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The Refined Collective Podcast

Oct 9, 2019


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 coursesfor 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 to check it out! With you on the journey.