object". Those violating the law can be punished with a jail term of up to six months, or a fine, or both. The law does not define obscene objects.

Although a few sex shops have sprung up in Singapore in recent years, Sexpo organisers said they would err on the side of caution and exhibitors have been given a set of guidelines on the exhibit of adult material.

Sexpo director Kenny Goh said the display of obscene items, such as oversized vibrators, an inflatable sex doll and penis rings, have been banned.

Goh said it took about two months to get police approval to stage the event. Access to Singapore's Expo centre will be strictly monitored and only those aged 21 or above will be allowed entry.

The wealthy Southeast Asian city-state, which has consistently ranked at the bottom in a global survey of sexually active nations, is struggling to reverse its falling birth rate, one of the world's lowest.

In an attempt to shake off its staid image and woo tourists, the authorities are also gradually relaxing censorship laws that ban "Playboy" magazine and clip racy scenes from movies.

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