Two Day Workshop on Marriage Success, Nov 20th-21st in Sydney!

In the spirit of promoting women’s wellbeing, here’s an eye-opening interview with Heba Shaheed, The Pelvic Expert. Heba shares the details on her upcoming marriage success workshop.

1) What is your workshop about?

I am co-facilitating a workshop with a life and relationship coach Dalya Ayoub. Sister Dalya will be covering topics such as:

  • The 5 foundations of a successful marriage
  • His real needs and her real needs
  • The ultimate formula for conflict management
  • Top 7 strategies for cultivating a deeper relationship
  • The 5 love languages

I will be delving more into the physical side of the marital relationship by talking about intimacy. I’ll cover the Islamic rulings of intimacy first and then I’ll go into the anatomy and physiology of intimacy and sexuality. I want women to be comfortable in their sexuality and to embrace it. I’ll talk about female arousal, libido, and desire.

The two main challenges women have regarding sex are inability to orgasm and painful sex. I’ll talk about the different types of orgasms and practical techniques on how to reach them, as well as practical ways to prevent or eliminate pain with sex.

I’ll cover the practical side of sex as well talking about different techniques. Intimacy isn’t all about penetrative sex. Couples can enjoy outercourse or other acts of intimacy such as sensual massage, mutual masturbation and for some, oral sex. These alternatives are especially helpful for women who struggle with pain or vaginismus. And I’ll also talk about how to engage in pleasurable foreplay.

I will cover different positions they can experiment with as well, especially for the ones who have pain with sex, how they can adjust to have pain-free sex. I’ll also discuss certain positions that will increase their ability to orgasm with their husband.
2) Why is it important for you to address these issues?
There’s lack of reliable information out there on intimacy in Islam. And because it’s such a taboo topic, nobody wants to talk about it. We know that failed marriages are on the rise and that a lot of the time the issue is either failures in communication or intimacy. We don’t really understand what our spouses need, and so many of us are only focused on how our own needs not being met. On the flipside, we have people who completely neglect their own needs because they spend so much time trying to meet others’ needs and then they wear themselves out.

As I mentioned earlier, so many women don’t understand their own bodies. And yet we live in these bodies and we neglect them so much. I want women to tap into their sexuality and also to maintain good health.
And then there is the Islamic side of things. Sex is an act of charity but it’s also something enjoyable. Did you know that the clitoris’ sole function is pleasure? We don’t have to be ashamed of this. And at the same time you are getting rewards for engaging in halal sex. We all know men need sex. But women do too, especially the intimacy of it! In pleasing our husbands we are also pleasing Allah, and ultimately your husband is one of your keys to Jannah. We should embrace that.

3) Will this be available online?

Unfortunately, it will not be available online at this point. However it will be possible in the future InshaAllah.
The course is a small group limited to 25 people in order to have have maximum engagement and learning.

4) Who would benefit most from it?
Every single woman will benefit, whether she is married, divorced, single, engaged, and regardless of age. Every one of us can improve our marriage, whether it’s suffering or blissful. Make the intention that going to this course is going to improve your relationship with your husband for the sake of Allah.

There is always something more you can learn and this course is all about making the knowledge practical. Women who have trouble reaching orgasm or who have pain with sex will also greatly benefit. Education is key for these women. But at the very least you will learn more about your body and become more comfortable in your sexuality. And you will have so many tools to build a successful marriage!

This is one course you cannot miss. And we guarantee that you will leave the course satisfied.

Good on you, Heba, for tackling such a sensitive and much-needed topic. Ladies, hurry and sign up while there’s still space! Heba and Dalya, come on down to KL and hold it here ❤

My thoughts on “What’s Love Got To Do With It?”

loveMy first publication on The Feminist Wire is What’s Love Got To Do With It?

This is my most vulnerable piece, and it was equal parts painful and purging to write. I’m still stunned and touched by the outpouring of support after the publication of my article! Thank you everyone, for your public and private messages to me, and for all of your FB shares. I’m humbled by and grateful for each gesture of support and solidarity, from friends near and far.

It’s hard being so vulnerable in the public sphere, and admittedly, I’m still feeling quite raw, but some stories need to be told. I’m hoping that what I shared will resonate with others like me, and provide some measure of comfort and support. The wounds we carry from our childhoods turn into scars which we bear as adults, and the right people will love us BECAUSE of them.

Please keep my loved ones in your prayers, especially my parents.

 

The Drum – a literary magazine for your ears

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I’ve recently stumbled across a wonderful literary magazine called The Drum. Check it out! Being an avid fan of all things literary, I’ve come to really enjoy my stopovers at The Drum. Each poem/essay is unique; some poignant, others hilarious.

I really enjoyed Jane Hamilton’s essay “Finding Forgiveness In a Ziploc”. Her heartwarming reflection on marriage revolves around an incident at the airport with her husband and a ziploc bag. While listening to her voice, I was a fly on the wall during the dramatic, stress-induced culmination of 26 years of her marriage. That being said, I’m all for happy endings, and her thoughtful, honest and funny essay left me with a wonderful sense of hope.

 

“Why Can’t We Get Married?” SeekersConversation, June 1st 2013 – my thoughts

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There you have it, ladies and gentlemen – our exciting first Sydney SeekersConversation for this year! I’ll be facilitating the event, and I’m really looking forward to talking to the panelists as well as opening up the floor for the audience. Most people have a LOT to say about marriage, so this will be interesting.  Come down and join us!

On that note, here’s a run-down of the types of people I’ve come across when it comes to marriage:

1) The Eager Puppies

They’re generally younger and filled with lovely romantic ideals about marriage and its total and utter wonderfulness. The walks along the beach, the hot chocolates by the fireplace, and – of course – the epic foot rubs. Their youth is directly correlated with the distinct lack of BAD SCARRING PAINFUL experiences when it comes to marriage.I’ll get to that category later. Some do get married. And it works out! This is cool. But unfathomable to me.

2) The Jaded

Now we’re getting to the slightly older category who are getting somewhat tired of the unsuitable suggestions from well-meaning friends (read: would THEY even consider marrying the person they’re suggesting?? Um, no!). They’re starting to get a tad weary of the whole thing, and when they are broached about a more suitable potential, hackles are initially raised, and then slowly lowered. When the right guy/girl does come along, all defenses come melting down like ice cream on a hot day. Awww.

3) The REALLY Jaded and Bitter

These are the souls who’ve had many relationship breakdowns, are getting past their supposed marital shelf-life (this varies, but 30 is apparently time to hit the panic button), or who generally have a chip on their shoulder when it comes to marriage. Said chip is about the size of a boulder. Most of them have been unfairly treated at some point in their life, but as with all things, it takes two to tango, and holding on to negativity makes it a lot harder to embrace everything else life has to offer.

Deep down, they’d like to get married too. But you didn’t hear me say that.

4) The Quietly Content

These are a really rare breed, and spotting them is equivalent to finding a kookaburra in the Sahara Desert. This is a category that transcends age, background, blood type, or even gender. Sure, they’d like to get married someday, but they’re happy where they are. Some have had failed relationships before, but they’ve gotten over that REALLY Jaded and Bitter stage, or bypassed it completely. In this Zen-like state, they actually do manage to snag a spouse. Amazing.

5) The Hopefuls

I’d like to think that most people fall in this category. The Hopefuls are our lovably flawed guys and girls who are balancing everything and worry that they’ll fall apart. Falling apart actually does happen on a regular basis, but they pick themselves up, brush themselves off, and send a silent prayer for a loving spouse who’ll complete them and all that jazz. Because they’re so darned nice, they actually stand a better chance of meeting The One. And around the time when they realise they’re already complete, Mr or Mrs Right comes sailing through the door.

6) The I’m Too Tired To Think About It

This is the category specifically for single parents, usually single mums, who are exhausted from raising kids with little or no support. Of course, child-support from ex-partner is usually non-existent. These are the people who are arguably most in need of a loving spouse, but it takes a big heart to take on a new spouse who has his/her own children. Hats off to all men and women who are brave enough to step up and marry single parents. You are heroes!