On the Regular version of today’s show …
It’s Feedback Wednesday so we answer listener’s emails and voicemails.
A husband shares his thoughts to the guy who was thinking of giving up ex in the hopes of a relationship reboot.
A husband enjoyed prostate stimulation before becoming a Christian, now thinks it may be shameful. And after bringing it up to his wife, she wants nothing to do with it.
A wife can orgasm during foreplay but once intercourse begins, what can she do?
On the Xtended version …
A husband and wife had a therapist suggest they should schedule sex, which she immediately set up several appointments with her husband. He kept only one of the appointments.
To top it off, she largely has to do most of the work for her enjoyment during the times they have sex together. Is he abusive or neglectful?
Enjoy the show!
Connection Cards: Our friends at The Adventure Challenge have a new resource! Get 20% off when you use our code SMR20 at https://www.theadventurechallenge.com
Announcer: You are listening to the regular version of Sexy Marriage Radio, smrnation.com.
Corey Allan: Well, welcome to Feedback Wednesday. It's been a while since we ...
Pam Allan: It has, I'm looking forward to it.
Corey Allan: ... since we've done a feedback show. I'm your host, Dr. Corey Allan, and I'm here with the voice of the lower desire all, and the voice of every woman on the planet, my wife, Pam.
Pam Allan: That makes it sound like every woman's a low desire, and they're not. Just pointing that out because that's not what we're saying here.
Corey Allan: No, that is not what we're saying, but you do have quite a bit on your shoulders, and being able to speak for the ladies.
Pam Allan: I'm here for the ladies.
Corey Allan: Because on Sexy Marriage Radio, our mission is to explore topics that every relationship faces. And then we want to offer a framework and practical advice you can use to build a deeper understanding of how your relationship works and how you can then create a life that is passionately married. If you're new to the show, on feedback Wednesdays, we give direct answers to listeners' questions and feedback from the nation on things that we maybe have missed from prior episodes, or people want to jump in and send messages on prior episodes that they think help frame the conversation as well. That's what we've got going on today. In case you're also new to the show or you haven't been around in a while, there's been quite a bit going on. And just a few highlights, we've had Dr. Jay Stringer on, Sexual Shame and Brokenness, Dr. Kelly Casperson on Perimenopause, two great topics that need to be discussed, the importance of touch from Dr. Shalom Levitt, Gary Thomas, friend of the show was back on with Make Marriage Fortress with his new book, and then Dr. Sean McDowell was just on last week, on Love and the Purity Culture.
And then we've got a few in there sprinkled from us, one being episode 591, The Principles of Passion and Desire, which gives you an overview of everything we talk about here at the show, the main principles we believe in. If you're new, definitely check that out. And then by the way, I got to make a quick plug of the blog. There's been a little bit of this Taking our Shape series I've been writing on and posting. And so there's some articles out there called Me versus We, Keeping Your Cool, and Focusing on the How, which is worth checking out. There's a lot going on smrnation.com, and if you've got something that you want us to answer or deal with, give us a call, 214-702-9565, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rounding out a conversation, we had an email from a guy that was wanting to give some feedback from a prior show where there was a concept of a guy that was thinking about giving up sex altogether, in the hopes of a reboot and a reset for the relationship. And so this is just his story, I'm just going to read his story that he's wanting to share. I would caution the guy who is contemplating a break from sex in the hopes of a relational reset. I think the problem is that they both have a goal orientation that's intruded into their bedroom. His ego seems to need to be validated, that he's a good lover who can please his wife sexually. She can sense that need and it triggers the performance based goal oriented way she was raised, can be an instant turnoff. He seems desperate to get it right and will stop at nothing, even giving up sex in order to achieve what his ego is demanding, which is to see himself as a good lover.
I can totally relate to this guy and I used to be him, and it damaged our sex life for a long season in our 30 year marriage. What's missing in the equation is his needs and desires. I see him falling into the nice guy syndrome where he's willing to deny and delay his own needs in the hope that he will get the outcome he wants, which is a wife who's eager to jump into bed with him because he's doing everything right and giving her so much pleasure. If he takes sex off the table, he needs to do so for himself. He needs to use the time to get in touch with his own sexual self, and why he probably married his wife in the first place. Hopefully, he married her because he desires her sexually. And if he can find that part of himself again and figure out a way for her to feel that raw desire for her with no strings attached or need to have to perform a role so he can feel good about himself, it may likely spark a desire for her as well. I bet she wants to feel desired, rather than having to be a partner performing in a play in which everything goes the way he needs it to.
And then he goes on to talk about, "By the way, I love the podcast. I'm glad found it recently, it's must Listen because it's the only one I have found with sex that has a spiritual bent."
Thanks so much, John. And I think he's on track, because how easily is it that we can pick up the map and the route our partner has attached to something where they may not even be aware of it but you're reading it.
Pam Allan: Yeah. And if he walked those shoes ... That certainly sounds like it's his journey anyway. And that's great feedback for those out there that may not have seen it that way for themselves.
Corey Allan: But I think it's also worth adding in, the way this also can play out is any of the inaudible as a couple, you're having sex and you're reading that your partner's not really into it, but they don't realize they're not really into it until it's brought to their attention because it's just the role they're playing. We've done this.
Pam Allan: You don't think they realize that?
Corey Allan: Well, I think some of it ... Because what sex requires of us is in marriage we can't hide who we are. And so there's this element of, "I don't want you just to do this for me."
There's a deeper level going on underneath it. Just like what he's picking up on is he's doing it just for her. And so it's almost like they're both playing this role of it's for each other rather for themselves. And we can get caught up in these scenarios. Same thing can happen when you're going on some excursion together and one of you is just doing it for the benefit of the other, and it's red, even though you're trying to put on this good face, but they can tell you're not having fun with it. That's the sophistication of what goes on in married life, and it reeks havoc in all kinds of ways. And I think that's what he was picking up on, is realizing, "Yeah, what are you doing for you too?"
It's not just, "Man, I'm a really good lover."
It's also, "I really enjoy the pleasure."
That's what we'll be talking about too, some of the other messages that come in today. But I love the dialogue because I think it helps set the stage of there's something deeper going on. And a lot of times, we maybe know we're playing a part but we don't know the depth of how it's impacting. And when that's brought out, that's what has the potential to create something a whole lot deeper and more meaningful for both people. Husband writes in, says, "My wife and I have been married for nine years and have gone from bad to better consistently over the span of our marriage. Sex has been the area which we both have been reluctant to tackle. We both have a history of sexual trauma. I had struggled with porn and masturbation before marriage but I surrendered it to the Lord once finding faith and a little before marriage. After eight years of a very inconsistent sex life, which sometimes was once a month, one of the things that I used to enjoy before marriage very much was prostate stimulation. After conversion to Christ, I took this activity to be sinful, some because of assumptions and some because of lack of discussion about anything sexual in my church. It also made me think that I may be gay, and that mars the activity with shame and fear."
"Anyway, after the podcast, I shared with my wife the strong desire to have this activity incorporated into our sex life. When I presented to her first, I spoke from a context of struggling with the desire for an activity from my past. And my wife's reaction was kind and compassionate. But when I spoke from a place of desire to have it, she got scared and a little aggressive. We've since gone to some therapy and I found some links to my past and the desire to have this activity. And I did some work to get to healing but this is still something I want and desire. But my wife's initial response has been, and she's promised to not change this, that she's basically taken the stance of it's never going to happen. I've tried to push it to be a solo thing but since she's not really agreed but tolerated it, I feel guilty and ashamed to engage in it. I feel trapped between what I desire and what could hurt my wife if I violate her no, and being able to have a great sex life. Any thoughts?"
This is that element of when we face some of the aspects of our sexuality or our acts that are deemed societally speaking, as taboo. And some of that message oftentimes comes from it not being spoken about. And therefore, we then equate it to a negative thing, a sinful thing, a bad thing.
Pam Allan: And now he's spoken about it.
Corey Allan: Well, I'm speaking to the message of this is ... Because what I'm picking up on is what is it that's shameful about this? Because he used to think it was okay and he really enjoyed it. And now all of a sudden, he becomes a believer and that's a negative.
Pam Allan: Correlations that he's putting toward it, he's correlated it with other things.
Corey Allan: What is it that makes some sexual acts a sinful thing when it's not specifically said in scripture, prostate play is sinful, there is not a thou shalt in scripture of that. It comes into what's the specific message that fuels this still for him? Because this is what he's caught with. He's caught with two different things. One is the shamefulness of it that he's attached to it, because it does provide pleasure. And that's a scientific biological thing too, prostate stimulation is a pleasurable thing by our biology. But there's also an element of ... The secondary question is his wife's not on board, has some of the same reaction to it it sounds like and same labeling to it sounds like. Therefore, how does he not seek something he's interested in that could violate her? That's two separate things. Let's do the latter and then we'll come back to the former.
Pam Allan: Okay. Okay, roll with it.
Corey Allan: We're talking about the impact of what do you do when your partner's ... She's not agreed to it but she tolerates it, okay. What explicitly is meant in the tolerating? That's because it's one of those, "I don't want to know about it but if you want to do it, go ahead."
Because a lot of times we take things as vague statements and we then attach something deeper when it's not a real clear agreement yet.
Pam Allan: He needs to get a clear agreement,
Corey Allan: Clarify, "What is it that we're talking about here? That you're fine with it, you don't want it to be done near you, you don't want to know about it, you don't want to be involved. What's the lineations of the line here?"
Because we can jump to conclusions, based on a pretty accurate map, but sometimes we want our partner to actually clarify it too because it gives a better stance to know. Because when you can have that distinguished, then now you know, "Wait, am I really violating her and what she believes, and it is harmful to her because of something I choose to do with my own body in my own time?"
Because if that's the case, that's a different issue. If it's one that she's like, "No, I'm okay. I just don't want to participate."
Now, it's his issue he has to deal with of the guilt he has associated with it of he's no longer a good husband if he does something his wife just tolerates or is a little put off by, that then feeds into this whole sexual shame, "What's a good husband? What's a good lover?"
... script he has going on.
Then we come back to the former, which is the sexual shame, and it's marred on how ... Because she even made the comment, "It made me feel like there might be some gay act going on in this."
... which that's not. It's jumping to a conclusion, it's a reacting to something where you can label something that's silent or unknown as a real big negative taboo, rather than look at it for face value. Because when you're talking about prostate play, there's two different kinds, you have external and internal. External is just the area between the scrotum and the anus, the prostate is located right there. Sometimes it's referred to as the million dollar button, that if there's stimulation there, particularly when engaged in arousal activities, it's very pleasurable. But you can also access the prostate through the anus, which is the same thing men have happen when they go get prostate exams, it's just checking to make sure the enlargement and making sure everything's healthy. But there's stimulation that can be done through the anus. There's two different ways you can access and have prostate play, some find more pleasurable one way versus another, from the experience and conversations I've had with people over the years. But it's realizing maybe she's okay with one aspect but not the other because you've blanketed all of it as a negative, shameful thing.
Pam Allan: It sounds like deeper conversations with her and with him with himself. What's the meaning he's sticking to all this? Why is he labeling certain aspects as maybe homosexual or other things? It sounds like he's gone through some of the journey to figure those things out but nail his meanings behind it, "Why am I thinking this? Why does it make it feel shameful for me?"
And go from there. What's the next best step?
Corey Allan: And then the ultimate level is to get to where you see yourself as somebody that's able to say, "These are things I really like."
... without the judgment, without the guilt, without the shame attached to it. Not in hopes that your partner will come on board but in hopes that you are more exposed. Because a lot of times, even the way he framed it at the very beginning, "I brought it up with her under the auspices of this is what I used to struggle with."
And that immediately frames it as a negative, rather than, "One of the things I found that I really enjoyed was prostate play. It was very, very pleasurable, honey. It was very cool to do and would love to experience that with you."
That's a different way than saying, "I'm really interested in checking it out again."
Because we can so softball things, and tentatively deal with things that immediately set up the answer.
Pam Allan: Yeah. If we call something a struggle from the past, well that sounds like it's something that's not good. Yeah.
Corey Allan: And so dealing with yourself and the messages you've attached to this, what specifically is still there, not blanketed but specifically. And then dig deeper and deal with you in this avenue and then bring that to her, and then you figure out if she's still not on board, perfect. You figure out what you do that's still in line with who you want to be. This episode's brought to you by the Adventure Challenge Connection Cards, the new product that our friends at the Adventure Challenge have coming out. Pam, tell me if this sounds familiar, and we could probably just play this little game real quick. How was your day?
Pam Allan: Amazing.
Corey Allan: "Well, good. That's great to hear. My day was great too. You want to go ahead and order dinner?"
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Speaker 3: Hello, I was hoping you could address this on one of your shows. I'm able to orgasm during foreplay pretty consistently but I've never been able to orgasm during sex, not even through clitoral stimulation. It's almost like as soon as sex starts, my clitoris is overstimulated. And it really affects the pleasure I guess, between me and my partner because I have to orgasm every time before sex and then we have sex and he can orgasm. But it takes away from some of that mutual pleasure partnership feeling. That's my question. If you could help, that'd be great. Thanks.
Corey Allan: Again, this seems like we're dealing with scripts again, of one way is more nirvana ish than another. And I'm not disputing that one might be more nirvana ish for other people than another, I don't want to make this as a judgment call, but it's more just a question that needs to be asked I think, of what is it that makes it to where it could be orgasm during intercourse has a higher standard attached to it than achieving orgasm just during foreplay. Because in some regards, orgasms are orgasms, biologically speaking, there's a lot of similarity, doesn't matter the timing.
Pam Allan: I'm with you, I'm with you.
Corey Allan: Okay. First question that comes to my mind, is what makes that orgasm a bigger deal? And to who is it a bigger deal?
Pam Allan: To her, it's a bigger deal. Is there a way to adjust that or should I ... Is it more important to look at what meaning I put behind it or are there avenues that you can try and achieve that?
Corey Allan: Well, yes there are but before we get into that ... Let's make sure we mark that to come back to it, Pam. Because again, you're speaking for all women everywhere here. And it is interesting because what I hear in this is an element of he might have a big attachment to, "I want the mutual pleasure of this happening for you during with me."
Pam Allan: Oh, I don't hear it coming from him, I hear it coming from her.
Corey Allan: That's the two different genders.
Pam Allan: It sounds inaudible ish, I want to come together. Because that's a pretty exciting thing to think about, that we're both climaxing together. And we've talked about this a lot in past shows. That doesn't happen very often, it's very common.
Corey Allan: Well, it sets up a scenario of disappointment if that's a goal all the time or regularly even, because you're talking about a lot of variables at play that you need to work through. And then you're at the expense of the connection throughout too, because it's goal oriented then. Okay, so let's go back to what you were asking. Is there things you can do? A couple questions would be, and if she was in my office and they were in my office, I would want to know, "Okay, when you're talking about you can achieve orgasm during foreplay, how? Is it through clitoral stimulation? Is it just through stimulation of areas of your vulva? Is it internal clitoral play or external clitoral play?"
There's a lot of different things that need to be uncovered and discovered about what's the most reliable routes. Is it just manual, digital, oral with a toy? There's a lot of different things to understand.
Pam Allan: Okay, I feel silly here because this is my body, but what is internal clitoral stimulation? Because I think of it as all external. Internal clitoral, I'm thinking, "Well, vaginal."
But explain to me internal clitoral.
Corey Allan: Okay. Thank you for pointing that out, because I'm sure you're not alone in this.
Pam Allan: I hope not.
Corey Allan: You will not be, because most of what we think about when it comes to the clitoris is just the tip of it, it's the part that's covered by the clitoral hood. It's at the top of the vulva. If you're looking at it straight on, it's right at the top of the vulva opening above the inter-labia lips, okay. That's just the tip. And what they've discovered now finally, after researching ... This is one of the last endeavors that it's finally being explored but still not enough in medical terms, is the clitoris extends back up into a woman's body, and then it actually has legs that wrap around the vaginal canal.
Pam Allan: Got you.
Corey Allan: And so this is where internal clitoral play is also thought of as the G spot, as the feelings you can have inside the walls of the vagina. And so the most reliable way for many women is external clitoral stimulation, is the most reliable way for achieving orgasms. It is also possible though, like she's describing, that it can be overstimulating. And so one of my questions would also be, you can achieve it beforehand, well, how much stimulation is happening beforehand, before you transition?
Pam Allan: Well, that's my thought. How long is foreplay going? Do you transition sooner?
Corey Allan: And so some of that shifts but it also can still be ... I'm curious, and this is where I would need the feedback to know, for some women very light gentle touch is actually enough stimulation. Well, intercourse sometimes is not light, gentle touch. It's a little more pressure. And so the hood might come back down over the external clitoris, and that's protective then. And now all of sudden, it starts shutting stuff down. It's recognizing, what are the nuances of how this goes down between you? And then is this something that's after your initial orgasm and you're trying to achieve it again? Is it something you can stimulate towards and then you hope to try to get it together? And so this just usually requires a lot more conversation about, "Look, if we want to have this agreed upon goal, we have to change up the route we're trying to go with it."
And maybe change up the stimulation that you have with him because he could be in a position with intercourse to where his body can access when he thrusts the external clitoris, it also can be in a position though where the tip of his penis can access the inner part of the clitoris in the way he inserts. Plus, you can be involved with your own hands, his hands, toys. A lot of it is just exploration and expedition where the point doesn't become, "All right, how do we achieve this goal?"
The point is, "How do we educate ourselves about ourselves and each other?"
... to then eventually master some things and see what comes of it. Because there are people I've worked with that once she was aroused, she could not be touched at all. It was way too sensitive.
Pam Allan: Way too sensitive, yeah.
Corey Allan: And so they had to come up with ... And this was their own, they put a towel over the top of her vagina and vulva to cover and protect the clitoris, that buffered it enough that it was pleasurable. Because they just need a little bit of that protection.
Pam Allan: But they're just paying attention to her body and what her body's saying.
Corey Allan: And they let go of the script of, "Well, it's supposed to work this way."
And rather went down the route of, "Okay, this is the way I work. Okay, now how do I start dealing with this? And maybe I can achieve this goal but also recognize, not at the expense of I'm still having something pleasurable."
Pam Allan: Yeah, that's a great example.
Corey Allan: "I'm still dealing with something good and fun. Maybe I also need to let go of some of the attachment I have to one way is the best way, and see it as there's lots of ways that are still enjoyable and they get us down the journey together."
Oh, the scripts we can play in marriage and in our sex lives. And a little behind the scenes, to those that listen to the show and may pick up on it regularly, the script that goes on when Pam and I record in the mornings is our dog finds every toy in the world all of a sudden, rather than just sleeping. And she comes out and she's chewing on my feet at this current moment.
Pam Allan: The house shoe is the toy.
Corey Allan: ... to try to entertain herself.
Pam Allan: We hide all the toys because they're loud.
Corey Allan: She's basically saying, "Oh, so you're going to not play with me, then I will make my own play."
Like we've been talking about today, she's just following along. Well, transcripts are available on each of the show's notes on the episodes pages. All our advertisers deals and discount codes are also available on each of the episodes pages at smrnation.com. Please, as always, consider supporting those who support the show. Greatest compliment you give us, to share the show with those that you care about. And I'm assuming today Pam, that some of the different topics we've talked about and the scripts they're in will reside into a lot of people's lives.
Pam Allan: A lot of people, yeah.
Corey Allan: Because I think we all do these things. Remember, we improve those around us when we improve ourselves. That's been the theme today. Take on yourself first by applying what you hear each week. Thanks for listening, and we'll see you next time.
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