02 Dec

Polyamory Relationships

Explore alternatives to monogamy.

For the most part, monogamy has been the default setting of relationships for the last few hundred years. However, attitudes about what relationships can look like are changing. People are becoming more and more open to relationships that aren't traditional heterosexual couplings. 

Polyamory, also called Consensual Non-Monogamy (CNM for short), is becoming increasingly popular. If you've ever wondered if non-monogamous relationships are for you or if they're something you're interested in exploring for yourself or with a partner, keep reading. 

What is Polyamory

Polyamory is not the same as polygamy. For starters, polyamory isn't illegal like polygamy is, and it's becoming a more common lifestyle. Polyamory doesn't involve any legally binding contracts. It's all based on consensual agreements between legal adults. Both partners are welcome to participate and have outside relationships, some that they share and some that they keep just to themself. 

Polyamory is only one form of CNM. Swinging and open relationships also fall under the umbrella of consensual non-monogamy but have subtle differences. Swinging focuses on sexual encounters outside of your core relationship; polyamory focuses on romantic and sexual relationships independent of your primary partner. Open relationships and polyamory are relatively interchangeable, except that open relationships have a core partnership. Polyamory doesn't require you to have a primary partner. Instead, you can have a web of people you choose to surround yourself with or a select few. 

Quote ""The biggest thing that I appreciate about poly people is that they focus on knowing what their needs are and get their needs met in creative ways — relying more on friends or multiple partners instead of putting it all on one person" Credit: Kate Kincaid / Lion's Den logo in bottom right corner

Quote courtesy of Time

How Does it Work 

As we've established, polyamory is the practice of having multiple intimate relationships. Everyone has full knowledge and has freely consented to the arrangement. It's also not gender-specific. Anyone in the polyamorous setup can identify as any gender. 

Dynamics vary from couple to couple, and there's no wrong way to have a poly relationship. In some setups, both partners see other people. In others, only one couple seeks extracurriculars. And some don't have a core couple pairing. So it all depends on what you and your partner(s) agree to how your relationship(s) will work. 

Polyamory comes from the Greek prefix poly, meaning many, and the Latin "amor," meaning love. Polyamory, at its core, is about having multiple romantic/sexual relationships with the knowledge and consent of all involved. 

Quote ""Implicit in that is that [there are] very clear conversations about sexual health that are happening in consensual non-monogamous relationships that may not be happening in monogamous relationships.” Credit: Amy Moors / Lion's Den logo in bottom right corner

Quote courtesy of Time

How to Talk to Your Partner About Polyamory

Polyamory, like all relationships outside of monogamy, breaks from the norm. Breaking from the norm is enticing to some and intimidating to others. But if it's something you're serious about, the best way to approach this conversation is by being honest about what you want and leaving room for discussion. 

Dr. Zhana is a professor of Human Sexuality at New York University. She is also the author of the online course Open Smarter, a resource for individuals and couples who want to learn more about non-monogamy and open relationships. On her website and blog, she offers this advice to people seeking to open their relationship up:

"Open relationships are more complex than monogamous ones; there are no role models, and there is very little information. It's easy to fuck up open relationships and cause a lot of pain and suffering for everyone involved."

You have to be forthcoming about what you're looking for, your expectations, and any limits or reservations you might have. Before you ever get started, discuss your boundaries and rules with your partner. If there are activities or topics you want to preserve for certain people, both partners must be aware of this. 

Be prepared that CNM might not pan out exactly how you envision it. Pew Research Center found in a recent study that men are statistically less satisfied with their attention on dating apps than women. When evaluated by gender, 57 percent of men reported disappointment, while only 24 percent of women reported feeling dissatisfied. So keep this in mind when you're considering opening up your relationship and what kinds of activities you're looking to engage in with current or future partners. 

Quote ""In consensual non-monogamous relationships, jealousy is expected. But [poly people] see what feelings arise and actively work to navigate them in a proactive way.” Credit: Joanne Davila / Lion's Den logo displayed in bottom right corner

Quote courtesy of Time

While polyamory can be for anyone, not everyone is interested in exploring it. Some poly couples only have one partner who sees other people, which is a valid form of poly. But if your partner has no interest in seeing other people and would prefer that you didn't either, you either need to respect their wishes or reconsider if they're the right person for you. Bullying or coercion is not a good foundation for building this new part of your relationship. 

The important thing is that everyone is consenting and conscious of participating. 

If you need more resources on starting or enhancing your CNM relationship, conciouspolyamory.org has a helpful list.

30 Dec

Characteristics of a Healthy Sexual Relationship

What is a healthy sexual relationship: what’s right, what’s wrong, and how do you maintain a healthy and positive attitude towards sex both inside and outside of relationships? 

Sex Provides a Feeling of Well-Being

You must first focus on trusting yourself, and then you can choose someone who fits your needs as wildspank.com users told. Many people might consider sex to be a bonus - the majority of people see sex as an essential part of a healthy and happy life. 

Whether it is sex or masturbation - the endorphins released provide us with a wealth of different “well-being” emotions and help us feel better about different parts of our lives. Different studies have found that sex - both with someone new and a long term partner that you love - can have a positive effect on a variety of mental health problems, including: 

  • Psychological 
  • Social 
  • Physical 
  • Emotional
  • Intellectual issues  

Emotional and Physical Sensations Are Felt

Sex is one of the most important parts of a relationship, and without it, most relationships will cease to function. Emotions and physical sensations are often in sync - and most individuals report having much better sex with someone they love when in a relationship rather than one-night stands when they are single. 

The idea behind sex is better with someone you know and love is that you will connect on a higher level, and therefore, the sensations you feel will be heightened. Emotions and physical sensations combined help to encourage a much healthier sex life. 

Creativity and Passion Are Rediscovered

When you’re dating someone new, it can be overwhelming to express your true passion and creativity for fear of embarrassment. While this is natural in a new relationship, if it turns into something serious - expressing your true self (especially in the bedroom) is essential for a healthy and ongoing relationship. 

If you’ve been in a relationship for a while, rediscovering your passion and creativity could reignite a spark that was once lost. Rediscovering a previous passion can help encourage new passions and experiences in even the most tired of relationships. 

Suffering and Stress Are Tolerated as a Part of Life

As a society, we are accustomed to suffering and live stressful lives - whether it's keeping up with the jones, social media, the latest trends, or simply making enough to live the lives we dream of - it’s stressful. 

Tackling stress can be difficult, especially when it seems to be attacking us from every area of our lives - work, family, relationships, and friendships - and taking all of it on at once can feel impossible. 

Outside of yoga, meditation, and taking your stress out in the gym, sex - especially a healthy sex life - can improve your overall attitude towards stress and suffering and help you to, overall, live a happier and more positive life. Once you’ve tackled one area, the others are more likely to fall into place - or at least be more manageable. 

You Can Be Emotionally Vulnerable

Many people believe that being emotionally vulnerable can harm your sex life; however, it doesn’t need to be that way. Emotional vulnerability is extremely difficult to overcome; however, a partner who understands and continues to love can help you overcome your issues. 

A healthy sexual relationship won’t drastically suffer due to emotional vulnerability - as couples who break through these barriers have a much better understanding of each other and their emotional needs.  

You Develop and Maintain Healthy Boundaries with Others

 If you have past issues and don’t want to explore certain aspects of sex or enjoying sex with another person - that’s ok. A healthy attitude towards sex will help you and your partner make boundaries regarding your sex life; without meaning, you can’t enjoy each other. 

Sometimes, people don’t want to try in the bedroom and - even if you want to try them - part of making someone you want to sleep with feel comfortable and enjoying healthy boundaries understands you won’t cross the line you or your partner has made. 

Learn to Trust Others

Learning to trust others - especially when you’ve been burned in the past, can feel impossible. However, as they say, you can have a relationship without trust. Whether it’s a friendship, family, or someone you’re romantically involved in, every good relationship is built on trust. Trust is arguably the most important aspect of any relationship, and without it, you likely have nothing. 

A healthy sexual relationship will help you to learn to trust your partners. Once you’ve established a level of trust, that can be projected into other aspects and areas of your life - whether it be work, family, or friendships. 

31 Dec

Achieving Your Sex Goals with your New Year’s Resolutions

As the hype of the New Year came and went, many of us have found ourselves facing the New Year Blues. That point where all the goals you have made have somehow seemed to disappear into the abyss. Fear not my friends. All of your new year’s resolution goals are still worth accomplishing. Sex-related or not, though this one is sex-specific, here are some tips to help you become more consistent in reaching your sex goals.

1.    Re-Evaluate Your List

If you have already made a list of different goals you want to achieve, by now you have already crossed some off the list as you may have come to the conclusion that you probably were a little overzealous with some of the items you put on your list. Take your list and look it over. Look at the things you have decided weren’t worth attempting to achieve and why. My personal suggesting is finding specify in your items and maybe start with simpler tasks associate with the original items that are easier and comfortable to complete. Remember, baby steps.

2.    Check In With Your Partner and Yourself

If you made a list of goals with your partner, it’s a good idea to check in with them and re-evaluate your goals together. It’s important to make sure that you help each other reach your goals together if there items that you mutually agree on and are comfortable with completing. If there was a specific goal that you both didn’t agree on, have a conversation on why and decide if you should take the item off the list or take smaller steps towards completing it.

3.    Do Research if you’re Unsure

If you put a goal on your list that you don’t completely have all the info on but you still want to try it, do some research. You can read different articles on the internet, watch porn and other resources. Join a group online and ask questions. The idea is to find out more information and then form your own opinions. If you find yourself developing negative feelings towards new founded information, take a step back and process it, find out why.

4.    Masturbate More

Whether you goal is to have more orgasms or to have more meaningful sex, masturbation is a great tool for practically everything. You can create new fantasies and experience different sensations through masturbation. Masturbation also helps you understand how arousal and desire works for you based on the things that you like. Experimenting with different sex toys and techniques to find out what feels good or even better is an enlightening experience all on its own.

What’s a New Year’s Resolution you have already given up on?

If you like what you’ve read here, check out more of Tiffy Kinks writing at her sex blog Aquakink.com.

Twitter @Theaquakink

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