Escorts have been around in Singapore for a while now, since the past. However, some say in recent years, there has been more and more escorts popping up, both agencies as well as freelance websites, and there are also controversial platforms like sugar dating website Seeking Arrangement, cheating website Ashley Madison (which is now banned in Singapore – ashleymadison.com is blocked by IMDA) and more.
Is Singapore truly becoming less and less conservative with the Internet? Or has it simply exposed what was already the case, and the Internet just made all these seem more apparent?
Having come from the USA, escorts, sugar dating and whatnot are no big deal at all. They are common as a dime in the USA. However, these are very controversial topics in Singapore. After having lived in Singapore for over 10 years of time now, I know that the local people still view such things as taboo.
Such alternative forms of dating probably already existed in Singapore long ago
However, I strongly believe that such demands and supply of escorts, sugar babies and even desire to cheat in a relationship have existed long ago, just that it is strongly shunned and seen as largely taboo especially in a country with an Asian culture like Singapore.
It is just recently that dedicated Internet platforms for Singaporean people now exist
In the past, social escorts used to be found in the classified ads section of The Straits Times as well as the Yellow Pages. In this day and age, you find them online on places like SG VIP Escorts for local nationality escort girls (they even have a media feature here) and platforms like Skokka for foreign nationality freelance ladies.
Sugar babies used to be regular girls who were picked up by rich men and arrangements are made with them privately offline in the past perhaps in bars or clubs. It is simply moving onto online platforms now like Seeking or The Sugar Book.
Cheating has long existed – that is why you hear many divorce cases as well as marriage laws changing with the years. However, I believe that the local government did the right thing when it came to banning the Ashley Madison platform in Singapore. It is explicitly encouraging people and users to destroy families and couples who are already together.
Sometimes, the Internet just make it seem as if it suddenly all happened, when all it did was just bring light and attention to them
The growth of the Internet as well as online social media platforms sharing such news is what made them seem far more widespread.