A worked up office

Was away from the office for more than a week and came back to an office in which almost everyone said they were disgusted. The subject in question is a story in The Jakarta Post headlined More Sex Please, We’re British.

The story is about a 72-year-old Brit, Sheldon Archer, who’s married a 23 year-old Indonesian Yuyun and about their self-proclaimed blissful life in and out of the bedroom. The couple also runs a get-an-Indonesian-wife agency for would-be sheldons.


One of my colleagues was so disgusted with the story that she blogged in our office blog:  “I have nothing against interracial/multinational marriages, but I’m personally sickened by the insensitive and ruthless comments given by Sheldon Archer…”and said she’s write to Srikandi, a non-profit organization in Indonesia for local women who are married – or were married – to foreigners, to ask their views about this.

The age difference is one thing; the comments emanating from the man is quite another. See for yourself:

clipped from www.thejakartapost.com
“I married a child,” said Sheldon. He said he hasn’t been wed before, but has had other partners. He also has a daughter in the U.S.; Yuyun has inherited a stepchild two years older than herself. “This is keeping me young. I’ve always been associated with beautiful women and this is the best relationship I’ve ever had. “Let’s face it; every middle-aged man has a fantasy of making it with a young girl — just ask Bill Clinton. Here in Indonesia fantasy can become fact.”

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16 thoughts on “A worked up office

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  1. There are other similar agencies in Thailand and Vietnam. Though I don’t doubt some of these marriages are genuine, many prey on the poor local families who are desperate to seek a way out of poverty and there are many girls who would jump at the “opportunity” of a passport out of the country, if not out of the vicious poverty trap they are in.

    What fantasy is Sheldon talking about? It’s an act of taking advantage of someone else’s extreme disadvantageous position in life.

    If we can’t do anything about it, the least we could do is to speak out against it.


  2. Muslims will have a problem criticizing old men and young women marrying, given the example of Mohammed and Aisha. If people cannot marry for sexual attraction, then what?

    Jesus was single and immaculate as was his mom.


  3. I don’t think the issue is about the Muslim tradition or people being happy together. That’s OK if the article is about that. The problem is that the Post picked this article based on this one old mans dumb opinion to use in the paper. The article is written like it backs him. That leaves me shocked because the newspaper that should actually support woman’s rights.


  4. I was surprised to read this in the Post. It’s not so much that the relationship is unusual ~ think of Charles Chaplin, for example. That Sheldon is supporting his wife and her family is also not that unusual in this country, nor that there is a strong physical attraction. The relationship seems to be a healthy one and there do not appear to be any ‘victims’.

    What I found surprising, though, was the general exploitive and supercilious tone of the article, which was written by Duncan Graham, a regular contributor to the Post and also an older man. It crossed my mind on first reading it that DG was out to shock and I wondered why given that in general his ‘human interest’ articles are quite bland.

    I’ve no doubt that Sheldon is still encountering culture shock and has yet to learn what is appropriate to say here. I hope he lives long enough to live down some of the comments attributed to him.


  5. Jakartass

    In general, your opinion reflects mine. You have expressed it with much better clarity and I am also not familiar with the writings of Duncan Graham. Thanks.


  6. The presumption is always that the man is “dirty and old”. This is pure bigotry. I think the person who wrote “worked up” has a problem of some sort, maybe carrying some grudge against men. I’ve met women in Indonesia, whose Indonesian husbands have abandoned them with children and no support whatsoever. In Western countries, the legal systems would assist these women in obtaining some support.

    The culture of Indonesia seems to blame women for everything. Blame them for seducing the men, so make them cover up. Blame them for going to bars to meet bules, so lock them up until they pay the police the “get out of jail fee”. So when Yuyun gets lucky, all those who haven’t got lucky get jealous.

    Observers tell me that Indonesia is famous for criticizing sex, while participating like rabbits. Its wholesale hypocrisy here. Indonesia Playboy is pilloried, while Indonesia has considerably more sexual content, because its readership is female.


  7. Cotton: Religion and the age difference are red herrings. You are generalizing too much about religion to make any coherent arguments. I find little wrong about ag differences. I’ve known many couples that are very happy and suited for each other in spite of their age difference.

    What my colleagues and I found quite despicable are the comments of Archer. He is either naive, insensitive, a bigot or more likely all three.

    Jakartass: I think you hit on something that has intrigued me since the story appeared: the author Duncan Graham’s motive in writing that article. Two possibilities suggest themselves: Duncan’s either spaced out and thinks the hell of Archer or that Duncan is so disgusted with him he decided to let the man hang himself with his own words.

    I like to think the latter as I have faith in journalists (well, ome of the time anyway).

    Rani: the Post may have run that article for the same latter reason, though it is a risky business attributing great deliberation behind the paper’s decisions.


  8. Hi – I know Sheldon from back in England.

    He is the most down to Earth, honest and thoroughly genuine person you could ever wish to meet, he is an English gentleman.

    Yuyun his wife has a young strong mind and is the other half of a strong couple, not someone on a leash and following is every word.

    Their lust for life is inspiring and many of us could do with mirroring even just their example, after all what is age?

    If you were blind and had never seen your partner (or any person), how would age come into play as long as you were HAPPY?

    These 2 break the age “mold” so that the rest of us “cowards” can enjoy even more chance of finding happiness in life.

    My regards to Yuyun and Sheldon on their article and I hope their cattle business thrives.

    I do hope we meet again sometime and take care.


    Ps Before some sexually frustrated housewife or womens rights lesbian says anything here – NO I am not one of Shell’s customers looking for a wife.


  9. I hope these indonesian kill this ugly old whitey british paedophile motherfucker son of a bitch



  10. I hope these indonesian kill this ugly old whitey british paedophile motherfucker son of a bitch




  11. Sheldon,

    I knew you and know of you to have this pattern in life to seduce your women your whole life. You have been a chameleon with yourself and had a real shady past in the Bahamas, Colombia and now Indonesia. If I can find you then what about all the other people you conned in your life? You are really gloating with this marriage and it is like a badge you wear and have worn in the past. The people you have hurt will not forget your deceit.


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