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hosted by Dr. Corey Allan
Dominant or Submissive #519
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On the Regular version of today’s show …
An email from a wife who really wants her husband to explore and lead as a Dominant role in their sex life, although he is more of a Submissive.
On the Xtended version …
A husband wants to know how to extend the sex sessions with his wife when they only happen twice a year. They both are in a Two-Choice Dilemma.
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Speaker 1: You are listening to the regular version of Sexy Marriage Radio, passionatelymarried.net.
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: My dear wife, Pam, you know that we have the most astute, sexiest audience in podcast land that there is.
Pam Allan: Agreed, I do know that, yes.
Corey Allan: Because they are paying attention to the different things that we do or we'll talk about something and maybe we're a little off, maybe I'm wrong, we'll hear about it.
Pam Allan: Okay, so what did we hear about?
Corey Allan: I've got to do a correction from last week's show because it was pointed out on last week's show we did a segment on getting tele-help in the age of virtual and telehealth options. And I made a comment that during the pandemic, most states, as to what I said, if not all had made it to where you could cross state lines with licensures. That in fact is not true. Not every state is on board and some of these are just provisions that are short term. One of them that's not on board actually is Texas because Texas thinks of itself as its own country, not just part of the country.
But it makes it to where, just to clarify, we need to make sure people understand, ask those followup questions if you want to work with somebody across state lines, because there's still ways you can to where it has to just be under a different umbrella. It's not under their mental health licensures. The paperwork needs to be set up different, their business needs to be set up different.
Pam Allan: Gotcha.
Corey Allan: But there's just to clarify if that is something you want to reach out for help because there's more help available now that telehealth is more in vogue and common and it can be incredibly effective. Be sure you ask some clarifying questions if you're going to work with someone that's not in your state.
Pam Allan: Gotcha.
Corey Allan: If they're in your state, you're perfect. You're all good to go. Thank you to the fellow clinician that was paying attention and spoke up to bring that to my attention. Because I heard wrong and then said as such. Wanted to make sure that was cleared up.
And welcome to Sexy Marriage Radio, where once again, we rely on the SMR Nation to help our show be better because you let us know what's going on. You let us know if we're off base or we miss something or you want a little more. And so the way you can do that is you call us and leave us a voicemail at (214) 702-9565 or email us at email@example.com. Plus there's Instagram, TikTok, all just @sexymarriageradio. And then there's our platform, my.passionatelymarried.net. There's all kinds of ways that we can have conversations going on.
And a quick plug, if you want a conversation going on in your marriage, we have our resource, The State of Our Union. That's been out for a while now.
Pam Allan: That we still use every week.
Corey Allan: You and I still regularly, have a weekly conversation and chat about the things that matter and are important. And so check out passionatelymarried.net If you want to know more, because there's some great resources available that are designed to help enhance your marriage because when your marriage is better and you listen to SMR Nation, our marriages are better too.
Pam Allan: That's right.
Corey Allan: Coming up on today's regular free version of Sexy Marriage Radio is a couple of your questions and our answers. And I'm saying this kind of tentatively, because the first question we're leading off with, we might spend the whole time. Not quite sure.
Pam Allan: Okay, see how the conversation goes.
Corey Allan: Where the conversation's going to go because it's one of those that you are an unaware of where we're heading.
Pam Allan: I am unaware.
Corey Allan: And it's an area that we don't talk about very often on Sexy Marriage Radio. I don't know where this might go.
Pam Allan: All right. Cue tape, folks.
Corey Allan: And then on the extended version of Sexy Marriage Radio, which is deeper, longer and there are no ads. You can subscribe at passionatelymarried.net/smracademy. We're going to spin off of another email that's going to be part of our queue for today's show that's on a common topic that comes up about sex doesn't happen very frequently so when it does happen, it's quick. What are some things that I can do to get her on board for more? We're going to answer that question and then I'm going to spin it in a different direction, into the whole world of two choice dilemmas and the world of sexual polarities.
Pam Allan: Okay. If you're trying to tease people, I'd say the, the phrase is two choice dilemma and polarities, is kind of, I'd say what?
Corey Allan: Yeah. All that's coming up on today's show.
An email came in and says, Hey, Dr. Allen and Mrs. Pam, binge listener here. I love the work that you guys do on your amazing podcast. Thanks for all the help and hope you provide to married couples everywhere. Here's my situation. I'm 23 years old. My husband and I have been married for a little over two years now and I love him very, very much. In pretty much every other area, he's an exceptional husband, but I'm very much into the BDSM and he is not. I've never been with anyone other than him and he's nowhere near as into the experimenting with toys and scenes as I am.
He tries for me and he says he doesn't mind being my dom, which is the domineering or the dominant. He doesn't mind that one bit, but he's not as consistent as I wish he was in doing it. I'm a submissive and he is a switch, but he's more of a sub leaning switch. Just to clarify, for those of you that are unknowing of this terminology, a switch is somebody that can either go either dominant or submissive. They will lean one way or another, but they're comfortable doing both. Follow so far, Pam?
Pam Allan: Gotcha.
Corey Allan: Okay. For the first two years of our marriage, we lived with his parents. I went to school with my career and we were both busy and stressed living there. Now that we moved into our own place, it's really come to focus that he's not into the dom that I need him to be and I'm genuinely wondering if I made a mistake in getting married so young. I don't want to be forcing him to do something he's not into but I don't want to be forced into forgetting something I am. Our sex life is pretty great. It's rough and that does the job when we have done some truly kinky sex, it puts our usual sex to vanilla shame. I've communicated these needs to him several times and he's tried for me, but he goes right back to the norm eventually. I've tried to change my attitude about my needs, but my head has a hard time getting into sex sometimes with him being so naturally submissive.
I've stepped into the role of the dom for him a few times as well and he's genuinely enjoyed it, but he doesn't need it like I do. I don't want to cheat on him, but I've caught myself with thoughts leading off into that really dark direction in a couple of different times over the years and every time I bring it to him, we reconnect on the almost kinky level that I need then it goes back to being normal. Divorce is not an option at all, but I'm wondering if this is really what I'm going to have to resign myself to for the rest of my days. I'm at the point now where I just want to preoccupy myself with anything creative, such as learning how to fight, shoot, paint, et cetera. I want to preoccupy myself with things I can get my hands on to distract myself from this seemingly depressing fate. Please help. Sincerely, a frustrated and desperate sub.
Okay. One of the things that could be easy to derail our conversation is we can get caught up into the whole BDSM terminology and aspects when that matters but I want to still frame all of this in preference and what gets you going and the differences therein. Because I think it's interchangeable with every relationship, whether you're talking dominating, submissiveness, kink, fetish or you're just talking, I would rather you be romantic this way. I would rather you be pursuing this way. I'd rather you be decisive.
Pam Allan: It's still high desire, low desire in whatever methodology you enjoy your sexual relationship.
Corey Allan: Right. Some of that still applies here in the sense that you play a role, so do they and how often do we get caught up in this dynamic of, I wish that they played the role I want them to play for me? And we get tunnel vision and we don't see what really is and we get caught on what's missing. That's kind of a theme we've had the last couple of months of the bigger issues to look at in marriage are not what's missing but what's present because what's present in the way she has framed this, she has somebody that's willing and is interested to play out some of these roles and on the edges, if you will, he's just not going to lead toward, which means he's not going to be the dom. It's almost like he's going to have to be a pseudo dom at her suggestions and at her urgings, which could kill it.
Pam Allan: Kill it for her because she wants him to be that way, right?
Corey Allan: Right. And so this is where you have to start to at least examine deeper down, what's the meaning I have attached to this aspect? What is the drive that I have towards this? And does it ruin it if I have to go various routes to get to it? Meaning if I have to be the one to get the ball rolling before he assumes that role, does it ruin it all? Or can I flip that switch a little bit later into the process and I'm playing with the polarity there of the energy of one person bringing forth a yin and the other person bringing forth the yang. That's where we'll be heading in the extended content is unpacking that more. But to realize that's the dynamic that's at play and how often we shoot ourselves in the foot because what I really want is my partner to be more like I am or read my mind better, which that's not just going to happen.
Pam Allan: Right. Well, and I guess that was the part of my question, you used the word ruined. Does it ruin it if he doesn't do that? And I look at this and I don't want it to sound condescending, but when you're 23 early on, there's a lot of relationship to learn.
Corey Allan: That's true. And a lot of self to learn.
Pam Allan: There's a lot of self to learn and you've lived a lot of life to that point, but there's so much more to learn within a relationship and seeing how there's things that he wants in other areas of the relationship that you're not wanting. And how do those things play off each other to then develop a deeper meaning? And he is doing this with you. He's a willing participant, just not as often as you want.
Corey Allan: Yeah. And that gets into the aspect of when I look at different things that are going on in my sex life and I focus on what's missing, I seem to think that if I could just fill in that gap from my partner, all we'll be right with the world. Because I become hyper-focused on it rather than seeing it as okay, even if he became the perfect dom, there's still going to be an issue of a dynamic that's playing out between you.
Pam Allan: What issue is there if he's the perfect dom?
Corey Allan: Well, because there's still this element of what if that doesn't satisfy what I really thought it would? What if long term that becomes okay.
Pam Allan: That becomes vanilla then. There's always something new.
Corey Allan: It's just this aspect of as we evolve, and our sex lives are great examples of this. When I focus just merely on the pleasures and the fringes therein and the physical aspect of it, there's only so much you can do and experiment and try and dangle your feet off the cliff. And there's only so much and that's the thing that it starts to become that dopamine thing in your brain where it's the law of diminishing returns sometimes. Until you start to get to the deeper levels, which I think is what you're pointing out when you're hearing the youth of them, you're pointing out, there's a depth of us as humans that even here I am a week from turning 50 and I still haven't scratched some surfaces of me. I'm learning all kinds of things about me.
Pam Allan: Yeah. I don't want to say anything about age to diminish the concern. That's not my point. It's, I guess I want it more as an encouragement to say, there's so much more in there and I think sticking with this and seeing how if she's coming at this from the best in her and encouraging and playing a good role, who knows what that brings out in him.
Corey Allan: Well, she even pointed that out of she'll bring forward here's kind of the dark of me. And that lights something in him that they kind of capture what it is that she's looking for. And maybe even him, a little longer in that moment. It kind of enhances everything, which that to me is vulnerability because we have to exist, this is a truism of life that I'm starting to see more and more in the people I work with and the emails that come in and the conversations that take place on Instagram, that we have to recognize that we are not a 100% one way or another good or evil. We're both. It's degrees. That I could have something that is totally what I have in my mind as selfless.
Pam Allan: Selfless.
Corey Allan: There's still an element in there, that's self serving because I get some pleasure out of being involved. I like the way I look at myself and being that person, that's still self serving, it's not on the evil continuum, but we have to realize that there's aspects of our being and our nature, that those things exist and acting like they don't is when they wreak the most havoc. And so being able to realize, I have some dark places I am capable of going in my fantasy life and in my thought life and bringing that forward, not trying to weaponize it or ultimatum it, but just saying, "Look, this is where I'm at." That actually creates a tremendous power because you can use it and it manifests itself into better goodness aspects and likelihoods than it stays dark and it keeps planting a seed and it festers and then it grows. And then once it lo and behold, you're way out of character.
Pam Allan: I guess I'm getting a little off by using the word dark and using the word evil. Are you equating that? You're not equating that.
Corey Allan: I'm not equating that at all to the BDSM.
Pam Allan: No.
Corey Allan: She made the comment of, I can sometimes go in a really dark direction with my thoughts leading off.
Pam Allan: Gotcha.
Corey Allan: Into maybe this, maybe I need to go someplace else. Maybe this isn't with him.
Pam Allan: Gotcha.
Corey Allan: And that's a darkness that is human.
Pam Allan: Right. It is.
Corey Allan: It's recognizing my existence in real time better of this is what goes on. Yes, we have these thoughts and the people that you can read it in them and they don't acknowledge it are not just lying to you, they're lying to themselves.
Pam Allan: Yes, they are.
Corey Allan: Right. This is that element that this is the one thing from the times I've had a chance to work with couples that get it, that have been in the BDSM world a little bit more and I'll totally be up front. I have not gone real in depth in that world professionally.
Pam Allan: But I don't think for this, you have to have that. It's still just that core level.
Corey Allan: This is a qualifier for a statement though, because one of the things I have found is if you're going to get into the world of whatever you deem is kink, for a couple to explore that effectively and better for where it's both edifying to each individual, their communication level really amps up. Because they're adding a new level of realness, rawness, vulnerability, however you want to frame that. But there's an element of, I'm letting you see a part of me that not many people see and I'm still wrestling with I don't even know what this means to me too. But I'm going to hang that out there and boy it's ammunition you could use. And boy, that's a huge risk. And so the couples that really go into that and fantasies are the same thing, and you really share a fantasy. You can't not ring that bell. And you just gave your partner ammunition that could scare them to death. Because now they're like, oh, here we go. It's all going to be this. It's all going to be that.
But the one thing I've found is the couples like she's talking about that have been able to talk about these things, it does amp up the energy in their marriage for a short term. It's a little bit of a shot of adrenaline because it's like, I see you. I don't know if I like all of what I see, but I see you. And some of that's like, oh. Or some of that's like, yeah. Okay, let's explore that a little bit. And that's the concept that I think applies to all of us that are willing to take the risk of letting myself be seen and bringing myself forward, kinks at all. Because again, it doesn't necessarily mean I want to act on anything I might say is a fantasy, but the freedom to explore it and realizing the courage it can take to do so, you end up a little bit like this couple where it's like, well, let's dabble with this. Let's see. Because they're still early in this, it started off the last thing that jumps out to me, unless you had something you wanted to add.
Pam Allan: Well I had a thought or a question, but go ahead.
Corey Allan: Okay. The last thing that jumps out to me is they started off their relationship and had a microscope over him in a sense, living with parents, starting off a new marriage, that's a different level of stressors right off the bat.
Pam Allan: Sure it is.
Corey Allan: That's awkward. That's smothering even on the emotional component and the freedom that maybe you could have. My bet is she had put a tremendous amount of expectation on when we have our own place, man, here we go. It'll be role play central. It will be act this stuff out freely. It will be. And when we have expectations, they just don't live up to that.
Pam Allan: Well and that's a good point, because that perfectly valid that that might be in there. And you talk about expectations. She said she needs him to be the dom. Well, but he's naturally submissive. And I'm curious if he's submissive in all areas of their marriage? Is she the decision maker across the board? Are we just talking about this topic? Because what else is playing into that? Is he just in general submissive?
Corey Allan: Yeah, and he could be, because there's a lot of times the people that I have worked with that this kind of polarity happens, it's not uncommon from my sample size of clients, for the person that's more naturally submissive when it comes to their sex or the BDSM role they want to play is the dom in every other area of their life. They just want that part to just let go and be free. I don't want to have to make decisions, take over.
Pam Allan: Right. If you've got a strong opinion, it's go for it.
Corey Allan: Right. And so it's very common that there's a powerful person that's just like, take me. I want to be the submissive when it comes to this aspect. But I see one of the goals I think all of us can have, whether I dabble in the world of this kind of BDSM role play, et cetera, or not, the undercurrent exists in every marriage of what role do you play as the higher desire or the lower desire? Add to this the question, how freely can you move between them even in the midst of experiences together? Maybe on a global scale, you are the higher desire for a kink or a frequency or a quality or a timing or whatever for the sexual desire. But in the middle of it, can you become a lower desire? Are you a lower desire on an aspect that maybe your spouse would like to be doing but you want them to lead it there? You won't even know you know you like that they like it?
Pam Allan: That's valid.
Corey Allan: This is where we all can grow if we start to look at our dynamic in marriage and the role we play on how freely can I go back and forth between these poles, if you will, of difference? That can I give and receive?
Pam Allan: I think that's a really good point because even the lower desire, whatever it is, just because they're lower, we say this all the time, just because they're lower desire doesn't mean they're no desire.
Corey Allan: Possibly. Absolutely.
Pam Allan: When they get into it, very likely enjoy it. Get into it and freely participate. And there's things that wow, I'd love for you to do and even though you're the higher desire and this is a great dominant role, you're just not interested. And wow, what a disappointment that can be for the partner. And gosh, and how, oh, what a juxtaposition that is of trying to get them to want it more, if that's not something you're willing to do on your side of things.
Corey Allan: Right. This is coming back to ending this like we began it. How are you focusing on what's present, not what's missing? What's the dynamic that's present between you? How can you address that cleaner and see maybe there are some roles that I can shift and alter slightly and still succeed with what I'm hoping? Some of the time, more of the time, whatever makes it successful for you, that's determined by each person. But a lot of times we have to start to see it as what's my role in this? And what are some alternatives? Because when I can look at it that way, that's when I've found without fail elegant solutions start to appear.
Before we shift into the extended content, I'm going to read the email that we're going to be covering and then we'll pivot it and it'll kind of build off of some of what we've just been talking about in the regular version so far.
It says, "Hey Corey, first and foremost, thanks for the podcast. It's been informative, encouraged me and encouraging to me. And I really appreciate the work that you've done. Hoping you can offer me a little advice. My wife and I have struggled for most of our almost 19 years of marriage with sex. I am by far the higher desire spouse and that's proven to be a challenge as I haven't always handled our lack of intimacy in the best way. In any case, at this point, we have sex maybe twice a year and that low frequency has also caused other issues around our sex life. You see, because of that low frequency, I tend to want to do as much as possible for the longest time, because it's so rare that we will actually have sex. In addition, I don't always last as long as I'd like so I want to do other things for my wife, be it oral or manual with my hands. For me, it would be ideal to give her an orgasm before we got to sex proper."
"I've told her this and she has often said, 'I don't need that,' and it's been left at that. And when we actually have sex, she seems to want to rush straight to penetration with little to no foreplay. For me, that's difficult because I would love the session to last longer and be more exciting rather than just get to penetration as quickly as possible. Recently, a day after having sex, I asked her why she doesn't like doing other things besides penetration and why it seems she wants to rush through things. That led to her getting upset and crying saying, I always ask things like that. I always analyze sex and I ruin it every time by asking questions afterwards. All that is background for my question, how can I encourage her to desire other things to let me take care of her first and actually enjoy foreplay and other things besides just penetration, without it turning into a battle. I know this may be asking a lot, but I value your insight in many areas throughout my listening to your podcast. Thanks."
You want to hear our answer, be a part of the extended content.
Well, it's been a while since we haven't made it through multiple questions.
Pam Allan: I know, I know. Two whole emails, this whole thing.
Corey Allan: Well for the entire show, yeah, but for the regular section.
Pam Allan: Well for including the extended.
Corey Allan: Was just the one email. That's been a long time since that's happened. I kind of like the idea, I felt a little old school.
Pam Allan: Little bit.
Corey Allan: Where we would get deep into some of the different subjects.
Pam Allan: Little bit.
Corey Allan: Try to explore and see, okay, what does this mean? What does that mean? What's a better way here? And so hopefully the Nation benefits from just kind of seeing, okay, a lot of what we're talking about when it comes to our sex lives, topics are as unique as the individual people or the nuances are as unique as the individual people.
Pam Allan: Yeah, they are. Yeah, they are.
Corey Allan: But the fundamentals underneath it, yeah, we're all facing a lot of the same.
Pam Allan: Pretty similar.
Corey Allan: Because I'm still trying to figure out how to crack the code and as soon as I think I got it cracked you change or I change or circumstances change.
Pam Allan: Yeah. Life stage, whatever.
Corey Allan: Got to do another code again. This has been Sexy Marriage Radio. We left something undone, let us know, (214) 702-9565 or firstname.lastname@example.org. See you next time.
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