Yes, World, I am (re)married!

Posted On: December 20, 2010

This article first appeared on the Good Vibrations Magazine.

I got married on Thursday. It is my second marriage. I am just putting the word out there for those who wonder how one can be a clinical sexologist and not be married. I was previously married for a period of five years.

This is an example of a typical conversation:

Upon introductions, I am asked, “Are you married?”

Me: “No.”

Next question: “How can you be a sexologist and not be married?”

Me: “I was.” (At times I might elaborate.)

A new acquaintance who is more reserved or restrained might frown in bewilderment at how a sexologist could not be married. How could this unmarried person talk about sex? How could she talk or teach about sexuality if she hasn’t actually had sex? So if I have had sex before marriage, wouldn’t that make me (gasp!) a bad person? I could see the perplexity flash through their face. Their world does not make sense anymore.

And I know, in not so many words, that it is exactly what goes on in their minds because I have been asked all manner of questions along those lines.

Somebody more brazen will get more personal by asking what happened in my previous marriage (i.e. why I divorced), whose fault it was and the like.

Yet others might ask, “Does it mean you have had a lot of sex?”

I have but it is really is none of their business. And certainly doesn’t necessarily make me a better sexologist.

Love, sex and marriage are not just interrelated but seen as one and the same thing, especially in Asia. This certainly hasn’t made things easy for me during social networking events and in marketing myself. I have no hang-ups or issues about my past having done my fair share of work on myself. However I do find it tricky, not to mention distasteful, to summarize my failed marriage in a few sentences, sometimes in very public social events. Not answering will make me seem evasive. Answer and you might find someone who really didn’t want to hear about it in the first place, but asking just for the sake of asking, or asking because they can.

Asians tend to want to get personal within seconds of knowing somebody, from the size of your family, the number of siblings you have, to whether you are married, if you have kids, and if so, their ages, where they study and so on. They do not see people as unique individuals but an extension of their families.

I resent that. Yet I cannot help but recognize how I am looking forward to actually being able to move on in a conversation after the question, “Are you married?”. I already know they will want to know how we met, how long we dated, whether we plan to have kids, and when. Maybe after we get through my personal stuff, we can talk about them, and their sex lives.

About Dr. Martha Tara Lee

Surrounded by friends who were sexually inhibited and struck by dire lack of positive conversations around sex and sexuality in Singapore, Dr. Martha Tara Lee set out to make a positive difference in embarking on her doctorate in human sexuality before launching Eros Coaching in 2009. Today, she remains dedicated to working with individuals and couples who wish to lead self-actualised and pleasure-filled lives.

She also holds certificates in counselling, coaching and sex therapy, and her fourth degree – a Masters in Counselling in May 2018. In practice for more than 12 years, she is the only certified sexuality educator and certified sexuality educator supervisor by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) in Singapore. She is also a Red Tent Women’s Circles Facilitator from Star of Ishtar.

Often cited in the media, Dr. Lee is the appointed Resident Sexologist for; as well appointed sex expert for Men’s Health Singapore, and Men’s Health Malaysia. She was recognised as one of ‘Top 50 Inspiring Women Under 40′ by Her World in July 2010, and one of ‘Top 100 Inspiring Women’ by CozyCot in March 2011. She has published four books: Love, Sex and Everything In-BetweenOrgasmic YogaFrom Princess to Queen and {Un}Inhibited.

Martha works with individuals and couples in private coaching sessions, and conducts her own workshops. She takes prides in making sure all her workshops are also fun, educational, and sex-positive. This comes easily to her because even though she is extremely dedicated and serious about her work, she fundamentally believes that sex is meant to be fun, wonderful, amazing and sacred. As such, this serious light-heartedness has shone through again and again. For her full profile, click here. Email her here.

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