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  • Writer's pictureKaren Bigman

From Monogamy to Polyamory: Expanding Our Love Languages

Have you ever paused to consider how our perceptions shape our attitudes toward sex, especially as we navigate the shifting sands of middle age? It's a period ripe with transformational changes, ranging from menopause to navigating intimacy in long-term relationships. Amidst these shifts, there's a tapestry of sexual desires and practices that often go unspoken or misunderstood due to societal norms and personal preconceptions.

My journey began in a place not too dissimilar to where many find themselves: with a narrow understanding of what constituted "normal" sex. Non-traditional sexual practices such as engaging in threesomes, partner swapping, or maintaining open relationships seemed alien, relegated to the fringes of what I considered acceptable. This mindset not only limited my professional growth as a sexuality educator but also my evolution.

The Misunderstood Spectrum of Desire

Upon delving deeper into the realm of non-traditional sexual practices through education and firsthand accounts, I unearthed a reality far removed from my preconceptions. The individuals and couples engaging in these practices were not fundamentally different from anyone else; their needs, desires, and quest for fulfillment mirrored those found in more conventional relationships. This revelation was not immediate but unfolded through continuous exposure and education – demonstrating that understanding and acceptance could blossom from knowledge.

Education shines as the most potent tool in shifting perceptions and fostering a more inclusive understanding of sexual diversity. By welcoming alternative lifestyles and practices into our discourse, we can chip away at the stigma that cloaks them. This approach not only benefits those directly engaged in non-traditional sexual practices but enriches our perspectives, allowing for a fuller, more nuanced appreciation of human sexuality.

Imagine a space where conversations around BDSM, polyamory, or any other form of sexual expression are approached with the same openness and curiosity as discussions on monogamy or vanilla sex. Such an environment not only nurtures personal growth but also bolsters communal understanding, creating a society where sexual wellness is recognized in all its forms.

Expanding Horizons: Beyond The Conventional

The journey toward accepting and understanding the full spectrum of human sexuality is ongoing. Each interaction, each story shared, contributes to a larger tapestry depicting the rich diversity of human desire. What began as a personal quest to broaden my professional knowledge transformed into a profound realization of the shared humanity across all forms of sexual expression. It underscores the importance of continuous learning and the unlearning of ingrained prejudices.

Engaging with individuals and couples living out their truths in ways I had once deemed unconventional has been a humbling and enlightening experience. It has taught me the value of presence without judgment, of listening with the intent to understand, rather than to respond. This open-mindedness has not only refined my approach as a coach and educator but also deepened my appreciation for the myriad ways in which humans seek connection and fulfillment.

As we journey through midlife, the invitation stands to explore and embrace the full spectrum of sexual desires and practices. This exploration is not a call to alter one's preferences but rather to acknowledge and accept the diversity present within our communities. By doing so, we can build a more empathetic, understanding society, where sexual wellness is recognized as a multifaceted and deeply personal journey.

Let us challenge ourselves to approach the topic of sex and sexuality with an open heart and mind, recognizing that our shared humanity is beautifully diverse. In doing so, we embrace the richness of experience that life offers, fostering a world where every individual feels seen, heard, and valued in their pursuit of happiness and fulfillment.

It's essential to remember that education and openness to learning are never-ending processes. My journey of understanding sexual diversity has been transformative, and I remain ever-curious and less judgmental. This openness has not only enriched my personal life but has also been instrumental in my professional mission to foster discussions that challenge stigmas and expand perspectives. Let's continue this conversation, embracing the diversity of desires with empathy, respect, and an unyielding curiosity.

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