Turning tables on sex taboos

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 April, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 April, 1997, 12:00am

Grace Lee Ming-yee, 24, spends her entire working day thinking about sex. She is an education officer at the Family Planning Association's office in Wan Chai. She has been working at the association for about two years, preparing educational material and giving talks on sexuality to school pupils, teachers, social workers and others. She is single and lives in Aberdeen.

What's on your mind? I'm preparing some scripts on sexuality education and then later I'm delivering a talk as part of our premarital service, in which couples can come here, listen to talks and have a body check-up before they get married.

We're launching a campaign on family sexuality education to try to raise the importance of education at home.

Sexuality education encompasses much more than just sex. It's not just physical, it's about psychological aspects and sociological issues such as interpersonal relationships, sexual orientation, pornography and unwanted pregnancy.

How long have you been doing your job? About two years and three months? How do you start? Is there a university course on sexuality? Actually, I studied comparative literature. Then, like many graduates, I just looked at the adverts in the paper.

So how do you learn about the subject? We have to pick up knowledge by ourselves. Of course, our education officer-in-charge gave us lots of training.

How does the public react when you give talks on sexuality? It depends. Schoolchildren are very interested and ask many questions about sex.

For older people, I give mainly premarital talks and it's just simple knowledge so they seldom overreact. Sometimes they feel embarrassed because many Chinese feel sex is taboo, but this is improving.

What questions do they ask? Men always ask whether using a condom will affect the feeling while they make love. Students ask 'What is oral sex?', 'Why are people gay or lesbian', or about abortions. Smaller children ask about the beginning of life, and how people have babies and why some people have twins.

And you're not embarrassed? No, maybe I'm used to it. If you're embarrassed you're not suitable for this job.