nonmonogamy portland

Why do People Have Open Marriages and Poly Relationships?

Why Open Relationships | Uncommon Love Open Relationship Counseling | Poly Counseling in Portland

People have open relationships for all kinds of reasons. Just like monogamous relationships, people choose non-monogamous relationships for both healthy and unhealthy reasons.  

In my years of working with open marriages and committed polyamorous couples, I have heard quite a range of reasons people choose open relationships. 

Here are some of the reasons I most commonly hear from fabulous individuals in varied polyamorous arrangements:

  • We don’t believe in the status quo.

  • There is greater security outside the confines of a two-person relationship.

  • My partner and my sex drives are out of alignment.

  • I have spent my whole life in polyamorous community and prefer to stay in the community I know and love.

  • I am bisexual and my wife is straight.  She doesn’t want me to lose connection to my queer identity.

  • Why not?

  • I enjoy the communication and honesty necessary for long lasting open relationships.

  • I believe open relationships require higher personal integrity.

  • Having multiple income streams in one household can make for greater financial abundance and sustainability.

  • We enjoy sharing play partners.

  • Polyamorous relationships require greater self development, introspection and have pushed me to grow as a person.

  • I am not willing to sacrifice one relationship for another.  

  • Sex with one person for my whole life would be boring.

  • My partner has a fetish or kink I am not into, and I want to support her in getting her needs met.

  • Trying to meet all of my partners needs on my own would put a lot of pressure on our relationship.

  • I like more than one kind of person.

  • My life is richer with more than one partner fueling my emotional intimacy needs.  

  • I don’t want to limit my partner’s personal expression or have mine limited by her.

  • I enjoy watching my partner connect with other people.

Remember open relationships only work if both parties can consent to their boundaries.

Consider your own reasons for choosing a monogamous or an open relationship.  

  • Which model works best for you and why?

  • How do you define the boundaries of your monogamous or open contracts?

  • How do you communicate expectations about intimacy with others with your partner?

  • How have your beliefs about monogamy and non-monogamy changed over time?

  • What beliefs do you have about other relationship models?  

  • How do you know which model is best for you?

No one is born polyamorous or monogamous, these are relationship models we choose. Neither option is right or wrong when made honestly and intentionally.  

If you are thinking about opening your relationship and want help talking about it with your partner give me a call for a free consult. I'm glad to help.

Gay Therapy for Straight Couples?

gay therapy for straight couples | Uncommon Love LGBTQ Counseling in Portland

One of the most common questions I get asked by prospective couples counseling clients is if I work with straight people at all.  This makes me smile for so many reasons.  

First of all, yes, of course I work with all kinds of couples.  Thank you for noticing I support all kinds of relationships (gay, lesbian, poly, or kinky).  I am glad my marketing is clear.  

Most of the straight couples I work with choose me because they too support all kinds of relationships and loving.  

Many of the couples counseling clients who choose to work with me identify as straight.  But truthfully, most of their heterosexual identity is more flexible or open than rigid.  And because many of their relationships are open or sex-positive their sexual expression and intimate connections are just so much more complex than gay or straight.  

I have seen male-identified (and socialized) clients who only have sex with one female-identified (and socialized) partner but occasionally play with other men.  

I see female identified clients who once dated women but now are monogamously married.  I see bisexual clients who are monogamous with partners.  

I see swingers who identify as straight but give and receive oral sex from people of two genders at parties.  

I see tops who dominate many different genders of bottoms, but only exchange fluids (are fluid bonded) with one partner (of a different gender).  

And I see male-identified (and socialized) clients who identify as straight and are monogamously married to female-identified (and socialized) clients.

The question makes me smile largely because the question makes me think of the beautiful diversity of sexual preferences, play styles, and gender identities within my client group.  

Not one of them can be easily defined by one simple term- straight or gay.  

No matter your gender or sexual identity, if you are looking for an LGBTQ affirming professional in Portland Oregon, give me a call for a free consultation to see if we're a fit to work together.


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).