nonmonogamous counseling

Why People Open Their Relationships

One of the questions I am asked most often by friends and colleagues is why people choose open relationships.  

There are a lot of paths to choosing nonmonogamy and each is uniquely personal.

Many of my clients come to an open relationship model for different personal reasons, but here are a few:

  • We don't believe in the traditional monogamous married formula for relationships.

  • I like watching my wife have sex with another man.

  • My partner is bisexual and I want him/her/them to be able to have relationships with folks of a gender different than mine.

  • I am interested in a specific kink that my partner just doesn't like.  She wants me to be able to explore this fantasy.

  • We don't believe people are naturally monogamous- look at the 66% infidelity rate among monogamous marriages in the U.S.

  • It's exciting to flirt with other women with my husband.  We often have similar taste in women, so it made sense to date them together.

  • I don't believe it's possible for one person to meet all of another's emotional and physical needs.

  • Legal marriage isn't our definition of relationship success.

  • My partner is physically unable to participate in certain activities I really enjoy.  Because we're poly I can do those things with other partners.

  • I wanted to start a family and my girlfriend did not but we really loved each other.  Having an open relationship allowed us to create a different relationships structure and now I am also partnered with my daughter's mother.

  • I have always loved multiple people- finding polyamory meant I could talk more openly about it and be honest with partners.

  • I cheated on a lot of my previous partners and didn't want to have a dishonest relationship anymore.  Now I am up front and clear with partners.

  • My boyfriend is into a lot of hardcore BDSM play and I want him to be able to play while I build my play skills for safety.

  • We both have fluid sexual identities and want to be able to grow our commitment to each other as our sexualities grow and change.

  • I don't want the pressure of meeting all my partner's emotional and sexual needs.

  • I don't believe in valuing one relationship over all others.  

  • My husband is gay and we have a child.  We decided to stay together but have other partners because we love each other and want our family to stay in one home.

If you are thinking about opening your relationship and need help set up a free consultation to see if working with me is right for you.


Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a sex educator and relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationshipsjealousy, LGBTQ issues and infidelity.  

She can help you:

Contact her for a free consultation to see if working with her is right for you.

Click here to download her free guides to strengthen your relationship (monogamous or not).

What is Sex-Positive Counseling?

What is Sex Positive Therapy | Uncommon Love Poly Counseling in Portland

So many of the couples clients I work with are new to the term "sex-positive" I get asked this question a lot.  

To some people sex-positive means being a part of the BDSM community.  But I think it means more than showing up to leather events and fetish parties.  

And to some people sex-positive means enjoying talking about, and having sex.  

But being a relationship coach is about helping others- not just having space to talk about things that interest me. 

Sex-positive philosophy guides my work

The framework as a sex-positive provider means affirming sexuality, and taking a decidedly non-shaming approach to sexuality as long as it is safe, sane and consensual.  

As a consultant this means I talk about these three topics with all of my clients.  

This means if my clients want to talk about their fetish or fantasy- that's okay.

And if my clients want to talk about a kinky sexual behavior- that's okay.

If my clients participate in sexual behavior that is not average or common- that is okay.  

We can explore what those behaviors, feelings, and dreams are all about in a non-shaming way (as long as you and your partners are consenting and clear-headed).  If my clients mention behavior or terms that are new to me I can ask about them in a non-shaming, non-pathologizing way.

This kind of therapy isn't for everyone.  And it's not the same as sex therapy.  But it is a critically important way to work with people about a vital part of their lives.  

Have you asked yourself what is safe related to your sexuality?  

Do you know what it means to be sane in making those decisions?  

Have you considered clear consent in your sex and play relationships?

If you haven't you are not alone.  Most people have trouble talking about sex and negotiating play scenes.  But difficulty talking about it is a large part of the reason so many couples experience desire fatigue, or suffer unsatisfying sex.  

Learning to talk about sexuality clearly and confidently is key to having a satisfying sexual life.

If you want help getting clear about what you want and sharing it with the person you love a sex-positive provider might be a helpful step.  Schedule a free consultation to see if I can help you.

*I closed my psychotherapy and couples counseling practice in 2016 to pursue coaching and consulting.  Contact me to learn more about this powerful change in my work.

 

polyamory in portland | sex counseling portland | poly counselor portland

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a sex educator and relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationshipsjealousy, LGBTQ issues and infidelity.  

She can help you:

Contact her for a free consultation to see if working with her is right for you.

Click here to download her free guides to strengthen your relationship (monogamous or not).