Keely and Melisa explore the complexities of how unhealed trauma from past relationships show up in present relationships. Hear it all on this episode of the Queer Joy Podcast; where two relationship therapists explore what it looks like to see joy in monogamous, polyamorous, and single queer relationships.
Leave us a voicemail at 503-660-4409
Put QRQJ into action with our Relationship Check-In worksheet. Get it here: bit.ly/QRQJworksheet
FB & IG: @queer_relationships_queer_joy
Melisa: [00:00:00] Some of these folks have been doing that intensely and working through trauma and healing and, and working through codependency and all of those things, and then we entertain the idea of getting back in a relationship and it's like, wait, haven't I been working on that? Why is that not healed?
Hello everyone. Welcome back to Queer Relationships Queer. Joy.
Keely: Ooh, Queer relationships, Queer, Joy. We have a lot of relationship things to talk about. We will have some joy
Melisa: We, we promise there, there will be joy, but buckle up.
Keely: Yeah, we are looking for those gratitudes and joys right now. There's a lot of stuff going on for a lot of humans in the relationship department, so we'll do our intros, but just a heads up, we, we may talk a little bit about sex, but the focus today is back on relationships and relationship dynamics and [00:01:00] what is going on, at least in our world, what we're seeing.
Melisa: You're just, what is going on? Really, that's my question. Can anyone answer it?
Keely: Can anyone answer this? We'll talk about it, but I, we may not have the answer.
Melisa: We may not.
Keely: So I am. My name is Keely C. Helmick. I am a licensed professional counselor, owner of Connective Therapy Collective. I am a white, non-binary, Queer femme who is continuing to heal. I am definitely not monogamous. You know, is it solo? Is it, how am I connected? That's part of our conversation today, But for now, I continue to talk about the person I call Main Main. That's where I'm at.
Melisa: I am Melisa DeSegiurant. I am licensed as a marriage family therapist and professional counselor working at Connective Therapy Collective. I'm white bisexual. I'm able bodied. I am polyamorous. I am polyunsaturated. There's a big pause. We'll, [00:02:00] maybe I'm determining that too. I think I'm polyunsaturated. Polyunsaturated and lonely. Let's just name that.
Keely: Yes. Oh my gosh.
Melisa: Yeah, I am in relationship. I'm at relationship capacity and I feel lonely. Damn it. That still happens. Yeah.
Keely: I think that's a real thing that often does not get. Maybe it does, but I don't feel like we talk about it very much. I don't hear it a lot. The idea that how you can have these relationships and the relationships can be going for the most part really well, and there's still times of loneliness. It can feel lonely.
Melisa: Yeah, I'll get more into that in updates, but I think it's important to name number one just cuz it's authentic to like where I'm at today. And we try and not bullshit people on this podcast and like show up authentically, um, and also, like any of you have listened to us before. Like, no, I, I really enjoy relationship with self and so I think it's important to also name I too can get lonely That is also a feeling [00:03:00] I can experience, so,
Keely: No, that. to talk about. Not, not a great feeling to have, but it's a really great thing to talk about.
Melisa: Well, it's great to normalize, you know, I think it would be, again, false of me to say like, I never get lonely. I have all these activities and all the, yes, I do have activities and sometimes I am doing them through tears cuz I'm lonely.
Keely: Yeah. Yeah.
Melisa: Do we wanna do updates? I feel like both of us are like, eh.
Keely: I mean, I think my update, I mean, I do have a Queer Joy, uh, this is will be, the recording will be a couple weeks afterwards uh, what occurred. I don't know if I have much updates for once. I don't know. I mean, the person who I deem Main Main, um, thank you Ashley Gavins, uh, I'm very excited. I don't know if I already said this on an episode, but like, Chloe found out for me that Ashley Gavins is coming to town in May to Portland. Yeah, I think I already said that and I'll probably say it again because is that where my [00:04:00] excitement is, is some comedian and podcasts, there's where it's at. Uh, Otherwise I think what you and I were just saying, I am figuring out.
I know what I want, but I'm thinking, I'm trying to figure out, how do I phrase that in the dating sense, and how do I really be more intentional? And I know we've said that word already so many times. Even just the past couple episodes, but it was interesting on a recent whatever. I'm gonna talk about Ashley Gavins, an episode that I found really interesting and ties in with what we're saying.
Is that she mentioned when she first started dating that she had really put her W net really wide and just said, you know, I'm just gonna experience dating. I'm just gonna see I'll, I'll say yes, yes, yes, yes. Kind of like that. What is the, the movie? Yes, man. The person that's just like says yes to everything.
And [00:05:00] so she was saying yes to all these dates and then now she talks about being in a place where she is being more picky. And really encouraging people to be picky. And the way that reflects in my life right now is I recognize last year at this time, I had just gotten back on dating apps and I was, uh, really embracing nonmonogamy and I ebb and flow monogamy, non monogamy, polyamory, and I've said that before.
And when I was dating, I was going on all these dates. I was just like, okay, I'll see, like I'll just meet up with these people, see how it goes. And it was really interesting. Now reflecting back on that, the same thing of what Ashley's saying is that I wanna be really intentional and really notice what I am looking [00:06:00] for and seen how the opportunity presents, but not just really reading people's profiles and reflecting on, is that, does that sound like a match for me?
Keely: And the easiest one is like I am full blast wanting a primary partner. I'm ready for a primary partner. I'm in a space emotionally and physically and in my life realm, have the space for that. And so one easy thing for me is on the dating apps, if I see someone that's like, they're like, they already have a primary, I'm like, Nope. Like, I can just, Nope. Swipe, swipe, swipe. That's not gonna work. And believe me, I don't know what everyone else is seeing, especially like if you're outside of Portland, I'd be curious, but dang.
I would say at least in my feed, probably like 50, over 50% of the people that are on the dating apps right now that I [00:07:00] see already have primaries.
Melisa: Mm-hmm. . Yeah. It's tough. Pickings.
Keely: Yeah. And it's just a whole new world after, you know, after 2020. This is, things have really shifted and I think they're really shifting again.
Melisa: Mm-hmm. . Yeah, there's, there's more changing happening and it's, you know, underneath all of it, we're going through relationship, you know, uh, like anniversaries. Whether that's the anniversary of relationship starting or ending, like there's a lot of subtext. I think underneath all the changes happening, um, I'll give my relationship or my update, I shouldn't say it's a relationship update cuz it's, it is it's relationship with lots of different parts of my life, but it's not just with humans.
um, Even though it sounded ominous, I mean, I will say things are going well, there's nothing not going well in my relationships, um, the loneliness, I mean with my long distance relationship, that's part of it. That's just part of being in a long distance relationship is missing someone [00:08:00] intensely, you know, and, and, um, getting to video chat is so great and it's just not the same as being in the physical presence of that person. So that's, that's a real thing. And yeah, loneliness. I think in the context of even my relationship, there's just been scheduling things that have come up as happens with nonmonogamy where we were kind of in a pattern of getting to see each other every week, which had been an increase since, you know, I'd say the, our, our previous relationship, um, and now it's been a while.
And so I'm really feeling that like intensely. I'm like, wow, when there's big changes to how the frequency of which I see my partners, it's just something I have to adjust to. So that's hard. Um, And I am realizing kind of as you were giving your update, Keeley, uh, and this relates to what I said about. Kind of anniversaries of relationships. Um, My local partner and I, I've referenced that we had a breakup before that was really intense and I don't need to go into, I just prefer not to talk about all of the context of that. [00:09:00] But it did happen around this time two years ago. And so with where things are at currently in our relationship and then with the, the wider net of the relationships we all share, you know, as a poly dynamic. There's a lot coming up for me right now around that, and so I'm just being with that and it's, it's just heavy. That was, that was, um, on top of my grief from my divorce that was arguably the most intense few months of, of my life. So I'm feeling that and I, I think, um, I, it's not, you know, our topic today is not just, I think what I'm experiencing with your experiencing Keely, but these themes are getting echoed in every therapy session I am sitting in right now.
So I'm just, I feel for all, all of you out there who might be feeling the heaviness of relationships, um, and, and again, potentially excitement of new shifts that are happening too. Um,
Cardinal: Hey, hey, it's Cardinal. You're behind the scenes buddy. I'm feeling some excitement for some new [00:10:00] shifts. Episode 69 is coming up and come on, we got it. , we gotta do something special. Uh, we wanna make an episode dedicated to your queer joy, so call our voicemail line.
Don't worry, nobody will actually pick up and leave a message about your queer joy of the week or of the month or of the year. . Yeah. You can also text us. The number is 5 0 3 6 6 0 4 4 0 9. That's 5 0 3 6. 6 0 4. 4 0 9. It's also in the episode description. It costs $0 and would mean the world to Keely, Melisa and I if you left a message.
All right. Back to the show.
Keely: Yeah, and I think about the like seasons and. Not it's even more heavy, but I have experienced quite a few deaths recently, and it's a very common time. When we look at nature, we are you. The death is all [00:11:00] around us, and so there is grief and death, and we can look at death as, yes a life ending uh, but it also can represent an, an end of something or a shift of something.
And I think that grief pops up during this time. Makes a lot of sense when we're looking at the seasons and being with the seasons. And that something interesting you mentioned earlier that you, you haven't mentioned yet on when we, you and I were just chatting was how we don't always recognize how being in relationships we can still have this grief. And you mentioned like for some people, especially since since 2020, some people really haven't been dating and if they're starting to date now, uh, that there is grief coming up around past relationships. And it's like when you're not, when you're single, [00:12:00] there's so much work that can be done. There's so many awesome things that can happen when you're single and you may think that you are over a relationship or that you've moved on from the grief of a past relationship, and then you get into a new relationship.
You're like, oh, wait a minute. Ooh, there's these residual feelings. There's just some sadness. There's still some feelings of loss from that. Those former relationships.
Melisa: Yeah. Absolutely. This has been a theme with many, many of the people that I talk to, honestly. And it's, yeah, I mean, we can, we promote relationship with self when we promote self work. And some of these folks have been doing that intensely and working through trauma and healing and, and working through codependency and all of those things, and then we entertain the idea of getting back in a relationship and it's like, wait, haven't I been working on that? Why is that not healed? You know, and it's tough because that's the part where, and I say this to clients where the relationship um, is, where the healing happens. You know, there's only so much we can do in a vacuum [00:13:00] and with our therapists and support groups and all of those other friends, family, like all those other people who help.
us But when we're actually in that vulnerable place, again of being in a relationship, that's when those triggers come up and that's when the real work of like, okay, how do I ground myself? How do I resource how, how do I know what I need? How do I communicate what I need? How do I tell myself this is the present day, this is a new situation.
This isn't the old pattern happening again. I don't have to go into fight or flight mode.
Keely: Well, yeah, and those things that a person has been working on with themselves, it can only, some of those things can only be practiced when you're in that situation, when you have an emotion come up during an interaction with somebody else.
Keely: And so I often think about certain either patterns or things that someone's trying to resolve within themselves around how they want to improve, how they interact in [00:14:00] relationships that practice happens when that situation pops up again.
Melisa: Yeah. Well, and the word you, Yeah, the word you just use feels important, like practice, because I think people think about healing as a destination. Like, I'm gonna get to this point. I'm never gonna have a trigger again. I don't have to think about that anymore. Conquered that one. Life's gonna be a breeze, give me a new challenge and time and time again that's not how it works. It's the same challenges we continue to revisit. It's the same patterns, you know, and so it's, it's the practice of staying engaged and, and changing each time. That same theme or same pattern, reemerges. Giving yourself more opportunity to, to have some agency and distance from your emotions and be able to respond to them and not just react blindly in the pattern, you know? But it is, it's that set life is gonna keep handing you that same set of patterns, you know, and that's where the cognitive piece I think comes in. Cuz you can choose [00:15:00] how you wanna look at that. You can choose the narrative. You know, you wanna, you wanna believe or say about that.
Keely: And you know, something that we talked with the new year of revisiting negotiations, agreements, those pieces within a relationship dynamic, if you, usually that comes up a little bit after you've been dating someone a little longer, but you also know about yourself. Those things are really being challenged right now what I'm hearing from people and something that really has popped up in these. With this idea of patterns is people who were dating during the lockdown and who were together during the lockdown and who are still together now are finding that they created these types of [00:16:00] patterns
Keely: That they were almost forced to, or it was because of, it was situational. So we talked earlier, even like last year about what was it like post covid, but I think we used that term and social media picked up that term and you know, and journalism and all that. I think that what I'm hearing is we're actually feeling the repercussions still.
Melisa: Yeah. Oh yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. And, and. Maybe different iterations of it or different waves of it, but certainly now seems to be a time where we're really accepting that we have to figure out what we want in our relationships, in our life. And we can't keep waiting for something else to shift even with Covid, right?
We were waiting for this big Covid's gonna end and it's like it hasn't been some clear cut. It's over at all, you know? Uh, And so, yeah, I mean, and, and as you said, these patterns that were not necessarily, [00:17:00] I guess some, sometimes they were intentional, but it was about survival in the moment or just necessity, people who moved in together because that was the easiest way to save rent when somebody lost a job due to due to the pandemic, right?
Like there's so many different stories about how people got into the relationship structures they were in. Um, and some of that is shift. shifting.
Keely: Yeah, and I've heard the term thrown around, um, in my circles and some other people talking, and I don't know if you've heard this as well, and this can be. This is specifically in nonmonogamy, but this, as we've talked about many times, can also apply to monogamy. How the lockdown and being in these smaller bubbles now that people are expanding and outdating and out in the world as we have more vaccinations and just how we get into a place where, We have some exposure and we recognize, but that the risks aren't as high as they used to be, and this [00:18:00] flavoring of codependency that some people are noticing because if you were dating someone during the lockdown and then made it through these next, you know, year or so, and then really reflecting on, oh, I really want to be dating again. and I wanna be dating outside of this primary person or this nesting partner and things coming up.
Melisa: A lot of people were forced into pseudo monogamy for a long time. You know, and I, I say pseudo because I've had, again, clients who identified as non-monogamous, but because of health reasons and the pandemic and the risk factors, they were not able to date other people. And so sometimes that's where, um, the codependency I've seen with people can come in because we've been operating in this monogamous way, and now it's an adjustment. It's a transition to all of a sudden we're launched back into now there's more, more people, there's more partners [00:19:00] who makes decisions, who holds the power, where is the privilege? Like all of those dynamics we've gotta deal with again, you know, and, and that can be really hard and complicated.
Keely: Yeah, and so this is popping up. So we have this grief potentially for some people, but there's also this opportunity of wanting to get out again and wanting to reestablish other partnerships or other dating situations. And I'm even hearing like some people are like I, things were working so well. Some people broke up right after the pandemic or right after the lockdown.
I wanna keep clarifying the lockdown period. After the lockdown period. Covid is still real, COVID is still there, so I don't wanna, if I catch my, I wanna catch myself using the word after covid or post covid.
Keely: And so, so, but the people that stay together or are still in relationships with those folks, there's a second round now coming up and how to navigate that [00:20:00] and how, like you, we were saying earlier, these patterns, how to notice these patterns and validate them, but then also continue getting, exploring what your wants are, what your desires are, how you wanna structure a relationship. And I think that that gets even more muddied and like less clear because sometimes people are like, oh, well this is how our relationship dynamic was. Why wouldn't it just continue
Like I, you know, so, and sometimes in the relationship dynamic, one person was like, that was great. I like that. I wanna continue doing that.
The other person is this isn't what I signed up for. I was just doing this for, because this was a forced situation out of my control.
Melisa: Yeah, yeah.
Melisa: Yeah. I mean, As we're [00:21:00] saying this, I'm, I'm thinking about what are the invitations, what is helpful for people as they're navigating all of this? And to me it's like, slow down like that. That's just what the universe is telling me is like everyone breathe and move slowly. Uh, not necessarily a time for big, quick decisions that are a super impulsive and spontaneous if you're dealing with all of these, you know, floating energies.
And I say that like again, Trust your gut. Trust yourself. If you're not resonating with this particular topic and theme, good on you. Go get some. Have a good time, like we will tear you on. If you're floating in all of this. The grief and the uncertainty and shifting and changing in co-dependency is coming up and all these things, slow down and breathe and think about like basic needs. We say this often, but I, I, I think it's important to like hydrate, nourish yourself. [00:22:00] Like there's a ton of emotional exertion and you need to fuel yourself for that appropriately sleep. You know, those things are really important to relationships.
Keely: Yeah. Well, and then, uh, the little piece in me, or maybe more than little peace, I'm like, I don't wanna slow down, like, I've been waiting for this for years. You know, I, I made it through, I did my one year post relationship work and the slowdown. I think it's interesting talking about a slowdown because some people, like my little piece of myself that felt really resistant to it.
Keely: There's almost this, there can be this energy of I've been waiting this long, I've been waiting, I'm ready now I wanna do this thing. It's really reflective, you know, when I've talked about in the past about some of these relationship dynamics and, uh, brief dating situations where people are looking for a certain [00:23:00] way for relationship to feel, and I think it's really important to bring that up again in this situation, in this discussion, that the slowdown, if you're not used to that, doesn't feel like, oh, we don't have chemistry. Like when we talk about this word chemistry or a spark or feeling a connection. There's ways that that can develop that isn't instantaneous.
Keely: And a lot of the articles and research and things that I'm reading currently is saying that we have normalized something that isn't actually the most healthy for long term.
Melisa: Right. Well, and sometimes the slowing down is like it ma uh, relationships, you know, NRE, like, I know I experienced this and I've talked about this before, I, because, it feels for me, still pretty rare that I have that connection where I'm like, oh [00:24:00] man, I'm really feeling attraction on all the levels and that's just part of who I am when I do it is intense and it's pretty immediate and it's really irresistible like, you know, because it's just like, oh my God, like case in point, my, my long distance partner who I met over summer. It had been two years since I had had a first meeting with somebody that I was like that into. Like it had been a long time, and so the impulse was not to slow down. The impulse was like, let's go, go. You know? This is what I, you know, and that's great.
However, if we had just, you know, like seen each other every day, spent every minute together, that would've been fine. However, that's gonna be different than the longevity long-term ness. The longevity of the relationship, like that wouldn't be sustainable is my point. Um, and that, I think that's true even if you live in the same town, right?
That NRE first initial, like whatever that [00:25:00] dynamic is in the beginning isn't sustainable. So if you're gonna do that and speed up and all great, do that, but know what you're in, understand that this is being fed by novelty and new relationship energy. Understand that it is going to change. I think the attachment to that energy can be really problematic.
Keely: Oh yes. The attachment to that feeling, that's where it gets really in that gray area, is if you're searching for that certain feeling.
Melisa: Yeah. Yeah. Because then NRE fades. And what's the story that we say? Like, oh, I guess it's not working out. Like No, it is perfectly working out. You are just really attached to the beginning of relationships. You don't seem to be wanting to leave that phase.
Keely: Yeah, and whether you're monogamous or non-monogamous, that can, that can create a routine if you notice that you are dating and when you date, if you are date seeing one person, or you could be seeing multiple people as well. But if you're seeing someone and you're feeling that, and then [00:26:00] you notice that your relationships only last three months, three to six months.
There's nothing wrong with that. I'm not here to shame anybody. If that's your thing, great. There's nothing. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. And if you are looking for more long term, noticing that if you have that pattern of really short relationships, is that about the NRE? Are you actually getting to know somebody?
Because time and time again, actually getting to know somebody takes a year at least, and this is re, this isn't just my opinion, this is research based. This is really well thought out. For me, it makes sense logically cause I'm like, oh, I need to see how someone is throughout the whole season, all the seasons.
Melisa: I love that. Yeah. That and Foster said the same thing, right? I, that was like, brilliant. I'm like, oh my gosh. Yes. Abso especially somewhere where the seasons impact people's emotions [00:27:00] and moods. Oh my God.
Keely: Oh my gosh. I mean, yeah, cuz I can speak for myself. I'm even thinking back, like I mentioned two people that I had like dated very briefly, I'm gonna say dated, but hung out with whatever. and I'm reflecting back and it's like, oh, . I'm like, maybe I shouldn't date new people between October and January or October and you know, through January and February, because I don't think that I, someone doesn't get to see the full me in those moments.
Like I was still, I mean, I'm still injured, but I was really going through my injury and I do have bouts of seasonal depression, and so like if you're looking to have big NRE with me, it's probably not gonna happen during those months.
Melisa: Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . And like as we say that too, we don't have to show up any specific way. Like, I also don't want people to, to, you know, because [00:28:00] I do hear this from clients, like, I have to be fully healed before I can go in relationships, you know? And like that is not true either. It's messy, folks. It's not like super clean and like this is, you know, perfect and no, that's all it, it's messy and sometimes we are gonna start relationships when we feel like we're at our worst and that's okay. I mean, gosh, I, going through my divorce, like some of my most intense relationships were the people who were there for me around that time. And that includes friendships that deepened, you know, uh, a lot of friendships that really deepened.
So we're not always gonna, you know, you, you don't have to wait for the perfect season, I guess, is what I'm saying. And it's fair to know your patterns. I know for myself at least a lot. Last two years, I have very, very low bandwidth for new people and, and taking in new information in the fall. And I would say especially winter, and a lot of that is because of my job.
Because being a therapist, it's really intense and my caseload is hurting [00:29:00] and I am feeling that, and I'm sitting with all that heaviness. So my capacity and my, my dating schedule is impacted by that, you know? Um, and that's okay. I get to choose that , you know.
Keely: Yeah. Yeah, that's, and I think when you say that, even just recognizing. I can take ownership or say that I didn't have as much bandwidth to have those connections, and I think it's really relevant. Going back to the conversation earlier when we were talking about how Ashley, Gavin was talking about being more picky, I think also something that really happens when you become more intentional and you are doing work with yourself, then it's gonna seem, there's gonna probably be more rejection honestly, on both sides. Like you as the person seeking dating, are gonna be rejecting and, and how do we deal with rejection?
Keely: We'll, have to go into this more. I think this is a great like topic [00:30:00] on its own, so I won't dive too much into it. We can maybe visit this on a later date, but it is interesting to think about this tie in with wanting to slow down, but also saying, I am thinking about what I want, being more picky, but also being in the queer community and talking about the queer community of some of this feeling of scarcity. And I don't wanna limit, and I don't, there are people in other states that really, I don't want to downplay. The scarcity is real, and that doesn't mean scarcity in that sometimes it's depending where you're at, it's less safe to be out. Less people are out. There are folks that are in cis hetero parenting marriage where maybe no monogamy isn't as safe to explore. I mean, I consistently hear people moving to Portland cause they're like, oh, it's more queer [00:31:00] and you can be poly there. And so I don't wanna downplay. That we have quite the privilege of living in a city where there is access to queer community but there's a lot of rejection
Melisa: There's a lot of rejection. There is. There is. And. Again, if, if you are being picky, whether that's, uh, uh, uh, the decision you wanna make or not, because I don't wanna qualify that as good or bad, right? That's, it just is, uh, it, it will likely mean more loneliness. That is my story, like I am selective about who I let in, and so that means, I don't let a lot of people in and, and I, that's a choice I am making, you know, and so I gotta deal with the, with the, the fallout of that choice, I guess.
Keely: So when we're saying this idea of [00:32:00] again, going back to grief and seeing how relationships are shifting and seeing what's coming up in relationships is beyond communication, is revisiting what, what are the things that are working well?
Melisa: Mm-hmm. .
Keely: And when if you're noticing more arguments or disagreements, you're noticing, wow, we just used to get along so well and now things aren't how they used to be.
Notice what those disagreements are about. Reflect on it is, is it someone's wants and desires not being met? Is it because now things are opening up even more that people are continuing to feel more comfortable getting out and dating, you know, is that a piece of it? is it, is it about your past NRE, but what are these, what are the patterns that are now emerging and how is that reflective of [00:33:00] your own self-worth? Not self-worth, sorry. Reflective of your own self-work. How is that reflective of your own self-work and how is it that it's a changing dynamic within your relationships? Also, what is the outside influence?
Melisa: It's funny you said self worth, and I'm like, yeah, because people do tie it into that though. I hear that all the time, and that's one of the things that. I guess, let me clarify too, when I say slow down, that doesn't necessarily mean slow down all your relationships. That means slow yourself down. Like when something happens, take a breath and notice, re like you're saying, Keely, reflect on where these things are coming from.
And I, and I, I actually, yeah, I've heard a lot about self-worth recently because of this. Um, It's that interpersonal and codependent thing where it's like, unless I'm in relationship in the way that feels good to me and I get to show to the world, I don't feel valuable. So many people have their self worth wrapped up in their relationships with other people, and so [00:34:00] then if we're not in relationship the way we'd like, or the relationship isn't fitting the way it used to, that can really take a toll.
And so check into that, if you're tying those two things together, there's the personal work for you to do there. You are, you are worthy, whether you are in a relationship with someone or not, the way that feels good. So if you're tying those things together, there is some more self work to do on that.
Keely: Yeah, and noticing when you have those poles to want something to be different than what it is.
Keely: Slow down is reflective of practicing mindfulness, and for those that do have any kind of practice and mindfulness, I think about radical acceptance. And there's things, what are we creating? What's suffering are we creating for ourselves when we're trying to change something that isn't ours to change or control?
Melisa: Right. Yeah. And a lot of times that's to avoid pain, right? And so that acceptance can involve stepping into the pain and the grief. You know, as [00:35:00] I said earlier, sometimes when I'm experiencing that loneliness, yeah, I'm doing all these things that I would. Usually do I'm playing piano, I'm whatever I'm doing, and I am with my grief, I'm cry- I broke into tears last night when I was playing something and it was just that emotional release of like, Ugh, there's been all this pent up energy and I don't know where to put it. And that's how it came out for me. So channel that, put that somewhere.
Keely: Yeah, it is and it is different and things are and when something has had such an effect for many of us on physical health, especially if you had covid or any other kind of illnesses, but especially having covid, but there's also this emotional drain that is really reflective, especially for those in the health, the helping communities, those that doctors, nurses, therapists, uh, nurses aids, medical assistants, physical therapists, all of these different [00:36:00] helping folks that were really working really, really hard in 2020, 2021, now 2022. And we're seeing that toll on physical, emotional, and that's gonna reflect in relationships as well.
Melisa: Mm-hmm. . Yeah. it's that, you know, it's, it's after the major holidays or after the new year, NRE, the the NRE with 2023 is gone and it's heavy and it's okay. Take a breath, like I said, drink some water, stretch your body if you can.
Keely: And that self-compassion, starting with self-compassion for yourself and that compassion for than others is more accessible. And knowing that we're all going through things, we just don't know what each other is going through.
Keely: Check-ins, check-ins, we all, let's all check in with each other, just like how Melisa and I check in with each other each [00:37:00] week.
Start it off, start the conversation with a check-in, and then end the conversation with gratitude.
which. .Well, why we have our Queer Joy.
Melisa: Yeah. Which I love and it makes me excited and I'm particularly excited for Queer Joy today. So I don't, I don't, are we there? Are we doing Queer joy?
Keely: I think we're there. Yeah. I mean we, yes. That's, I was I segue? Yes.
Melisa: Yes. Nice. Why am I questioning it? Well done. Keely. Why would I call that? Oh my God. Um,
Melisa: Well, I want a name that I am proud of myself for being slightly more active on my Instagram profile. So if any of you follow me, you might notice that I'm not making any promises, so you know, watch your expectations. But I say that because I've been trying to [00:38:00] post more on my stories mostly. Um, of my like solo dates and just random Queer Joy moments cuz I figured like that isn't access, that feels accessible to me. I do have a lot of boundaries with social media, that I have to have for my sanity and health, but that feels accessible.
Uh, So one of these, my Queer Joy was actually already on there, so if anyone follows me, you have the inside scoop. But, um, it's the show, the circle. And I don't know, I feel like I've said it before, but like, uh, it's just, it's, it's confirmed. Like that is my favorite reality TV show, competition show. I have said since the beginning, like, queer people rule this show
Like it's just, it is the Queer people rule it, they're the best and , um, . I was having a moment at the start of the season where I wasn't feeling super connected, and then it was like one conversation that pivoted the whole thing and it's when two of the first like queer people on the show like found each other and it started and I'm like, okay, now the energy of the show is happening.
And [00:39:00] so the Queer Joy moment wasn't even related. I mean, it was a Queer person who's who said this thing. It has a lot of queer themes. You'll see , they were doing a the quiz or like a trivia, and the question was, what is, it was a scientific question. What is the first element on the periodic table? I'm one of my favorite peop I almost said characters. This is a real person. I have to remind myself, this is reality tv, right? I love her. She's hilarious. She comes, what are the elements? Earth, water, fire, air, and just like, I'm like, oh honey, those are different elements, but like well done. You know your elements. Like as a witchy queer person in Portland, I had to pause the show and literally I laughed out loud in my apartment for like five minutes.
Like I was crying. I had tears straighting down my face. I had to text my best friend who also watches the show. So that moment, and then of course I was super, Iwas happy because, um, the, the circle, like their Instagram page posted that [00:40:00] quote like later. I'm like, yes. That moment you saw me, like I know a million other queer people watching that were just like, yes.
Those are the elements. So anyway, if you don't jive with that, whatever. That's my Queer Joy.
Melisa: Laughing out loud in your apartment.
Keely: Your Queer Joy's your own.
Melisa: Oh, yeah.
Keely: Well, my Queer Joy is actually also a little, uh, foreshadowing of a interview coming up because I just spent Seattle. I spent a couple days in Seattle with Main, Main, and we went to the Muffing Workshop by Lucy Fielding. And what an experience. Oh my gosh. So for those that don't know what muffing is, I, we should post that, um, on the Instagram. So we will post that so that folks have that [00:41:00] definition. But yeah, it was this great workshop where super queer, because it's Lucy Fielding. Muffing is also, it doesn't have to be, it's not a Queer sex act or a sexual um, interaction. It's not queer in of itself, but it is queering sex. And that's how she started off the workshop is saying, why muffing?
And she's like, because we're here to queer sex for everybody. And I'm like, yes. So are we .Listen, I here it if fucking queer sex app queering sex and so the workshop was divided into three sections. The first section was information and some slides about muffing and introductions. And then the second, um, second portion was demonstration of muffing with two professional.
One was a somatics, um, somatics sex, not sex there like, maybe like somatic sex coach. I don't know. I don't remember what her exact title was, but somatic work. And [00:42:00] then the other person actually, I found out she's doing queer tantric sex, like queering tantric sex, which is like super exciting. Anyway, going off, so there's a demonstration part. And then the third part, the third hour, was people going around and being able to, uh, practice with partners or consensually practice with other people.
Keely: Just so great and the other. So the middle part of watching the demonstration was not just about the act of what muffing is, but they did such a beautiful job of like a warmup and I guess what says hetero people call foreplay.
But there was a lot of consent, a lot of talking during the sexual encounter and really you got to demonstrate and see how started off slowly. , they had more and more touch and throughout touching these verbal check-ins, [00:43:00] which did not take away from the sexiness of the interaction by the way. So it was also really nice to see that.
And then discussion of, uh, aftercare and all of this was really combined in this hour so that folks can see how that looks in in real life.
Melisa: You get to demo like a really intentional process.
Keely: Yes. It was so wonderful . And also the, to wrap up this Queer Joy, it was like going into this queer sanctuary because, We had been outside and the Seattle Seahawks had been playing and just finished their game and oh my gosh, I'm sitting here, I'm like, I'm in Seattle. Seattle's super queer and it is not queer right now.
And it's just like all these people coming from a football game and just that like very cis hetero male and I mean there are women there too, but it's very cis hetero male energy of like a football game and like rra and [00:44:00] ugh. And then I got in there and it was like gay art everywhere. Look at people like art and queer people, and I gotta give Lucy a big hug and I'm like, oh, thank God. I
Melisa: You felt some relief.
Keely: Yes. Yes. So even in a queer city like Seattle. Oof. It's still I, yeah,
Melisa: It's not for everyone. I, here I am like the, the bisexual who also like was married to a sports coach.
Melisa: So like, I'm like, .Yeah, what a great environment. Yeah. I'm all about it. And it's decidedly not a place that I would call a queer space. I really enjoy getting to infiltrate all of these straight spaces with my super invisibility powers.
Keely: That in of itself can be an episode how, how by invisibility [00:45:00] can, how can you infiltrate these spaces in queer?
Melisa: Yeah. Let's use this as a superpower when we can, right? We use it for the greater good.
Keely: Of the Queer agenda, how by invisibility increases?
Melisa: That goes along with the story about how at one point I had colored hair and someone was like, oh, is that for Halloween? And I'm like, nope, I'm fucking queer. And you wouldn't get that, that's okay you made an appropriate assumption.
Keely: Oh my gosh, yes. So on that note, look at, uh, look out for Lucy Fielding on Instagram. On our Instagram on Lucy Fielding goes by, um, sex Beyond b. Sex Beyond Binaries. So that's, uh, her tagline on Instagram, follow her, check her out, and look out for her interview, which will be coming out early February.
Melisa: Woohoo. Very excited about.
Keely: [00:46:00] Oh, super excited. It was so nice to see in person. And I get to see her again. So on that note, you know where to find us on Instagram, Facebook, our website. There will be, we'll be wrapping up our giveaway. So other than that, I hope everyone has a Queer and Joyful week.
Cardinal: Thanks for listening to queer relationships, Queer Joy, a podcast by the Connective Therapy Collective. Hosted by Keely C. Helmick and Melissa DeSegiurant with audio edited by Ley Supapo Bernido. I'm a [00:47:00] producer and behind the scenes, buddy, Cardinal marking inter music is by bad snacks. This episode made you smile or think, tell us about it. If you hated it, tell us about that. Review us on iTunes or Spotify, or send us an email at media at Connective Therapy. Collective dot com.
Follow our Instagram at Queer underscore relationships underscore Queer underscored joy, and find more resources on our website. Www dot Connective Therapy, Collective dot com slash queer relationships. Queer Joy. It's a lot of links. Just check the episode description. All right. Love you. Bye.