The parenting coach podcast with Crystal

S08|19 - Increasing Sexual Pleasure and Desire in Partnerships with Carlie Palmer-Webb

May 20, 2024


Does sex get often put on the backburner in your relationship? Maybe after parenting, work and balancing life and motherhood (or fatherhood) … sex just becomes something to cross off the never-ending to-do-list. Tune into this conversation as we talk about what blocks sexual desire, what stops us from receiving pleasure and what is dampening our sexual relationships. 

Not only will this episode help with your sex life, but it bridges the gap between all areas of life- and shows how healing one area of life- can affect so many others. Carlie Palmer-Webb joins me in this episode. Carlie is a gender and sexuality researcher, data-nerd, enthusiastic Jesus-lover, new mama, and The Christian Sex Educator. She has made it her life mission to provide shame-free sex education for Christians in every life stage. 

In this episode you’ll hear: 

  • How low-desire partners can start tuning into their sexuality and pleasure 
  • How to help your low-desire partner (and how low-desire men might feel in partnerships) 
  • Tapping into desire in all areas of your life (and why it’s not selfish) 
  • Un-shaming sexual beliefs to help increase pleasure in your sexual relationship 

Connect with Carlie at or on IG at @thechristiansexeducator  “Shame-free sex education for Christians in every life stage.” Want the Learning to Orgasm Guide? 



Join the re-parenting movement, at my next retreat, The Inward Journey:

Parent School: Discover your own unique path, with confidence… raising emotionally intelligent children that leave your home knowing that you truly, deeply care for them… that you aways have, and you always will. Isn’t that we all want deep down? That is my goal for me, and for you… and for the future generation for children we are raising. To be seen. To be heard. To be valued. To feel loved. To feel supported. To feel known. To welcome them to be themselves- fully and completely. That is The Work. I am here for it. Welcome. 

Join me for the LAST LIVE round of Parent School:

  • shame resiliency: how to feel shame and move through it, what triggers us and why, and how to move through heaviness and use it for growth. 
  • emotional regulation: what co-regulation is and how to support our children from our energy- not our words (not scripts and mantras, this work is much deeper than that), how to support ourselves and our kids through big emotions.
  • the power of our thoughts and beliefs: how to separate who we are from what we think, how to create the exact relationship we want through the power of our mind 
  • connection-based parenting: why it’s the way of the future, how to parent in a relationship-first manner, developing deep and lasting connections that last a lifetime.
  • 6 modules covering all these topics, and more. 2 group coaching calls to get support in your individual family situations. (add-on available for your partner to join). 

Find all the information HERE.
Contact me via email: [email protected]
Audio/text message me on Voxer HERE.



Crystal The Parenting Coach: Hi, I'm Crystal The Parenting Coach. Parenting is the thing that some of us just expected to know how to do. It's not like other areas of your life where you go to school and get taught, get on the job training, or have mentors to help you, but now you can get that help here.

I believe that your relationship with your children is one of the most important aspects of your life, and the best way that you can make a positive impact on the world and on the future. I've made parental relationships my life study; and I use life coaching tools, emotional wellness tools, and connection-based parenting to build amazing relationships between parents and their children.

If you want an even better relationship with your child, this podcast will help you. Take my Parenting Quiz, the link is in the show notes. Once we know what your parenting style is, we will send some tips tailored to you and a roadmap to help you get the most out of my podcast.


Well, welcome to today's podcast episode, Episode 19, Increasing Sexual Pleasure and Desire in Partnerships with Carlie Palmer-Webb

Does sex get often put on the backburner in your relationship? Maybe after parenting, work and balancing life and motherhood (or fatherhood) … sex just becomes something to cross off the never-ending to-do-list. Tune into this conversation as we talk about what blocks sexual desire, what stops us from receiving pleasure and what is dampening our own sexual relationships. 


Not only will this episode help with your sex life, but it bridges the gap between all areas of life – and shows how healing one area of life, can affect so many others. 


Carlie Palmer-Webb joins me in this episode. Carlie is a gender and sexuality researcher, data-nerd, enthusiastic Jesus-lover, new mama, and The Christian Sex Educator. She has made it her life mission to provide shame-free sex education for Christians in every stage of life. 

In this conversation, you will hear us discuss how low-desire partners can start tuning into their sexuality and pleasure – and she will give actionable tips on how to get this started – how to help your low-desire partner, and how low-desire men might feel in partnerships, tapping into desire in all areas of your life and why it's not actually selfish at all, un-shaming sexual beliefs to help increase pleasure in your sexual relationship.


What Carlie Palmer-Webb does

Crystal The Parenting Coach: Hello, everybody. Welcome to the podcast today. Probably already heard my intro about having my friend Carlie--  

Carlie Palmer-Webb, is that how you say it? Do you do all of that? 

Okay. Carlie Palmer-Webb on the podcast. And if you don't recognize her from Instagram, @thechristiansexeducator, maybe you'll recognize her from my podcast. But we talked last season; and I went and reviewed it, and it was so good. 

Even as I was reviewing it, I was like, 'Oh, yeah, this was a really good conversation.' 

And we talked about how to teach our children shame-free healthy sexuality. Since then, she has created – well, I think at that time you had it also – a guide for ages zero to nine on how to do this. And I downloaded it and I've already reviewed it, and it's really good. And I know you're coming out with one for teaching older children, like teens and tweens age-ish--


Carlie Palmer-Webb: Yeah.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: -also, that we're all waiting for. If you are listening to this episode and you're like, 'I would really like to learn more about that, and more about-- you know, if I wasn't necessarily raised in a culture where sex is talking about openly, and I want that to be present in my home,' go listen to that episode; it was really great, Season 7. 

But today, well, the reason I wanted to have Carlie on again is because I love watching your stories; and a lot of time on your stories, you talk about-- I guess, I should have had you introduce yourself, but it's fine; you're Carlie. Hi.


Carlie Palmer-Webb: I introduced myself last time, they know.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: What I love about your stories has been talking a lot about just like open sexuality. Like, hey, how are you feeling about sex? What do you feel about your sex life? How many weeks-- Or how many days a week is it normal to have sex? Are you finding pleasure in it? Are you-- Do you enjoy it? Are you more low-desire or high-desire? And how can we normalize having these conversations? 

And I feel like just you putting that conversation out there on your stories, and then asking people's input and sharing their responses feels like we are normalizing it and we're having a conversation more. I know specifically you often speak to Christian women; and a lot of times, Christian women have some shame around sexuality.


How can we actually enjoy our sex lives more in our busy lives, as parents?

Crystal The Parenting Coach: So, I would love to gear this conversation towards pleasure. So, how can we actually enjoy our sex lives more, especially as parents, as busy moms and dads when we have work and all the things that we're balancing? 

How can we bring that pleasurable part into our sex life and not just have it something that we're like, oh, should check the box…like, okay, we had sex again


Carlie Palmer-Webb: Right. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. Go ahead. Talk about that.


Carlie Palmer-Webb: Great. Well, the first thing that came to mind – as you were introducing that idea, Crystal – is we have to shift in our minds what we believe sex should be or what role it should play in our relationship. 

If we've grown up learning that sex is primarily something that we do for our spouse-- Especially in heterosexual relationships, there's often a dynamic of the wife feeling like sex is something that she does primarily to serve her husband. There's often some duty, some feelings of duty that come into play that can be really negative. 

And it's not viewed as an opportunity to experience, and express pleasure and love and joy. Right? 

Can it be a way that we serve our spouse? Sure. 

Can it be way more than that? Yes. 

So, I think shifting this belief to…sex can be a place where I am nurtured and taken care of and adored, and where I can offer that to my spouse as well, can help a ton. If we can just believe that that type of sexual relationship is possible, then we can start moving towards it.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Okay. I love that. And for those of you that have listened to any of the episodes I've done around intuition and feminine-masculine energy; feminine-masculine energy is not just male-female. 

We both have--  We have both of those within us, but we're usually not very tapped into the feminine side of our energy and of our life; it's a lot more masculine, which is a lot more structured and logical and makes sense. 

But then on the feminine energy side, it's receiving…it is intuition, it's flow, it's emotion, it's connection. And as you were speaking, I kept thinking, it's that open to receiving

It's like, for one, like…what are my desires? What do I desire? 

Can I be open to, I do want to be pleasured. I do want to feel that? And, can I be open to receiving that?

Because we have to be willing to receive. And I think for both males and females, this is true. 


What blocks us from finding pleasure in sexual relationships

Crystal The Parenting Coach: So, let's talk more about maybe what blocks us from finding pleasure in those sexual relationships. I think this is especially prevalent for parents. We're busy, we have things going on; it's easy to kind of put our sexual relationship either on hold or on the back burner.


Carlie Palmer-Webb: Yeah.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: And so, for people that have, kind of, found themselves in that way of being and they're like, 'I would like to have a more enjoyable sex life,' what would you tell them?


Carlie Palmer-Webb: Well, I think a good place to start is having some good conversations with your partner about what you're hoping for. So, if you could--  

If you could picture your ideal sexual relationship, what would it look like? What would it feel like? What would your experience be? How often would you want to have sex?

Getting that picture for yourself…helpful, yes. But then discussing that with your partner, I think is a really good first step. 

But you asked, what things block us from experiencing the kind of sex that we want to have? Busyness is a big one.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Well, I think even somebody-- I remember someone saying to me like, "Well, I could just do without sex." Like, you know, if they were asking themselves that question that you just asked, that they would be like, I'd be fine going the rest of my life without it, why does it even matter? 

And I think it's because we don't understand how pleasurable it can be. So, yeah, go ahead and talk about the blocks to pleasure.


Carlie Palmer-Webb: Right. Well, busyness is huge. Like busyness / exhaustion. When we view sex as something that requires-- like, something that we're mostly just giving; like we're giving of our time, we're giving of our energy, we're giving of our mental and emotional capacity. Then when we're super tired, sex is like, 'Oh, I just cannot do it.' You know? Which is totally understandable.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Going into the energies too, masculine energy is giving. So, if you've been giving, giving, giving all day and you're just like, ugh, tapped out…it can sometimes be hard to switch into that receiving.


Carlie Palmer-Webb: Yeah. And then your spouse or your partner is like, 'Hey, I want to have sex.' 

And you're like, 'You've got to be kidding me, I have-- I have been working nonstop all day to care for the world, and now you want me to care for you in this space too?'  

It can feel really overwhelming. So, that's a big one. 

But I think one of the reasons why exhaustion is such a barrier to sex is because we don't view sex as an opportunity to be nurtured, and an opportunity to receive care and compassion and goodness. 

I think that sex, at the end of a long day, can be really fulfilling and healing and energizing. It can also feel really exhausting, depending on the kind of sex that you're having and the kind of relationship that you're engaging in. 

But I do think it's possible to have a day where you're like, 'Gosh, if we could just have sex, I'd feel so much better.' I do actually think that that's possible. 

I think that that's possible for women who think or feel as though they're low-desire too. I'm not just saying that this is an option for those who really enjoy, like really want sex right now; I think that's a place that all of us can get to.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. And so, I think both males and females can be-- Both males and females can be low and higher desire. Right? So, you might be somebody who's like, I could have sex every single day of the week, and you might have somebody else who's like, I could never, and I would be fine


Carlie Palmer-Webb: Right. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: So, balancing that can be tricky when you're having that conversation of like, well, how often and what do I like and whatever, can be hard if you're feeling you come from either of these sides.


How low-desire partners can start tuning into their sexuality and pleasure

Crystal The Parenting Coach: So, for someone who isn't feeling like they have that high desire, like you're mentioning and are kind of blocked too, that it can even be pleasurable and enjoyable, where do they start?


Carlie Palmer-Webb: This is going to be a little-- might be a little much for some couples, okay? But here's where I would encourage you to start is, I would take sex off the table for a period of time – maybe a couple of weeks, maybe a month, not forever. Right? But just take sex off the table for a period. It can be as short or as long as you want it to be that you decide together, right? 

I know the lower desire partners are like, 'Boo, yeah.' You know?


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. You're like, 'This is the best homework exercise ever.' 

And the high-desire partners are like, 'Why are you saying that, Carlie?'


Carlie Palmer-Webb: Yeah. But as the higher desire partner in my relationship, in most stages of our marriage, I know what this can feel like to the higher desire partner too – but taking it off the table can be really empowering for the lower desire partner if you can focus on exploration and physical affection that's not leading to sex. 

So, one of the-- One of the barriers to pleasurable sex for a lot of low-desire partners – which is more often women, but definitely not always, not even close to always. Right? One of the barriers is that they don't want to engage in any form of physical affection because they're afraid that it will lead to sex. 

And currently for them, sex is, I just do it because you want it. So, I'm just showing up as a body and trying to do this thing because I care about you, and it's enjoyable for you. And they don't want that experience. So, they pull back emotionally and physically from their partner. 

When sex is off the table – even just for a week – we can make the focus connecting emotionally and physically without the fear of it leading to sex, which can help to build some desire. But also, you can make the focus of your sexual relationship, just exploration of the lower desire partner's pleasure.

What if all we did, all we did was…we don't have sex, but for five minutes at night before we go to bed, we explore the body or the pleasure of the lower desire partner. And it doesn't even have to be like super sexual. Right? 

It could actually just be like a really nice back rub or just cuddling with each other or something. You can start to explore more sexual pleasure too, but giving yourself an opportunity to learn how to be physically nurtured as an adult is really powerful for your sexual relationship.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: I think, so oftentimes--  


Carlie Palmer-Webb: But it's easy to do that--  


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. 


Carlie Palmer-Webb: -if you're not-- if there's no pressure for you to show up--  


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yes.


Carlie Palmer-Webb: -for sex. Right? Does that make sense?


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Right. Because if you're like, 'Well, this is going to lead to this, so I'm not going to have physical intimacy at all.' Whereas oftentimes, we need that physical, just intimate connection, the nonsexual connection first. Right? 

But we think, oh, we can't have that either because that's going to lead to sex and I'm tired, or I'm busy, or I don't want to, or I-- you know, whatever. 


How low-desire partners can tap into sexual desire

Crystal The Parenting Coach: What else could-- If you are the lower desire partner in this kind of relationship, and I'm guessing the higher desire partner would love for the lower desire partner to increase their desire a little bit, what else would help them kind of get there into feeling like-- so that that desire is not necessarily blocked? 

I work with a lot of parents and a lot of women, and I've found often that they don't know what they want. And this isn't to do with sex; this is like, when we talk about anything, there's a lot of undesired. Like, 'Well, I don't know what my desires are, I don't know what I want in this situation.'

Some people do, but a lot of people don't. And I think that kind of manifests again in sex also. So, how can they kind of tap into that pleasure piece, that desire piece, if they feel like they've been tapped out of that for so long?


Carlie Palmer-Webb: Yeah. Well, I think connecting with our desire in any area of our life can be really powerful for that. Which it sounds like you do some-- you help women do some of that work. But we oftentimes, especially for women, we are celebrated when we are tuned into the needs and experiences and desires of other people. 

And I think that some of that is really beautiful; I think that women have a unique capacity for empathy and for seeing people, and for caring and nurturing…and that's beautiful. And of course, men can experience that too – but women spend a lot of time nurturing, typically. 

And as we go throughout every day, being tuned into the experiences and needs and desires of other people, I think we just get out of practice prioritizing the needs and experiences and desires that we have internally.

And so, when it comes to sex, I'll say something like, "Explore and figure out what you like."

And they're like, 'I don't even know where to start. Like, I have absolutely no idea what I want in the bedroom.' 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. 


Carlie Palmer-Webb: And I'm like, 'Okay, what do you want for dinner? What would you like to do with your spouse today? What is something that you wish that-- What is one way you wish they would show you love? What is something that you want to do to enjoy or relax or play today?' You know? 

I think tuning into those desires and being willing to express them is really good practice for being in tune with and expressing our desires in the bedroom. If you go your whole day without doing one thing that you want to do, or saying one thing that you want to do…of course you get to the bedroom at night and you're like, 'Okay, what does my spouse need? What do they want? How can I bring them pleasure? How can I make this a good experience for them?' 

And then part of your mind is like, also, 'When is this going to be over?' Because you're not viewing it as an experience that's for your benefit too. 

But giving in sex is beautiful and important. Receiving in sex is equally beautiful and equally important. Sex can only be what we want it to be, when we are gracious receivers and generous givers. If only one of those things is present, sex will never be as enjoyable as we want it to be, for either partner.


Tapping into desire in all areas of your life (and why it’s not selfish)

Crystal The Parenting Coach: What I love about this is like, what speaks like truth in my soul, as you say this, is…that we think, so often, that life is compartmentalized. We have this business life, we have a sex life, we have parenting life, we have our partnership; those are all separate. 

And instead of it being like an answer, I don't know, just like, here's a medication you can try, or here's like some words you can say, or here's this like a specific position you can use that's going to help

It's like, 'Wait a second, why is your desire tapped out of like-- What is happening with your desire and how can we increase desire in all the areas of your life so that you can tune into what you actually want?' And you can be living into that more. 

Because I think you can even switch that low-desire, high-desire thing. Like if you can be more open to your own desires, and being okay with being pleasured and receiving. 


Carlie Palmer-Webb: Yeah. Right. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: What if you were the male-- Oh, go ahead.


Carlie Palmer-Webb: I was just going to say, I think maybe that we demonize desire, generally. I think that maybe we think that desire is selfish – but desire is just human, right? Desire is an important part of who we are as human beings. 

And having desire is not selfish. Prioritizing your desire over everyone else's around you in every situation, that could be selfish, right? But having and expressing desire is not selfish. Okay, you were saying something about the men.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Well, I was also going to say, moms, I feel like motherhood exemplified to us over the years has often been motherhood is selfless. Like, you give of yourself almost to the point of you have no self left, or you don't know where your self is. And so, I like this twist of like, no, I actually get to tune into my desires

And it doesn't have to mean that nobody else's desires matter, but it also means that my desires matter; my desires are also on the matter list. 


Carlie Palmer-Webb: Right.


Un-shaming high-desire and low-desire in sexual relationships

Crystal The Parenting Coach: And yes, I wondered like, because I think that often low-desire and high-desire stuff is talked about with the female being more low-desire, and the male being more high-desire when you're talking about heterosexual relationships. 

So, I'm curious for you, because you find the flip in your marriage, what leads to a lower desire-- not necessarily what leads to it, but how does that dynamic kind of shift things? If in your relationship, maybe as the woman you are higher desire, you maybe you feel some shame or difficulty or whatever around the fact that you do want it more and your partner doesn't, where do you deal with that?


Carlie Palmer-Webb: Yeah. So, we do-- We do see the flips dynamic often, but there are usually different barriers for men from desire than the barriers that exist for women. The shutting down of desire is not as prevalent for men. 

We see more shame for men if they're lower desire than they want to be, or lower desire than they expect to be based on societal norms or messages we receive from the media; there's a lot of embarrassment and shame about that specifically, which can in turn decrease desire further. So, there's a lot of that. 

We also-- I mean, hormonal, hormonal variants and differences in hormonal levels can impact all bodies. Right? So, that can play--  


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Oh, for sure. Like when I'm pregnant versus not pregnant, and even--  


Carlie Palmer-Webb: Oh yeah.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: -some pregnancies versus other pregnancies. And now that I'm nearing like 40 versus, you know, 15 years ago, so many differences within my body. 


Carlie Palmer-Webb: Totally. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: I can imagine how much that would affect me.


Carlie Palmer-Webb: Totally. And postpartum. Like I am, on average, the higher desired partner in my marriage. Postpartum, I was like, I would never-- I would like to never have sex one single time ever again. You know?


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Ever again. Yeah.


How to help your low-desire partner (and how low-desire men might feel in partnerships)

Carlie Palmer-Webb: Normal, the variance is normal. So, hormones can play a big role in male sexual desire as well. But we do see a lot of shame for men. But actually, another thing that's really important for low-desire men to understand is that a lot of men who think that they are low-desire – women too, but we just don't talk about this piece with men as much – have responsive sexual desire as opposed to spontaneous sexual desire. 

So, spontaneous sexual desire is just like what it sounds; like sex just comes to your mind and you're like, 'Ooh, that sounds like a good time.' You know? Wanting sex just comes up randomly without necessarily having a sexual cue or something. 

Responsive sexual desire is when physical arousal needs to be present before desire makes itself known. You know, so a lot of men experience responsive desire, but because men are portrayed in the media as being high-desire and wanting sex at any given time for any reason. 

Men who experience responsive desire think that they're probably just broken, and there's something wrong with them, and they don't actually have desire…when in reality, responsive desire is really normal for women and men. 

So, what they need is some sort of sexual cue or sexual context in order to experience desire. So, if you're wanting to increase desire, you would put yourself in a position to experience some level of physical arousal. 

So, you would-- Like, if you have a partner who's low-desire and they're up for it…if you're putting on something kind of sexy, could create a sexual context that would then lead to desire. You can do that. 

If you just start like some kissing and touching that's not really sexual, that can provide enough stimulation for responsive desire to appear, things like that. Putting yourself in a sexual context, can make a really big difference. 

And oftentimes men who think they have no desire or really low desire, actually when they're in a sexual context regularly, they want sex regularly. It's just that outside of a sexual context, it doesn't come to mind, and the desire isn't building. And that's totally okay. 

You can create a sexual context in a way that aligns with your values and is true to your relationship or whatever, but that can build desire.


How personality influences sex and desire in partnerships

Crystal The Parenting Coach: That's so interesting. One of the things that I love reading about is personality, just different things that have to do with personality. I take all the personality tests all the time. So, my newest favorite one for the last like year or two has been human design. 

And part of human design is that some people respond to invitations; like, they're not the go-getters. They're not going to go out there and try to make things happen for themselves, but they actually work better energetically when they respond to an invitation. 

So, as you were saying that, I was just like, oh, that's really fascinating, because I remember hearing that for me, and I was thinking about it in a business. I'm like…oh yeah, I do much better responding to an invitation where someone's like, 'Hey, I have this opportunity.' And it just energetically feels so much better to me. 

And so, that's interesting that it can also be this, you know, sexual desire can be more responsive also; it's like waiting for that invitation. 


Carlie Palmer-Webb: Yeah.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: It doesn't have to be something huge; it can be like just little moments.


Carlie Palmer-Webb: Yeah, totally. And I think that there's a misconception with the initiation of sex that we equate initiation with desire. And so, we assume that if our spouse or our partner is not initiating sex, then they don't want to have sex with us. But that's an unfair-- an unfair statement for those with responsive desire because they might be totally down for sex; they just have responsive desire so they need a sexual context first, which means that you may need to be the initiator. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah.


Carlie Palmer-Webb: It doesn't-- It doesn't mean that your partner is not interested in you, it doesn't mean that they're not attracted to you, it doesn't mean that they don't want to be sexually close to you; it just means that they have desire that responds to a sexual context. And you offering the invitation, does not mean that you are the only one that wants sex.


Un-shaming sexual beliefs to help increase pleasure in your sexual relationship

Crystal The Parenting Coach: Okay. The other thing I want to talk about quick before we end is shame. And as you're starting to uncover your sexuality more, or maybe figure out what does pleasure you – What do you like? What are your desires? How often do you want to? All of those things – I think one big piece of that, of uncovering desire and pleasure, one piece that can really block that is shame. Right? 


Carlie Palmer-Webb: Yeah. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: If you grew up in a culture where it was really frowned upon, or it was very much like abstinence until marriage, which means that we never, ever talk about sex and you don't have any sexual feelings or desires ever. Right? Then--  


Carlie Palmer-Webb: Shut it off.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Right? Shut it off. To switch that flip, to flip that switch when you are in a relationship where you do want sexuality to be part of it can be really tricky, where you're just like, 'Wait a second…for the last 20 or 30 years, it's been this way, and now I'm supposed to switch it to this way.' 

So, what would you do to encourage or help or support someone who feels like they're in that mentality of like…they want to have a healthy sexual relationship, but not only do they not know how to necessarily tap into their pleasure and desire, but there's a lot of kind of, of that shame coming up when they think about it?


Carlie Palmer-Webb: Yeah. Well, I think we have to recognize that shame doesn't just pop up randomly. It's responding to a belief system or to a belief. It's, we're experiencing it because of something we believe is true – even if like all of us doesn't believe it, even if there's just a little part of us that still thinks something is true, we can experience shame because of that. 

So, I would-- I would just dig into your sexual beliefs a little bit. Even just making a list, like journaling a list of what you believe about sex and desire can help you identify beliefs that might be leading to your experience with shame. 

A really common one that comes from what you're describing about being taught to wait until marriage and being taught that you kind of need to completely shut off your sexuality until you get married, there's this underlying belief, especially for religious individuals, that holiness and sexual desire are not compatible. 

Like if not opposites, they're like not friends. You know? That in order to be good and worthy and holy, we cannot enjoy or want or love sex. Good women don't love sex is basically the underlying belief that many of us carry into a marriage. 

So, even though we are in a context now that we were taught, it's okay to have sex…we've carrying this belief for so long, that part of me being good and righteous and obedient is not wanting sex, not liking sex, not being interested in sex. Now we're in a context where we think it's okay to have sex, but we can't separate those beliefs. Right? 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah.


Carlie Palmer-Webb: So, if you can identify what negative beliefs you have that are leading to shame, then we can start to replace those beliefs with things that we now feel are true…that good women don't want sex, that was one that I carried for a long time. 

Good women don't love sex, that was me; me and that belief were BFFs for years and years. And I got married when I was 28 and waited until marriage to have sex, and had overwhelming guilt for like the decade of my adult life when I was single for any curiosity or interest in sex that I had…until I was able to recognize that I believed that good girls don't like and want sex, and I could replace that with something else.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: It's like shutting down that part of you for that whole decade before, right? It's like anytime you had a sexual desire or feeling, which is super normal--  


Carlie Palmer-Webb: Yeah.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: -that you are just shutting it down and pretending it's not there so that you can fit into what you feel like a good girl is.


Carlie Palmer-Webb: Right. Right. But when we're able to replace those beliefs with truth, with things that currently align with our beliefs and our values and our desires…then the shame will also start to dissipate. Right? We change our beliefs and then the shame doesn't need to be there, right? The shame doesn't have a place because the belief that's leading to the shame is no longer something that we're carrying.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Absolutely. And I think we can unbelief those beliefs. It's dismantling, it is deconstructing, it's-- You know, after we do that first step of like, let's write down it down and figure out what the beliefs are. 

And again, you might not logically believe those – but you might notice as you write them down that they are, for sure, still present…and if not completely present, like more powerful than your logical beliefs. 

That you can actually start to question those. Like, is this actually true? Is this something I want to believe? Where did this come from? Did this even come from me? Do I believe this now with, you know, the knowledge that I've been given, the wisdom that I have inside me? 

And going to the wisdom I have inside me too is like, does something inside me feel like it's truth? Like when there's something that's true for me, I feel it. I feel it inside, I know it. Somebody else can say it, and I'm like, 'Yep, that's truth.' And I can also feel when it's not. 

And so, you'll have that same experience of like, I can determine for me what feels like a true belief and what doesn't. And a lot of those-- Not a lot of those, all of the shame-based beliefs are not true – just FYI…spoiler alert, when you do this work. Anything that comes up that's going to be shame-related is not going to be-- not going to be truth, even if--  


Carlie Palmer-Webb: To make it easier for you. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. Just so you know, you can unbelieve them. In fact, my son the other day was saying something about, oh, there was this this fair I wanted to take him, and he was going to go and present. And he was just like, 'No, I don't want to do that, that doesn't sound like fun.'

And I just showed him the video, and I'm like, 'This, for sure, sounds like fun. This is so up your alley.' And I was going to try and convince him like that it was cool. And then I was like…wait a second, do you actually mean that like you're really nervous to be in front of the all of, with all of those people and you're probably thinking like, well, they think I'm weird if I talk about this and like this is going to, you know, give me some anxiety and I'm feeling nervous and whatever

And I kind of shared with him some beliefs, and he looked at me and just started laughing, and he's like, 'How do you know my thoughts in my head? Did you-- Are you reading my mind?' 

And I'm like, 'Well, yes, sort of. It's called being a life coach and I know what people are thinking now all the time.' But your thoughts will not be-- they might feel unique to you, but everyone has these same beliefs. 

And so, as you're going through and uncovering what the shame-based beliefs are that are kind of-- that are unique to you, that are blocking you from sex and pleasure and desire and this healthy sexual relationship you want with your partner, just know that you're not alone. 

And I think that's what your page is so good for is like, oh, all of those messages you got in, and you'll screenshot them and share the answers, and you're like, 'Oh my goodness, everyone's feeling this way.' 

And not even in the-- And not just in the Christian world. We were over in all of these other countries,  that actually had very similar beliefs around sex and sexuality and saving it until marriage and whatever…and we met monks and when you meet a monk, a woman is not allowed to look in the eyes of a man. You can't. 

I couldn't even-- We did this offering thing, and I can't even hand something to a male monk; I have to put it on the ground, they have to pick it up. I have to kind of, you know, bend to the side or whatever. Anyways, there's no interaction between male and female. 

So, I think sometimes in other religions and cultures too, it's very much like you are more devout, you are more good, you are higher, you are holier if you are celibate or if you push away that sexual desire. So, it's not just Christianity that you might be dealing with this with. And even just if you have a more traditional home that you were raised in, you can still-- you can still be feeling this sexual shame.


How to connect with Carlie Palmer-Webb

Crystal The Parenting Coach: So, if people are getting started on their journey, I'm just going to encourage them to find you on Instagram at, is it @thechristiansexeducator?


Carlie Palmer-Webb: Yeah. Mm-Hmm.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: So, @thechristiansexeducator and also her guides and courses are really great. So, she has one for zero to nine kids only; I only know this because I keep buying them. She has a how to orgasm guide. So, if that's something that you're interested in, it has little drawings and everything you put together is always so beautiful too. So, anyways, ideas that you can explore. So, if that's something you want to learn more about--  

What am I missing? You have a engaged, something about preparing for marriage one. 


Carlie Palmer-Webb: Yeah.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Right?


Carlie Palmer-Webb: I do. I have-- I have a course for singles who are waiting, I have a course for engaged couples, and I have course for married couples.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Okay. So, there you go. Go find all of them. And when can we expect the release of your older teen tween, how to talk to your kids about sex?


Carlie Palmer-Webb: Well, my deadline to get it to my editor is the 17th, and then she has like a three-week window; and then we'll kind of do some back and forth. But like the goal is you'll have it within the next six to eight weeks.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: You're like, 'Wait, if I say it out loud in public--' Don't worry. 


Carlie Palmer-Webb: I know.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: This won't air-- This won't air for a couple weeks. So, you have-- You have a couple week leeway.


Carlie Palmer-Webb: We'll give a little cushion.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Okay. I'm excited for that.


Carlie Palmer-Webb: This has been-- This has been a long process. This has been-- It's never taken me this long to create something. But this one is just, it's so important. I can't mess it up. So, I have put-- I have put so much time and effort and love into this, so I'm really hopeful that it'll be really helpful for parents.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Oh, I know. It will be. All of your other ones have been. So, thank you for coming on the podcast, and make sure you reach out; and Carlie is really good at responding to her DMs and sharing things and asking questions in her stories. So, go and check those out, and you will learn a lot. 

So, thanks, Carlie.


Carlie Palmer-Webb: Thanks so much, Crystal.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Thanks for listening. If you'd like to help spread this work to the world, share this episode on social media and tag me, send it to a friend, or leave a quick rating and review below so more people can find me. If you'd like more guidance on your own parenting journey, reach out.

Cover image for the parenting personality quiz, 4 sketches of a mom doing a different activity with her child
Cover image for the parenting personality quiz, 4 sketches of a mom doing a different activity with her child

What's Your Parenting Personality?

Take The Free Quiz