Sex expert & fertililty counselor Aleeya Hachem is huge breath of fresh air when it comes to sex, pleasure and fertility. Having a huge passion for normalising the conversation around all things sex, we have picked her brain on the best self-love and self-care tips right in time for Valentine's Day.
To learn more about what Aleeya does, you can find her on instagram at @great.sexpectations
1. Being a sexologist and fertility counselor is a pretty awesome job! What was your journey to this career?
I have always been curious about sex and relationships, which led me to study psychology in the hope of learning and understanding more about the impact that this has on human behaviour. Back then, sexology was an emerging field, and after a five-year hiatus in marketing I applied for my Masters in Sexual Medicine in the hope of furthering my knowledge and creating my dream job. My passion is the interrelationship between sex and fertility, and I feel so fortunate that I get to work with patients in this field.
2. Mum to a new bub, how have you found the adjustment to your new life ? Do you have any tips for parents navigating parenthood and their sex life?
Becoming a new parent has been such a big adjustment, particularly in a pandemic. Gone are the days where you can get up and go, as life now revolves around a new little person and their routine. Communication with my partner has been the most important thing – when we need a break or time alone we have no reservations in asking for it. The time by ourselves allows us to be better parents, but also better partners to each other. As new parents, we have had to redefine what a ‘sex life’ is for us. It may not be penetrative sex all the time, and that is ok in this season of our lives. For us and for all new parents, I believe it is important to prioritise moments of intimacy that foster the connection that you have with your partner. Is it a date night? A cuddle on the couch? A random make out session in the kitchen while the baby sleeps? Although you are now ‘Mum’ and ‘Dad’ reminding yourself that your relationship came first is key.
3. How important is it to prioritise taking time to yourself and to practice self-love? Whether that be alone time, going for a walk, face masks etc? Do you think neglecting this sort of self-care impacts your sexual energy?
Self-love is self-care, and it has a massive impact on who we are as sexual beings. Prioritising the things that make you feel good ultimately impact our mood and self-esteem. When we feel good, we are more likely to want to engage sexually, whether that be with a partner or with ourselves. Neglecting self-care/love has the potential to leave us feeling burnt out and deflated (hello lockdown life) and we know the last thing that anyone wants in that state of being is sex. By putting ourselves first, we invite more room for sex in our life.
4. What would say your top 5 tips for practising self-love are? Define what self-love means for you.
1. I always recommend that my patients take a Love Language quiz to determine how they like to receive love. Although this quiz focuses on receiving love from a partner, it is a great way to understand yourself and practise self-love that is in line with your specific love language.
2. Practise self-pleasure – masturbation has some amazing benefits such as better sleep, stress reduction and increased self-esteem. It also helps you to better understand your body and what gives you pleasure, which allows you to better communicate this to a partner.
3. Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love – the way you speak to yourself matters. If you wouldn’t say it to a best friend, then you shouldn’t say it to yourself.
4. Focus on five things each day that you love about yourself. These can be physical attributes, but also the qualities that make you who you are. For example, I love the ability I have to connect with a diverse range of people.
5. Create spaces and rituals that you enjoy. Our environment has a huge ability to impact our emotional state. Beautiful bed sheets, a favourite house plant, a scented candle and a cosy robe all have the ability to make us feel special and loved. I have great pride in my house and I love coming home to a space where I feel calm and safe.