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hosted by Dr. Corey Allan

Sex As An Idol #540

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On the Regular version of today’s show …

Can sex be an idol. How would you know?

A dating couple want to know more about what options are there for birth control as they prepare for the marriage. The pill had too many side effects for the wife and she’s concerned about condoms, even though her soon to be husband says he’s fine with them.

A newlywed couple is averaging sex 2 times a month, not at all what she thought would be the case. Is there something wrong?

On the Xtended version …

Could the higher desire/lower desire labels also be limiting to the people who find comfort in knowing they are one or the other in their marriage?

Enjoy the show!

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Speaker 1: You are listening to the regular version of Sexy Marriage Radio,

Speaker 2: You've turned on Sexy Marriage Radio, where the best sex happens in the marriage bed. Here's your host, Dr. Corey Allen.

Corey Allan: So Pam, on the day we are recording this episode, you may not be aware, but it's quite possible that Sexy Marriage Radio's page on Facebook and Instagram shut down Instagram and Facebook today for a little while.

Pam Allan: Why would that be?

Corey Allan: Well, because it went down-

Pam Allan: Right. Everything went down.

Corey Allan: ... for like four or five hours today, the monsters were down that are those kinds of social media networks. But we posted this morning that we're pulling away for a while from the experiment that we've tried with social media, and I think it was because of that.

Pam Allan: I think so.

Corey Allan: They just hate to see us go.

Pam Allan: They're devastated.

Corey Allan: They're like, "If Sexy Marriage Radio is leaving, we'll just forget the whole thing."

Pam Allan: Shut it all down. That's funny.

Corey Allan: But it was quite comical to me to look through across the landscape that is social media and hear the reactions across the board of somebody was talking about if it's gone, all my followers... And they were panicking. And it's like, oh, okay, hold on, hold on.

Pam Allan: The world's not coming to an end. I didn't hear about it until about 6:15 in the evening. And yeah, I heard it from a coworker and I just said, "Oh, thank God. That's awesome. Maybe it'll be gone forever." Clearly I'm not in the world of crosstalk.

Corey Allan: No, no, we're not in the generation that's aimed at that. We shouldn't need to claim that, but we are in the world that we want to married couples get better.

Pam Allan: That's exactly right.

Corey Allan: And we've loved using all the different mediums and trying them out to see what fits best, but we keep coming back to the podcast. This is what we do each and every week. We're coming up on 10 years actually.

Pam Allan: It's what we love doing.

Corey Allan: We love doing this. This gives us a chance to really expound on and expand some ideas and to go deeper because there's more going on than meets the eye. And so what we want to try to do is speak to what's going on in the SMR Nation. And the way you let us know is you give us a call, (214)702-9565, You can even record a voice memo if you want, put it in an email, send it to us. We can use it because we want your voices on this to be a part of a dialogue and a conversation.
And so since I mentioned that we're kind of pulling back from a lot of the social media stuff we've been testing out in 2021, we do have a place you can land which is where there's some really vibrant conversations happening and some real good support because what I wrote on these posts and I just want to say it on the air just to kind of clarify as we start today is the allure of social media is they're trying to seduce you into spending more time on their site, on their platform. And we are going to be unapologetically about trying to seduce couples into seducing their spouses and use the information you get and then go put it into action. Disconnect, get away.

Pam Allan: Yeah. Don't spend more time on that platform.

Corey Allan: Yeah. Technology is a great use, just don't be used by it. And I think that goes across the board. I've got something I'm kind of putting together on an attention diet to kind of do that. In a week or two we'll talk kind of talk through that. But I think it's a good framework to kind of look at how do we claim time for each other? How do we claim time for ourselves spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, all of it. Because everybody in your life benefits when you can kind of reset.

Pam Allan: Right. Right. And we want how we get the word out to be in line with what we believe is a good way to characterize your relationship.

Corey Allan: We want the message to go far and wide, but we're also trying to be very strategic in how we're doing it now.

Pam Allan: Thank you.

Corey Allan: So coming up on today's regular free version of Sexy Marriage Radio is several questions, a couple from newlyweds-ish, which we kind of had dabbled in some. But there's a lot of things that come in over the weeks that are just some of the issues that nobody's really talking about. Those of us that are... We're 28 years into this thing and we look back on it like, "What was that? I don't even remember. That was a long time ago." But there was a lot of misinformation we had even.

Pam Allan: Oh, absolutely.

Corey Allan: We want to speak to those things as we can.

Pam Allan: So much of it still crystal clear. I'm thinking, "Ah, I remember that. I only wish I had someone to answer that question for me back then."

Corey Allan: And then on the extended version of Sexy Marriage Radio Today, which is deeper, longer, and there are no ads, you can subscribe at my... Man, I'm just all over the place with this. You know what? If you want the extended content, There it is.

Pam Allan: There you go.

Corey Allan: I had all these URLs going on in my head. On that part of the show, we're going to give a little more behind the scenes look of our life. A little bit of a personal story, if you will, from a conversation that was sparked on the platform in the Academy on the labels of the higher desire, lower desire. And are they always helpful and how has that been our journey?

Pam Allan: Are we doing the coffee shop?

Corey Allan: Yes, but we're doing it in the extended content today.

Pam Allan: I'll go get the coffee.

Corey Allan: All that's coming up on today's show.

Tim: Hi Cory and Pam. This is Tim. I was just listening to inaudible episode 537 and listening to the couple with the extreme gridlock. And I was thinking that as higher desires, there's a tendency almost to put sex on the level of an idol. So I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about how sex and idolatry and how we as Christians sometimes will elevate sex past the healthy level. Thank you.

Corey Allan: Tim is just flat out meddling now because-

Pam Allan: It's a fabulous question.

Corey Allan: And it's actually a great way to frame a vast majority of what we talk about on the air.

Pam Allan: Yeah. Yeah.

Corey Allan: Because sometimes, if not a lot of the times, us believers can get caught in this sex is the end all, be all. It's the main thing I live for. It's the main thing I exist for. It's the one thing that I long for, and it can supersede a relationship with God.

Pam Allan: Well, it can pose the question here as to... What's interesting, so many people that have come searching and have found the podcast and then they say, "Oh, I came here looking for one thing, and what I realized found was totally different." Right?

Corey Allan: Right.

Pam Allan: "And I came looking to either figure out how to make my spouse want more sex, or figure out how to fix my spouse," or whatever the case may be. "Or just get more sex because I want more of it. And I realize the bigger picture." When you listen to the show and you hear the bigger picture and you see that, it gives you this perspective and we realize on all kinds of levels, the things that we just focus so much time on. And so is it, I just want more sex, more sex, more sex and I'm ticked at my spouse for not having it? Is it-

Corey Allan: Right. And I want to be careful with this because a lot of the times... This is some conversations you and I have been having over some of the different threads that we've heard at church where you'll hear it differently than I do-

Pam Allan: Totally different, yes.

Corey Allan: ... on a thread that the minister's talking about or the series that's going on or has gone on. And we tend to have a either-or reaction to a lot of different things in life. That if it's not a hundred percent pure, then it's a hundred percent bad. That if I really do enjoy sex or I really do long for money, or I really do have a striving for something in my life or a career, whatever it might be, to be a good parent, whatever, that if it's not a hundred percent genuine and pure, then therefore I'm in the wrong. It's surpassed God.
When I think we got to be a lot more nuanced and sophisticated with it, but there are some important questions you have to ask yourself, mainly being who is, what is my God when I put whatever subject matter is the pain point or the longing in the perspective of my life and how I devote my energies in times and thoughts because that's the whole concept of where your heart is. It's like that idea where your money is, that's where your heart is. Well, where's your energy? Where's your thought life? That's a great tool to reveal what's really going on with you and has it become something that is akin to, if not a full on, idol? Because you think, and the question you ask then is after achieving said goal in the sex world, how long do you feel fulfilled?

Pam Allan: That could be an answer for you right there.

Corey Allan: Or is it one of those... Just to, I can't wait for the next one now. And I can't... Rather than how do you keep it in perspective of, I think we need to blend. This is the same comment we made about technology. We've talked about this with our kids a bunch of it's a useful tool, but don't be used by it. I think that applies to a lot of things of our life, sex being one of them. It's a useful thing, but how am I being used by it?

Pam Allan: And so I guess the question then is how do you know, what is that line in the sand where you determine I'm being used by it? Or I guess you're equating being used by it to that's being something you're focusing so much of your time on that maybe you're calling it an idol. Right? Because that's where you're crosstalk.

Corey Allan: I think it could easily start to become the slippery slope into that. Because I've started to put that thing as the main focus, the main drive of my life or my marriage or the season. So I think you ask yourself the questions first and foremost of where is that hierarchy, if you will. And then the other one I would ask, and it's really just two because I think, in my mind, because we don't need to make this more complicated because it really does vary according to people, that is what you're seeking, if it's a sexual endeavor or your sex life with your spouse, how involved is God in all that? How much of that is seen as a worship? How much of it is seen as this is a sharing of what God has created, not just the experiencing of my spouse? Because there are several times through the course of my counseling career where I, and I think a lot of these were Holy Spirit things early on, for sure were on a thread of conversation with a couple and they're talking about the struggle they've got with their sex life, but yet they're talking about how devout they're trying to be as Christians and believers. And I ask them, "Well, do you ever pray before sex, during sex? Do you ever talk about God in that?? And it was like thung, "No." Like, "Why not?"

Pam Allan: Invite Him in.

Corey Allan: He made it. Right? And then we've even had this for a couple different times in some of the Academy coaching calls way back where a few of the couples talked about, "Yeah. We put on worship music during some of our sexual encounters." And some people are like, "What?" Versus, "Why not?" And so I think it's how do you incorporate God into these things rather than a it's either this or that. And I think that's the better questions to ask, and only each person can evaluate where am I on those paradigms or percentages? And, if you're honest, you'll find some failings and you'll probably find some successes-

Pam Allan: I would say so.

Corey Allan: ... because we're all trying to journey and grow further into depth in His kingdom.

Pam Allan: Right. I don't want to guilt people into, well, because I think about sex, they're saying this is an idol. That's not at all what we're saying here. But, I mean, it's a valid question that Tim brings up and it's worth us looking at. Where does this stand in my life?

Corey Allan: Where does this hit for you? Where would you rank it? Be honest, and then take the next logical steps. So Pam, our sponsor today is a company that's near and dear to our hearts.

Pam Allan: Yes, they are.

Corey Allan: Hello Fresh because they've been in our home for many, many months now, and they've taken a lot of the burden and angst that would come around mealtime, more specifically, what are we going to eat, and variety being on display in the Allan household. They've taken that and made it so easy because Hello Fresh provides everything we need right at our doorstep.

Pam Allan: They've opened up your palate.

Corey Allan: They really have. And what's so much fun is we do this all together as we're creating the meals because it comes in... It's all pre-measured. It's exactly what you need. You get to pick from... There are usually around 14 different recipes each week, you pick and select which ones you want that fit. You can add some addons like some garlic bread or some extra protein or some desserts even if you want to make it even easier. But what the fun thing is, is the way it's come out in our household is oftentimes the party has already begun when you are walking in because the cooking is starting. Kids may be involved.

Pam Allan: Yeah. You guys are already chopping up veggies and whatever.

Corey Allan: You come join in, and then we have a meal together as a family. And then every single meal we rate them as a family and only one for each of the kids has rated below a seven. And that was just because they didn't like the actual entree, not the taste of it.

Pam Allan: It was so good.

Corey Allan: They just didn't like what it was we chose that week.

Pam Allan: Because they're kids. Most of them are like all nines and tens.

Corey Allan: Right. So Hello Fresh, it's convenient. It's contact-free delivery right to your door. The recipes are easy to follow. They give you pictures to guide you all along the way. They take the stress out of everything you need to do each and every week to feed your family, and they're flexible. You can customize it, like we mentioned. You can easily change your delivery days or food preferences. You can skip a week, which we've had to do several different times with our schedules. And with Hello Fresh, we are proud to have them as a regular sponsor right now. So to go to and use the code SMR14 for up to 14 free meals plus free shipping.

Pam Allan: Wow, that's a deal.

Corey Allan: In case you missed it, that's, the number 14, and use our code, SMR14 for up to 14 free meals plus free shipping.
So here's an email from a new listener, and they love the episode so far. "So my fiance and I are getting married in a few months and this has been a great resource as we prepare for marriage and sex. Lately, we've been talking through options for birth control since we want to wait to have kids for a few years." Good, smart choice, in my opinion. But that's that's my own bias. "I tried the pill and my side effects outweighed the benefits. Now I'm scared to try other methods as the wedding day gets closer because of weight gain, acne, et cetera. My fiance has reassured me that he will be fine using condoms, but I wonder if we'll eventually want the freedom to not use them. I've also looked into natural family planning and it seems to leave too much up to chance. We're both virgins so this is new territory for us. Do you have any advice, resources or past episodes that can shed some light on this topic?" So I don't have any past episodes, but we got this one.

Pam Allan: Is she saying that the side effects were weight gain and acne?

Corey Allan: For the pill.

Pam Allan: For the pill?

Corey Allan: Yeah. And so I think that's made her wonder because a lot of the different things out there have hormone components to it so there's an element of risk that the side effects, eh, I don't know if I want to go down that route. Which is logical, but then I think it's also important to talk to the doctor about, okay, I've got experience with this, whatever the specific pill was, what other options do I have? To at least educate yourself in that way.

Pam Allan: IUD.

Corey Allan: Absolutely. Some people have an ethical dilemma with that.

Pam Allan: I get that. It's an option if you don't have an ethical dilemma for it.

Corey Allan: And some of them have hormone components associated with it too, so that could have a little bit of a side effect. But what I'm hearing is he's saying he's going to be fine with the use of condoms. She wants the more freedom, but it's the whole, she wants the freedom for him.

Pam Allan: Well, a valid question.

Corey Allan: Because that's the dilemma of... It sounds like she sees it as I'm interpreting this is going to be a bigger issue for him and I don't want it for him to be an issue, when he's saying, "I'm fine, baby."

Pam Allan: Well, that deserves some clarification then and she needs to make sure she's understanding why she might have an issue with the condom then. Right? If she's maybe projecting her own issue, but-

Corey Allan: And there's also that element of, and I'm guilty of this, of going into marriage thinking sex is just going to spontaneously happen a lot. And so therefore the disruption of a condom, while it can be a disruption, you can also incorporate it into the component of sex. And it doesn't seem all... It's not romanticized, fumbling around, "Hold on, wait."

Pam Allan: Right, right, right.

Corey Allan: But there's an element of that's part of what sex lives are is there's the things that happened that nobody talks about except for maybe here on our show of what really is going on behind closed doors, that there just needs to be a better conversation between them, it sounds like, on, okay what does not having one, what kind of freedom does that really provide? Because ultimately the goal sounds like we just want to do what we can to avoid pregnancy for a while while we're new at this. Perfect. But you can look into different things because there's also female diaphragms. There's also a... Man, there's too many to even list that's come out that you can incorporate and ask. But it's just the concept of get on the same page by having that dialogue of here's what this means to me. Honey, what does it mean to you? And if he's saying I got no problem with it, well then trust that and see how it actually plays out rather than borrowing the trouble that could be a projection of what may not even be a problem.

Pam Allan: That's a good point. The meanings behind it are a big deal. You got your expectations going into this marriage about what sex will be, what your perception is of what you know about condoms and how sex unfolds with that. And so there are a lot of meanings attached behind that, definitely. I would definitely talk with the doc about all these different options though because there's more than just the pill that you can use.

Corey Allan: On top of the medical, pharmaceutical things that are out there. Absolutely. But the other thing I want to add just as an addendum to this is yes, penal-vaginal intercourse has a definite place in marriage and there's a value that is placed on it, but it's not the only way to incorporate really fun sexual encounters with each other. And so if you wanted to for sure not get pregnant, you could do other things if you're wanting to be spontaneous. And I'm just talking about if you want to be spontaneous and you don't have a condom on you.

Pam Allan: Oh gotcha.

Corey Allan: There's other things you can do to just like, "Well, let's try it out this way." And I'm not even talking the pull out method even, I'm just talking about just all oral or manual or-

Pam Allan: Rhythm. Yeah.

Corey Allan: Something, anything like that just to have some fun to recognize my sex life is far more than just a penis entering a vagina.

Pam Allan: Right, it is. When you're first starting out, if they're coming into this as virgins, never had sex before... Why did I have to be redundant there? Like, people don't know what virgin means. Sorry.

Corey Allan: We're both stumbling all over. I got URLs going in my head.

Pam Allan: I'm immediately thinking of how apprehensive I would've been early on because sex was intended to be penal-vaginal. And I was scared and didn't know about other things, all that other stuff.

Corey Allan: And you don't know what you don't know.

Pam Allan: Kudos for listening and letting this show help you realize there can be other things, other ways, and it can be super fun other ways too.

Corey Allan: Just expand the way you interpret the meanings of what you can do and see where that gets you, then just take the steps accordingly to help you stay in track with some of the goals you're hoping for.
So here's another one from in the newlywed category. "Hey, we've been married for four months and we both saved ourselves for marriage. I expected him to be all sex all the time because he's a guy and that's what I'm taught, but we legit have sex two times a month even though I tell him we should have it more. We've tried to set schedules and I ask him to enforce it because I'm beginning to feel rejected. However, I'm also like, 'Is something wrong with my husband?' This is just not what I thought being a newlywed was like. Do you think something's wrong with him, and are we having enough sex?" So I can't speak to is something wrong with him?

Pam Allan: No idea.

Corey Allan: But I can speak to the shine has worn off of what you think married sex is going to right off the bat. Because there is this world-proposed view that men are just raring to go all the time, anytime, can't ever get enough, it's insatiable.

Pam Allan: Right. And this sounds like a situation where the female may be the higher desire.

Corey Allan: Absolutely. And it also can be the point of he put a lot of stock in it too, and it didn't live up to it. Or he realized now that we can, it's not all I thought. There's a lot of rework-

Pam Allan: Or maybe he's feeling the pressure.

Corey Allan: There's a lot of rework everybody has to do once you actually attain the possibilities of sex if you've saved yourself for marriage. So I'm hearing it as, I don't know if anything's wrong with him. Does he respond? Is he into it the times you have sex?

Pam Allan: Does he get an erection?

Corey Allan: But I hear the dilemma being a pretty typical one that can happen of, she sees it as we need to have more, but she wants him to enforce her desire because she said, "We schedule it, but I'm expecting him... He needs to enforce it because I'm beginning to feel rejected."

Pam Allan: Ah, Gotcha.

Corey Allan: Right?

Pam Allan: I gotcha. Now I hear it.

Corey Allan: But reality is, honey, you already are rejected in the way you're framing this. It's already felt. So what's more in line with what you want?

Pam Allan: Yeah. If you're the higher desire, you're going to have to be ready to you enforce that sex is happening. You bring it up.

Corey Allan: I say this to a lot of higher desire spouses in the sense that you read your spouse, they're not interested so therefore you don't bring it up and you feel rejected. Well, you are already were feeling rejected anyway, because you already know the dynamic. This is layered on with, but this isn't what it's supposed to be so early in our marriage. When in reality, yeah, it is. Some people have this experience because they realize, I think I know what it would be, but when the shine wears off or the new or I actually experience that, I realize it didn't live up to what I thought it was going to be and so therefore I got to recalibrate to see what do I do about it? Or I got to recalibrate because it brought up anxieties I was really scared of. I mean, there's a-

Pam Allan: That's totally what I hear is it's early on, they're both virgins, and you don't realize how anxious this makes you and how to deal with it. And trying to work through... It's one thing to work through anxieties, but to work through them while I'm naked with somebody else, that's the vulnerability is, is so intense that that's what brings it around the beauty. When you do figure out how to deal with that anxiety, it can even better.

Corey Allan: Right. Well, there are deeper things that could be going on and it takes a little bit longer conversations to find these things. But there's elements of stuff that can happen where, we've talked about over the years with SMR of how for a woman to have sex, there's a vulnerability of opening up, right? Which is a real vulnerable stance. And some women have real reticence to do that and they got to be conscious of the environment. And then more importantly, they got to start to embrace themselves better of look at my power, look at what I'm capable of. Look at my sexuality in all its glory.
Well, this isn't talked about a lot, but there are some men that an erection to them is middle school, especially if it's exposed and seen. Like standing at the end of the bed naked with a full on erection is a vulnerable stance for some men. Some it's like, "Hey, look at me," and it's a power and it's a prowes in everything. But to some, it is truly a, "I'm not sure about this power." And there's a little embarrassment because if you go back to middle school, those suckers always happen at the most inopportune time and so therefore you're hiding it and sometimes that's just as carried right on forward into life and that's what gets revealed when you get into these intimate moments. But it's not talked about because a husband coming to a wife early on in his marriage saying, "You scare me. I'm kind of nervous," that's not endearing from the thought process, initially. But in reality, that could be what's going on. I don't know for sure, but I'm just saying this more as a blanket statement, not for this couple. But it's just kind of recognizing there's a lot going on. And so when you're asking yourself her last question, are we having enough sex, according to her, no.

Pam Allan: Right. She wants more.

Corey Allan: What about him?

Pam Allan: Valid question.

Corey Allan: Have you asked him flat out what would be your target goal of if you could set it up optimally, what would be the optimal level? And at least then you know what you're working with, and then you can take better steps forward to see if you got a collaboration towards this or not because things are going to be exposed in both of you. Her, I don't want to feel rejected. Him, I don't know if I can keep up. I don't know if I'm satisfying you. I don't... There's a lot of other things that can come along too. Because I hear this from guys on the other end of the spectrum that a woman wakes up one day of her sexuality and she's raring to go every day, and he's like, "I just can't keep up with that." But, typically, if you're later on, you have a little more with you to go, "I don't necessarily have to have a hard on to make it always a good experience for her. I'm still capable of more." And those are things we have to learn in the trenches, pun intended.
Well, in case you missed the extended content today, for those of you that are listening to the regular version only, we solved the dilemma of that dynamic of higher desire, lower desire right in the last few minutes of the extended content today.

Pam Allan: You're welcome.

Corey Allan: Yes. But it was a fun way to at least explore something else going on deeper which in all the emails and the voicemail from today, there's always something else going on deeper-

Pam Allan: Yes, there is.

Corey Allan: ... than just what we've put on the surface of physical actions and sex because we are more sophisticated as human beings. And so that's what we want to do here at Sexy Marriage Radio. So if you're new, we're so glad you found us. And buckle up, sit back, pour yourself something to drink and enjoy the ride because it's going to be a fun one. We've we got a lot we still got to come through and deal with and address I'm sure in the years and once and weeks to come.
Well, this has been Sexy Marriage Radio. If we left something undone, let us know, (214)702-9565, So we'll see you next time.