couple and woman in a polyamorous relationship

What Is It Like Being a Polyamory Coach?

As a polyamory coach, I have the joy of working with people across the sexuality, desire, and relationship structure spectrum. My biggest goal is to bring more pleasure into their lives. And, as a polyamorous woman in an open marriage myself, I especially love helping people navigate the world of ethical non-monogamy. 

Being a polyamory coach can include working with single people as they hone in on their specific wants and needs. You might also have sessions with couples in the early stages of opening up their relationship. A poly coach often also supports seasoned non-monogamous triads, quads, or moresomes as they deal with their unique joys and struggles. 

There is no one size fits all way to be polyamorous, and so there is no one size fits all coaching. It’s all quite personal. To go deeper, let’s define our terms.

How Does Ethical Non Monogamy Work?

Ethical non-monogamy is the umbrella term for any relationship that allows the participants to have other relationships simultaneously. 

This could include a variety of options: 

  • Solo poly, in which a person dates multiple people, all of whom know about the others
  • Swinging, in which couples have sexual relationships with other people and/or couples, but often little to no emotional attachment 
  • Polyamory, in which multiple emotional attachments, and even love, are allowed 
  • Unicorn polyamory, in which a heterosexual couple opens up their relationship to a bisexual woman, often (but not always) without the expectation of emotional intimacy

Within the world of poly, some people choose to have hierarchical relationship tiers – such as primary, secondary, and tertiary partners. Others choose to think of everyone as equals.

There are many nuances involved, and more ways to be poly than I could enumerate here. That’s exactly the reason why I love coaching myriad poly folks, and helping them stay true to their authentic selves.

young polyamorous throuple

Are Poly Relationships Illegal?

Polygamy – the practice of marrying multiple people – is illegal in all 50 states. It is not what we are talking about here. 

That being said, polyamory is NOT a legally protected status, and, sadly, you can still be fired from a job for being poly, or have it used against you in court. Yet, there are now a few cities that are officially recognizing poly relationships

What Is a Poly Therapist or Polyamory Coach?

A poly therapist or polyamory coach is a type of professional who works with sex and relationships and, as a specialization, understands the unique needs of poly clients. 

In all actuality, being a polyamory coach or polyamory therapist is not that different from coaching monogamous people. I encourage everyone, regardless of relationship structure, to get in touch with their desires, ask for what they want, and put boundaries in place to keep themselves safe. 

That being said, polyamory does have added layers that can complicate things. Dealing with the needs of multiple people, making each relationship feel unique and special, and being aware of your capacity, are common themes a poly coach tackles with their clients. 

Is Polyamory Psychologically Healthy?

It may sound like a lot of effort overall – but being polyamorous is quite psychologically healthy!

In our current society, we are fed the lie that there is one person out there who will “complete” us, and be our “happily ever after.” They will magically fulfill all our needs. In reality, it is absolutely impossible for one person to be everything for another person. This includes meeting all of our sexual needs. 

Often, people who are polyamorous will take the psychologically healthy point of view that they or their partner can’t meet all of the other person’s needs. They will talk honestly about the possibility that some of those needs can be met with someone else. 

How Can Polyamory Help a Marriage?

Polyamory can help a marriage immensely. It expunges the pressure to fulfill all your partner’s needs, and can help you both feel more alive and connected as you keep your possibilities open. 

Think of it this way: If your partner likes bowling, but you hate it, you might be thrilled for them to find some friends to go bowling with. Perhaps there is something you prefer not to do in bed, your libido is lower, or you simply want to be seen through different eyes to feel like your fullest self. 

This is where another partner can step in. Having someone else meet the needs of your partner can be a beautiful thing and can actually bring you closer together. 

What Is Compersion, and Do All Poly People Have It?

“Compersion” is a term frequently used by polyamorous people for the satisfaction they experience from seeing their partner in pleasure. This can mean literally watching them have sex with others, or just seeing them come home from a date all smiles. 

However, not all poly people have compersion, and that’s ok! They might even feel jealous, and that’s ok too! Ethical non-monogamy works differently for everyone. My job as a coach is not to make sure nobody feels hard thing. Rather, I help ensure everyone is expressing their feelings and able to hear what might be hard for their partners as well. 

Honesty and transparency in polyamory are of tantamount importance. I encourage all of my polyamorous clients to get really intimate with themselves, so that they can be ready for true intimacy with others. 

We might work on breathing exercises to get grounded in the body, do work around disappointment, desires, consent and boundaries. We might also practice conversations if something in one of their relationships needs to be repaired. At its very best, being in a polyamorous relationship means simply having more joy and pleasure in your life – something I want for all my clients.

How to Find a Polyamory Friendly Therapist or Polyamory Coach

One way that coaches or therapists signal that they are versed in working with poly folks is to call themselves “polyamory friendly therapists” or “polyamory coaches”. 

As a polyamory coach, I love helping people find their way into whatever relationship structure works best for them. If you are considering a polyamorous lifestyle, I highly recommend you work with a poly friendly professional to help guide you. 

You deserve to have the life and the relationships you want, and coaches like me are here to help.

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