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How Things Have Changed | Dr Clifford and Joyce Penner #602

On the Regular version of today’s show …

I’m joined by Dr Clifford and Joyce Penner, pioneers in the world of Christian sex educating, coaching, teaching and help. Join us as we talk about how things have changed over the decades of their work.

Learn more about the Penners here https://passionatecommitment.com/

On the Xtended version …

We’ve talked about some changes that are coming to SMR, today hear about what exactly is happening.

Enjoy the show!

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

Corey Allan: Well, welcome to the show. I'm Dr. Corey Allan and alongside my wife Pam, each and every week.

Pam Allan: Love being here.

Corey Allan: We have conversations that help frame life and propel it forward into being more passionately married. And one of the ways we can do this, just a quick little plug, is some of our sponsors from the Adventure Challenge with the Connection Cards. If I were a genre of music, what would I be and why?

Pam Allan: You would be smooth jazz.

Corey Allan: Oh. And that's all for today's show. It's been great to see-

Pam Allan: That literally is the first genre.

Corey Allan: That's awesome.

Pam Allan: That popped up for me about you for moments in life when-

Corey Allan: I got you.

Pam Allan: You're usually fairly laid back. Let things develop. Anyway.

Corey Allan: Well, these are examples of the conversation starters that take place with these Connection Cards from our friends at the Adventure Challenge. So if you go to the adventurechallenge.com and use our Code SMR20, you get 20% off everything on the site. But you get a chance to pick up two decks of cards. I mean they're all together as a package.

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: So the Connection Cards that are just couples and then the In Bed edition. Another one was if you and I were to start a podcast, what would we name it?

Pam Allan: That's one of the questions?

Corey Allan: That's one of the questions.

Pam Allan: I love it.

Corey Allan: I got a couple of names in mind.

Pam Allan: You got a couple in mind? Okay.

Corey Allan: Yes. And one everybody really well knows already, Sexy Marriage Radio. Well, if you're new to the show, check out our starter packs, passionatelymarried.net/starter. It's a great way to introduce yourself or to other people to the show. And if you got some feedback, let us know. 214-702-9565 or email us at feedback@sexy marriage radio.com.
Well, coming up on today's regular free version of Sexy Marriage Radio, it's a conversation I got to have with Clifford and Joyce Penner, who are pioneers in the Christian realm of sex therapy, and sex work, and just sexology, if you will, that they are the ones that are the forerunners of bringing up the topic in the Christian sphere. And they've been doing this for a long, long time. And one of the things I love about this, babe, this is brilliant. They've written a lot of different books.

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: And one of the things they've done in their books that they've written to newlyweds on the importance of how sex plays out in marriage and starting off well, their phone number is in the back. And if you're on your honeymoon and something's going haywire or wrong or you're not quite sure, call them. They love those phone calls they said. They still to this day get them.

Pam Allan: That's greatness.

Corey Allan: It is, because it's a true service to people.

Pam Allan: Absolutely it is.

Corey Allan: Helping them out. And so-

Pam Allan: That could be really stressful.

Corey Allan: Absolutely can.

Pam Allan: You think you have expectations of what it's supposed to be like.

Corey Allan: Depending on your upbringing for sure, that you could go in with all kinds of anxiety on this subject. And so this is a great conversation of what have they seen over the course of their journey in the field.
And then on the extended version today, which is deeper, longer, and there are no ads, you can subscribe at passionatelymarried.net/smracademy. We've been drip feeding and teasing out there's some changes coming. One is on the platform. That's already taking place at my.passionatelymarried.net. There's just a reorganization of how things are presented there. And there'll new things will be adding in the coming months and years just to navigate better conversations for the people that are on the platform with us. And the other, we've just been kind of teasing out of a big change coming in 2023. Well, to those on the extended content today, you get to be among the first to hear exactly what we're doing. So all that's coming up on today's show.
So it's fascinating to me that Sexy Marriage Radio's been on the air for 10 years, but my guests today have been working in the field for far longer than that. They're pioneers in the world of sex and sexuality. So Dr. Clifford and Joyce Penner are joining me today and welcome, you guys, to the show. I'm so excited to have this conversation with you guys.

Joyce Penner: Thank you. We're excited to be here.

Corey Allan: So let's just start there. You guys entered into this field, you just mentioned to me, Clifford, in 1975 was kind of when you-

Clifford Penner: That's right.

Corey Allan: -started into this field. So how in the world did that happen as the pioneer people you guys are?

Joyce Penner: Yes, and there weren't programs on like your program at that point, let me tell you.

Clifford Penner: Yeah, it happened without a plan, we might just say, at least not our plan. I was in practice as a clinical psychologist. I had gotten my doctorate four years earlier. And Joyce was a nursing professor at Cal State University. And I was asked to teach a group of young mothers about how to talk to your kids about sex. And psychologists get asked for these kind of topics. And I thought, "Well, I've got a six and an eight year old. It'd be good for me to learn something about that." So I gave my 45 minute talk and afterwards somebody came to me and said, "We have a group of 60 women that get together once a week and we'd like you to come for a 10 week course on sexual adjustment in marriage." And I basically said, "I don't know anything about that."

Joyce Penner: You said, "I said everything I knew in 45 minutes."

Corey Allan: Right. "I'm done. That's all I got."

Joyce Penner: And two hours for 10 weeks.

Corey Allan: Yeah, that's all I got.

Clifford Penner: That's it, yeah. But they persisted, and so because Joyce was a nursing professor in the medical field, we taught that 10 week course, two or three hours a week, for 10 weeks. And to our surprise, the women really responded. In fact, the last three weeks they invited their spouses to come. And they talked about all the changes that happened as a result of that.

Joyce Penner: Well, we have to say we didn't just talk for two hours out of nothing. We studied everything we could find.

Clifford Penner: Right.

Joyce Penner: All the information that was out there and just prepared like crazy for every week and shared that information as best we knew it, not thinking it would ever go anywhere or make any difference. We just were being obedient to what we were being called to do so.

Corey Allan: Which that's fabulous.

Clifford Penner: Then as a result of that, we started being asked to teach this other places. And so then we decided to get educated in the field. So we went to Masters and Johnson and Helen Singer Kaplan and all the old leaders of the day back then to get some education and really be qualified for this. And then started doing sexual therapy.
And one of the interesting things that happened was we were speaking at CAPS, the Christian Association of Psychological Studies, we were doing a plenary address on teaching sexuality in the church. And the religions writer for the LA Times was there and he wrote up an article called Sex Revolution in the Church. Well, there was no revolution, there was just what Cliff and Joyce were doing.

Joyce Penner: This was summer of 1976.

Corey Allan: Okay.

Joyce Penner: So it all happened so fast. We almost can't believe it sometimes when we look back and say, "This just kind of happened to us."

Corey Allan: Right.

Joyce Penner: We were just kind of pulled along.

Corey Allan: Right. And the title though, correct me if I'm wrong guys, but the title in that article is actually pretty appropriate because it was a revolution.

Joyce Penner: It is.

Corey Allan: Because no one was talking about it.

Joyce Penner: That's right.

Corey Allan: And here you guys go talking about it.

Joyce Penner: Yeah.

Corey Allan: So now all of a sudden revolutions start with one or two people. That's just the way they all are borne out.

Clifford Penner: And a few years earlier, Tim and Beverly LaHaye had written the Act of Marriage, which was based on a survey of their parishioners.

Joyce Penner: And from a pastoral perspective.

Clifford Penner: And then that was in like '78. And in '79 Intended for Pleasure by Ed Wheat came out. And that was written from a medical doctor perspective.

Joyce Penner: Very prescriptive, very helpful.

Clifford Penner: And those were published by Zondervan and Revelle. And Word Books didn't want to be without a sex book. So they reached out to somebody that we knew and said, "Do you have somebody?" Because they wanted a book. And then we wrote The Gift of Sex.

Corey Allan: Yeah.

Joyce Penner: And we have to say, every step of the way, Cliff is very confident. I'm not very confident. So I'm saying, "I didn't get my degree to speak."

Corey Allan: Right.

Joyce Penner: "I didn't get my degree to write books." But we were being used.

Corey Allan: Right.

Joyce Penner: And it made a difference and it's been so rewarding.

Clifford Penner: And what's so interesting is Gift of Sex then came out our first book in '81, and every quarter when we get our royalty statements, that still sells more books than all of the others, all 10 of the others.

Corey Allan: Oh, yeah.

Clifford Penner: Which is-

Corey Allan: That was one of my first ones I was introduced to.

Joyce Penner: Right.

Corey Allan: Was that book.

Joyce Penner: We often hear that.

Corey Allan: Intended for Pleasure was among it too. Those were some of the first ones that I was ever came across.

Joyce Penner: The three basics that started, yeah.

Corey Allan: I'm fascinated by just the journey of the longevity you guys have because there's a couple things that are worth noting on this because obviously the field of marriage work, the field of sex work, it's fraught with all kinds of struggle. Because, one, you're just working with people that are in struggling and hurting and it just can wear you out. It can just exhaust you. And so I have to commend you right at the very beginning, guys, that I love the fact that you still do this, but I love the fact even more that you guys are still together doing this because so many marriages don't survive it.

Joyce Penner: And that we still really enjoy it.

Corey Allan: Yes. Well that's obvious. Just the times I've ever watched you speak, the times I've seen you on somebody else's show, it's clear you guys enjoy what you do and each other.

Clifford Penner: Yeah. And what's interesting is we had thought, we're both 80 now, and so we had thought by this time, no one'd be interested in hearing some old guys talk about sex, but they still are.

Corey Allan: I got you. And you guys have to be grateful that they are, right?

Joyce Penner: That's right. For sure. And people, young people, still call us and ask for help. And so rewarding.

Clifford Penner: This is just jumping ahead, but one of the fun things in our book Intended for Pleasure.

Joyce Penner: Intended for pleasure?

Clifford Penner: Not intended, no. Not that one. Getting Your Sex Life Off to a Great Start is for engaged couples preparing for a good sex life in marriage. And in the honeymoon chapter, right in the middle of it, we say, "And if you run into trouble on your honeymoon, call us." And so regularly we still get calls from all over the world while people are on their honeymoon.

Corey Allan: That's fantastic.

Clifford Penner: And we deal with that as much as we can while they're there and helping them have as good a time as they can given whatever they're struggling with.

Corey Allan: Yeah.

Joyce Penner: We were sharing this with a friend at our grandson's wedding this summer and the friend said, "Don't you ever kind of think, 'Man, I wish we hadn't put that telephone number in there.' Don't you ever get kind of annoyed with it?" And no.

Corey Allan: Yeah.

Joyce Penner: It just feels like so often, five minutes, 10 minutes, is going to make a difference in this couple's life for the rest of their marriage. And it's energizing, it's rewarding. It really feels like we're making a difference.

Corey Allan: Yeah, because there's so many people that have had the experience of a disaster in some regards when it comes to their wedding night and their honeymoon. And it just sets them on a course that until they finally get the word of, "You know what? Yes, there's going to be struggle. Yes, there's awkwardness. Yes, you may not know what you're doing." And once you can normalize some of those things, and if you can do it early with you guys' phone number, then that helps them jumpstart the process even faster.

Joyce Penner: And just basically the message we give, we deal with whatever the problem is rather quickly and then say, "We can do something specific about this when you get home from your honeymoon. But for right now, just enjoy every moment that you have of getting to know each other sexually. And if this part doesn't work, don't bother with it. Just enjoy what you can enjoy. And have lots of fun."

Corey Allan: Which that's kind of good counsel for any part of life right there.

Joyce Penner: Yes. Yes.

Clifford Penner: Yeah, but I jumped way ahead by using that example. But things got started early on and then we've just done marriage seminars and then lately, as we're getting older, we do a lot more training of other therapists in terms of how to deal with sexual issues.

Joyce Penner: Yeah.

Clifford Penner: That's been a big part of our life in the last few years.

Corey Allan: That's great.
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So I am curious, there's two things I would love to talk with you guys and explore more. One is the idea of, because of the longevity you guys have had on this subject in this field of working with people, what are some of the changes that have stood out to you as time has gone on? Because you guys would be privy to being ones that are the first ones talking about this in an open forum. And there there's something that can come with this and then there's also, as you've aged and continue doing this, you have a different insight into what's going on.

Joyce Penner: Right.

Clifford Penner: Yeah, there are a bunch of things. So why don't you start, Joyce?

Joyce Penner: Right. Well the positive that change that we've seen is that programs like yours and so much more information is available, so that people do have resources. They do have places to go. They have heard a positive view of sexuality from a Biblical perspective, from a faith-based perspective. And it isn't loaded with all the shame and guilt and confusion.

Clifford Penner: Not as much. There still are those places.

Corey Allan: Sure.

Joyce Penner: There still these places. But so much more available. The negative is that women are experiencing, there's so much more frequency of pain than there was.

Corey Allan: Right.

Clifford Penner: Physical pain.

Corey Allan: Right.

Joyce Penner: Physical pain. And that's based mainly on hormonal issues.

Corey Allan: Okay.

Joyce Penner: Which we don't need to get into that much. Which it basically, so many of the hormonal birth control methods had to change the result of the fear of high estrogen. And so we work a lot with women on that in finding, and we just really encourage women when they're getting started, if they're needing birth control, feel free to call us. Feel free to get help in finding what will work best for you without triggering pain.
And then the other thing that's huge is-

Clifford Penner: And we should just pause there a moment and say, "And it's real pain."

Corey Allan: Absolutely. No.

Clifford Penner: We're not talking something in their head.

Joyce Penner: Right.

Clifford Penner: We always say, "It's not in your head, it's in your vagina. That's where the pain is."

Corey Allan: Right.

Joyce Penner: And I was actually just talking to someone yesterday who's just preparing for marriage and saying, "Well it's supposed to hurt, isn't it?"

Corey Allan: Right.

Joyce Penner: And I said, "Well, no, not really. It's like ouch, that kind of hurt, but not gritting your teeth and holding onto the side of the bed and making it happen. It isn't that kind of pain."

Corey Allan: Right.

Joyce Penner: "And it shouldn't hurt like that." And that's what the expectation that it's okay if it hurts, it's expected to hurt, that will not do well for a couple long term.

Corey Allan: Right.

Joyce Penner: And we really encourage them not to engage in any activity that's causing pain until they get help and get relief from that.
Then the big thing is pornography.

Clifford Penner: Yeah, let's talk about that a minute.

Corey Allan: Okay.

Clifford Penner: Because when we started 47 years ago, if you wanted pornography, you had to either go buy a sleazy magazine or go to that part of town where you could watch videos or whatever.

Joyce Penner: It took effort.

Corey Allan: Yeah.

Clifford Penner: You had to really go be intentional and hope no one was seeing you and pull your cap down over your eyes and all that stuff.

Corey Allan: Right.

Clifford Penner: Now everybody walks around with a billion porn sites in their pocket with the telephone.

Joyce Penner: And every young person, at such a young age. And it comes up totally unexpectedly. They don't have to be looking for it. And what we try to teach them, it's going to trigger their curiosity. It is natural to be curious about sex and trigger feelings inside their body. That's the way we are wired. But learning that that is not what sex really is in marriage.

Clifford Penner: So they're the young people that get it, the kids. But then it's massively affecting marriages as well where guys are stuck on it and everyone thinks that when they get married, they won't need to look at porn anymore because they'll have a wife.

Corey Allan: Right.

Clifford Penner: And that lasts on six months into the marriage when she's having her period or she's out of town or she's in a bad mood or whatever, and all of a sudden the porn is calling again and people are right back into it. And so dealing with it, whether it's with the adolescents or with in marriage, and also with women who have gotten into it these days, not just men.

Joyce Penner: And just basically, to summarize, it's the image of what it should be like that impacts the married sex life negatively.

Corey Allan: Right. Right. Yeah, because that that's that whole vicious expectation levels get set.

Joyce Penner: Yes.

Corey Allan: And then all of a sudden I'm comparing it against something that's virtual, which is totally impossible to recreate in real life. And, yeah, there's so much destruction that comes from it.

Joyce Penner: And it's expecting that newness energy, that intense. That long-term sex and marriage is much more about softness, closeness, bonding, intimacy, becoming one in that real sense of uniting all of our worlds.

Clifford Penner: Alan Short of UCLA, talks about excited love and quiet love.

Corey Allan: Okay.

Clifford Penner: And that's a good way to differentiate that passionate, early, new excitement that's there. And in any relationship after a while it has to shift to the quiet, committed, deep relationship kind of love.

Corey Allan: Right.

Clifford Penner: And making that shift is often hard for people who are continually revving themselves up with the excitement of new porn. Because you can have a new partner in porn every day.

Joyce Penner: Well, and then so many times another consequence of that is we find that the person who was into porn, more likely the husband, but now it's women also, then want their partner, their spouse, to do what they saw in porn.

Corey Allan: Right.

Joyce Penner: Thinking that that will cause them to have those same feelings. And then the person, the spouse, feels like an object rather than a partner and it's not about intimacy.

Corey Allan: Right. Because it's not involving the people and the uniqueness of it.

Joyce Penner: That's right.

Corey Allan: And then that's also, I'm assuming you guys have seen the thread of, as far as men that were exposed to high speed internet porn and consumed quite a bit, now all of a sudden in early ages are having erectile difficulties, ejaculation difficulties.

Joyce Penner: Yes.

Corey Allan: And it's because they can't get that novelty or that edge or that whatever it is, because no human being can ever compete with what's on the screen.

Joyce Penner: With that.

Clifford Penner: Yeah.

Joyce Penner: Because it's fake. It's not real.

Corey Allan: Yeah. So, Cliff, what stands out to you over the course of, what jumps out to you from this journey you've had thus far? Do you have anything that's different than your wife?

Clifford Penner: Well-

Joyce Penner: What do you mean by that?

Clifford Penner: No, he's talking about, we talked about the pain-

Joyce Penner: Oh, and the porn.

Clifford Penner: And the porn issue. I think, well, the porn issue is giant in terms of dealing with men. That that's an obvious one. Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, have radically changed the scene also.

Joyce Penner: The treatment.

Clifford Penner: Because it used to be, when I was at Masters and Johnson, Bill Masters talked about, he called it, back then we called it impotence.

Corey Allan: Right.

Clifford Penner: Or the impotent man. We don't do that anymore. That's not PC. Now we talk about erectile dysfunction. So it's not about the person. But he talked about the fact that when there was erectile dysfunction, 85% of the time it was psychological and 15% of the time it was biological or medical.

Joyce Penner: Or organic.

Clifford Penner: The research has now shown that it's almost exactly the opposite. About 85% of the time these days, there is some kind of physical medical basis for the erectile problem, and then it can have an effect on your emotional and psychological.

Corey Allan: Sure.

Clifford Penner: But it starts with the medical. And that's been one of the big radical shifts-

Joyce Penner: In our treatment.

Clifford Penner: -over the time. And then you add the Viagras and that brought in a new issue, because a lot of times couples had gotten to the place where they were just, not satisfied, but accepting the fact that they were 65 years old and they couldn't do it anymore. And now all of a sudden they can. And so now you have a new problem because the wife has adapted to the idea that we're not going to do this anymore. And now all of a sudden the little blue pill comes along and now he wants to do it and she has to make those adjustments.

Corey Allan: Right.

Clifford Penner: So that's been another change that's happened over time.

Corey Allan: Right. Yeah.

Joyce Penner: Just for the listeners on the erectile dysfunction. If a man is struggling with that, we really, really encourage him first to go for medical help.

Corey Allan: Yeah.

Joyce Penner: And make sure that everything is working medically. And usually most physicians will say, "You really need to see a male sexual dysfunction specialist."

Corey Allan: Urologist.

Joyce Penner: Or urologist or someone for that.

Corey Allan: Okay. And that's always good counsel across the board when we're talking about anything of our interacting interpersonally, across the board. Because there can be components of it, that it's biological.

Joyce Penner: Right.

Corey Allan: But then there's also could be a component of it that it's a mental, it's an emotional, it's a spiritual.

Joyce Penner: Absolutely.

Corey Allan: Something, and so check them all out.

Joyce Penner: Yes.

Corey Allan: Because that way you're making sure you know what you're really facing.

Joyce Penner: Yes.

Clifford Penner: So that has been one of the big changes over time.

Corey Allan: That's fascinating, because just thinking about how the medical science, and what's evolved with it, coupled with the fact that we live longer too.

Joyce Penner: Yes.

Corey Allan: As a species, than ever in history. So it is one of those, "Okay, so this can be a component of my life for the long term," but I love the fact that you're pointing out, so men can see it as, "Hey, sweet." And then she's like, "But hold on. I was kind of comfortable not having to get caught up with all that again. And now I got to? What are you talking about here?"

Joyce Penner: Right, right.

Clifford Penner: Yeah.

Joyce Penner: Well, and another thing that has been so affirming to us is there were different things that we were teaching based on our clinical observations and experience. And when the sex and the brain research came out, it showed why that worked. And one of those is our formula for intimacy that you may be familiar with or may not be familiar with.

Corey Allan: Well, catch people up with it here. You're teeing it up perfectly, Joyce. So let's catch people up with it if they're not familiar with it.

Joyce Penner: Yes, yes.

Corey Allan: So the formula for intimacy, it's just a little card. You can buy it on our website or we can send it to you or we can send it via email, however. But it's basically, and it is very prescriptive, it's very much more like a medical prescription, because we found out that the reason it works is because of what happens in the brain.

Clifford Penner: So let's explain what it is. It's 15 minutes a day, one time a week.

Joyce Penner: This isn't to have sex.

Clifford Penner: To be together.

Joyce Penner: This is to build the connection and the intimacy that will keep you connected sexually.

Corey Allan: Okay.

Joyce Penner: And when we talk about sex, we're talking broad here.

Corey Allan: Yes.

Joyce Penner: And when you're 80, it may not be like it was when you were 40 or 20,.

Corey Allan: Right.

Joyce Penner: And we're 80. But that doesn't mean you can't have that intimate, wonderful connection. But if we think of only getting the two bodies together as sex, what does that do?

Clifford Penner: I don't know. Keep going.

Joyce Penner: Okay. Then that can be a false expectation.

Corey Allan: Right.

Joyce Penner: And if that isn't working when you're 80, then you may think, "Oh, it's all done. We just sleep in our separate beds, go to separate rooms, whatever." It doesn't have to be that way. But that's what the sex and the brain research has shown.

Clifford Penner: So let's just talk about that 15 minutes, in particular.

Joyce Penner: That's the most important.

Corey Allan: Okay.

Clifford Penner: Because we say we need to have 15 minutes a day of connection every single day.

Corey Allan: Okay.

Clifford Penner: And that involves face-to-face, eye-to-eye contact, where you're having some kind of connection, an affirmation.

Joyce Penner: Just sharing something positive. It isn't working out your plan for the day.

Clifford Penner: It's not going to who's pick up the kids from soccer.

Corey Allan: Right. It's not logistics.

Joyce Penner: And it isn't working out the fight you had last night.

Corey Allan: It's not logistical training and stuff. Right, I got you.

Joyce Penner: And it may be that you're still tense with each other about the fight so now how do we look at each other and say something affirming? But it kind of forces the issue. And it can be something, it doesn't even have to be affirming of the other person, it can be. But it can be a positive thought you had or something you read or something that happened in your family.

Clifford Penner: But basically an emotional face-to-face, eye=to-eye connection. And then we like to shift to.

Joyce Penner: Well, let's say why the eye-to-eye.

Clifford Penner: Okay.

Joyce Penner: When we look in each other's eyes, our brain, and this we didn't know until the research came out, our brain gives a shot of oxytocin. That's why a mother and father should look into the young baby, because it builds the bonding and the intimacy. So that keeps us connected at that deep, soft, quiet love level.
And then the next one, wherever they are in their spiritual journey, bringing that spirituality into their relationship.

Clifford Penner: And that could be just a verse, it could be a couple's devotional, it could be a thought, a prayer, whatever. Everybody's a little bit different on where they are in that journey.

Corey Allan: Yeah. Yeah.

Clifford Penner: But some spiritual connection.

Joyce Penner: So the eye-to-eye emotional, then the spiritual, and then finally the physical. And the physical should start with standing up and giving a full front-to-front body hug for 20 seconds and set that timer for 20 seconds when you first start doing it because you'll be surprised how long that is. And really get into it and enjoy it.

Clifford Penner: Because a 20 second hug has the same effect as looking in the eyes. It raises the oxytocin level. It's measurable, chemically.

Joyce Penner: And even the hug is even more powerful than the eye to eye. And then for some people who have trouble kissing, and in some cultures we've particularly experienced or heard this reported, this may not work but it helps if you've had the hug first. But the passionate kissing without leading to sex.

Corey Allan: Right.

Clifford Penner: And what we say there is a five to 30 second passionate kiss that is an end in itself.

Corey Allan: Right.

Clifford Penner: Not and then you're promising we're going to have sex later on or hoping to or anything else.

Joyce Penner: But it's kind of like really having a wonderful kiss at the end of the wedding ceremony when, "Now you can kiss the bride."

Corey Allan: Right.

Joyce Penner: Get into it and really kiss.

Corey Allan: Right.

Joyce Penner: But they're not going to then quickly run away to the bedroom and have sex. They're going to have their reception and all that kind of thing.

Corey Allan: Right.

Joyce Penner: That's what we're talking about. Really get into it and kiss. Now for people who haven't been able to kiss, we say start with just lip-to-lip peck, and take it gradual. And the person who has the difficulty, that person should lead. So the person with the difficulty never feels like it's getting pushed on them.

Corey Allan: Okay.

Joyce Penner: So how much they get into it will depend on that person who maybe came with some trauma with kissing or has had some bad experience or just has some cultural training that makes it hard for them.

Clifford Penner: But the important thing here is that the passionate kissing actually kicks off the dopamine response in the body.

Joyce Penner: That keeps that little spark alive.

Clifford Penner: That excitement phrase going.

Joyce Penner: Even after almost 60 years of marriage, you can get a little bit of that.

Corey Allan: That's good news to hear.

Joyce Penner: Yes, yes.

Clifford Penner: So it is the eye-to-eye contact. It is the body-to-body contact that raises the oxytocin level. And then it is also the passionate connection that raises the dopamine level. And all of this is based on the new research that has come, this is still answering your question, "What's new?"

Joyce Penner: Yeah.

Corey Allan: Yeah.

Clifford Penner: The new research that's come out about sex in the brain and how much all of that is connected for us. And we were recommending these kind of things long before the research came out, but the research really confirmed what we had been recommending.

Joyce Penner: And solidified it so we could produce it in something tangible that we can pas on.

Corey Allan: Right. That's nice to get confirmation of what you're doing is spot on as things evolve. Right? That's a very good thing.

Clifford Penner: Exactly.

Corey Allan: Well, so it's 15 minutes a day connection, one day a week.

Clifford Penner: And that one day a week, that one evening a, week or afternoon a week, it is really a time to be connected with each other. Often that can lead to a sexual experience.

Corey Allan: Okay.

Clifford Penner: But it doesn't necessarily have to.

Corey Allan: Okay. But it's an intentional time set aside for it.

Joyce Penner: Yeah, taking time-

Clifford Penner: We talk about a date night or however you want to call it.

Corey Allan: Gotcha.

Joyce Penner: And we have pleasuring, learning to touch and give and receive touch and pleasure in our book, Restoring the Pleasure. And using something like that to do these different exercises, whether it's a foot caress, a hand caress, a back caress, a face, a total body, breast and genitals, whatever. And people say, "Well, what if we're not in the mood?" That's one of the issues, in today's world particularly, is that we feel like we have to be in the mood to be able to have sex.

Corey Allan: Right.

Clifford Penner: And this is where we differentiate between initiating a sexual experience out of desire, which we all want. If we both desire it, it's easy to initiate. Or initiating it by decision. That is, we know that it's best for us if we're together connected once a week so let's plan to get together tonight. Not because we are feeling turned on, but because we've decided that that's what's best and that's what we're going to do. And then get turned on in the experience itself.

Joyce Penner: And if we don't, it's fine. Just having that time has been great.

Corey Allan: Right.

Joyce Penner: But it allows for it because in our world, if we don't set aside that time, particularly once we have kids in the house and families with children. And particularly when they're little, it's hard, and then again, when they're adolescents, they go to sleep later than we do. And when do we get our time?

Corey Allan: Right.

Joyce Penner: And it's good for kids to know that mom and dad take time for themselves. It's really comforting. We typically did Friday noon. Our kids would have activities after school and being therapists we could schedule our time and we would take off Fridays or Friday noon.

Corey Allan: Yeah.

Joyce Penner: And remember at one point our son saying something about. "You guys aren't taking your Friday time for each other. Is everything okay?" And I think friends of his parents were going through a divorce and it made him a little nervous.

Corey Allan: Yeah.

Joyce Penner: And we never even thought he noticed that kind of thing.

Corey Allan: Yeah.

Joyce Penner: So it's just good for kids to know that mom and dad take time for themselves.

Corey Allan: Yeah, absolutely. It sets a great foundation for the relationship and for the family, for the community.

Joyce Penner: Yeah.

Corey Allan: I mean, we can go beyond that just because it makes things much more stable for everybody.

Joyce Penner: Yeah. and not in a hurtful way if a child's had an accident or is crying or needing their help.

Corey Allan: No, no, I'm sorry, it's Friday noon.

Joyce Penner: No, no, no, we're not saying.

Corey Allan: I can't help you.

Joyce Penner: No, no. I'm sorry. It's our time. Not in a selfish way.

Clifford Penner: Although we had, our oldest daughter who's now a clinical psychologist herself, but she could be a little dramatic at times. And so I said, "Don't call unless you see flames, not just smoke."

Corey Allan: Right.

Clifford Penner: "And you see a hand coming in the window, not just that you're afraid there's somebody out there."

Corey Allan: Right. I got you. Well, I'm so grateful for you guys being a pioneer of this and the chance to connect. We've crossed paths a couple different times at AACC or some different things.

Clifford Penner: Oh, sure.

Corey Allan: But it's fantastic to actually spend some time with you. And I'd love it if you'd let the listeners know, how do they find you? Where do they need to go to find you and find more?

Clifford Penner: Well, the simple way is our website, passionatecommitment.com. And we have all our resources there, frequently asked questions, all that kind of thing. That's the easiest way. The other one is just call our offices at (626) 449-2525.

Corey Allan: Perfect.

Clifford Penner: We're still available. And then Joyce mainly these days, handles all our emails. We literally get emails every day with-

Joyce Penner: Asking for help.

Clifford Penner: Asking for help from, I mean, just yesterday got one from Hungary.

Corey Allan: Okay.

Clifford Penner: Because one of our books was translated into Hungarian.

Corey Allan: Cool.

Clifford Penner: And so those come from all over the world. And that's what Joyce does in terms of responding. That's a free service.

Corey Allan: That's awesome.

Joyce Penner: No.

Clifford Penner: That's not something that's charged.

Corey Allan: Yeah, that's awesome. Well, you guys are a blessing to a lot of people, including myself. So thank you so much and thank you for the time today on the show.

Clifford Penner: Okay, well it's been fun. I hope we can do this again.

Joyce Penner: Yeah. Thank you for what you're doing.

Corey Allan: Absolutely.

Joyce Penner: We're so glad other people are taking this on.

Corey Allan: Thanks.
So as we're winding down the year, Pam, I mean, that's crazy to think.

Pam Allan: Yeah, we're almost there.

Corey Allan: There's only two episodes left after this one in the year. Where's it gone? I mean, there is a lot of things coming up that will be changing in everybody's world with new seasons. Some people way up north, they're in the midst of, it's just major cold and snowy and they got to dig themselves out and they're just ready for the sun again.
But it's so great to be on this journey with everybody and to be on this journey with you.

Pam Allan: I love being on this with you.

Corey Allan: And if you were a part of the extended content, you got a little bit of a sneak peek of what's coming next. If you didn't catch that, you're going to want to join us, and that way you can be among the first to know what's happening in 2023.
Transcripts are available in the show notes on each of the episodes pages. All our advertisers deals and discount codes are also on each of the episodes pages at passionatelymarried.net. Please consider supporting those who support the show. Greatest compliment you can give us is to share the show with those that you care about, and those of you that were the extended content, share what's coming. It's okay. The cat's out the bag. You know. Spread the word. So wherever you are, whatever you've been doing, thanks for taking some time out to spend a little bit of time with us this holiday season. We'll see you next time.