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hosted by Dr. Corey Allan

Allergic to Sex #505

On the Regular version of today’s show …

An email from a couple who wonder if allergens can be passed through semen and what are steps to take to prevent this from affecting his wife.

Another discussion of the higher desire and lower desire dilemma in married sex.

On the Xtended version …

An email from a husband who is really turned on by his wife’s past sexual encounters. Is this wrong or sinful?

Enjoy the show!

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Speaker 1: You are listening to the regular version of Sexy Marriage Radio, 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: So we may be dating ourselves, but right before I hit record, we were talking about the Wonder Twin powers and activate.

Pam Allan: How many people remember that, Wonder Twin powers, activate in the shape of, in the form of?

Corey Allan: I remember.

Pam Allan: I do too.

Corey Allan: That's what I grew up with.

Pam Allan: I was surprised. We remembered the same exact episode. I was-

Corey Allan: Baby. Of course.

Pam Allan: ... quite proud of you.

Corey Allan: Of course we remembered the exact same episode because that's what marriage does. We remember everything exactly the same.

Pam Allan: You got the wrong show.

Corey Allan: Well, this is Sexy Marriage Radio, we'll see where this thing goes today then.

Pam Allan: That is not what we've been saying.

Corey Allan: If I'm starting off completely wrong. We're so glad that you're here, to the members of the SMR nation, we are so thankful that each and every week, you spend some time with us and that you also reach out to us with your questions, your thoughts, your comments, your help for other people in the nation.
We want all of that, so call us at (214) 702-9565 is our voicemail line or email feedback at, if you've got a question, or if you've got a comment based on something we've covered, because we want to begin the dialogues.
Specifically, we want to begin the conversations in your own relationship about what's going on in marriage, because each relationship is unique, but the situations aren't really all that unique.

Pam Allan: You say that all the time, there's nothing new under the sun, right? So someone else is going through it too.

Corey Allan: Absolutely. And so, you've heard this before, too. So if you like what we got going on, please jump on iTunes, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Amazon, YouTube, however you choose to listen and rate and review, leave a comment, help us spread the word that the Wonder Twin powers are activating and making Sexy Marriage Radio the best podcast out there.
So coming up on today's regular free version of Sexy Marriage Radio is a couple of your questions and our answers. One will be a topic we've covered several times. We'll just come at it from a slightly different way because the higher desire lower desire difference just wreaks all kinds of havoc until people get a better view of it, and then it still wreaks havoc, just not as much.

Pam Allan: The questions keep coming up, they just use a few different words.

Corey Allan: Absolutely. But another one, could you be allergic to sex? That'll be a fun one to unpack.

Pam Allan: Okay. Interested in that.

Corey Allan: And then, on the extended content today of Sexy Marriage Radio, which is deeper, longer, and there are no ads, you can subscribe to join the academy or the extended content only at
We're going to answer a question that's been hanging out there for a while from an emailer, and so if you are the one that emailed this question, and I will be circling back to you directly if you're not an academy member, so you'll be able to hear our discussion of it, but it'll be worth hanging around for. So all that's coming on, today's show.
So here's an email, Pam. "First off, I just want to say how much I love your show. I'm a new listener who's been binge listening for a few months. You've helped me look inward and see where I've been the problem and help create an open dialogue of sex, not just with my wife, but sharing our story and SMR with anyone that I can share it with. So thank you so much for the great work that you've done." I love that.

Pam Allan: For sure.

Corey Allan: Start it in, move it out, and spread it. I think that's great philosophy. "So I'm emailing you because I've listened to the episode about how the taste of semen can change based upon the foods that you eat. My wife and I recently had an experience though that I didn't put much thought into until after. My wife is allergic to nuts so I make sure to stay clear of them for at least several hours before I see her and usually things are fine.
"However, we recently had some semen get on her leg and as we were cleaning up, she noticed that she had some hives similar to an allergic reaction, which made me wonder since I had eaten a Reese's earlier in the day. I had the candy probably at 9:00 AM and this was just after 10:00 PM, so after the fact, it made sense that this could happen, but the distance seemed sure quite a spread of time.
"So my question is, how long does the food that we eat stay in our semen? Is this something that would go away after we've eaten other foods, or would I need to ejaculate for this to leave my body? I know this is an unusual question, but I thought maybe we would know an answer. I know you're probably get thousands of emails so thanks so much for reading. And I look forward to the upcoming shows?"
Okay, this is one that's, not being an MD, or I just lost the name of what it is that really gets into the nuances of allergies, and there's actually a specialty for that.

Pam Allan: Going on. Yes.

Corey Allan: I did do some researching through to figure out what can happen, what are some of the things that people have experienced, where there has been research studies on subjects that would be similar to this because, to set the stage, we do have some episodes in the past where the foods can alter the taste, but typically you're talking about large quantities. It's not like, because we made the comment about pineapple because it helps sweeten the taste and change the PA level of semen-

Pam Allan: You'd have to have a lot of it.

Corey Allan: Yes, to really-

Pam Allan: Lot's and lots.

Corey Allan: It needs to be a staple of your environment to help change and get all the way through the body. So is it possible to have a reaction that is spread through your semen? Yes. There was actually a study that was done in 2007, the same result he's describing happened with he and his wife where a woman is severely allergic to Brazil nuts, and so a 20 year old was documented that she had a widespread reaction after intercourse with her boyfriend who had earlier consumed the Brazil nuts.
So they actually took him and her and conducted some tests, because normal allergy tests of the skin prick-

Pam Allan: Right, with and without the Brazil nuts, I'm assuming.

Corey Allan: Right. And to see, and-

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: ... it all showed, yes, it can be delivered through seminal fluid. So none of this is in a lot of science, this is just my experience too, a lot of science is not direct linear. If it happens to one person does not mean it happens to everybody, right?

Pam Allan: But it's possible to happen.

Corey Allan: But it is possible.

Pam Allan: Documented.

Corey Allan: So as far as the timeframe, from what I can find in the research I've done for this, it's across the board on how long does it take for something to get out of your system when you're talking about getting it involved into your seminal fluid? It can either be a couple of days or even a week or more.

Pam Allan: Really?

Corey Allan: Yes.

Pam Allan: I'm surprised that long.

Corey Allan: And even with some people though, because of absorption rate and whatever else your diet consists of, it could be sooner, right? Because it could be, you eat a really clean diet all the way through, lots of vegetables, lots of fruits.

Pam Allan: Water, seems like a lot of water.

Corey Allan: Lots of water. There's a lot of components that just help make up our dietary supplement that we have, and the way we deal with our life, and so if you interject something like a nut or a peanut or something, and it's an anomaly, that would go through faster than if it was a regular part of your diet.

Pam Allan: Sure.

Corey Allan: For a span, right?

Pam Allan: It sure seems like, for that situation, they need to go talk to their doctor, talk to a dietician.

Corey Allan: Yes.

Pam Allan: And deal with that piece on their end.

Corey Allan: Yeah. I think it's wise to do so. The other thing to do is if you are in a relationship with somebody that has a peanut allergy, depending on the severity of it, protected sex is incredibly important then because you can utilize a condom, less likely anything seeps into or falls onto her. You can change your diet. Actually, when you're doing allergy work in general, you can do some desensitization of it where it's slow. And this is just the same-

Pam Allan: Again, you're using a doctor when you're doing that desensitization though. Do people just do that on their own?

Corey Allan: Well, depending on the severity. When you're talking about nut allergies, because most of those are really severe, if somebody has a nut allergy, but you could have a lactose intolerance and you can desensitize yourself to that slowly over your own process on your own. Right?
So again, under the auspices and the care of a medical professional is always wise counsel-

Pam Allan: Right.

Corey Allan: ... when you're dealing with your body, but it is possible that it can carry it, it can carry it through. The other thing I saw on this was sometimes medication, with the use of an antihistamine, because that helps block the uptakes that are within the skin or the orifices of our body that can help take the edge off of the possibility of it really having a reaction, again, depending on severity. Right?
Interesting thing that I came across though with this, babe, is what about, because one of the questions that I came across that was being answered and saw it was, what about kissing? Can you-

Pam Allan: Right.

Corey Allan: If you kiss somebody.

Pam Allan: I would think that was the same thing.

Corey Allan: You can, but it does not stay in the saliva near as long. You're usually talking three or four hours and you're fine.

Pam Allan: Okay.

Corey Allan: Because the makeup of the saliva in your mouth breaks it down so much faster, and generally you can brush your teeth, do some of the other things that help eliminate the bacteria or germs-

Pam Allan: Oh, that is interesting.

Corey Allan: ... or any of the leftovers, which then also led to another little rabbit trail I went down on, is it possible to be allergic to semen itself?

Pam Allan: Okay. And?

Corey Allan: Yes.

Pam Allan: Really?

Corey Allan: It's a rare form of what can happen, but it is possible to be allergic to the proteins that are naturally found in semen. It's the human seminal plasma hypersensitivity is what it's called.

Pam Allan: That's unfortunate.

Corey Allan: And it's a rare thing to where it's only been about 40,000 documented cases in the United States.

Pam Allan: That's unfortunate.

Corey Allan: But it is something that is-

Pam Allan: It's real.

Corey Allan: It's real.

Pam Allan: Yeah, so.

Corey Allan: And so, there could be people that have post-orgasmic illnesses, is what they actually call it.

Pam Allan: Okay.

Corey Allan: If that's something you find, because I've come across clients that, early on in their marriage, regular UTIs would happen after sex and some of these different things, right?

Pam Allan: Oh, well, they call that the honeymoon disease, right? That's really-

Corey Allan: That's cleanliness.

Pam Allan: ... common.

Corey Allan: Right, it is, but some of that could be like, "Oh, well that's just part of it." But if that's something that's still going on in your marriage and you're listener of the Nation, sometimes ask the questions then.

Pam Allan: Okay.

Corey Allan: Wonder if there could be something about this because it is a factor that how we conduct our life impacts our spouse and who we do sex with.

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: So Pam, we've had a long-term sponsor now for the shows and that's That's H-E-L-P, and one of the things I absolutely love is there all kinds of times in life where there's something that prevents our happiness, or achieving our goals, or we're facing loneliness. So it's good to know that BetterHelp will help assess your needs and match you to your own licensed professional therapist, and in many cases, you can start communicating with somebody in under 48 hours.

Pam Allan: That's great.

Corey Allan: That is. It's not a crisis line and it's not self-help, this is actually professional counseling done securely online.

Pam Allan: So are these folks, they do things that are different than you. You focus on couples, men, adults, that kind of thing. And this is a variety of other counselors that have all kinds of other gamuts, or how is that different?

Corey Allan: Yeah, and some of them would actually do what I do as well.

Pam Allan: Okay.

Corey Allan: And so, this is actually one therapist recommending other therapists.

Pam Allan: Wonderful.

Corey Allan: Because one of the things that matters to me is that this is a service that's available worldwide. And it's also one, it's a service that matches you with the right therapist, because not all people will jive with my style or my thought. Some other people, like a female, might want a female to talk to.

Pam Allan: Right. Definitely.

Corey Allan: And that's a reality, and so I am a big proponent and BetterHelp has been so successful lately that there are over one million people who have taken the charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional, and there's been so many people that have been using BetterHelp that they're actually recruiting additional counselors in all 50 states.

Pam Allan: Wow.

Corey Allan: To help meet the need. BetterHelp wants you to start living a happier, healthier life today. You can visit That is, and listeners will get 10% off their first month. It's a special offer just for our audience. That's Take charge of your life with the help of a professional today.
So this is the email, Pam, that has some of the similarities to the higher desire, lower desire discrepancy.

Pam Allan: Okay.

Corey Allan: And the voids and the struggles that we have between those two. So, "I've been listening to your podcast since July and I first listened to just the titles that I thought would be right, then I started listening to from the beginning because we kept mentioning other shows as we were recording. And it made me feel like I was missing something. So I'm on episode 150, and I'm loving all that you and the co-host talk about.
"So I've been married," it's a little bit of backstory, "been addicted to porn since before we got married and and have been working to get clean from it. I've had anger issues and I've been working that out. My wife actually gave me an ultimatum around Christmas last year to either work on my anger and no sex until I did.
"I worked on my anger with a therapist, but nothing changed. It was 11 months before we had sex again. After that, my wife started saying that she wanted a third kid. So after two months of trying, we found out that she's pregnant. I initiated three times the day we found out and was turned down every time. Now that she's pregnant, she's saying she most likely will not want any more sex until long after the baby is born.
"I feel discouraged and forgotten about now. As of right now, I'm not sure if you've already done an episode on this or not, but my question is, why are higher desire spouses, husbands, in my case, shamed by their spouse for wanting sex after just having had it two days prior, in some cases.
"I've been called a and a pervert for even asking. I just want to be close to her, but she's never liked to be touched. I had this same question among other therapists with no response and I only ask that you reply in some way to let me know that we read this email."
And so, I've actually emailed him with, here's some shows we've done that were specific, but this is also worth, I think, confronting again on the air.

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: Because it is such a prevalent dynamic.

Pam Allan: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Corey Allan: So the two things that jump out to me.

Pam Allan: Okay.

Corey Allan: But I stepped on you there, so you go first.

Pam Allan: Yeah. No, you did not step on me. I was about to say, shoot, because I think you've got the gun loaded.

Corey Allan: Okay. So one is I went to a therapist to work on my anger, but nothing changed. I'm assuming that means he feels like his anger, he got it under wraps a little better, directed it a little bit better and nothing changed with his wife's response.

Pam Allan: Okay.

Corey Allan: Because I think there's important... Just to ask the question.

Pam Allan: I heard it as nothing changed, like I didn't manage my anger, but I think you're probably right in what he crosstalk.

Corey Allan: That's why I was wondering, just because of the wording, because if it is, I went to a therapist and nothing changed, nothing got better, so there's no change. Well, yeah. We're not magic workers as therapists, right?

Pam Allan: Yeah. Okay. Yeah, I'm with you.

Corey Allan: So just for clarification's sake, I always go, this is the phrase you've been using a lot lately, babe, over the last several months and years with the show is, continually working towards that path of, would I want to be married to me? And looking at the holistic of that question, right? And all of me.

Pam Allan: Right.

Corey Allan: The way I react to things, the way I handle things, the way I am when I'm short, frustrated, would I be okay with that?

Pam Allan: Right.

Corey Allan: Those are great questions to ask because I view it as it takes away some ammo that your spouse may have for you.

Pam Allan: That's one way. Yeah. It takes away ammo. It also makes me be able to sleep at night, because I'm living-

Corey Allan: That's the much more wholesome coming from goodness side.

Pam Allan: Well, yeah.

Corey Allan: I was coming...

Pam Allan: If things go south, I want to be able to say, "Well, I did what I could."

Corey Allan: Right.

Pam Allan: And I feel like I was someone that I would want to be married to.

Corey Allan: Absolutely perfect route to be heading on. So the other question I've got is where he's asking, what is it that makes a lower desire spouse, shame, or degrade, or question, or call the higher desire spouse a creep or a pervert because of what they want. I think of all of the things that happen in marriage, does not matter if you're a higher desire or a lower desire, as everyone is making moves. Right?

Pam Allan: Okay. Are you referring to her making a move or are you referring to him making a move?

Corey Allan: They both are.

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: Right?

Pam Allan: I would agree.

Corey Allan: So her move of, if she can say, "You are a creep because you want more sex, you are a pervert because that's all you think about, and you listen to Sexy Marriage Radio and it backs you off, it makes you upset, you get frustrated, you stop pursuing," then that was a fantastic move for move's sake on her part to get what she wants.

Pam Allan: For move's sake, but then I ask her the question, would she want to be married to herself?

Corey Allan: Fair question.

Pam Allan: Just throwing that out there.

Corey Allan: No, that's a fair question.

Pam Allan: Okay.

Corey Allan: But I think this is that whole thing that we have to be able to look at life and realize objectively, I have a lens through which I perceive everything, and so I will skew stuff in my favor, I will try to make it to what works for my desires, wants, needs, pleasures, and I will be blocked by whatever another person's desires, wants, needs, or pleasures might be in that case.

Pam Allan: Right.

Corey Allan: And so, if a spouse can shame or react and it makes the higher desire spouse back off, then that's a really good move by them. That's what they do.

Pam Allan: That doesn't make it worth wanting though.

Corey Allan: I'm not saying... No, well-

Pam Allan: It is a move in the dynamic, but it doesn't make either of you wanting that.

Corey Allan: I'm just trying to see this as a chess game, in a sense, right? That there is an element of, I'm trying to move you onto an idea or off of an idea all the time.

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: The question becomes, and this is the last four or five weeks that we've done in the extended content, can we create an intimate enough relationship where there's actually room for both? So I can still make a move, but I don't crumble, based on however you respond to those moves, and then the moves you make in turn.

Pam Allan: Sure.

Corey Allan: Because if you can start to look at it, her moves are, "I want a better husband. I want somebody that handles his emotions better, particularly his anger." So she even laid out there, no sex until you get that under wraps.

Pam Allan: Right.

Corey Allan: Well, okay. Sounds like that worked for a little bit.

Pam Allan: He made a move to do that.

Corey Allan: He made a move to go and do that, now her move is to not follow through with what was said or not confront what now is on the table based on what was said. And so, then it becomes, how do you renegotiate in real time? "Hold on a sec. What are we really doing here? This is what's going on. How do we call each other out?"

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: I've even said to you sometimes, just because in the history of SMR, I made comments in the past about I'm always looking to close, and so now that we've gotten better at playing our part better, I think it is, I'm trying to be a better higher desire, you're trying to be a better lower desire.

Pam Allan: Yes.

Corey Allan: So sometimes I can look you square in the eye and with all sincerity say, "You better get your defenses ready."

Pam Allan: Right, yeah.

Corey Allan: Right?

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: You better be on your game if this is not where you want it to go, because it's a dialogue and a dynamic between us.

Pam Allan: Yeah, yeah.

Corey Allan: That sometimes, if you can make it a little more less personal, as weird as that sounds, because what we're trying to do is actually really personal.

Pam Allan: Right.

Corey Allan: But how do I start to look at my spouse's moves as less personal? It's about them. It's about their moves.

Pam Allan: Sure. You can totally see how, when there's a response of, "I don't want sex through the rest of pregnancy and probably way after this child is born," that's not just talking about, "I'm asking for sex two days later," right?

Corey Allan: Right.

Pam Allan: We're talking months on end.

Corey Allan: Right.

Pam Allan: And that's a move, I guess if we're calling it that, that has to be addressed.

Corey Allan: Well, or you sit back and seethe.

Pam Allan: And the seething-

Corey Allan: Because you're so mad and you're so frustrated.

Pam Allan: Well, and she may sit over there fine because you're not asking for it anymore, but...

Corey Allan: Yeah. It changes the whole dynamic of things.

Pam Allan: Yeah. Nobody wants you to sit there and seethe. Nobody wants that.

Corey Allan: Right, so how do you look at this whole dynamic as, okay, what are my moves as the higher desire here? How am I going about what I'm trying to get? Am I clear, and am I coming at it with as little strings to no strings attached as possible? Just being expressive, I'm being engaging, I'm being inviting, the way Shannon used to say this, "I'm trying to inspire it by the way I'm living myself in my life, and my reactions in the interactions with you."

Pam Allan: Yes.

Corey Allan: And then, how do I see her moves? Because the difference is, and this is the Schnarch phrase I have loved lately since I heard about it a couple years back, my job is not to pin my antagonist down, or my wife down, in this case.

Pam Allan: Right.

Corey Allan: My job is to not make it as easy for her to get around me.

Pam Allan: Hmm.

Corey Allan: Right?

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: And that just means I start standing up for what I want. Doesn't make the problems go away, it just makes them cleaner and clearer.

Pam Allan: Right.

Corey Allan: So now I can really start to look at, what are we going to do? Because it's not, all right, sit back and go, "Your move, babe," it's really, I see what you're doing.

Pam Allan: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Corey Allan: I don't care if you call me a pervert. I don't see myself as such because I want to do this more with you.

Pam Allan: No.

Corey Allan: What else you got?

Pam Allan: Right.

Corey Allan: Right? And so, it's just I conduct myself a little differently, which most of the time, when clients really get this at a deeper level, it pivots the situations for them.
So before we transition into the extended content, I do want to read the email, and then we'll answer it-

Pam Allan: Perfect, yeah.

Corey Allan: ... in the extended.

Pam Allan: Perfect.

Corey Allan: Because this has been sitting in the queue for a while. So it says, "Hey, Corey and Pam, I'm a new listener and I love the show. I've often wondered if I was crazy and afraid to ask the questions that you often answer. So thank you for what you do.
"I'm a Christian and I love the Lord and strive to grow closer to him every day. One of my thoughts and concerns is where, when, and where is the line between sinful and just good pleasure with my spouse? Fantasies and thoughts of my beautiful wife's past turn me on so much. She's definitely the lower desire in our relationship, but I've experienced her hot in sex, and I just want that more often.
"She started telling me about some of her experiences in her past which I wasn't aware of and it really turned me on. Since then, this is all I can think about. When we shower together, I beg her to tell me more about those experiences. She really doesn't want to, but she does because it makes me come quickly.
"My question, is it wrong for me to get so turned on by my wife's past? I heard an episode once that really made sense to me. You said that what I really want is to see my wife totally turned on. That is exactly true. I just want your opinion about me fantasizing about my wife's past or her being with another man. Thanks."
So there's a lot here and we've not really explored it, especially in the manner in which I'm planning to go in the extended content today, so.

Pam Allan: Well, I'm ready for a couple cents to be thrown out there.

Corey Allan: We'll see you on the other side. It does not matter how many years we've done this show, I love fact that people still email in, they call in.

Pam Allan: Right.

Corey Allan: They ask the questions. They invite us into their worlds.

Pam Allan: Just being vulnerable.

Corey Allan: Because it's always an honor to speak to specific situations.

Pam Allan: It is. It is.

Corey Allan: And so, if you were the gentleman that emailed in for what we covered in the extended content and you're not a member of the academy, let me know, I'll be emailing you too. But if we miss each other, let me know and I will get you access so that you will absolutely hear where we went with this because we're not going to answer a question and, "Oh, sorry, you don't get it."

Pam Allan: No, no, you get to hear that content.

Corey Allan: We're here to try to help people and we really want to help frame conversations that go on in your relationships and behind your closed doors because, man, we all reach struggles and rough patches.

Pam Allan: Right.

Corey Allan: And we want to just see our way through as clean as possible.

Pam Allan: Yup.

Corey Allan: So this has been Sexy Marriage Radio. Thanks for taking some time out of your day to spend it with us. If we left something undone, let us know and add to the conversation, please. See you next time.