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Work, Life, Sex balance

6 June 2013 4 comments

I just spent an email free long weekend with my girlfriend Tracey at my holiday beach house in Yallingup and it had me thinking about work, life and sex balance. Most people simply call it work–life balance. I of course have added the term sex to the phrase. Sex would normally be included within the term life but I think it then gets lost to some degree with all the other facets of 'life'. I think 'sex' needs to be highlighted...so let me enlighten you why.

The funny thing is we've all heard of 'work-life balance' and we probably all understand the concept. Over the years I've found myself giving friends advice on work-life balance and looking back have simply not taken my own advice. A few years back there was an 11 year period where I didn't take holidays other than between Xmas and new year. I was working 6 days a week as a civil engineer in high rise building construction with +70 hour weeks. I was soooo busy at work that there was simply no time to take holidays...well that's what I thought anyway.

My Yallingup beach houseMy Yallingup beach house

I transitioned from a civil engineer straight into managing adultshop.com (that I founded in 1995) where I still continued to work long hours without holidays. Then 4 years after founding adultshop.com we listed the company on the Australian Stock Exchange and 7 German stock exchanges. I was even busier than before! (Note I bought adultshop.com back from the publicly listed company nearly 3 years ago and am now the 100% owner).

Unfortunately for many of us, me included in past years, work and business becomes a priority as opposed to enjoying life. Play time then takes a rear seat in the scheme of things. In hindsight I think this is fine for a short period of time...but it can't work long term. I'm certainly guilty of not recognising this for many years. I at least was more fortunate than most others who fell into this too much work and not enough play scenario. I've always trained at the gym doing weights 3 times a week and have done either martial arts or boxing 2 or 3 days a week as well. This has helped me deal with the stresses of working long hours and of running a business. Focus pads, that a boxing coach holds and a boxer punches, are called focus pads for a reason. An hour on the pads a few nights a week zones me out from the worries and stresses during the work day. That and the gym sessions have also kept me super fit and healthy! In a future blog post I'll address how regular exercise contributes to a great sex life.

So what happens when you don't get the work-life balance right? I'm not an expert on this but I can say, from my personal experience and the experiences of friends of mine, that your life can spiral out of control with drastic consequences if the situation continues unabated ie. unless you do something about it...and quickly! Many aspects of life suffer when there is a work-life imbalance. For instance making time for relaxation and exercise goes by the wayside. People become overweight and unhealthy from insufficient exercise. Apart from the obvious negatives of being overweight this can also adversely affect libidos (ie. loss of sexual appetite...yikes!!), temper, disposition, self image etc.

Then of course there's the issue of stress. We all know the consequences of too much stress in our daily lives and how it impacts not only our health but the health of our relationships with loved ones, family, friends, business colleagues etc.

Do I have the work-life balance equation right? I'm sure it's a question many ask themselves. Today I'm the manager and owner of adultshop.com, the managing director of Calvista (Australia and NZ's largest wholesaler of sex toys), the managing director of Delecta Ltd (a public company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange), a director of Paynes Find Gold Ltd (a public company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange), the chairman of Breast Cancer Care WA, a director and 50% owner of The Court Hotel and the director of a number of private companies. Yes I'm busy...but I've learnt over the years to prioritise. In most businesses you could work 24/7 and still not tick off ALL of the things to do on your list. I'm organized and I prioritise my work day and week (it's about efficiency too). The reality is if some things on my 'to do' list don't get until tomorrow or the next day then it's no big deal. Obviously I get things done first that are urgent (Tracey likes to stay near the top of my 'to do' list).

With business I've learnt over the years the importance of great staff, employing specialized consultants (you can't be good at everything) and seeking advice from professionals. Having a mentor, if you can find a good one, also helps as all ideas need to be 'bounced off someone'. Getting all this right can make it easier in business AND it means you won't be taking business and stress home with you every night.

I'm guilty sometimes of neglecting other areas of my life. I know for instance that I need to prioritise seeing family and friends more. My mother and brother often remind me of this...sigh...I know they're right. By acknowledging the issue I'm part way there to resolving it.

I know in the past that I probably haven't prioritised my personal relationships high enough especially when I worked far longer hours. This was to the obvious detriment of those relationships. It's easy to fall into the trap of working too much and I really hope it doesn't happen to me again. I've had a few 'wake up calls' over the last few years that have kept me in check. A close friend and mentor of mine died at the young age of 49 from cancer. He worked way too much and didn't see much of his 2 young children. Last March I ended an 11 year relationship with my now ex wife. It's events like this that make you reassess what's important to you.

So what about the inclusion of the term sex in the phrase work-life balance? We all know that for most relationships to be sustainable long term both partners need, amongst other things, sexual fulfillment ie. they need to be happy with how much sex and intimacy they're getting and with how good it is. I've found that just like work, exersise and other areas of one's life, sex and intimacy sometimes needs to be scheduled. It needs to be prioritised and problems need to be discussed and addressed at the earliest opportunity lest they fester and create a situation where an impasse is reached. I don't mean to say that you need to diarise when you want to have sex but that you should make time for it and realize that if either partner, or both, isn't sexually satisfied then this can create all sorts of problems.

No need to get your diaries out but maybe it's time to think about where you're at with your work-life-sex balance. Plan a holiday or even a long weekend away. Do something exciting! Make your sex life a priority!

My puppies Elmo and Cookie are in the office with me this week...and Cookie is on my lap whilst I'm typing. They just had reminded me of my motto:... girlfriends are like puppies as they both need lots of attention.

As always I'd love to hear your views.

Delivering passion and pleasure.

Mal

Doug 6 June 2013 at 5:01 pm
Great place Yallingup, I'm guessing your place would be one of the big ones.
Amanda 6 June 2013 at 8:01 pm
Great post Mal. Totally agree. And getting balance right with little kids is even more important for your relationship and your sanity! Fulfilled parents make happy parents while your relationship continues to reward. Balance is essential. Thanks for the reminder xx
kz 7 June 2013 at 3:57 pm
Fully agree and nice staff. Wishing all your companies and your life in right track. If u need help with the business, give me a buzz and I am your loyal shareholder long term.
bob 12 June 2013 at 2:00 pm
I dont' agree with the assertion that girlfriends are like puppies. I've known a couple of Rottweillers in my time! A couple of crazy King Charles spaniels and a beautiful golden retriever or two. Come to think of it.. Buffy the Lassie dog is actually a lot like Fiona in many ways.well written Mal.
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