Let’s Talk About
Ep. 85 ft. Celeste Holbrook
“Sex is a beautiful experience of senses.”
Dr. Celeste Holbrook is a sexologist, speaker and author who has dedicated her life to helping women achieve soul-centered sex through perfectly planned mental and behavioral changes. She inspires women to move through mental blocks surrounding their intimate lives to truly experience the sex that was spiritually designed for her. Hundreds of women have dramatically changed their relationships by following the sexual and spiritual strategies that Dr. Holbrook has created and tailored specifically for them. Her favorite moment is the spark that appears in a woman’s eyes the instant her sensual confidence is re-awakened.
A taboo topic no more, today’s conversation is all about changing the mindset around sex so that women can sprout roots of confidence into every area of their life.
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In this episode you will learn about:
- Expectations not met
- Working to become sexually resilient
- Recognizing the impact of previous sexual messages
- Erasing the performance based sex mindset
- Intentional sexuality
- How to incorporate sex education into the home
- Changing the conversation around sex
Lesley Logan 0:01
Hey, Be It babe, how are you? Ah, thank you for being here. All right, I have a very special guest and a very important topic for us today. I have Dr. Celeste Holbrook here. She is a sexologist. So she is a sex educator. And so if you are listening to this with your earpods out, and you’ve got little ones around, and you would like to be the voice that talks to them about sex, then I highly recommend this as an earpod moment. Save this for when you’re by yourself. However, I do hope that this inspires you, for my parents out there to have conversations, conscious conversations with your children about sex. And when I heard Dr. Celeste on another podcast, I was like, “I have to have her on.” I have to have her on because I too often see women um, taking on a responsibility and a role around sex in the bedroom with their partner in a way that is not shared responsibility. And it’s it’s just like a lot of pressure. And I didn’t even know what she was going to say until I started the Zoom conversation. And I told her why I wanted to have her on. I told her what I was thinking. And she said this thing that you’re going to hear. And instantly I was like, “Yeah, you have to say that again on the podcast, you have to.” Because ladies, there are so, there are so many factors that keep us from being it till we see it. And there are lots of little things we can do to make the day go better. And then there’s also a major part of our lives and how we see ourselves and how we, how we ask for what we need. Ask for what we want. And and if and I I know that once you listen to this interview with Dr. Celeste Holbrook, you are going to, you’re going to 100% understand that really getting clear on your sexual desires and your sexual resilience is key to being it till you see it. So with that, I hope you dive in, grab a pad of paper and some notes. She has a really amazing homework assignment for you. And I want to have her back. So let me know if you want to have her back because I want to have her back. I’m gonna have her back anyways. But um, I just think that, you know, this is a really awesome conversation. And I’m grateful for you to be here. I’m grateful for Dr. Celeste for saying “yes” and for sharing her amazing knowledge and her story. Because I do think that this conversation will change lives. And it’s necessary, it’s necessary to be it till you see it, it’s necessary to have this conversation. So thank you for being a listener. And and here she is. Here’s Dr. Celeste.
Lesley Logan 3:03
Welcome to the Be It Till You See It podcast where we talk about taking messy action, knowing that perfect is boring. I’m Lesley Logan, Pilates instructor and fitness business coach. I’ve trained thousands of people around the world and the number one thing I see stopping people from achieving anything is self doubt. My friends, action brings clarity and it’s the antidote to fear. Each week, my guests will bring Bold, Executable, Intrinsic and Targeted steps that you can use to put yourself first and Be It Till You See It. It’s a practice, not a perfect. Let’s get started.
Lesley Logan 3:47
Alright, Be It, Be It babes. I have Dr. Celeste Holbrook here. She is a sex educator. And oh, my frickin’ goodness when I heard her speak on our friend Amber Shaw’s podcast, I was like, “How the heck do I get her on my podcast ASAP?” And it’s because of what she talks about. And you’re gonna hear it. I think it’s gonna make so much sense. Why I want to have her on here. But I’m gonna let her introduce herself. So Celeste, thank you for being here. Can you tell everyone who you are and what you’re rocking out right now?
Celeste Holbrook 4:16
Oh, thanks, Lesley. It’s really exciting to be on your podcast. And I really appreciate you trusting me with this content. It’s definitely close to my heart and something we need to talk more about. And so I always appreciate when people provide those safe spaces for us to have these conversations. So thank you very much for having me on. My name is Celeste Holbrook. I’m a sex educator. My mission in life is to provide safe spaces for people to talk about sex. I believe that if we can, you know grow in this very vulnerable part of our life like in our sex life, we can grow in other areas of our lives that grows confidence or confident roots into other areas of our life. So it’s not, it is about sex, but it’s not just about sex. And I I really enjoy working with women and couples to help them find the pleasure and connection that they have always wanted in their sex life. And so that’s what I do. I have a practice in Fort Worth, Texas. It’s but it’s all virtual. So I see everybody online on Zoom. So I see couples and individuals. And I also teach courses and work for the local sex toy shop to do education there as well. So it’s a fun life. Anybody wants to go into sex education, we need more people. (Celeste laughs)
Lesley Logan 5:29
I was gonna say. Okay, so so how, how does one go, “You know, I want to be when I grow up? A sex educator.” Like, how did this (Lesley laughs) how did this come to be? (Celeste: Right?) (Celeste laughs)
Celeste Holbrook 5:38
Right? Yeah, I’m so glad you asked that, because I grew up in a conservative household and a conservative Christian community. And I was always told that you if you, if you wait to have sex until you’re married, then your marriage and your sex life are going to be great. And that was what I really believed. And so I did wait to have penetrative sex until I got married. Listen, I did everything else because (Lesley and Celeste laughs) it (Lesley: I went …) was too much fun not to.
Lesley Logan 6:06
Celeste, I went to a Christian University and (Celeste: Mm-hmm) the, I, the creative things people were doing. I was like, (Celeste: Yeah) “Wow, I didn’t, I just was having sex.” (Lesley and Celeste laughs)
Celeste Holbrook 6:07
You’re just going for it and we were just like…
Lesley Logan 6:18
… I was like, “Oh, that rule I’m breaking.” (Lesley laughs)
Celeste Holbrook 6:22
Yeah. Yes. Good for you. Good for you. Yeah. Um, yeah, I got… I was real creative. (Celeste laughs) But I waited to have to have penetrative sex, till I got married. And then once I did get married, I got married in Austin in the morning, because my daddy always said “if you get married in the morning, and if doesn’t work out you haven’t wasted the whole day.” (Lesley and Celeste laughs) So (Lesley: Oh my god.) I know. That’s that’s like small town, Texas that I grew up in, right. Um, so I get married. We go to the hotel. I like peel off my eyelashes and my … clip in hair and like my spanx and everything. And we have penetrative sex for the first time. And it is terrible. It’s awful. It hurts really bad. And I thought, “Oh my gosh, I have a broken vagina. I must have like, just like a rusty vagina or something.” And I thought, “Okay, maybe I just need to do it more like I guess or something.” But it didn’t get better. Our whole first year of marriage we ha… there was an incredible pain. My partner didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what to do. I hadn’t gotten any sex education growing up. (Lesley: Right) So I mean, it was abstinence only. And so I was really lost as to what to do. I felt a lot of shame. I felt a lot of guilt. I felt a lot of anger toward my partner. And I went to an OB GYN after the first year and OB GYN did a whole examination sets list, “I don’t see anything wrong with you.” And then he proceeded to tell me like, “You should just have a baby, and this would get better.” Which is … really …
Lesley Logan 7:55
… But but, oh, my God, I can’t. (Celeste: I know. I know.) Like, because also it hurts to have the sex to have the baby. (Celeste: Right, right) And like, (Celeste: Thank you.) And … (Celeste: Yeah) Aahh. Okay, that’s a whole other topic. But but (Celeste: Yeah) isn’t it… Thank you for bringing up how it made you feel? Because I think that that is really the thing, no one actually teaches women, really, you know, unless you had like some (Celeste: Yeah) very open parents, and my grandparents talked about sex all the time. But (Celeste: Yeah) we were always told, like, “Well, you have to wait till you got married.” So they actually didn’t teach us how to have sex. They just told us like that they had a lot (Lesley laughs) (Celeste: … about you, that there’s.) Yeah, that there’s so but it’s true. Like so then you’re supposed to like know how to do it. And then and then if it doesn’t work out, it’s something you and as women, I think we obviously go, “Something’s wrong with me. (Celeste: Right) It’s my fault. (Celeste: Right) Yeah.
Celeste Holbrook 8:46
Well, I was told if I waited until I was married, sex would be great. And so I obviously thought something must have been wrong with me. I waited but (Lesley: Yeah) it’s not great. (Lesley: Yeah) So yeah, so that was kind of the beginning. Like, in that moment, I thought, “Okay, I’m going to have to do something. I don’t need somebody to tell me to stretch out my vagina. I need somebody to walk with me and give me emotional tools and give me sex education. And help me along this path so that I can have sex that feels pleasurable and connective.” And so what I did was I just started giving myself better sex education. And that’s why I believe in this work so much, is because sex education saved my sex life and my relationship. Like it was literally the thing that saved my life. And so I thought, “Well, gosh, if I’m an educator, you know, I was getting a PhD in Health Education. So I started studying sex education. I was like, if I can help myself, like because I gave myself the sex education I never got and I learned how to have make sex better for myself. And eventually sex is not painful, and then eventually sex was pleasurable. So I thought, if I could do it for myself, I’m sure there’s other women out there who experienced something like this I’ve never talked to anybody who did, but I was sure that there probably was. And so that was kind of the beginning of it. I just, I, it was my own problems that I had to work on fixing. And then I thought I, this has to be helpful for somebody else.
Lesley Logan 10:16
Yeah. (Celeste: And I appreciate them.) And I think um, so, you know, it’s, I’m sure going through it, no one wants to be through it. They just want to be on the other side of it. But there’s like a reason why things happen for you. Because like, now you are educating so many people all over on something that like, it’s not exactly like, it’s not exactly a comfortable thing to talk about. So like, (Celeste: Yeah) I’m sure you’re like, “I’m sure there’s other ones going through it and like, but no one’s actually talking about.” Like, (Celeste: no) outside after church, women are going, “Well, yep, sex was great and like, they’re not doing that no one’s going. (Celeste: no) I’m actually struggling.” Like, no one is saying these things. (Celeste: No) And so like, how, how did you, how did you get started teaching this? Like, how did you get people to actually be comfortable coming to you and talking to you? Do you find that that’s like, the next hardest thing is like actually meeting people to say, “Hi, I have a problem I need …” (Lesley and Celeste laughs)
Celeste Holbrook 11:06
Yeah, exactly. Well, after I, I kind of started focusing on sex education, I got a job as a sex educator for a large sex toy company. And I wasn’t selling sex toys. But I was internal in the corporate office, answering the questions that came in, like, “Oh, how do I use a sex toy?” You know, a lot of those questions, but a lot of like, “I don’t have any libido or sex hurts, or these activities hurts. How can I help? What lubricant should I be using?” And so then I was just like answering these questions over and over. And I realized because the the company I worked for did a good job of providing like, a safe place for women to ask questions, that that’s all it took, was providing like accessibility and friendliness. And like a shame free zone, you can ask anything here, there’s nothing, you know, off that you can’t ask. And people just poured in, it wasn’t actually that hard. Like, once you provide the space, then people ask the questions.
Lesley Logan 12:05
Oh, my God, that couldn’t be more be it till you see it. I have to say, like, I can’t believe that it has to be the sex toy company that (Celeste: Right) has to do this though. Like, it’s, you know, (Lesley and Celeste laughs) like, you know, the fact that like, someone with low libido can’t get that information from a health care person they have to like, that’s just that it had to be a little frustrating for you. So you know, people who might be like, “Okay, Lesley and Celeste, it’s like, thanks for this, but I’m just trying to like, keep, like, my household sane.” (Celeste: Yeah) Can you talk about like how people’s lives change if they just have some comfortability, some ownership of their sex life and confidence in that?
Celeste Holbrook 12:44
Oh yeah, absolutely. So you talked about, you know, trying to keep this household together or household sane. And one of the things that can be really helpful for people to hear is that responsibility is the biggest killer of arousal. So responsibility is the biggest killer of arousal. So we often say that’s why sex can make babies and often babies are the deathblow to sex. (Lesley and Celeste laughs) Because there’s, yeah, there’s nothing like this big response, you’d have to keep this little potato sack alive. And so it’s over the course of our lives, sex changes. And we in the practice, as sex educators, we work on helping people become sexually resilient. Meaning as my body changes, as my partnership changes, as my life changes, how do I continue to find connection and pleasure? And so to answer your question about, you know, how do we, how do we become this in this area that grows roots into other areas, it really is about a continued learning about sex, you’re never really done. I’m not done learning about sex. None of us are done learning about sex. Because it changes as our bodies change and our responsibilities change. And so becoming resilient to those changes means, “Okay, this no longer turns me on. I’m going to start exploring what does at this moment instead of like, I no longer get turned on. My sex life must be done.” (Lesley: Right) You know … (Lesley: like instead of …) it’s sexual resilience.
Lesley Logan 14:13
Yeah. Oh that’s such a go… that’s so interesting. And it’s so true, because like, it… Well, just to go back to your doctor’s advice and how terrible that was, “Go ahead, have a baby.” And it’s like, that’s like the number one killer to sex. (Lesley and Celeste laughs) Like it’s painful, or maybe he just like here, and then you won’t even have to have the reason you know, (Celeste: Yeah. All right.) But sexual resilience, I think that is really an interesting way to put it because I was I was listening to a podcast where a woman who’s over 50 is like, talking about her sex life. And I was like, “Oh, that’s so interesting.” And then like, because of the way the universe goes, they must have known and I was an interview you because The Daily that did this enter like whole story about having sex in your 70s and 80s. And I was like, (Celeste: Yeah) “I’ve actually never thought about that.” I’m actually (Celeste: Right) never thought like, how do people when they’re old have sex? (Celeste: Right) And they were talking about how different it has to be and how and how this isn’t. I just think like, “What ah… No one talks about that.” (Lesley laughs)
Celeste Holbrook 14:47
No one talks about that. Yeah. Not only do we not talk about it, we desexualize anybody that’s not young and white. (Celeste laughs) I mean, honestly, we just decent. Like we only sexualize. Yeah, that’s not totally true. But we, we definitely do desexualize older people, we (Lesley: Mm-hmm) actually desexualize people with disabilities, we desexualize anything that doesn’t fit into this very narrow definition of what we think is sexual. And so yeah, people have sex and through their 90s … You know like, it’s not, you know,
Lesley Logan 15:41
And and then and to that point, like, because as growing up, right, like, all I saw was like, “This is what sexy is.” And (Celeste: Yeah) then like, if that doesn’t make you, if you don’t feel good, being sexy that way, then like, again, there’s something wrong with you, or there’s (Celeste: Right) something like. So, okay, what is like step one, if somebody is like, “Okay, ladies, I’m in. This is like, intriguing me. How do I get sexual resilience?” Like what, how do they or how do they even get comfortable with their sexual desire? Like, what’s what do you (Celeste: Yeah) use? (Lesley laughs)
Celeste Holbrook 16:12
Yeah, absolutely. I love to start out with this with everybody. I always think about what we want to feel in sex because everything that we do behaviorally, we do it because we want to feel something. So like, I pet my dog, because I want to feel calm. I ride my bike, because I want to feel free. I do certain sex, sexual activities, because I want to feel pleasure, connection, erotic, intimate, loving, whatever it is that I want to feel in sex. And so start with the feeling. So write down my dream sexual experience would feel like and then write those words down. And then you can work your way backwards, like, “Okay, if I want to feel confident, what do I need to do behaviorally in order to feel confident? Maybe I need to learn more about my body. Maybe I need to establish a better relationship with my vulva and my clitoris. Maybe I need to have a masturbation practice. Maybe I need to read some more books.” Right? So start with what you want to feel and then work your way backwards, “I want to feel connected. Okay, maybe I need to work on communication styles with my partner. Maybe I need to learn how to ask more for what I want. And maybe I don’t know what I want. So maybe I need to take one more step back and figure out what I like and what I don’t like and do some more creative exploration in sex,” you know. So I like to start out with that list of what we want to feel. Because then you can build behaviors behind that. Lots of times we go into sex, like, “What do I want to do?” You know, like, “I want to use a spreader bar and you know, whips (Lesley laughs) and I wanna rubber and stuff like that.” And all that’s good and fine. But if it’s not getting to what you want to feel, it’s, it’s gonna fall short. It’s gonna fall flat in your sexual experience. So always start with what you want to feel and then build the spreader bars in behind it. (Celeste laughs)
Lesley Logan 17:58
Oh my God, yes. Okay, love this. This is how I do goals. Like I people, like I like people are just taking action. And like, “Well, where are we going?” You know, you got to start there and work backwards. So like, this makes so much sense to me. (Lesley laughs) (Celeste: Yeah, yeah) And, and, and then it’s also like, “Okay, why didn’t, why didn’t none of us think about that?” (Lesley laughs) (Celeste: Yeah) (Celeste laughs) So so so to the woman who is like, maybe because of how they are raised, maybe because like, just like different ideas of what sex is. And like, you know, maybe like, don’t have it till you get married and then no one’s talked about it. So like you… where do you suggest that even start with that comfortability? Because if they’re, if that is like also just boring to them, you know, like, where did they start getting even masturbating might be actually uncomfortable. So like, (Celeste: For sure) where do we go there?
Celeste Holbrook 18:47
For sure. And masturbation is very uncomfortable for many, many, many women. This is one of my things that comes up a lot in the practice is women will say, “I went somewhere or my friends just suggested that I get a sex toy and masturbate and that I’d find out what I like.” When in reality, if you have never been encouraged to explore your genitals, or you’ve been told your genitals are gross, or you’ve grown up in a purity culture, in purity culture, where you know, you’re supposed to remain pure and not touch yourself and things like that. It’s far more nuanced than just grabbing a dildo and masturbating. Right? So, thinking about getting started out on your sexual journey, it can be very helpful to go back and kind of list out the sexual messages you got growing up. Like, “Who told you about sex? How old were you? What was the message? Did you have a trusted adult in your life that you could ask sex questions to? Where did you get your sexual information? What were your early sexual experiences? Did anybody clothes police you? Tell you your skirt was too short or that your bra strap was going to make boys, you know do do bad things, right? Were you told you were wearing responsible for bad behavior of men?” And so we go back, and we kind of mine for all those messages, because all of those messages harbor in our cells of our body. And we consider that traumatic neglect when you don’t give a person sex education that helps them make decisions. It’s like not giving a person tools to learn how to eat, right. So we do consider this traumatic neglect. So go back and look at all those messages that are being stored in your body. Because most of those messages are telling your body that sex is dangerous, like if you’re told you’re going to go to hell, or you’re going to be unwantable or unlovable or a depetaled flower. If you have sex before you married, your body just associates that as sex is dangerous. That’s its only message, right? And so when you do go to have sex and your body shuts down like mine did, and your vaginas, like, “No, we’re trying to keep you safe, you know, we’re gonna clamp down and get small,” because we’re trying to do that, it’s our only job as a body is to keep you safe, then it provides pain, or it provides a low libido or it provides low arousal, all things that it thinks is trying to help keep you safe from this thing that it thought was dangerous, right? And so starting out kind of this is the long winded answer the TED the, 20 minute TED talk answer, but I feel really passionate about this, because nobody really talks about this. Is really to go back, especially with a professional can be very helpful, because it can be hard to go back and look at the messages that you’ve got growing up, they’re harboring in your body, and then go and reparent, do inner child work to reparent those messages to tell you like, “Listen, I know you were told that you were going to be unwantable if you have sex but that’s no longer true for us anymore in my 40 year old life, you know, so you don’t have to be loud in my life anymore. I love you and I see you earlier me. But you don’t have to be loud anymore.” So it just helps our body relax into, “Okay, I don’t have to put up the you know, the fight or flight in order to get out of the situation. I can relax and experience pleasure.”
Lesley Logan 22:06
Oh, thank you for saying that because I mean, I’ve heard you know, with my therapist, we’ve talked about that with my money mindset stuff. Because there’s like, a little seven year old Lesley, like, freaking out and I have to go, “Hey, thank you. Hear ya. And we’re good actually. We actually have money in the bank all the time now. (Lesley and Celeste laughs) It’s okay, (Celeste. You’re right …) we can afford that. We’re good.” But I never, I never thought about with that. Because I got sent home from school. (Celeste: Oh) Because my my strap on my tank top was not an inch and a half. The thing I actually got sent home for was I was talking back because she said it’s not an inch and a half. It has to be an inch and a half or and I said or it said wider than your bra strap and I’m not wearing a bra. So any strap matters. And she called my dad because I refuse to wear the gym clothes (Celeste: Yeah) that they would make you change into. And I was a public school. And I said, “No, I won’t. I’ll just I’ll just take the absence. It’s fine.” You know, (Celeste: Yeah) and so she had to call my dad and my dad is like, “Who are you calling for?” And they said, “Lesley’s not dressed appropriately today.” He’s like “Lesley?” (Lesley laughs) Because my as my sister is the one who always like dressed with the short skirt, she would take a change of clothes to school. And I was like, (Celeste: Yeah) I’m the upholder, the… I call myself a recovering perfectionist, but obviously then I was the perfectionist 4.2 (Celeste: Yeah) student getting sent home because (Celeste: Yes) this tank top is distracting the boys in her class. (Lesley laughs) (Celeste: Mm-hmm) And it is so interesting, because as you say those things I’m sure so many people are nodding their head and listening and like that… you think you think, “Oh, that was just a thing in high school.” But we forget that all those things (Celeste: That’s right) over our little record players and (Celeste: That’s right) they are in our body. And they are telling us things that are taking away our ability to have sexual resilience, as you mentioned, and also just like, confidence in (Celeste: Yeah) ourselves and if we are not, for you said this earlier when we’re off the record, but like if we’re not confident in ourselves, in our sex, can you, you say it because you have the best way of saying it.
Celeste Holbrook 24:03
No, you’re fine. Yeah, I I like to think about if we have the ability to ask for what we need and what we want and what we desire in our most vulnerable space. Which one one of our most vulnerable spaces is naked with, you know, maybe somebody’s penis in your mouth. And so if we’re able to ask for what you want in those spaces, you can ask for a raise at work, you know, like learning the tools and the skill sets to communicate in sex. It absolutely grows roots into other areas of your life. Yeah.
Lesley Logan 24:34
Oh my goodness. I mean, thank you for saying that because it’s true. If we can be more competent there then it’s just almost like so easy to just be confident in these like, fully clothed situations (Celeste: fully clothed situations) (Celeste and Lesley laughs) where like, not like, like bad things really couldn’t happen if you’re asking your boss for like that. (Lesley laughs) Like (Celeste: Yeah, yeah) I just… Is that something that you discovered in your, like in your your journey of educating people, is that something you’ve always known? Like, how did you, how did you see that as something that was like changing people’s lives?
Celeste Holbrook 25:07
I mean, I didn’t always know that for sure. Still not sure that I know anything. But um (Lesley and Celeste laughs) to stay one page ahead, right? Um, yeah, I don’t know, I don’t, I don’t know, I just saw the way that things change, especially, you know, one of my specialties is talking to women who grew up in purity culture, and kind of conservative cultures and helping them, em… embracing them, get empowered in their sexuality. And so especially in these cases, where somebody grew up, thinking that they were that sex was like their wifely duty. And then having a 180 turn to, “Oh, like sex is actually pleasure for me and connection for me. And we are two individual people who co create this sex in this third space,” instead of like, to becoming one, or leaving and cleaving it is to individual fully represented people, co creating sex, right, that’s a big shift. And once you identify yourself as a whole individual sexual person, that’s when really like the ma… the magic happens, because you’re not, I’m not here to solely server, please this other person, I’m not here as a linchpin to their arousal, like we are told when our straps are too short and (Lesley: Yeah) small, like I, you know, like, if you really think about the psychology of that, it’s essentially saying, like, you are in charge for the arousal of men, and that continues in your brain, and even into your married life or your or your relationships, I am responsible for the arousal of men. And so if things aren’t going well, it’s clearly probably my fault. Just telling somebody their skirt is too short. That’s the arc of that message over time.
Lesley Logan 26:53
Yeah, (Celeste: Yeah) that’s, oh, my gosh, I just had a flashback because, um, my dad, he’s turning 70. So when he was in high school, they would make the girls like kneel to see if their skirts (Celeste: Mm-hmm) touch the ground. And I just like, think about all those women who are like, grandparents right now, parents and like, just what that did for potential confidence to do so many things in this world. Like we we think it’s just oh, that’s in the bedroom, or that happens twice a week or whatever. But like, the more you and I talk, the more you say things, the more I’m just like, so many women are not able to do, something that probably feels very simple, like just like being it till you see it in their job or in their (Celeste: Right) life, or like hosting a book club or, you know, being there for as a friend. And it’s like, it’s, it’s like that, it’s almost like if you could go into this one area of your life more deeply. It will do the domino effect to all these other areas. And we started hurting people’s sexual resilience when they didn’t even know what sex was. (Lesley laughs)
Celeste Holbrook 27:55
Right, right. You’re totally right. It’s I, I love how you say that. We absolutely did. We absolutely did I mean we, yeah, didn’t give anybody any information and then told them they were wrong.
Lesley Logan 28:05
Yeah. Okay, well, okay, I have some questions for the ladies who are listening because we got a lot of busy mamas. (Celeste: Yeah) A lot of perfectionist, they’re… trying to be recovering perfectionist, and just like put a lot of pressure on themselves (Celeste: Yeah) overachievers, those things I imagine are killing a lot of libido. (Celeste laughs) Am I… (Lesley laughs) (Celeste: Mama knows, mama knows) … mama knows as you said. So what are, what are some reasons like they’ll all those things are actually like hurting their bedroom, life?
Celeste Holbrook 28:40
Right? So if we think about the way we actually learn about sex. Nobody really tells us much about sex, especially if you grew up like you and I did. Nobody really tells us about sex or how are really much about sex other than don’t have it and you know, somebody used to tell me, “The best birth control is an aspirin, because you just put it in between your knees.” (Celeste laughs)
Lesley Logan 29:05
Oh, my gosh. (Lesley laughs)
Celeste Holbrook 29:07
I know. I just thought about that. I just thought about that. Anyway, (Lesley laughs) so as far as the way that we learn about sex, we learned about it through media, through media or porn, right? We only see sex modeled in a performative way. And this is very important, because no other part of our life is only modeled performatively. Right? We see other relationships navigating through conflict, we see people cooking, we learn how to cook through seeing other people cook. We learn how to drive by being in cars with adults who are driving. Right? Sex is the only thing we don’t see people having sex in a very natural setting. We only see performed sex on film. And so what happens is that becomes our identifier to what good sex is. And so let me connect this to your performers in your audience who want to do things right and correctly and perfect. Right? If our only model for sex is this very performative media kind of focused way, then we’re always going to fall short, because sex in media is not real. It’s scripted, it’s performed, it’s angled. It’s all of these things that don’t actually happen in real life. And so we kind of judge ourselves based on this. Like, I don’t know how many times women have come to me in the practice and say, “I don’t really think I’m having an orgasm.” I say, “Okay, let’s talk about it.” And we talked about it. And it turns out, maybe she is having an orgasm, but she’s not screaming from the mountaintops like it looks like they do in media. And (Lesley: Right) so she assumes that maybe she’s not having one, right. And so for your, for any, any of us, all of us, me included, moving away from performance based sex, what am I doing to experience based sex. Sex, first and foremost, is an experience. And something that we feel with all of our senses, which I think is why it’s so beautiful, is because it is a merge of all of our senses. And when we are rooted in our senses, we can only feel our senses in this present moment. And so that’s why you hear people say, like, I was lost in the moment, it’s because I can only touch in this moment, I can think about it in the future, I can think about it from from the past, but I can only experience it in this moment. And so sex is this beautiful experience of senses. And when we think about it, that way, it becomes much more pleasurable, and it becomes much more exploratory versus when we think about it, like, “These are the things I want to do. This is what I want it to look like. I definitely want to have an orgasm every time or we’re going to cumm together or whatever.” When you loosen the grip on what it looks like, you can feel more of the experience and probably be more fulfilled, because that’s what sex really is, is an experience between the two of you, versus a performance that you’re doing for some other third person, you know.
Lesley Logan 32:12
Yeah. Oh, I keep going back to like, how do you want it to feel like that’s like, (Celeste: Mm-hmm) just makes it so tangible? And also like some you can work with and it and you’re right, like that performative thing? It’s like it, it just, you know, if it’s not perfect, you don’t have this or you’re like, you know, it becomes so much pressure (Lesley laughs) ( Celeste: It is) to put on yourself, how could you even be in the moment because you’re like, trying to control all the things? (Lesley laughs)
Celeste Holbrook 32:42
Yes, exactly. And if we go back to the earlier conversation of if, if responsibilities is the biggest killer of arousal, and performative sex is starting to feel like a responsibility or a chore, or I’ve got to do this, or I need to do this so that somebody else is happy, then like, you’re just killing your arousal, right? (Lesley: Mm-hmm) If when sex becomes a chore, your arousal is just gonna continue to tank.
Lesley Logan 33:04
Yeah, yeah. So for the people who are like, “I’m in, I love this. I’m in, I don’t have time.” The people who are like, they’re so busy, they are… not ha… not, they don’t have the time to have sex with their partner regularly or they… (Celeste: Yeah) Do you have advice for them? Is there like, quickies? (Lesley laughs) (Celeste: Sure, yeah) Like, is that the only answer like what what can we give them to like, kind of take that excuse out? Because it’s it’s blocking them from from enjoying pleasure and having the sexual resilience?
Celeste Holbrook 33:34
Yeah. Well, so first, I’ll say there are times in your life where you have less sex, less sex, and that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with that. But what I hear you saying is, is there somebody who wants to be having, you know, a little bit more sex or more pleasurable sex but feel like they can’t, it’s just not happening organically? Then here’s what I would say. We are, we are told, from the very beginning that sex is natural, and it is not natural. It is biological. We’re built for sex. We’re built for pleasure, right? It’s biological, it is not natural. Just like eating is biological. We’re built to consume food, you still have to learn how to cook and make it a priority. (Lesley laughs) So so sex is just like this. If you wait until your partner and you are on the same page, in the soft glowing light, and you have had just enough food in your belly, and nobody has farts, you know, going on, like, you’re gonna be waiting forever. If you’re just waiting for that to naturally happen. And so I do not like scheduled sex. A lot of people say schedule sex, but I do like the premise of intentional sexuality. Meaning we’re not just gonna say like, “Every Tuesday at four, we’re gonna bang it out.” That works for some people, and that’s great if it does, but for some people, that feels a little bit too much like a responsibility, but if you just say, “We’re just gonna leave it up to chance and hope that someday we’re on the same page of arousal.” That’s also not great, because it’s not going to happen. You have to make it a priority. So intentional sexuality looks like this, “Hey, Lesley, I know that we’re both off work on Thursday, and we’re both going to be home for lunch. What do you think about, you know, setting some time aside to get intentionally sexual?” And you’re like, “Yeah, yeah, that sounds good. Like, I think we could do that.” And then Thursday comes along, and I ate too many breadsticks. And I’m gonna, like, I’ve just got too much bloated belly, and I say, “Listen, I can’t do it today. Like, let’s pivot to something else.” And so we can either pivot for to a one way situation where my partner just comes on my skin, or we can pivot to a different day, or we can pivot to something else, but you’re making sex intentional, you’re looking for those opportunities for you to be together in a vulnerable space and aroused. And if you do this intentionally, sex becomes a little easier, and you’re talking about it. And it takes pressure off of just one person to always be initiating, and it takes pressure off of you to always, like, for example, this happens a lot for women. If you’re going to bed, and you’re like, either trying to avoid sex, or like, “Oh, I don’t know, if I want to do it tonight. I’m going to act like I’m asleep.” Or if you’re, or if every time your partner reaches out to you and just an affectionate touch, and you’re kind of moving away, like, “Oh, I don’t want to get into sex right now.” I would encourage you to make sex more intentional, because then you avoid that, like, weird middle ground of, “Is this a sexual touch or not? Are we going to have sex or not?” It just makes it more intentional, like, “Okay, Thursday, we’re we have this time scheduled where we’re going to, you know, be together.” And if it doesn’t work out, that’s okay, we can pivot to something else. And that builds sexual resilience. So it’s not, you know, every Thursday at noon, but it is, “Let’s talk about when sex could be available for both of us. How can I help you get more aroused? What can I do during the day to help you feel more relaxed on Wednesday night? You know, can I can I take the kids pick the kids up from school? Can I you know, make sure that the house is picked up all you take a bath? Like what what are the things that we can do to make sex more intentional.” So make sex, sex a priority, you do have time for it if you want to make time for it. But you have to not wait for the margin to just open up. (Lesley: Well…) Oh, my gosh, I’m sorry, that was so long. (Celeste laughs)
Lesley Logan 37:23
No, it’s okay because what I just want you just towards the end is like really, I love so much because it just goes back to like, it’s two and the other person has to help make sure that you have less responsibility for that date, for that moment to happen. And so it requires a, those of you listening to speak up and say, “Here’s what (Celeste: Yeah) we really lovely, if we could have intentional sex time, and then I would know that not every time are you kissing me, “are you trying to also…” (Celeste: Yeah) Because like, that is hard. If you’re like, if you are thinking, “I have the 17 things that have to happen before five o’clock, otherwise, the whole house falls down.” (Celeste: That’s right) And then your partner goes to kiss you and you’re like, “Oh my God, every time he kisses me, we have sex,” then like you’re not gonna and then that creates own other ball of (Celeste: Yeah) issues in your (Celeste: Yeah) relationship. So I love that. And I also love that you’re like, it needs to be like, finding out what you need and telling your partner it would be really helpful if you could, if you pick the kids up from school on Wednesday that I’ll have this and then we can actually I can be relaxed and I can have that time for you. I (Celeste: That’s right) love it’s just so much communication. And it’s that is I mean to talk about modeling. No one communicates to us about sex. So we don’t know how to communicate about sex. (Lesley laughs)
Celeste Holbrook 37:31
That’s right. That’s right. Let’s examine your on the nose. That is exactly right.
Lesley Logan 38:40
Um, okay. So Celeste you’re I mean, you’re just a wealth of knowledge. And I just I’m loving this conversation, but I want to talk about a couple things because you I always like to bring people on like, be it till you see it story. You are a mom of twins. (Celeste: Yes) So thank goodness again that you didn’t listen to that doctor, because you would have had twins (Celeste laughs) possibly (Celeste: Yeah) and then probably not had been on this earth to give us all this beautiful sex education. (Celeste and Lesley laughs)
Celeste Holbrook 39:07
And I had them via C section by the way, so it wouldn’t have helped. (Lesley laughs)
Lesley Logan 39:11
So his advice didn’t like wouldn’t have even worked for you. (Celeste: Yeah) Um, not the first time I’ve heard a doctor’s advice around things like that for women. Um, that didn’t go as planned. Can you tell us like about how you were doing a be it till you see it moment to have these twins because I do think it’s really cool.
Celeste Holbrook 39:29
Oh, thanks. I think this is like the coolest story. But I’ve always wanted twins. I don’t have really twin twins that run in my family. But I just always been fascinated with twins. I’m a Gemini and so I think that’s something to do with it. (Celeste and Lesley laughs) And I knew there was a slight more a bigger possibility slightly because my husband’s mom is an identical twin and he has several twins in his family. Not that it typically comes from the dad’s side but I was like, “Oh no, no, I could hope.”
Lesley Logan 39:59
Yeah, and also science like… (Celeste: Yeah) it could happen. (Lesley laughs)
Celeste Holbrook 40:03
It could happen. It could totally happen. So, um, you know, my twins are almost 10 now. So this was a long time ago, but I just when we started to try and get pregnant, I got off birth control, and we were just kind of being casual about it, you know, like not trying not to have sex or not to have get pregnant and took us about a year and I finally got pregnant and I was like, super excited. And I remember, you know, during my pregnancy, just like, “I just, it would be so lovely if I could have twins. I would just really want twins.” And I thought about it every day. And I really, I really do feel like I manifested it. I remember pulling into the first OB appointment and going, “Today is the day I get to find out if I’m having twins or not.” Like that was my thought it wasn’t, “Today’s the day I get to hear a heartbeat” or anything like that was like, “Today’s a day, I get to find out if I’m having twins or not.” And it was still a big surprise. I’m still so excited. But I’m telling you it is the biggest miracle of my life. And here’s the last thing I’ll say this is really funny is when the girls were five I was telling them the story like, “Girls do you know that you’re the, my biggest miracle and I feel like God gave me you specifically and to be your mom and I manifested having twins as like, you know what? Twins are just like the biggest miracle of my life.” And my five year old Zoey, she turns to me and goes, “Well, yeah, but like besides jeggings, right?” And I was like … (Lesley and Celeste laughs) Okay whatever. (Lesley: Oh, my God. Oh, my God kids.) Jeggings, that was her big miracle. (Lesley laughs)
Lesley Logan 41:39
Oh, my God, she’s she she’s still a little fashionista, five years later?
Celeste Holbrook 41:43
I mean… She loves her jeggings and when she’s still rocking the jeggings, so who knows? Yeah. (Celeste and Lesley laughs)
Lesley Logan 41:50
This, I thank you for sharing that because I do, I think people can assume that the be it’s till you see it’s have to be something big. Have to, “Oh, not that having twins isn’t a big deal.” But (Celeste: Yeah, yeah) like has to be like something that like is in business, or it has to be like some sort of project. But it could actually just be like, “I’m going to be the mom of twins. And I’m going to act like these are twins in here. And I’m going to talk (Celeste: Yeah) like and they’re gonna be twins.” And then they were. (Lesley laughs)
Celeste Holbrook 42:14
Yeah and then they were. It was wild. It’s totally wild.
Lesley Logan 42:17
Yeah. Um, so because you have two girls and they’re identical twins. Is your, as a … that you are raising them for sexual resilience? Is that is that easy for you to do? Because even though it wasn’t modeled for you, or is that like something you’re obviously intentional about? And is that something parents can do?
Celeste Holbrook 42:38
Yes. Such a good question. So here’s what I hope that I can say to help people feel more comfortable is that I talk about sex for a living. I made this my whole career. And I still find myself nervous to talk to my own kids about sex because it’s just hard. It’s a hard thing to do. You don’t know if you’re doing it right. You don’t know if you’re doing it well. But yes, I’m raising my kids very intentionally, about their body and about masturbation and about all things and and honestly, they can’t really get away with it. They walk into my office, and there’s, you know, some dildos hanging out. (Lesley laughs) So, you know, they’ll go like, “Are you teaching about penis anatomy tonight?” And I’m like, “Yeah, I’m teaching about penis anatomy tonight.” And it’s just that I make it normal, right? We make, we make shame, by being ashamed. And so I really try very hard to make sex a normal part of our conversations, which is easier for me because I’m a sexologists. So the, when I talk about work, we’re talking about sex. But I, my deepest hope is that they will feel free to make their own educated choices about sex.
Lesley Logan 43:52
That’s cool. (Celeste: Yeah) That’s really cool. I, for whatever reason, I was imagining like, like the PTA, if, (Lesley laughs) (Celeste: Oh) like, it goes well at the school. (Lesley laughs) (Celeste: Yeah. Career, career day was a thing in kindergarten.) (Lesley and Celeste laughs) (Celeste: Yeah) Oh my gosh, that’s so and you’re in Texas, so no offense, but I do feel like that probably had (Celeste: Yeah) some interesting parents reactions.
Celeste Holbrook 44:22
It’s possible. Luckily, they have they have really cool parents in their classroom. But listen, I’m like, you know, what, if my kids are gonna say something that brings up sex at to your house, into your home, you’re welcome. (Celeste laughs) Like, man up and be an adult and talk about it. (Lesley: Yeah) I’m very, like, I feel very strongly about this. Like, you got to talk to your kids about sex.
Lesley Logan 44:41
I think so. I think that is the biggest mistake that that that parents can make is like, not actually explaining it to them and or then making them feel that responsibility or shame around it. And like, (Celeste: Yeah) you know, I think it’s because whatever their parents said, and their parents said, it’s just like, it’s just the worst game of telephone we’ve all played. And (Celeste and Lesley laughs) you know, it just gets like watered down more (Celeste: Yeah) confused like or not there at all. So, you know, Celeste, I’m just so grateful that we can have this conversation. Thank you for saying yes when I asked you. I’m a complete stranger to you. So I really appreciate it. (Celeste: Oh, absolutely.) Because like, I really do, I, the more I talk with women and as a Pilates instructor and I work with women, and, you know, I hear mostly about the struggles for their fertility. (Celeste: Mm-hmm) But also part of those conversations has to do just with sex and confidence in the bedroom. And it’s like, if you’re not confident there, like it really is hard to be confident, as you mentioned anywhere else. And like, that might just be the one place we can all start exploring this year. So I’m grateful. Alright, Celeste, where do people get to find you? Are you on Instagram? Is our website like, where do they get to talk to you more?
Celeste Holbrook 45:52
Yes, you can find me on my website. It’s Dr. Celeste Holbrook, d r and then my name is celesteholbrook.com. And you can find me at the same handle on Instagram and Facebook – Dr. Celeste Holbrook. I really want to make you laugh on Instagram. So please come on over (Lesley and Celeste laughs) and see my ridiculous reels that I use with sex toys. (Lesley laughs) So yeah, absolutely.
Lesley Logan 46:13
Oh, my God, that’s amazing. I’m just so grateful for this conversation. I really do. If you’re, if any of this peaked your interest, like, please, you call, go to Celeste. If you, I would love it if you feel super comfortable screenshotting this and taking a picture and tagging Dr. Celeste Holbrook and the @be_it_pod with your takeaways because we could all start making this less this weird thing that no one talks about if we can just post about it on Instagram. (Lesley laughs) (Celeste: Yeah) Right? (Celeste: Absolutely. It’s a powerful tool.) What a great little be it… (Celeste: Yeah) First action and having a conversation and less shame around this con… this topic. Okay, I asked everyone, because it’s one thing to be informed and to get educated or even be inspired. But, you know, what are some tips that people can take away and work on for themselves to be it till they see it in this area? So bold, executable, intrinsic or targeted steps? What do you, what do you think would you have for us?
Celeste Holbrook 47:08
So, I really like the idea of writing down what you want to feel. And if you’re not feeling pleasure, if you’re not feeling connected, writing those things down and talking about it with your partner, have them write down what they want to feel in sex, too, can be really just the starting point for sex getting better. So really writing down what you want to feel and will help you, you know, be it until you see it, will help you kind of get closer to feeling those things for sure. That’s that’s kind of once it’s it feels like a small thing, but it really does change the way that you think about sex.
Lesley Logan 47:50
I mean, I think it’s like, this is just be something that’s like, in all like before you get married, like these are some things, before your partner, before you even like have sex with someone. Like instead of just saying “yes,” like, it should be like, and the next question is, “How do you want to feel tonight?” (Lesley laughs) (Celeste: Yes, exactly.) Like it just (Celeste: Totally) I mean, like, you know, it’s like, like, you know, after we say “Hi,” we say, “How are you?” Could be like, “Would you like have sex? Yes. “And how would you like to feel?” Like that (Celeste: Yeah) could just be like the the new routine in (Celeste: I love it) how we speak. Oh my gosh, I love this so much. And it … you, I know it’s you said it sounds simple. It’s not like it’s (Mm-hmm) like that requires a people knowing how they want to feel, which is like another so that just is a domino chain if you don’t rewind and listen. (Lesley laughs) (Celeste: Yeah) Because we talked about that, but also like, I mean like what a unique thing you could be exploring instead of like, trying to like, I can’t think of a better thing to spend time getting to know except for yourself and like what pleases you and like what makes you feel whole and seen? And you know, and that’s, and like you said, like, if you can do it, they’re in the most vulnerable state then what else you could do everything like you’re unstoppable.
Celeste Holbrook 48:57
You can do anything. I love it, unstoppable. Absolutely, (Lesley laughs) absolutely.
Lesley Logan 49:02
Celeste, you’re making unstoppable humans all over. And I’m so appreciative you. Thank you for being here. Everyone, thank you for listening. And I’m serious, like… take a screenshot of this, tag us and your takeaway, because it could be the best way to change this conversation around this. And if you’re like, “Lesley, that is like the biggest step of my life.” Then please text it to a friend who needs to hear this. Like, “Ladies, I know you know how your friends are feeling or you’ve heard like between the lines of how they’re feeling, send them this like if you don’t want to give them the advice yourself. You can just send them and Celeste’s words can tell them. (Lesley and Celeste laughs) (Celeste: I love it.) So thank you for being here. Everyone, thanks for listening. Until next time, Be It Till You See It.
That’s all I’ve got for this episode of the Be It Till You See It podcast! One thing that would help both myself and future listeners is for you to rate this show and leave a review. And, follow or subscribe for free wherever you listen to podcasts. Also, make sure to introduce yourself over at the @be_it_pod on Instagram! I would love to know more about you. Share this episode with whoever you think needs to hear it. Help us help others to BE IT TILL YOU SEE IT. Have an awesome day!
‘Be It Till You See It’ is a production of ‘As The Crows Fly Media’.
It’s written, produced, filmed and recorded by your host, Lesley Logan and me, Brad Crowell. Our Associate Producer is Amanda Frattarelli.
Kevin Perez at Disenyo handles all of our audio editing.
Our theme music is by Ali at APEX Production Music. And our branding by designer and artist, Gianfranco Cioffi.
Special thanks to our designer Jaira Mandal for creating all of our visuals (which you can’t see because this is a podcast) and our digital producer, Jay Pedroso for editing all video each week so you can.
And to Angelina Herico for transcribing each of our episodes so you can find them on our website. And, finally to Meridith Crowell for keeping us all on point and on time.
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