Category Archives: Open Relationships

Open Hearts, Open Minds, And Open Relationships

Name: Deborah
Gender: female
Age: 36
Location: Rome
I like your site very much. Thank you for some much honesty. I have a question; do open relationships really work?

Well gee, thanks for your kind words, darlin’; I appreciate it.

To your question about open relationships, I guess that depends on the maturity level of the people considering opening their sexually exclusive relationship. And how much work they are willing to put forward to communicate with one another through all the details that such a decision entails.open relationship

That being said, there are a few things us sex researchers know for sure. In most cultures, people claim to practice sexual exclusivity, which is commonly referred to as monogamy. Although I think that’s a misnomer. Monogamy literally means having one union, which, as we all know, tells us nothing about sexual expression of either or both partners.

Lifetime sexual exclusivity (being sexually involved with only one person for one’s entire life) is rare. Serial sexual exclusivity (having a series of exclusive relationships over one’s life) is much more common. And despite knowing that we humans do not mate for life, we continue to presume that sexual exclusivity, or monogamy is the only legitimate kind of coupling.

This, unfortunately, leads to our culture’s obsession with cheating — that is, having sex with someone outside of a monogamous relationship. And frankly, what I know about humans, human relationships, and human sexuality; I can say for certain that fidelity is not necessarily a genital issue. One can indeed be faithful to someone else and still have the freedom to express him/herself sexually with others. It happens all the time. In these cases, fidelity is to the relationship and the agreements, parameters, and boundaries mutually agreed upon by the partners. Which get me back to my opening comment about the need for communication. Of course, it’s much easier to presume that everyone in a relationship is working under the same rubric, but that kind of presumption is a fool’s paradise.

polyamory1Another shortcoming of setting up sexual exclusivity, or monogamy as the only legitimate kind of coupling is that it diminishes all the other types of relationships that flourish albeit in a more covert sort of way. And here I’m talking about an array of open relationship models and polyamory. The fact that we don’t hear a lot about these non-traditional relationships shouldn’t suggest to you, or anyone, that they don’t exist or that they aren’t practical or practiced my a lot of people. They are! It just means that most people in non-traditional relationships know not to go public in a society that would denigrate them for their lifestyle choices. That’s how things are here in the good old US of A; and I’ll wager it’s also true for you Italians. Am I right, or am I right?

Open relationships and polyamorous relationships work because the people in them adhere to some basic tenets about how to conduct themselves.

First among them is the notion that these alternative relationships must be chosen; they can’t be mandated. If one or another of the persons considering an open or poly relationship is being pressured to go along with the flow, or is fearful that he/she will be alone if he/she doesn’t comply with the will of the other(s), that kind of duress is not gonna work.

Each person in the relationship needs to take responsibility for the choices he/she is making. If you’re not up for the task, or if this kind of arrangement is not compatible with your personality type, don’t attempt to override that. You will only jeopardize the relationship for the other(s) involved. However if the idea appeals to you, give it your best shot. I can guarantee it will be a learning experience. Just remember, exploring something and having it carved in stone are two very different things.

Second, communication is key. The more complex the relationship structure the greater the need for open lines of communication. Know your boundaries and express them clearly. Ask questions; never assume you know something when you don’t. If you will allow me some shameless self-promotion, I’d like to direct your attention to my latest book, The Gospel Of Kink — A Modern Guide To Asking For What You Want And Getting What You Ask For. It’s a communication and relationship-building workshop, for folks in nontraditional relationships, in workbook form. I think you will find it most enlightening. GOK small cover

Third, know yourself! You must be able to deal with your emotions, particularly jealousy, in an up-front, adult way. This is often much easier said than done. If you need to be the center of attention just so you can feel good about yourself, or you have serious territorial issues — this is mine, this is mine, and this is mine! Alternative relationships are probably not for you.

Know what keeps you even keel in terms of what you need and what you are able to give. There has got to be a healthy tension between these two things. If you’re the kind who gives too much and resents not being rewarded for your gifts, stay away from alternative relationships. Or if you are so needy that you can’t stand it when someone else is enjoying his/her time in the sun; open or poly relationships are decidedly not for you.

You should also know that alternative relationships, of whatever stripe, are, for the most part, on the fringes of what society will accept. And some are outright taboo. This doesn’t mean you will have to slug it out on your own, in a vacuum of support. On the contrary, you will no doubt find that the people who are living contrary to the expectations of the popular culture are often a whole lot more generous with their support and compassion then those following all the rules.

You will find that your support system will shift from more traditional sources like family, church, and community to alternative sources like clubs and social groupings of other like-minded individuals as yourself. A common mistake made by those in non-traditional relationships is to take their problems and issues to their traditional support systems. This rarely works because the traditional support system will inevitably blame the non-traditional relationship setup for the problem. This is not true, of course, but how would those in traditional relationships know otherwise.

I always suggest that those in non-traditional relationships bring their issues to their non-traditional support system. Here you are less likely to encounter judgments about your life choices and more help with overcoming the problems at hand.

Good luck

Do you like this posting? Your one-time $10 donation will help support this sex positive effort. With your help we can continue to enrich, inform, and educate all who visit here. Join us and help make a difference!

Opening Things Up

And not we hear from a very long-winded soul…

Name: Needing help badly
Gender: Male
Age: late 30s
Location: North America
Good day, and hoping this email finds you well. Me and my partner of nearly 10 years are experiencing a problem, it goes something like this. I am always interested in having sex; he is almost never interested in having sex.need your dick sucked

Initially we started out with the typical “honeymoon” period where there was sex nearly every night and twice on Sundays (grin). After a brief while this preceded normally to a couple times a week maybe a little less. After a few years it has deteriorated to me almost always having to beg for even a hand job and perhaps we do more (oral/anal) a handful of times a month and I only get to top once or twice a year.

My partner almost never initiates sexual interaction and complains that I am “always asking.” We are very compatible in other respects and really love each other, but I have a 20 libido on a scale of 1 to 10 and he has a 1 or 2 on the same scale.

This is starting to lead to tension in other parts of our relationship even though we try our best not to allow it. We are currently in a closed relationship, with my partner citing, in the past, personal beliefs about monogamy and monogamous relationships. Recently he has been entertaining the idea of opening the relationship up to allow me to seek relief for my sexual needs through other channels. He states that of late his views have changed and that he is taking a more realistic view at how we should proceed.

We just discussed rules for the opening of the relationship and are in the process of looking at our options for secondary partners. The rules we have thus far are as follows:jeans03

  1. Either of us may play with other people outside the relationship.
  2. The primary partner has ABSOLUTE veto powers over the choice of another play partner.
  3. Safe sex must be observed at ALL times and absolutely no transfer of bodily fluids outside of the primary partnership.
  4. If a play partner comes to our house to play and the primary partner is home, an offer to allow them to join in must be made.
  5. As soon as possible after an outside encounter, or preferably before, the primary partner must be told of the play session. Not the gory details, just “hey me and _____ had some fun last night” to keep the lines of communication open.
  6. More discussion may be initiated at the request of the non-playing partner, but not readily offered.
  7. You always, always, always come home to your primary partner at night.
  8. Secondary play partners must maintain discretion about our play sessions and respect the boundaries established by the primary partnership.

Can you advise me on the following:

  • Do you think this will help or hindering our relationship?
  • Do you think the rules we have set down are adequate?
  • Any other suggestions for the rules.
  • Any other comments or suggestions in general?

Thank you.

First, I’d suggest you guys rethink your choice of words when taking about your relationship. Monogamous means one wife…ya know, as opposed to polygamous, meaning more than one wife. Since neither one of you is a woman, that word doesn’t fit your situation.

I know, I know, the popular culture uses that word indiscriminately to describe any sexually exclusive relationship, but we don’t have to misuse words just because everyone else does. Language is important. And in some instances, like this one, precise language is not only helps with clarity, it helps you better understand what is possible between you two. Besides, as we all know, some monogamous relationships are not sexually exclusive.

haloTry using the less culturally encumbered word “exclusive” as opposed to the culturally laden “monogamous” when speaking about your primary relationship. I think you’ll find that it will free you up from outdated ways of thinking about your relationship. It will also help in dispelling guilt associated with violating cultural norms. Don’t believe me? Try it yourself. Say out loud — “Ours is not an exclusive relationship.” Now say — We are not monogamous.” There is a big difference, huh? I told you so.

And the best part about all of this is you get to define what “non-exclusive” means. For instance, you guys seem to want your primary relationship to be emotionally exclusive, but not necessarily sexually exclusive. In other words you are not considering polyamory, right? Nothing wrong with polyamory, it’s just not what you are considering at this time, I’m guessing.

I applaud your negotiating skills. I think you guys have come up with a viable framework for launching out in search of satellite relationships. You will probably find that some fine-tuning is necessary as you make your way, but I believe your foundation is sound.

There’s one thing for sure, your bullet point #8 is completely outside of your control. You will learn, in short order, that you won’t be able to manage your satellite partners’ behaviors. Expecting discretion from a casual hook-up or even a newly found fuck-buddy is unrealistic. The “girls” are gonna talk, hun, no matter what you say.

Finally, I suggest that you and your primary partner keep an open mind about it all. You’d also do well to maintain a sense of humor.

Good luck

More Sex EDGE-U-cation with Kathy Labriola — Podcast #394 — 10/16/13


Hey sex fans, welcome back.

Author, educator, counselor, nurse and hypnotherapist, the delightful Kathy Labriola is back with us for Part 2 of her k2outdoorappearance on this the Sex EDGE-U-cation show.

But wait, you didn’t miss Part 1 of our chat, did you? Well not to worry if ya did, because you can find it and all my podcasts in the Podcast Archive right here on my site. All ya gotta do is use the search function in the header; type in Podcast #393 and PRESTO! But don’t forget the #sign when you do your search.

Kathy and I discuss:

  • Autonomy vs. intimacy;
  • Love In Abundance; A Counselor’s Advice on Open Relationships;
  • Being a card-caring bisexual;
  • Advocating for poly rights, but not universal polyamory;
  • The role the internet plays in building the poly community;
  • The fallacy that people are repressed into monogamy;
  • Serial adultery and the myth of life-long monogamy;
  • Tips for coming out as poly;
  • The people who inspire her and her sexual heroes.

 

You’ll find lots of information about Kathy on her fantastic website HERE!

Click on the book art below to check out Kathy’s books.

Jealousy WorkbookLove in Abundance

BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!

Look for all my podcasts on iTunes. You’ll find me in the podcast section, obviously. Just search for Dr Dick Sex Advice. And don’t forget to subscribe. I wouldn’t want you to miss even one episode.

Today’s Podcast is bought to you by: DR DICK’S — HOW TO VIDEO LIBRARY.

drdickvod.jpg

Sex EDGE-U-cation with Kathy Labriola — Podcast #393 — 10/09/13


Hey sex fans, welcome back.Kathy w chicks

Coming up is a brand-spankin’ new edition of the Sex EDGE-U-cation show. By now I’m sure you know that this is the series that takes a look at the world of fetish sex, kink, and alternative lifestyles and we do so with remarkably talented people from all over the freakin’ world, don’t cha know. My guest today is one such person. Author, educator, counselor, nurse and hypnotherapist, the oh so amazing Kathy Labriola is in the house!

Kathy has been writing, and teaching, and presenting on the topic of open relationships for decades. She has a brand new book out that deals with one of the biggest bugaboos for the non-monogamy set, as well as all you monogamous folks out there. And that is — jealousy. You can be sure that we well be talking about that timely topic and so much more. You won’t want to miss this sex fans!

Kathy and I discuss:

  • The whole workbook concept;
  • Dealing with emotional responses to triggers in our relationships;
  • Jealousy and envy;
  • Belief in a sacristy economy fuels jealousy;
  • Seeing if an open relationship is right for you before tackling jealousy;
  • The disparity in feeling of jealousy in a relationship;
  • How we grow up my determine how fit we are for open relationships;
  • Her background and training;
  • Ethical non-monogamy, polyamory, and open relationships;
  • Her feminist perspective on monogamy and other relationship models.

 

You’ll find lots of information about Kathy on her fantastic website HERE!

Click on the book art below to check out Kathy’s books.

Jealousy WorkbookLove in Abundance

BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!

Look for all my podcasts on iTunes. You’ll find me in the podcast section, obviously. Just search for Dr Dick Sex Advice. And don’t forget to subscribe. I wouldn’t want you to miss even one episode.

Today’s podcast is bought to you by: Dr Dick’s Stockroom.

drdicksstockroom.jpg

Now Hear This!

Hey sex fans…foundation for sex positive culture

Particularly all you ladies and germs here in the Puget Sound area!

I want to invite you to a very special event taking place at The Foundation For Sex Positive Culture.

A workshop and book signing event with refreshments for The Gospel of Kink by me, Richard “Dr. Dick” Wagner, Ph.D., ACS.

When: 09/21/13  3PM to 4:30PM (formal presentation starts at 3:30pm)
Where: Annex
Who: Anyone 18+ with ID
Cost: $10
(No other CSPC discounts or AYCE cards applicable.)

Purchase Advance Tickets HERE  Enter discount code — E8F3Y — to get $5.00 off admission.

Book signing: 4:30pm – 5pm FREE

I will discuss the topic of my latest book: Building, Maintaining, and Deepening Kink Relationships Through Effective Communication. I will be joined by four of our favorite seasoned kinky, BDSM, and alt culture personalities (they contributed to the book) for a fun, lively, and stimulating panel discussion and Q&A. All we be on hand for a book signing afterward.

About the book:

  • The Gospel of Kink is a workshop in book form. Its innovative and interactive format presents the reader with numerous situations and dilemmas that arise as people embrace their kinkiness and integrate their eroticism into daily life.
  • The Gospel of Kink is on the cutting edge of the sex-positive and kink-aware movements. This workbook helps the reader break free from the painful silence the dominant culture imposes on alt culture and those of us on the sexual fringe.GOK small cover
  • The Gospel of Kink provides an opportunity to learn from people just like you. Its on-the-page workshop features a group of ten fictional characters who are your fellow participants. In addition, it includes a panel of actual seasoned kinky, BDSM, and alt culture practitioners who share their expertise and life experience with you.
  • The Gospel of Kink engages you with numerous exercises and homework. As a workshop participant, you will complete A Personal Alt Relationship Inventory, discuss the Essentials of Effective Communication, identify Tools and Techniques for Navigating Alt Relationship Conflicts, and learn how to Keep Things Fresh and Interesting.
  • The Gospel of Kink provides a safe and secure place for you to air your concerns without fear of being judged for how you live your life or with whom you choose to live it. You will learn within a framework of honesty, activity, alliance, support, and humor.
  • The Gospel of Kink is a workbook designed primarily for the modern kinkster, but not exclusively. Family, friends, healing and helping professionals, teachers, students, indeed anyone who wishes to further understand and better communicate with those they know on the sexual fringe, will benefit from this book.

About The Contributors

Samantha is a bisexual switch who has been a part of the SM and swinger communities for 12 years. Her favorite motto, which she uses for both worlds is, “If it isn’t fun, then why the fuck do it?”  Following in a tradition of her own creation, she would never claim to know the One True Way. And would not spend much time (let alone play) with anyone who would say such things.  She is an active volunteer and she has several causes (kinky and not) that she supports.

Byrdie is currently a student who is trying to find ways to recover from codependency in every aspect of her life including romantic relationships, friendships, and work. She says she is learning to tell the difference between her instincts and knee-jerk reactions to triggers. She’s also learning not to be so afraid of failure. As she says, she has just as much right to ask for things, speak out, act, and follow her dreams as anyone else.  Byrdie now says she is a hedonist. She wants what she wants when she wants it. She prefers primal play (punching, biting, scratching, growling) and deep thud sensations. And she has a fondness for Daddy/Girl play.  She identifies as someplace between bisexual, pansexual, and heteroflexible, and is working to improve trust and sensual intimacy with other women.  She is one of the earliest members of the Center for Sex Positive Culture. She is an avid attendee at culture-oriented workshops and is easing back into the social scene.  Most recently Byrdie initiated the Seattle edition of Mollena Williams’ “Know Your Negro,” a photography project intended to bring attention to the dearth of brown faces in the Kink/Leather world.

Jack Slash, aka Jack the Journeyman, has been a member of the Seattle Leather community since 1982, and a practitioner of S/M since 1974. Before the year 2002, he was known as “Dragon Xcalibur.”  He holds two past Leather titles: Seattle Leatherwomon 1988 and Seattle Leather Ambassador 1997. In the eighties and nineties, he was a member of the now disbanded Leather doo-wop singing group, The Sluts from Hell.  He teaches workshops, judges local and international contests on the West Coast, participates in local fund-raisers, and leads spirituality circles at Queer Leather events since the 1980′s in Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, B.C. and San Francisco. Workshop presentations include-blood sports, branding, impact play, fear and terror, ritual sacrifice, and honeybees.  He is a sought after speaker on the topic of S/M and gender fluidity within the Leather community. As part of a group of community elders he often shares his perspective on the Pacific Northwest Leather history.  Jack says that S/M has informed his life and his personal spiritual path for more than thirty years bringing him lifelong friendships, great enlightenment, and much joy and pleasure.

Kristen Knapick, MA, LMHCA, is a psychotherapist in private practice in Seattle. She specializes in working with those for whom kink/poly/sex work/queerness/gender variance are a part of life whether the source of a problem or not. Her nearly 20 years of experience as a member of all of these communities gives her a unique, non-judgmental perspective on mental health within them, and her professional training has sharpened her skills.  Kristen has presented material at Babeland, Powersurge, Living in Leather, The Center for Sex Positive Culture, Women In Kink, and Gender Odyssey. She has organized professional trainings for mental health providers on polyamory and BDSM, and created a research project to explore the aging of the transgender community and the ways in which our current system is unprepared for assisting these trailblazers. Currently, Kristen is working to raise awareness and visibility for the needs of trans/gender-nonconformists, sex workers, and kinky and/or polyamorous people within the mental health system.

SEO Powered by Platinum SEO from Techblissonline
Get Adobe Flash player