Alternative Relationship Styles

Our society sets some well-defined and rather narrow expectations for what form our committed relationships should take.  Monogamy is the (only) socially-sanctioned form of long-term relationship.  (In actuality, Western cultures favor “serial monogamy”, in which partners engage in a series of long committed relationships throughout their lifetimes, with one partner at any given time.)  Most people in our culture are “programmed” to favor monogamy, by the people and institutions that shape us during our childhood and adolescence.

Three tulipsLife is actually more complicated than this; monogamy does not work for everyone, and monogamous relationships may bring some people unhappiness and dissatisfaction, rather than the opposite.

For a thought-provoking and entertaining presentation on the conflicting forces that shape our relationships, watch the video by well-known sex therapist Esther Perel.  Such individuals may be better off exploring one of the several possible “alternative” relationship styles.

People who may find alternative relationships appealing include those with alternative sexual preferences (gay, lesbian, bisexual), or those who simply want to explore different (non-monogamous) ways of relating to their partners (e.g. polyamory, “swinging”).  A trained sex coach can provide valuable guidance and suggestions to help a client explore these alternatives in a “safe” and well-thought-through manner, to reduce the risks of unintentionally damaging relationships.

A knowledgeable sex coach can be a powerful partner in addressing these desires.  Here’s What I Do to help my clients.