Cindi Seddon is no stranger to tackling challenging issues.
The retired former Coquitlam high school administrator is well known for writing anti-bullying books and speaking out about bullying and victims.
Now Seddon has turned her attention to an even trickier subject — sex — and how to maintain intimacy in long-term relationships.
Seddon, who retired in 2020 from CABE (Coquitlam Alternative Balanced Education) school in Coquitlam, has just published Six-Minute Sex, Maintaining Passion and Nurturing Intimacy in Long Term Relationships.
"It's about intimacy and passion, which changes as we age — it’s not always sex, but it does have to be time together and touch that is intimate," said Seddon.
Sex, touch and intimacy for older adults
The book came together after conversations with friends over wine and food.
The topic turned to sex. "I said Kevin and I can do it in six minutes," said Seddon.
It was an admission that generated a lot of hilarity but also some straightforward talk.
Seddon said people are curious about sexual intimacy between partners and if it can last despite parenting, family, money, health crises and other struggles.
She started the book as an inquiry, and over a few years — including her own health crisis, which included breast cancer and a difficult recovery — the cheeky yet thoughtful idea about "six-minute sex" became six chapters over 153 pages with humorous cartoons.
"It's a lighthearted read," said Seddon
However, she admitted the topics are revealing of the human condition, and deal with grief and loss, as well as how to jump-start passion, writing about her own experience and advice from other couples in long-term relationships.
"Mutually satisfying six minute sex, between intimate partners, is completely doable. We need to work and communicate with our life partners on this idea," she said.
Seddon said Six Minute Sex is not a "how-to sex book" but a look into the deeper lives of people in long-term relations and how to remain close despite everyday challenges.
"Start slowly if you’re not used to it," is Seddon's advice. "It's about feeling comfortable with each other and trying to be sure you don’t lose each other and so you don't you look across the table and say, 'Who are you?'"
Men, women have differing attitudes about sex
Seddon said her book looks at the health benefits of maintaining sexual intimacy, and offers suggestions about how to get to "six minutes," and what to do if there's time left over.
"I do think men would read it because they like the idea of six-minute sex, they think it’s really absolutely fabulous," said Seddon. "Women shy away."
However, instead of turning their nose up at the notion of sex with their partner, women could also be flattered at the attention, Seddon said.
"They still want to jump your bones, for god's shake, that’s extremely flattering, we should choose to feel flattered rather than feeling put upon."
Seddon said she and her husband managed to stay passionate despite her breast cancer, "even though I was deformed for awhile."
"We've been working on this for awhile, not always successfully but it’s still there; that sustained us through hard times — we just didn’t let go of each other — we didn’t let go."
Modelling a successful long-term relationship, what ever that might be, is good for children, too, said Seddon.
As youngsters grow up and get into relationships themselves they will feel more comfortable if they see success in front of them.
"It is about what could we do as parents to tell our kids that our relationships are still important, that it’s important to be intimate and to see it that there’s passion and love — and deep love."
Podcast and website launches on Valentine's Day
In addition to the book, now available on Amazon.ca and likely soon in local book stores, Seddon is working on a website "SizzleNotFizzle," with a Feb. 14, 2023, launch.
It will include the book as well as a podcast, which Seddon is working on now, interviewing people with expertise in the area of sexual health and intimacy and couples who have had a successful long-term relationship.
She said she wants to know their "secrets" and how they sustained their passion.
"There's nothing easy about a long-term relationship. It’s a really exclusive club. It’s the investment of time — that's the only way you get into this club."
To inquire about the book, email email@example.com.