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No-Nut November May Be Dangerous #653

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On the Regular Version …

Today we discuss the Our Intimate Choices worksheet, a communication tool designed to facilitate conversations about boundaries, preferences, and comfort levels in a couple’s sex life. We also touch on holiday etiquette and the role of sex toys as stocking stuffers. It is important to have open and honest communication in marriage and the benefits of using tools like the Our Intimate Choices worksheet can enhance both intimacy and understanding between spouses.

Takeaways

  • Be aware of your surroundings as overnight guests in someone else’s home.
  • When giving sex toys as gifts, keep the recipient’s comfort level and preferences in mind.
  • Open and honest communication is essential in a marriage, especially when it comes to discussing boundaries, preferences, and comfort levels in the bedroom.
  • The Our Intimate Choices worksheet is a great tool for couples to explore and clarify their desires and expectations in their sex life.

Get a copy of Our Intimate Choices

Episode Chapters

00:00 Introduction to Sexy Marriage Radio
01:27 Today’s episode topics
06:40 Holiday etiquette and sex
12:19 Exploring the Our Intimate Choices worksheet
23:03 Benefits and reflections on this exercise

On the Xtended Version …

Every November there is a growing number of people who participate in No-Nut November. Not sure what this is?

They commit to go one month without masturbating/orgasming. What began as an online fad has grown quite a lot over the years.

But what if it’s actually dangerous?

Enjoy the show!

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Corey Allan: Well, welcome to the show. I'm Dr. Corey Allan, and as always, I'm joined by my wife of 30 years, Pam, and on Sexy Marriage Radio. We're having regular conversations to help you cultivate the space between you and your spouse, be that the mental, emotional, physical, erotic, and spiritual spaces. We explore the wisdom and skills of the marriage and relationship world's most brilliant minds through in-depth conversations with authors, counselors, psychologists, professors, doctors, specialists, and of course Pam, members of the nation. Each episode explores topics, every relationship faces and offers, conversation starters or actions that you can use propel life and marriage into more, deeper and more meaningful conversations. So if you needed a show and you looking for a handy way to tell your friends about Sexy Marriage Radio, check out the episode starter packs. These are collections of our favorite episodes organized by topics, and they help new listeners get a taste of everything we do on the show.
Go to smr.fm/starter and if you got some feedback, let us know. If you want us to adjust something specific, send us a message by calling the show at 7 0 2 9 5 6 5 or feedback@sexymarriageradio.com. So Pam, coming up today, we've got the regular version in the extended version like we always do, and on the regular version, we had an opportunity from an old resource that was actually introduced to many, many years ago in Sexy Marriage Radio called Our Intimate Choices. And it's a worksheet to go through to help have conversations about the various, what would you say and don'ts that you're comfortable with as it pertains to your faith, your morals, and even just your comfort level,

Pam Allan: But centered around your sex life,

Corey Allan: Right? Centered around your sex life. So it's a great conversation piece in conversation aid, communication aid, I think is the way they frame it. And so you and I went through this and we're going to talk about the experience and now the extended content today, which is deeper, longer, and there are no ads. You can subscribe at SMR fm slash academy. We just finished No Nut November. I'm going to let that just kind of hang out there

Pam Allan: For a bit. Did you and I finish it or is it just that it just passed by because now

Corey Allan: December don't participated. We weren't official participants that I'm aware of.

Pam Allan: Yeah, so the pH phraseology, I'd say clarify the pH phraseology.

Corey Allan: Well for that, people are going to have to tune into the extended content today, but we're going to talk about, it's an annual thing that has started years ago and it's kind of become a bigger popular thing online of where you take the whole month of November. And no masturbation to ejaculation is basically what it was talking about. And so I'm going to propose what if that's actually dangerous. So all that's coming up right after this.

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Corey Allan: So before we get started on our intimate choices worksheets that we work through, it's the holiday season. And so I'm curious, I came across this on the intro webs this past week that was just talking about holiday etiquette as it pertains to travel and your sex life. And so one of the questions, there were several different questions that were posed and then some experts that they used for this article chimed in with their thoughts. And so I'm curious what you think about this of, is it rude to have sex in someone else's home as an overnight guest?

Pam Allan: No.

Corey Allan: Okay.

Pam Allan: No. I am curious why anyone would think that would be rude. I guess how you go about your sex life might absolutely don't be intrusive on someone else's sleep,

Corey Allan: Right? Because walls can be thin in some homes, particularly some of the childhood homes we may have grown up in. There could be this idea creaky beds of, Ooh, we get a chance to go back to the house I grew up in. I'm going to just wear that room out finally. That can be a thread, could be of some of the thoughts. And there also could be if you're bringing in a suitcase of paraphernalia that you're going to be using and it's like, oh, you guys brought a lot of bags. Yeah, we did really

Pam Allan: Well. Who cares about the paraphernalia if it's not being fl in someone's face? Quite honestly,

Corey Allan: Fair. But I mean the main premise being be respectful of your surroundings. So

Pam Allan: What did their experts say?

Corey Allan: That was the biggest one is just be mindful of the etiquette. They agree it's okay, but be mindful of your etiquette. If you're normally a little more loud and robust in your love making, we'll tone it down a little bit.

Pam Allan: Wouldn't that be the same even if everybody was coming to your house? I mean, usually if I have nobody else in the house other than the two of us, and we're usually quite robust in our lovemaking and I've got family coming to town, well, I be respectful of other people coming into my

Corey Allan: House too. Sometimes on that thread though, I think some people would be like, they're coming to my house. So I think people can

Pam Allan: Take different stances out that well, that's one attitude to have, as we always say to our kids, look at your surroundings. Yes,

Corey Allan: Be aware of your surroundings. Be

Pam Allan: Aware of your surroundings, and what statement do you want to make about yourself?

Corey Allan: Right? Yeah, I think, but it's an interesting conversation because I think that every single one of us needs to have in our repertoire, I think the ability to experience tender loving sex that's a little more intimate, not as exaggerated possibly, but you can still have some really good encounters with one another. Absolutely. Say the next question was, are more babies conceived during the holidays?

Pam Allan: Oh, I have no idea. Actually.

Corey Allan: There are

Pam Allan: Really?

Corey Allan: Yeah, because, well, there's two different factors. One, holidays is typically a universal, people get a lot of time off,

Pam Allan: So vacation time, so

Corey Allan: You're together a whole lot more. And then the second one is there's a lot more percentage of darkness in your days. So your home more inside and it's colder. And so you're inside

Pam Allan: In the northern hemisphere.

Corey Allan: True. Well, that's a fair point, but they do talk about that in June, July. There's an element of, it's a little bit of mini baby boom,

Pam Allan: If you will wait June, July. This would have to be September, October,

Corey Allan: Right? You're right. I just looked down and saw that because they're talking about the southern hemisphere actually, where the reverse is true in the southern hemisphere,

Pam Allan: June, july, that's when they have the bigger baby.

Corey Allan: Then of course, my math wife is going to wait. That does not add up. I are a math whizz.

Pam Allan: And anybody else out there who knows how to,

Corey Allan: You're just going to say count. And then the last question, do sex toys make good stocking stuffers?

Corey Allan: I,

Pam Allan: That's pretty funny because where do you open your stockings? Right? Who are you surrounded with when you unleash

Corey Allan: These things? And the advice here was discretion matters on how it's presented and what you provide. And obviously this doesn't necessarily just mean for extended families. It can mean for a spouse, you could get it for a spouse.

Pam Allan: Sure, sure. But are we

Corey Allan: Opening our stockings, talking about I'm, you know what? I'm getting my parents today this year for Christmas, babe,

Pam Allan: But are we opening our stockings with our 15 and 16 year olds?

Corey Allan: But here's the one thing that I thought was great, that if you want to add some fun to your bedroom repertoire, fantastic. That can be a fun gift. But if your spouse has said they have no interest in certain toys giving, that will be ignoring their wishes, there's this element of I'm going to do it, even though you said I'm not interested. So no matter how big of a bow you put on it, it still wouldn't be a good gift.

Pam Allan: So to go back to it, I say yes, it would be a good stocking stuffer, but it's back to the keep in mind, where do you open your stockings

Corey Allan: And who you're giving it to. Yeah. Because I think there's an element of just, but it's just these are fun conversations, I think, to recognize what could you do with this aspect of your marriage that enhances and keeps this part of the dynamic? I think that's really important. Which then leads us to what you and I went through, which this is the worksheet, our intimate choices. It came out in 2007 actually, and so it's been around a while. I was introduced to it early on in the beginning years of Sexy Marriage radio, and we've referenced it several times, but you and I have actually never worked through

Pam Allan: This not until now, and I think you made a comment that someone in the academy,

Corey Allan: Someone in the nation actually just posted this as a link, just posted

Pam Allan: It,

Corey Allan: And we'll repost the link to it on the show notes today.

Pam Allan: So kind of ironic that couple had just gone through it. But yeah, I mean, it's a really cool communication tool that it starts out, it's really to facilitate conversation between the spouses and their very first section is establishing boundaries. Where's each of you? You do these separately. You don't sit there and fill it out together. You do it separately. So you're just working from Here's where I am, and then you come together and chat about it, and it gives you some good guidelines behind that. But I love that starting out with just establishing boundaries to figure out where's kind of our lines in the sand. But there might be some things in here that you never thought about or never thought about actually ever discussing with your spouse. So it kind of put some clarity out there.

Corey Allan: Absolutely. And one of the big caveats that I think is worth noting about the entirety of how they approach this is the very beginning of it, when you're talking about boundaries, it's also, it incorporates your boundaries as it pertains to your faith and your moral structure, right? It's not just comfort level,

Pam Allan: But they take into account both.

Corey Allan: Absolutely, they do. But there's a lot of things I've come across that are designed like this, but they don't incorporate morality as far as a biblical framework or a character that's based in something spiritual It. It's more of just a, would you be comfortable with this act or not? Which obviously I think most of our morals comes into the equation of how we define what I'm going to be comfortable doing or not. But this makes you actually look at some of the different acts and decide, is this okay with my moral belief?

Pam Allan: Which I think comes into play real importantly, when two spouses are trying to figure out what am I okay doing? And maybe I haven't thought through, why is it that I'm uncomfortable with it? Maybe I haven't been able to paper why that is. And I think this kind of helps define that and helps give clarity to your spouse too, to maybe deal with things better.

Corey Allan: Absolutely.

Pam Allan: Right. So you're setting the boundaries and then you're just going into talking about preferences, whether it be foreplay, general things. They walk you through all kinds of scenarios where you talk about specifics. How do I want certain, do I want certain aspects of my body touched, do I not? And then you come together and you compare the two, right? And there's encouragement in the directions of no judging on this. If you can ask questions.

Corey Allan: Great point that they have at the very beginning of their instructions of when you have this conversation. It's a judgment free zone initially.

Pam Allan: Yeah. You can imagine if you're judged on something, your spouse is going to shut down right away. Absolutely. And so the conversation's going nowhere. So it's asking those questions, okay, help me understand more about this. And you can dive into that a little more. This is the time just to figure things out. Not to say this is the end of the line for us. I don't know. I don't know. I wasn't sure where to go with that wording. No,

Corey Allan: I get you.

Pam Allan: It's a great tool to go from there. Do you want to just jump into

Corey Allan: Details of it? Yeah. A couple of things I would add to it, just because it's really designed, this is my takeaway of overall of how I would view this experience. It's really designed to help us learn what are the differences as we have defined them, rather than keeping them as kind of this al thing out there that we can't clearly define. We just know, well, she's not going to like that, but we've never specifically said, are you okay with this or not? Like the actual defined act or body part or role or word. I mean, because even a section in there, what words are you comfortable with as it pertains to body parts and not what's on board and not, and so it's really, the way this hit me, Pam, was this was a easy structure to start just walking through as we did this of we just, well, here's what I put for these answers.
And anything we were different on, we defined it on what the difference actually was. Yeah, right. You answered A here I answered C, huh, okay. Why is that? What's that about? Where's that come from? And then you can clarify, because obviously some of these different wordings of things we would light spanking. What does that even mean? Your definition? It could be different than what my definition of it is. And so it's getting clarity of the differences here is what makes this such a powerful tool because now I realize what we're really is the real gap and what isn't. That wasn't, I thought was a gap, but it's really is not much

Pam Allan: Of a gap.

Corey Allan: Yeah. Okay. Yeah. So that was the first thing that jumped out to me was just recognizing this is a really good way to clarify. Yeah, we're on board with this and no, we're not really as much as I thought here or, I mean, one of the big things that jumped out to me, and I'm not giving away detail just between you and I, is a couple of ones that I was like, I didn't think she'd be interested, but she's saying she is. Maybe I need to test that out, see if she's bluffing.

Pam Allan: I wasn't bluffing. I didn't do any bluffing on this.

Corey Allan: I would believe you. But that's some of the stuff that jumped out to me was the importance of this being, it helps give us a better, more succinct language as it pertains to this intimate act of our life. Because every single human being is going to come at this aspect of their life with some levels of anxiety and trepidation at times because we have an accurate enough map to know, oh, they want to do that. Oh, they want, and it's usually based off of something that I extrapolated from some truth.

Pam Allan: Sure,

Corey Allan: Sure. Because there was some thought way back that was shared or some reaction that happened years and years ago,

Pam Allan: Or truth in your mind because that's how you read an experience before. Well,

Corey Allan: And even back then though, I mean, because got 30 years together with this at the time of this recording, and so the first 10 we didn't really know, let me own that. I didn't really know what I was doing. I knew how to make sex happen and what it was about, but I didn't know the depth and the intricacies of it first

Pam Allan: 15 years for me on that.

Corey Allan: Fair enough. Maybe I was being generous with my knowledge on the tenured note, but it's recognizing I would read you and I can still have Pam 1.0 going on in my head as I approach Pam 6.0 here at the end of 2023. And so it's realizing this gives a clarity of, man, I'm still way behind on some of these. And that's incredibly beneficial because I think a lot of people, higher desires, let me speak for them. I think higher desires can have a lot of trepidation of how do I even bring these subjects up?

Pam Allan: Well do this to get

Corey Allan: Clarification, but I'm curious as lower desires, would you think that this is something like, oh, now I'm just going to be asked to do more, or I think this can be something really beneficial to help it realize Now I can get a real clear distinction of here's what I am comfortable with, here's what I'm not

Pam Allan: No, for it was the latter. Oh, here's what I'm comfortable with. And going through this, we've always said higher desire, low desire one's not better than the other. But there's still that I'm the lower desire and kind of feeling inferior. And as I'm filling this out, I'm like, I'm pretty good here. Hey, I'm into pretty much all the same stuff you are. Again, it goes back to it's not that there's no desire, it's just the lower compared to you, and there's a lot of good things on here. It gave me more confidence, I would say.

Corey Allan: Perfect. So any other things that kind of jumped out to you that were like, wow, that really helped me and us. I'm not trying to get into the specifics of, Hey, what'd you answer for question six? We're not doing that because I think that's where we come with sexy marriage radio and the sacredness of married sex is a secret life between you and your spouse, a secret language between you and your spouse. It's something you only share with you and your spouse. And so there's an element of, I think, elegance with this that helps round out the narrative in there.
So that's the encouragement we'd have for a lot of couples is use this as a springboard into a better framing of this aspect of your marriage. But I'm curious, as you went through this and we went through this together, this is where it's kind of interesting. I'm not sure how this equates to members of the nation, particularly ones that maybe just now are finding us. So, hey, welcome. Glad you found us. But they may not, one of the things I come across a lot as a therapist is, I can do this with my spouse, but we don't talk about this. And so even just getting to

Pam Allan: That way, I can do sex with my spouse, so I don't talk about

Corey Allan: Sex. We have sex, but we don't talk about likes, don't likes all of that. And so I think that's the power of this is it gives a framework to test it out. But I'm also curious from your standpoint, what anything stood out to you of the exercise as a whole or was surprising to you other than your statement of, well, we're a whole lot more on the same page than maybe I even thought. Well,

Pam Allan: And I think it's funny because here we are, we have this podcast together, and so there's a lot of things that we talk about anyway, but walking through this and walking through specifics of the X specifics of foreplay that you like or don't like, specifics of where touches that you don't like or don't like, specifics of what turns you on or doesn't turn you on. And it's not that we've ever gone through and had this checklist to get really more clarity on where I am, more clarity on where you are, and to understand you more in that regard. And really in our situation, it was more for me, a confirmation of, okay, we're really in step in this, and I really liked that.

Corey Allan: That is good.

Pam Allan: That was a build for me, but I think it just brings connection with us talking. So those are the standouts to me of it was much easier than I thought it was going to be as far as not uncomfortable, and I just felt a connection just by walking through and seeing that we getting more on the same

Corey Allan: Page. And we even started the conversation with this while heading to go get to fill up one of the cars. So we were just driving having this conversation to start it.

Pam Allan: Yeah, I mean, it doesn't have to be, so it could be a

Corey Allan: Very casual, it doesn't have to be a very intense thing, but here's the two things that jumped out to me. One is answering these questions now at 52 years old versus what answers would I have had at 32 or 22 when we first got married, because that's how old I was on one of the questions being, when you touch me, fill in the blank, I'm instantly ready for sex. I'm like, I don't know if anything nowadays gets me instantly ready for sex, I'm 52,

Pam Allan: It's build up. It takes some build up. I need

Corey Allan: A little more time. But when I was 22, oh, you could have just looked at me and it might've gone, but let's go right now. Right,

Pam Allan: Exactly.

Corey Allan: So that was one, it's just kind of funny to think of because again, that's the old map that I can get to where it's like, well, hold on. That used to, and now what's wrong with me? And I start pity partying and, oh, everything's ruined and blah, blah. Rather than, wait, hold on a second. There's a different thing going on here. I'm a different person, so I need to adjust as well. But then the other thing that jumped out to me, and this is just me personalizing it with you because I'm looking at my answers on some of these where on one of the sections, I actually didn't even answer the individual lines I just wrote, yes, real big on the outside. I

Pam Allan: Like all of these. Right?

Corey Allan: And so it's like one of my questions that I ponder from that of just looking back at that and reflecting while we were talking, is that actually a good thing for me or not? Do I need to

Pam Allan: Just say yes

Corey Allan: To all if I'm too broad on, oh, anything, everything goes, yeah, does it make anything really, really special? Then it's just, it's a thought process I'm going through. Because I'm also wondering, am I too easy to read? Because if you read me all the time as, oh, he's going to be ready for anything, anytime, when No, that's not necessarily always true.

Pam Allan: Oh, I think you're being hard on yourself there.

Corey Allan: Well, I get it, but

Pam Allan: I like that you're thoughtful and you think things, that's the exercise

Corey Allan: That I'm using from this. As somebody that's been doing a podcast on this subject for over 12 years, I think there's still benefit to look at what's the uniqueness, what's the sophistication, what's the narrowness of what do things really, really mean versus is it just an act in of itself? Because we've said this before, and I'll say it again just for the sake of the audience in the nation, there is a huge difference between quantity of sex in my mind versus quality of sex in my mind. And quality is usually less defined by what we actually do.

Pam Allan: It's

Corey Allan: Who we are in the doing it. It's the both being engaged. It's the power play between us. It's the spiritual realm that's a part of it. It's the otherness and the selfishness that's a part of it. There's a whole lot more of following a connection. That's what I think makes the blessed few levels of sex, because I think as Shar would term it, when you're talking about blessed few, that's not about what they do or don't do. It's who they are as people in the doing and don't doing. Right. It's the recovering well, and that's the stuff that jumps out to me is to look at it as, okay, this is a fantastic, let me give you a frame, but I'm wondering, do I need to refine my frame a little bit too, just to be cleaner on it because what I had attached to it long ago may not be what it is now, and I need to do that work to examine that. So you can update your map of me just like I'm trying to update my map of you. Anything else jump out before we

Pam Allan: Head on

Corey Allan: Back to practice some of these things? Alright.

Pam Allan: Okay.

Corey Allan: Well, it's been nice to be back in the mothership with you, Pam.

Pam Allan: It's fabulous to be here. Fabulous.

Corey Allan: Yeah, this has been fun. If so, again, if you like what we got going on here, we're making a personal plea to you. Jump out and leave comments now that we're back under Sexy Marriage Radio because comments are what help us climb the charts fastest. Help us get back in the flow of where we used to be back in the sexuality category. We did shift with passionately married, we switched over to the relationship world in the categorization of iTunes and Spotify, et cetera, et cetera. Now we're going back to the sexuality. So rating and reviewing the show and particularly leaving comments is what helps us climb the charts and spread the word even more. And then also transcripts are available on each of the episodes pages at SM Man, look at that. I'm going to stumble all over website addresses now for a little bit. SMR fm. Each episode. You can find transcripts available in the show notes on the pages. There's also advertisers, deals and discount codes that you can find. So please consider supporting those who help support the show. So however you took some time out to come join us again at Sexy Marriage Radio. Thanks a lot and we'll see you next time.