and Breaking the
Chains of Shame
Ep. 241 withDr. Celeste Holbrook
“Your best bet for a long term sexually pleasurable relationship is sexual resiliency.”
Dr. Celeste Holbrook
Unleash your authentic self in this thought-provoking episode that explores the transformative power of sexual expression. Lesley Logan with Dr. Celeste Holbrook guides you through candid conversations about overcoming shame, cultivating self-acceptance, and navigating the path towards a deeply fulfilling and liberated sex life.
If you have any comments or questions about the Be It pod shoot us a message at [email protected]. Or leave a comment below!
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In this episode you will learn about:
- How to embrace sensuality and body acceptance.
- How to become aware of what you want your sex life to feel like emotionally.
- How to have an experience that feels fully embodied, pleasurable, and present.
- Why Dr. Holbrook loves the idea of body neutrality.
- How to nurture sexual resiliency and redefine intimacy as you grow.
- Sexual liberation and overcoming societal shame over sex.
Celeste Holbrook: I was on board for body positivity until I realized it was still about the body. And so I, I love the idea of actually just neutrality, I don’t have to love my body, but I don’t have to hate her. And so body neutrality is just like, Yeah, this is my body. And this is what how she functions is that she doesn’t function. And this is how we’re going to work together to get through life. And sometimes that does mean not shaming yourself for engaging in those harm reduction activities of maybe it is weight loss, right? Maybe it is surgery, right?
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.
All right, Be It babes, we have one of those amazing guests that you all loved back, I know you loved her because your downloads don’t lie. So we had her on the show before talking about sex and being until you see it, was one of our most downloaded, most listened to, most shared podcast and I’m just so freaking grateful. And I interviewed a friend of hers, Erin Baute on the Ennegram and I was like, You know what, I just want to have her back on. So it’s my show I’m gonna do what I want. So I when we are when she’s on the show for the first time, we didn’t get to the deep talk about bodies, and our bodies and how we feel about them in the bedroom or wherever you’re having sex. So this episode is about sex. And if you don’t want to listen with air pods and you don’t want other people to hear that you’re listening to this then air pod yourself. However, you know what? Maybe you just let people hear about it with you, because the more we take away shame and just being embarrassed around this topic, the better it is for all of us and everywhere. Here’s the most amazing Dr. Celeste Holbrook for you and I cannot wait to hear how you love it.
All right, Be It babe, I am so thrilled to have this guest back. So if you haven’t listened to our first episode, you are going to want to check out the show notes and make sure you listen to that one next or pause this one. Listen that one, come back to this one because Dr. Celeste Holbrook is back. And just an amazing way I’ve been following her since we had her on the show. And first of all, I just wanna say, one of our top downloaded shows, so people are definitely interested in this topic. So I had to have you back Dr. Celeste can you tell everyone who you are and what you do, just in case they don’t know yet.
Celeste Holbrook 1:31
Hi, Lesley. Well, thanks so much for having me back. My name is Celeste, I’m a sex educator, I help people find pleasure in the areas of their bedroom and their life. And I’m excited to chat today and extend our conversation from last time.
Lesley Logan 1:46
Yeah, so me too. So Okay. Um, one of the things that I think we talked about kind of like, at the end of our last episode, when we got off of the recording was like, just even bodies, like our bot, how we feel about our bodies, how we feel in our bodies, what even society makes us feel about our bodies can have that it can affect us in having sex be in the bedroom, be in the world. And so I kind of wanted to start off with that and kind of hear what your thoughts are, and how you’ve kind of worked with people in that way.
Celeste Holbrook 2:15
Yeah, for sure. And I think we both, you know, have this interesting perspective about body, you’re working so much helping people be within their body. And so I’m really excited to have this conversation in this dialogue, because I think it’s so important. So as a sex educator, I’m working with people one on one, I’m working with couples, and something that comes up so so often is, I don’t feel comfortable in my body, or I don’t feel comfortable getting naked, or I don’t want to have sex with the lights on, it’s a really common one. Or if I just, you know, fill in the blank, then sex would be better. And so that’s probably where I want to start is that in terms of, in terms of sex, the way that your body looks is such a tiny, tiny, tiny part of your sensual experience. So we think of sensuality as the use of your senses. You’re talking about the way your partner tastes and the way your skin feels, and the way your clitoris feels, and what you’re hearing the the noise of your partner breathing. And so you’re having this beautiful big sensory experience that has, and your vision or your partner’s vision is such a small part of that experience, right? And it’s so clouded by culture and society and what we deem as appropriately sexy. And so you can have the most beautiful, orgasmic erotic, wild, lovely sexual experience in whatever body that you have. It’s like it’s not required to look a certain way in order to have great sex.
Lesley Logan 3:56
Okay, love everything I’m like, like, that’s just like, please like rewind, save that. Because I don’t think people even think about that way, the way you just, like laid out what our sexual experience can be has very little to do with how we look because it’s that’s not even where we’re feeling. And it’s so funny because like, it sounds so simple. And yet that none of us are thinking about that like you said, we’re like, oh, if I if I look a different way, or if I lose some weight, or if like all these different pressures we put on ourselves as if that’s what’s going to make the sex better. But that’s not it at all. What you just said is like not at all.
Celeste Holbrook 4:35
And to be fair, you you might feel better if you put on a piece of laundry that you feel really great in, right. But I think as we’re going to dig in today, that’s more about actually feeling safe in your body than it is about looking a certain way. And maybe we just don’t right in here, so I haven’t yet…(Lesley: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Let’s go there.) Okay, so I have this theory. about the way that we interact with our own bodies. And I have been calling it the harm reduction theory. I don’t know if that’s a great use of that term. But basically, I feel like the things that we do, I’m gonna say as women, but this applies for anybody. But women have more pressure from society to appear a certain way, right? The things that we do to manipulate our appearance, we do them to help reduce the negative messaging that actually gets through. So think about it like armor. And that’s why I call it the harm reduction approach. So my eyelashes that I put on, my nails or whatever it is that you’re doing makeup, boob job, it doesn’t matter, whatever it is that you’re doing to alter your appearance, is in an effort to feel safe from the negative messages we continue to get, right? So putting on eyelashes, putting on makeup is kind of the price I pay to be heard. Sometimes, like, I want people to pay attention to me. So I’m going to look like they want me to look a lot of the times. And so I think that helps give us some compassion. Both directions like compassion for the woman who has a BBL, right, we want to like sometimes tear her down compassion for though woman who doesn’t do anything. (…) So. So it’s a way to give compassion to all ends of the spectrum, really, of how we interact with our own appearance in the world.
Lesley Logan 6:32
Yeah. Yeah, all that. And I, I, it’s so, it’s so true. You said feeling safe in our body. And one of the things like that attracted me to doing Pilates was actually felt like I was in my body for the first time. Like, I was like, Oh, I’m, what am I feeling I’ve never felt before. Oh, this is this is me being in my body. Right? So like, yeah, I can so relate to what you’re saying and understand it. Because I think so many people are disassociated from their body from feeling things that when they don’t feel safe inside it, because it’s not familiar to them. And then we are doing all these things. We think we do all these things to be like feel, to feel seen and feel heard. And all of that keeps you from actually just being feeling like all that stuff, feeling safe. Unless you are consciously making the choice. I’m doing this because it makes me feel a certain way. So what are your steps for helping women? Or everyone listening, but like, How do we start to feel safe, safe in our body? Like, like, is it, Do we need to like, touch ourselves more? Do we need to like be with ourselves more? Like, what are those steps that may be like, baby steps to like, the next level?
Celeste Holbrook 7:45
Yeah, yeah, well, since we, since I am usually viewing the lens of sex, let’s talk about it in terms of sex, right. So, I think, the first step really, for feeling great in your own sex life and safe in your own body is to just to become aware of what you want your sex life to feel like emotionally, because then you can start to build in. These are the behaviors that helped me feel the way I want to feel. So let’s say you and I are partners, and we do this activity together. So I sit down and I say okay, my dream sexual experience would feel, I really get down to like, what do I want to experience emotionally when I’m with you in a sexual experience? I want to feel erotic, wild, connected and loved. Okay, so those are my feelings. And then you write it down. I want to feel intimate and close and connected and safe, right? And so then we look at both of our lists and say, like, Oh, we’re both looking for connection. We’re both looking for some fun. And I have some words over here that maybe you don’t have, and you have some words over here that I don’t have. But at least we know what we’re both kind of going for. Right? Yeah, yeah. So we know emotionally what we want. And then you can start building behaviors. And so if the behaviors I’m coming around to body in a second, so then the behaviors might be like, Okay, we both want to feel connected in sex. What if we spend a little bit more time talking before sex? What if we had more sex where we are looking at each other instead of you’re looking at the back of my neck or something like that? And so then when you get down to the behaviors, then is where you start to say like, Oh, I feel uncomfortable when you’re looking at me straight on. Right? then then you can start to understand or feel like, oh, that’s this place where I feel a little something. Something’s coming up, you know, and I really don’t love the word insecure because I think a lot of women aren’t necessarily insecure. I think they are driven by culture to tell you like you don’t look okay. Right? When deep down I’m pretty secure. But everybody’s telling me I shouldn’t be because of the way that my body works, or looks.
Lesley Logan 10:05
Right. Okay. Yes. So I love that you work backwards. That’s a great way to think about it. Like, it’s like, okay, where do we want? Where does it work? The end result is how we want to feel at this stage. And then what are the behaviors that will get us there, and then seeing which behaviors feel good or feel like I would like to run away from that right now. And then going inward on those things. And that can be stuff we have to do around our bodies, or it could be other things we have to explore with our partner or with ourselves. And so that is really interesting. And I also have never heard anyone talk about insecure in that way. I think you’re completely correct. And you should do a TEDx on this. Because we are walking around thinking we’re just insecure, when really, we actually know what we want. But it’s the outside world, it’s telling us that we’re wrong.
Yeah, yeah. Cuz Would you feel that way about your body if you were alone on a fucking Island? You would not. So it’s not about you. It’s about everybody else.
Oh, my goodness, how do we? Where do we start with that? We’d like to start with our children (…) we would start with ourselves, I think, yeah, you know, because actions are not caught on top. But okay, so, so okay, we, we’ve gone through the steps of like, how we could figure out where our work needs to be. What have you found in working with couples and people on bodies that they have enabled,l ike we’ve heard some steps or some tips or some tools that have helped them kind of get around that? Because I do. I hate saying, okay, just turn the lights off. Because that’d be a terrible like, your partner wants to see you. I’m sure they are with you. So where are we? Is it that we’ve gotta work with a therapist, like, is it outside of your scope? Like what do we, what do you do?
Celeste Holbrook 11:55
Yeah, so some things that, let’s start here. Most people feel a little weird on some level on some things in sex, like, oh, like, my, the way that I feel right now is not right, or whatever. So this is not, you know, if you’re listening, I don’t want you to feel like you’re out of the ordinary. If you feel, you know, this feelings of insecurity or discomfort around your appearance or your body in sex, that’s most people. You’re not alone. Right? And so I think the next step for once you have identified the behaviors that you want to engage in that help you feel what you want to feel, then is where you do the work where you are so beautiful at emulating is embodiment is really, okay, when we’re in this behavior that we both agree on brings us connection. How do I continue to get back into my body because a lot of times insects, we will spectator, which is where we look, we feel like we’re watching the event, instead of being inside the event or like, Oh, should I be louder? Should I be softer? Should I, you know, pull my sheets up over my butt or whatever. And so, noticing that, oh, you know what, I’m not in my body right now. I’m going to come back into my body. What does my clitoris feel like? What do my boobs feel like? What is the feeling of my partner’s hand on my butt? Like getting back into your actual body using your senses, and we call that anchoring. And Pilates and yoga and all kinds of different movement activities are really helpful for a lot of people in that practice. Okay, return, return, return back into my body, so that I can have an experience with you that feels fully embodied, and pleasurable and present. So the process of anchoring is the answer that question I think.
Lesley Logan 13:53
Yeah, yeah. And also like, Thanks for bringing up (…) shout out to Pilates. Because I always say like how we do one thing is to do everything. So if you’re distracted in your movement practice, you’re gonna be distracted while you’re driving, be distracted while you’re having sex, like your need to strap like, like, we have to have these moments. We practice how we want to feel and be so that we can draw upon them when it’s needed, like a strength and a muscle. I’m gonna totally sidetrack our conversation. Just want you to know that Joseph Pilates definitely created Pilates for sex. He actually, that’s awesome. He told there’s a book called The Caged Lion. John Steele wrote it. And Joseph Pilates took John on a walk and he’s like, You need to have more sex. And John was like, thrown off by this 80 year old man telling what do you need to do. And he said, all of the exercises I created are so people can have better sex.
Celeste Holbrook 14:41
I love that. I really need to know more about this. I need all the information here.
Lesley Logan 14:49
I think like, you know, I mean, not our society so harsh on our bodies and what we’re supposed to look like and even as a body positivity movement, unfortunately as women who are bigger bodies, if they do go on a journey of weight loss for whatever reason, personally, professionally, whatever that is, they’re, they’re attacked for it. So on both spectrums, like you said earlier, we cannot win, you cannot, it doesn’t really matter, someone’s going to hate on you from any side. And so, you know, what have you found? You have your daughters, you work with a lot of women, what have you found to help women who maybe have not realized that they’re not insecure that they just that they just haven’t owned what they know about themselves how they want to feel?
Celeste Holbrook 15:31
Yeah, you know, I really love, I was on board for body positivity until I realized it was still about the body. And so I, I love the idea of actually just neutrality, I don’t have to love my body, but I don’t have to hate her. And so body neutrality is just like, Yeah, this is my body. And this is what how she functions is that she doesn’t function. And this is how we’re going to work together to get through life. And sometimes that does mean not shaming yourself for engaging in those harm reduction activities of maybe it is weight loss, right? Maybe it is surgery, right? Maybe it is something that helps you move through the world in a safer way. And that’s okay, like, we have to be okay with that for women to do that. And continue to march towards the idea that my body, I am more than my body, right? I’m so much more. And so, you know, it is interesting. I do have, as you say twin daughters who are 11. And there are no two humans on Earth that are compared more than identical twin girls. Oh, she’s the blank one. Oh, she’s the blank one. And it’s always around appearance versus boys that get a little bit more like, Oh, he’s the athletic one, or he’s the smart one or whatever. Identical twin girls are compared more than any other to humans on Earth, their bodies, right? People talk about their bodies all the time.
Lesley Logan 17:14
That has to be so hard to, like, observe.
Celeste Holbrook 17:17
Oh, I call it out now actually. So so much. You know, people want to say like, Oh, she’s the bigger one or she’s the taller one or she’s the littler one or she’s the whatever one she has a frog or she has short hair. She has brown hair, like actually Zoey really loves art and Ella really loves theater. And you know, I will like redirect the conversation so, so hard just to try and change the way that we automatically make comments about women’s bodies from the get go. To the point where I think I almost went too far. My my, one of my daughters asked me the other day she she asked me like Mom, do you think that I am pretty? Because I never ever say anything about their appearance, right? And I was like, Oh, maybe I maybe I maybe I went too far.
Lesley Logan 18:05
The pendulum swung. Yeah, I mean, I guess like that. I first of all, I think it’s amazing that she even came to you. So like, kudos to like you’ve obviously taught her a lot. But also like you’re trying to protect her so much from that and she’s going to be there are both going to be inundated with it in all of life outside of the household. So it’s kind of hard. That’s a hard, hard thing to walk. But I have not thought about that about like, just, it’s okay to like, like, like it’s almost like the word whelmed. It’s okay to be whelmed about your body, you can just like it’s like, it doesn’t have to be this thing that I love or I hate I can actually be very neutral about it. We can all be neutral about everybody’s bodies. And then maybe we’ll see even some of those harm reduction things even reduced because people won’t be needing to seek certain ones out or more most of many out just for feeling seen.
Celeste Holbrook 18:58
Yeah, I love that you are getting where I’m trying to go. I feel like I’m like all over the place right now. But like, that’s where I would love, I would love us to do just as much harm reduction as we need in order to continue to move forward in diversity of body and where we can see, and I think and I and I would love to hear your view on this. I think we’ve done a lot in the last I would say five years. I think we’ve really like you’re seeing so much more diversity online and you’re seeing all these different bodies, right?
Lesley Logan 19:30
Every mailer I get I like will look at I’m like, Oh, they kept her stretch marks and oh, they have this and and so like, I noticed that in a way that like excites me because it becomes more makeups it becomes more than norm like you’re just seeing that. I’ll actually so where I started. So I grew up in a household where my grandmother was over 300 pounds you lose 100 gain 100. Thin Finn was like the best thing she was so sad was taken off the market. So I’ve definitely like I was in a diet culture household. I just thought you were on die. it Are you off the diet, but like
Celeste Holbrook 20:03
There’s only two choices
Lesley Logan 20:04
Yeah, that’s it, you don’t just like enjoy your food that you’re eating. Shout out to like the snack wells. Right? So we’ll be at three different types of milk (…) Skim milk, 2%, home. Yeah, my brother had to gain weight, I should be losing weight, like the whole thing. That’s not my parents fault. I was doing a modeling thing. So anyway, I do get you’re going with this. And I, the reason those I noticed those things in a positive way is because when I was a first Pilates instructor, this woman came into the studio, and I was running the studio, and she went to the teacher, and the teacher was like, okay, so what are your goals? Like, what, what? Why are you seeking out Pilates, which is like a typical thing, you’d ask people for any reason they’re trying to hire you, right? And the girl goes, well, I want to look like her. And she puts an ad of a woman in lingerie in front of us. And, you know, the teacher was like, well, you’re very beautiful. I don’t like why do we need to look like her. She’s like, because that’s me. She like this is I’m the model. And they have airbrushed her. So she’s the model for this line. And they airbrush her. So everything that’s put out is not her real body that we’re looking at right now. So like she had a baby, and she’s trying to get back to who she was no, like, she’s trying to be something that does not exist in physical form. And I remember going, Holy fuck, what are we all doing here? Like, what are we doing here? How am I contributing to this? I did not have the tools at the time. But like, I’ve definitely in the last five years have seen like, how there are tools out there that we can no matter what size business you have, like tap into, and also just being kind of like changing different words. But if that was not the first model that I ever saw, do that another girl, I was at a pool event for a bunch of fitness influencers. And she’s like, Yeah, I’m just trying to look like this again, I’ll just like like this. And I said, I don’t really understand. She’s like, well, I use IU, she used her own app to remove her ribs to like, look a certain way. And I really was just like, having such a hard time because I was also looking to all these people who, because of what society was doing to them, or they’re doing to themselves, that was actually not reducing harm, it was actually causing more. And so I, I really liked the where you’re going. And I feel like we have come so far in five years, in the last five years, I think we have a lot more work to do on people, not judging people wherever they are on their journey in their own bodies. And that’s, that’s where I get like really frustrated, cuz I get frustrated for the girls that that one of them works for us in another capacity. And she’s sharing her journey. And she was trying to lose weight. She’s trying to have a baby, she’s type one diabetic. And people were just either criticizing her for trying to be a teacher or criticizing her for trying to lose weight. I was like, Oh my gosh, this poor girl, like it’s not our place to decide what she wants to look like. So I really appreciate you bringing that up in this episode. Because I think we can all think about how are we, first of all, forgiving ourselves for doing harm reduction acts that we might be participating in or want to. And then also, maybe being kinder, as you said earlier to people who are.
Yeah, yeah. And I think you hit the nail on the head is that we’re all like, we’re all trying to feel better. We’re all trying to like, move in this way towards something that feels like vitality for our own life. Right? And probably a year from now, I’ll think back to this conversation. But I would have said something different, right? Because I think about that on a year ago is podcast and I’m on a journey too, but I think that us as a whole. And maybe I’m talking about women as a whole moving towards the idea that all our bodies are Okay. And yeah, you know, they’re all welcome here.
Yeah. Yeah. It’s funny, I was listening to another podcast, and it’s a comedian. And she, somebody criticized how she like, did a 90 second thing on a holiday. And she said, You know, when you’re a professional speaker, and you like speak for living just (…) it’s just a numbers game, you’re going to say things like, I should have said that a little bit differently, or I should have been a little bit more clear or, or this or that. She’s like, soundbites or clips like or reels only have 90 seconds like you’re reduced to hoping people can read between the lines. And of course, somebody somewhere is going to take something especially anything we say even today or any episode I’ve ever had out of context. And hopefully it is for conversation and not an accusation. I think there’s a difference there like and I think also, you know, being kind to ourselves about the intent we had at the time we set it at and as we as we get older we learn more, the more information, the more people you coach, I’m sure like, you’ll even maybe it’s not harm reduction theory, it’s a, you change the words, whatever. And I think like, that’s part of, if we can’t even start to be kind to each other for being in process of figuring out the theories are working on. That’s even one maybe step towards being kind to each other about how we look.
Celeste Holbrook 25:23
Yeah, well, I mean, for sure, for sure. And like I recently have been really working on being called in, like, you know, being being called in for whatever some, you know, this probably happens to you too, happens to everybody, somebody DM me the other day, like, you know, what you said on this reel, or, or what was a webinar I was doing about menopause was really harmful to me. And I felt like it was not great. Not great suggestion. And I went and got some help from a different provider. And this is what they said, and this was really helpful. And I thought you should know. And I just wanted you to know that this was, this was my experience with your content. I was like, All right, though. Okay. Like, I went back and listened to her. And I was like, I could see where she was coming from. Right? And so the, what I have been working on is creating thickness around being called in so that I can be better. You know, and sometimes people call you and you’re like, meh, I don’t, I don’t know. But a lot of times there is a little bit of a grain of opportunity to learn in there. And so I think it goes both ways, calling in kindly and also being too fragile about when it happens, you know?
Lesley Logan 26:44
I think that calling and kindly is like, is the thing there, though. Like, I actually love that she cared enough about you. Yeah. And the content that you’re putting out there to share that what you suggested, or what she heard, was not helpful. But here’s what was. And I that kind of feedback is, it does feel like a kick to the stomach. Sure. But also it’s like, wow, had this person not told me (…) I may not know that this I could reward I could rephrase this, or I could qualify this or, or, you know, whatever. And I think so that’s really cool because so few people actually take the time to share that. Other people will take no time at all to be kind and they will, and for that it’s like hard, because it’s like, there’s no, there’s no actual back and forth, there’s no way to actually lean into that and, and engage in a conversation. So I think it’s like, Yes, I have had to as well. And sometimes like, you know, we’ve I’ve looked at it, and I’m like, okay, can see what you’re saying that is really not at all the intent of that. And like, how can we keep going forward without having that intent? Like, what do we do to change the words, we need to change this thing? Like, and, and so I think, and then also who is saying it also matters to me like, I’m like, this is, I might, have I always been creating this for you, or are you actually better suited like for this over here? And that’s like, so, you know, it’s hard to know. But it’s like, it’s better to even like, evaluate and go, where does this feel? Where did I make like, what can I learn from this? And, and then also, like, we’re always learning I think it’s really hard for, as people who are speakers of a topic. Of course, we’re considered experts. And so we are held to a higher standard, but at the same time, like we’re still human beings, there’s still more to learn. There’s still types of situations you may have not encountered yet in your expertise.
Celeste Holbrook 28:43
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And I think what you said earlier, about, like, what was my intent? And what was the impact? like, impact always, to me, means more than my intent, like, I didn’t mean to, you know, give this kind of what felt like hard advice about menopause. But the impact was that she felt unseen and unheard. And so the impact was always more important than the intent for sure.
Lesley Logan 29:13
Yeah. Yeah. So, you know, I think it’s also something to talk about with this topic is like, you know, there’s people who are, you know, in monogamous relationships, where their bodies are gonna change as we get older, not just menopause, but like, you know, we’re gonna get older, both parties are gonna get older unless you keep trading him for a younger model. (…) ladies, go ahead. The men have been there for a long time, by all means. No judgment on that harm reduction, if that works for you. But, what are your suggest, like, I’m obviously, you mentioned, like having that conversation with your partner. It feels like that conversation is going to change over time, maybe even constantly. Or maybe even in a month, but also like over the course of our of our relationship. How have you seen people approach that as human? As we get older, our bodies are gonna change, like, how have you seen people approach that?
Celeste Holbrook 30:12
Yeah, well, I think it’s if we can think about it as a beautiful thing, meaning you’re not having sex with the same person for 40-50 years. You, I mean, it’s the same person in your bedroom, but you are totally new people. Because of your experiences, and because of what you’ve been through and what you’re, what you’re currently going through. And so in a way, it’s kind of like it brings that novelty, which we thrive off of insects, we want things to be novel all the time in sex. And so what I like to teach couples is that your best bet for a long term sexually pleasurable relationship is sexual resiliency. And what I mean by that is the ability to look at your sex life and go, Okay, where can we pivot? Where can we do something different? Okay, you’re having trouble with erectile, you’re having erectile issues, right? Where can we pivot to where we still experience some really beautiful pleasure and connection, but maybe an erection isn’t always required? Right? So how do we define sex more broadly? If we define sex based on what we want to feel instead of what we do, right? then sex becomes like very open. And maybe sex when we first got together was penis and vagina you know, so heteronormative, right? But maybe as we age sex is both laying down and touching each other. Or maybe sex as we age is you giving me some looks across the table from waffles when we’re 70. You know, and I feel all of those fun, beautiful things again. I used to go and teach courses for the early onset on Alzheimer’s unit, where you have a partner without Alzheimer’s and a partner who has just been diagnosed, and we’re going to talk about, okay, as the disease progresses, how do you still connect intimately when possibly some consent is going to come off the table eventually? Because consent is not there anymore, offered anymore, right? What’s your sex gonna look like? Is it, you know, holding hands on the porch while you watch the sunrise? Is that you’re going to be your sex eventually. Right? And so being able to redefine it over time is the key to sexual resiliency.
Lesley Logan 32:42
Yeah. It’s almost like you have to like put through like, every year you’re checking your insurance things every year, you’re checking, you’re making sure you’ve updated all these things. Maybe you’re like, Hey, where’s our consent on? Yeah, exactly. You know? Yeah. I don’t know if we talked about this on the last episode, we might have. So forgive me, everyone. But when you talked about the Alzheimer’s thing, this is there was a New York Times article on elderly sexually active adults. And how much criticism there was a judge who, whose husband has Alzheimer’s and like, he had a partner in the hospital that he was with, and she was like, so like, there was a there was a picture of someone where she was this judge was famous judge in the Supreme Court was sitting with her husband, who has Alzheimer’s, who was also sitting with his partner from the hospital. And people are like, how could she do that? It’s like, everything is on her. Like, she’s just being like, rude. But it’s like, her husband has Alzheimer’s. He’s in a hospital. And we’re judging that these two people who are like on a different road in their brain than the rest of us are having some sort of consensual relationship.
Celeste Holbrook 33:54
Non monogamous. Yeah.
Lesley Logan 33:55
Yeah. And so I just felt so bad for her, but the whole article kind of went into, like, where we, as adults have, have, like, adult children have got to let their parents sexual behaviors be what they want them to be. And it’s not our choice.
Celeste Holbrook 34:13
Yes. Yeah. You can’t regulate that. Yeah.
Lesley Logan 34:16
Yeah. They try to regulate you, but you don’t get to do it.
Celeste Holbrook 34:20
You don’t get to do it. You don’t get to do it. And it’s part of like, if you think about, you know, part of thriving for a parent might be their sexuality and their ability to feel pleasure in that way. And, you know? how if we can just move past the the puritanical shame around sex, and if we can just look at it like, Oh, what a beautiful thing that they can still engage in that helps them feel human, right? Sex just humanizes us. Pleasure just humanizes us and so if we can just move past our own stuff, you know, then it’s like, oh, yeah, that’s actually a really beautiful thing.
Lesley Logan 35:00
Yeah, the movie pass the puritanical shame. I feel like that might be your other book…(Celeste: Yeah, for sure.) I feel like it’s a series.
Celeste Holbrook 35:13
I think you are totally right.
Lesley Logan 35:15
Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, Dr. Celeste, I just adore our conversations. I love exploring this topic with you, I know that it affects so many people. And so just being able to bring you into their world into their ear so they can explore more with you. Because, you know, being until we see it is really hard to do if you’re not feeling seen, and if you are not experiencing all parts of yourself. And it can be really difficult to go out there in the world if like, you also don’t feel super strong, and your sex life or how you feel in your body and all that stuff. So this is just a really wonderful topic. This will not be the last time we had you on the show, just because I fucking love you. Let’s have at least an annual if not semi annual. I love it. We’ll do a whole series. That’s my podcast, I can do what I want.
You can do whatever you want.
Before I let you go, we’re gonna take a brief break. And then we’re gonna find out where people can find you, follow you, work with you. And then you’ll Be It action items. // All right, Dr. Celeste. Where do you like to hang out? What’s your favorite social places? Which website? Where can people work with you?
Celeste Holbrook 36:17
Well, I’m on Instagram at Dr. Celeste Holbrook. That’s Dr. Celeste Holbrook, where we have a lot of fun, and we sling a lot of dildos. And you can find me on my website at Drcelesteholbrook.com Where we can work together one on one, or I can work with you and your partner to create a sex life that feels pleasurable for for both of you. And I just love to hear from you. I love hearing what you got to say. I can learn a little bit from you.
Lesley Logan 36:45
Yeah, so yeah, you have a deemer, if you aren’t, I hope that you feel safe and secure to share what you took away from this episode, because it would be part of that taking away the shame of the topic.
Celeste Holbrook 37:17
I am trying to get on a TEDx stage to talk about pleasure. And so I am using the idea of discipline to do and submit applications even when I don’t want to like not waiting for motivation. So that would probably be what I have to offer today is, discipline used to scare me, because I thought it took away freedom. But in in reality, discipline has opened me up to lots of opportunities. So discipline, even when you don’t feel motivated.
Lesley Logan 37:49
What a great reframe of that word. Right. You know?…(Dr. Celeste: I hated that word before) Yeah. Well, because it sounds like you need to be disciplined. (…) But you’re, you’re actually taking this like, if I’m disciplined on this thing that I want, even if I don’t want to do it right now, it’s gonna open up the doors for the things I want. I love that. And you must let us know when you get a TEDx because we will have we have to share it. We’ll have to put it in the show and have to have you back. We’ll put it in the FYFs. A new segment on on the Be It pod on Friday. That’s Fuck Yeah Friday, so you must share a win. So we’ll have to share yours when that happens. Yeah. I love you. You’re amazing. You’re doing such amazing work for people everywhere and especially women. So thank you for being here, everyone. Thank you for listening. You know, please, I’d love for you to share this publicly. It’d be amazing. It’d be a step and a thing of you and look at me. I’m helping get rid of shame around this topic. However, at the very least, maybe text it to a friend. Let us, get us a review and let Dr. Celeste Holbrook know what your takeaways were. I would love to hear them and 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 on IG 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 the ‘Bloom Podcast Network’.
It’s written, filmed and recorded by your host, Lesley Logan and me, Brad Crowell.
It is produced and edited by the epic team at Disenyo.
Our theme music is by Ali at APEX Production Music. And our branding by designer and artist, Gianfranco Cioffi.
Special thanks to Melissa Solomon for creating our visuals and Ximena Velasquez for our transcriptions.
Also to Angelina Herico for adding all the content to our website. And finally to Meridith Crowell for keeping us all on point and on time.
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