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The Power of Play

This article first appeared on PublicHouse.sg.

I have a question to ask you. Amidst the hustle and bustle of your busy work and personal lives, when was the last time you played? Close your eyes and try recalling some of the happiest moments in your life: What might they be? Whether this memory is of you as a child or as an adult, chances are, they involved some sort of play.

Children usually play when left to their own devices. Children do not necessarily need toys to have a good time. They might come up with their own games, make their own toys, or rely on their fantasy to be transported to different time and places through history and even beyond using their imagination. There is no agenda other than fun for the sake of fun itself.

Somewhere along the way, we were told we had bigger, better, and more important things to do with our lives, like studying and working. We became busy, so we could get somewhere, achieve something, and be someone important someday. We became stressed, anxious, worried, depressed, and exhausted all the time and we forgot how to play.

Your analytical mind will probably be thinking that all this talk of play seems childish, and unprofessional. You might think playing is a waste of your time and energy; after all, you are a very busy person. More than ever, I believe that play is not superficial, but a necessity. Play inspires us to view the world from a different perspective, take risks, experiment without fear of repercussions, and apply new solutions to ongoing problems. In his TED talk, Dr Stuart Brown made a scientific case about precisely this: that play is anything but frivolous and not just for kids.

When we play, we are completely engrossed, engaged and often get locked into some kind of time warp. We become spontaneous and live in the moment. We laugh, often at ourselves, we reconnect with the child within us, we expand our thinking, we tap into our creativity, we feel free, and we feel alive again. Life becomes magical and fun once more. Do we not all want these?

You may ask, what is the connection between play and sex? Just as play is all about learning experientially, sex is really about learning about oneself and others through connecting experientially. Play is all about experience and one can bring that approach into all areas of your life including sex.

• Tickling is play.

• Massaging is play.

• A tug of war is play.

• Dressing up is play.

• Role-playing is play.

• Strip teases are play.

• Erotic board games are play.

• Incorporating sex toys is play.

• Using blindfolds is play.

• Making out is play.

How about we call it all play?

I encourage you to rethink what play is and treat it with the seriousness it deserves.

So, when was the last time you gave yourself permission to play, whether in or outside of the bedroom? Go on and rediscover the joys of having a childlike perspective. Recall how it was like when life was full of endless possibilities from a child’s point of view. Try a little – explore, experiment, wonder, dream, dare a little – and have infinite fun! As you play today, the boundaries of your mind may open to embrace myriad new thoughts, ideas, and emotions yet. Enjoy!

Dr Martha Lee is Founder and Clinical Sexologist of Eros Coaching in Singapore. She is a certified sexuality educator with AASECT (American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists), as well as certified sexologist with ACS (American College of Sexologists). She holds a Doctorate in Human Sexuality from Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality as well as certificates in practical counselling, life coaching and sex therapy. She is available to provide sexuality and intimacy coaching for individuals and couples, conduct sexual education workshops and speak at public events in Asia. For more, visit www.eroscoaching.com.

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