Image by Maru Lombardo

Alternative Lifestyles
Polyamory / Swinging
BDSM 

Alternative lifestyles diverge away from traditional sexual relationships and may include BDSM, exhibitionism, and non-monogamous relationships.  

Polyamory and Swinging

Unlike traditional sexual roles where one partner remains emotionally and sexually exclusive to their partner, polyamorous and swinging relationships entail certain liberties in which a couple may decide to include others into their relationship. In the world of polyamory, or “many loves”, individuals will choose to be with a number of people either romantically, intimately, or sexually, also known as swinging while they are involved with others, perhaps a primary partner at the same time. For those in poly relationships, consensual dating of others may be welcomed. Some individuals may choose to engage in open relationships or choose to share partners in order to connect with others for emotional intimacy or sexual needs. Some relationships can remain superficial while others can be profoundly meaningful.

Trouble in Paradise

While many partners are able to manage these types of relationships, there are a large number of individuals that enter into these arrangements and suffer disastrous consequences. These relationships require significantly more communication, emotional strength, and trust.  

For those couples that would like to explore these alternative lifestyles, we highly recommend you connect with one of our certified sex therapists to fully explore how to have a healthy conversation and understanding of these relationships.

BDSM

BDSM is sometimes categorized into three categories, Bondage and Discipline (BD), Dominance and Submission (DS), Sadism and Masochism (SM). BDSM relationships typically carry an unequal dynamic where one partner may carry a dominant or more submissive role relative to their own. In this sense, partners do need to complement each other in one way or another. They may often play certain roles which may be very different than the roles they may have in their normal day to day life. Partners will generally establish rules for each other and play out their roles in order to gain or give pleasure, or inflict some sort of punishment which can be either physical or emotional such as humiliation. These activities may include the use of sexual toys, blindfolds, restraints, or candle wax. Some activities can also include hair pulling, spanking or engaging in restrictive behaviors.

Love Discovery Institute is a safe space, we have zero tolerance for judgment and stigmatization.

Fewer than 40% of BDSM community members disclose their sexual behaviors to their medical care practitioners out of fear of stigma and misinterpretation 

Image by Artem Labunsky
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When properly understood, BDSM and polyamory can be a safe and rewarding activities for many individuals, but when the practice or dynamic between individuals crosses relational or sexual thresholds, BDSM and polyamory can be unforgiving and hurtful. 


Our certified sex therapist carry specialized training in this area to best support you or your partner manage these interests. Make an appointment with one of our psychotherapists today. Still unsure about how we can help? Call us at 305-605-LOVE for a free consultation. We are here to support you in your lifestyle choices.