From The Straits Times    |

#HerWorldHerStory is a collection of 60 women sharing their successes, passions, challenges, inspirations, hopes and dreams. Together, they give a snapshot of what it is to be a woman today.

Every month from March till August, we present 10 women navigating their lives now – and in their own words. This is Martha Lee’s story…

her world her story martha tara lee sexologist

When I first volunteered as a helpline counsellor more than 15 years ago, it took me a while to realise that I was buying snacks and filling myself up with these goodies because I was so sad and affected by the stories shared with me. I had to stop myself from binge eating, and I’ve since learnt how to “disconnect”.

It’s been 11 years since I started my practice, Eros Coaching. I wanted to do something different after finishing my Masters degree in public policy and management in 2007. I was interested to know more about human sexuality, so I took up a post-graduate course at the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco.

her world her story martha tara lee sexologist

People are still curious about my work as a sexologist. Sexologists aren’t just sex counsellors, we need to understand the relationship between the mind, body and heart.

Some think that I have a lot of sex! Well, it’s probably less than 20 per cent of my sexuality. In fact, keeping in touch with my sexuality, which is the way I feel about my body and my sexual confidence, is far more important than the deed itself.

The downside of my job: I face the occasional online harassment because I’m a woman who talks about sex.

#HerWorldHerStory: Here's what a sexologist actually does

There’s still a lot to teach as many women still don’t know where their clitoris is. The good thing is: They’re seeking sexuality counselling and coaching on their own (or with their partners) earlier into the relationship (usually one or two years into it) as opposed to more than five years ago.

It’s great that people now see sex as an integral part of their life. I also try to get people to understand self-care.

That is, you don’t always have to experience extreme emotion to feel good about yourself. It can be a simple task like taking time at home to declutter, exercise and read, to feel connected.

This article was first published in Her World’s June issue.