Clinical Psychologist Dr. Oren Amitay and Registered Psychotherapist Malini Ondrovcik discuss open relationships in this half-hour podcast.

Fantasies about threesomes and sexual novelty are generally not solid preparation for the realities of an open relationship. However much your mammalian programming drives you toward sexual novelty, are you prepared for the knowledge that your partner, too, may choose to have sex with others? Do you feel like you must “have your cake and eat it too”? If so, the realities of an open relationship are not likely to match your fantasies.

Are you and your partner both ready for radical honesty and carefully negotiated boundaries? Can you maintain those agreements with absolute integrity? Is your partner one-hundred percent on board, or just afraid to lose you?

The podcast hosts’ motto is “Do right by others and not just for yourself”. For better or worse, what we dish out to others often comes back to us.

Relationships: Is monogamy for everyone? | Ep 7 Awake at the Wheel

In this episode of Awake at the Wheel, Malini and Oren discuss the concept of consensually non-monogamous relationships, better known as open relationships. They explore factors that often lead couples to consider this lifestyle, in addition to the realities and possible pitfalls thereof.


Hacking our biological programming

A small percentage of mammal species pair-bond but no species is sexually exclusive. Given the power of human jealousy, however, we human mammals seldom thrive in open relationships either. What to do?

Generally we attempt to appease our demanding appetites either by acting out our fantasies or by fantasising as much as possible. Is there a workable alternative?

Suppose you needed to stay on a diet to protect your health. You decide not to eat desserts. Would you then constantly view videos of delicious desserts? Fantasise about eating them? Turn to junk food instead? If you did, do you think you would feel more satisfied? Or would you have to fight intense cravings in order to guard your health?

If the latter, consider applying that insight to your sexual appetite. Here’s a secret: the belief that sexual cravings can be inflamed constantly and then be sustainably met by a partner (or by visual stimuli/fantasies + solo sex) is simply mistaken.

The fact is, exhausting sexual desire via satiety augments subsequent desire for sexual novelty, not contentment. You’ve thoroughly fertilised one mate and your genes now urge you to look around for other willing partners, real or virtual.

Protect your appetite

It’s your zest for life. As the Taoists taught, it’s “best to leave the table while you still have some appetite.” Try an experiment. Can you ease your demanding drive for sexual novelty by exchanging bonding behaviours with your partner daily? It may strike you as counterintuitive but soothing affection without exhausting your sexual desire can actually ease cravings.

You might also give Synergy a try. By leaving the bedroom while you still have an appetite, you may discover that your magnetic attraction to your partner, even a familiar one, stays stronger yet not unmanageable. Use this sneaky strategy to diminish the desire for sexual novelty.

Learn to hack your biology…and committed relationship doesn’t have to be so challenging after all.

Of possible interest:

Observations on polyamory

“Is monogamy natural?”