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Where do you go after you've posted naked pictures and sex videos of you and your lover on the Internet? Let's ask Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian and Pamela Anderson—and for that matter, Colin Farrell, Kanye West, Tommy Lee, Fred Durst from Limp Bizkit and perhaps some politicians, too.
Truth is, bedroom photos and sex romp tapes are great for jacking up a celebrity's profile, and many a star have had their career explode on the back of a sex scandal. Now, Malaysian sex bloggers Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee are finding out just what a wide rollercoaster ride that kind of infamy can be.
Public opinion has been split on their actions, from people tearing them apart and putting them down with every vile name in the book to supporters who champion their right to freedom of expression and commending them for standing up for what they believe in.
Not that either of them could care less.
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In an exclusive interview with Joanne Kam and Xandria Ooi for Capital FM yesterday—a separate conversation was recorded for Red FM, another Star Media Group-owned radio station—both Alvin, 24, and Vivian, 23, look to be thoroughly enjoying the attention and make no apologies for being who they are.
"Doing things like bungee jumping or skydiving is pretty standard stuff. I want to hang out with people who have done things which are unprecedented," said Alvin.
Vivian certainly fits the bill. Before he met her, Alvin says his ex-girlfriends were pretty vanilla in their sexual proclivities and weren't too keen to experiment with him. "Most were cowards," he said. "OK, I take that back—they were unadventurous."
In fact, it was Vivian's idea initially to take some photos of them in the nude and tape them shagging. But it was a mutual agreement between the two young adults to post their explicit pictures and videos on the Internet and share the lot with, well, the whole wide world.
After making contact on Facebook, Alvin revealed, "We started taking the photos the second time we met. We were fooling around in a hotel in Penang on holiday, and she was totally naked and she asked if I wanted to take her picture. I was totally game for it."
At first, their photos appeared on their Facebook profiles. But when other users flagged their pictures as inappropriate, they took their work to a blog they created called Sumptuous Erotica. Even then, the hits were low—until they posted the link in a social forum.
And the rest is history.
Neither Alvin nor Vivian is shying away from the limelight—not that anyone would accuse them of being shy. But learning to manage and deal with the media and public attention over their controversial decisions takes some getting used to.
"Back then, not a lot of people cared about what we did or said," said Alvin. "But now a lot of people seem to care about what we do, at least temporarily, so that's good."
One thing that's out of the question for sure is, "I will not be making a public apology," said Alvin in a nine-minute, fully-clothed message that they posted on YouTube on Tuesday prior to recording their radio appearance yesterday.
"It has never crossed my mind. What do I have to apologise for? For hurting your soft, sensitive feelings or, I don't know, breaching some moral code you hold dearly to yourself which I do not hold to?"
That said, there are repercussions that are now starting to sink in. For one thing, Vivian—who just graduated with a marketing degree from Multimedia University—is facing with the very real possibility of being evicted from her family home in JB where she lives with her widowed mum and older brother.
"My mother gave me an ultimatum—marry Alvin or move out within a month," she told Joanne and Xandria, adding that she was "a little scared" about that. "My mother also scolded me and pleaded with me not to give any more interviews. But I guess I'm going against that, too."
There's no chance of her mum getting that wedding banquet any time soon, as the prospect of marriage for the lovers looks zero to none. Neither of them are monogamous, but Vivian says she could end up moving in with Alvin at his rented pad in KL—which might cramp his lifestyle, we think, or maybe not.
"She can depend on me," promised Alvin on the radio. "I can provide financially."
Alvin, an ASEAN scholar of law at the National University of Singapore, is currently spending his leave of absence (unrelated to this development) in KL and with his parents in PJ. But he also faces a possible expulsion, on top of having his scholarship revoked, after he and Vivian made news headlines in Singapore.
Despite that, Alvin says he doesn't see what the "big thing" is if NUS gives him the boot because he's got his sights set firmly on achieving even more infamy. Both he and Vivian want to break into showbusiness and told Capital FM that they're not ruling out becoming bona fide porn stars if the money is good.