"I liked the practical, embodied way of teaching."
Explore Open Relationship
Find Out if Open Relationship is for You
There is no one-size-fits-all relationship model that works for everyone. The more you consciously co-create your relationship, the more likely it is to last. Some people will thrive in monogamy and others in a more open agreement. For example, those who desire consistency and feel very threatened by the thought of their partner being with someone else may do better with monogamy while those who are more capable of dealing with jealousy and crave more variety may do better with non-monogamy. Whether a relationship is monogamous or open, what makes it work is mutual trust, respect, attachment, good communication, empathy, the ability to self-reflect and grow, consideration, and the desire to support each other in being true to who you are.
Every relationship has unmet needs and, when these needs are not threatening to the individuals in the relationship, people often outsource these needs with others. For example, some people like to partner dance and their partner doesn’t. If their partner is ok with it, they take dance lessons themselves or find a long-term dance partner. However, when there are unmet needs and people have done their best to try to meet them in the relationship but it is impossible for some reason, there are 5 approaches people take. They (1) stay and build resentment, (2) leave or divorce, (3) outsource the need dishonestly (cheat), (4) outsource the need honestly (5) accept their disappointment and stay.
When we work with couples, we help them explore what they can get in their relationship and what they want to do in the face of their unmet needs. We look at honest outsourcing as one viable option that can often feel much better than resentment, dishonesty or divorce. Opening your relationship may mean that you can enjoy the depth of understanding and support that long-term loving relationships offer and also experience the excitement of new partners. Bringing in new people can often reignite passion between you and your partner. It can also make you feel accepted in all of your desires, which helps you feel more loving towards your partner. It can increase the stability of the relationship because no one needs to leave or lie in order to get their needs met. If you do decide to open up, we can help choose the approach that works best for you. Some people choose more of a swinger lifestyle, others prefer polyamory and some people choose to create their own personal definition of non-monogamy or open marriage. You may want to explore as a team or branch off and have your own experiences or both. Regardless, we will help you go through the process slowly by dipping your toe in the open relationship waters and processing whatever feelings might arise.
Why You Might Want to Open Your Relationship
There are many reasons why you might consider exploring the option of an open relationship
- You are each other’s family, you feel very connected and match well in all other aspects of life, but the sexual spark has gone out (or there never really was one) and you still want to stay together
- You have children and are wonderful co-parents but you are no longer romantic or sexual partners and you don’t want to leave but you want sex or romance in your life
- You love each other and desire each other and you want more variety or one or both of you have never been a naturally monogamous and you want to embrace your true self
- You have sexual desires that your partner does not want to meet and you feel that your life will not be fulfilling if you don’t get to experience them
- You feel safe and attached to one another and you want to bring more excitement and variety into your sexual relationship
One Couple’s Journey into Open Relationship
We have seen many marriages saved by opening up, which has created long-term stability in their partnership and for their children. One of these couples came in to recover after the woman had an affair. After exploring deeply whether the two of them wanted to go back to monogamy and what they wanted out of their sexual relationship, they both became clear that they still loved each other and still wanted their sexual connection. At the same time, they had such different sexual and romantic needs that they wanted to keep their relationship honestly open so that each one of them could get those needs met and avoid divorce or bitter resentment towards one another. At the end of one of our sessions together, the woman said, “He is totally there for me, is an amazing father, and also supports me in getting my sexual and emotional needs met. Why would I go anywhere else?!” Her husband added, “I feel like I’m getting to have the college years I always dreamed of but was too shy to enjoy.”
In Somatica Sex Therapy and Relationship Coaching sessions you will:
- Understand what you need in your relationship and how to ask for it
- Be able to be vulnerable and see your partner more clearly
- Learn to accept yourself and your partner for who you are
- Make your contract transparent so you can see and evaluate unspoken agreements
- Explore the possibility of open relationship and the feelings that arise around it
- Explore your boundaries and comfort level
- Explore and negotiate the format that works for you
What to Do Next: start your shared journey
- Book your first Sex and Relationship Coaching session
- Join our Couples Retreat
- Read Making Love Real and have a desire conversation
- Read our blog series on open relationships, affairs, and midlife crises
San Rafael, CA
“An amazing, transformative, heart-touching experience that gave me a viable new comprehension of men’s and women’s sexuality.”
- Part 2 – Relationships are about Repair not Perfection
Relationship Repair – Step #2
Name The Emotion – If you or your partner are stuck in facts and figures, accusations or debates, either one at any moment can shift and name the emotions. For example, if Janet was frustrated when she came home and found and empty house and
- The Top 3 Worst Flirting Mistakes
Flirting is a very vulnerable endeavor – to flirt is to open up your desirous, erotic parts to connect with another’s. Opening up and allowing your erotic energy to flow is a big part of what makes it so energizing and exciting. At the same time, no one wants
- Long-Term Love Doesn’t Have to Suck
As you move through the honeymoon period, you start to see the person for who they really are, which is never exactly the person you hoped or imagined they would be. This is the beauty and challenge of a relationship – the differences between your fantasy partner and the
- What Is Love? The Answer May Surprise You
It feels so good to say and to hear the words “I love you,” but what do they really mean? In order to talk about what makes a relationship successful, it is crucial to have a working definition of love. This is something you can remind yourself, and each
- Why Relationships Fail and What You Can Do!
Whether you are in a relationship or in the process of looking for a relationship that really works for you, it is important to know why they fail and what you can do about it! There are many reasons why relationships fail…
- What is Relationship Success?
- Ultimatums – Foul or Tool?
As a culture, we tend to look at ultimatums as a cut and dry relationship foul, and often report damningly to our friends when a partner has issued one. “She gave me an ultimatum,” you might say to your friend as they gasp and shake their head, “How could
- Why People Choose to Cheat Even when it Might Destroy their Relationship
In popular culture, affairs are portrayed as the ultimate, unforgivable relationship sin. The person who cheats is thought of as untrustworthy at best and, at worst, as downright evil. Yet, affairs happen all the time in relationships. In our work, we have found cheating to be more of a