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Let's Talk about Sex... and Abstinence


Kat Harris

Today Kait sits down with the incredible Kat Harris for a REAL convo on the conversation of SEX… the journey of one woman’s abstinence. Kat is a Brooklyn based photographer, educator, and the Co-Founder of the online magazine The Refined Woman.  She also is a podcast #BOSS and started The Refined Collective Podcast as well.  Her mission is really to empower women to embrace their beauty, identity, and value through the art of story telling. She is a woman with a big heart and a whole lot of TALENT. She also loves God family yoga AND BEYONCE (duh) and the Biebs.

Today we dive into her story of navigating her sexuality and figuring out what sex truly meant to her as a woman.


Kat talks about being 32 and living in NYC and STILL holding strong to her abstinence- GO GIRL. She started the "Sexless in the City" series after a serious breakup. Up until that point, she didn't really struggle with sex very much because she had a skewed view towards her own sexuality. In fact, for SO many years, she had fully shut down her sexuality. After this breakup, she went on a journey to discover more about WHY she was choosing to be abstinent. She found that it was essential for her to really discover what her sexuality truly meant to HER as a woman. So Kat went to therapy, did research, sought mentorship, went to personal development workshops all in the hopes of seeking out a true meaning behind her sexuality, femininity, and who God created her to be as a woman. She even researched every single verse in the bible and found out that as turns out, God DOES have a lot to say about sex! At the end of the day, God created man and woman he said it was GOOD... meaning that all parts of us are good.

Overall, Kat believes it is critical for us to truly understand for ourselves WHY this is so essential. Some questions Kat had to answer for herself were:

Why am I waiting?What's the point here?Does God really care about my sex life and my dating life?Does he really have anything to say about this?

How long did this Journey take and what did Kat learn?

Kat took about a year to really dive into this topic and discovering what abstinence truly meant to her. She asked mentors, her parents, Christian and non christian friends WHAT their viewpoint on sex were. She asked questions like "Why are you having one night stands?", "Why aren't you having one night stands?", "Why are you waiting for marriage to have sex", "Why aren't you waiting for marriage to have sex?, "Do you feel fulfilled in your relationships?". She was curious and sought to remove the shield of "having it altogether". Throughout the process she noticed some parts of shame creeping up telling her that this is something she should never truly be questioning... but she pressed forward.Kat believes that when we tell someone "to do or not do" something, we really need to know the deeper meaning and heart behind the WHY. If you tell someone they should not feel upset about something, you are dismissing something that already exists. If you want to move past and break through these things, you have to FIRST acknowledge that you are feeling that way, or that you are doubting or questioning. As it relates to sexuality, if you find yourself wanting to have sex but simply shut that down saying "I shouldn't", then in essence what you are doing is shutting down your heart, your mind, and your transparency with others. There is something powerful in admitting your doubt and desiring to go on the journey of discovering WHY that doubt exists.Kat recommends the book Mingling of the Souls by Matt Chandler as well as the book Sex God by Rob Bell. She specifically references the two tendencies to compare humans to animals as primal beings that "can't help ourselves" when it comes to sex. On the opposite spectrum you have church which sometimes compares humans to angels in ways encouraging us that sex is just for reproduction and filling the earth and maybe not even something we should enjoy. Culture says we are animals and a slave to our desires versus the church which can compare us to angels who are a-sexual and are not even married. Both of these paradigms are actually disrupting and destroying the Imago Dei image of humanity that God created.Overall Kat and Kait agree that as a Christian community we need to come along side one another if we are doubting sex and our abstinence. We should not shame others for their doubt in relation to this topic, but rather encourage, uplift, and help them dive into these areas for further clarity and peace in their hearts on what sex truly means to them.

Where did Kat feel like God was in this Journey?

Kat felt as though God was alongside of her every step of this way in this journey. She remembers specifically one morning just THANKING Jesus for allowing her to feel after years of shutting down her sexuality. Even in the midst of pain and confusing and fog, she felt God's presence so intently and so clearly. She never allowed herself to feel shame from God. Instead she got a picture of him holding her and coming alongside of her. The shame she DID feel was actually coming from herself. Disappointed with herself for doubting. Disappointed with herself for going further physically with men that she maybe would have liked. Thoughts of feeling insufficient in terms of being a leader.  Kat says specifically "It was like I was this bird in a cage and God had long since freed me but because of my own shame I was judging myself and I went and closed the cage door”. Can anyone else relate to this?A huge part of this process was Kat being able to receiving God's love and truth in who she is and who He says she is and calls her to be. She knew that God forgave her, but she had to truly go on a journey of forgiving herself for having doubts. Throughout this journey, and by voicing her thoughts and doubts she was able to work through them, discover a deep reason for WHY, and also receive God's deep love and be freed from any shame she was previously feeling. She in the end now feels CLEAR on God's heart on relationships, sex, and marriage and she feels clear on what she truly longs for and why she is waiting.So that means that any of YOU reading this, Kat and Kait encourage everyone to step out and figure out what sex truly means to you as a man or woman. Do not be afraid of going on this journey. God will be with you, He will guide you, and at the end of the day He wants you to come to a truly clear place on what this means for you and your heart. God created MAN AND WOMAN... AND he created SEX... and all of it is GOOD!

What about if you have already had sex?

Kait opens up a bit about her sexual past and that it has also been a journey for her in healing from the shame of her sexual past, and coming to terms and truly accepting how God sees her as beautiful and new and LOVED despite past decisions. We can feel cleansed and new and FREE from the shame of our sexual past.One of our favorite parts in the interview is where Kat calls Kait out for saying "unfortunately my journey doesn't look the same" in relation to having sex. A big learning from this is we DON'T have to say unfortunately. We are truly and completely renewed by the blood of Jesus and we HAVE to know this as true for ourselves.Also it is important to address that even if you have had sex and your partner has not (or vice versus), the same applies. GOD SEES YOU THE SAME. One is not better than the other. We are both called equal and new and cleansed in His eyes. This is key in dating relationships to truly grasp onto. We need to have GRACE for one another whether or not we have a highly sexual past

How about other Physical Boundaries and Relations?

People want to know a formula of "what they can do on the first date, what they can do on the second date, ect ect ect?". Unfortunately, Kat admits there is not something black and white. Some people struggle more deeply with lust than others. Some people need to wait to kiss until engagement, and others might not. One good practical thing Kat learned was that nothing really all that good happens after midnight. "Do not arouse or awaken love until it's time".For Kat personally this struggle was VERY real after her sexuality had become re-awakened. She found herself actually questioning holding back her sexuality and was tempted by the thought of "stay out till you makeout", and desiring physical intimacy with men... As so MANY of us do! Whether we want to admit it or not, this is a REAL struggle that many of us encounter. The fact of the matter is, when we engage in physical relations that aren't protected by the confines of true commitment, we can start to feel numb and immune it to. Kat said very clearly that it felt like she was "scratching an itch" in those moments. What Kat really feels is that, "true love is sacrificial and others focused and generous and lust can be about self gratification and about me". When we engage in physical relations just for our own benefit it can be objectifying not only for ourselves but for the other person as we are truly only fulfilling a desire in ourselves.Kait also point out the truth that she has never looked back on a relationship and said "If that physical thing or those physical nights did not happen that relationship would not have been as amazing." This is something we should truly think about!Around minute 39:00 Kat also talks about some key practical things she did to help her with physical boundaries! In all of these things she truly discovered a heart change with how she viewed herself and how she viewed men. Kat found that she wanted means practicing delayed gratification and say no to stay out till I makeout anymore.Kat also discovered through her own experience that by being physical with men it naturally also increases other intimacy such as emotional and spiritual intimacy and it also heightens vulnerability. Through one specific example Kat recounts a moment that was so sacred with her and this man. In this moment she realized that this was why God says clearly not to do this with someone who is not your spouse. Sacred and vulnerable moments like that are specifically why God wants this kind of intimacy to happen under the protective and safe confines of marriage.

When do you tell someone what you think about physical intimacy?

Kat says the answer is...RIGHT AWAY! Or as soon as possible. If you are not on the same page about physical intimacy, especially when it comes to sex then this could possibly be a deal breaker so why not get this out in the open? We need to be okay with being open and real and honest about our desires when it comes to physical intimacy. Kait makes the point of "Aren't you glad to know those things now rather than later on when you find out they don't truly respect you?"Kat makes the great point that we need to go back to Genesis 1 where it it talks about the Imago Dei God creating man in woman in His image. Kat says that because of that, "Every single human being has worth and value and calling and is love seen and heard by God. So because of that I want to interact with every person honoring the imago dei in them" . We need to OWN our decision regarding physical intimacy and be confident in it.In her final advice Kat says to "BE OPEN! Be open to the unexpected."

We hope that enjoyed this encouraging story of one woman journey of abstinence today with the dear friend Kat Harris and we encourage you to truly figure out what sex and abstaining means to you on a personal level.

Other ResourcesVisit The Refined Woman Online Magazine HERETake a listen to Kat's Podcast HEREFind and connect with Kat on Instagram HERE.Download Kat's Resource "5 Resources While You Wait"

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