Swoon Podcast Episode 12: Three is the Magic Number - Nonmonogamy

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Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.

This week:

Episode 12 – Three is the Magic Number - Nonmonogamy

In this episode Julie and Gina discuss monogamy and nonmonogamy. They talk about different relationship styles, different forms of intimacy, relationship expectations and some of the ways people may get their wants and needs inside and outside of their primary partnerships.

This Episode Covers:

  • What is nonmonogamy?

  • Different relationship configurations.

  • Is non-monogamy right for your relationship?

  • How default monogamy may not serve you.

  • The importance of talking about relationship agreements and expectations, even if you are monogamous

  • The reasons people may explore nonmonogamy.

  • The reasons nonmonogamy might not be a good fit for a relationship.


What relationship style is best for you -

“Being monogamous is hard, for all sorts of reasons. Being nonmonogamous is hard for all sorts or reasons. Not being in relationship is hard for all sorts of reasons. There's not an easy path.”

“Everybody wants to know, 'What's the best way to do is?' There is no one right way to do relationship. There are so many factors. I've seen people do monogamy beautifully and do nonmonogamy beautifully and I've been people crash and burn in both too.”

If you and your partner have different desires -

“Your options are – your partner tries to meet you in a way that doesn’t feel good to them, you subvert your wants and needs, or you find a way to get those wants and needs met elsewhere.”

“If we were talking about anything outside of sex...if I was like, “Oh man, I love scrapbooking and my partner’s not into it, people would be like 'Julie! Go join a scrapbook...scrapbook with everybody, spread your scapbooking seeds all over the world!' Right? But because it's sex? Yeah, you should only scrapbook with your partner, ever.”

On monogamy -

“We think nonmonogamy is one thing and monogamy is one thing. It's way more complicated than that on both sides. The trouble people get into with monogamy is falling into a default setting and never talking about what it means to be monogamous for me and you and what to do if we have a crush or want to dance with someone etc.”

On nonmonogamy - 

“If you have a strong history of infidelity...I see a lot people come to this because they always cheated on their partners, some people can make that transition, but it's different than cheating or infidelity. And if you have infidelity in a relationship, nonmonogamy doesn't solve it on it's own, we need to look at, 'What's the context that lead to deceit?' So that deceit doesn't continue in nonmonogamy. You can cheat in nonmonogamy.”

“Some of the things I love about models of non-monogamy are the levels of agreements, boundaries, shared language and shared expectations.”

“People think that non-monogamy is an orgy every weekend – it could be, I mean, good luck!”

Resources Shared in This Episode

The Ethical Slut

Opening Up

More Than Two

Action Steps from the Podcast

Worksheet about monogamy

Talk about your expectations and boundaries.

Worksheet that looks at the forms of intimacy

What can you get met in your relationship? What do you want to meet elsewhere?

Your Swoon Hosts

Dr Gina Senarighi, PhD CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

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