To empower queer women towards greater involvement and presence in the community
Advocacy for LBTQ women's rights at CEDAW
Sayoni was at the United Nations in Geneva in October 2017 to bring Singapore LBTQ women's issues to the forefront. The CEDAW Committee heard our concerns and raised recommendations related to LBTQ women in their Concluding Observations for the Singapore government.
Sayoni is a Singapore-based feminist, volunteer-run organisation that works to uphold human rights protections for queer women, including lesbian, bisexual and transgender women. We organise and advocate for equality in well-being and dignity regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity/expression and sex characteristics.

We believe that everyone has a part to play in improving the lives of LBTQ people. Donate or volunteer with us.

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“She just turned straight.”
“She was straight… but now she’s with so-and-so…”

I think it’s high time we differentiate sexual gratification from sexual attraction. With all the muddle over sexual orientation and its pervasive inaccurate conclusions, surely we need to know what we really mean when we use words like “gay” and “straight”?

In the “ideal” world, people get attached to those they find physically attracted to. In the “ideal” world, people are sexually satisfied/gratified with someone they find physically attractive. Very ideal… But it doesn’t always happen that way.

Sexual gratification… is just a fulfillment of your sex drive.
We have all heard of sex drives. Those who say they don’t have it are either asexual, occupied/distracted/physically unwell or in huge denial. Sometimes people “self-help” by masturbation. Sometimes people use toys in their sexual activities with themselves or others. Sometimes people just have sex with other people. And then they become sexually gratified.

No one has ever come up with a sexual orientation for those who have sex with toys. Like, “oh, you sleep with your toys? You are toy-sexual” or “touching yourself makes you narcissist-sexual”.

So why is it that a woman who slept with a man is labeled “straight” automatically?
Why do we brand women who slept with other women as “gay” immediately?

What if she’s just “using” him/her for sexual gratification?

I think lots of people just settle for sexual gratification.
Like folks who tell me that partners who look too good give them insecurity. [Well lady/dude, if you looking good doesn't give her/him insecurity, what does that tell you about you?]
Plenty of people say it’s more important to find someone you can “click” with than having a good-looking face. So there, emotional attraction is prized above physical attraction. Since sexual orientation is about physical attractiveness, i would hesitate to label a woman who receives sexual gratification from another woman she didn’t find physically attractive as “lesbian”.

Maybe that’s one of the reasons why people make love in the dark.

Maybe some people are not bi-curious or exploring their sexual orientation. Perhaps they are just interested in a wide array of sexual gratification methods/activities…


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