This is an extract of Chapter Eight of From Princess to Queen: Heartbreaks, Heartgasms, and Everything In-Between – the third book of Relationship Counselor and Clinical Sexologist Dr. Martha Tara Lee of Eros Coaching published in 2017.
After years of being together, sex can become routine, and even boring. The warm fuzzy feelings of excitement have long been dead and gone. What can a couple who refuse to follow the tide do?
Here are three big no-nos:
- Don’t take things for granted: You have a stable job that pays well, and can afford nice things, as well as the occasional holiday. Things are going well at work and at the home front. There really isn’t anything to complain about – all except the sex front.
But are you assuming that everything will stay the way they are or have been? If you lost your job, would you be equipped to handle it? Do you have employable skills in different areas? How long would your savings be able to tide you over? Are your savings invested and working for you?
I’m asking all these questions because it is very easy to get caught up in a buying frenzy, and forget things are meant to serve not the other way around. One of the biggest areas of conflict for couples relates to money. Sure, it’s just money and stuff but getting yourself sorted financially goes a long way towards your well-being and having a healthy relationship.
- Don’t take your partner for granted: Just because your partner chose to marry you and ought to know what he or she was getting into, does not mean you are entitled to continue in any bad behavior. Once couples get into their comfort zone, they assume that just because their spouse has put up with them all these years –that change is unnecessary.
Couples often have the same fights for years, without any resolution, choosing instead to avoid them, and sweep things under the carpet rather than address them. This erodes at the trust, openness, and intimacy of a relationship until sometimes, it is too little too late.
Examining love languages, exploring communication styles, and revisiting sexual skills can help deepen the connection that a couple has. Adjustments and adaptation coming from a place of love is critical. The happiness of your partner is not something you should take likely.
- Don’t take yourself for granted: We are time pressed and there are challenges at all fronts. When push comes to shove, we sacrifice ourselves rather than inconvenience others. We forget to take care of ourselves. We take ourselves for granted – I’m tough and strong. I can do anything!
When we push ourselves for so long and hard that sometimes, our body just gives way – not getting enough sleep, exhausted all the time, crashing, and going on sleep marathons on weekends. And then we wonder why we are not interested in life, or sex, anymore? It should be the reverse. When there are many things going on, and many people who are dependent on you, you need to put yourself first.
When you are happy and healthy, you can in turn better support and nurture others around you. Please don’t get to a state of deprivation where you wake up one day and don’t know who you are, and who you exist for anymore. Self-care and self-love is so important. When you take care of yourself, you are in effect making sure you are good for your partner too. This is a love that keep giving and growing.
I chose to address the fundamentals in this piece, rather than the tips, tricks, and techniques. This is basically because I truly believe that since sex is not a must-do, but a want-to-do; It can only happen when all parties are coming from a place of wellness, and overflowing of power, joy, and abundance.
Bonus – Seven Date Night Tips
- Schedule it: Contrary to popular belief, scheduled sex dates with your partner can allow for not less but more spontaneity to take place because you might be or might have prepared yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally already!
- Be flexible: Scheduling time for intimacy does not mean it will happen. Your child might fall sick. Your boss needs you to make that overseas trip. Pencil your time earlier than later in the week, so that you can always reschedule it.
- Be open: If you have been operating at a low energy tank, how about discussing ways to still be sexual without the need to have penetrative sex. Open and honest dialogue will pay off on the long run even if he or she might not be happy at first. They will certainly appreciate your honesty. For instance, you could offer one-way sex where you only pleasure your partner to the point of orgasm, and not feel you must have reciprocal treatment.
- Return to love: Focus on the whole point of scheduling time together: to reconnect. Agree that your goal is to return to love. Do your best to clean up the bedroom. Put away the baby toys. Look into each other’s eyes. Stroke his face. Let down your hair. Just touch as if time stood still – and recapture some of the romance that once existed. With some practice, returning to love can be as simple as reconnecting with your breath.
- Get help: You do not have to do it all. You cannot be at two places at once. You have to give yourself permission to handle one thing at a time. To truly relax and be able to connect with your spouse in a deeper way, who can take care of your baby? Would it be your parents, in-laws, helper, or a hired babysitter? There are options. You need to be open and trust.
- Pace yourself: To spice things up, you can plan in your head to do one or two new things – be it a sexual position, a sexual move, or a sex toy. With some creativity, the options are endless. Just don’t make a big fuss of it all or you would be disappointed if something comes up. Just pace yourself and just do one, at most two things. You can also take turns planning your sex dates. Aim to pleasantly surprise, and not to shock your partner with too many new things all at once.
- Turn off: That’s right. I am referring to your electronic devices especially your mobile and laptop. They emit electromagnetic signals and affect our brain waves and ability to truly relax. Begin turning them off at a fixed time every night, and let this become a habit so that it won’t be a tall order to unplug when your spouse wants to reconnect with you!
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 completed her fourth degree – a Masters in Counselling in 2017. In practice for eight years, she is the only certified sexuality educator by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) in Singapore.
Often cited in the local media, Dr. Lee is the 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 is the host of weekly radio show Eros Evolution on the OMTimes Radio Network. She has published three books: Love, Sex and Everything In-Between, Orgasmic Yoga and From Princess to Queen.
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.