Podcast

Purity Culture, Painful Sex + Debunking Shame Narrative with Dr. Celeste Holbrook

10.09.19

Are you a single woman of faith trying to figure out how to navigate dating in today’s hookup culture and online dating? I get it… it can be confusing and frustrating. This week I brought a Christian sexologist on the podcast to help navigate these murky waters. Dr. Celeste Holbrook‘s goal in life is to create safe spaces for women to talk about sex. My hope is that this will encourage you to get curious about your own sexuality.

Growing Up In Purity Culture

  • Celeste grew up going to purity conferences and wearing a purity ring.
  • Her home was not shame-filled, but everyone around her was very conservative when it came to conversations about sex.

The Moment They Were Waiting For

  • When they first had sex, it was extremely painful and not enjoyable for her.
  • “I thought I was going to be rewarded with great sex.”
  • This disconnect between Celeste and her husband began to erode their relationship.
  • “I felt a lot of shame for not living up to what I thought I should be sexually.”
  • She realized she never had good sex education. She decided to embark on a journey to unlearn shame, and to learn her body in a fresh way.

Deconstructing Sex And Shame

  • “I went through that process so that I could enter into a sexual space and feel worthy of pleasure and sex that felt good.”
  • After experiencing breakthrough and pain-free sex, she made it her mission to help others in similar circumstances and pivoted from studying behavior to sexual behavior.
  • “Although it’s a natural biological thing, it doesn’t come naturally. You have to learn how to do it just like riding a bike.”
  • Madonna Whore Complex: “You’re shamed if you have too much sex and you’re shamed if you have no sex. There’s this pendulum that we can’t seem to step out of.”

 

What Is Sexuality?

  • Sexuality is way more than just sex, desire, or physical intimacy. “Sexuality is far more than that bottom layer of what it looks like biologically.”

What Is Sex?

  • A lot of single Christian women are wondering about physical boundaries in sex.
  • 75% of women don’t climax from vaginal sex—they climax from clitoral stimulation.
  • Freud told women that to have an orgasm through clitoral stimulation is to be infantile.
  • In 1998, neurologist Helen Connoll put the clitoris into the journal of sexual medicine.
  • “Limiting the term ‘sex’ to ‘penis’ and ‘vagina’ is marginalizing and produces shame.”
  • Pleasure gets confused with hedonism, but pleasure is acknowledged in Matthew 6:26.
  • “We can’t have the conversation about pleasure and spirituality without having a conversation about sensuality.”

What is Sensuality?

  • “When we think about us as sensual beings, we are literally experiencing the creation and the creator through all five of our senses.”
  • Sensuality can be as simple as being in the moment. We can’t experience our senses in the past or future… only the present.
  • What does celibacy mean to you when sensuality and sexuality are closely related? You can embrace sensuality in these smaller ways before we have sex.

Books To Read:

If any parts of this conversation have felt triggering for you, just know that whatever you’re feeling is valid. There is no judgement. Validate your feelings and then question why those feelings are coming up for you. “Our God is one that encourages curious questions and sincere questioning.” Celeste has so many resources for you, including 20 sex-enhancing questions for freeon her website. She also offers free30-minute discovery calls. If you have questions about anything we talked about today, go to her website and click on “30 Minute Discovery Call.” She also has courses for one on one consulting if that feels right for you.

If you are enjoying the podcast, I want to invite you to leave a rating and review on iTunes! We love hearing what your favorite episodes are and always welcome any general feedback! It also helps us be more visible in the iTunes world. If you want to leave a review but don’t know how, head over to @therefinedcollective on Instagram and find the “Review 101” under story highlights.

Hey, single ladies— are you frustrated by the dating world? This episode is brought to you by my free guide called “6 Tips to Activate Your Dating Life with Intention and Clarity.” These resources helped propel me from sitting on the couch to out on a date. Head over to Bit.ly/trwdatingtips to check it out! With you on the journey.

XO,

Kat

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Podcast

How To Live Authentically Without Prematurely Sharing Your Story

10.02.19

Hello, friends! Thanks so much for being here! Today, I’m talking to my dear friend Ashley Abercrombie who is a literal superwoman. She is a mother, wife, writer, speaker, and author of Rise of the Truth Teller. Ashley is so full of grace and our friendship has challenged me so much. In this episode, we chat about how you can live authentically without prematurely sharing your story, finding healing, and how you can handle confrontation and conflict.

Ashley’s Story

  • Growing up, people always came to her for advice, but she never felt comfortable taking off that mask to say that she needed help and advice too.
  • When she got to college, she began abusing drugs and alcohol, and later struggled with bulimia and was also sexually assaulted, which resulted in pregnancy and abortion.
  • “I’ll stick this somewhere where nobody will ever find it. I’ll put this somewhere where I’ll never have to deal with it and I’ll just keep it moving.”
  • She remembers crying out for God when she felt most out of control and shares what it felt like when she felt His presence and love.
  • “We’re created for wholeness; we’re not created for perfection. We can find wholeness in the midst of our brokenness.”

Sharing Your Story Publicly

  • It’s important to share your story, but it’s also important to protect your own healing first and foremost.
  • “In the context of safe and healthy relationships is where we need to be processing things.”
  • When we don’t have safe relationships to process with, we should be turning to therapists. Instead, the trend is to either keep it all in or share with the whole world.
  • “Sharing your story can be a way of masking.”
  • It’s vulnerable, but we need to learn to ask advice from our close community.

 

Questions To Ask Yourself Weekly

  • Do you like the person you are becoming?
  • Is your heart for God shrinking or growing?
  • Have you compromised on your financial integrity?
  • Have you compromised on your sexual integrity?
  • Are you giving your family your emotional scraps?

 

Accepting The Love You Think You Deserve

  • Ashley remembers a pastor saying, “Everyone does love their neighbor as they love themselves and that’s the problem.”
  • She shares that we need to set our sights on God because then it becomes easier for us to see ourselves and others in the light of who He is.
  • We can manage our expectations and still hold on to hope.
  • “There is no way for hope to survive when we’re lonely and isolated.” We need people to carry us through.

 

Speaking Your Truth and Fighting Well

  • Ashley shares how we can have these truthful conversations as well as navigate conflict.
  • She first asks for grace and frames her concern as a question to the other person.
  • We’ve been trained to think that conflict shouldn’t happen or that there’s a way to resolve it without actually dealing with the issue.
  • “We have this mental struggle to understand that conflict is very normal. It should be a daily part of our life.”
  • Most importantly: you can resolve it. Healthy relationships can be maintained even when those involved are in a conflict that takes longer to resolve.
  • A good way to approach these conversations is to start with “I” because it helps prevent us from coming from a place of blame.

 

Healing Your Past

  • “I had to recognize that this was going to be a process.”
  • She remembers sharing her story with a friend and feeling how just her presence there was helpful. She never tried to give her quick fixes—she was simply a presence.
  • “What does it look like for me to be honest in this space?”
  • She found places to serve, mentor, and journey with people.
  • She has found the courage to be honest on her journey. “When I’m tempted, I say so.”

Isn’t Ashley amazing? You can buy her book anywhere books are sold! Follow her on Instagram at @ashabercrombie and visit her website ashabercrombie.org.

If you are enjoying the podcast, I want to invite you to leave a rating and review on iTunes! We love hearing what your favorite episodes are and always welcome any general feedback! It also helps us be more visible in the iTunes world. If you want to leave a review but don’t know how, head over to @therefinedcollective on Instagram and find the “Review 101” under story highlights.

 

Hey, single ladies— are you frustrated by the dating world? This episode is brought to you by my free guide called “6 Tips to Activate Your Dating Life with Intention and Clarity.” These resources helped propel me from sitting on the couch to out on a date. Head over to Bit.ly/trwdatingtips to check it out! With you on the journey.

 

XO,

Kat

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Podcast

How to Plan for Marriage Not Just a Wedding

09.25.19

This week on the podcast, I’m chatting with Natasha Miller. She is a daughter of God, wife to Jamal Miller, and mother of Harvest Ann and Melodie Grace. She is also the co-founder of Miller Media Group, a company dedicated to raising up brands and publications that reflect God’s voice. She also founded Fearless Women Mentorship, where she helps women to recognize their inner beauty and warrior. This episode, we’re chatting about singleness, relationships, unexpected challenges of marriage, and how to plan for marriage and not the wedding day. You’ve heard her husband, Jamal, describe the way they met and fell in love on his episode of The Dudes Series, but now you get to hear her side of the same story!

How They Met

  • They met on Facebook y’all!
  • After a few YEARS, Jamal got bold and told her that he was interested in her.
  • “He wasn’t a man who was living on an island by himself. He was a man who was committed and a man who was open to hearing other voices in his life. It brought me a lot of comfort knowing that I wasn’t a secret.”
  • Natasha was in SoCal and Jamal was in Chicago, so they started by having phone dates.
  • “From the moment I heard his voice, I knew he was a man who knew what he wanted.”
  • They spoke every day and met for the first time in Chicago at a conference. Jamal was her first relationship and kiss—now they are celebrating 6 years of marriage.
  • “This decision was not just for my present, but it was for my future. Right now, this is a gift that the Lord is giving me.”

The Unexpected Challenges of Marriage

  • Once life really started to happen and they moved into an apartment and she didn’t have a job, she felt afraid. All these fears started coming up for her.
  • “I had this romantic idea of what a marriage should look like.”
  • One month in, she started feeling sadness and depression. She was constantly comparing herself to Jamal, who was thriving.
  • She was in the mentality that she needed to be who her husband needed her to be and who everyone around her needed her to be.
  • In conflict, they were repeating what their parents did. This continued 3.5 years into marriage after they had their kids. They hit a breaking point where their communication was not working.
  • “I didn’t know how to communicate what I was feeling because I was afraid of being rejected.”

Finding The Breakthrough

  • Their breakthrough wasn’t overnight; healing in their marriage took time and years of leaning in.
  • Now, Natasha and Jamal are working on their business Married and Young, which they started one year into their marriage. “We want to make marriage popular. We want people to desire it again.”

How to Invest Into Your Marriage

  • Invest in your personal development and heal from your past. You need to forgive yourself and address past pain and hurt. Don’t be afraid to dig deep.
  • “Before you can extend grace to others you have to learn how to extend it to yourself.”
  • Realize that when you are putting in the work that it is not just for you, it is for God. You need to have a bigger why.
  • “You can forgive and still love. You can be hurt and still grow.”
  • Truly take the time to know who you are. Discover your purpose.
  • “There’s a difference between communicating and being vulnerable.”
  • For the single ladies: you can practice this vulnerability with your family and friends because if you can’t practice it there, you won’t be able to practice it in marriage. Being able to practice it in your marriage will help sustain it during the difficult times.
  • “When you allow God to change you from the inside out, that’s when you’re able to truly love someone who is unlovable.”

How incredible is Natasha?! I know y’all want to connect with her so follow her at @natashaannmiller and on Facebook at Natasha Ann Miller. If you’re interested in seeing Married and Young’s resources or joining their email list, head over to MarriedAndYoung.com.

If you are enjoying the podcast, I want to invite you to leave a rating and review on iTunes! We love hearing what your favorite episodes are and always welcome any general feedback! It also helps us be more visible in the iTunes world. If you want to leave a review but don’t know how, head over to @therefinedcollective on Instagram and find the “Review 101” under story highlights.

Hey, single ladies— are you frustrated by the dating world? This episode is brought to you by my free guide called “6 Tips to Activate Your Dating Life with Intention and Clarity.” These resources helped propel me from sitting on the couch to out on a date. Head over to Bit.ly/trwdatingtips to check it out! With you on the journey.

XO,

Kat

Check out this episode!