A New Monogamy? The Rising Popularity Of Open Relationships

Swingers kissing

Stigmatization of consensual non-monogamy in western society

Consensual non-monogamy (CNM) is growing in prevalence in western society, with this relationship orientation practised by many individuals across the world. There exists numerous motives why individuals choose CNM as a way of engaging intimately with other people, with great relationship satisfaction reported by many practising non-monogamy. Stigmatization of consensual non-monogamy is widespread in western culture, with a monogamous and heteronormative idea of relationships often resulting in prejudice to those who identify outside this relationship frame. Different ways of engaging in CNM have with them different levels of prejudice both from the monogamous and non-monogamous populations in western culture. The stigmatization extends into the health care system as well as in academic research, with prejudices around CNM affecting those individuals in these relationships in a multitude of ways.

What exactly is consensual non-monogamy and how common is this relationship style?

Monogamy is defined as a practice of being in a committed romantic and/or sexual relationship with one individual. CNM involves sexual or romantic relationships with others outside of a relationship with the consent of all in involved, the dynamics of these configurations differing with each individual. CNM can include polyamory, open relationships or swinging, with different definitions describing each of these ways of being consensually non-monogamous. Polyamory involves multiple relationships with an emotional connection, swinging describes a couple participating in sexual experiences with others with both partners present and an open relationship consists of a couple participating in sexual experiences without the other partner being present. Despite monogamy being the most common relationship dynamic in western society, CNM is growing in prevalence.

Naked threesome
Image: Two Guys One Girl

Why are individuals choosing non-monogamy? Relationship satisfaction and sexual identity theories

Various studies comparing the relationship satisfaction of monogamous and non-monogamous individuals indicate that on average, those in consensual non-monogamous relationships report feeling equally as satisfied in their relationships as individuals in monogamous relationships. Perceptions of wild jealousy and relational disturbances in consensual non-monogamous relationships are commonly held by many in western society, with the research indicating this is not always the case. Feelings of joy and pleasure have been widely reported by individuals in consensual non-monogamous relationships when describing the reaction to partners being intimately involved with other people. Despite jealousy being positively correlated with relationship longevity (which is theorised as being a beneficial evolutionary trait) jealousy also leads to lower relationship satisfaction. Research has shown that those in consensual non-monogamous relationships reported higher levels of relationship satisfaction and lower levels of jealousy. The perceptions that monogamous relationships are more satisfying are widespread however not represented in the research when comparing non-monogamous and monogamous individuals.

Research exploring the reasoning behind individuals choosing consensual non-monogamy has established several theories as to why polyamory specifically could be considered a sexual orientation. For some people who are in polyamorous relationships, it is linked to their identity whilst for others polyamory is a convenient label that describes the dynamics of their multiple relationships. Polyamory as a sexual identity is debatable, with some individuals claiming it to be an engrained defining aspect of who they are whilst others view it as a relationship orientation they have chosen. Whether one considers consensual non-monogamy as an identifying aspect of who they are or whether it simply defines their relationship style is up to the individual to decide.

Two women with one man threesome
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Stigmatization of consensual non-monogamy

A great deal of prejudice exists in society towards individuals who are engaging in some form of CNM, with those committed to non-monogamy reporting a great deal of discrimination because of their relationship choices. The cultural norm of monogamy has resulted in this way being the most widely acceptable in western cultures which ultimately leads to those outside of this relationship style receiving scrutiny because of the dynamics of their relationships. A study showed that individuals with certain traits such as political conservatism or religiosity were more likely to judge polyamory negatively, with individuals who had been previously exposed to polyamorous relationships having generally more positive attitudes towards these consensual non-monogamous relationships. There exist misperceptions in western culture of monogamous relationships being the ideal, with beliefs around a healthy relationship seen as existing between a man and a woman. CNM challenges the idea that a heteronormative, monogamous relationship is the only possible healthy relationship dynamic.

Different ways of being consensually non-monogamous have varying degrees of stigmatization, with swinging and open relationships being judged more negatively than polyamory. As polyamory involves relationships with a component of love and emotion, whereas swinging and open relationships involved sexual engagements with others, polyamory was seen as the most acceptable form of CNM (Certainly love and emotion can be involved in swinging and open relationships – the emphasis is not on this generally speaking). As well as stigmatization from the general public, these judgements exist amongst the consensual non-monogamous population, with research indicating that some polyamorists negatively judge those practicing swinging or open relating.

The stigmatisation of consensual non-monogamous relationships has many negative repercussions to individuals in this population.  Along with discrimination from general society, non-monogamous individuals report a lack of acceptance from family and friends. This lack of support can lead to lower levels of self-esteem and poorer self-reported health symptoms. Prejudice and stigmatisation has also been associated with chronic stress, with this negatively affecting individual’s mental and physical health. Some individuals in non-monogamous relationships will avoid disclosing the dynamics of their relationships to others for fear of discrimination which leads to a lack of transparency that those in monogamous relationships have with their relationships. Despite the negative repercussions that correlate with the discrimination of non-monogamous individuals, the benefits of this relationships style outweigh the negatives for many people.

Consensual non-monogamy and health care

Due to the lack of awareness and acceptance of CNM by much of western society, those in consensual non-monogamous relationships can encounter misunderstandings from certain health care providers. Romantic relationships and sexual encounters outside of a monogamous relationship can often be viewed as a symptom of a difficult relationship despite these being agreed upon in CNM. The notion of non-monogamy being unhealthy can be carried by some therapists resulting in difficulties accessing bias free and supportive therapeutic interventions during times of relationship instability. This can cause individuals in consensual non-monogamous relationships to be reluctant accessing therapy when needed.

Creating greater knowledge and understanding of consensual non-monogamy is necessary in western cultures in order to ensure the health and well-being of individuals living in this relationship style. Its growth in western society shows it is becoming more acceptable however there is still a great way to go to ensure less stigmatisation upon this population.

Author: Stephanie Curtis. BA Nursing; Grad Dip Sexology

Meet the newest member to our team of experts. Stephanie Curtis is a sexologist with a huge capacity to care. Involved in spirituality and tantra her articles are professional, articulate and interesting. Enjoy Steph’s writings at the adultsmart sexual wellness and health blog.

Self Discovering My Perfect Revenge Body

Lady who is half tiger

So recently after some soul searching, self searching and cleaning up my social life with a f*ckboy spring clean, I have turned to a tried and tested revenge body plan.

Rather conveniently it is also an up and coming new year! So let’s also call this a new year back to the real me! (A little change up of the cliché I know) but what’s a new year without a new year’s resolution!

This has been a work in progress, which also included a change of job that had nothing to do with money but had everything to do with my own personal journey, which landed me into the Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centre family; this has been my inspirational start! Sometimes throwing yourself into the deep end way out of your comfort zone is a good start to all the potential you have been holding back from!

So after this year from hell which started on the 12/01/2017 with a missed miscarriage, my house being violated and my partner being arrested mid-way through the year subsequently going to jail, and ending the year finding out a fair few lies that have been hidden over the years and some realisations I am very happy to say this year has come to an end!

“Don’t get mad. Don’t get even. Do better. Much better. Rise above. Become so engulfed in your own success that you forget that it ever happened.”

It’s all well and good to just go with the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else, but this isn’t my style.

I choose to be a lot more stubborn with my approach, rather than move on before I am ready I choose to work on myself first.

The Day My Self Confidence Reignited

It all started the day I decided to wear bright red lipstick, before this I would wear pale pinks, nothing too over the top. But like a firecracker it ignited this confidence that I had never experienced before, how could a different shade of lipstick make me feel good about myself? Now I go everywhere with my red lipstick, to the shops, on a run and just around the house etc. Truth is, it is because I finally did something for myself, I didn’t ask someone else his or her opinion I chose to do it myself! This is something that is very new for me; instead of pleasing other people and being told what to do I chose to do something for myself. For some people, it may even be shopping for the right lingerie.

The Physical And Mental Changes Are Both Important

This spiralled into a trip of self-discovery and a re-start on my life; I thought it was finally time to learn from my mistakes (my family and friends will be so proud).  I decided my revenge body just didn’t involve my physical body it involved my mind and my ways in which I approach situations as well, a total body and mind transformation! My aim isn’t just to cut body fat, I want to trim the negative vibes in my life, I want to cut off crappy friendships and remove f*ckboys with bad intentions. I only want the best for myself in life! I am going to continue taking care of myself, better than I ever have before, I want to be the best me I can possibly be and I want to be “that girl” who says:

“I refuse to let breakups destroy me”

I will no longer try and fix broken men, I have this sad habit of gravitating towards boys who need fixing in life.  This is not just about getting skinny (although working towards the body I want is also on the cards) it is about growing my confidence, being able to walk out into the world being comfortable in my own skin and feeling like the best person I can be.

I have always had issues with body confidence, but this new revenge body is all about embracing my body for what it is. It’s about being truly happy with myself and wiping out those soul destroying insecurities and being proud of me for who I am. I will be embracing my personality, the fact that I hardly get angry, I am carefree and gentle, and I always put others first but what I will change is who gets the privilege of seeing these parts of me. I will wear the clothes I want whether they are in fashion now or not, I will be me 100%.

There is a few ways I am changing not so much myself but my approach to situations while still being me. The most common mistake that lands me into hot water is my lack of self-esteem, instead of being proud of myself I think too little of myself and I settle for the less than ideal situations. There is a lack of faith in the abundance of the universe, my anxiety propels me into forcing things to happen rather than letting them take their natural course and dating doozies – results from my failure to accept the different ways men and women approach relationships and what is right for me.

Breaking an angel quote
Image: BMM Poetry Quote

There is this sexiness in an “I don’t give a f*ck attitude”, it oozes confidence and realness. When your heart broken and your world feels like it has crumbled into a million different pieces there is only up to look forward too.

This is the point at which we don’t hold back, we say what we feel and what we think, the realness of our thoughts comes out with little to no thought about the consequences.

Breakups bring out your most raw and authentic self, they remove the protective shell and it leaves you all exposed and sexy, the real you is on display.

Wild, reckless and real, not destructive but fearless and unstoppable, this is a woman that knows what it’s like to be hurt and has experienced hurt. This is the start of revenge body thinking, a way of life and confidence.

Morgan x

Author: Morgan is a consultant from Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centres

Although relatively young Morgan has lived a life filled with experiences that have made her grow as a person. She has completed and is a product and interior designer who is a strong believer in equality between sexes and speaks out against violence. Working in the adult industry has allowed her to grow as a person and come out of her emotional and sexual shell.

10 Pleasurable Sex Bucket List Ideas For 2018

Happy couple of a sex bucket list

A new job, more money, a healthier diet and a fitter body. I cringe a little inside when I hear of people with only these ambitions for the New Year. Sure, it is all well and good to have goals to achieve and I, like many others, sure could be eating more kale and goji berries! My cringing however comes from the fact that I see countless people getting so caught up with superficial aspirations, completely missing the things in life that truly make us feel real joy and pleasure.

Sex bucket list for 2018
Image: New years sex bucket list

With this in mind, I propose several intentions that will feature on my 2018 bucket list which I believe are worthy of my utmost dedication. As I said, it is great to have realistic goals regarding work, diet and money etc. but be sure to add a few of these to your list to really expand the authentic happiness and love in your life.

Continue to develop a more loving relationship with myself

I believe this one will remain on my list for the remainder of my life because I always feel there are so many areas in my life where I can be more accepting and compassionate to myself. I desire to support, respect and love myself as I go through all the experiences that this coming year has in store for me.

Spend more time with friends and loved ones

At the end of the day, love and connection are the most important things in my life so making time to nurture my relationships with friends and family is high on my list. With this I also welcome in new connections with amazing people.

Couple holding hands
Image: Loving relationships

Continue to grow and explore new ways of relating with my partner

I am grateful to be in an amazing relationship with my favourite person in the world and nurturing this is a high priority that requires a conscious commitment and dedication. I will continue to love, respect, honour and support my man as we enter into this new year together.

Do more Kegel exercises

We exercise our legs, glutes, arms and abs however when it comes to our vaginas, they are far too often neglected. This can lead to a whole host of health issues down the track including incontinence and vaginal prolapse. To avoid these, I intend to commit to regular Kegel exercises. As well as better health outcomes, regular Kegel exercises can result in more intense and pleasurable orgasms. For this alone, it seems insane not to do them!!

Be more creative

Sexual energy is a powerful creative energy with which we can use to manifest whatever we desire in our lives. In 2018, I intend to channel my sexual energy into manifesting things that bring happiness, whether that be in the work I create as a Sexologist or time and money to go travelling.

Naked woman covering her breasts
Image: Naked woman

Self-pleasure more consciously

Instead of using self-pleasuring as an unconscious release, stress reliever or boredom filler, I desire to take the time for myself to have a more mindful and sensual self-pleasuring practice. This requires a commitment to take time for myself often, which for self-pleasuring shouldn’t be too much of a struggle for me to do!

Wear my Dom hat

As well as an amazing outlet to live out fantasies and desires, sex is a powerful way to push edges. What we play out sexually also has a ripple effect to the rest of our lives and for this reason I would like to explore my dominant side. Being submissive is an easeful place for me to be in many areas of my life yet I know that there is so much pleasure to be felt in a more dominant role. Despite it terrifying me at times, I commit to stepping into my dominant self more often and seeing what changes in my life as a result… stay tuned!

Woman dressed in Domintrix gear
Image: Dominatrix

Try new things

Sexual exploration is an enormous playground with amazing things to try. Human beings have come up with such unique ways of expressing their sexuality, I am sure the list would be guaranteed to last you a lifetime! I desire to keep on stepping outside my comfort zone in 2018, hopefully to experience greater excitement, pleasure and joy through sexual experimentation.

Tie and be tied more often

My partner and I met because of our interest in Shibari, with rope bondage being one of my favourite things to do with him. Life can get hectic at times and these kinds of things get pushed to the side so for 2018, I desire to commit to more rope tying play with him (Instead of weekly “Date Night” it will be “Shibari Night”-Genius!!)

Buy a sex swing

Need I say more? Curiosity has me wondering how good hoisting up a sex swing on my back deck could be and quite simply, I cannot think of a reason why this shouldn’t be on my list…can you?!

Couple using a sex swing
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Author: Stephanie Curtis- BA Nursing

Meet the newest member to our team of experts. Stephanie Curtis is a sexologist with a huge capacity to care. Involved in spirituality and tantra her articles are professional, articulate and interesting. Enjoy Steph’s writings at the adultsmart sexual wellness and health blog.

Top 14 Worst Pick-Up Lines Ever Used

Guy looking down womans top

So you may ask, what are the worst pick-up lines ever used? You can definitely use them for a laugh, embarrassment and very rarely you can actually pick-up someone with these lines. If you do it right, you may be able to score a date, a kiss or even a one night stand.

Why Do Bad Pick-Up Lines Work Sometimes?

Did you know that using a pick-up line is actually a method of flirting? That is why you hear people use pick-up lines so often. They are a quick and simple way to get the message across that you are interested in another person. Here are some tips that you can use to give the pick-up line and yourself the best chance of working.

Be Hilarious

Well, it’s about hitting the right tone, with just the right amount of playful cheek you can do just that. One of the reasons why people use pick-up lines is because they have the capability to make the person you’re saying it to become happy. If you can make them happy which will help to improve their self-esteem and confidence, they may just be interested in what else you can offer them. Humour is also a sign of intelligence.

Be Authentic

If you are being your true self, you will have the best opportunity to feel comfortable in your own skin. Sometimes under the pressure of the situation, people blurt out things that are not true in order to fill in the silence. If you are prone to do this, you should plan different topics you can talk about beforehand, this way you will always have something to say.

Be Self-assured

It doesn’t hurt to have a little bit of the confident arrogance needed to pull them off as well. But you don’t have to be arrogant, you just need to be positive about what you are saying. If you able to communicate the message with a positive outlook, you may send feel good vibes out and the person will react accordingly.

Be Sincere

If you are looking to build a relationship from a pick-up line rather than a one night stand, you should choose Pick-Up lines that reflect the true message that you would like to get across. So if you would like to choose one that has some honest and meaningful qualities to it you will be better off. You can also do this by changing up the pick-up line to fit in with your personality.

Wait For The Response

If you are lucky, you will find that the person that you had attempted to pick-up will talk about the pick-up line for a conversation or to make another friendly joke. If this is the case, you can definitely continue the conversation and see where it goes from there.

Man picking up at a bar
Image: Picking Up

Top 14 Really Bad Pick-Up Lines

But please DO NOT try them yourself as it is likely that you may end up with a drink in your face and no-one to keep you company. Or better yet try them out and see how long you can last and whether you can luck it out. If you do use them, other people will sit back and relax as they watch you throw them out there into the world as they wait for the most unexpected reactions from the person that you are pitching them to.

  1. My love for you is like a fart. Everything about it is powered by my heart.
  2. Well, here I am. What are your other two wishes?
  3. How much will a 10 get me?
  4. Breathe if you’re horny. Alright! Score!
  5. You are almost as beautiful as my sister. But well, you know, that’s illegal.
  6. Do you like to dance? Good, then go dance so I can talk to your hot friend.
  7. I have a dictionary in my pants. Let’s say we go back to your house and put some words in your mouth.
  8. Wanna do a ’68? You go down on me and I’ll owe you one.
  9. You might as well just sleep with me, because I’m going to tell everyone you did.
  10. There are 216 bones in the human body… Would you like 217?
  11. Can I buy you a drink, or do you just want the money?
  12. Nice shoes, wanna fuck?
  13. Nice legs… What time do they open?
  14. It must be raining outside… Because the heavens must be crying as they are missing an angel.

So What Do You Think?

Maybe you can twist them into something amazing and worthwhile! Or you’ll remember them when you are drunk and say them to the wrong person. Were they the lamest?  Do you have any better or even worse ones?

I would love to hear from you what the worst pick-up lines you have heard. Post a message in the comments section to let us know. If you want to give people tips, you should let us know what are the best pick-up lines you have ever used? You know, the ones that actually are almost fail safe and will get that girl or gal to ride home with you. Sometimes it is charm that works but more often it is the gift of the gab and those funny one liners people use that send an endearing message. Whatever pick-up line you choose to use, make sure you have lubricant and condoms on hand just in case it works!

Richard runs the marketing and social profiles of adultsmart and adultsmart blog. He has been in the industry just over 10 years and enjoys his role both in an administrative capacity as well keeping abreast of issues relating to sexual health and lifestyles.

Top 10 Pick-Up Lines To Turn A Straight Man Gay

Gay sauna with a straight man

It is a great gay achievement to end up sleeping with a straight guy.

You see a hot straight guy, he is just your type and some sexually frustrated thoughts pour into your head!

Switch him! Turn him! Drain him! Use him!

Let him go out of the closet, like the good boy he is!

Is there a hot straight man at your gym or club that you have been keeping your eye on? Does he seem to work out around the same time that you do everyday? When you glance at him, does your heart skip a beat causing you to get all worked up? If so, you have a major man-crush on a straight guy! But what can you do about it? And how do you handle things if you sense he might be a little curious about you. Is there anyway you can make a straight man from your gym fantasy come true.

Although a person’s sexual orientation may have some biological factors that begin at birth, a person’s sexual orientation can change over time. A person’s who was previously known as heterosexual thoughts may change to:

His cute! It’ll be some fun, just a kiss and I’ll see where it will go from there!

I love my anal sex toys could I guy please me just as well?

I love being pegged but what would it feel like to be a bottom and being filled up?

What would I be, a top or a bottom?

With a man’s sexual curiosity towards gay sex spiking all he may need is a little push in the right direction and you may just be the right guy who is going to switch him, turn him, drain him and use him! Here are my top 10 pick-up lines that a gay man can use on a straight guy.

Top 10 Pick-Up Lines Gay Guys To Straight Guys

“Dump the bitch… make the switch.”

My classic line when I see a straight man enter a gay nightclub.  These days there are so many ‘hetro’ men delving into the gay scene that at least 10% have got to be closets.  You would be surprised how many times this line actually has worked.

“What your girl don’t know, won’t hurt her.”

When you are alone with a macho man that has a girlfriend (or wife) – this said as a joke may always become a reality.

“Don’t knock it, until you tried it.”

Great when out with the office crew and a jealous hetro cannot understand why the girls prefer our company.  I prefer but never let it be said that I wont help a damsel in distress.

Gay guy pick-up line
Image: Pick Up Line

“You can’t tell the difference when you’re a top.”

Most hetro men fantasize about giving it up the butt of their ladies but unfortunately for them they don’t know how to approach it or their ladies just flat out say no.  This may get them to question if they really want to get that anal sex action.

“No one will ever know.”

Rarely used but could be a good tool when the time is right and you are having a deep and meaningful with a straight.

“Only a man knows how to really please a man.”

We know where all the spots are and how to make same sex feel good.Ain’t it the truth too.  Most sex with females is inhibited and held back.  Men lust and are passionate during their lovemaking demanding what they need and want.

Gay Pickup Lines
Quote: Pick Up Line

“Don’t you get tired of all the bullshit with straight dating?”

Gotta buy the flowers, give the compliments, pick up the bill.  When we want to we just fuck!!!

“You only live once, try it at least once, if you do not like, leave it alone.”

Try to get a straight to add it to his bucket list.  You never know the outcome.

“If you are really open minded, you’re willing to try anything.”

This has weight with those that say they are liberated and free thinking.   How could they rule out man to man action if they have not at least tried it once.

“A mouth is a mouth… an ass is an ass.”

And with all these inhibited Prima Donna’s out there a  gay man is often willing and able to supply either.

Look I am not going to say these pick up lines are going to work on all occasions but, tongue in cheek, give them a go and let me know the results! Let us know your favourite ways to pick-up straight guys by posting a message in the comment section.

Stephen is a cis-gendered gay male who spends far too much time with his two cats and eating tim tams. A self-identified sex-positive advocate he cares deeply about gender equality, disabilities, sexual education and social issues. Opinionated and bold he isn’t afraid to speak his mind and say what others won’t. With a yearning for knowledge and experience in all things relating to sex, he is a prolific writer that has developed the content for a myriad of informative Sexual Health and Wellness websites.

Stephen’s articles and writings tends to focus on social issues, sexual education, queer issues and all things fetish and absurd. He comes qualified with the completion of a double Bachelor degree in Social Sciences and literature, and a Masters in Education.