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May 10, 2024 51 mins

It's time to talk about sex. Rachel is joined by sex therapist Nikquan Lewis for a very personal conversation about sex and intimacy.

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Speaker 1 (00:05):
This is Rachel gos Rogue.

Speaker 2 (00:10):
Welcome back to another episode of Rachel Goes Rogue. This
is your host Rachel Savannah Levis, and today we are
talking about sex. I feel like sex is kind of
a taboo topic, but it's something that affects us immensly
and our decision making in choosing a life partner or

(00:30):
a significant other. It's not the most comfortable conversation to have,
but I feel like it's very important. And as I
think back to my previous partners and my sexual experiences,
each one has been very different in their own way.
I wanted to ask a professional more about the specifics

(00:53):
that go into sex and what the healthy boundaries are
with sex, because as I've experienced not so healthy relationships,
my goal going forward is to cultivate a healthy relationship
in all different aspects, and physical intimacy is definitely one

(01:15):
of those. Today joining on the podcast is Nikwon Lewis,
who is a licensed marriage and family therapist. She is
a professional counselor and a relationship and sex therapist. She
provides individual therapy, couples therapy, and sex therapy. She's a
featured expert in publications such as Essence cosmopolitan and glamour.

(01:39):
Her mission extends beyond therapy as she fosters deep connections
and intentional growth for singles, couples, and groups. Hi, welcome
to Kwan.

Speaker 1 (01:50):
Hi. How are you so good to see you?

Speaker 2 (01:52):
And me too?

Speaker 1 (01:53):
I'm good.

Speaker 2 (01:54):
It's so good to meet you and see you too.
Thank you for joining me today.

Speaker 1 (01:58):
Absolutely, thank you for having me.

Speaker 2 (02:00):
I'm prefacing our listeners to know that we're talking about
sex today, and I feel like it's kind of one
of those topics that used to make me squirm a
little bit, but I think it's something that's so important.
And during my time at the Meadows, I learned a
lot about mixing up intensity for intimacy and misunderstanding that

(02:24):
this powerful sexual connection is love and that's actually not
the case. So I want to go into those topics
and of other things too. So thank you for joining
me today.

Speaker 1 (02:38):
Absolutely, let's do it, okay cool?

Speaker 2 (02:41):
What would you say are the most important ingredients for sex? So?

Speaker 1 (02:47):
The most important ingredients for sex is starting with the
healthy relationship. First of all, healthy relationship is built off
of three foundational needs. Of course others, but starting with respect, compassion,
and trust. Good sex. I believe good sex is a
component of a healthy relationship, So it starts there. It
starts with communication. Right. Good sex is co created, meaning

(03:12):
it's between you and your partner or partners. But it's
about understanding what your sexual boundaries are, what brings you pleasure.
It's about creating the sex life that you desire and deserve.

Speaker 2 (03:24):
And how do you communicate out with somebody because it
could be an awkward conversation if you're not used to
talking about what feels good and what you actually want.

Speaker 1 (03:36):
Absolutely great question. As a sex therapist, I talk to
the couples about this every single day because there's so
much stigma and shame around sex, right, and that hinders
how we talk about it, or if you talk about
it at all. And so because a lot of us
can grow up talking about those type of things, you
just don't have the language. So the way that you
talk about it is first by creating a safe space.

(03:58):
I'm talking about in emotionally safe space. If I don't
feel comfortable with you, if I feel like you're gonna
judge me and I share something with you and you know,
screw your face up or grab your pearls, maybe I'm
not talking to you. Right, So you have to create
that emotionally safe space, and then you have to give
each other permission to be completely honest and transparent, no judgment,

(04:22):
no shame. So that's what I'm talking about when I
say sexual boundaries. It's setting the grounds for this intimate
and sensitive conversation. And so in order for you to
tell your partner what you like, you have to know yourself. Right.
So I'm gonna be proponent of self pleasure because you
need to know what your body craves so that you

(04:43):
can communicate that to somebody else, right, And so it's
a wee conversation. This is you know what my body enjoys,
and then you can even show them that with like
a hand over hand movement. But it starts with sexual boundaries,
talking about what brings you pleasure, creating that safe space

(05:04):
and that judgment free zone, and talking about what it
is that you enjoy and what you think you might enjoy.

Speaker 2 (05:10):
Okay, emotions are coming up for me because I feel
like there's a lot of maybe shame surrounding pleasing yourself.
And I have my own situation that I went through
that I feel a little bit of shame surrounding it.
But how would you suggest somebody gets to know their

(05:31):
body better to know how to achieve that ultimate pleasure.

Speaker 1 (05:36):
So it starts with just what you said, Rachel. It's
the shame. Before you can really explore your body and
enjoy it, you have to get out of your head.
First of all, it's honoring that pleasure is our birthright.
We all deserve pleasure, and I advocate for everyone to
live a pleasure feel a life. So before you can
enjoy your body, you have to honor that. So it's

(05:59):
sexual affirmations that I have. My clients give themselves honoring
their body right, connecting with that sensual side of them,
and then you give yourself permission to explore every part
of your body. There are several erogenous songs did you
know that? On the body?

Speaker 2 (06:20):
So I know an erogenous zone is your wrists and
maybe behind your ear or your ear love. What are
some of the other ones?

Speaker 1 (06:30):
Oh, my goodness, behind your knee if you if you
can believe it, behind your knee is one your scalp.
So what I want people to do, and I encourage
you to do this is do what's called pleasure mapping,
and it's basically taking your hands and especially if you
have nails and just kind of grazing them over your
body very lightly, your face, your ears. When I did

(06:52):
this the first time, I recognize for myself that that
my inner ears are very sensitive. Our bodies are different, right,
and so what's a rags for me may not be
aroginess for you, but the zones are pretty much the same.
It is just about what gives us each pleasure. The back,
the lower back is a very sensitive space. Your feet, right,

(07:14):
so there's several places. So give your self permission to
enjoy pleasure and pay attention to the pressure that you
use sense and things incorporate toys if you're okay with that,
and if you're not, you know, explore your belief system
around that. So that's what it starts with, understanding your

(07:37):
belief system, giving your sub permission to release shan because
it doesn't belong to you, and then giving your self
permission to explore your body, whether it's with your hands,
with toys.

Speaker 2 (07:48):
Do you have advice for somebody who doesn't orgasm while
having sex?

Speaker 1 (07:54):
Yes, So that is that's that's a loaded question. Brand
So coming to me with the I experience that a lot.
So coming to me. Number one We're going to make
sure that you get a doctor's appointment schedule, because you
always want to start with the physical to rule out
any type of physical issues. Right. Then we're going to
talk about what your belief system is around sex, because

(08:17):
if this has anything to do with performance anxiety, which
just means being in your head. Right, if you're in
your head and not focusing on the pleasure, it's going
to be an absolute blockage that could absolutely impact your
ability to experience pleasure. And so then you know, can
you experience orgasms manually, like through masturbation, can you do

(08:38):
it through partner sex? Like? There's several questions that you
want to assess. Are you also advocating for yourself if
you're having partner sex? Are you telling your partner what
you enjoy right so that you can tell them what
to do, right. So there's a lot of things that
you want to consider. Have you explored your body? Have you,

(09:00):
you know, explored or had orgasms with some partners versus others?
But if you can't do it with yourself, it starts
with you know, what is going on? What are you doing?
Are you only trying to obtain it through penetration, which
eighty percent of women don't experience orgasm through penetration, so
that is not uncommon. Right, So there's several things to consider.

(09:25):
What are you doing and what are you thinking about
why you're doing it? Are you focusing on the pleasure
that you're experiencing, And it's important to understand that orgasming
is one way to experience pleasure. There are so many
others that have nothing to do with penetration, like the
erosional zones, and you know, focusing on the connection orgasm

(09:48):
is great, but it's one way to experience pleasure.

Speaker 2 (09:51):
Yeah, in my post relationships, I was experiencing sex and
I wasn't experiencing orgasms. And so when I ventured into
a new relationship, I started experiencing orgasms for the first time,
and I noticed it would become like very it was
very powerful. How do you make sure that you're not

(10:14):
falling into a relationship for the pleasure of that relationship
and your judgment gets clouded.

Speaker 1 (10:22):
Yes, So that's a great question, and so I would
dig a lot deeper into the belief system surrounding this relationship.
So although I'm hearing that in this relationship you started
having orgasms, it was you know, surprising to you. Maybe
you never experienced that before and it kind of took
things to another level. However, they're likely was that's a

(10:45):
part of the story, but I would imagine that's not
the entire part of the story as far as things
that you were experiencing outside of the orgasm with this
specific person. Also, were you loving yourself intentionally, because when
we lose ourselves on relationships, oftentimes there's a disconnect with us,
you know, emotionally being intentional about self love. So when

(11:09):
I say I would you know, dig deeper, I am
definitely going to assess your relationship with yourself right, your
standards of relationship, your social support network, which just means
like your a support system. How are you nurturing your individuality?
Because the orgasm can take you over the moon, absolutely,

(11:30):
but I'm interested also in these various areas of your
life in addition to that to make sure that you're
nurturing though, it's about having a healthy relationship with yourself
so that you can have a healthy relationship with others.
And healthy relationships with others has boundaries, right, and it
has ways to ensure that if we're caring for ourselves,

(11:50):
we don't necessarily get lost in a sauce.

Speaker 2 (11:53):
Yeah, I think I definitely got lost in the sauce,
and I lost my identity in a way. I was
just a very lost person altogether, and I was finding
solace in this person and used him almost as an
escape from reality, which I think can be a very
dangerous place because there's like a lot of isolation and yeah,

(12:18):
downright escape from the reality of what was happening in
our world. Maybe there was like this element of fantasy
that was enmeshed with the connection that we had as well.

Speaker 1 (12:34):
And want to I want you to know that you
are not the only one that has experienced that. Is
it healthy? No, But I mean we've a lot of
us have been there, and that's why it's just so
important that we again have healthy relationships with ourselves, we
have healthy coping skills, because sex can absolutely be a
coping skill. The issue is such as you know, other

(12:58):
things I'm drawing as alcohol, there are consequences with it.
Right now, if you using it, you know, as a
stress reliever, there's nothing wrong with that. But when you
mentioned before about you know, sex addiction, it's actually called
out of control sexual behavior, right, that's the technical term
because sex addiction is not diagnosable out of control sexual behavior.

(13:21):
And so when we engage in that and we lose ourselves,
we forfeit you know, our friends, and you know our
responsibilities in our life. Now we're talking about, you know,
having maybe an unhealthy relationship with it, and so again
as a therapist, I'm looking at the full picture. What areas?

(13:41):
What are these key areas? Social support, individuality, family work,
all these things? How are these things operating? What do
you what's your motivation for this relationship? What are you
getting from it? Because even though you may have lost yourself,
you're getting something out of it for sure.

Speaker 2 (14:01):
Yeah. And as you're talking about drugs and alcohol and
how that plays into you know, our relationships, can you
speak more about rituals.

Speaker 1 (14:13):
When you say rituals, do you mean like healthy rituals?
What kind of ritual do you mean?

Speaker 2 (14:18):
Well, the relationship that I was in was not a
healthy relationship. And I noticed that there were rituals taking
place before we would even engage in having a sexual connection,
which included like three shots of whiskey and a beer,
and you know, like talking about a specific topic before

(14:40):
even engaging in something like that. And I think maybe
that not to blame it on the alcohol per se,
but I think that that definitely helped to lower the
inhibitions and created more of an ease and a relaxed nature,
Whereas if we didn't engage in those rituals, it wouldn't

(15:04):
feel as natural.

Speaker 1 (15:07):
Absolutely, okay, So what happens is, again, when there's an
unhealthy dynamic, you feel the need to do something to
take the edge off. So those are actually red flags
that you can look for. Do you require drugs, alcohol
being talked into before you engage, or do you require

(15:31):
something in order to simply relax and you know, be
intimate with this person. So those are the things that
I would call more so red flags to say, Okay,
why do I need this in order to do this?

Speaker 2 (15:46):
Right?

Speaker 1 (15:46):
Again, what's my belief system surrounding this relationship? Is there
any shame that I am working through? Is it guilt
that I'm working through? Blame? Right, there are three emotions
that we experience, shame, guilt, and blame their feelings like
anything else. However, when we sit in them, it brings
us down. And if we're talking about rituals, we may

(16:10):
engage in certain things drugs, alcohol to work through them
so that we can then engage sexually. But that is
a find. If I have to do this in order
to engage sexually, yeah, I need to probably rethink what
I'm doing.

Speaker 2 (16:28):
Definitely. I can see how that's a red flag now
looking back, for sure. And it's part of the reason
too that as I'm getting back into the dating world
and experiencing that again, I'm choosing to It's a thing
called sober dating, So I'm choosing not to drink alcohol

(16:49):
and definitely not doing drugs on dates so I can
really get to know the person and get to know
how I feel in my own body without the influence
of something else.

Speaker 1 (17:03):
I'm a huge advocate for that as well as Richard.
Do you know your standards of relationship the things that
you are looking for in a healthy relationship.

Speaker 2 (17:17):
I believe I do. I'm looking for healthy communication where
you know, we're not conflict avoidant, We're able to talk
about things and bring things to the surface so we
can foster more true intimacy. I'm looking for similar values honesty, integrity, respect, kindness,

(17:40):
you know, hard working and family. I'm looking for someone
that takes care of their body, that views their body
as a temple. They also think that someone who is
emotionally intelligent, who's able to talk about their emotions, and
not only that, but like emotionally regulated, so you know,

(18:03):
fights aren't explosive. You know, we're able to have a
stable conversation and really express our feelings in a way
that isn't volatile.

Speaker 1 (18:14):
Yes, look at you, check you out. Yes, ma'am. Those
are fabulous standards of relationship. Very very I mean, I
know we just met, but I'm very proud of you
for knowing this. I speak to women, you know, a
lot older, and they just haven't done the work yet,
so they may not know. But if you lead with
these standards of relationship while you're getting back into the

(18:37):
dating world, you will find that it's a lot more
challenging to get into something that is completely unhealthy because
you're asking these questions, also considering what makes you feel safe,
because those are likely a part of your key values.
But we sometimes don't connect right, So I know, for me,

(19:00):
protection as far as like feeling protected, follow through feeling secure,
like those things are like make me feel safe, and
those are part of my key values as well.

Speaker 2 (19:11):
So yes, and I listen to just a podcast snippet
of a therapist saying that there have been studies by
women who have described the feeling of safety and being
safe sparks the motions of being attracted to somebody.

Speaker 1 (19:33):
Yeah. Absolutely, because intimacy requires vulnerability, right, And if I
don't feel safe with you, wall is coming up, right,
And so that absolutely impacts intimacy. And when I'm talking
about intimacy, I'm talking about the various types of intimacy,
including sexual intimacy. But absolutely safety is a key component

(19:57):
for healthy intimacy.

Speaker 2 (19:58):
I should say, can you talk about, like what happens
to the chemistry and the brain specifically for women who
have sex with somebody, Like does it change something in
your brain that like makes it harder to discern if
this is a good life partner or not.

Speaker 1 (20:19):
So here's the thing. One, when we have sex and
we have we experience pleasure. Dopamine is released in the brain.

Speaker 2 (20:27):
Right.

Speaker 1 (20:28):
There's so many This is also a layered question. You
have people that can have sex with people and there's
no connection and they're simply seeking pleasure, and that's just
what it is. You have others that require that emotional connection,
and you also have furthermore, others who sex and emotions

(20:51):
are absolutely tied into, and then those people get lost
in the sauce. Right, So it's the first knowing what
is your relationship? That's said, what happens when you experience pleasure?
You know, do you automatically get connected to this person
or can you just hit it and quit it type
of thing? You have to know that about yourself and

(21:13):
be honest with yourself. So dopamine is being released, but
it really does depend on your personal experience with sex.
What happens in your body when you experience it, the
mind and body connection, what happens with both. Everyone is
different in that sense, So you have people that don't.

(21:35):
It doesn't get confusing, but there's a lot of us
women that do connect the two. And if we don't
have that healthy foundation rooted in myself right again, self love,
all the things, then I can absolutely get kind of
drugged off of the dopamine and now I am not

(21:57):
making rational decisions. I'm more so living in maybe even dating,
like the possibilities versus looking at the reality type of thing.
All those things can happen when you are more of
an emotional person that gets lost in that and not
necessarily rooted as an individual.

Speaker 2 (22:19):
On the flip side of that, is love enough? What
happens if you're emotionally connected to partner but sexually it
just isn't there and is there a way to fix that?

Speaker 1 (22:33):
So love is not enough for a lot of things.
Love is important. So if we're talking about a healthy relationship,
is love enough? No, you have to be in alignment.
If you're not in alignment, when you meet someone, we
have to have a conversation of can we is there
something that we can do? Can we compromise?

Speaker 2 (22:51):
Right?

Speaker 1 (22:52):
Can love be enough? When you have for sex or
trash sex? We'll just say it's a been because you
have couples that you know are absolutely in love and
they don't have sex for a number of reasons, whether
it's you know, medical, not interested. It depends on how

(23:16):
high a priority sex is in your relationship. Sex is
an important part of a healthy relationship, but it varies though,
because it depends on the couple. I work with couples
who you know may not have it for whatever reason,
but they absolutely can have a very pleasure fieled life
because it may not be a priority or maybe it's

(23:39):
off the table for another reason. One reason or another.
If it is high on a priority list and it's trash, yes,
you come to a sex therapist. We talk about how
to excite and explore and expand your sex life. There's
so many different things that couples can do to expand,

(24:01):
but you have to be willing and you have to
be okay with talking about it. So can it change, Yes,
but it's love enough. Sexually, it depends. It depends on
your relationship with sex and what you want, what your
priorities are in your relationship.

Speaker 2 (24:17):
Does this change as you age? Or for instance, if
you're in a relationship for a very long time and
those honeymoon feelings seem to have subsided, does that change
as you age?

Speaker 1 (24:33):
Absolutely, it absolutely changes because what happens is, for a
lot of people, our libidos change. I'm talking about our
sex drives, right, So when I work with couples, let's
say I work with couples that are in their thirties
or so, I advocate for them to talk about the
issues now, because as long as we age and as

(24:55):
long as we stay alive, our sexual health is going
to change. It's going to happen. So let's talk about
it when it's not a problem when the penis is
not working. What are we going to do when you
know women are hormones are fluctuating, what are we going
to do? Right, Let's talk about how to maintain sexual health,

(25:16):
how to have those challenging questions. Now, we can be
preventative and not reparitive. Because I work with a lot
of older couples. They they don't have any protocols in place,
and they're experiencing these things for the first time, and
there's a lot of again shame around them. But if
you've been preventative years before, now we have a plan.

(25:37):
So if you do come to me and they're shame,
we're going to work through those things. We're going to
talk about how libidos change, how sex drives change. Sometimes
we are spontaneous, which so when I say spontaneous desire,
I'm talking about the desire that a lot of us
experience in our twenties. The wind could blow and you'd

(25:58):
feel a little frisky. Right, You don't don't need much.
Then you have responsive desire, and this just means that
you need a stimulus of some kind. Maybe you need
you see something on TV and now you get a
little frisky, or you get a physical touch, or your
love language is spoken and you get frisky. The way
that you get turned on can change with age, but

(26:21):
younger people can experience those different types of desire as well.
It's having the language to communicate to your partner how
you get turned on, whether you are young or older.
But those things absolutely will shift when you get older.
You communicate, though, that's where it starts to end, communicating

(26:41):
what you're experiencing, how your pleasure and your relationship with
pleasure is changing. The things that you used to give
you pleasure. You know when you were younger very well,
may not work when you're older. Right, So let's talk
about what that looks like at every stage of life.

Speaker 2 (26:58):
What do you do if you are and love but
your sexual priorities vary between partners? Do you repair that
or do you break up? Or where do you go
from there?

Speaker 1 (27:11):
So if you are in love and you want to
stay in the relationship, then you again can come to
a sex therapist and we can talk about what a
bridge looks like. We can talk about again how to
talk about what you desire. Oftentimes people just don't have
the language, they don't understand sexual boundaries, and they don't

(27:34):
see a way out of this box that they have
found themselves in. We talk about how to expand there's
a form that I have my couple spell out. It's
called the yes nor maybe form that has a variety
of things that you can experience sexually. However, if it's
a yes, check it off. If it's a no, check
it off, if it's a maybe, check it off. But

(27:55):
discuss everything, because you may not want something in this way,
but maybe you would be open to a variation when
what you just described comes with a lack of communication
and more rigid boundaries. I'm not ever suggesting that anyone
go outside of their boundaries, but let's discuss it. So

(28:18):
do you just break up? Not if you want the relationship.
If the relationship is rooted in those key things love, trust, compassion, respect,
and you want to work on the relationship with assistance,
you can improve your sex life. But if people are
not willing and sex is high on the priority, then

(28:41):
you know you may have to You can discuss what
are some compromises. If no one is willing to compromise,
and you may end the relationship. But if you want
the relationship through or things that you can do for sure.

Speaker 2 (28:53):
One of the things that I'm taking more seriously is
my sexual health and like getting an STD test and
asking my partner to get an STD test before there's
intimacy in the bedroom. So how do you bring up
a conversation like that if it feels a little bit uncomfortable.

Speaker 1 (29:13):
There are so many people in your age ranch that
are entering the dating pool. Sexual health is at the
forefront of social media and society right now, right so
there are a lot of people that are not playing
anymore and they are advocating for their mental, relational, and
sexual wellness. And so if you feel uncomfortable, that's okay,

(29:35):
That is okay. You do it afraid. You do it afraid.
You're setting the stage for a healthy relationship. It is
completely natural for you to feel uncomfortable if you're not
used to having these conversations. So you take a few
deep breaths, you give yourself permission to do it afraid,
and you have these conversations. I absolutely encourage everyone when

(29:57):
you start dating to if you're thinking about being intimate
with someone, not just penetration, but just intimate in general,
to have these conversations. And if you're nervous about it
or shamed. It's okay. Give yourself permission to feel the feeling,
identify the feeling, and allow it to pass. And it

(30:17):
passes when you do it in spite of it. Yes,
keep doing that, man, Yes, that's that's awesome. Very proud
of you for doing that.

Speaker 2 (30:38):
Can you talk about the differences between emotional attraction, physical attraction,
and sexual attraction.

Speaker 1 (30:46):
So here's okay. So physical attraction is, you know, pretty
cut and dry. You are physically attracted to someone's presence.
You are physically attracted to how they present.

Speaker 2 (30:57):
Right.

Speaker 1 (30:57):
Emotional attraction you're attracted to how they make you feel.
You're attracted to the conversation, the communication, You're just attracted
to the feelings of it. Sexual attraction is more it's
very similar to physical attraction. However, you may very well,

(31:19):
you know your vagina get to it, you have a
sexual response when you engage with this person. Physical and
sexual definitely can oftentimes do cross over. They can all
of course overlap, but those are the differences.

Speaker 2 (31:36):
Can we get addicted to the excitement of sex and
mistake it for true intimacy, So that.

Speaker 1 (31:43):
Goes back to your relationship with sex as a person.
If you're getting addicted to it. So again we're talking
about out of control sexual behavior. Can you be addicted? Not,
according to what we call the DSM, there is no
sex addiction. But can you engage in out of control
sexual behavior? Absolutely? And can you mistake that virtue intimacy? Absolutely?

(32:09):
But again it goes back to you know, what is
your relationship like with yourself? You know, how healthy is that?
What kind of well rounded person are you to be
able to have not barriers, but protective factors to prevent
those things from happening.

Speaker 2 (32:25):
Going back to our orgasm conversation, and I know that
this is like a typical thing because probably women don't
experience orgasms as often as men do. But why do
we as women feel compelled to fake orgasms when it's

(32:45):
just like not happening for us. Are we faking it
for the sake of our partners feelings? What is that?

Speaker 1 (32:53):
There's a number of reasons, and so first, ladies, let's
not do that anymore. But as women, we have been
programmed to prioritize the pleasure of others, and so that
includes expressing that you've had an orgasm. To your pardon,
maybe you really haven't, because again you're prioritizing their pleasure.

(33:14):
It's the expectation because oftentimes your part will ask, you know,
well did you have orgasm? Did you have orgasms? Did
you have orgasm? Because a lot of sex is performance
oriented instead of pleasure focused. There's a difference. You're focusing
on only having the orgasm then, and that's the goal,

(33:35):
that's what you're seeking. And so as women, again, because
we've been programmed to prioritize pleasure of others, we want
to I think a lot of times you want to
be we want to highlight their pleasure. We want to
feel that expectation and that is the priority and not
so much as our pleasure. So we should not be

(33:56):
faking sex. And also when you don't have the language,
and then there's some shame and fear to say, you know, no,
I didn't have an orgasm, or you know this isn't
this doesn't make me feel good? Do this? You don't
have the language, And so oftentimes too it's about conflict avoidance. Right,

(34:17):
I'm going to go ahead and say I did it
because I don't want to deal with the possible backlash.
I don't want to deal with your attitude, or I
don't want to deal with the awkwardness of that conversation.
So women will oftentimes say we I did, but they didn't.

Speaker 2 (34:32):
Where does the attraction to people we know are bad
for us come from?

Speaker 1 (34:39):
Okay, So that it can be a number of things
that can be a trauma bonding situation. So, for all
intense purposes, trauma bonding happens when we're a children, and
it occurs in a person. It happens when three things
are true. A child experiences love, rejection, and neglect of

(35:02):
some form. And so oftentimes we learn that love is
difficult growing up, right, And if you've learned that in
some form of fashion, then when someone comes with red
flag after red flag after red flag, you don't necessarily
notice it. It's not you don't see the red flag
because it feels familiar, right. And so when we're in

(35:25):
unhealthy relationships, oftentimes or not seeing those red flags because
again they feel familiar. And so you have that honeymoon
phase when your partner treats you like a queen, right,
But oftentimes the majority of the relationship they treat you
like you know what. Right. But we are always holding

(35:48):
onto that false sense of hope that it was once good.
It can be that again when they're really it, oftentimes
is no evidence that that is going to happen. So
when we are in that unhealthy relationship and we know,
you know, maybe you're hearing from others that this is
not a good relationship for you, and maybe you know,

(36:09):
it goes back to that trauma bonding situation where I'm
always holding on to well, it can be that good,
and it's the negative thoughts and dialogue that we have
with ourselves that keeps us there.

Speaker 2 (36:22):
Okay, so wrong person, great sex. How do you move
on from them?

Speaker 1 (36:27):
It's not easy, but it's possible. It is absolutely possible.
So wrong person, great sex. I would absolutely start with
that individual love because it's hard to prioritize something where
there's harm involved. Yes, the sex is great, but if

(36:50):
there's harm involved in a relationship or just you know
that you and that person are not in alignment when
your value, when you are walking in your values, principles
and morals, it's challenging to stay in that unhealthy you know, relationship,
and so also prioritizing your pleasure. If you're prioritizing your pleasure,
yes you're having great sex over here, but if you

(37:11):
also know what your body craves and you can give
that to yourself and you're loving yourself intentionally vs. Principles
and morals. It's it's easier to walk away. It's when
we need that external validation and that's all we're giving
because we're not pouring into ourselves that I'm attached to

(37:32):
this because this person is meeting, you know, some part
of my needs and I'm not necessarily meeting my own.

Speaker 2 (37:40):
Ah. Such a good answer. Yes, I think that's like
one of the biggest lessons that we have to learn
maybe or maybe just speaking from my experience through trial
and error, just like really prioritizing your morals and your
values and being principled enough to fill your own cup

(38:03):
and know that if this person isn't in alignment with you,
there's no way it's going to work out. It's not
a healthy relationship, and you're just gonna have to like
cut off ties and start filling your own cup and
validating yourself from within, and you know, using tools like

(38:24):
toys to pleasure yourself and make sure that you you know,
you can take care of yourself and this person who
you're choosing to add into your life should be just
like the icing on the cake of it all.

Speaker 1 (38:37):
Yes, ma'am. Absolutely, And it's when we don't have that
that we're not rooted and grounded in ourselves. We are
absolutely at risk for doing things out of desperation, and
that's what that is, and so it it's dangerous, honestly,
but again, a lot of us have experienced it.

Speaker 2 (38:59):
It's an important for people to try multiple partners to
know the difference between good and bad sex.

Speaker 1 (39:05):
Nope, it's not. You can explore as much as you
want to with one partner. You have the right, of course,
being you know, being mindful of sexual health and having
safer sex, you have the right to you know, engage
how you please. But it is not required that you

(39:27):
have multiple partners to explore sexually. That's that's absolutely a
myth because you have a lot of people that have
absolutely had tons of partners and their sex is trash
because they're doing the same things over and over. Right,
just because you have more partners does not mean that

(39:49):
you are more experienced.

Speaker 2 (40:02):
I was attracted to this other person who was on
the same reality TV show that I was on. Was
I more attracted to him because I perceived him to
have more power or to have more influence or or
put him on a pedestal in some sort of way.

Speaker 1 (40:22):
That absolutely could have been a part of it. And
then again it goes back to the to the forms
of attraction you mentioned sexual, emotional, physical, You know, what
was your why have you been able to you know,
really identify that for yourself.

Speaker 2 (40:41):
The why and the physical attraction.

Speaker 1 (40:45):
The why and all of the attraction, Like what was
your motivation? What connected you? What attracted you to this person?
Because it could have been the power, the image, it
could have been all those things that could have does
mean one of the other.

Speaker 2 (41:01):
It was okay. So it was emotional attraction because I
enjoyed the feeling that I got being around him, because
I felt valued and adored and like really appreciated, just
like being present in the same room as him. And
then also just a contrast between my last relationship that

(41:23):
was very volatile and unhealthy and I was going through
some sort of heartbreak with that and just feeling like
heartbroken basically, and just the environment that I was in,
I was kind of torturing myself in a way. When
I was around him, I felt this sense of relief

(41:46):
and this sense of security and safety and acceptance, and
I think both of those things plus like I like
the way he looked, and I liked the way he dressed,
in the way that he's spoken, he was very charismatic,
and so I think all of those factors played into

(42:07):
that chemistry absolutely.

Speaker 1 (42:12):
So it also sounds like, and you know, definitely correct
me if I'm wrong, but what I hear also is
that you were grieving the past relationship and there was
a lot of heartbreaking things. So somebody coming along and
speaking to those hurt parts of you, it's easier to attach.

(42:34):
And so we're talking about like attachment theory, and you were,
you know, in this hurt place, this wounded, somewhat placed,
and then here comes this person almost helping you to heal.
Because as human beings, we thrive in community. So although
it was an unhealthy relationship, you were getting something out

(42:57):
of it, and you were also weren't there were things
that were not resolved for you. And so if there
were open wounds and here's this person you're feeling heard
and seeing and things like that, I can absolutely see
how an unhealthy connection thenforms because he's pouring into your

(43:18):
cup and it sounds like your cup may have been
a little empty.

Speaker 2 (43:22):
Yeah. Absolutely. I was in a five year relationship and
I broke off this engagement and my ex found a
new partner, you know, in a short amount of time,
maybe like two months if that, after I gave him
back the ring, and so I just felt like I
was replaced, and I felt like our connection wasn't really

(43:47):
like what I thought it was. Even though I was
the one that broke up with him, I still felt
like I loved him and I saw a future with him,
and it was it was a hard decision to because
I knew that he wasn't healthy for me, but I
still loved him, and I just couldn't comprehend how he
could fall in love with somebody else so quickly, and

(44:10):
so it just made me feel like that whole relationship
was a farce. I was in an environment where I
was working filming with my ex and his new girlfriend,
and he was telling me that she's the love of
his life, and you know, all of these things that
he used to tell me, and it just made me

(44:32):
spiral into a dark place. And I was drinking a
lot of alcohol to cope with that pain and just
not in a good stable place. Trying to get back
into a dating scene, but like feeling lost and my
identity was shattered for multiple reasons, you know, And then

(44:56):
here comes along this other person that really made me
feel seen and like valued and loved and cared for
and accepted and wanted to hear my story and showed
me this like undivided interest. Yeah, I think I was grieving.

Speaker 1 (45:13):
Yeah, and being in that dark place can can and
it's it's not about irrational. It's not about making it
right or wrong. It is the reality that when you
are in a dark place and you are getting into
another relationship or situation, you are at a higher risk
of making irrational decisions on ones that may not be

(45:37):
it may not be the best, but again, they're serving
a purpose and so a lot of us have done that.
This is not about right, wrong, or and different. This
is just what it is. When you are in a
place of desperation and hurt, you make decisions from that place.
So I can I can understand that I'm.

Speaker 2 (45:57):
In a much better place now. I feel like sometimes
we look at celebrities like they're on a different level,
and maybe there's more of an emotional connection to celebrity
because it's how they make you feel about yourself and
then probably this fantasy case where you believe that you

(46:17):
know this person even though what you see isn't in
totality who they are, like, you're not actually getting to
know them on a personal level.

Speaker 1 (46:26):
So when there's you know, someone has celebrity and it's like,
well they're picking me, you know, it's a confidence boost.
It's also stroking your ego, an ego you know, when
you're making decisions from that place, you can kind of
get yourself into trouble.

Speaker 2 (46:45):
Right.

Speaker 1 (46:45):
So of course if this person is a celebrity and
you know they want to engage with you and spend
time with you, that also is like a dopamine brush.
And so now I'm making more decisions from an emotional
place and not necessary the logical place of my brain.
And so we end up, you know, focusing on the

(47:07):
potential of what we experience, what we believe, versus what
we experience. Does that make sense? So when we date potential,
it's the narratives that we're focusing on. It's it's the
dopamine rush. It's the possibility of being with somebody who
we see on a different caliber, and it just it

(47:32):
puts us in a position to also actually be hurt
because again potential versus reality.

Speaker 2 (47:42):
This sounds really weird, but I'm more asking on a
personal level because this is a apparently I'm a notable
person and you know you are infamous for the situation.
And now that I'm dating again, it's like, Okay, now
I have to be aware that other people may you know,

(48:05):
this concept of me giving them attention may feed into
their own ego. It's realizing now that you know, there's
this extra factor that I need to take into consideration
when dating and to be aware of that. And so,
how can you discern whether or not you're feeding somebody's

(48:27):
ego or if it's like a true connection. Is there
a way to determine that?

Speaker 1 (48:34):
Well, it doesn't have to be either or right, because
you can absolutely celebrity or not feed someone's ego and
still determine that. Okay, I'm leading with my standards of relationship.
I'm being transparent about you know, where I am, what
you may encounter, you know, by being with me and

(48:56):
wanting to know your standards of relationship, What is your
why you know? What are your values, principles and morals?
I'll always go back to that those should be our
guiding principles and so with that combined with a transparent communication,
that's kind of how you discern about the alignment piece.
It doesn't have to be you know either or that's

(49:17):
more black and white thinking that we kind of engage in.
But you know, both things can be true because you
are a notable person and you're a beautiful person. So
just you being you know, beautiful outside of the celebrity
can feed someone's ego, and so it doesn't have to
mean a necessarily bad thing. Now if it's all about

(49:39):
that and not, you know, I'm wanting to connect with
you on a genuine level. I'm wanting to get to
know you. Then you know, red flag absolutely, but one
doesn't have to the ego only doesn't have to negate
that I'm coming to you as a genuine person wanting

(50:00):
to get to know you.

Speaker 2 (50:01):
Good advice and a good perspective to look at the
dating situation. Okay, well, thank you so much, Nikwan. I
really enjoyed this conversation with you, and I am still
processing through my own shame that I feel with sexuality
and just like talking about it and open forum. So

(50:24):
I thank you for holding space for me to like,
go through my emotions and get my words out and
have this conversation.

Speaker 1 (50:32):
So thank you, thank you so much for having me
and I command you because we cannot hear what we
will not speak, So just by you speaking this shame
is helping you to release it and also helping a
lot of others because it's something that a lot of
us hold and again you're not alone. So thank you
for being a partner in this journey to sexual oness.

Speaker 2 (51:10):
Thank you so much for listening to Rachel gos Grogue.
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