What does the patriarchy look like in medicine? Why is it important to bring sexuality into the doctor’s office? How can you queer up your life? Hear it all on this episode of the Queer Joy Podcast; where two relationship therapists explore what it looks like to see joy in queer relationships.
Dr Evelin Dacker IG @sexmeddoc
STARS worksheet: www.maketimeforthetalk.com/resources
Build your relationship agreement with the Relationship Anarchy: bit.ly/ctcworksheets
Shop at As You Like It here: bit.ly/asyoulikeitshop
Connective Therapy Collective website: www.connectivetherapycollective.com
FB & IG: @connectivetherapycollective
Evelyn: It's the relationship conversation that nobody is having, but everybody should, . And so in this conversation is where I go into a little bit more and explore sexuality as part of whole person health. Because having these conversations allows us to create a safer container for ourselves and for each other, which is absolutely linked to how we could become healthier as mental health and physical health as well.. Keely: Hello, everyone. Welcome back to queer relationships, queer joy. This is Kelly C Helmick, one of your hosts Melisa: and your other host, Melissa DeSegiurant. Keely: And we are super excited to have a guest today. We get to talk to a sex positive doctor, which like how many do we know of those? Very few. So we are very lucky to have that in our state of Oregon. And. Doing some rad things, but before like Evaline, will you introduce yourself? Evelin: Sure. My name is Evaline Malina Decker, and I am a board-certified family physician. Who's practicing primary care in Salem, Oregon. I'm sex positive, which means that seeing sexuality as a really important healing modality in all of our health. So I see, I see sexuality as not something separate from whole health. It's part of our whole health and integrating that and teaching communication and a lot of the the tenants of what, what we learn in sex positivity is really the basis of most of my work. Keely: Yeah. Oh, that's so great. Evaline, do you have pronouns that you want us to use? Evelyn: She, she, her is works for me. I am a Mexican American Jewish re I was raised Catholic, but, and in the Mexican tradition, but I am Mexican American and also Jewish. And I that's basically, I identify as queer non-monogamous polyamorous open about all of that in my life, because I believe that if we could start owning our identities and showing that we are just like everybody else, that's an important way of changing the world's changing people, seeing who we are. Keely: Yay. Thank you. Yeah. And I kind of jumped the gun and did something a little differently than normal cause Melissa, I didn't have you introduced yourself and I didn't introduce myself yet, but that's okay. Cause we can Melisa: The listeners know us, but we can still do introductions Keely: every time, all the time. Yup. Well, Melisa: I'm Melissa. I use she, her and they, them pronouns preferably interchangeably. That feels really good. I identify as gender queer and gender fluid. I'm a bisexual person, also polyamorous practicing non-monogamy and a therapist at Connective Therapy Collective. Keely: And my name is Kelly C Helmick. I am a licensed professional counselor, queer sex therapist. I am queer gender fluid and non non-conforming non-binary femme. I am solo currently practicing dating non-monogamously. And I don't know, I always miss something, but that's. You're the owner of Connective Therapy Collective. Oh, I am the owner. So Evaline, one of the things we've been talking well, Melissa, is there anything you want to say before we jump into the, are we going to save it for queer joy? Melisa: I just want to say that based on the introduction, I'm already really excited, especially about this, like yes, sexuality. Just part of our whole thing. It doesn't have to be this separate from. The words like alternative lifestyle had been thrown around a lot with non-monogamy and I'm kind of just sick of it. So I'm already happy. Keely: So in this idea of this integration of both relationship styles, being a human in this world of queerness and non-monogamy, do you want to tell all of our listeners a little bit about how you got to this place in your life? Because you're in this really yummy place and you have all this life experience. Evelyn: Yes, I do. I'm starting to own that. It's like, yes, I am in my crone years. And that means I have a lot of things to talk about and it's a beautiful thing. Yeah. So I pretty much got into sex positive spaces about seven or eight years ago. Uh, Before then I have been, I was married for 22 years and the heteronormative monogamous marriage and in my forties, I think at, during the time where a lot of people start to really question like, who am I? Am I doing what I want to be doing here on Earth? Is this really who I am some questioning our identity, especially as, you know, if we have any offspring or children that were raised and they probably get a little older by then. So it's like you finally have that breathing space. And during that breathing space, I the first thing I did was during the roller Derby team, yes. I joined the roller Derby team and that was like, wow, this is amazing being in this group. All femme space. Where we get to dress up and take on alter identities. And for the first time, in like 20 years of my life, I was able to take a breath and really reevaluate. Who am I? And what is it that I want to be during that time? I was also deep in the study of all of, you know, integrated medicine. I've always been studying integrative medicine ever since I graduated from medical school and way back in the nineties. But I was getting a certification in functional medicine, which is looking at the basis of underlying disease and dysfunction. And while I was doing this study and it took me about five years of going away and doing courses and studying like right as I finished, I was at a conference and I was looking at all the books on the table and I realized there's not one book about sexuality. And this was happening kind of like during my forties reawakening of my sexuality. And I thought there's not one person speaking about this, and that is a real, like, how can we really talk about holistic integrative medicine when we're not talking about this really important thing that I know I'm going through? Yeah. I see all my patients who are older and going through menopause, kind of just being like, yeah, I got through menopause. I don't have any sex drive and that's okay for me. And I was like, wait, I feel like I never even own my sexuality. I'm not ready to give it away, give it up. And how could not be a healthy thing? So at that point, I dove into trying to learn more about sexuality. And where does one learn about sexuality? A sex shop. That's my first university and continuing medical education was that was that Shebop. and Shebop really, their offerings were so broad that I didn't feel. In fact, I remember the first time I walked into Shebob I used to be a clothing store, so I just walked in there thinking it was a clothing store. And I remember walking in for the first time of day, like This is not a clothing store. I think maybe once in my twenties, in medical school, a girlfriend and I drove by an adult shop once and we're like, let's go in and take a look at what it looks like. And we went in really nervous, you know what I mean? Like walked out really fast. And that was like my only experience with that sort of shop. So I wanted to Shebop, I remember being like, you know, in my earlier forties and being okay, this is no longer a clothing store. And instead of running out the door and let me take a breath and look around, and it was like this woman owned store and. Really impressed, so quite uncomfortable, but you know, impressed by it. So I, I got on their mailing list and knew that they were teaching classes. So the first thing I did was I always remember my very first class was like on blowjobs. And I took that class five times. Yeah, especially when you come from a Catholic Mexican background, it was just a really uncomfortable, it was an uncomfortable place for me. It was in one of these workshops. It wasn't that one, but it was a one or these workshops where they talked about that safer sex. It was Reid Mihalko's safer sex elevator speech, which was like 19 questions. You're supposed to get done within five minutes on the elevator. And I was like, I, it kind of, the concept blew my mind because it's a concept that I never. Had ex- had even heard of. And so I went back to my office and I started trying to teach my patients this concept. And so that was concept number one that I learned from sex positive space, from sexuality that I integrate it into, like my normal practice. Then a little after that, you know, in my, in my explorations, I explored, I went into kink spaces to explore that. I went into I, I mean, I went to a swingers club to experience that, and then I joined sex pos- I joined a sex positive organization in Portland at the time that was quite strong and had really good offerings. And that's where I got exposed to boundaries, which honestly like never. Here. I was like, I was probably like 46, 47, never knew boundaries. So like the boundaries class, I was like, wow, this is so interesting. And then I got, I got exposed to tantra space. And little by little, I realized that one of the things that was really common in all of these spaces was communication. Yeah. Right. All the time, communicating like really basic things like your sexual health and your STI status, what it is, your desire, what it is, what your boundaries are and what you need to be able, you know, your identity, who are you? And Whereas I started really incorporating along to this in my medical practice. What I did do was I took all these concepts and I created a framework for a talk that is what a lot of my work is right now. Is about bringing this sex positive, talk to the mainstream and it's, I call it, it's called. I call it the sex talk nobody is having, but everybody should, and it's called STARS and that's an acronym. So I know there's a lot of different acronyms there's I could name our BDSM, PLEASURE, SPREAD LOVE, HAZARD... I mean, there's all these acronyms for these safer sex talks, but mine, I. Because it doesn't necessarily say like, you're going to have pleasure. There is a hazard are like B this is a BDSM. I mean, it kind of is like, it takes it outside of just sex. And really, I would say it's the relationship conversation that nobody is having, but everybody should, yeah. And so in this conversation is where I go into a little bit more and explore sexuality as part of whole person health. Because having these conversations allows us to create safe, a safer container for ourselves and for each other, which is absolutely linked to how we could become healthier as mental health and physical health as well.. Cardinal: Conversations can be hard. Hey, it's Cardinal your unconversational uncle. I've got a free tool to help you facilitate these hard conversations. Well, actually I've got two. So there's the relationship anarchies Schmidt dashboard on our website link in the description that facilitates creating a relationship agreement by communicating in no uncertain terms, what you and your partner or partners are looking for. There's also Dr. . Star resource, which she'll be talking about later in the episode, you can find that on her website, which is also linked into the description, just want to stuff you full of worksheets, do the work it's actually kind of fun. Have you done any of these worksheets reach out and let us know how it went. Okay. Back to the show. Keely: Well, and hearing a doctor. I mean, I think about the things. As I'm, you're very well aware of being a doctor, that there is this power that is held within our society of like when a doctor says something and this is to be true. And this is based in science and based in research and based in this wealth of knowledge. And I'm just thinking how powerful it is for you to be telling your patients this and, and talking about this, because you have such a wealth of knowledge from your schooling and the body, and then incorporating that into communication. Wow. Like how we, how our bodies are healthy, affects our communication. What? Evelyn: And, you know, a lot, a lot of also where, especially the last few years, I've come to realize how much of our health has to do with trauma and shame, right? I mean, shame, shame is one of the most powerful tools to keep people in a cultural context box. You're supposed to be like this, right. You're supposed to get married and grow up and live happily ever after. Now, if you don't do that, there's some shame about it. And I mean, I have to say like, I it's something, I constantly battle as it physician who people say, oh, you're an MD or so you're like, you're held above like what you just said, but in the truth, I'm somebody who left my marriage at 22 years, I'm somebody who came out publicly as sex positive and all of the things that that means, you know, and someone who came out publicly as non-monogamous and someone who came out publicly as not heterosexual. Um, And there's like that fear and shame involved with that. And if I experience it then how could you not experience it being queer? Correct. Like I identify as queer. How could you not explain it? But there's so much richness in that queerness. There's so much beauty and so much power that owning your queerness and owning all of this identities that you may or may not have allows you to actually. Be better aligned in the behaviors that you express and who you are, and be in a better place of integrity with yourself and others. The more you're in integrity, the healthier you're going to be. I Melisa: have to think too, that, you know, the power that that has for all of the patients that you see, the way that you can embody that queerness, that's something I've know I've experienced is I feel like I'm showing up so much more authentically for the clients I get to work with and it gives them permission to do the same. And when you talk about Shane. I hear so much shame around sex and sexuality. And I do hear clients who've had, who have felt shamed by physicians they've gone and seen. And so I'm appreciative of your presence, you know, in the field and also your own embodiment of, of being a queer person. Evelyn: Yeah. I mean, tons. It's really interesting. Last, just last week, patients still have a hard time. I mean, look me up. It's not hard to find who I am and what the work I do. And patients still have a hard time. Being honest with me. I had a patient recently who is in a long-term relationship, who they came in and were having some issues around their mouth. And I was like, oh, it's probably XYZ. And let's treat me for that. And while this is going on, I would avoid doing any using your mouth for any sexual context, like on genitals or something. And it was only, and then, then they call back and we're like, you know, it's not getting better with that. And I'm like, okay, well probably here's some other things, you know, you could try. And then they actually told my medical assistant, they're like, well, you know, I was making out with another person outside of my primary relationship. It was like, Okay. So what's going on is that there's really nothing going on in their mouth, but they're carrying this like guilt and shame in their mouth. And maybe we need to have them come in and do some swabs. And, you know, and because I think that if they were making, if they were using their mouth with another person, Probably we're also using it on their genitals, but didn't really want to say that. And then of course, when my medical assistant called back, they did say, well, I was doing more, but it's so interesting that that patient couldn't tell me this. And I think it does have to do with that fear of being shamed by this person in power, right. That, Ooh, this person in power has to be somebody who fits along the same, like had must be. I mean sex negativity, especially in medicine, it really sucks like activity or anything patriarchal is so strong that it's hard, even though my patients know it's still hard for them to bridge that gap. So thank you. I, I do do work with teaching other healthcare providers of how to address that within themselves. Not that they always listen, but you know, I try, Keely: Yeah! So when I'm hearing you say this I'm curious what, how has this changed your relationship dynamics? How has this been going from a cIS heteronormative marriage that you're no longer in. And then you were saying through your forties or starting in your forties, really embodying this more non-monogamous queer way of being in the world, being more authentic to yourself. Evelyn: Hmm. So how has it changed my practice in medicine or my life in general? I, I'm curious Keely: to hear, if you want to share a little bit about your, your relationships in life in general, and you can incorporate things in your work too, but what's yeah. How did this change your, your life and your social life? Evelyn: One thing it broadened my social life and it broadens my purpose in life. I. I realized that, oh, I, I saw this study once it said that as, as people with who. Estrogen driven go through their forties and fifties. And their estrogen starts to fall that their sexual desire starts to Paul as well. And it's, it's stressful for them until they hit around 55 and 55. They stopped caring and they're, it's like, that's when they get their happy place because they stop caring that their sexuality goes down. And I saw that, I'm like, oh my God, that's horrible. That's horrible. Like, I don't want to believe that. That's not true. I just want to say to people that is not true. It does not have to be true. One thing that changing my model is recognizing that sexuality, number one does not belong just with what I do with another person. It's actually my own and sexuality is, and sexual energy is something that I have to have a relationship with in myself to keep it healthy. And this, then that it there's so much. And then through all my exploration in sex positivity, that there's so much broader definition than the penis in vagina or penis and anus or penis and penis in something. Right. Like it's so much broader than that. So just that shift has really changed. Well, almost all of my relationships, my relationships with my platonic friendships, where, you know, touch and cuddle and just connection is deeper because I don't have that boundary of. I don't have that boundary of like, oh my God, we have to stay separated because I can't go that deep with you since it's a negation of my monogamous emotional connection, right. I'm always supposed to have this emotional connection with one person. So it broadens right. It broadened it into like I can develop and have whatever. Present with any person we don't have to be in a definition of you are my partner. What's his partner mean? And then you take that outside of just the individual and you take it to the community level. Right. And what does that mean in terms of community? How could I be in relationship with community in a way that. Deep and at the same time, trans personal so that we can affect the next layer of society. So, so shifting out of the box, that really kept me small in the individual. And like, I see it as layers. I don't know if you've ever heard the socioeconomic model that we exist in. Like, we first are the individual, then there's the family. Then there's, you know, family home community. Society global. Like the only way to really make impactful changes is to broaden what our definition of love and touch and connection is. And when sexuality belongs in here and is mine. It's not just in my head and it's not determined by what society tells me I can and cannot do. Then I am expansive and where I could like change the freaking world with it. So that's, I mean, in short, how has it changed my relationships? It's only made them better. I mean, I, I'm still my ex-husband, he's really like, I'm never going to have another one of those um, those husbands. So he's like the only one that I'll ever have. And I we still, we have a very good close relationship. I always felt like he was one, he was my soulmate, but I am incredibly grateful that we are not in the relationship we once were. And, and I, and we, you know, our children see this really healthy relationship between the both of us. And we're still very much family. We get to get, I mean, him and I we'll get together just alone, have dinner, hang out. We get together with our kids. So his partner is very supportive. You know, my partner, my partners are supportive of that relationship. It's never, we've managed to bridge that. Like it's a very, people are not used to that, but because my love is not in a box it's expansive. It goes to everything I'm allowed to define things any way I want. I mean, it's Zelensky is queerifiying the world by being this small man who was a comedian right? But being the example of the new masculine in an integrated way. And I think that. The next step for us really is breaking down those boxes out because we're ashamed, keeps us in those boxes or keeps us in those boxes and then all keeps us in a place of scarcity. Oh my God, I'd go. If I don't have, if I lose my husband, I'm going to have nothing. I, you know, if I lose that marriage, I'm going to end up as an old lady living alone in a, in a residential hotel. With cats, you know, I mean, those are the fears that keep us small, versus like, if I leave this marriage and open myself up, I have community, I have relationships with people like. What are the models in my life really is to fall in love with everybody. So even when I walk in the room with my patients, I try to be in a place of being in a place of love with that. And, you know, if I was to meet either one of you in person over lunch, like that is my intention, let's totally just fall in love. And it doesn't matter where it goes or it doesn't have to go anywhere. But by doing this again, we bring we're queerifiying the world by recognizing that we live in a place of abundance and that sexuality doesn't just belong to. What we do with other people. And and I think that's very important. I mean, I know that this could be used against me someday, if anybody ever like, you know, if I ever, if I ever make it bigger than my small world, that I, one of my missions is queer the world. It really is because queer refined the world brings us to this transpersonal space that is expansive and is healing. And it's the only. It's the integration of the masculine feminine, it's the evolution of it into something greater that we don't even understand. And that's the only way that we're going to survive. Melisa: I'm glad you came back to the shame piece of it too. Cause that's what I see. Even the shame of we've quoted this before, but on Prentice Hemphill's podcast, the shame of needing people and taking it further, the shame of loving people. I really appreciate what you said about how you approach, you know, connections. Like I'm gonna fall in love with. That's very much how I am with my clients. And, you know, I've always been a very person centered therapist and, and Kelly, you and I even talked about this in season one, with self-disclosure in therapy, that was literally shamed Keely: in, in Melisa: education. It was shamed that we show up as an authentic person yet that's where healing actually happens right. In that connectedness. So, yeah, we're bringing that in Keely: and we navigate that. Even having a podcast, there was so many times, so I've been practicing therapy for 15 years. And I think back to when I started the idea of even saying that I was queer, like fully out saying that. Even recognizing that I'm a sexual being like that you were not supposed to be showing that to clients. You weren't supposed to be bringing yourself into the room, this like false idea of like, you need to be unbiased, just like how they used to say in journalism, bullshit unbiased journalism. It's like that doesn't exist. We bring in our shit and we're actually. Doing more harm by not having ourself in the room and it's, you know, the boundaries and well, imagine that imagine if we actually had, well, maybe grad school is now, I doubt it. But in grad school we talked about boundaries in a way that was more authentic and created space for us to be human, Evelyn: to show up. You know, in medicine again, I think it's patriarchy. I think it's a patriarchal lens to try to be not involved, right. Try to be a step above. And when everything went, all the institutions come from that patriarchal lens. It keeps us distanced. And, and that's, I think. Patriarchy served us and no longer serves us. This is not Keely: served. Yeah. It is not serving men, women non-binary folks. No, Evelyn: it's not serving anybody. It's that sort of, not anymore. I, I, I think it served us and got us to where we're at now, but I think it's outgrown. Yes, very much. Well, obviously, you know, the, the, our planet is asking for that. The planet is now saying we can't support this anymore. So I, I, I do think that we have to own our queerness, but everything is queer. If we're not, it's like it's like patriarchal or is it queer? You know? And Keely: I like that. I'm going to go up and analyze everything is a patriarchal or is it queer? Evelyn: Right? Because in a true queer sense, how could we not enter into anything we do without our lens and every, you know, a journalist they're going to come in with their own lens and what they're at, that's the beauty in it. That's why we could listen to different people and see different things. You know, I have this. This metaphor that I like to use, and it may or may, it's about reflections and, and how, you know, we're, we're all such broken. Like, I don't know anybody who doesn't feel broken at one time of their life. You know, we all, we all are like this, a bunch of broken pieces. Right. And what happens when you take all those little broken pieces and you put them into a container they get held, right. What happens when you put mirrors in that container? The reflections. It becomes a kaleidoscope. It becomes this beautiful image, right? That's unique and constantly changing. And that's who we are like that to me is like the hope is that we could put all the broken pieces are broken pieces in a container and have beautiful reflections about it and recognize the individual beauty that we are in how it's always going to shift. And, and that is. That's so important because everything that we look at comes from that container, whatever person you're saying, I practice traditional medicine. I practice primary care. So my patients are every, they're not just queer. In fact, you have very few queer patients. I have, I, most of my patients are, but they come to see me. So they must be getting something from that. They don't decide to see anybody else. Keely: Well, one of my favorite things to do as a therapist is actually to work with CIS hetero couples and bring queerness into the room around couples therapy, especially with sex is like opening up because yeah, you're working when I'm working with folks who are over in their forties, fifties, sixties, and beyond. And the primary thought is, oh, I'm supposed to have sex with an erect penis and well, sometimes a penis isn't erect and there's still all this pleasure that can be had. So that's one of my friends like, wait, what? That can happen? Wait, what? Melisa: You need to just expand their minds a little bit. I heard similarly someone, you know, come in and, and say, well, sex, shouldn't be that complicated. I just do this, this and this. And that's how it goes. And there are so much more, you know! Keely: So Evaline do you want to spend before? So one of the things we do is we, we wrap up the time with the queer joy, but before we get to queer joy, do you want to spend a couple more minutes or just expand a little bit for listeners around. Some of the workshops you do, and specifically around the stars concept and what you're doing now. Evelyn: Yeah. So STAR is a passion project I've had for about five years. And again, it's taken all the elements from sex-positive communities and put, packaged it for hopefully everybody to recognize the things that they don't realize. It's a sex talk that nobody is having, but everybody should. And it's, it's really a safer talk to create a safer container. And it stands for your sexual health; STI status. Your turn-ons, your avoids, your relationship, intentions, and expectations, and your safety protocols. So starting with the first stuff, it's about understanding sexual health is whole person health, and it's not people always come to me or they go to like sexuality clinics when they're having a problem. And the issue is that we only see sexuality as a function and we treat it as, so if you're not, if it's all working well, then you have to make it work better. And we're not seeing it as an energetic. Even if it's not working well, maybe it's working perfectly. Maybe it's just the next evolution of what your sexuality so is to be. So the person that I like to teach about sexual health in that context, and then us TIS is also one of my passions because STI sexually transmitted infections are the metaphor for sex negativity in our culture. It's the way that we are made to feel guilty for doing a. Having pleasure in our body. I mean, what a gift, I don't care if you believe in God or not, like we call it a gift that we actually could enjoy being connected with another human. And we could enjoy that even with ourselves, like damn. STS are used against us in that way. Like, Ooh, if you, even the way that the CDC like be monogamous, limit your partners like it's all sex, negative everything. It's like, oh my God, if I don't don't have multiple partners. I mean, they don't tell you what that even means. So everything is about don't have sex or if you have sex just to, with one person. Protect yourself. Here's a condom, you know, and they don't really talk about the depth of that. So I do a lot of work around STI. I do workshops on de-stigmatizing STLs and I have a whole different model of how to reduce transmission then how to which is based on this communication path. So the first as the sexual health STI status, the second thing is. And that's your desires, but it's more, you know, people again, like you said, oh, wait, sex is only with an erect penis. You know, sometimes your turn-ons could be just having a really good conversation. Yeah. That's one of my best turn-ons. I also share, I also shared with the client with a patient the other day that like, I really like eye gazing, eye gazing for me is a real turn on. Th that patient was like, wow, mind blown. I never even thought of that. I'm going to go home and try it with my spouse. So, you know, like recognizing that it, it's not just like, I like my hair pulled. And yet that is also very important in having these conversations because if somebody is really into kink and someone is not, you, it's better to find out before you get undressed and are in bed. Yes. Yes. This whole conversation, the whole STARS conversation is supposed to happen when you're in a platonic or pre sexual space so that you could have the, like, it doesn't mean you have to go through absolutely everything, but, you know, there's some things that are good to know about somebody like don't touch my nipples or don't bite them, or bite them, you know, just some basic things. So that's your, turn-ons your avoids are your boundaries and also the place to discuss trauma and triggers because that could be part of your boundaries. And it's amazing how many people don't understand what boundaries are. Boundaries are that space between our yes and our now, but it's a space between me and it's a space where our yes, and they know could exist because it's a space between you and me to keep us. Which is different than a wall. A wall separates us a boundary keeps us together. And so we need to know what our yeses or nos aren't. We need to learn how to communicate that. Again. I Dealy before you enter into an intimate relationship, relationship, intentions is knowing who you are. And what is it that you want? So it begins first with ourselves. Like, what is it that I want, what are my intentions in a relationship with anybody? And then what are specifically with somebody? What is it, my intention with you? What is it that I want with you? And if we have, if we have intimacy, what does that mean? And, and is that, are you on the same page with that? The expectations is the aftercare, which again, most people outside of sex, positive spaces don't even consider. Keely: I know we need to do a whole episode on aftercare for sure. Evelyn: And not like kink aftercare. I'm talking about just regular aftercare. I don't care if you just like making out what is your aftercare needs, you know, and those changes. And some, and in that aftercare, we also have to address people who come from like neurodiversity because are aftercare immediate different. Intentions. When you come from like a biracial couples, you know, there's a lot of depth in each of these. Safety is more than just STI and pregnancy prevention. But with us, we open things like condoms and barriers, like we think, but safety is actual emotional safety, physical safety and spiritual safety. What do we need to feel in alignment with that? That is where. You know, addressing all the intersectional pieces come into play, addressing ableism power dynamics, socioeconomic changes, gender change, you know, gender issues, racial issues, like what, because all of those things, if we are not conscious of it, how can we create a safer container for you? And you. Yeah. So that's, I mean, that's, that's in a nutshell it's it's it could be something super easy. It could really be an elevator speech. You can go. There's only five things I'm well, and you know what you're doing you could go through it in an elevator. But it's also really complicated and it could take you, I mean, I probably, I have a document that's my, STAR documents. And you know, every time I complete a relationship or transition from something to another or learn something, I added into my document over there, like, oh, this is not what I need. Like one thing I just recently learned. Like from the good and the bad is that I need to know that my partners have done their work around their trauma. Keely: Oh yeah. That's like a, like a love language. Like, have you done your work or are you actively doing it? Evelyn: Yeah, I mean, but like have addressed it. Because that is the one place that I really, so this, this conversation requires vulnerability and integrety. Right. Keely: Yeah. And I want, and when you're saying this, I'm recognizing that it is an ongoing conversation because there's levels of how much we want to be vulnerable with, with a person, depending on if we're, and I could see it changing too. Like whether it's a one night stand versus a fling versus a longer term, and there's ways to negotiate that. I mean, I've seen it work out in all ways. It's malleable. We just have to be aware of, oh, our own work. Evelyn: Right. So, you know, in a way, like calling it, the STARS talk makes it easy. So people could come together and say, Hey, let's do our STARS talk. Cause it doesn't feel like, oh, we have to do the elevator speech or we have to do pleasure or we have to do do you know? It's like avoid ha whatever. It's like, it's so easy to just say, Hey, let's do our STARS talk and what do they stand for? Again, we know one has to do with STIs. One has to do with like triggers and trauma. I want us to do with, well, you know, it doesn't matter if you actually remember each piece. Yeah. Or if you hit each piece, because it just knowing that you're going to, that there is this conversation that we should all be having before we get intimate with people. And I hope to I hope to bring that out to the world. I hope to birth that to the world. And that's the work, that's the book I'm writing. I'm writing it for young adults and people new to dating. I'm not writing it for sex positive communities because it's already discussed all of this stuff. And, and so, but it's like taking the sex positive concepts and sex positive means that you recognize sexuality as a part of who you are as a human. Keely: What a wonderful wrap up for that. Thank you so much for sharing all this speaking of transitions. It's our moment to talk about queer joy and we can Evaline. It can be when we say queer joy, it just means something joyful that happened the past week or so. And it's queer because we're fucking queer. So I feel like Melissa, I've been saying this recently. I mean, I can start or would you like to start Melissa? Okay. I had Melisa: a lot of joy recently, so maybe that's why you've been like dish a good to me first. Keely: I know. And I'm excited to hear your clear joy. Yeah, it was Melisa: wonderful. So I celebrated the spring Equinox yesterday I know when listeners are hearing this, it's going to be a little bit after the fact, but I, you know, with, with mask requirements changing, I know there's been more available in the community and being new to the community. I live in, I I've lived here now over a year and I still feel like I'm not integrated. So I happened to go on a couple of websites, specifically for wellness centers and found at awakenings wellness center in the Southeast of Portland. There was a sound bath being offered. And so I went for an hour and a half last night and this amazing. And had just an, I've never been to a sound bath before I've done lots of meditation and, and interesting things, but this was really profound. And I think, I don't know that I fully integrated my experience yet. My, my gut is telling me it's this, the remnants of that experience will be found throughout my whole week, you know, this week, but really recommend that, that modality for anyone who's looking for a way to cleanse a way to purge in this case. And kind of reset energetically, especially on a Sunday night before going into what I have a traditional sort of Monday through Friday work week. Exactly Keely: what I needed. Ah, that's so wonderful. So, Evelyn, do you have a queer joy? Evelyn: I'm really happy. Cause I got all my taxes and stuff together. All of the stuff that I've been putting off, like dealing with like the real lifestyle. I got it all done this weekend. So that was my big, that was my win. Now I could go back to doing the fun stuff. Keely: They're out of the way. Yeah. Well A week and a half avoiding real life. And I was at a conference and I don't even know what part to talk about for queer joy. Some of it is in my Instagram, people can see it. I got to meet people. Like meet so many people and take pictures with them and just like fan over. Just, I will say one of the things that really stands out for me is Esther Perel talking about eroticism in a way of, not about sex, but eroticism as the opposite of, of deadness. And how do we bring out eroticism and these ways of life. Things like music and dance. And so I do think about eroticism a lot then the past couple of. But I am going with the theme of this show, this season and the dating and all these things. And I do want to share that I did have a little DC fling and I will just call them DC. Cause I've been trying to figure out what to name her. And we were joking about what's a name her cause I don't want to use her real name, but had this like wonderful fling that in all honesty had that feel of like, oh my gosh, like you, I can connect with people in a way that it doesn't have to feel forced. I can connect and just this really fun way. And she was my tour guide for a couple of days. And I actually, for the first time in my life extended my trip, I called the airline company. I was like, let me say a couple extra days. I'm just going to explore. And I'm just going to be in this and see what happens. And I would not have been able to experience it. This if I was in an August relationship right now, and that's, what's so fascinating and I, I don't have to label myself on this is who the hell knows what kind of relationships I'm going to be in moving forward. But I don't need to figure that out. It was just so much fun and it was so fucking gay. And I Evelyn: will say Keely: that, you know, I call called a fling, but we did spend Sunday thinking about where we could meet up in the country. So super queer, weird. Yeah. Melisa: Do queer flings ever end, Keely: so to be continued, but. Thank you again, Evaline for sharing your knowledge and just, it was so fun to listen to your story and for listeners to hear about you. And I can't wait for them to check out all of your offerings. And can you let people know real quick, how to find you where what's your best. Evelyn: So I am on Instagram and soon to be on TikTok as at sex med doc, S E X, M E D D O C. Yeah, you could also find my work on stars at make time for the talk. And that is also an Instagram and a soon to be TikTok, as well as the website it's make time for the talk you could sign up. I will be soon having some workshops and free events as well as a six week kind of coaching. So people could figure out their own stars and then learn how. Yeah, and I do, we'll be having probably a facilitator training for that as well in the fall. Oh, so Keely: wonderful. Well, thank you again for joining. Thank you for all the listeners, listening to us today and have a queer and joyful week. Thanks for listening to queer relationships, queer joy, a podcast by the Connective Therapy Collective hosted by Kelly C Helmick and Melissa DeSegiurant with audio edited and produced by me. Cardinal marketing intro music is by bad snacks. This week's guest was Dr. Evelyn Dacher find firstname.lastname@example.org links in the description. Cardinal: If 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 info at Connective Therapy, Collective dot com for more queer joy. Visit our website at Connective Therapy. Collective dot com. Love ya. Bye.