Sexpert and Celebs Go Dating newbie Dr Tara Suwinyattichaiporn has thrown out the rule book when it comes to traditional marriage.
The 35-year-old, who joined series 12 full of wisdom and tips for the singles in the agency, tells us that while she’s happily married to her artist husband, Brent Estabrook, they have an agreement to be “monogamish”. This allows them to “play sexually” with other people, while staying emotionally and romantically committed to each other.
When OK! catches up with Tara while she’s in Singapore, she is refreshingly open about their unconventional partnership.
“We’ve always had this dynamic,” says Tara. “I started talking about it when we first started dating, because I learned through my past relationships that part of my personality is sexual exploration.
“In previous relationships, it didn’t work out. If you’re not with a partner who wants that, it makes you realise you aren’t cut out for a traditional life. Another thing that opened my mind to this concept was studying marriages and relationships, and learning how many divorces are because of unfulfilling relationships.”
Tara married Brent in January after three years together, and has always been open with him about her sexual preferences. She engages in sexual acts with others “a few times a year”. But in the early days, she admits, her hubby wasn’t 100% sold.
“He wasn’t open to it at first, which is why I say people can change their minds,” she says. “Some people need to really trust their partner before going into it. The more you talk about it, the more you trust each other.”
While a “monogamish” dynamic works for the sexpert and her husband, it comes with a list of rules and boundaries.
“You have to know yourself really well, know what would trigger you and your partner, and what you can and can’t do,” she says. “Red flags would be, for example, no kissing strangers, because that can be seen as more romantic. No sleeping with close friends is another – I think that would be pretty awkward if you had to see them later. And always using protection.
“Personally, I don’t like to see the same person multiple times, because you could grow an emotional attachment. But for some of my clients, they see the same person regularly.”
Tara adds that she and Brent often “play together” with others, but make sure to communicate with each other before, after and during the act itself.
“For example, if we want a threesome, we have a conversation beforehand about what is OK and what isn’t, what would make each of us feel respected and loved, and what can make the other person have an enjoyable time, too.”
While Tara, who was born and raised in Bangkok before moving to LA 14 years ago, enjoys sexual exploration, she insists she isn’t polyamorous and wouldn’t have an emotional relationship with someone else.
“Some people are polyamorous and love multiple people, but I prefer to keep fun and emotions separate. The connection is between me and my husband.”
So what are her thoughts on being in a throuple?
“I think it’d be too difficult to be in a throuple – my husband needs all my attention! I’m a very busy person so whenever I have some free time, I think he deserves all of my focus.”
Openly engaging in a less traditional relationship has come with some backlash, which the expert admits can get to her.
“People can be judgemental. On Instagram, people have told me it’s ‘immoral’ or ‘only ends in divorce’, so we’ve definitely had negative feedback. I’m a human so those comments are initially hurtful. However, I understand why some people are confused or don’t like it because it isn’t the norm. I think in 10 years, it will be acceptable.”
Tara’s open nature when it comes to sex brought a new dynamic to the latest series of Celebs Go Dating , where she guided the celebs through their dating experiences, alongside dating agents Anna Williamson and Paul Carrick Brunson, and client co-ordinator Tom Read Wilson. She even managed to pass on some tips and tricks to her fellow dating agents.
She even managed to pass on some tips and tricks to her fellow dating agents. “Paul told me that, before we started filming, he was hesitant about a new expert coming in, but after a couple of weeks he really warmed to me,” she says. “We’re like brother and sister and talk about sex all the time.
“Anna and I hit it off straight away – she’s like a big sister and is super supportive. She said that talking about sex with me has spiced up her sex life. I was giving her some tips and tricks!”
Tara was keen to include some non-conventional coaching on the show, which featured stars Adam Collard, Lottie Moss and Vanessa Feltz. From orgasm smoothies to sexual meditation, the love guru isn’t afraid of trying out new techniques.
“I’m a huge fan of sexual meditation, where you focus on sexual thoughts, feelings and sensations in your body. You might imagine yourself with a sexual partner or being sexually confident. Sexual mindfulness and meditation can relieve anxiety and revive sexual desire. Some people love it, others don’t believe in it, but it’s worth a try.”
Tara, who has two million followers on TikTok, has carved out a name for herself by being open, but it hasn’t always been plain sailing for the sexpert.
“When I was younger, I was quite shy and anxious – I almost never talked about sex,” admits Tara. “I had a huge sexual reawakening in my late twenties because I felt like I’d never had real sexual pleasure.
I went through a lot of experimenting and practices, so I became more comfortable talking about it. I’ll continue to talk about sex and educate people until I die!”
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