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hosted by Dr. Corey Allan

Married Sex #550

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On the Regular version of today’s show …

A conversation with Gary Thomas about his newest book, Married Sex.

You can learn about Gary and his work here – https://garythomas.com

On the Xtended version …

Gary and I have a conversation about the pushback and reaction to his book thus far.

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Speaker 1: You are listening to the regular version of Sexy Marriage Radio. SMRNation.com.

Speaker 1: You've turned on Sexy Marriage Radio, where the best sex happens in the marriage bed. Here's your host, Dr. Corey Allen.

Pam Allan: A good time of year can be a tough time of year.

Corey Allan: This is a mixed back for a lot of different people, I think, right? This is a great opportunity to see family, be with family, get a break, enjoy the holidays. Remember what the season's really all about. But then, it's also can be memories triggers. First holiday without a family member or away or ... So, to all of you in the SMRNation, we wish everybody a Merry Christmas.

Pam Allan: We do.

Corey Allan: And we hope that it's blessed and it's safe and you really can soak in the time with your loved ones. And you can steal away some time with those that are important to maintain them being important in your life. Because it's so easy to get caught up in the hurry and everything else that the world proposes. Because Christmas sales stuff started what?

Pam Allan: Halloween?

Corey Allan: After the end of 4th of July?

Pam Allan: Well, there you go. There you go.

Corey Allan: Well, this is Sexy Marriage Radio, where we are grateful that each and every week you take a little bit of time out of your day to spend it with us and you help us out. You email in, you call in you, you ask us questions, you give us your feedback. And you can call in at (214) 702-9565. Or you can email us at feedback@sexymarriageradio.com.

Corey Allan: And this came in last week from the show that we did with Sheila Gregoire. That says, "Corey, I just finished listening to the SMR podcast that was released yesterday. It included the extended conversation. And while I really appreciated the main part of the podcast and I've read Sheila's book so it wasn't really anything new, I did especially enjoy the initial conversation that you had, which was the extended content. I thought it was a great example of how two emotionally mature people having a difficult conversation and being able to define yourself, and Sheila especially, to defend self without being defensive. I've long appreciated the work both of you are doing and my respect for the both of you increased after hearing it."

Corey Allan: And that's what we're striving to do, is all throughout the history of Sexy Marriage Radio, we want to present good data. We want to present good messages and we don't have to agree 100% with everything. I mean, in reality, baby, if you think about it, the only book we should agree a hundred percent with with our philosophy and faith would be the Bible.

Pam Allan: Right.

Corey Allan: Everything else, eep, nope, I'd take part of it and chuck the rest. Or I'll take most of it and chuck that part. Or because it's coming for people. But what we want is we want your feedback. We want the conversation. We want the dialogue because I think that's what makes all of us better.

Corey Allan: Pam, we got to also make a quick reminder that our friend Denis Merkas of Melt Couples Massage courses is doing a giveaway this Christmas season.

Pam Allan: It could be very beneficial to someone in this holiday season.

Corey Allan: Right, so from now till December 26th, if you will make a quick little video of you massaging your partner.

Pam Allan: How long does it have to be?

Corey Allan: Ten seconds.

Pam Allan: Ten seconds and totally G-rated.

Corey Allan: Totally G-rated. It could be PG. That's okay. But no nudity please, because he is a man of class. But if you go to SMRNation.com/meltgiveaway, all one word, that'll give you a whole lot more information and it allows you to, if you're already a member, all the details of how to submit your video entry. And if you're not a member, you can join there and then do the video, and you have a chance to win $1,000.

Pam Allan: That's amazing. [crosstalk 00:04:05]

Corey Allan: And as of this recording that we're doing two weeks before Christmas, actually, there was only one entry so far.

Pam Allan: People are too scared to send a video.

Corey Allan: Maybe. He's also thinking he's got a lot of emails and there's people that are just kind of wait until the last minute. We are a last minute society in a lot of ways.

Pam Allan: Yeah, we are. We are. We are.

Corey Allan: But the odds will be in your favor absolutely. So submit it today, as soon as you can, and you get a chance to win a $1,000.

Pam Allan: Yeah, you got pretty good odds at this point. Go for it.

Corey Allan: Hop to it. So coming up today on Sexy Marriage Radio, on the regular version, Pam, it's a conversation. I'm joined by Gary Thomas who has a history with the show.

Pam Allan: [crosstalk 00:04:47].

Corey Allan: He's been on several different times. He's got lots of books out there, but he's got a new one out, co-written with Debra Fileta called Married Sex. And so, this is a conversation just between him and I about what's the content of the book and what's the main takeaways and some of the main messages that stood out to me and to him as one of the authors. Because it was, he wrote part, she wrote part, and they put it together.

Corey Allan: Now, on the extended content today, which is deeper, longer, and there are no ads, you can subscribe at SMRNation.com/smracademy. We went behind the scenes much like we did with Sheila.

Pam Allan: Good.

Corey Allan: Last week's show. Because this one came out not too long ago, Married Sex did, and it's getting pounded in some ways, and in some realms of the tribes that are out there. It's not necessarily by authors as much as it is by just some of the people that support the different camps, if you will.

Pam Allan: Sure.

Corey Allan: And so, this is a juxtaposition of last week's episode in some regards of what was being pounded and how it's unfolded for Sheila. Now, we're coming at it with a book that just came out and how it's getting greeted and how it's unfolding. And so, all that's coming up on today's show.

Corey Allan: Well, I'm honored and excited to welcome back Gary Thomas, who's been on Sexy Marriage Radio a couple different times now. You've got a new work out that's been out for a little while, but it's high time we talk about Married Sex. I mean, of all things, Sexy Marriage Radio, let's talk about married sex. What do you think?

Gary Thomas: Love to do it, Corey. It's always a pleasure to talk with you.

Corey Allan: You have co-written a book with Debra Fileta, Married Sex, a Christian Couple's Guide to Reimagining Your Love Life. I guess the first question right out the gate, Gary, because this will just be a conversation, you know how this goes, but how did this one come about? Because e this one's a little bit of a departure from what you've written, at least as blatantly in the past, if I'm not wrong.

Gary Thomas: Absolutely. We had the design and partly it was by popular demand. A number of national marriage ministry leaders approached me. They said, "Gary, we feel like we need a new book to give evangelical couples, that husbands and wives can both appreciate and enjoy, that they can give to each other and say, 'Well, wives, you may not like this. And husbands, you may not like this,' but where both sides are heard." When I heard that, I thought, well, then that's not one written by me. I'm a man. I've been married 37 years.

Gary Thomas: But that's when I approached Debra Fileta. She's a licensed counselor. Her and John have been married 15 years; lisa and I, 37. So they could remember what it was like to have sex as young people. Lisa and I can speak into middle age and later. She could speak as a woman. I could speak as a man. I could give the theology. Debra could give the license counseling perspective with those tips. Then, we interviewed or surveyed almost a thousand couples where we got just a lot of practical tips. It's difficult in a small group for someone to say, "You won't believe what we did in the bedroom last night." I mean it, you don't want to go there. But with anonymity, people writing and being interviewed and us changing names and details, we could create this catch-all book that would have the theological, psychological, practical, and counseling perspective to help couples thrive in the bedroom in this aspect of their marriage.

Corey Allan: Absolutely. That's one of the things, so I'm going to go out on the limb here, Gary, to say to the members of the Sexy Marriage Radio Nation, the tone and the feel of this book will not be shocking. But to a lot of people, it could be.

Gary Thomas: Well, yeah, it is. It's very specific. Oh, I've mentioned that. It's hard to talk about sex and not be. I don't believe it's pornographic, but both Debra and I have urged singles not to read it. I've had married couples say, "Gary, this was an aphrodisiac. We stopped reading. We had to get going." And so, it's fair. And so, I will say to listeners, if reading frankly about sex is a problem for you, there's a sexual diction or something going on in the background, then I might not, I wouldn't recommend it. But there are a lot of stories of couples that they've shared with us all based in real life about how couples have taken the teaching that we talk about and put it into practice. We don't get into the narratives, but they show examples of what it's meant for them.

Corey Allan: Because, and that's the thing that jumped out to me in going through this, dude, was the stories. I love the straightforwardness. I love the honesty of it, the behind the curtain look, if you will. I mean, that's what our shows are all about in a large part. It's just, let's talk about what people aren't talking about. Although with your background and with Debra's background, you have even more access to the inner workings of churches and such, if you will. That's your target.

Corey Allan: Because that's kind of what, if I look at your career of writing, because I've even said this before Gary, and you and I have had this conversation that when I wrote Naked Marriage, I had come across Sacred Marriage beforehand, and I didn't like you because you stole my idea before I had a chance to write an idea of what if marriage was about something different than just happiness. You took holiness, which is spot on. And then, I landed on the growing up idea. But it's just that idea of you've had a history of really writing well to help God's people. I mean that in complete confidence and compliment because that's like your gifting. That's what you do and you do it well. And so, this is a little bit of a turn towards a different target. It's pretty amen to, to see the way in which you've gone about it. I love the straightforwardness of it.

Gary Thomas: Well, we did stress and I think you've nailed me on that, Corey. And I love Naked Marriage, by the way. For listeners, if you like what Corey says on these podcasts, you'll love what he says in the book. I think it was just a new level. It's a great way to get to know you better. But the subtitle is A Christian Couple's Guide to Re-imagining Your Love Life. We do rooted in scripture. We do take it from a faith perspective. I say that because then people get a book on sex and they say, "What are all these Bible verses?" It is very clearly written to Christians.

Gary Thomas: I think the thing that marks it, and others have pointed it out to us. They said, "We can tell that Debra sees actual clients, that Gary's a pastor, actually works with couples." We're not just bloggers or writers or speakers. And you have this too with your ministry, where they could tell these stories come out of real-life situations. Not necessarily the ideal, but the real. That's what I've appreciated about SMRNation. I think you as much as anyone has pushed into this is how things really are, so what do we do in light of that? And so, we recognize, for some people, they have real theological hangups. They don't realize the way that God and the Bible celebrates sex. Some people have relational hangups. There's anger or pride or resentment in the relationship. Some have physical hangups. Sex is a physical sport and they don't know how to handle the physical aspects. And so, it's really trying to figure out what is it that's holding you back so that you can go forward and really experience a sexual relationship that feeds the marriage, it's just mutually pleasurable, delightful for both partners.

Corey Allan: I think we need to land on that phrase right there because I see this as the goal of its mutual pleasurable, and what the target is. It's not one sided, but it is also acknowledging the hangups, the hindrances, the stumbles, the problems each side can have though. And how we, as people, are sophisticatedly capable of blaming my partner for my side of the equation, too.

Gary Thomas: Absolutely.

Corey Allan: And so, it's just trying to figure out how do we just cut through that to see it as let's call it what it is so that way we can start figuring out what we need to do better. And again, that's what I think you guys have done well.

Corey Allan: "The art of marriage is really the art of keeping up to date with your partner, of staying on track with your own and each other's life goals as they emerge, exist, and change. It's about supporting each other and staying connected emotionally, intellectually, physically, and spiritually." Marsha Berger, LMFT.

Corey Allan: A great marriage doesn't happen by accident. Deeper connection with your spouse doesn't happen by accident either. Have you reached the point in your marriage where there's a slow creep of discontent or disconnect? When was the last time you talked with your spouse about anything other than the schedule, work, or kids? What if there's a way to be reminded on a weekly basis to touch base with your spouse? The State of our Union helps you remember and discover what brought you together in the first place. It's a tool designed to help couples keep the important from being replaced by the immediate. Plus, this works from your own phone. 52 reminders, deepen your conversation, dream and plan together. Go to SMRNation.com/union. Connect on a deeper level today.

Corey Allan: To also land on the statement you just made earlier of it being a Christian's guide, you come right out of the gate with one of my favorite books in the Bible when I was a middle schooler. Because I'd always go to church and read Songs of Solomon. Because it's like, come on, I'm reading the Bible. It's good. That's what I was supposed to do when I wasn't paying attention to the preacher. But that's how you come out of the gate and I love the frankness and the boldness of you guys doing this, too.

Gary Thomas: Well, that's the thing. The Bible's very Frank in talking about body parts and in talking about sexual acts, and in celebrating it. Even just with the title, Corey, describing that book as the Song of Song. That's the true Hebrew title. Something of something is an ancient Near Eastern phraseology that elevates what's being talked about. Listeners are familiar with God being described as the King of Kings, which elevates Him as who He is. He's not just a king. He would be King of the Kings. He's different in kind.

Gary Thomas: And so, pre-Christ, as the Old Testament is describing this song unlike any other songs, it really describes who we are as humans. It's the song of a husband and wife in a sexual relationship. When we think about what it does, the spiritual analogies, what it does to our brains, what it does to our relationships, the way it makes us feel like people who are living with bodies that have nerve endings, that we can literally create human beings who share our DNA. I mean, it shouldn't surprise me. This is the song of songs. There's really no other human experience like this. And that's not me saying that. That's the title of a book in the Bible saying that.

Corey Allan: And it's such a great ... I mean, I hear all of that when I think through the whole concept of the song of all songs. It's poetry, it's romance. I mean, there's so much going on. Well, hello, that's what goes on in a marriage in a second.

Gary Thomas: And it's real. They get into a fight. Don't go. Why did you go? We get to get back together. It's so real.

Corey Allan: Because that's real life, then. That's the depth of things that I think far too often books and shows and church messages or sermons or blogs, all the different mediums we use to try to communicate things, I think we get caught up in either. Let's just call out what's been done wrong and do nothing to offer options. Or let's talk about the ideal, which then sets everybody apart to feel like, well, I can't create that and so I feel even worse than I did, versus have the courage to call out what is. It's not a judgment versus just talking about life-on-life terms, marriage-on-marriage terms and sex-on-sex terms. And that's well done.

Gary Thomas: Well, and we borrow a lot from a hero of yours, Dr. David Schnarch, who says outright, "Every marriage will have sexual problems. If you don't already, if you can't name them, wait a week." It's going to happen and so people don't freak out about it. We recognize, we just need to improve it. I like to go back to golfing because it's such a difficult game for the pros to play. Suddenly they can putt lights out one tournament, the next week they can't hit a two-foot putt. Or the drive won't stay and so they have to go back. Okay, I thought I had it down. Something's gone wrong.

Gary Thomas: Same thing happens in the bedroom. You can be so clicking. Everything can be great. And all of a sudden, "Hey, I don't feel like you're here with me." Or, "It's been nine days. What happened?" We call this a book of questions as much as answers, where couples can read through it together and they can stop and say, "Oh man, me laid as bare," or "Is this true of you?" or "I never thought about this." This might be how you feel, really trying to help couples reconnect and continue to grow their sex life. Because I agree with a lot of the Christian sex therapists that say the prime for sexual relating is 20 years in a relationship.

Corey Allan: Because that's a whole, you're finally becoming better with yourself in a lot of ways, too.

Gary Thomas: Schnarch makes a distinction between genital prime and sexual prime. Genital prime, of course, is when your body can function, and that tends to be younger as far as being limber. We like to tell younger couples, if you like those positions book, do them before you hit 45. But then, sexual prime is different because it's relational. It's spiritual. It's emotional. There are so many other things going in where you have to learn to get each other. And so, even while physically, it may not be where it could have been at one time, spiritually and relationally, it can be even so much better.

Corey Allan: Oh, absolutely. Because that's a component of moving beyond, and this is what I work with. My favorite couples that I work with are the ones that when it clicks, that this is not about what you do or don't do together with technique. This is about who you are with each other and with yourself while you're doing whatever technique you choose. Because that's a completely different framework to realize, "I'm capable of a whole lot more; and when I realize that, that will invigorate me and probably freak me out." Because there's this element of, "If I'm capable, well, what about if my partner actually really shows up?" Because Schnarch also uses this phrase, "the couple have sex up to the level of anxiety they can tolerate." If my partner really shows up, what do I do then? It's going to disrupt some things because it's not just about all of a sudden now physically they're there, no. When they're emotionally, mentally, spiritually, they're full on, that's a different presence that requires more of my presence. And that's such a great framework, I think, to look through the lens at.

Gary Thomas: There are three markers, I think, of healthy sexuality and marriage. I don't know if you want to go here.

Corey Allan: Yeah, please do.

Gary Thomas: It kind of goes with what you're saying.

Corey Allan: No, please do.

Gary Thomas: The first one you've already mentioned. I think it has to be mutually pleasurable. There are times when one might be focused on more than the other, but ultimately the relationship needs to be marked by mutual pleasure that I think it should always be focusing on both people's pleasure. But then there's the relational component. I think healthy sex builds up the relationship so the partner comes out, feeling cherished, valued, and celebrated. Not demeaned, not used, not diminished. And so, it's a relational thing. It's not just physical. The mutual pleasures what's happening physically, but it's relationally where it's supporting, cherishing, and building up the person so that the relationship benefits.

Gary Thomas: And then, for Christians, I think there's the spiritual component. It's not just whether I consent and my wife consents. Does my God consent to where it's honored by God? Hebrew says, "Let the marriage bed be kept pure so that I can actually thank God for the experience." I could be led to worship God because of the experience. He created me with a body. He created me with nerve endings. He's given me a wife. And when we get together, it's amazing and he thought it all up. And so, if those three things are happening with mutual pleasure, the relationship is served, and God is honored, we feel closer to the Lord, I think that's the very dis definition of a healthy sexual relationship.

Corey Allan: Absolutely. Well, which is then going to spill into a healthy marriage, a healthy life, because these all feed into each other. That's the complication of life, right? That it's not linear in that well, if I fix this, then that's going to fix this and it's going to fix this and it's going to fix this. Well, yes. But if I also don't do something about this, it's going to impact that, and it's going to impact that. So all of it is tied together.

Corey Allan: I Want to point out a couple of different things from the book because one of the things I like that kind of sets Make Married Sex apart is so you got Debra writing part of it, you're writing part of it, so you got the interplay between each other as it unfolds. But when you look at some of the different topics you guys have covered in this, the one that jumps out to me, well, several do, I'll be honest, but the one that jumps out right off the bat, Gary, is this idea of sacred simmering. Unpack that for people that may not be familiar. Because I hear that. Before reading it, I hear it a certain way based on a prior guest and some other books I've read, but I'm also curious where you're going with it. Because when you add the word sacred in front of it, will you change the context some?

Gary Thomas: The concept of simmering has been in sex therapy. You would know better than I would, Corey. I think about five years, it's been really talked about more and more. It's the idea that it's difficult to go from ice cold to red hot. That if you know you're going to have sex that night, you can try to leave it simmer so that you're open to foreplay. I call it fore-foreplay. If foreplay doesn't sound good, well, can I get to fore-foreplay where even the idea might be there.

Gary Thomas: And what hit me was going into the Song of Songs and this is where we put the word sacred in front of it. How the Song of Songs 3000 years ago demonstrates this. There's a passage where the wife is just talking about it to her husband in Song of Songs, chapter five. "My beloved is radiant and ready." Outstanding. And she goes, "His head is purest gold. His eyes are like doves, his cheeks like beds of spices, lips like lilies." And she goes on and on.

Gary Thomas: Then, the husband in chapter seven does it. How beautiful your sandaled feet? I don't know if there's any connection to this, Corey? The wife goes from the head to the feet. The guy starts at the feet and goes up. Maybe that's a coincidence. I haven't gotten the significance. But he literally goes up her body and just celebrates it. And she's celebrating, not just his hair and his face and his nose. When she says his body is like polished ivory decorated with lapis lazuli, when you look at where she's going as she's going down and you will look at the word body, it's basically referring to the part between the navel and the thigh. That's what polished ivory is. Why it's decorated with lapis lazuli? I have no idea. I don't even know what lapis lazuli is.

Gary Thomas: But then, he, the husband says that as well. "Your navel is around at goblet that never lacks blended wine. Your waist is a mound of wheat and circled by lilies." Then, he specifically mentions breast. They don't just mention sexual parts. They mention the whole body. I tell this could be freeing to husbands, because I think sometimes Christian men have a messed up view about lust. It's not lust to think with sexual desire about the parts of your wife's body that excite you. It's not lust for a woman to think about the parts of her husband that excite him. Now, Debra would say, as a woman and as a licensed counselor for women, often more than its body parts, it's the way he acted with the kids or the way he treats me or the way he speaks. It's not just body parts. And I'm sure for guys, that's true a lot as well.

Gary Thomas: But you have examples in scripture where they're getting ready for sex by thinking, "Oh, I love this about her and I love this about him" and "Oh, this gets me going." And so I say, guys, not only is it not just biblically allowed, it's biblically prescribed that if you want to get ready to be excited for your spouse, to do that. And so, we talk about how one wife, she had a great idea, she and her husband like to listen to music while they're making love. And so, when she's fixing the kids dinner, as she knows she's going to have sex that night wants to start to get in the mood, she'll play songs that she's literally orgasmed to. the kids think she's heating up macaroni and cheese. She's heating up something entirely different.

Corey Allan: She's heating up more than just that.

Gary Thomas: Then, there's the story of a couple, how they turned all of Friday, the wife had to turn all of Friday into the simmering experience and what she needed. For her, she needed to get as far away from mothering as possible. But the concept is life is busy and we're distracted. If you can say, "Okay, it's going to happen tonight. How do I get ready?" That's a good thing demonstrated in scripture.

Corey Allan: I love the concept because it's that idea of how do I bring this aspect of my marriage more to the surface not just the act? It's that interplay and that energy that the married relationship and bond can bring that no other relationship does. Because that's that knowing and being known, right? There's a lot of concepts that fill into this because I think, as I think back on the way you guys have gone about this, this work and this book, I think there's this element of one, we've got to talk about what is in people as far as what married life is about. Let's just be honest about it. And, is it applicable to everybody? No. Because you can't ever hit everybody with when you describe something, but it's recognizing this is a majority of what couples will face or are facing.

Corey Allan: And so I think when you can name it more cleanly, we empower people to then feel better about it, to then do something about it as they see fit, and as applicable to them, which then gets them closer to the realization of what's depicted in the Song of Songs or what's depicted in what they thought this could become. Because I've kind of, Gary, tell me if this is what you've heard as well with the couples you've interacted with helping get this together, I've come across the idea that most of the people I've got this ideal of what I think married sex will be. But once we both start showing up, it's nowhere near what I thought the ideal would be. It's much better.

Gary Thomas: Yeah. And recognizing how it changes through life. What I love about married sex for life with one partner is that it gives room for so many different dimensions. There can be fun sex. There can be athletic sex. There can be long, drawn out, very sensual sex. There can be quickie sex where you both just want to release. We had one wife say that she's raising kids all day. Sometimes she'll see the kids watching TV, turn it up loud, say, "Honey, we got 10 minutes." She goes, "I need that. I don't need to be bad." But they're all kinds of different sex that you can experience, and then it changes throughout life. One might be the higher drive at one season. One might be the lower drive.

Gary Thomas: I just turned 60. I can get busy. One time Lisa and I kept planning, even though we're empty nesters, it's going to happen tonight. And then, something would come up. Finally, Lisa just stopped me. And I love this and this is where summering was practical for me. She said, "Okay, Gary, here's the deal. We're having sex tonight at 9:30 and it's not an option. Get your mind in gear." I love that because I could. I get myself, okay, let me think about this. Let me simmer. And she's saying, "Gary, I don't want you to lay down and start watching television at eight o'clock because I know what happens. You're going to be tired at nine o'clock. Let's have it."

Gary Thomas: I think it's entirely appropriate for my wife to say that to me. I was happy to do it. We had a great time. But it's just recognizing the reality of married life that sometimes you need to simmer for the show to happen.

Corey Allan: Well, and that's the concept that is just one of those things that recognizing with marriage and how sex unfold, the importance of it is, in marriage there has to be intentionality. You don't just have most of the time the overwhelming, "Man, I just can't wait." Because you're doing so much of life together, too. And so, it's just there's elements of just trying to be intentional, trying to be proactive about it. I think that's what you guys touch on all the way through. So, as we kind of wrap up this segment, man, how can people find more about the book, more about you, all the other vast numbers of books you've written. Help people find you.

Gary Thomas: Thank you. Well, the website for the book is marriedsex.us. Marriedsex.us. Now, some people are nervous about putting that into their browser. Maybe not SMRNation. But if you go to my website, GaryThomas.com, remember my name, GaryThomas, put a dot com, the book is listed there. All of my other books. I have a blog for marriages and singles. Then, a separate blog for how do we grow in Christ. Closer To Christ, Closer to Others is the name of the two blogs. So, they could get that, and all our social media links and everything is connected there. Or if they join SMRNation, I've been known to join you all on your calls.

Corey Allan: Yes, you have.

Gary Thomas: If duty calls and it would be fun to, if we're not traveling, to see some people in there and face to face. It's been fun when people say, "Wait a minute, are you the Gary Thomas?"

Corey Allan: You're that Gary Thomas? That's awesome. Well, Gary, thanks so much for this work and the work that you've done in the past as well, and the impact that you have had for people and will continue to have, man. All the best and blessings on you, man.

Gary Thomas: Corey, I so appreciate your work just as a pastor and writer. I tell you, having a resource where I can point people to someone who will answer ... Answer isn't the right, because you know that's not your perspective. Discuss the questions. Discuss the questions that people have is such a needed resource. That's why I invited you and I'm so grateful you talked to one of my seminary classes. I just wanted them to know as they go out into their ministry about this resource to help Christian couples think more deeply, practically, and even theologically about sexual intimacy.

Corey Allan: Oh, thank you, man. Well, there's a part of life today, Pam, that I think of, particularly in the evangelical circles, but I think this is also society at large. That is becoming increasingly difficult to have conversations about the tough things without it getting off the rails.

Pam Allan: And the great message sometimes is getting lost in that argument there.

Corey Allan: And the things that can really help some people because it is that whole concept of think about it. With our faith, the only book out there that we need to really struggle with and take all in is the Bible. All the others, I can disagree with their take and I can disagree with components of their take, but yet I can still get good things out of it.

Pam Allan: Absolutely.

Corey Allan: And so, both sides need to be represented, I think, in the sense that we need to speak of about stuff that's been harmful, but we also need to speak up about the stuff that is really uncomfortable and it challenges us to be better.

Pam Allan: Well, I think that's the key and each of us has to look at our own lives and what lands for us.

Corey Allan: Right. Because in some regards the books that we choose ... because I read a lot and I listen to a lot.

Pam Allan: Yes you do.

Corey Allan: The books I choose intentionally lately have been the ones that are, I'm trying to find those ones that really will challenge me because I have found I get on this kick at times where I'm just coasting and what I'm learning or I'm just kind of yes, men, yes, women, myself.

Pam Allan: If I'm always reading something that it is always a hundred percent in line with what I do well, then I'm not thinking outside the box and really challenging myself.

Corey Allan: Well, this is one of the things that came up in a mastermind group not too long ago, was this idea of, I was just coasting. One of the guys said, I think I'm just kind of coasting. And it just occurred to me. You know what, the only way we stop coasting is when we hit the bottom of the hill.

Pam Allan: Good point.

Corey Allan: So we don't stop until we go all the way down.

Pam Allan: ALl the way down.

Corey Allan: I don't want to stay there. So sometimes I got to learn what does it take to get back engaged and involved and challenged myself. Sometimes it's, I challenge myself with what I choose to spend my time listening to, reading, encouraging. Even how I may not agree with it. How could I expand myself from it a little bit? If nothing else, I solidify what I do agree with. Well, this has been Sexy Marriage Radio. We thank you so much for taking some time out of the day to spend it with us. If we left something undone or, or you want to add your voice to this conversation, (214) 7029-565, or feedback@sexymarriageradio.com. We'll see you next time.