987 DJ Germaine Tan On Her New YouTube Show About Intimate Women’s Issues: “We All Just Pray Our Parents Don’t Tune In”
Period panties, sexual harassment, wedding night sex and small boobs — nothing is taboo in new show Hush Hush and its sister podcast Hush, hosted by Germaine Tan, Hazelle Teo and Azura Goh.
In new YouTube show Hush Hush, which delves into topics that may make your mother blush, period blood is… red. Like, for real. None of that mollycoddling blue liquid that was in sanitary pad commercials of yore, which actually made some people think period blood was blue. In 2021, it’s time to get real. We’ve lived for a year with Covid, for goodness’ sake — we should be able to deal with the bloody truth by now.
Enter Germaine Tan, 26, Hazelle Teo, 27, and Azura Goh, 27, hosts of the Hush Podcast, which has been running since October last year and garnered a steady audience who tune in to listen to the three DJs, who helm shows on 987, YES 933 and Ria 897 respectively, yak about sensitive topics such as vaginal hygiene, sexual harassment, earning more than your boyfriend or husband, and sex. The show struck a chord with millennial females, and surprisingly, males who want to find out more about what makes women tick.
It proved so popular a spinoff was hatched, which was even bolder — this time, we have visuals. The three telegenic women will host Hush Hush, a YouTube series whose first episode goes live on March 7, discussing period panties. It’s a show that reviews products for females, along with discussing women’s issues. And red food colouring is used — you’re been warned.
8days: You’ve done eight eps of Season 1 of the Hush podcast, and you’re now doing Season 2. How’s the reaction been so far? Are people taken aback or has this struck a chord with audiences?
Germaine Tan: We have definitely got a fair amount of support, which I was really surprised by because the subject matter that we're talking about is sensitive. And I was expecting most of our audience to be female, but I was surprised that males listened to us as well. They genuinely want to understand more, so I can see that there's a shift in terms of this whole toxic masculinity, where we don't talk about female health and stuff like that. The guys genuinely want to know for their own partners. And we've gotten a lot of messages that we talk about topics that are difficult to unpack, but we’ve managed to make these lighter and more presentable for audiences.
Let's talk about sex, baby, and lots of other things as well, on the Hush Podcast and the Hush Hush YouTube series.
It’s great that you’re sparking conversations and shaking things up a little.
It's really a shift in the culture that I'm very happy about. Our audience is the younger generation, and we are the future. We have the power to change the way these conversations are had, and the way women are objectified in society in Singapore. One of the first episodes we did was the fear of looking like a slut. And I think that really resonated with a lot of females because almost every single female has been objectified in some way. And many of us just laugh it off. Like, it's just a joke. But by laughing it off, it doesn't really change the problem. We are just kind of suppressing all of our feelings, which is not good.
Do the three of you talk a lot about your own experiences, or is it more about discussing the topics quite objectively?
We base it on research that our producer does. So we use that to talk about the subject, but I guess the added layer is our personal experiences. To be honest, when we came into this, we did not expect that we would be sharing so much! But sharing our personal experiences just felt very natural. We all just pray our parents don’t tune in! (Laughs)
What are the things you have said that would make your parents go OMG?
We were talking about things we wish we knew about sex when we were younger, ’cos I guess sex education is not something that we really have in Singapore. So I was recounting a story of how my dad tried to warn me about sex when I was with my first boyfriend, and it was just such an awkward moment. You know, your traditional Asian dad tries to tell you, “Oh, be careful”, but you're just kinda rejecting it because you don’t have this kind of open communication. So during that podcast, my whole face went red also.
What was another topic that was hard for you guys to talk about?
There was one episode about out-earning our boyfriends. This one is in Season 2. This was something I never wanted to share because I like to keep these things private. But we actually revealed it on the show. Both Hazel and I actually earn more than our boyfriends, and for Azura, it’s about the same. It’s like I want to protect my boyfriend, because I know people will say things and cast their own judgment on the situation. But the truth is there's nothing wrong with a female out-earning her male partner.
The three intrepid hosts are not afraid to dive into taboo topics and start difficult conversations. Are you ready to listen?
Any other awkward moments on the show?
Oh definitely. We had an episode where we were talking about the wedding night, and the awkwardness that surrounds it, when you go into it as a virgin. Our producer and Azura were both recounting stories from their wedding night and our producer was telling us that it was her first time having sex. Yes, it was very brave of her! She said [she and her husband] were both confused and didn't know what they were supposed to do. It actually didn't happen because firstly, they were so tired, and secondly, they didn't know what was supposed to go where, so they just gave up.
It’s brave of all of you to share such personal stories!
I think from the get-go, we were all very, very invested in this and we knew we wanted to share some personal experiences, but it's only when you’re there that you realise the gravity of the situation. (laughs) Our latest episodes is about sexual harassment, and Azura shared a very, very personal story about her own experience with workplace sexual harassment. She ended up taking the guy to court over this issue. She said she has never spoken about this publicly and so during the whole episode, our hearts just broke for her for what she experienced. This episode is coming out on March 8 to celebrate International Women's Day.
Tell us more about the YouTube series, Hush Hush. You just filmed your first episode, which will come out March 7.
The video series follows a product testing format and casts a spotlight on unconventional products in the market. For the first ep, we review period panties, from little thongs to granny panties, with these pads built in, sort of like with a multi-layer technology, and we really put them to the test. We used something that resembles blood, and put it on the period panties to see if it’s absorbent and if it leaks. Hopefully this can raise awareness about female intimate products, and in terms of sustainability, this product is better for the environment as it's reusable.
Okay, so the ‘blood’ you test with is red, not blue, right?
(Laughs) Yes, it’s red! We had red food colouring on our hands after the ep! You know there are some people who really think period blood is blue! That's why I said a lot of males don't really know how these things work. Like, they have no idea how tampons work and are very shocked when they find out. To me, if you've got a wife, a girlfriend or even a sister, shouldn't you have a bit more knowledge about these things, so you can be there for them? I mean, yah lah, our parents’ generation would be like, guys cannot touch pads or tampons. Hopefully, we can change the way things are. Like, if we talk about it, we may make that young girl who's got her period for the first time feel less alone. And knowing that they've got three big sisters in Hazel, Azura and I — I feel like no matter what kind of nasty comments we get, that's what we are doing it for.
Listen to the Hush Podcast on meLISTEN here, and on Spotify here. The Hush Hush series will be released every two weeks on YouTube from March 7, here.