THE Singapore Grip is a period drama on ITV TONIGHT (October 18) at 9pm.
Part of the plot involves the main character trying to figure out what exactly the Singapore grip is – and it’s not for the fainthearted.
What does the Singapore grip mean?
Warning: this contains adult themes.
Throughout the novel the ITV drama is based on, Matthew Webb (played by Luke Treadaway) is trying to figure out what exactly the Singapore grip is.
He hears some characters laughing about it and others tell him different things when he asks about the term’s meaning.
After getting ill at one point in the story, Matthew thinks it must refer to an illness after hearing a doctor speak of the Singapore flu.
However, he doesn’t understand why some characters had been laughing about it earlier in the story so carries on trying to find out what the Singapore grip is.
The novel is satirical and one of its ongoing jokes is about Matthew and his quest to figure out the meaning of the phrase.
Towards the end he finally finds out the meaning – and it is crude.
The Singapore grip is a term used to describe the sexual act in which during intercourse a man remains stationary while a woman clenches her vaginal muscles to pleasure the penis.
Being a satire, the novel does also use the word “grip” to allude to the impact of colonialism and the British Empire on Eastern countries.
The definition is played with throughout the book, although its sexual interpretation is rejected by Matthew when he finds out.
He says: “It’s the grip of our Western culture and economy on the Far East.
“It’s the stranglehold of capital on the traditional cultures of Malaya, China, Burma, Java, Indo-China and even India herself!
“It’s the doing of things our way – I mean, it’s the pursuit of self-interest rather than of the common interest!”
it isn’t in the name
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The book chronicles the weakening of the British Empire and highlights issues with racism in the era.
The series is made up of six parts, and began on September 13.