On the Regular version of today’s show …
A voicemail from a wife who doesn’t want to swallow, even when her husband is using the line “If you love me you’d be willing to do this.”
An email from a husband who found our new App Intimately Us (https://intimately.us) and his wife refuses to engage with the App along with him.
On the Xtended version …
Negotiating sex in marriage – choreplay vs foreplay – and who are we at our core? We go deep this time in the XTD content.
Enjoy the show!
Intimately Us: The fun and flirty app for married couples that want to spice up their sex life and deepen their intimate connection. Find it in any App Store or at https://intimately.us/
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: Well, let's get right to it. Welcome to Sexy Marriage Radio.
Pam Allan: Yeah, I'm ready to get to it.
Corey Allan: We got a lot of ground to cover. You're ready to get to it?
Pam Allan: Yeah.
Corey Allan: Well, this has been Sexy Marriage Radio. Thanks for taking some time.
Pam Allan: We'll see you guys later.
Corey Allan: But, seriously to the SMR Nation, we are so grateful that each and every week, they spend some time with us going through what goes on in married life, how to make the most of it, the different stumbling blocks, and gridlocks, and issues that we have. And we've got some doozies today.
Pam Allan: Okay.
Corey Allan: So it should be a fun conversation that we get to have alongside my wife, Pam, as always.
Pam Allan: Glad to be here.
Corey Allan: Each and every week, where we're trying to just have straightforward conversations. And what we need from the SMR Nation is your questions, your thoughts, your topics. And you can call us at (214) 702-9565 or you can email us at email@example.com because the inbox pings away each and every day and we love it because great conversations are taking place that could really help people.
Pam Allan: That's cool.
Corey Allan: Because one of the truth that has happened in the eight and a half years that we've had is if somebody's struggling with something and they're willing to say, hey, here's my issue, you know other people are too.
Pam Allan: Yeah. Time after time, it's, "Ah, thank God somebody asked that question," because that was my struggle too.
Corey Allan: You're not alone. And if you like what we got going on, jump on iTunes, rate and review the show, leave a comment, or on Spotify, Google Play, however you listen to us, we're so glad and thankful that you do. So coming up on today's regular free version of Sexy Marriage Radio is a couple of your questions and our answers. And again, these are going to really be around the topic of gridlock. Because we've got some real specifics that are at play when you're talking about interests, and desires, and wants from one spouse versus another.
Pam Allan: A pretty common issue, right?
Corey Allan: And then coming up in the extended version of sexy immerse radio, which is deeper, longer, and there are no ads, you can subscribe at smrnation.com, we're going to do a deep dive into, I guess, the easiest way to describe this, Pam, is chore play versus foreplay.
Pam Allan: Okay. Yeah. You've had some episodes on that in the past, haven't you, with Shannon?
Corey Allan: Yeah. It's been discussed.
Pam Allan: It's been a while though.
Corey Allan: We're going to go a slightly different way because one of the things that keeps coming up in married sex is this dynamic when the higher desire is the husband, chore play just doesn't work.
Pam Allan: Sure.
Corey Allan: Because this is of the things I just had a client, not too long ago, the topic came up and she said, "Yeah, we've heard about chore play and all that kind of stuff." And I'm like, "Okay, so let me ask you a question there." Because he actually is the one that mentioned it. And I looked at her and I said, "Let me ask you a question. So if you come into your kitchen and you see your husband washing the dishes, does that mean you immediately get engorged and all lubricated?"
Pam Allan: And how did she respond?
Corey Allan: No. Exactly. So there is an element of foreplay for foreplay, which we've done a show on and that could maybe fit in that component, but that's as far as it goes. And if you want more, join us in the extended. All that's coming up on today's show.
Speaker 4: Thank you guys for your show. I really enjoyed listening and I've learned so much over the years. I've been married for 12 and a half years. We have two young kids. My husband is definitely the higher desire in our relationship. And over the years, he's shared with me a lot of his desires and fantasies and asked me to do different things. And many of those things I have been able to do and even had fun doing, however, there remains a small handful of things that I just really struggle with, or that are difficult for me to do. For instance, swallowing. That is something I've just always struggled with. It's something that has to do with textures and tastes. And this was brought up for my husband and I the idea that... Well, that he has said if I love him and if I know that those things would make him really happy, why do I struggle with doing them? That if I really loved him, I would actually love doing those things for him.
And I've tried to explain to him that it has nothing to do with loving him, that it has to do with tastes and textures but he just doesn't seem to understand. And I feel that if he really loves me, why would he ask me to do things that I'm not comfortable with? So recently, we had an argument and he brought up an ex-girlfriend who would do things for him sexually without him having to ask and just to please him. And he admitted later that that's wrong to bring that up, but it really hit a chord in me, that old argument, that old fear, I guess you could say, this issue if I really loved him, why I'm not doing things that I'm not comfortable doing.
And I don't really know what to do with that. It leaves me feeling that no matter how far I've come sexually and how hard I try and how much I've learned and even how much I am doing, it's not enough and that I can never fully satisfy him. But it also makes me feel that it's all on me, which makes me feel overwhelmed and sometimes even a little depressed. So I would really love your guys's opinion on this and what to do with it. It seems to be one of those issues that we just come across over the years and neither of us knows what to do about it. And it truly brings up a fear in me and an insecurity that I cannot satisfy my husband unless I'm willing to become the porn star I feel he wants me to be. So I'd love to hear what you have to say on this. And thank you so much for all you guys do. Bye.
Corey Allan: I got to get in before my wife, Pam, because if we were on video, the facial expressions from my wife during this voicemail, I think she's probably capturing a lot of women in the SMR Nation that are in the same kind of scenario, where they are lower desire, they're pressured to do things that maybe they're willing to try some, maybe they're not even willing to try, but it brings up these feelings of inadequacy and these feelings of ...
Pam Allan: Yeah. I'm trying to stay unbiased here and on the side, but ...
Corey Allan: Well, I'll be honest too, because there is an element of this that ... There are times when couples do these different things like this, where it's almost like I'm trying to take a moral high ground and I really don't have a high ground, but I'm using that as leverage crosstalk
Pam Allan: Who are you saying is taking the high ground here, her or him?
Corey Allan: I'm not going to go on either side at this point.
Pam Allan: Okay. Because I don't see that as-
Corey Allan: But usually, we feel justified in what we want and therefore we're willing to manipulate and cajole and demean even to try to get what we what.
Pam Allan: Oh, that goes to the if you love me, you'll do this.
Corey Allan: Exactly. And that's the kind of stuff that really starts to tick me off because that's the tyranny of the lowest common denominator stuff.
Pam Allan: Right.
Corey Allan: Right. And so to get that out of the way right out of the gate is I think we got to level set this. Because they both are playing the card of but if you love me, you would do this. And she's playing the card of, if you love me, you would respect my desire to not do it.
Pam Allan: Right.
Corey Allan: Hence gridlock.
Pam Allan: In essence, that argument doesn't work.
Corey Allan: Correct.
Pam Allan: Loving one another isn't ... That's not what this is about.
Corey Allan: Right.
Pam Allan: This is, I have a desire for a sexual act that my spouse doesn't want.
Corey Allan: Right.
Pam Allan: And that's all it is. It's not, I do, or don't love you because I will or won't perform it. So that-
Corey Allan: Right. If anything, I hear from her, her willingness to stretch and grow and try. Because there is an element, we've heard this from some of the couples in the academy that have said they both have tried to take the stance of we'll try anything once and then just see. Because if you get into and you like ... No, no. That's just, I can't, it, it didn't do it for me. And so then at least I was willing to get out of my comfort zone in lane and test it. That's in love.
And once you start to get these roadblocks or these different issues like she's talking about, it's the taste, it's the texture, and some of those components, she just can't get over that and can't get beyond that, then it becomes a respect thing to me. This is not love. This is respect. And so to me, you shift this argument into the world of am I self-respecting in how I am handling my side of it.
Pam Allan: Right.
Corey Allan: Right. Because when I come at it with the, yeah, but if you would do this ... Because that pressure is just there. That's the one truism of gridlock, is that pressure. You cannot avoid it. So a respectful move is to lean into it and be able to say, "You know what, honey? I realize this is a desire and an interest of yours. No, I'm not going to get there."
Pam Allan: Yeah. I guess that's it. There's always more to the story than what plays in here.
Corey Allan: There is.
Pam Allan: There's little things that I heard in her wording and some of the things that she talked about that make me think there's a bigger issue there. Right? Obviously, him bringing up the girlfriend topic, that's a-
Corey Allan: Bad move.
Pam Allan: That's a really bad move. But it sounds like he knows it. But then again ...
Corey Allan: Yeah. The things that we say in the heat of stuff does cause a lot of collateral damage.
Pam Allan: Really?
Corey Allan: And usually, they're just-
Pam Allan: You still know what you're saying.
Corey Allan: They're just intended to hurt.
Pam Allan: But, it's a fear tactic, right? And so when it's out there that brings fear in a spouse.
Corey Allan: Yes.
Pam Allan: And that doesn't go away either. I mean, she hears it. She knows it. And here's the other thing that I tie it into though.
Corey Allan: Go.
Pam Allan: One of the last things she said was referencing making me feel like a porn star. Okay. So if I'm bringing up comments about my old girlfriend, she's making reference to feeling like a porn star.
Corey Allan: Or being pressured to feel like one.
Pam Allan: Being pressured to feel like one.
Corey Allan: To perform like one, yes.
Pam Allan: There's more of a dynamic going on there.
Corey Allan: There's probably some other stories built into that matters, you're right.
Pam Allan: For her individually in her own self-image.
Corey Allan: So then let's pivot this conversation to the subject of validation.
Pam Allan: Okay.
Corey Allan: Because he has this pressure to want to be drank in. That's a good way to kind of think of this, of it's a loving thing, why would you not want all of me? Okay. We've talked about that in the past. I remember shows where that phraseology has been termed specifically when we're talking about the subject of swallowing because there's a deeper meaning sometimes built into that. But what you have to yourself, and I don't know if he's a listener or not, but what he has to ask himself is, what is the validation I get from somebody willing to do that for me versus can I still see myself in the same sexual prowess, novelty, eroticism, power, whatever that it's not diminished if that's not done? Because that's a self-validating stance. It's the preference of this is what I would love, but if she's not, then I can fall back on respect of you know what, I care about my wife more than that.
Pam Allan: So that's interesting that you say that. I guess I think of sexual acts like that, like swallowing, I guess I don't really think of that in a validation state of mind. To me, it's more of this is something kind of erotic that would be fun to do.
Corey Allan: Well, okay. So let's go global then with the whole concept just to set the framework since you're not going where I'm thinking at this point because there's probably other people in the SMR Nation that aren't either. We have to be willing to ask ourselves the different acts and things I want to do, what's the validation I have tied to it?
Pam Allan: Is it always about validation or is it just about I think this would be fun?
Corey Allan: It could be just that point. But those are typically in more of the self-validating side of things where it's just, I want to do it for the pleasure, for the experience, for the fun of it, the novelty of it. But if I'm digging my heels on something that's not being done, there's usually something deeper tied to it.
Pam Allan: Gotcha. And saying, "If you love me, you'll do this because I want to do it."
Corey Allan: Yes. Because then it's, I'm trying to manipulate my way through this gridlock.
Pam Allan: Okay.
Corey Allan: She has the same kind of validation thing that she's talking about of, I feel like if I don't do these things, I am less than. I am not all I was. I couldn't satisfy my husband. Which first off, ma'am, I don't think another human being is designed to satisfy fully another human being.
Pam Allan: Yeah, we truly have to find that from within and with our God.
Corey Allan: Right. That's something that he has to come to grips with. What you guys experienced as the bubbling over of both of you and your solidness and your stances. That's where you do get into the playful, fun, pleasure without the strings attached without as much pressure. But her needing to confront, am I still a confident, powerful, sexual being, even with the pressure my husband has for me to do things and my willingness to not do those, does that diminish my power and who I am? No. And that comes down to self-talk, how I view me, how I validate me, and what I then present because that's a more power move, right?
Pam Allan: Yeah. I'm thinking on it. Sorry. My silence is just processing here.
Corey Allan: No, that's fine.
Pam Allan: I guess it's hard to feel like you've got ... Well, interesting, it is power. She said, "I'm overwhelmed," because it feels like it's totally on her." Which in essence, means she has the power. I don't think she wants that power though. She doesn't want that weight on her shoulders.
Corey Allan: Right. But then how do you start to see this through the lens of this is not about the acts I will or I won't do with my husband. This is about what I am in what I do with my husband. This is me and who I present as me, as all of me. It's like I can perform these acts or you get a chance to have sex with a full-grown, fully functioning, powerful wife. And maybe that's even deeper that knocks his socks off.
Pam Allan: Maybe so.
Corey Allan: And then it becomes it's not about what we do or don't do. It's about who we are. Because that's where I think married sex gets to be really, really great, is this not about the genitalia, it's about who the genitalias are attached to.
Pam Allan: Right.
Corey Allan: And that's what I think is being pressured here on both sides of this equation. So how do you get rid of the act in a sense of that's not what we're fighting about? How do I see this as a chance for my own self-development to come forward and be able to look my husband square in the eye and say, "Honey, we've talked about this. I'm not going to do it. And if you feel like that's unsatisfactory to you, okay, I'm willing to take that risk, and let's see what you do." Because that's the bolder way to confront it of I'm not trying to control somebody else, which they both are trying to do.
Pam Allan: Okay.
Corey Allan: Right. It's a manipulative. I'm trying to make my own space. I'm trying to get what I want. That's a control move.
Pam Allan: Yeah. I guess I wouldn't call it manipulative. They seem to both be laying it out on the table. Is there manipulating going on when you both say-
Corey Allan: Well, there's attempts at it. They're definitely attempting it.
Pam Allan: I guess maybe that's the girlfriend comment, right?
Corey Allan: Sure.
Pam Allan: That's a manipulation right there.
Corey Allan: That's the reaction. So instead, it's just how do you see this as this is self-development opportunities for me to step into this dynamic better and realize, "Okay, I need to stop the litmus test of can I ever satisfy my husband," and instead change it to, "If he's not satisfied with me, that's kind of on him, not just me." And that's a different power dynamic.
Pam Allan: Yeah. It's a totally different perspective.
Corey Allan: Let us know how it goes too.
Pam Allan: Or if there's more information to flesh out.
Corey Allan: Yeah. Because this is a deeper one, obviously. Because there are some other things in there it sounds like. But, let us know, 214-702-9565.
So along the same lines of the gridlock idea, Pam, there's an email that just came in from a husband saying, "I just recently started listening to the podcast and it's been a blessing. The honesty, transparency, and depth of the way you approach the topic of sex as a breath of fresh air. So, thank you. So recently, I listened to the podcast and it introduced Intimately Us." The app that we just launched, which you would want to go to intimately.us if you're new to the SMR Nation. I'm adding a little plug here for a second in the midst of this email.
"Well, this app excited me to engage my wife around the topic of sex. I've always been the very high desire spouse and she's the low desire. Also, I've always been the one to initiate any conversation about anything sexual. Most of the time, conversations die quickly and she just ends up asking, 'Why do we have to talk about sex?"
I know that they are not alone in that kind of exchange.
Pam Allan: No, they're not.
Corey Allan: Then it goes on. "So as I brought up the Intimately Us app and the heart of it reaching both high and low desire spouses, she looked at it and within two minutes made the statement that she's not that type of person. As we talked further, she asked me, 'Why can't just having sex simply be good enough for you?' This was really disappointing because our sex life is driven by her, one to two times a month, same two or three basic positions, et cetera. As I attempt to lovingly engage her around this, there is a wall after wall. It is discouraging. It makes me want to just set aside this area of our life. But I know God wants it to be a blessing to us, but it just is not. I know I cannot be responsible for her heart towards this area, nor can I be the one to change her heart. How would you encourage a husband to love his wife well in the midst of seemingly diametrically opposed sexual drives and interests? Thanks for your wisdom."
Because we did not figure out an app with Intimately Us that does solve that problem.
Pam Allan: Right.
Corey Allan: If we did, hello, island home, an island that we could own. Because this is one of those big issues every couple faces on varying topics and degrees.
Pam Allan: Right.
Corey Allan: Okay.
Pam Allan: You're right.
Corey Allan: So let me ask you this, Pam, to start this conversation. As the lower desire wife and speaking for all lower desire women out there ...
Pam Allan: The pressure, the pressure. Yes.
Corey Allan: What are some ways, because this is one of those things, it's already known you're married to somebody. This is obviously coming up against her self-view, her identity if you will, of what kind of person and sexuality and sexual being she is. So is there something in the manner in which the approach can be done that would help? Because we've been down this road over our years.
Pam Allan: Yeah, yeah. And the approach makes some difference but the biggest shift came when I had the eureka of the intimacy level that you wanted with me was not about sex. And I think that that came from just a few years of us just living a better life and kind of standing on our own two feet. I didn't feel like I needed you to support me for all these things. I started looking at what's my role in things. I started doing some self-examination and realized, and I've said this before, I realized at one point, I wouldn't want to be married to me. And so a lot of this comes from ... Someone's got to realize things for themselves and who they are in the relationship.
Corey Allan: Yes.
Pam Allan: And I'll say that you led the charge in this, right? As we went through our journey, you led the charge in becoming a more whole person, a person whose focus wasn't ... It wasn't always about the bedroom. Before I felt it was, or I felt it was more about being able to be eye candy for you all the time or something like that, back from the porn struggle. So I think you led the way in a charge of just number one, being fun to be with, being able to be fun and not have the pressure of the sexual side of things. This really rings true in the how you do life is how you do sex and how you do sex is how you do life.
Corey Allan: Right. Because that pressure is there. She knows it already.
Pam Allan: Yeah.
Corey Allan: Right. And she is controlling it because she's the lower desire spouse.
Pam Allan: Yeah. Yeah. But, for us, it was you taking a good lead.
Corey Allan: Okay. So let me jump in here because I think what matters in this because since he's the one that's emailed in, I love the idea of trying to set the framework, what your journey is because I think that can aptly describe with some variations, what a lot of lower desire wives are faced with and what could be a possible journey, what could be some things that can help. And this is where girlfriends can come in and just some dynamics, to have some places to just talk on some people that are pro-marriage and hopefully, God willing, pro-sex. Right. Because it's great to have some people like that in your life.
But there's also this component of, to the husband, to the higher desire, you have to be willing, because this has been my journey, you have to be willing to look at how am I approaching my sex life with an exchange-based philosophy? I'm treating you a certain way. I'm providing a certain thing. I'm doing all of these things and in exchange, you owe me this. It's almost an entitled. Because you said I do, I am entitled to this. And I don't want to get into the larger story of the conversation about that when it comes to marriage. I want to get into the nitty-gritty nuances of it. Because a lot of times what we do is the higher desire spouse will initiate or instigate a conversation or an act, it gets rejected, they then Harbor resentment, that resentment starts to wreak havoc and come out in the ways they treat them, and then yet they keep coming back thinking it's worth having sex with them.
Pam Allan: Yeah.
Corey Allan: Right. That's the concept of, if you get rejected, the best thing you can do is you can be disappointed and you can show hurt, but be careful to not pout, get angry, get petty, all ... Well, two of those were mine. I'm not an angry person in a lot of ways in my life. But pouty and petty, yes. That's a language I can understand, right?
Pam Allan: Right.
Corey Allan: So it's recognizing that's how my resentment would rear its head, which then further ingrains the dynamic between us. So one of the things you've got to do is, and this is where I love the playful, fun concept of applying that to life, how do you bring this towards a wife, that I don't see myself this way. I'm just not that type of person. So husband, how do you then live and treat your wife as if she is, right? And it's just a level set and a paradigm shift of I'm going to treat you as if you are, and just kind of assume that, and let that come through in the respect, in the gestures, in the words, in the content of what you talk about. Not having it be contingent on, does she engage you in it, but seeing it as a success of did you lead it there? And if it bombs and it fails, so what. It's no different than what you're facing already, except for the fact that it might be a lot cleaner and more self-respecting.
Pam Allan: And I think that that is, it may go without saying, but I think I have to say it, that is the long game, right?
Corey Allan: Yes.
Pam Allan: If I have that mindset for a week and don't see any kind of change and I go back to my old way, well, that's not going to work. Right. If we really want a life change, it's a life change. It's not a temporary change.
Corey Allan: Right. And so coupled with that then, thanks for bringing that up, Pam, is I got to see myself as a person that's able to do that. That's not as tied to, does my partner engage in this? Does my partner respond to this? How do I see it as I've got a baseline relationship of what's going on? It's one to two a month, two to three positions, basically. Okay. So how do you see that as, all right, it's one to two times a month, but I can instigate it for four. And those two that maybe don't happen, I still feel better about myself for having instigated towards that. That's a better use of the pressure that is already there. Because this isn't something we solve. In essence, I solved myself in the midst of this pressure of what I'm trying to solve.
And so how do I see that as I start mastering myself in what I bring forward to where what I'm offering, that it's respectful? If the sex I'm offering to have with my spouse is based in respectfulness and goodness, then I have nothing to apologize for or be ashamed about.
Pam Allan: Right.
Corey Allan: And instead, I start challenging myself to see it as she's missing out. She's got a great opportunity. And this is where I can start ... The pressure then is calling them for more in the sense of, I see you as more than that. And then you see the little steps that happen. Because I think that's the changes that happen. Because a lot of this is talking deep in the core of somebody.
Pam Allan: Well, and when you're referring to this, we keep coming back to the sex, sex, sex, which is what the podcast is about, right?
Corey Allan: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Pam Allan: But it's got to be everywhere.
Corey Allan: Yes.
Pam Allan: It can't just be about that. Life is not just about sex. A marriage is not just about that. And so it's got to be the whole gamut when we're talking about how we're dealing with the kids or what we're going to do for-
Corey Allan: All right. So let's end it with this because this is a good tease to set up where we're heading with the extended, for those of you that are in it. And if you're not, smrnation.com/smracademy. That's where you can join us. Because one of the phrases I'm going to use to unpack a lot of what we're talking about in the extended content is this whole idea that sex is negotiated in marriage mind to mind. It's a deeper level going on. And this is what you're touching on here in the sense that how I'm living my life is what's the foreplay, not the moves or the acts. It's who I am at its core. Okay.
Pam Allan: Okay. I just want to talk. crosstalk
Corey Allan: I do. Well, join us in the extended content.
Pam Allan: All right.
Corey Allan: I hope to see you there, Pam.
Pam Allan: I'll be there.
Corey Allan: No matter how many episodes we do, Pam, we can't solve gridlock.
Pam Allan: It's always there. It's always there.
Corey Allan: It is just one of those things that's just inherent and built into marriage. And as Schnarch talks about it, "Gridlock is not the end, it's actually the beginning."
Pam Allan: That's an interesting way to look at it.
Corey Allan: It's a chance to take on yourself. Because it doesn't mean anything's going wrong.
Pam Allan: A chance to grow up.
Corey Allan: It's a chance to take on myself and deal with it better and hopefully earn myself better, which then I give my partner the willingness to see if they have the courage to earn me as well.
Pam Allan: I like that.
Corey Allan: This has been Sexy Marriage Radio. If we left something undone, we went a lot of ways tonight or today, whenever you're listening to this, let us know, 214-702-9565 or feedback at sexymarriageradio.com, wherever you are, whatever you've been doing. And thanks again for taking the time out of your week to spend it with us. We'll see you next time.
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