Top iTunes Marriage & Sex Podcast

10.5+ Million Downloads

hosted by Dr. Corey Allan

Encore of The Female Orgasm #578

On the Regular version of today’s show …

An encore episode of a conversation with Vanessa Marin, a fellow sex therapist, about the most common issues couples face in their sex lives today. You can find more about Vanessa on her site https://vmtherapy.com/

On the Xtended version …

Vanessa and I continue the conversation about sex, only this time we’re focusing solely on the female orgasm.

Enjoy the show!

Sponsors …

Adventure Challenge …In Bed Book: Get 20% off and add play back to foreplay in your marriage. Use our code SMR20 at  https://www.theadventurechallenge.com/

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or email us at feedback@sexymarriageradio.com

Announcer: You are listening to the regular version of Sexy Marriage Radio, smrnation.com.

Corey Allan: Welcome back to another episode of Sexy Marriage Radio, where I got a little distracted, because when we record these at the SMR Studio, which is, AKA, the Allan's house...

Pam Allan: Right?

Corey Allan: The room we sit in, the window looks out to the pool, and I got a squirrel trying to drink out of the pool on a hot...

Pam Allan: Oh.

Corey Allan: ... June 9th.

Pam Allan: Want to send the dog out.

Corey Allan: And our dog, if she knew she was out there, it'd be all kinds of party going on in the backyard.

Pam Allan: Right?

Corey Allan: But people didn't listen. They're not tuning into Sexy Marriage Radio for animal kingdom.

Pam Allan: No, no.

Corey Allan: Although maybe they are. we are all animals.

Pam Allan: Okay.

Corey Allan: Well, we do try to have conversations that help the Sexy Marriage nation go further and better, and I kind of lost the threat on that one, but we want to spice things up for the nation.

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: And we want to help answer the questions that are on their mind, and the way we can do that is when they ask said questions, Pam, and the way they do that is they call us (214) 702-9565 or feedback at sexymarriageradio.com, Because every email that comes in, we read them. They either go in the queue or we answer them.

Pam Allan: Just directly, yeah.

Corey Allan: It's one of the two things. Yeah.

Pam Allan: Yeah, yeah, answer directly or get on the show.

Corey Allan: Absolutely, And so when more voices are joining the conversation, everybody's better. We also ask that the nation helps us spread the word, rate and review the shows, leave comments, tell your friends, tell your neighbors. 4th of July weekend is coming up. Turn on an episode when you're doing your 4th of July party and just celebrate Sexy Marriage Radio during celebrating the nation's...

Pam Allan: Independence.

Corey Allan: ... independence.

Pam Allan: Maybe it's your sexual independence. I don't know.

Corey Allan: Maybe so. Coming up on today's regular.

Pam Allan: What does that really even mean? I have no idea. We got to edit that out. Sexual independence in marriage, I guess that's real.

Corey Allan: Coming up on today's regular free version of Sexy Marriage Radio is a conversation. This is an encore presentation of an episode we did with Vanessa Marin, who's a sex therapist and coach on the West Coast, and the way I was introduced to her was scrolling around and I came across her course that she offers, which one of the best-named courses, right up there with Laurie Mintz's Becoming Cliterate, as far as a book title.

Pam Allan: Okay, it's titled.

Corey Allan: She has a book for helping women who struggle with orgasms, called... Oh, not a book. She has a course that's called Finishing School...

Pam Allan: Nice.

Corey Allan: ... to help finish, help figure it out, because there's a lot of women out there that there's this gap, and here at Sexy Marriage Radio, we want to help bridge that gap along with a lot of the other professionals that are out there doing that, too.

Pam Allan: Right.

Corey Allan: And so, on the regular version of Sexy Marriage Radio today, Vanessa joins me to talk about some of the most common issues couples face in their sex life and then on the extended version, which is deeper, longer, and there are no ads. You can subscribe at smrnation.com/smracademy. Vanessa and I continue the conversation about sex, but only this time, we're focusing on the female side of the equation and female orgasm.

Pam Allan: Okay.

Corey Allan: So, we go into, what are the reliable ways? And what are her tips that she really believes in and helps people with? So, all that's coming up on today's show.

Corey Allan: So joining me today for this episode of Sexy Marriage Radio is a fellow sex therapist, who happens to be of the other gender, and any time I come across women that have a lot going for them in regards to the profession, their take, their view, and they're female, I want to get with them to, "Hey, let's talk about the whole world of sex therapy and how it applies to couples because," Vanessa, as you and I were talking right before the show started, I can't carry the weight because I've never been a woman, and so there's a different view and lens, and so Vanessa Marin is joining us for today's... She's a psychotherapist out in the California area, and I won't hold that against you, since I live in Texas, Vanessa, but welcome to the show.

Vanessa Marin: Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited to get, to have this conversation with you.

Corey Allan: Absolutely. I want to just dive right in, because you do a lot of work, just mainly you've done a deep dive into the world of sex therapy with people and with couples. And so, to start, what are some of the main things you see, because I'm always curious about trends, commonalities? Just, what are some of the main things you see in the work that you're doing with couples right now?

Vanessa Marin: Yeah. I think people are always interested in this question, right? We want to know, what's going on in other bedrooms? What are other people struggling with?

Corey Allan: Absolutely.

Vanessa Marin: Yeah. I see three main issues in my practice. The first one is women who struggle with orgasm, whether they've never had an orgasm or they can orgasm on their own, but not with a partner.

Corey Allan: Okay.

Vanessa Marin: I see men with performance anxiety issues, and I see couples with mismatched sex drives, who are really struggling to keep the spark alive and feel connected in the bedroom.

Corey Allan: Oh, so the what's going on in California is the same thing going on here, in the Midwest?

Vanessa Marin: It sure is.

Corey Allan: Okay. Okay. Well, then now I know. Okay, perfect. This is kind of a meandering conversation that I want to have with you, Vanessa, and some of the ones, I want to table the idea of the women having trouble orgasming or having trouble reaching orgasm with their partner...

Vanessa Marin: All right.

Corey Allan: ... for the extended content. So, that's our tees for the day's show.

Vanessa Marin: That's going to be a good one.

Corey Allan: I can't wait, but I am curious, because we've done, just recently, several different segments on the idea with men with performance anxiety, and so where do you go with this? Because I want to see where we align and where we're a little different, possibly.

Vanessa Marin: Yeah. Well, I take a really multifaceted approach to performance issues. I think most men think, "Hey, my body is not performing the way I want it to." It's so easy these days to get Viagra or get Cialis.

Corey Allan: Yep.

Vanessa Marin: I think most men think that that's the cure all. "I just need to get the pill."

Corey Allan: Yep.

Vanessa Marin: And so, I work with so many men, who come to me afterwards, and they said, "I got the pills. They didn't do anything, and now I'm even more freaked out."

Corey Allan: Okay.

Vanessa Marin: It's really important, to me, to help men recognize that performance issues are not just a purely biological thing.

Corey Allan: Correct.

Vanessa Marin: There are so many different factors that can go into it, and so if we can really dig in and explore, what exactly is it that's actually going on, rather than putting on this bandaid solution of just tossing you a pill, then we can get much more comprehensive and effective solutions, going forward.

Corey Allan: Do you have a different route? Because there is an issue of performance anxiety. That can manifest itself in a lot of different ways. Right?

Vanessa Marin: Yeah.

Corey Allan: I mean, you could have the ED issues. You can have the premature ejaculation issues. You can have the delayed ejaculation issues. I mean, there's so many different things that can happen, but do you come at it from... Obviously, there's a biological possibility.

Vanessa Marin: Yes.

Corey Allan: Because, I mean, there is an element with blood flow that, hey, that's got to be addressed, be there's also the emotion, the context, the anxiety, the mental game.

Vanessa Marin: Yeah.

Corey Allan: I'm assuming that's kind of where you probably, then, start to dig in?

Vanessa Marin: Yeah. I have a five foundation system that I like to use where I go over the five main categories of potential causes. The first one is the physical. There can be physical issues that are at play, injuries, illnesses, medications, all kinds of stuff.

Corey Allan: Yep.

Vanessa Marin: There's mental. What sort of thoughts are going through your head? What sort of expectations do you have of yourself? How do you think you're supposed to perform in the bedroom and show up? There's emotional. Sometimes, there might be, you're dealing with shame or embarrassment around sex, just negative feelings about sex, in general. All of us have to deal with that.

Corey Allan: Right.

Vanessa Marin: There's relational. What happens in your relationship? All men are going to experience occasional performance issues, but if there's a really bad reaction from your partner... Let's say your partner freaks out. They think, "You're not attracted to me anymore. Our sex life is dead."

Corey Allan: Right, right.

Vanessa Marin: That's going to create a lot of tension and make it more likely to go forward, and so it's just, what does your sex life even look like with your partner? And then the fifth one is sensual. That gets more into, what kind of sex are you having? How are you approaching it? Are you taking a really rushed, anxious approach to it? What does sex look like when you're on your own, masturbating, too?

Corey Allan: Right.

Vanessa Marin: That can be a huge component. So, yeah. If we go through those five foundations, then we almost always find some major [inaudible 00:09:14] usually a couple in different classes.

Corey Allan: Yeah. I can almost see. That's a great little... I'm almost picturing it as you're creating this little... It's a diagram of circles, and you're just working through each one, and you're going to start to find major overlaps, or times where one circle is much larger than the others because of the list, and then that's where you start, which I see that as members of the Sexy Marriage Radio nation can do that, just listening to this.

Vanessa Marin: Yeah, yeah, absolutely.

Corey Allan: That's proactive, because I mean, speaking as a man that's been sexually active with his wife for a long time now, you're spot on in that all of us face varying levels of issues.

Vanessa Marin: Yeah.

Corey Allan: Right? Where it doesn't always go as planned, and so...

Vanessa Marin: Our bodies do not always do what we want them to do.

Corey Allan: No, they don't, especially as you get further along in life, and there is this element of like, "Okay, I'm going to need a little assistance here in some way, shape, or form." It's seeing through the idea of, okay, there's multi facets going on. There's a whole lot of possibilities. Let's not rush to judgment, is kind of what you're saying...

Vanessa Marin: Absolutely.

Corey Allan: ... of, "I'm broken," because I would want to challenge it as, "No, that kind of just means you're normal. Welcome to being human."

Vanessa Marin: Yep, absolutely. Yeah.

Corey Allan: Things don't always work the way you hope.

Vanessa Marin: Yeah. I think that's such an important thing that most men don't realize. All men experience performance issues from time to time. I mean, I just said, our bodies don't always do what we want them to do. Our bodies aren't robots, and so if a man can recognize, "Okay, this happens from time to time. I roll with the punches." You're going to be fine, but what often happens is that, he'll get up into his head thinking, "I am broken. Something is horribly wrong," and that just makes it worse and worse. I think if we can just approach it, for men and women, approach our sex lives with a sense of curiosity.

Corey Allan: Oh, absolutely.

Vanessa Marin: Like, "Okay, things aren't going exactly the way that I want them to be right now, but can I get curious and see, what might be going on?"

Corey Allan: Right.

Vanessa Marin: And so, yeah, you can go through those five foundations that I just listed on your own, and if you think through, "All right, what might be going on for me in this area?" You can really discover a lot.

Corey Allan: Yeah, and I'm almost hearing this, too, Vanessa, is that's a good route for a spouse, for a wife to go through, because you even mentioned, relationally, she can take a his issue personal when it could be a small percentage of the dynamic, but it's probably not... Most performance issues that I've come across and experience have nothing to do with my wife.

Vanessa Marin: Yep.

Corey Allan: It's my own head and weird little world going on.

Vanessa Marin: Absolutely. Yeah. I have never worked with a man where the main issue, or even a major issue, was his level of attraction to his partner. It's just not a thing.

Corey Allan: Right.

Vanessa Marin: But unfortunately, so many women take performance issues really, really personally.

Corey Allan: Right.

Vanessa Marin: And I've done that, myself, too. It is very easy to take it personally, but it's just so important for us to recognize that it's not, and when we do take it personally, we're just contributing to the issue and making it much more likely to continue happening.

Corey Allan: Right. Well, that's when the power of what you're describing of, how do we take a curiosity approach? How do we do a, "Hey, I wonder what?"

Vanessa Marin: Yeah.

Corey Allan: Because it seems like we could do that. Tell me if I'm wrong, and I don't think this is a male centric thing only, but we have a time, as humans, that when something goes wrong or different, don't we often tend to jump to the worst case?

Vanessa Marin: Yeah, we definitely do.

Corey Allan: Right? Oh, okay. He's this or that, or oh, she's this or that, rather than, "Hold on, what else could it be?"

Vanessa Marin: Yeah.

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Pam Allan: I love their books. They're so creative.

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Pam Allan: Sweet.

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Vanessa Marin: And especially with sex, because it is such a sensitive topic. We don't have a lot of resources. A lot of us really struggle with it. When something goes wrong in our sex life, yeah, we do tend to go to the absolute worst case scenario.

Corey Allan: Okay. And so, I want to pivot just real quick, because you also make comments, just with some of the work you do, with some of the stuff you've written, how do you just keep... I think I'm stumbling around, trying to think of how to frame this the best, but there's an element of, married life sex is different because it's the same person. Right? And so, then you run into this issue of, how do we keep it exciting? How do we keep it engaging? How do we keep it, have a spark? Right?

Vanessa Marin: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I think the first thing that I want to talk about here is shifting our mindset around it. I think most of us believe that great sex is something that's just supposed to happen, because that's really the only way we ever see it in the movies. People just have this immediate, instantaneous, crazy chemistry, and they sort of live happily ever after with that chemistry, and so a lot of people go into relationships with those same expectations. It should be amazing right off the bat, and it should just continue to be amazing. I've seen a lot of people who end up leaving relationships because that spark starts to fade, and they think, "Oh, this person isn't the right person for me. It must not be a good fit." And so, I really like to encourage people to recognize that great sex requires great effort.

Corey Allan: Okay.

Vanessa Marin: It's something that we have to work on throughout the course of our relationship.

Corey Allan: Okay.

Vanessa Marin: That's just a really big mindset shift to make, if we can recognize, "Okay, it's not something that's just going to happen. It's something that we make happen," then that opens up the door for a lot of possibilities.

Corey Allan: I love it, because I frame it in a very similar... just the terminology is different, of, I just say, "Sex, in general, but for sure, great sex doesn't happen by accident." There has to be an element of intentionality, dedication, effort, energy, knowledge, curiosity. I mean, there's a whole lot of things, because that's the whole... We do come into this, don't we, we the idea of, "Well, it'll just happen. It'll just flow. It'll just be simple."

Vanessa Marin: Exactly, natural. That's my favorite word.

Corey Allan: Right. Look, I used to joke when I'm speaking. The winter and spring is the time where I go speak to a lot of moms groups in the churches nearby, and I actually did this just the other day, where I just made the comment that got off on this tangent that I tend to do, with the idea that sex doesn't happen by accident. You don't just trip and fall, and all of a sudden, you're in your wife's vagina. Right?

Vanessa Marin: Yeah.

Corey Allan: Because if that's the case, one, what is she doing laying on the ground like that, just waiting for you? I mean, no woman just does that. It's just the idea of recognizing, there are so many myths that just trip us up and just challenge those things.

Vanessa Marin: There really are. Yeah, I feel like half of my job is really just dispelling myths and telling people, "Nope, it doesn't actually work like that. That's just what you've seen in the movies or on TV. It's not really how it works," but yeah. It's because we don't have any great resources that so many people are operating off of all of these myths, and it's really damaging our sex lives.

Corey Allan: Absolutely. And so, once you get a little bit of the myth busted, and then you're talking about great sex comes from great effort. Are there some go-tos that couples can enhance and be sure they are doing that help?

Vanessa Marin: Yeah. There are a ton of different things that you can do. One of my favorite things to talk about and that might be a little bit controversial is actually to schedule sex. I think that a lot of people have this idea, you hear the phrase, scheduling sex, and it just sounds really depressing.

Corey Allan: Yeah.

Vanessa Marin: "Oh, man, our sex life is so bad, now we have to schedule it the way that we schedule dentist appointments." I actually used to feel the exact same way about scheduled sex. At the beginning of my career, I thought it was one of the worst ideas I'd ever heard of, but after a few-

Corey Allan: Okay, so what brought you around?

Vanessa Marin: What actually brought me around was, my husband and I having struggles in our own sex life and having a period of our relationship where we were both really, really busy, really stressed out. It felt like there just wasn't any time for us, and my husband stumbled upon the idea and said, "You know what? We just need to schedule days and pick times where we make sure we're going to do this." I hated it at first.

Corey Allan: Okay.

Vanessa Marin: I was so upset with him. I said, "Oh my God." I took it super personally. "My husband must not be attracted to me anymore. He has to schedule it with me," but we ended up just really playing around with it. Believe it or not, it actually ended up really, really working for us, and so we found different ways of playing with it where it's not this really clinical, "Okay, Tuesday at 7:13 PM, we will meet in the bedroom." It's really become an amazing way for us of guaranteeing that we have time carved out for each other, and that we build up this excitement and this energy and anticipation around it, the same sort of way we have date nights where we go out and we go to a restaurant or we go to a concert, whatever it is, that you feel excited about that. We feel excited about, "Hey, we've got sexy date night with each other."

Corey Allan: Right. Okay, so I got a question, though, because I'm in the same camp, and I don't call the scheduling controversial. I take more the stance of, I know for some couples, it's going to work.

Vanessa Marin: Yeah.

Corey Allan: For Pam and I, it does not work. I mean, it's because, in some regards, it's that flip side of the equation where, yes, it can really create the anticipatory energy, but it also creates the pressure of, "Oh, I know it's coming." And so, this is where I want to at least pick your brain, because I think this is good information to know, how do you challenge that dynamic if that's within yourself? Because I know some listeners are going to hear that as, "Oh, that's a pressure cooker."

Vanessa Marin: Yep, yep.

Corey Allan: Because they even look at date night that way, of just knowing, "Oh, I'm going to have to perform today, and I really don't want to." That way, that energy is being used against them, rather than them using the energy.

Vanessa Marin: Yeah, so I've got a solution for you.

Corey Allan: I want to hear it. Let's go.

Vanessa Marin: Yeah. I dealt with this, as well, in that period where we were trying to play around with this and see, is this going to work for us or not? I felt some of that pressure.

Corey Allan: Sure.

Vanessa Marin: Yeah, there would be times where it was like, "Oh, God, we have to tonight?" What I came up with is this idea. I call it the easy win activity.

Corey Allan: Okay.

Vanessa Marin: What you do is, you pick some sort of activity that involves touch, in any way, that you would always feel open to. No matter what, you have a terrible day, you're in a bad mood, no matter what, you're always open to doing this with your partner.

Corey Allan: Okay.

Vanessa Marin: For most couples, this is going to be something really simple. It might be cuddling.

Corey Allan: Right.

Vanessa Marin: It might be a little kiss. It might be a hug, something really... The bar is pretty low here. When you schedule a sexy date night, you are just agreeing to do that bare minimum activity with each other.

Corey Allan: Okay.

Vanessa Marin: That really lessens the pressure, because it's something that you do enjoy, you do look forward to. You know, "I don't have any expectation to go further than that."

Corey Allan: Okay.

Vanessa Marin: What you'll find, in reality of doing this, is that if you set that bar really low for yourself, if you start off with something that you enjoy doing, you're getting some touch with your partner, the oxytocin is flowing, a lot of times, you wind up feeling open to doing more than that.

Corey Allan: Right, because then you're just talking about, how do I get past the first barrier?

Vanessa Marin: Yeah. It's that first step. A lot of couples will tell me, "I love cuddling with my partner. I will always cuddle with my partner." It's, if you just get over that first barrier, then you're cuddling. You're feeling good. You're thinking, "Okay, well, maybe a little bit more sounds good."

Corey Allan: Okay, okay.

Vanessa Marin: Yeah.

Corey Allan: I like it, because I think that's, again, this is just how... We, here at Sexy Marriage Radio, it sounds like you kind of have this very, very similar philosophy of, what works for people is what matters. Right?

Vanessa Marin: Exactly.

Corey Allan: I mean, if you and I, and I would love this, if we could figure out a way to do this, but if you and I could create the end all, be all, here's the three step process to have fantastic, great sex every single time, we would be the world's first trillionaires...

Vanessa Marin: Yes.

Corey Allan: ... because everybody wants it. It just doesn't exist because there's too many nuances, too many unique situations and things that mean, "Okay, I'm going to have to try this out," and this is where we go back to what you mentioned earlier. How do I just be curious about my whole sexual evolving in my relationship and as a person?

Vanessa Marin: Yeah, exactly, and so yeah. So many of my approaches that I've come up with, it really comes back to that curiosity and that willingness to experiment. I think a lot of us, we have this perfectionism that's come up around sex. "I don't want to try that thing, unless I know I'm going to love it and it's going to be perfect," and so that's another big myth about sex. There's no such thing as perfect sex. If we can take a different approach and think, "I'm willing to experiment. I'm willing to try some things. Maybe I tried this thing and I don't love it. Maybe I try it and I do love it." That kind of approach is really going to save your sex life and just make it so much more open, so much less pressure, and then it just feels playful, too.

Corey Allan: Absolutely.

Vanessa Marin: We don't take it quite so seriously.

Corey Allan: I mean, sex is a serious subject, but man, we don't have to approach it so much like that.

Vanessa Marin: We really don't. A lot of times, think about, what's your favorite time, your favorite memories having sex with your partner? For most people, it's not this super serious, very intense kind of thing. It's those moments where we feel really light and playful, and we're laughing with each other. We're making eye contact and we just feel so connected to our partner.

Corey Allan: That's great.

Vanessa Marin: That's the kind of sex that I really like to help people have.

Corey Allan: That's good, because the world needs more of that, especially in marriage, because...

Vanessa Marin: Absolutely.

Corey Allan: ... it does become this thing that has a different weight to it, unless we can challenge a lot of these myths that we're talking about.

Vanessa Marin: Absolutely.

Corey Allan: Well, Vanessa, I got to let everybody know. How do they find you? Because I like what you've got going on...

Vanessa Marin: Thank you.

Corey Allan: ... a whole lot, and I want other people to know it, too. So, what's the best way they can find more about you?

Vanessa Marin: Yeah. They can come on over to vmtherapy.com. It's V-M, my initials, T-H-E-R-A-P-Y, .com, and I would encourage everyone to sign up for our email list. We send out an email every Friday with free tips, tricks, advice, resources. My husband is a part of my business, as well, so sometimes we do from the male perspective, from the female perspective. So, we have a great community of people, and we'd love for you guys to join us there.

Corey Allan: Well, that will all be in the show notes. Be sure to check it out, because I mean, we all can use more curiosity and tips and tricks when it comes to making our life better in the long run. Vanessa, thanks, again, for spending a little time, and I'm excited about where we're going next.

Vanessa Marin: Yes, me, too. Thanks for having me.

Corey Allan: I've been enjoying this, times we've been doing some of these encore presentations and going back into the archives and bringing them back up forward, because there's just a wealth of information. I mean, Pam, we've been doing this for over 10 years.

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: That's a lot of episodes that have been going on.

Pam Allan: Yeah, and I mean, people that are recently binging might say, "I just heard this one not too long ago," but for most people, these are ones that are most downloaded episodes, but maybe we got most responses or things like that, that really seem to hit home.

Corey Allan: Right.

Pam Allan: And some of them are just real beneficial to hear.

Corey Allan: And let's face it, there's a lot of marriages going on where wives are having real struggle figuring out, early on, midway through, and maybe towards the end, as well. I mean, way into it.

Pam Allan: Right.

Corey Allan: If there's ways that we can help bridge the gap, man, I think everybody gets improved and better from that.

Pam Allan: Agreed.

Corey Allan: Well, this has been Sexy Marriage Radio. If we left something undone, let us know: (214) 702-9565 or feedback at sexymarriageradio.com. See you next time.