Note: More to Life with Faith and Lois is designed to be heard, not read. We hope you’ll listen to the audio, which includes emotion and emphasis that won’t be on this page. Our transcripts are generated with speech recognition software and may contain errors. 

 

Lois                        

Welcome to the podcast, More to Life with Faith and Lois.

Faith                   

I’m Faith

Lois                          

And I’m Lois.

Faith                      

Our podcast explores life’s many transitions that inspire and daunt us.

Lois                       

Hi Faith.

Faith

Hi Lois. We’re really into this, aren’t we?

Lois                         

We really are. I know we’re diving into all sorts of difficult and fun transitions in life.

Faith                    

79?

Lois                        

79 – and as we continue to make our way through these kinds of transitions, we understand that they are impacting so much of what’s going on in our lives.

Faith                     

I know and transitions are so important to really not ignore, but to rather understand and embrace and recognize you’re going to keep coming. We think we hit when transition and we’re done. No, we have a transition. So our entire life and the more we know and understand it, so it makes life a little bit more easy.

Lois                       

It does. Because sometimes the same transitions and that funny, I’m here again at the same one because like last week we talked about your solution and I revisit it in my own head, you know, moments that I’ve been excluded but also moments that I have excluded others. Yeah. And it made me really aware of the ways we can exclude other people not just being excluded. So the heightened awareness is pretty awesome. It is good. Then I want to stick with that. So we would really be thrilled if you are on a regular basis sharing our podcast with someone, especially if you feel that these are topics that they might be interested in. And whatever platform you’re listening on do that. You know, Alexa, all you have to do is ask her to play the podcast More to Life with Faith and Lois and you can paint your office like I did last week and listen to 12 episodes. It was pretty awesome because they just come one after the other. Oh that’s awesome. And we also have a weekly newsletter at www.moretolifewithfaithandlois.com if you want to sign up and be a part of that and it’ll come into your inbox every single Tuesday morning. Enjoy that. So – your humanness, my humanness, our humanness is on full display this summer. So we thought it would be great to explore this next topic that we’re going to address. Episode 79 Transition: The Impact of Sexuality.

Faith                   

Oh, I bet you the alarms are going off. People are going, Oh, what are they going to do?

Lois                       

That’s right because sexuality can be all over the board as we all know, but we do know that it’s the way that people experience and express themselves sexually and that’s what we’re going to be talking about today. And so it involves biological, erotic, physical, emotional, social, spiritual feelings, behaviors. It’s, it’s quite a wide gamut and no matter what your orientation, we are in this all together.

Faith                    

That is absolutely true because we are all human beings and the transition of our sexuality is constantly changing. And it has impacted by the different circumstances or situations in life that we all can share together. It is not about the expression of any one particular way of expressing yourself sexually. It is about what we experience on an ongoing basis.

Lois                      

Yes. It’s a drive that is really important. Yeah. As a part of our human emotional expression and deep connection with another and deep connection with ourselves, right? We’re really going to be looking at it in so many phases. So we also know though, that sexuality can be impacted by abuse or violence and we’re going to address that as well. You know, Faith, how important is our sexuality as it refers to who we are?

Faith                   

Well it is how we were made, we were made sexual beings and that is a piece where if we find how we react and respond to, it says a lot about sometimes what is complete in us or what is missing within us. Oftentimes people will just put it on a shelf going, I don’t want to do with it at all. Just don’t even want to believe that it’s there and just ignore it. There’s a story behind that. Or if there’s a lot of promiscuity and just acting out sexually, there’s a story behind that. And sometimes it’s that deeper story that brings us more to seeing who we are in our true selves, like what got in the way of obscuring our true identity. So we always talk about identity so much on our podcasts, so it’s like I’m always curious and interested when someone is discussing their sexual life. And if it is really closed off and removed or whether it is overly expressed and all over the place. It’s like, what’s behind this? Because you’re more than this. You’re more than this and something beautiful is missing within you that you can’t really claim and own in a unique and beautiful way in the way that it was meant to be owned.

Lois                      

Right. As I look at it, sexuality impacts us differently at all these stages of life and that’s what we’re going to be talking about. That things change by the way, folks, and we know this, but it’s kind of when we talk about sexuality, they change. Well they do. I reflect back, I don’t know why these last two podcasts have been talking about when I was in junior high and high school, but I still remember getting caught making out in a car in front of my parents’ house. And my dad waiting for me to come home, came out with a flashlight and he’s shining it in the car. And I am of course mortified and so is the person I was with and I run inside and I was punished in some way. I can’t remember not being able to go someplace after that. You know, I don’t express myself that way anymore, you know, I’m a little too old to be doing that in a car. Sorry, to my husband, Art, who might think that’d be fun, but my hormones aren’t quite as impulsive and that’s the big difference, right? I mean, when I’m in puberty, I was impulsive, I was acting out on everything and now I’m in a place where I embrace my sexuality, but it doesn’t take that kind of tone. Each of us as a sexual being. I’ve watched this change and transition in myself. I can breathe these here now.

Faith                   

Isn’t it nice? Yes. That’s the positive side of aging, you know? Yeah. So it is about moving through the stages of life of where there’s a maturity, a building and a growth that happens with us sexually. But there’s the impact of things that through those stages that are also going to impact how we view our sexuality and view yourselves.

Lois                        

Because sexuality isn’t only about sex, it’s about feelings of intimacy and attraction and affection, how you develop and maintain relationships. And it can be influenced by your thoughts and desires now and previous experiences that you’ve had. Maybe your culture, the way you were raised, your friends, your belief system, and note to self: every one of those things can and will change over time. So today we’re gonna dive into human sexuality in a maybe a little different way than you’ve heard.

Faith                    

Yes. That’s so good because it is about, we’re all in this together because as you move through the stages of your life, sexuality changes within us.

Lois                      

So the first thing we would like to explore with you today is in order to understand our humanness in our human sexuality, Love Yourself.

Faith                    

Yeah. And that sometimes doesn’t work very well, does it?

Lois                      

No. No. And it’s so funny because when, when we think about sexuality, we often think about the other, right? Versus thinking about ourselves. But when we aren’t whole and we are whole by the way, but when we don’t recognize ourselves as a whole in who we are, what do we have to offer?

Faith                 

And it’s both and it’s loving the other, but it’s also loving yourself. So first thing is what makes you feel confident? Yes. What makes you feel confident about yourself and about how you present yourself and how you view yourself. And again, if it’s some of those things, especially around sexuality where you want to exclude it and not do anything with it, or you fear it or you feel a lot of guilt around it, which was all those influences that you just mentioned, the things that can influence our sexuality, then you’re going to get stuck. And you’re not gonna really be able to love yourself for who you are as a sexual human being.

Lois                       

It’s so much fun to watch people walk down the street. You know, if you’re just observing people and you can see some people who carry themselves in whatever they’re wearing, by the way, as little or as much in a really confident way, right?It’s not even about being totally stylish, it’s just about being who they are and the way they carry themselves. And that kind of person has a love for themselves and probably has a very healthy appearance in terms of their sexuality because of how they walk and carry themselves. And I think about that as I observe them and I wonder, hmm, I wonder what comes across when people observe me?

Faith                

What I’ve noticed for is how I feel on a good day or a day that I’m off. If there’s a day that I’m a little bit off, I have actually noticed I’m not walking as confidently. But if I’m in my zone and it’s been a great day and I’ve done a whole lot, my whole posture changes. And so there’s something we can do about that, about being more aware of that and just putting your shoulders back, putting your head up and walking a little more confidently.

Lois                        

We’ve talked so much about being self aware and the more things we do, the actions we take and the habits that we include and embed in our life, that also is a really cool way to show that we love ourselves. I know because we’re taking care of ourselves, whether you call it self care or taking a break or noticing. Those are things that what they do is they enrich you and they build you up so that you can present and feel more like you’re in love with yourself. I know it sounds funny and I think a lot of people just shy away from that because loving yourself sounds selfish.

Faith                  

But it’s not. It’s about self care. It’s about self love in a way that you matter. And that’s the beauty of it. It’s not elevating you above others. It’s about including yourself in the full reality that you matter as much as the person next to you and that that’s where you can actually give more. If your needs have been met, you can actually give more.

Lois                       

And in the sexual context, that’s exactly what happens when you love yourself. The way you can offer yourself to another person is in that beautiful conjoining that isn’t dislike, and a punishment and a wanting to get away as fast as possible. It’s because you’re in love with the whole experience and it comes first with caring about yourself.

Faith                

Absolutely. The next piece of it is there can be the impact of things that have happened in our lives that have actually caused us to shut down, to react or to be impulsive or to be withdrawn or more aggressive. And so these are some things that recovering from abuse that really impacts our sexuality.

Lois                     

Yes, it really can. How you view yourself as a result of something that happened to you. Yes. And the fear factor. And also you may have decided a long time ago, I will not have anything to do with x or y or anything. Anything. Because you have shut down. Yes. And so where do you go from there? And I think one of the things that we think first and foremost, if possible, is to reach out to someone you trust to be able to put words to this pain you’ve experienced.

Faith                    

You need to process it. It is not something that’s just going to magically go away or I’ll just push through it. And so many partners will do that. They’ll just say, oh, I just ignore it and just push through it. Well, you’re missing something – then you’re hurting yourself more. It’s not just only something that might have happened in childhood or with a bad relationship. If you’ve been in a painful relationship where it has been cruel emotionally. And what do you mean? I’m talking sexually, but it’s been cruel or harmful emotionally where it’s been a lot of energy output that’s going to affect you sexually – because you’re not going to want to engage in intimacy with a person that you don’t feel safe with. So safety is a huge factor in that whole relationship thing. So oftentimes when we hear recovering from abuse, we immediately get in our mind while it was something that was done to us by a certain person sexually. But it can affect us sexually if it’s been an emotional abuse or mental abuse or rejection.

Lois                       

So as we discuss the impact of sexuality, one of the things, especially under this category of any kind of recovery from abuse, is to be able to reconnect with yourself. Because one of the things that any of us who have been through a situation that’s painful is we try to disconnect, and we’re not just disconnecting from others, but we’re disconnecting from our bodies. We don’t want to engage in anything that would give us any pleasure because we’re afraid.

Faith                   

Yes, we are. Yeah. And the other piece that we want to touch on is that triggers can happen when you’re involved sexually, that you can be really wanting to be with this person and to make love with them, but all at once a trigger goes off. And if that happens, that needs to be something to be talked about. I always say, you always hear me say this about triggers. Triggers are not a negative when they come up, they’re painful, they’re hard, but they’re telling us something. And it’s basically a message at rises to the surface and says, yoohoo, I’m here, deal with me. And so it’s an opportunity to take that trigger to get safe and then to process that with a professional.

Lois                        

Stay connected, stay connected. How ever that appears, professional community, right? People that really care about you, this idea that we can do everything alone is so harmful. And especially as it comes to our sexuality, being able to discuss and communicate and connect will be incredibly important if we want to resume this aspect of our lives.

Faith                 

Yes we need to stay connected to our bodies and to stay, not to just to shove it all away and learning how to self soothe. What are the things that can ground me. One of the things that can help me through that crisis point and communicating constantly, please keep talking with your partner about what you’re experiencing, what you’re going through. And then like you just said, share it with the people that you know you can trust.

Lois                       

So we are in Episode 79 The Impact of Sexuality and one thing that definitely impacts all of us is age.

Faith                 

Oh my goodness. Does it ever.

Lois                      

I mean, whether you’re 14, whether you’re 41, whether you’re 80. I mean we’re looking at all of this, how our sexuality changes as we go through these decades of life. And sometimes we want to look at our sexuality at the age we are at right now and repeat what we did in our twenties and it may or may not be possible for you. I’m just saying it.

Faith                  

Yeah, probably not. You know, it’s, it is very, very different. And that’s why the expression of closeness needs to shift and change. And we’re talking about intimacy, which is the very, very core of a really healthy sexuality. It isn’t about the act itself. Being sexual is just a, a beautiful expression of what you feel towards a person. But it changes with age.

Lois                       

It does, and as you start to age, you know, your personal relationships take such great significance. They really take on this great significance. So be able to talk about how it’s going to ebb and flow because it’s going to look different. It simply is. And how do you both share with each other those things that will mean the most to each other. And I think it’s really important because as you’re communicating together in some type of sexual flow, whatever that looks like, we know this adds years to your life done. It’s a way of, of really staying vibrant and healthy. And yet it may not be what was present 20 years ago. And that’s okay.

Faith                  

It is okay. And to know your bodies and to know, understand the changes that happen with age. So much is talked about in when in school about sex education and then you go through life and you start discovering like wait, what’s happening? No, there’s not for the older ones. So just know that you can ask questions, talk to your doctor, talk to people who understand. Research, read books that can help you know that these are normal changes. And then so you can adapt well.

Lois                       

And focus on the tenderness and the contact and see what else unfolds as a result of that. It doesn’t all have to go away or all shift in a different direction, but it may take a turn that you didn’t anticipate. So age is all part of this. It’s an impact but it doesn’t have to stop.

Faith                  

An illness has impact too. Yes it does. If you have your partner is ill, it’s going to change things.

Lois                       

So look at all those shifts that are happening in life and your connection is still the most important thing and how you express that. Body image is something that can really impact your sexuality. What do you think when you stand in front of a mirror and how do you address yourself? And we get back to loving yourself, right? How do you appreciate what you have?

Faith                   

You have to accept the fact that if you’ve had children, for women, it’s like your body’s going to change. It’s not going to go back to where you were at 19. It’s just not. That’s okay. It’s like this is a part of the beauty that you begin to share. But it is so hard when we’re so by these outside images of what is perfect. We were never meant to be perfect in our body – but the idea is to be healthy, to feel like you feel good about yourself. That’s where you want to get.

Lois                          

And if you’re at that place where you have understood what it means to love yourself, and then you put that up next to your body image, which isn’t exactly where it used to be, can’t do the things it did before sexually or otherwise, you’re just in a different place. But appreciating where you are right now in this moment with the abilities you have, whether you’re ill or getting older or whatever the case may be. So body image, look at yourself and appreciate what it is about you that you know you have to offer. So good. Finally, you know, build some emotional intimacy and this is really critical as you’re staying in a relationship with someone for a long time. If you’re not in a relationship, if you’re having a new relationship, plan time for intimacy with yourself, with people, I mean think about those kinds of things and don’t just let it go by the side. This is, I think sometimes people just think, oh it’s just going to happen and sometimes it doesn’t. There needs to be well thought out ideas and plans for how you are going to connect.

Faith                      

If there is a transition in, in your partnership, like a partner can be ill and maybe is not able to connect with you as well at during that period of time, then take care of some of the needs that you have. Like if there’s a need for touch, massages are a wonderful way. I encourage a lot of my single clients, you know, go get a good massage or go to a physical therapist that can really work out some of these kinks in your body so you can feel better because it gets locked into our bodies and we need sometimes help with that. And if you aren’t in a sexual relationship, you can get help in feeling the release of that tension in your shoulders and in your legs. Oh, you can feel so much better. So that’s one thing you can do.

Lois                       

Give hugs, give hugs, lots of hugs, you know, I mean, I know there are people who have an aversion to that, but I’m a hugger, so if you need a hug, come around. And so is Faith. For me, that physical touch is really important to me. And that creates intimacy in how I write, in how I communicate with people and how I communicate with my husband. All of those things for me are intertwined, but it involves a lot of touch. I hold hands, I put an arm around somebody. But think about that as you interact in life.

Faith

Hugs are the best. And there’s lots of research on that too. We might need to do a podcast on that one.

Lois                         

I do. I do like that. You know, when it comes to being fully human, embracing our sexuality offers freedom that connects us to ourselves and to our partners.

Faith                    

So embracing your human sexuality is a powerful way to express who you are. As you engage with yourself and your partner.

Lois                       

When you’re in tune with your sexuality, you’ll find you’re more relaxed, you’re more open, and therefore more connected.

Faith                     

Please share this podcast and sign up for our weekly newsletter on our website.

Lois                       

So a job, yes, a community. If you relocate, maybe, uh, you know, even your health club. I mean there are things that you choose to leave that are a breakup that really do change your life up because you have been functioning in a certain way with these people, with this community and you’re stepping outside of that. So there’s a bit of fear there and there’s just, there’s no way around that, you know? I mean there’s a reason that we’ve written so much and read so much about what breaking up is and how hard it is to do.

Faith                   

Or how many songs have been written about breaking up.

Lois                       

And join us next week for Transition: The Impact of Vacation.

Faith                  

Get the latest news on our social media platforms and on our website, and please subscribe.

Lois                       

More to Life with Faith and Lois is a podcast to support, encourage and uplift you.

Faith                  

As you transition through all sorts of change, we want you to know there is more to life.

Lois                       

We’ll be back next week.