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hosted by Dr. Corey Allan

Best Of SMR: Missionary Position and Love Languages #531

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On the Regular version of today’s show …

A look back at one of our favorite episodes according to the Nation.

Two voicemails with some additional ideas to explore from a prior email from a husband who’s wife only likes missionary position sex.

On the Xtended version …

A discussion about how I believe the messages found in three popular marriage books, The 5 Love Languages, His Needs Her Needs, and Love And Respect, are used in the wrong ways.

Enjoy the show!

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Speaker 1: You are listening to the regular version of Sexy Marriage Radio, smrnation.com. You've turned on Sexy Marriage Radio, where the best sex happens in the marriage bed. Here's your host, Dr. Corey Allan.

Corey Allan: Welcome back to another episode of Sexy Marriage Radio, where today I'm flying solo, just because of some family travel plans going on with the Allans and some aging parent issues that are happening and how life continues to go on, whether we have a whole lot to say in circumstances or not, we're responsible with how we respond to it. So, because of that, you get me for the opening and the close today. And then, where we're heading today, just a little bit of a forecast of what's coming up, is another Best Of episode, where I went back into the stats of the history of SMR, at least the recent past three years, and found one of the more popular shows by download. That's where a chance to revisit the topic we've covered before in The Best Of series that we've done a couple of times this summer.
And then we will get back to our regular shows, with my wife joining me and with your questions that we'll answer, and we'll go where you want to go. And the way you let us know is you call us in at (214) 702-9565 or email feedback@sexymarriageradio.com, jump on the platform, my.smrnation.com or any other ways you choose to listen. Write and review, leave a comment. We can even find your questions there and the topics that we need to cover, because this is a listener-driven radio.
The Sexy Marriage Radio Nation is what makes this whole machine go and we can't thank you enough that you spend time, each and every week, with us. As summer winds down wherever you are, or maybe it's just still in full swing for you, well done, enjoy it. What we want to have happen here at Sexy Marriage Radio is we want the best married sex that you can possibly have, because marriage is where the hot bed of sex happens. We hope that your bed and your marriage are hot.
Well, coming up on today's regular free version of Sexy Marriage Radio is a look back at an episode we did, covering some of the ideas and questions on the concept of the missionary position and how we've had a series of questions over the years of Sexy Marriage Radio, come in where the missionary position seems to be the only condoned position. We bring up some different alternatives and different ways to look at it, even within the realms of that position in and of itself, not even to mention some of the other options that we have available.
Then on the extended version, which is deeper, longer, and there are no ads, you can subscribe at smrnation.com/smracademy, is a conversation that Pam and I had about some of the more popular Christian marriage books out there. The Love Languages, Love & Respect, His Needs, Her Needs, and how my professional opinion is, a lot of the information that's in there, it's actually being used wrong. All that's coming up on today's show.

Speaker 2: Hi, Corey and Pam. I've been listening to your show for quite a while now. I've actually only been married three months. We have an amazing sex life, partially, I think, as a result of listening to your show. I'm really grateful for all of the work that you guys are doing and I was calling in today to push back on the last episode, that where you were talking about the husband, who is married to the woman who didn't want to do anything except for missionary position, because it made her feel dirty. Corey was suggesting that the husband should do something in the moment to try to change that dynamic and that this was solely a preference issue so he should hold to his preferences in that way.
I have to say that makes me really uncomfortable. I think number one, that it's not trauma informed. If there were any kind of trauma in that situation and you just pushed for the thing you wanted without her consent, that is going to introduce a very deep level of distrust into that relationship and it could trigger trauma and it would not be good. That's my first concern and then the second concern is if she thinks she feels dirty doing anything besides missionary, that is deeper than just a preference, there's something else going on there, that's a lot of shame and baggage and maybe church stuff. And I don't think you should push that by just trying to do the thing.
That requires some therapy to figure that out. And I know that you were saying you don't think that having a conversation is really changing anything, but I do think that in order to push into something new sexually, it's important to have both people's consent and not just consent, but enthusiastic consent, or even, "Yes, I am willing to do this thing with you" before you move into it. I agree with you that there is nothing wrong with him wanting something else, but I don't think that the healthiest way for him to get it is just to go and push for it. I hope you circle back to that conversation that you had. Thanks so much for listening to my feedback.

Corey Allan: Well here we go. We're circling back.

Pam Allan: Yes.

Corey Allan: Because there's a couple of things that come out and I want to set the stage for this conversation, Pam.

Pam Allan: Okay.

Corey Allan: The first thing that jumps out to my mind is just maybe a clarification that one of the messages I want to try to get across from last week's show was that conversation alone is often not enough. We think that it will move the dial, just if we can talk about it more, but a lot of the gridlock issues we have in marriage do not get solved by conversation. It's conversation and action.

Pam Allan: Where do you think conversation lies within a step-by-step basis?

Corey Allan: I think it's interwoven through it all.

Pam Allan: Okay.

Corey Allan: I also think that it's a lot of debriefing, maybe after the fact of, "Hey, here's where I was after that. When I tried that, when this happened," whenever. One of the things that I have found is a lot of times, because we are pleasers a lot of times in married life, that usually one of the traits that helps you stay in a long-term marriage is you really do care about the person you're with, you're not just running over them with your wants and needs and desires.

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: So that lends itself to be a little bit more on the pleasing scale and so you will back off and temper yourself and we think if I can just have the conversation about it, that will mitigate some of the risk rather than, "No, I can't make the risk go away from something I want to introduce or try. I've got to just take the risk." And most of the time that is done through action. And so I think it's both.

Pam Allan: Okay. I was trying to sit here and make... Not every relationship is going to be the same.

Corey Allan: Absolutely.

Pam Allan: I'm sitting here trying to think in my head, what's a step-by-step if certain things that maybe you should think through and go through, that could be just this overall cursory here's what needs to happen. I would think in this situation, who knows what the scenario is as to why a specific spouse only wants to do missionary position, if it's a trauma related issue, ideally there's been conversation there. You got to know what's going on. Hopefully this person has been-

Corey Allan: It's a known thing.

Pam Allan: Aware. It's a known thing and hopefully spouse knows it's a known thing.

Corey Allan: Right.

Pam Allan: And advice if you had people sitting in your office for someone that had trauma versus someone that maybe just had a preference would-

Corey Allan: Okay.

Pam Allan: Be two different things.

Corey Allan: It would be and I need to add this caveat because what I'm about to say is if I was going to speak to someone in my office that had trauma around this act. I'm the therapist that does not dance around that. I come full guns at that trauma.

Pam Allan: Okay.

Corey Allan: Because I believe in the best in people, because a lot of times healing from trauma is claiming your own power again.

Pam Allan: Okay.

Corey Allan: Because that's what the brain is really trying to do, is it's trying to make sense of something that generally speaking is based out of powerlessness because you were a child and you did not have in the power structure, you didn't have it. Or you were on a date in a situation and it was taken from you and you just didn't-

Pam Allan: You had no power.

Corey Allan: You didn't have the power-

Pam Allan: Or strength or whatever.

Corey Allan: Or you didn't claim it because of a variety of reasons that can happen. And so a lot of times trying to get couples and individuals to recognize this is a strength based approach. This is a power based process that I have to claim it because a lot of times trauma is the lowest common denominator. We can't do anything because of... And I'm not going to discount that. That's a reality.

Pam Allan: It is, yeah.

Corey Allan: But it's also not limiting as sometimes we make it to be. That a lot of times when, when a person can really take the courageous step and that's the thing that jumps out to me most Pam. Is the clients I work with, especially the ones that really come in wanting to work. They are the most courageous people on the face of the planet.

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: Because they're willing to stare some demons into the face and defeat them. And most of the time, those demons are internally. Sometimes that demon is their spouse.

Pam Allan: Okay.

Corey Allan: Or their family member.

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: Or something that's happened. But there's ways to confront that and knowing that it's a cyclical thing, I'll have to keep confronting it. And in marriage, this is where a partner can actually be a tremendous ally for this process. That's what you're pointing on, is if it's a trauma induced thing, hopefully that's already a known quantity.

Pam Allan: Right.

Corey Allan: If it is, well then it's not just necessarily force it. But it's also, in my opinion, it's not don't ever try to make a move. Because sometimes you can gently do that. You can carefully do that. You can lovingly do that. That's the one point is the trauma. You want to keep going there for a second?

Pam Allan: No, go ahead with what you-

Corey Allan: Because the other points that I want to at least jump on as part of our conversation is the shame messages. Because if it's just preference, then that's probably deeper than just I'm uncomfortable.

Pam Allan: Well, right-

Corey Allan: And there's some truth in there.

Pam Allan: To her comment that if someone has that preference, there's something historically that goes back there, whether it's your upbringing in home or religious or whatever.

Corey Allan: Yeah, messages that you've been taught-

Pam Allan: Yes.

Corey Allan: Or heard or not taught or not heard that have limited you-

Pam Allan: Yeah, if you feel dirty, you feel dirty. And that's What it is.

Corey Allan: So you're talking about the meanings associated with it. You're also talking about scripts is the way I think of this. It's where'd that script come from?

Pam Allan: Yeah,

Corey Allan: I actually just put this out in the academy today at the day of our recording this about an idea I'm kicking around for book, title, theme, topic of what were the messages you were taught or not taught growing up?

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: When it comes to sex and desire, because it does a lot of harm because one of the things I came across earlier today in doing some research for this, was a quote or a statement that made, "If you don't talk about something, then fear is going to take over." Which is in a sense, making it an idol.

Pam Allan: Interesting. Because you're so fearful of it.

Corey Allan: Because you're giving it too much power. Yes, you're giving it too much power. That's where one of the things Sexy Marriage Radio exists is to try to stem that tide and change the dialogue and change the conversation in marriages and in families about this. But it's also one to have to realize, if you are talking about the shame message of, I'm just not comfortable with this, then this is the same I think as far as the spouse with that wife, this is the same process of, "Hey, I'm here, I'm supportive. I'm engaged. What do you want to do?" I like the callers' idea of get into counseling. Yes, get in there. But if this is the scenario that we often see from our voicemail inbox, that if the spouse, that's the one that's really frustrated. The one that really needs quote unquote-

Pam Allan: Quote unquote yes-

Corey Allan: -the possibility of the outlet for that support. They're not listening, they're good with their preference, they're good with their comfort.

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: It does create a real gridlock scenario of what do I do? What's the next move. And that's where I think you have to couple in the idea of, it's conversation and movement, but the movement is also consistency. Just not even just around the idea of sex, it's consistency of the way you interact around the subject. Because tell me if I'm wrong, Pam.

Pam Allan: Okay.

Corey Allan: If you're in a relationship where one spouse only is comfortable with missionary position, is there likely a lot of sexual banter going on outside of the bedroom?

Pam Allan: No.

Corey Allan: Probably not. I mean, that's a hunch-

Pam Allan: Sounds like it'll be pretty-

Corey Allan: It's a thought.

Pam Allan: Pretty much the same over and over.

Corey Allan: It's all speculation because we don't know that data.

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: But I don't think it's too much It gets too big of a leap to get to that. Sure. So sometimes the move can be, I'm not ashamed of my desire for you. So I'm going to start expressing it more. I'm going to start making the little subtle gestures to playful overtures, the innuendos, the brush bys, the flirty things. Yeah. And I think that's a move coupled with conversation is all helping reframe the dynamic. Right?

Pam Allan: Right. And well, I'm just hearing it when it's coming from a spouse that is solid. That I perceive has my best interest in mind. That doesn't lack of a better word, hurt me in other areas of life.

Corey Allan: Right.

Pam Allan: You know what I mean?

Corey Allan: Right.

Pam Allan: If there's a solid relationship and we have this, a mutual still have an adoration for one another. Right?

Corey Allan: It's respect.

Pam Allan: And so if my arena is, I only liked the missionary position and you're trying to make other moves. When I see that you are solid in all the other areas of our relationship and of yourself.

Corey Allan: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Pam Allan: Then ideally I'm not seeing that as a threat. I may not like it because it makes me uncomfortable and that's not what I want.

Corey Allan: Right. Well, initially it probably is threatening. Let's face that.

Pam Allan: Okay.

Corey Allan: Because it is. You're changing the dynamic. You're making me face the things I don't want to face.

Pam Allan: Anything that makes me feel uncomfortable is considered a threat at that point.

Corey Allan: It's the rare human that sees the discomfort coming at them and being presented that applause.

Pam Allan: Okay.

Corey Allan: And as like, oh fantastic. I was just waiting for you to bring this up. Because the last comment I want to make on the caller is that it is great if you both have enthusiastic agreement on it. Because have you had conversations about yeah, and you get people on buying in, right. I would like to do this and you get the permission or-

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: The buy-in of, I can see that. But the one thing I have figured out in married life, and then in the work I do, and then the stuff I read from Schnarch, because this is one of his phrases, is that novelty, which that's what we're talking about.

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: Anything that's changing a system is novel.

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: So novelty is always introduced unilaterally. It's not equal.

Pam Allan: Well, yeah. I just think across the board-

Corey Allan: Yeah.

Pam Allan: Whether it's sexual or not-

Corey Allan: Yep.

Pam Allan: I mean, there're things we do for fun that I would have thought... whitewater rafting. I would have thought that you would have been totally on board, this sounds great. I bring that up to do that on a family vacation, and it's like, we got kids, I don't want to put my kids in a crosstalk whitewater raft.

Corey Allan: That wasn't at my best at that moment. I'll own that.

Pam Allan: But it's just for example, a point right?

Corey Allan: No, it's true, it's true.

Pam Allan: So when I bring that up and you're like, inaudible I don't know, I'm not sure I want to put my kids in that situation. And we're done, it's like, oh my goodness-

Corey Allan: Best thing that we've ever done.

Pam Allan: That was fun.

Corey Allan: That was so great.

Pam Allan: That was the best thing we need to do that again. So I kind of get where you're going there. You don't always have that. Both parties being enthusiastic about something going into it.

Corey Allan: Right. But I think there're ways, and this is what you touched on. There's ways by the way I'm living and conducting myself in all areas of my married life, that demonstrate trustworthiness for this particular area where I'm trying to move the needle.

Pam Allan: Sure.

Corey Allan: Knowing it's going to be uncomfortable. There's going to be some pushback. Okay. If I know what I'm in for and I can handle and absorb that a little better, I think that's the marker of a solid husband, is he can absorb those things-

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: Well, and I think that's the marker of a solid wife is she can absorb those things well, when she's pushing the dial. Fantastic.

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: We're all better.

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: But I want to thank the listener that calls in, because I think it's worth pointing out just the trauma aspect. That if that is a dynamic in the relationship. Yeah. That is that's, that's a little more delicate that you've got to-

Pam Allan: Certainly yeah.

Corey Allan: -Approach it, but I don't think that makes it a sacred cow that you can't still push it. It's a delicate dance, but life plays out that way.

Pam Allan: Yeah, and push it maybe is not the appropriate word, but it's still address it. Right. You can't, you don't have to just ignore it forever.

Corey Allan: Absolutely.

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Speaker 4: I was listening to episode 4 0 2 regarding the email from the man whose wife feels that anything other than missionary position is dirty. And it reminded me a little of my own journey. About a year ago I also realized I was a quote nice guy. I began to change. Loving my wife, but no longer apologizing for my desire of her. We began to disagree more. And the turning point was when I suggested we see a counselor to get another point of view. To avoid seeing a counselor, she agreed to think about why she felt uncomfortable. What came out of that in the following weeks was pivotal. She felt that my desires were wrong because they sounded pornographic and she felt like I was trying to change her. It opened the door for us to talk about why God designed us with different types and levels of desire and how we can learn to enjoy those differences.
That also caused us to think deeper about why pornography is wrong. For the most part. It's not the acts themselves that make it wrong. But rather that it's done outside the boundaries of God's design for marriage. It was at that moment. I saw porn as a double edged sword. Already knowing that it tempts the husband to loosen his boundaries. But what surprised me was that it also attempts the wife to tighten her boundaries. God has put the boundaries where he wants them for a reason. When we decide to loosen and tighten them we harm ourselves. As for me quote trying to change her, we are still working through a few thoughts. Anytime boundaries are corrected, it requires change. God has used my wife's natural inclinations to change me for the better. Doesn't it make sense that God may want to use mine to change her? Could it be that he wants to show her deeper joy and oneness through surrendering even her passion to her husband? Change can feel good or bad.
The question is, does it get us closer to God's design? I made sure she understood how I felt about her, and I clarified what I saw God's boundaries to be. The secrecy, safety and security. Secrecy is that sexual intimacy only works if it's private. It must be just between us not involving other physical or virtual people. Safety, we should not do anything that physically or emotionally harms our spouse. And security, we must desire to protect and grow that intimacy. This man and his wife may have other issues or maybe their underlying struggle is similar to ours, and possibly this helps. It's a process and a moving target, but by God's grace, we are closer than we were.

Corey Allan: I like the refrain.

Pam Allan: Yeah. I appreciate him calling in.

Corey Allan: Yeah, I think it's worth noting that being able to see the process of growth and how it can come in a myriad of forms. The one thing that just, I have a personal bias with the one thing that jumps out to me as a statement of, to avoid going to a counselor, she agreed to figure out what it was that made her so uncomfortable. I get it.

Pam Allan: There's a lot of people that that's taboo.

Corey Allan: I get it. Counseling has its own mantra and taboo ness, and battle to fight sometimes in people's minds.

Pam Allan: Sure.

Corey Allan: But I like the idea that he was willing to push in and not back down, because this is an important point. This is all I really want to try to get across from this message is this is a great descriptor to me, of the dynamic of pushing in and holding a line without forcing it. It's like holding a dynamic without running away from it.

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: Without avoiding it, and then also most importantly, without forcing it.

Pam Allan: Well it sounded to me like he was giving options along the way.

Corey Allan: Yeah.

Pam Allan: And providing solutions along the way.

Corey Allan: Yeah.

Pam Allan: Okay. Well, if we can't do this, then can we do this?

Corey Allan: Right.

Pam Allan: If we're not going to counselor here is what I would like.

Corey Allan: Right.

Pam Allan: Here's what I'd like to understand.

Corey Allan: And the way I think that the pivotal thing that changed this to me in hearing the message was how he started the message was he realized his desires weren't wrong.

Pam Allan: Sure.

Corey Allan: Right? There's nothing wrong with wanting and being attracted to my spouse.

Pam Allan: No.

Corey Allan: I mean, that's my journey that I was on years ago. Of kind of realizing, you know what my sexual desires, they're not wrong. Desire is a good thing. You know, it's recognizing that's an internal process that then starts to play out relationally. And then you have the world of how do I exact change? Because most of the time we want to get into change bylaws. If my spouse would carry their side of the equation better, it'd be a whole lot easier for me.

Pam Allan: Well yeah. So exacting changes trying to exact change on the other party.

Corey Allan: Right? Yeah. So instead I have to look at the definition of exacting change is changing me, changing my approach, changing my resolve, the depth of what do I really believe and what really drives me and being okay with that.

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: Knowing that yes, there's going to be uncomfortable times when he starts to express his desires to his wife. And she's, I'm uncomfortable with this because it makes, I liken it to the pornography, which is what he's alluding to.

Pam Allan: Mm-hmm (affirmative) sure.

Corey Allan: But then when she started investigating more lo and behold, maybe that's too far of a leap.

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: Maybe there's something else in there that could make it to where we have created something now that is beneficial for both of us.

Pam Allan: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Corey Allan: Well done.

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: Thanks for calling in. Well, we have said this several times over the course of Sexy Marriage Radio that we love the Sexy Marriage Nation.

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: And we love the fact that the Sexy Marriage Nation pushes back and gives their input, gives their thoughts.

Pam Allan: Yeah. I appreciate people that are passionate about what they're doing and what they're listening to, and that they'll take the time to speak up.

Corey Allan: Yep.

Pam Allan: And let that be known.

Corey Allan: I will ditto that comment because it is such a good relationship to have when both sides of the relationship carry their weight. And that's what we want to try to do each week as your hosts is carry the conversation to at least start some in your world. But we also wanted from you to know, whoa, missed it there. What about this? This is my experience because then we're all better. So (214)-702-9565 is how you can let us know what we missed. Or even if you just like what we got going on. We love hearing that kind of stuff too.

Speaker 1: Yeah. We like the positive as well as the negative.

Corey Allan: So this has been Sexy Marriage Radio. Thanks for taking some time out of your day to spend it with us. We'll see you next time.