How does being neurodivergent impact relationships and sexuality? What are some common yucks and yums? How can everybody foster understanding? Hear it all on this episode of the Queer Joy Podcast; where two relationship therapists (and guest Taylor Kravitz) explore what it looks like to see joy in queer relationships.
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Taylor: I noticed more and more clients coming in talking about being neurodivergent and talking about how that was impacting their relationships and sexuality. And I felt like I really wanted to honor that, really well and fully.
Melisa: Hi everyone, and welcome back to Queer Relationships, Queer Joy. I'm one of your hosts, Melisa DeSegiurant.
Keely: Welcome everyone. I'm the other host, Keely C. Helmick,
Melisa: We're joined by a guest, so we'll do some introductions.
Keely: Yes, we'll do, I'll see if I can do it really quick this time. My name is Keely C. Helmick. I am the owner of Connective Therapy Collective. I am a queer non-binary femme, pronouns they, them, I am also a certified sex therapist and I am white and working on my back injury still. Five months to go.
Melisa: You're you're getting there Keely. You're getting there.
Melisa: And I'm Melisa DeSegiurant. I am licensed as a marriage and family therapist and professional counselor working at Connective Therapy Collective. I'm white, I am able bodied, I'm bisexual, polyamorous, I am gender fluid, gender queer I use she and they pronouns. And welcome Taylor. You, we just like rushed in so you can introduce yourself, however feels comfortable to you. Let our listeners know who you are.
Taylor: Yeah. My name is Taylor Kravitz. I use she her pronouns. I am white, I am Queer and fat and femme, I'm a neurodivergent. I have ADHD. That's a part of my experience. I'm a mom and I am the owner of Empowered Fulfillment Therapy, which is, now a group practice here in Portland that specializes in sex and relationship therapy and specifically working with folks who are typically marginalized. So, queer, trans, kinky, or sex positive. Yeah, that's what I do.
Keely: Awesome. Well thanks for joining us today, Taylor. And do you wanna touch base? Will really quickly identify when you use it, when you're using the term neurodivergent, what you're referring to specifically.
Taylor: Yeah. So when I say neurodivergent, I'm referring to that, I don't have the, the experience of having a brain that, functions in a neurotypical way. So we in our society have really like favored and privileged neurotypical folks and so Neurodivergence is speaking to those who, could be a variety of things, but, commonly it's like people who have ADHD or who maybe are diagnosed as autistic or, people who have OCD. and there are some other, folks who identify as neurodivergent too. So it's kind of a way to claim that, like, yeah, our brains function a little bit differently than the norm. and I like to use it in this empowering way of like reclaiming, my experience in my unique brain.
Keely: Yeah. Yeah. So you have, you have a partner and you have a kiddo. And do you wanna talk a little bit about how, when we're talking about,non neurotypical experiences, how that shows up in your relationship?
Taylor: Yeah. Yeah, it shows up in lots of ways. I will say I have a neurodivergent partner too, so there's a commonality there, um, although we both started exploring that after we got together, so I wonder if that's part of what drew us to each other. But I will say I've noticed, it being more challenging, to kind of like get through daily life after being a parent. I think once we added that into our relationship, there's a lot more to keep up with and manage and, to keep track of. And I noticed that the ways that I had kind of like I built systems to, kind of like get by. And the structures that we have in our society. And I realized they were not working as well once I added in a child. So I think that added stress to our relationship cuz we were both experiencing that at the same time and struggling, with like being more overstimulated or losing track of things or being forgetful. And I think it's been really important in our relationship to have this lens of, of being neurodivergent because it reframes these challenges with communication or division of labor in a different way. Whereas before we might have said like, you're just not doing something because you're not valuing, contributing to our home. It's like, oh, you forgot to do this because your brain is struggling to keep track of everything. Uh, therefore, how can we work together to have a system that works better for us?
Melisa: Yeah. I hear you saying like, challenging the meaning making that may happen and understanding that's part of neurodivergence. It's not like a personal affront or something when something doesn't happen. Which I really, I love. It sounds like you're talking about this a little bit already, but I'm curious about your why in terms of your work, and it sounds like your relationships might inform what you're helping others learn about being in relationship with neurodivergent.
So your why and like what specifically feels important to communicate to people regarding neurodivergence? Both in relationships, but also in sex.
Taylor: Mm-hmm. . Yeah, I think my why is I've always been drawn to working with folks who feel underrepresented, specifically since I've done sex therapy, like in that space. And I've noticed just like more and more clients, I think through the, excuse me, the like community openness, like through TikTok and social media, there's been more exposure to, neurodivergent experiences. So I noticed more and more clients coming in talking about being neurodivergent and talking about how that was impacting their relationships and sexuality. And I felt like I really wanted to honor that, really well and fully. So I think that's my why is I want people to feel seen, understood, I want them to be able to make this different, meaning around these experiences that happen in the relationship. That could be because of their neurodivergence. It's really important to me. Yeah.
Melisa: I love that you also used the word empowerment before, which it feels like an important part of this conversation. I mean, maybe any conversation having to do with sex and underrepresented populations. I wanna throw this term out there, and I'm pretty sure it was Cardinal who said this, so Cardinal giving you credit. If it was you and if not, you get credit anyway. I guess, but that used the term neuro spicy, which I like that really resonated with me and felt like that empowering energy you're talking about.
Taylor: I love that word. It's like, a really fun reclaiming.
Taylor: About, um, neuro divergence and I think it's, yeah, I've seen it around and it's just, it's a fun way to say like, yeah, I'm feeling a little neuro spicy.