Hi, I’m Kelly Engelmann, host of All Things Sexual Wellness Podcast. I’m a family nurse practitioner, board certified in anti aging and regenerative medicine and also certified as a sexual health practitioner through A4M. So we’re going to dig into some content, but first I have a little bit of disclaimer. This podcast, we are not here to treat any health condition. This podcast is for information only, so if you’re having some struggles and want help, please reach out to the clinic. You can reach out to us on our website, www. enhancedwellnessliving. com, or you can give us a call. 601 364 1132 or you can reach out to your current health care provider. The other disclaimer is that this is adult content. If you have little sitting around listening to this podcast, you may want to grab your earbuds or your headphones. We do want you to listen, but we just want to be responsible about how this content gets out. So grab those earbuds. Let’s dig in. This is going to be awesome.
Hey guys, we’re back with Eva Hunter for episode two. In this episode, we’re going to dig into some common myths regarding sexual wellness. So let’s dig in. So I do want to circle back to the intensives, because I do want to get some information out about that, but I want to talk about the myths that are out there. So,
Eva Hunter: All men,
Kelly Engelmann: what would you say to the myth that all men struggle with lust, or the message that’s out there?
Eva Hunter: Well, let me say this, all human beings, notice other human beings. We all notice an intrusive thought may come to either party man or woman, an intrusive thought may come, but then where do we take that thought? Now it’s moving towards lust, right? Men are more visual. And that is the truth, it’s the way God hardwired them. Women are more relational, we’re the emotional strength of the relationship according to Ezer Kenegdo the helper, help me. So we’re more connecting in an emotional way. And men more in a visual way.
Kelly Engelmann: So I love what you said, all people know this.
Eva Hunter: We all notice.
Kelly Engelmann: So it’s not just men.
Eva Hunter: We notice ugly people. We all notice. We do.
Kelly Engelmann: And it’s what we do with that noticing. That really matters.
Eva Hunter: Yes. And so then maybe this man has grown up in a home where he’s watched dad, check out women. So that’s a level of conditioning. Or maybe hear dad make comments, objectifying women. Now that’s a part of conditioning this person’s brain and how to think.
Kelly Engelmann: Right. Learning what’s acceptable, what’s manly, that kind of thing. A lot of that conditioning happens at such an early age that we don’t even recognize that it’s there. The person that’s having that. So, Eva, let’s get into some more myths. Because these things are out there flying around, they are talked about in social circles, they’re read about on the internet, oftentimes podcasts. So, being able to frame these in a way that’s healthy, that gets us thinking about things in a healthier way. So, it’s been said that self esteem for men is tied to their sexual relationship with their wife. And they build their self esteem based on that activity. So what would you say about that?
Eva Hunter: And that can really set up the woman to think that, oh gosh, it’s my responsibility to make him feel good about himself. And, I love this phrase, we’re not responsible for other adults, we’re only responsible for ourselves and minor children. Now we’re responsible to our partner to show up in the relationship and to be there for one another. And however, really our self esteem would come from who Jesus says we are, our identity in Christ. Right.
Kelly Engelmann: I love it. And that’s for both men and women.
Eva Hunter: Absolutely. Because even though you stated that myth for men, that also can be true for women.
Kelly Engelmann: Yeah. And I would say, I love what you said about,
Eva Hunter: I’m not responsible for another person’s self esteem.
Kelly Engelmann: Yes. You’re not responsible for them, but you are to them. You want to be with them, you want to nurture them.
Eva Hunter: Certainly.
Kelly Engelmann: But you can’t make them feel a certain way regardless of what you do. Yeah, so I love that. Thanks, and this other myth that if men do not have orgasm every 48 to 72 hours they’re more likely to be distracted with other sexual activity whether that’s an affair or pornography or things like that, What would you say to that?
Eva Hunter: You know, I’m not a man. I will say that. I do know, though, that the brain will adjust. Up or down. How much of that is his thinking, what he’s been taught. But I’m not a man,
Kelly Engelmann: Right? I would say frequency is important. Frequency is important .
Eva Hunter: Frequency is important .
Kelly Engelmann: And reliability is important, and kind of what rhythm we’re on, and that’s where we talked earlier about scheduled sex and things like that. I think that’s important, but it’s not the end all be all. There are seasons in life where that’s just not possible. Surgeries happen, babies happen. Other illnesses happen on both sides,
Eva Hunter: Exactly, on both sides.
Kelly Engelmann: And so being sensitive to that and aware of that, but nothing physiologically happens abnormally with a man or woman if they don’t have sex. They may feel uncomfortable. Because they’re used to that release. But it’s not an end all be all that they absolutely have to have or that they will become unfaithful if they don’t, right?
Eva Hunter: Exactly, that’s right. Because what will happen to the female if she has that thinking too, I’ve got to take care of my man every 48 hours to 72 hours, but she’s not really showing up, it’s really all about him, not about her. The possibility for resentment in her is great, but she’s going to want to keep him at an arm’s distance. If there’s resentment, it’s coming out some way. It may come out sideways.
Kelly Engelmann: And you know, I’ve seen that in both men and women. I’ve seen women with the higher desire, and the men felt like it was just an obligation for him to perform, not enjoyment or pleasure. And it really became a source of frustration, and intensified resentment within the relationship. So I’ve seen it both ways.
Eva Hunter: Right. And we didn’t, we haven’t talked about sexual anorexia. It’s a real thing.
Kelly Engelmann: Just say more about that.
Eva Hunter: Well, it happens when someone completely shuts down their sexuality, something has happened in their past and maybe they’ve blocked it, they don’t remember what it is and it may take time for them to begin to connect the dots, collect them connect them to figure out what has happened to me, but if you are in a situation where you have completely shut down your sexuality, what’s that about? And I like to think of it like food, but we understand and get someone who is acting out with food and becoming a food addict, right? That would be the same as a sex addict. And then on the other side of the food is anorexia, right? And so it’s the same spectrum with sex.
Kelly Engelmann: Is that the root of that control?
Eva Hunter: Could be. Possibly.
Kelly Engelmann: Yeah. Interesting. I love it. So another myth, penis size matters. And he’s going to say, I’m not a man. I’m not a man.
Eva Hunter: No, I’m not a man, but I am a woman. And many times, men nor women really understand how to get to orgasm, right? They need, it’s all about vaginally and it has nothing to do with that. Vaginally for a female.
Kelly Engelmann: Yeah, for some women, vaginal orgasms are possible, the G spot is stimulated, they can happen and sometimes they happen often. For some women, they never have a vaginal orgasm and it’s all clitoral related. The other aspect of that is the area to produce orgasm is very shallow in the vaginal vault. It’s just two inches in. So we don’t have to have a large penis to penetrate in a way that produces that orgasm. So, size doesn’t matter and especially when we’re talking about intimacy and pleasure, if we’re thinking about those aspects. So we want to put that myth out there.
Eva Hunter: Yeah. Thank you.
Kelly Engelmann: So tell me, I love the idea of an intensive for couples. Because a lot of times when you say the word counseling, they don’t want to go in weekly, they don’t want to invest the time and the discipline to make that happen. So having those intensives, right? Can be a really powerful way of helping them see the value in having that connection established. So tell us about that.
Eva Hunter: Okay. We actually just had one this past Friday and Saturday of last week. And we keep them small five or six couples. And it goes from nine to five and we do pieces of work it’s all experiential therapy and a lot of teaching too, but they’re getting to watch, they’re getting to do their own work, in an experiential way at looking at where did I come from? What was my family of origin dynamics? What did I need? And what did I get that I didn’t, deserve? What did I need that I didn’t get? Then doing a trauma timeline and you get to watch your partner do walk it out too, as well as you’re watching other couples. We love group, because you’re going to really connect with what someone else has said, and it’s more of a me too moment, that maybe you wouldn’t have thought about that unless you hear somebody else say it. So even though the couple is doing their own work, they’re also benefiting from watching other people do their work. If that makes sense.
Kelly Engelmann: Awesome. It does. So you offer couples intensives?
Eva Hunter: We do. In that group setting, we also offer one-on-one intensivess a two day. One-on-one if someone doesn’t want to do it, be in a group setting. So we do both.
Kelly Engelmann: Okay. And then Rowan also leads a men’s. group, right?
Eva Hunter: He does. It’s called Walking Free, and I lead facilitate a women’s support group. It’s called Brave. It’s part of Sarah Society as well, it’s an in person Sarah Society group, and Rones is an in person Sampson group as well. We do that on Monday nights. It’s free, it’s the way we give back what we’ve been given. And we just love. It’s very intimate relationships with other people, as well as in the 12 steps, we’re giving back what we’ve been given. So the 12 steps.
Kelly Engelmann: Absolutely. So are those groups specific for sexual addiction or betrayal, or are they just in general? Like,
Eva Hunter: it’s there for people who are struggling with porn sexual addiction or betrayal in the relationship. The women that come to my group are, they’ve been betrayed in some way in the relationship in a sexual way, whether it’s porn affairs, emotional or physical affairs.
Kelly Engelmann: What a great resource. So your clinic is?
Eva Hunter: Lifeworks Counseling. We have an office in Madison, Mississippi, one in South Haven, Mississippi, and an office in Starkville, Mississippi.
Kelly Engelmann: All that growth. That’s amazing. That’s awesome. So I would encourage you guys to check out their content on the website, and then obviously if you want to take part in one of the groups or also come in for one on one counseling, I would certainly encourage that. I want to dig into some tools, and that would be a tool, right, that we could use for counseling for sure. Books that you would recommend for couples, for healthy sexuality. Do you have any favorites?
Eva Hunter: Sheila Gregoire, she came out with A Great Sex Rescue. I thought that, I think that’s a really good book, she’s also got, has, since that book came out, she has published two other books. The Good Girl’s Guide to Sex, is awesome. And there’s one for men too.
Kelly Engelmann: Okay, sweet.
Eva Hunter: And it comes from a faith based as well.
Kelly Engelmann: I came across The Gift of Sex.
Eva Hunter: I can’t remember who the author of that one?
Kelly Engelmann: It was actually mentioned in The Great Sex Rescue, that’s how I got to that book. It was really well done and I feel like for people that are just starting out, for new couples just starting out with their sexuality, it really goes into some really good and defines that whole concept of pleasure versus orgasm focused contact, which I thought was really powerful and really we want to get that message out there. And then there was another fun book that I came across, earlier that was The Love Prescription. Have you seen that one?
Eva Hunter: I have not.
Kelly Engelmann: It’s by John and Julie Gottman.
Eva Hunter: Gottman. Oh, and I love them. It must be awesome.
Kelly Engelmann: Yeah, it’s really like recipes for date night, ways to connect. So basically it’s seven different ways to connect because a lot of times we just, as you mentioned earlier, we’ve used sex as a connection and we don’t have any other tools, any other ways to connect. So it really helps you kind of find that fun and joy in just having that connection and building that loving bond. That’s going to last a lifetime. So that was a really fun one. One of the things that you taught us in our sessions with you was an exercise called Thanos.
Eva Hunter: Oh, yeah.
Kelly Engelmann: I wanted to go through that. And just give that skill set because I think that’s so powerful in a way to connect. Especially verbally, that 90 minutes of intimacy that we need a week. This is part of how to do that. So let’s talk about Thanos.
Eva Hunter: Okay. So Thanos is a tool. It’s really what intimacy looks like. And so each person in the relationship will check in with, Hey, today I feel blank. Ronan and I like to then toss it back to the other person and let them, it makes it more conversational. He will check in with, hey, well, today I’m feeling this, the only response we can have in FANOS is, oh, thanks for letting me know that, or thanks for sharing. Then A is for an affirmation. We give each other an affirmation, Hey, I really like this about you, it can be a character quality. It can be something Ronan’s done for me or anything, just an affirmation, and then he does the same thing. The next are needs. Many times this is the hardest because we don’t always know what we need or even think about it. Right?
Kelly Engelmann: And it’s so hard for our partner to meet our needs and we don’t even know what we need.
Eva Hunter: We don’t know what we need. Right? So the needs, we break them down into three different types. It can be a physical need, such as, Hey, I need a hug, or I just need us to snuggle, we keep sex out of Thanos, because we want this to be all about the emotional connection. So in physical, it’s all non sexual touch. It can be an emotional need. Hey, I just need to hear that you love me, that you like doing life with me. And then the last one is a practical need. Hey, I need us to look at the finances. You can ask for all three needs if you have them, or one need. But we do encourage couples to figure out what it is you need. Don’t skip that one, because we all have needs. And in that, when we ask for a need, that is when my partner is going to respond in a way that says, yeah, I can meet that need, or yes, I have that to give or no, I really don’t have that to give. So the next one is, O is for ownership. Something that I need to own that’s happened in the last 24 hours or the last since we’ve done FANO. So keep it current. It can be something that Ron is not even aware of, but I kind of dismissed him, I was busy and he came towards me and wanted to talk and I just blew him off, but he may not even be aware of that, but I want to own that, I want to be a show up person. I want him to know that he’s a priority in my life.
Kelly Engelmann: I think one of the things that I hear with couples in the frustration realm is the lack of ownership that they feel like their partner is taking.
Eva Hunter: Oh my goodness. Yes. On their behavior.
Kelly Engelmann: Right. So what an opportunity to have the space for them to do that? And for that just to be a habit.
Eva Hunter: Right. And it’s also part of confession for our own souls.
Kelly Engelmann: Yes, for sure.
Eva Hunter: Right? And it helps us think, what do I need to own? The S is for spirituality and sobriety. So I’m going to share with Rone, how have I experienced God today? And this can be in a number of ways. It can be through scripture. It can be through a song, it can be through a conversation with a friend. It can be through walking in nature. That how did I experience God today? And then he’s going to share how he’s experienced God today, so that’s our spiritual connection with one another. And lastly, we check in with sobriety. For me personally, like, am I living a balanced life? Is my focus too much on fear of tomorrow? Where am I? And we like to use a scale one to five, five meaning, I’m sober minded and it comes from scripture, be sober mind in Peter, second Peter, be so reminded about all things. So I really want to check in with myself, and see am I being sober minded, living a balanced life, am I people pleasing? If I’m at a one, I have had a slip in some area, maybe I’m working too much, something’s going on. I may be at a two or a three, but I’m going to offer my partner, but, and this is what I’m going to do. About it. Ron still checks in with me arround his sexual addiction, his been in recovery for 32 years. But he still checks in, every time we do FANOS, where is he in his own struggle that he never wants to become complacent, so I really honor that in him that is, he wants to be a man of integrity and he wants to be known. So and we just, simply say thanks for sharing, thanks for letting me know where you are, we don’t try to, we don’t ask questions in FANOS. So we’re really practicing good boundaries with one another. And we’re practicing showing up, for each other.
Kelly Engelmann: I love it. So it’s a really good, powerful way to show up, be consistent, build that foundation of trust, regardless of what stage of your relationship that you’re in. I think that’s a really powerful tool.
Eva Hunter: Yeah, and a lot of partners that I work with who, maybe betrayal has happened in the relationship, and it’s really fresh, and it’s been fresh, maybe they’re, I don’t know, months in, but it’s still very painful. She may check in with her instead of sobriety, more about, am I, do I feel safe?
Kelly Engelmann: Right.
Eva Hunter: So, you just play with it. You make it your own.
Kelly Engelmann: I love it. Are there any other tools? that you feel like are helpful in this realm.
Eva Hunter: Therapy is a great tool, I believe, I think everybody needs to really know themselves, and to know God. So therapy is a great tool, there are really good podcasts, around sexuality and health. Coming from a healthy sexuality standpoint and for many women, we’ve just not really understood, we’ve come from a background of feeling like this is what I have to do, I’m obligated in some way and we’ve gotten that message many times from our friends, if we surround ourselves with friends who are like, Oh my goodness, all he wants is sex. I mean, that really affects our negative view. And so we want to kill, we call them ants, automatic negative thought system. We want to kill some of those ants and begin to focus on what is positive, about connecting with my partner emotionally and sexually.
Kelly Engelmann: So, you just said a mouthful about who we surround ourselves with and who we choose to talk about specific topics with.
Eva Hunter: Exactly.
Kelly Engelmann: And I would say if that person in your life is feeding the negative. Then we may want to find someone else to be able to have that conversation with.
Eva Hunter: That’s good Kelly,.
Kelly Engelmann: Yeah, our mindset going into this is one of the most important things that we’ll battle along the way. And, who we’re talking to matters so much and how we walk away from that experience and what we take back to our partner.
Eva Hunter: You know, it changed for me when I began to see my sexuality as part of my self care. And I didn’t view it that way.
Kelly Engelmann: What changed for you?
Eva Hunter: And it was probably doing my own work, really realizing how I had been set up with a lot of negative thinking around sexuality. It was really for him, not for me, right? I will say when a partner has been betrayed in a sexual way, committed relationship, she will, I see two extremes, she’ll either become hyposexual or hypersexual. Hypo meaning like she will shut down her sexuality. And hypersexual, I just need to have sex with him so he doesn’t struggle. And so all of those are safety, both of those are safety behaviors. But what happens it’s abandoning herself. Does she need to seek safety? Absolutely, emotional safety? Absolutely. Does a couple many times need to go through a period of abstinence? What’s recommended is 90 days period of abstinence and really focus on the emotional connection, our brains adjust either up or down how much we’re feeding. Especially for men, women too, how much we’re feeding it.
Kelly Engelmann: Yeah. So during that 90 days, their brain has an opportunity to rewire.
Eva Hunter: Exactly.
Kelly Engelmann: And become connected to the person that they’ve committed their life to, which is pretty phenomenal. And knowing that is powerful because if you think it’s going to always be that struggle that you’re in today, it’s hard to think about making a change.
Eva Hunter: Yeah, for sure and beginning to view, Hey, this is my lifelong partner, I want it to be the best it can be.
Kelly Engelmann: Absolutely.
Eva Hunter: Right? For me, for us, for our relationship, because there is something that happens when we let’s say we’re emotionally connected, we have a sexual experience with one another, the connection, the bond, the attachment becomes even greater because there’s been skin to skin, like you mentioned before, there’s oxytocin that’s been released with that. Eye contact has occurred, maybe being very intentional about telling one another we love each other on a regular basis. Right. Even if you’ve been married 41 years like me. I love it.
Kelly Engelmann: Yes. We had some really good statistics today. I love the 55. I love the being married 41 years. So yes, it is worth the struggle and all those rough patches that you go through as a couple, they’re there for a reason.
Eva Hunter: Yes. And to do life with your partner. I have to say it’s never been better, which is really hopeful and I want to offer hope to women for sure. It can be better. It can always be better.
Kelly Engelmann: So Eva, I want to thank you so much, for being here today.
Eva Hunter: Thank you. I do want to say, Kelly, you’ve helped me greatly with getting my hormones balanced, for feeling like I have energy and helping me eliminate stresses in my life, actually rebuilding me from the inside of all my numbers. And if any of you listening know Kelly and go to Kelly, you know what I mean.
Kelly Engelmann: It’s been an honor to be able to do that. That is what we love to do to get you connected to that and how impactful once you get those things, balanced and teach you how to keep those balanced, how impactful that can be on your ability to be connected with yourself and with your partner.
Eva Hunter: Yes, absolutely. You’ve got to feel good too.
Kelly Engelmann: You’ve got to feel good too. So thank you for saying that, but it is an honor to be here today with you and just to be able to have this conversation in an open, healthy way, again, to inspire hope regardless of where you are in that relationship, if it’s great, great. It could always be better is my mindset, so thank you for being here sharing with us today.
Eva Hunter: It was a lot of fun. Thank you, Kelly, for having me.
Kelly Engelmann: Thanks guys for listening. I hope this information really sparked some interesting curiosity in you, if you liked what you heard, please follow us on your favorite podcast platform. Again, you can reach out to us at Enhanced Wellness Living by the web www. enhancedwellnessliving. com and then of course you can give us a call 601 364 1132.
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