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Best Of SMR: Masturbation and Expectations #552

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Join us at the Sexy Marriage Radio Getaway in Indianapolis, June 23-25, 2022 –

On the Regular version of today’s show …

An email from a husband wanting more than just functional/duty sex with his wife.

A caller wondering about more information about masturbation and is it a sin.

On the Xtended version …

Expectations. We all have them. Where do they come from and what do we do with them?

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Announcer: 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 Allen.

Corey Allan: You would not have made it as a musician.

Pam Allan: No, I would not have.

Corey Allan: It's the Sexy Marriage Radio, alongside my wife who just brings laughter and joy, particularly right before we get on the air.

Pam Allan: Okay, I'm here for you.

Corey Allan: Appreciate it. And I'm glad that the SMR nation is here for us too.

Pam Allan: I am too.

Corey Allan: That they show up each and every week. And here we go, the last episode of 2021. Pretty amazing, another year. I'm just trying to speak to what helps couples create more in marriage, whatever that might be, to connect better, to get out of a rut, to deal with conflict.

Pam Allan: To be a better you.

Corey Allan: To be a better you. That's ultimate goal is just grow up, be better.

Pam Allan: Would I want to be married to me?

Corey Allan: It's a fantastic question to end out this year and move into next. And we are so glad that they're a part of us and this journey alongside. And so, we want to hear from you. What's your questions, topics, concerns, feedback, praise, we want it all. 214-702-9565, or, where we read every email that comes in. Some get answered directly, some get it on the show. Some get collated into several, because there's a lot of different of the same kind of question coming in. And so, we batch them and answer them that way. But we're so glad that they speak up and they help us steer this ship and where it goes. And like we mentioned last week, as we're winding down this and people are oftentimes making plans for next.
June 23rd through the 25th is the Sexy Marriage Radio getaway in Indianapolis. So, save your spot now because we will sell out. And you just go to, learn more all about it. And this time the sign up sheet's different. So, when you register, there's check boxes to fill in to save your hotel spot, because we're collecting the names that we will then send to the hotel for the SMR getaway rate we got this year, rather than them scheduling it and reserving it themselves.

Pam Allan: So, to secure the rate, they have to give us the information.

Corey Allan: As part of the registration form, you click, you check the dates you want the hotel room and then we will turn that in when the time gets closer. But we want people to jump on it as the holidays are winding down and the new year's rolling in because we will sell out and spaces are already filling up. So, get on board and come see us in Indy.

Pam Allan: Get on the train.

Corey Allan: Well, coming up on today's regular free version is we're pulling out a best of today for this episode. And what I've done is, I of it because we can go through and look at the stats. And I've just looked at which are the most popular shows through the history of Sexy Marriage Radio. And so, for this one, it's a best of, and on the regular version, we got an email coming in about a wife, a husband, who's asking about how do we move beyond just functional level obligation, duty kind od sex, where it plays a role that is an aspect of it. But if that's all it is, neither party is in a good shape.

Pam Allan: They want more passion.

Corey Allan: Right.

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: And then there's also a caller wanting to know about masturbation and sin, because that's a topic that we've touched on in the past. And so, we're pulling that one back out to touch on it again. And then on the extended version today, which is Deeper Longer, and there are no ads, you can subscribe at The whole world of expectations. What do we do with them? Because we all got them, and the way we frame it is they're just...

Pam Allan: Plain appointments.

Corey Allan: All that's coming up on today's show. So, this is an email that came in, Pam, a little while ago. That's from a husband saying, "I've got a question. My spouse and I have been married 11 years. We continue to have sex on a frequent basis, but my spouse does it more out of duty than delight. She's only been interested in having an orgasm twice in the past 14 months. And she just has sex with me because she knows I need it, which I appreciate. It's very functional rather than fun. No foreplay, no laughing, no communicating about preferences." They have three young kids and a couple part-time jobs. So, she's pretty tired with this stage of life.
He struggles, but because it is the larger narrative of their sex life, which has been a struggle for most of the marriage. "In the past, she's asked me to do certain things that would help her get in the mood, such as help with chores, shave his beard, approach her a certain way, et cetera," But that's rarely made a difference from his perspective. "I also have been open in our marriage about my sexual desire and preferences. She's listened and often agreed to try new things, but then there's very little follow through from her." Even though those things are agreed to, leaving him feeling disappointed, disrespected, and unloved.
"I long for a joyful, fun, sexual relationship with my wife, but I'm just not sure that is who she is or if it is even possible. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you." So, in the past, we have done episodes on what do you do with functional level sex? What do you do when one, the higher desire for novelty, engagement, depth, variety, et cetera, wants more and the lower desire is just following a script or hitting functional level sex?

Pam Allan: Just getting by with what they can.

Corey Allan: And we've talked about it in the past, change it up in midstream as the higher desire. Oftentimes, in our shows we've done that leaning towards the husband to just switch positions, try something different. Don't speak about it, just make the move, et cetera. But I want to take a little bit of a different slant with this one, because I think this is one of those while that still works, he's talking about more what goes on outside of the bedroom as well. That's what I'm hearing. Tell me if you're hearing different, Pam.

Pam Allan: Okay. You took this horse out the barn, let's roll with it.

Corey Allan: Let's see how far it's going to go. Okay. Hopefully, we don't get lost or get thrown from the ride. So, I'm curious because what he's saying is throughout the course of their marriage, they've had some conversations about it. She's even said here's some things I think that can help, which in my experience in the 25 years, almost 26 years I've had with you, and then with the people that I've worked with in my office, and my experience with the lower desire spouse, particularly when that spouse is the wife, she's not really sure what it would be. Some of these are just stabs in the dark, because she doesn't have specific preferences of like, okay, this is the missing key.

Pam Allan: I would agree with that. And typically, sometimes I would tribute that to the lower desire spouse, just since that's not necessarily a priority, that's not where time is spent researching and trying to figure out what it is that makes you tick in that arena.

Corey Allan: Right. There's not a lot of internal drive, just inherently in the, how do I fix this, I really want to spice I this up?

Pam Allan: Yeah. But I'm really not sure.

Corey Allan: Right. And so, a lot of times I really believe a lot of women, in case for this emailer, they wrestle with I don't know. And it is a legit answer.

Pam Allan: It is.

Corey Allan: Because they really don't and it's not as specific and that's where-

Pam Allan: It's not an evasion. It's not them trying to evade the question.

Corey Allan: Well, it can be, but the slant I want to take with this horse out of the barn today, is it's not. I'll agree with what you're saying, because there are times with the sophistication of the way dynamic goes in marriage that it can be an evasion.

Pam Allan: Well, don't we know when our spouse is blowing us off and saying, "I don't know?"

Corey Allan: Yes.

Pam Allan: And there's a legit I don't know and then there's the I'm blowing you off kind.

Corey Allan: Right. And so, this is one to where those of us who spend a lot of energy, effort, intellect, desire, drive, whatever, what have you, in this arena of how do I spice up sex more. How do I have more? How do I create deeper connection, whatever it is that I'm longing for? It's a foreign concept to think that how would you not know. And so ,we need to on the higher desire side of this think. They don't think like we do, and intellectually speaking, that's probably a duh, but deep down, it's absolutely true.
And you've got to come to grips with that to realize they don't see it the way we do. And that doesn't mean anything's wrong, that just means that's the difference between us. And so, sometimes that foreign thought, we've got to wrestle with it on the higher desire side of it too, which is why I want to spin this to outside of the bedroom. To where rather than how do I get her more engaged and thinking about this, longing for this, taking a lead in it or engaging it in on a deeper level, how am I doing this in my own life, outside of the bedroom and the other aspects of my life?
We talked about last week's episode on the extended content, we went into, what are the elements of a great story? How do you create a better life? And we went through and listed four components that have to be a part of it. And it's really a good framework to look at here's how you do this to really create a more passionate, vibrant life.

Pam Allan: Right. Which draws the other spouse in so many different aspects of life.

Corey Allan: That's where I want to land on.

Pam Allan: Including sexually.

Corey Allan: That's where I want to land on this. Because when you first met each other, there's a likelihood that she was into the vibe you were giving, not just sexual. It was the way you conducted yourself. It was the way you approached her. It was the way you carried yourself. It's the way you handled responsibilities, cared for other people. I mean, we say this with our daughter, any boy that's interested in you or is on your radar, how does he treat other people? Because that's a big component of who are they as a person. And I would say the same to our son, how does she treat her friends? How does she treat other people? Because that's a big component of who they are. Because we can put on a good persona, but how we are with other people shows who we are too.
And so, how congruent are those two things? How live are you? And this is where, as a husband and my hunch would be based on he's reaching out and he's listening. He sees some of the hurdles and some of the wins thus far. My hunch would be he's doing this already, but maybe could shore it up a little bit. Meaning, with whatever it is that you're doing, how have you interwoven a sexual vibe into the relationship continually with your wife? How do you do foreplay outside of the bedroom, where you're really targeting her most potent sexual organ, which is her mind.

Pam Allan: So, what is that you're recommending here for him on this regard? Because it sounds like she's got a lot of the busyness of life at play, the small kids, part-time job, and she's agreed to some things. I guess the thing that I heard in that arena is they've had the discussions, she's agreed to some things, how is he then luring her into those things.

Corey Allan: Okay. Well, so, in one regards, thank you for bringing that up, Pam, in one regards as the higher desire, just because the lower desire agrees to something, we as the higher desire have to realize that doesn't mean they all of a sudden became the higher desire in it, just because they agreed it.

Pam Allan: Doesn't mean they became the higher desire, doesn't mean that they're even going to initiate it. Because they agreed to it, don't expect all of a sudden her clothes to just fall off that night.

Corey Allan: Right. Or for her to come and rip yours off because she agreed to it. Because it can be one of those, in the moment, absolutely. She's like, I can see that. And then other things happen and we get derailed. And for the lower desire, it's easier to get derailed than the higher desire. That's part of the dynamic. And so, there is a component as the higher desire, and probably put a pin in this for a future show. As a higher desire, we need to talk some more about this whole concept of leadership fatigue. Just always having to be in the lead and the fatigue that can come with it. And what that message is on the other side, coming back of like I'm to tired of always having to be the one that leads this because it does leave me feeling what he's describing rejected, alone, disrespected, unloved.
What I'm thinking of, is a lot of times we can start to see the dynamic of, "Okay, I want more sexual vibe between us. I've initiated, I've made comments, I've blurted," which is a great Dr. Glover phrase of if it's on your mind, blurt it, say it. Put it out there. And over the history of the relationship, typically those go fall flat. So, that means we don't keep doing it, rather than, wait, if that's a part of who I am, why am I tempering myself for that? Because my hunch is, and tell me if I'm wrong, because the experience you've had with me over the 26 years, almost, my hunch is when I can start to be more overt about just who I am and what I'm interested in and how I conduct myself. And I feel like over the years, I have gotten really good at figuring out how to bring in a sexual vibe in a fun way, that just keeps it right there under the surface, if not above the surface, that the manner in which I do that is all that matters.

Pam Allan: It's so much more enticing when it is overt, when it's just here's who I am and I'm just laying it out on the table, rather than feeling like there's passive aggressive comments or hints or whatever the case may be.

Corey Allan: Or the bigger issue is, I think the higher desire, a lot of times only does these when they are interested in sex. And so, there can be couple days go by after you've had sex and you're like, "Okay, we got our cycle, so it's not going to be until weekend. So, I'll start dropping those things again on Thursday." And she's reading that as you only say those things when there's the possibility of sex or when you're horny or when it's been a while, rather than why not have it as if that's something I'm interested in regularly, which is what I hear from a lot of higher desire, husbands, why not keep dropping those things and using those things and interweaving them appropriately. This is not just remove filter and say it all the time, that could be too much of a tsunami, but why not interweave it and then handle the response better?
Realize the goal isn't necessarily. And this is where we're heading in the extended today, I needed to level set my expectation. Because what helped me was recognizing if I could make a sexual innuendo comment, even in some of the most inopportune times, the goal wasn't I need to make sure we have sex that day right then, right there, right now, whatever, the goal was did I get some sort of reaction from you. Did I get a giggle? Did I get a smile, a smirk, a something? Because a lot of times it would be a smile or a smirk and then a, yeah, good try or no way or whatever. But the fact that I got that smile, even though I got shot down, it still hit, it still landed.

Pam Allan: It still landed, it leaves me as the spouse knowing he's just into me all the time.

Corey Allan: Right. That's the hope, that's the message that you want to send.

Pam Allan: I like knowing that you're into me.

Corey Allan: Right. The whole goal is this is what he's describing. That's what I'm reading. So, how do you up game, if you will, outside of the bedroom that has just more vibrancy and more life that you can interweave the sexual innuendo and the vibe into it, but also interweave yourself into it? Have fun with what you do, be alive with what you do. If you have a great work ethic, be dedicated and continue to conduct yourself in the manners in which draw her in. Be a man of your word.

Pam Allan: Got you.

Corey Allan: Right. Because I think that's the concept that draws people in that then the leap from good collaborative relationship as a beta couple, if you will, where you manage life well, it's a closer leap to get to that, now let's get naked.

Pam Allan: Okay. I'm processing..

Corey Allan: Okay. Because sex doesn't happen by accident. We've talked about that a lot in the past too.

Pam Allan: It doesn't happen by accident. And creating that environment if you've been in a routine of just gearing up or dropping those little conversations about sex or sexual innuendos. If you're in that root routine, that it only happens on the day of, or the day before you usually have sex, then it's a long process to flip this and have the spouse see you consistently maybe change in that routine.

Corey Allan: Right. This does to take some time for it all to find a new level of norm between you, because she could be and likely will read it as okay. And so, sometimes there can even be a benefit to the heads up of, "Hey, you know what? I realize, I've kind of tempered myself in some regards and I'm not going to come on full bore on you, I'm going to try some things out. Just heads up." And I think that's announcing an intention is a good way to go.

Pam Allan: I would agree.

Corey Allan: Let us know how it goes. 214-702-9565 or If we miss something that you're still wondering, let us know.

Speaker 3: Hey, guys. So, first time caller, long time listener. My wife and I listen to the podcast a lot and absolutely love it. Your latest one we heard, talking about how masturbation is not a sin and there's so much about it that I think is intriguing and I appreciate, but would love clarity. We had some fun conversations about that. And I guess a question is, is it not sin in the context of marriage when you are? I mean, because, yes, the physical act of masturbation, maybe that's not sin, but is it sin if you're fantasizing about somebody else? Is it sin if you're not married? How do you go forward in masturbating, if you're not fantasizing about something or thinking about somebody body part?
I don't know, is it lumped in under sexual immorality? So, would love to have you unpack that. And maybe even talking with somebody on a prominent spiritual realm. You've got somebody like John Piper out there and others that would maybe say that masturbation is sin. And I think they're qualified and solid in their teaching. So, we'd just like to hear that broken down in a deeper way. Love you guys. Thank you so much.

Corey Allan: Okay. This is one of those topics that is an interesting conversation, because we can go a lot of different ways with it. And right off the bat, when we're talking about, is it a sin or not, he's even alluding to it in the voicemail of is the act a sin or not, but more importantly, what surrounds it. That's the stance we've usually taken is what surrounds it. And he's alluding to John Piper. So, I did some researching of him, even reached out. Didn't hear anything back, because he's a pretty prominent name in the world of the Christian evangelic and theologian. But if you research his site, he comes down on the side of it is, it's wrong. Not the actual act, but in the context of a relationship is more what I'm reading from him. And then there's even some others out there that are of the similar vein and a lot of it-

Pam Allan: Back up, it's wrong. He's saying from what you're understanding from him, it's wrong in the context of a relationship and that if you're in a relationship?

Corey Allan: He's coming down on the it's the surrounding aspect of it is what's the bigger issue, the sexual immorality, the fantasy, the words of Jesus, that if you lust after somebody else, you've committed adultery with them. But even that, you could parse into get deeper. And I don't want to get into the ex of Jesus, of scripture with this topic, because scripture does not ever say masturbation is wrong. It's one of those untouched things. But there is one of those where I want to land with our conversation, Pam, is what is surrounding it, but also what are the messages with it, that you're telling yourself and your spouse? Because I want to keep this in the context of a relationship, because this is Sexy Marriage Radio.
We're not speaking to singles, specifically. Even though I know we have some in the nation that are single. But what surrounds it when you're getting into lust, pornography, other things, yes, now we can start getting into this, I am landing in an arena that is at best a slippery slope. It does lead to a lot of things that can happen. And so, is it wrong? That's a tough one, because we've talked about in the past that it can be an appropriate, helpful way, possibly, to deal with a huge disparity between higher desire and lower desire.

Pam Allan: Right. So, we've said that if a spouse has, you've got medical issues and there's long spans of time that-

Corey Allan: Or deployment.

Pam Allan: ...a deployment. There's reasons that spouses aren't together and sexual relations aren't happening. There's legitimate reasons for that, that have nothing to do with some sort of dispute or argument between the spouses. This is just either or nature or health can't allow you to do that. So, yeah, we've said if your mind is focused on a spouse, that's where your thought processes are going are to your spouse.

Corey Allan: And also, if it's something that's not hidden and secret. And because that's where, again, in this conversation, it's hard to find real clear lines of distinction because situation matters, context matters of the couples. So, it's looking at this as, is this to the detriment and the fact that one of you is masturbating and now the other person could be interested and you can't perform, you're not interested. You don't have the desire because you just masturbated. That's a detriment to the relationship then.

Pam Allan: Yeah, it is.

Corey Allan: Because it was likely hidden. And now all of a sudden when she, or he comes after, you're like, "Hey, I'm really not interested." That's the reason why, but you're not going to explain it to them why. No, I already took care of myself, thanks. It's looking at it through this lens of, I don't like the argument of is it right or wrong, as much as it is, is it healthy. That's where I want to go with this conversation.

Pam Allan: Yeah. I don't know that it's clear anywhere as to a ultimate right or wrong, 100% yes or no.

Corey Allan: Right. So, I came across one of the members of one of the mastermind groups that I've run had just posted in a board for the group that they're done. And he just posted that he was listened to some stuff from Dr. Glover and no more mister nice guy. And he was struck by the fact that Dr. Glover made a comment that it's possible to view porn, fantasy, and masturbation as scraps. And it's these kinds of scraps that one experiences with bad sex. And so, I want to land on, is masturbation a healthy expression or does it set up a scenario to where you actually are hurting yourself and the relationship because you're settling for bad scraps?

Pam Allan: I think anytime you're trying to do something solo and not in a relationship together, it can't be as vibrant and as full.

Corey Allan: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Pam Allan: So, I mean, I know where I stand on that one, masturbation is not something that's going to get you that fullness that this sexual relationship crosstalk.

Corey Allan: You lose the relational component of another human being in close proximity to you.

Pam Allan: Yeah. And that's part of how this was created. That's part of how this relationship works together in is more vibrant and more alive.

Corey Allan: Okay. And so, just so it's very clear to the audience that's listening to this episode, I want to take the stance of there's normal and healthy are two different things.

Pam Allan: Okay. And why are you making that distinction?

Corey Allan: Because out there can be, well, but masturbation is normal. Okay, but is it healthy? That's where I want to land. Because what I think is most of the time when you're introduced to masturbation, it's usually in adolescence, when you just are chalked full of hormones and you're unsure of how to handle these hormones and the wind blows and the hormones rage. And he, or she walks by and the hormones rage, a thought, whatever it is. And so, masturbation, oftentimes, and this carries forward into adulthood, into marriage, into life, mostly, masturbation is used for tension release, soothing, it's a hypnotic for sleep, it's the numbing of something, or it's a great way to enhance a better sense of guilt.

Pam Allan: Oh, my. Okay, that last one just really stands out. So, dive deeper into it.

Corey Allan: Because you already feel guilty about sexual vibes and sexual energy because of upbringing, because of unknown, because of uncertainty. So, masturbation is a great way just to feel, you feel pleasure, but then you have the ensuing guilt that follows. So, it's just that vicious circle of what we do in life. It's like that, "Oh, I know I shouldn't have had that soda. Oh, I know I shouldn't have had that second drink. Oh, I know I shouldn't have had that second dessert and now I feel guilty." It's the same kind of way we are as people. But I think a lot of times, if you really are honest with yourself, masturbation has become something that it truly is a means unto itself, there's an attachment to an outcome. It's not for a deeper connection.

Pam Allan: Oh yeah. It truly is just for an outcome.

Corey Allan: Even if that deeper connection is for yourself, you likely don't take yourself to a dinner and a movie before you masturbate.

Pam Allan: No.

Corey Allan: I'm going to show myself a good time and I'm going to top it off with a great romantic evening at home. Candles, ambiance, good foreplay, we just don't do it that way.

Pam Allan: No, no.

Corey Allan: And so, if that is the manner in which you approach it, the brain cannot usually, there's parts of the brain that it will, but a lot of times, brain memories are not, it's the act that matters. And so, you start to train your brain that any time there's any kind of erotic feelings going on, then all of a sudden, now I've got to get to a point. I got to get to a goal, rather than creating and tasting what sex could be that's free flowing. It could go a lot of different ways. It's a vibe between you. It's a whole nother thing, rather than I got to just get to orgasm as fast as I can.

Pam Allan: Right. So, if that's something that is frequent, then masturbation is keeping you then in your sexual relationship with your spouse, from experiencing even more, because it's that training of your brain.

Corey Allan: Right. And so, a lot of times, even in the Dr. Glover's book on no more mister nice guy, he has a chapter at the end called healthy masturbation. Because a lot of nice guys struggle with masturbation and it's something that's very covert. It's very hidden. It's associated with porn. That's why premature is a problem with a lot of men. It's because their whole sex life has been, it's in secret, and it's got to be quick because I don't want to get caught. Well, if you're with a wife, that's not good. It's got to be quick, because I don't want to get caught. Well, she's going to be like, really? I'm just now getting warmed up. I could just now be getting into this. And so, he has a whole chapter on how do you retrain your brain.
Your brain on porn has a similar path with a rebooting, where you take a sabbatical from ejaculating from sex. And it's a retraining of your brain, because you have to get this rewire, those associations of the feelings and the sensations. And so, to me, and again, if you've listened to Sexy Marriage Radio, you know we don't usually come down with this is the absolute right, absolutely, you have to. I mean, there's only a few things we are major proponents of, meaning sex in marriage is where we believe. It's safe for marriage. It's a sacred thing.
Masturbation is one of those, we're not going to take the stance of absolutely you got to stop. I just want to present the, is the route you and the relationship you have with this aspect possibly in your life healthy when you put it in a relational context? Is it steering you towards deeper connection, deeper bonding? Because I realize if you're taking the stance of, yeah, but if I don't get a release, I'm not going to have any because my wife, my husband's not interested. Well, that's the gridlock you're going to have to face within yourself.

Pam Allan: That's right.

Corey Allan: It's already there, so why not make it more overt between the two of you? And then I went and had Brad with our senior pastor and asked him, what do you think? And I love the way he framed it because he even said the same kind of stuff we're talking about of, well, situation matters. And if you've got a season where a spouse is not available, could you in a prayer life and inviting God into that, say, you know what, God? I invite you into my masturbatory experience and help me understand with the spirit, am I going towards my relationship with you and my spouse, or away from it? Because it can become an idol, just like sex can become an idol. That's where he landed.

Pam Allan: We could make anything that way. And how many people are actually bringing that into their prayer life? Probably not too many, let's be honest.

Corey Allan: Probably not a lot. So, I love the thought process, the exercise with it of, okay, hold on. This does start to become an individual thing and a relational thing with God and your spouse. And I think that's a great start. So, baby, as we wind out 2021, it's been quite a joy to have you along again for this ride.

Pam Allan: Oh man. I was about to say the same for you.

Corey Allan: I won, I got it in first.

Pam Allan: Oh, my goodness. We're so blessed to have each other in this journey. So, I hope that people out there in the nation have that same feeling or they're getting to that direction in their lives.

Corey Allan: Absolutely. And I'm so blessed to have you as a co-host with this thing.

Pam Allan: Well, thank you.

Corey Allan: It's been great to-

Pam Allan: Trust in me to sit beside you.

Corey Allan: steal time with you to do the shows-

Pam Allan: It is fun.

Corey Allan: ...over the year and years now. This is a fabulous journey thus far. Look forward to another year that's coming right around the corner.

Pam Allan: Yeah. Ready to kick some butt.

Corey Allan: Well, this has been Sexy Marriage Radio. If we left something undone in this best of episode, please, let's start the conversation again. And one of the best ways to do that is Jump on there. Start a dialogue. We'll see you there. See you next time.