229: Overcoming Purity Culture with Esther Hooley

229: Overcoming Purity Culture with Esther Hooley

In this episode of Better Sex, host Jessa Zimmerman talks with Esther Hooley to address the impacts of purity culture on individuals and their sexuality. They explore how purity culture influences sexual scripts, the resulting shame, and how one can begin to heal and embrace their true sexuality. Esther discusses her book, ‘Embracing Erotic Wholeness,’ and how curiosity and reframing spirituality can assist in overcoming the detrimental effects of purity culture.

00:00 Introduction
00:45 Guest Introduction and Topic Overview
01:15 Esther’s Background
03:09 Defining Purity Culture
02:28 Impacts of Purity Culture
10:15 Shame and Sexuality
08:25 Disconnect and Reconnection
19:47 Reframing Sexual and Spiritual Beliefs
24:36 Closing Remarks Want to share your personal story on our podcast? This can be done anonymously! Just email us at info@intimacywithease.com

Dr. Hooley has been a clinician for over a decade and is currently a licensed psychologist in Waco, Texas. She specializes in sex therapy, trauma recovery, eating concerns, and spirituality concerns. She is currently in private practice working with people across the U.S. seeking healing. She recently published her first book entitled “Embracing Erotic Wholeness: From Shame to Curiosity” which focuses on embodied healing after living through purity culture.

#171 – God wants us to have pleasure – Rachel Alba

#171 – God wants us to have pleasure – Rachel Alba

Listen to “171: God Wants Us to Have Pleasure – Rachel Alba”

God Wants Us To Have Pleasure 

Our topic today is about getting closer to God through pleasure. I’m talking to Rachel Alba, who is a sex coach for people raised in Christian traditions that are struggling with shame or negativity around sex, and are at a point in their lives where they’re willing to take that on and try to transform that into something positive. 

She shares her personal story of her journey around this, and a lot about the idea of faith development. And opening up to new ideas about sex and then how to explore that and reduce the kind of shame response that people can have.  

Rachel works as a sex coach specifically for people who are coming from Christian backgrounds. And she got into that specifically because she was raised Roman Catholic and was led to believe sex is a space for us to really come back to the Garden of Eden and very much experience union with each other, union with the divine, even a fuller union with ourselves at the same time. And that’s a really positive viewpoint that Rachel was exposed to in her particular parish, this sense that sex is really good and pleasure is really good. And we can experience God’s grace through those things. 

Sex, Pleasure, Shame, and Christianity 

Our discussion dives deep into the history of attitudes surrounding sex, pleasure and shame within Christianity. And how so many people come from a place of spirituality. One of the first things Rachel does, is to remind people is that shame is actually a positive thing, which can sound a bit crazy. 

But she points out that our initial shame response is actually meant to protect us. So, it’s positive in the sense where it was meant to protect us. And a lot of times what happens is we just didn’t ever actually like grow out of that shame response that we had around sexuality.  

God created your body for pleasure.  

Rachel says that God didn’t give us nerve endings simply because we need them to be able to like, feel textures on trees. She believes God gave us pleasure and the ability to experience pleasure, because God wants us to experience pleasure. 

About Rachel 

Rachel is a certified Clinical Sexologist and holds a Masters of Arts in Theology and Ministry from Boston College.  She comes to Clinical Sexology (sex coaching) with a decade of experience as a massage therapist and extensive knowledge of anatomy and physiology.   Her work combines:  developmental spirituality, sexology & anatomy, sex-positive theology, and mindful sensuality to help clients from Christian backgrounds let go of any lingering sexual shame, experience more pleasure, grow in their communication and sexual skills, all while deepening their spirituality.  Other things I love are:  sangria, playing piano and singing, and the 1970’s film version of Jesus Christ Superstar. 

Links and Resources: 

Instagram – @rachel.alba.coaching 

Website  https://www.sexwithspirit.com 
[Where you can find a Free Three Keys to Releasing Sexual Shame miniclass] 

Sex-Positive Christian Feminists‬ Podcast with Rachel Alba & Lurie Kimmerle – https://podcasts.apple.com/si/podcast/sex-positive-christian-feminists/id1549622305 

More info and resources:
How Big a Problem is Your Sex Life? Quiz – https://www.sexlifequiz.com
Access the Free webinar: How to make sex easy and fun for both of you: https://intimacywithease.com/masterclass
Secret Podcast for the Higher Desire Partner: https://www.intimacywithease.com/hdppodcast
Secret Podcast for the Lower Desire Partner: https://www.intimacywithease.com/ldppodcast

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