Convert Advances That Leave a Sour Aftertaste

Posted On: May 20, 2020

Call me a slow learner. It happened to me not once, but thrice before I caught on. When somebody asks you (especially repeatedly) what you think about something… they are actually wanting to do it with you – can be sex, or something else.

As a sexologist, I am used to being asked sex questions – and seemingly out-of-the-blue/ random ones by all genders. I learned in sex school that it is less WHAT they ask but WHY they are asking – the context and relevance to them.

The trick is me recognising (and asking) if they are asking me in my professional or personal capacity. And because I am a sexologist who happens to be a woman, I am at the receiving end of their covert advances (and invariably wasting my time and energy).

Many years ago, I connected with a HR professional and after some chats, he suggested meeting to discuss how to grow my practice. Yet when we met, he kept asking this question and redirected every single topic back to the theme of “What do you think of open marriages?”. I answered him professionally – what I think is less important than what works for different people.

Of course this led to him going on about his functional (not happy) marriage, his agreement with his wife, and how he was returning to USA (had six months left in Singapore). Yet he wouldn’t let up on this subject because (duh) he IS in an open marriage and wanted ME to have sex with me (without once directly asking me).

Why wouldn’t he just be direct and ask “Would you have sex with me?”. It’d be easier for me to say no, but no, to save HIS ego, he chose to ask me this repeatedly until I got his “hint”. Finally I said, “Is there any reason for this fascination about open marriage? I answered you what I think already and yet you keep bringing the topic back to this as if you don’t understand my answer.”

At the end of our meeting which left me feeling used (picking my brains about sex and NOT about what we agreed to when we met), not interested to help me (all about him), and not helpful to me whatsoever, his parting words were, “Oh well, at least I tried.” If he had been direct, I would have respected him more but the bad aftertaste was so sour that I wouldn’t want to be associated with him in any shape or form again.

Like I said, this happened to me with three separate individuals before I realised that when they ask me “What do you think of open marriages”, they just want sex. Don’t get me wrong – I have nothing against open relationships. I know several people who are in one and they make it work for them, but to poke around, hint, and keep trying even though I had already said my position IS disrespectful of my time and boundaries.

This is the same reason why I no longer agree to “catch ups” or “tea” with strangers without a clearly defined agenda at the very least, or people who want to pick my brains for their sex-related business venture. My time is mine and it may not be worth anything to you – but it is worth everything to me.

Get smarter. Ask questions. Have boundaries. If something doesn’t feel good, don’t continue. Simple!

Get relationship counseling/ coaching from me. You can check out my services here

#lifeislikethat #cannotmakethisup #boundaries #consent #permission #relationships

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 10 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.

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 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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