When Janice Lee quit her well-paying job in Human Resources (HR) after 14 years and began selling and marketing sex toys, she had a tough time explaining why to her family and friends.
“My parents often asked me, why you cannot be like your friends, you know, settle down in Singapore, get married, have kids and continue doing your HR job, rather than do something so different.”
And doing “something so different” not only entails diving headfirst into the world of sex toys, but also pushing the products at Watsons stores three days a week when she first started.
Describing the typical reaction of customers she would approach: “When they see that it is sex toys, then they become a bit more paiseh, then they start retreating. And eventually they say, ‘that’s very interesting, but no, thank you’.”
She noted that “in Singapore, the interesting thing is that we appear very modern and progressive, but we are very (up)tight.
“So anything related to this topic (about sex), they tend to shy away and not engage in it.”
Expectedly, the 41-year-old often gets questions about why she’s chosen this unusual path in life.
Janice pins it down to her open personality, where “what you see is what you get”, and her belief in doing work that’s aligned with her values. And that includes sexual wellness.
“If you think about it, sexual wellness is part of total wellbeing, just that we tend to see sex and relationships as separate.”
“I believe very much in being able to take care of myself, and that involves getting to know your body,” she says.
“How can you expect someone to give you pleasure when you don’t know how to do it yourself?”, sharing that she only discovered her own sexuality as a grown woman at the age of 34.