What do a finance coach and a sex coach have in common?

This week I had tea with finance coach/Gladiator, Rebecca Boles, from Wealth Enhancers.

She works out what her client really want from life and how they can set financial goals to get there. A lot of this happens through breaking and creating better daily habits, and a healthy dose of consistent accountability to make them stick. 

She found out relatively quickly that I am addicted to analogising across industries ("our-job-is-fundamentally-the-same!" compulsive disorder). Turns out, helping people with their sex lives is not that different from helping them with their financials! Richness in the bank and the bedroom have three fundamental qualities in common.

1. Lifelong study. 

We are flung out into the world after school knowing more about photosynthesis than how to do tax returns or how to ask a new partner to wear protection. Why not have a short yearly exam on how a bank works? Or how to practice consent? A lot of the issues I see surrounding sex often develop from the mindset 'I should just know how to do this'. I wonder whether this is connected to the absence on the curriculum during our formative years of learning.

Our definition of sex naturally changes over the life span so it needs constant reassessment as a core area of self-development and study. Our financial goals and money-making skills are the same. But unless we make the effort to design our financial and intimate investments (including researching the right tools and guides to help), bank accounts do not magically grow, and fun pleasure adventures do not appear out of thin air. 

Lesson : approach your sex life and finances like you would approach learning a martial art or a new language. Seek out mentors, resources and practice daily habits. 

2. What are your values connected to money(/sex)?

Let's stop and have a quiet word with ourselves about some of our beliefs around sex. I often ask the word 'why?' to clients to better understand their adverse reactions to areas of objectively healthy sexuality. I've found feelings of shame are often tied to beliefs manifested by societal lies or a genuine misunderstanding of biology. 

Rebecca sees similar beliefs we create around money and uses the more formal '5 Whys' system (asking 5 whys in a row) to understand her clients motives. For example, she might see someone fixated on needing $100k in savings before starting a business. Drilling down to the core of why they think this can reveal a lack of research or that they are hiding behind money from a fear of getting started.

Lesson : Decide what your core personal values are in relation to money and sex, your behaviour and goals will follow in line with that. 

3. Fantasy vs. Reality.

"I've got the husband, the two kids, we're in love.. but we never have sex! The picture is perfect, but it's just not there. What went wrong?"

"I hate having to stop the flow to put on a condom, it then feels really calculated, the spontaneity is gone" 

"I'm making 150k a year.. why am I constantly 10k in debt?"

"Finances will sort themselves out in my 30s.. when I'm married with kids. which is definitely going to happen"

In our minds we meet the love of our life (in some very serendipitous romantic way probably involving books and duck ponds) and instantly, the chemistry is there, it just works. They know exactly what to do with our bodies to take us over the edge, the sex is movie-style silent and intuitive, constantly orgasmic, and long-lasting, because of that mysterious ever-present 'passion' that comes from true love...

The only problem is, that's not real. Getting into 'fantasy-like-story' circumstances does not then carry you to the desired end goal. Successful long-term relationships require learning how to communicate openly with a partner and work together to keep the relationship thriving.

In terms of finance, a common fantasy is the "if I was only making x amount per year everything would sort itself out" or that looking after money can be put on hold until we're older. The reality is that growing wealth happens from examining your existing daily spending habits and cutting the excess. The richest people are no necessarily the ones bringing in the most cash. The people with the most fulfilling sex lives are not necessarily married or with the love of their life.

Lesson : Just because the perfect circumstances are there, does not mean the results will follow. Work on what you've got right now.

I help men after prostate cancer treatment recover and adapt to sexual function changes. I am a PhD researcher and sexual recovery consultant based in Melbourne, Australia,