By Clariss Chia
When she heard that her friend was diagnosed with herpes, Miss Nicole Lim realised that she did not know anything about sexually transmitted diseases.
Upon graduating from Nanyang Technological University with a degree in communication studies in 2019, the 25-year-old decided to start Something Private, a podcast that discussed provocative and sensitive issues affecting women here and beyond, ranging from sexual health to domestic violence.
She pitched her idea to local digital media production company Our Grandfather Story, which hired her as a full-time host and producer of Something Private.
Today, the podcast has a listenership of 70,000 and is available on all podcasting platforms such as Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
Something Private even drew listeners from Germany last year. It has released 53 weekly episodes, covering topics such as loving a partner who is HIV-positive, polygamy, female circumcision, sexual orientation and female orgasm.
Speaking to The New Paper recently, Miss Lim said: “There is a lack of resources for various topics, and the podcast fills the gap for the questions that people might have. I (myself) learnt about legal rights and the steps that one can take upon receiving unsolicited pictures of private parts and sexual harassment.”
The most popular episode, Making Masturbation Mainstream, reached about 6,000 listeners. In it, Miss Lim talked about her first experience and how she felt “shame and guilt” over it.
Dr Angela Tan, a doctor specialising in sexual medicine who is also an intimacy coach, was featured in the episode offering a medical perspective.
Something Private is not just about sex positivity. Miss Lim’s ultimate aim is to provide a platform for women across South-east Asia to have conversations on various topics including emotional abuse and domestic violence.
She said: “There were women who reached out to us and thanked us for spotlighting what they could relate to.”
Her parents are supportive. “It’s not like I am promoting promiscuity,” she said.
She even invited her mother to be a guest on one episode to set the tone for normalising conversations that young people might be too embarrassed to have with their parents, like talking about human papillomavirus prevention.
Having intimate conversations with people from different walks of life and over a wide range of ages has led to a number of friendships.
Miss Lim said: “The podcast definitely grows with me as I grow.”