- Episode 51: The Lies We Tell Ourselves About The Truth
- Episode 49: This Is Actually Happening (3/4)
- Episode 48: Standing By vs. Being An Ally (2/4)
- Recommendations & Reviews: Boogie Nights
- Food For Thought: Contradiction vs. Complementation
- Food For Thought: Curiosity vs. Criticism
- Episode 47: Sexual “Empowerment” Sells (1/4)
- Recommendations & Reviews: The Culture Map
- Food For Thought: Celebrating The Small Wins
- Food For Thought: The Many Roads To Happiness
- En Español: Sexualidad e Igualdad
- Casual Conversations: Communication, Mindfulness, and Pleasure
- Food For Thought: Operational Definitions
- Food For Thought: Memory Tissue
- Episode 46: The Nutrition Facts of Life
- Casual Conversations: The Lost Art of Letter Writing
- Food For Thought: Attribution Theory
- Food For Thought: Coronavirus vs. Connection
- Bonus Episode: The Psychology of Solitary
- Episode 45: Love, Loss & The Meaning Of Life (2/2)
- Episode 44: Love, Loss & The Meaning Of Life (1/2)
- Live Workshop: Navigating Anxiety During COVID
- Episode 43: The Body Knows Best
- Episode 42: (Un)Censoring Pleasure
- Episode 40: Bring On The Heat (1/2)
- Episode 41: Bring On The Heat (2/2)
- Episode 39: The Myth of Marriage (2/2)
- Episode 38: The Myth of Marriage (1/2)
- Episode 37: Same Page, Different Book (2/2)
- Episode 36: Same Page, Different Book (1/2)
- Episode 35: Humans In Progress (2/2)
- Episode 34: Humans In Progress (1/2)
- Episode 33: The Strength In Our Scars (2/2)
- Episode 32: The Strength In Our Scars (1/2)
- Episode 31: Masculinity & Authenticity (2/2)
- Episode 30: Masculinity & Authenticity (1/2)
- Episode 29: Addiction & Intimacy – From Harm to Healing (2/2)
- Episode 28: Addiction & Intimacy – From Harm to Healing (1/2)
- New Trailer: Let’s Get Intimate!
- Episode 27: You Can’t Be What You Can’t See (2/2)
- Episode 26: You Can’t Be What You Can’t See (1/2)
- Episode 25: Why Relationships Fail vs. Flourish (2/2)
- Episode 24: Why Relationships Fail vs. Flourish (1/2)
- Episode 23: The Evolution of (Non)Monogamy (2/2)
- Episode 22: The Evolution of (Non)Monogamy (1/2)
- Episode 21: “Pleasure Is The Measure” (2/2)
- Episode 20: “Pleasure Is The Measure” (1/2)
- Episode 19: Sex Sells? Or Insecurity Sells… (2/2)
- Episode 18: Sex Sells? Or Insecurity Sells… (1/2)
- Episode 17: DON’T Fake It ‘Til You Make It (2/2)
- Episode 16: DON’T Fake It ‘Til You Make It (1/2)
- Episode 15: Mindfulness For Sexual Connection
- Episode 14: Keeping It “Casual” (2/2)
- Episode 13: Keeping It “Casual” (1/2)
- Episode 12: The Birds & The Bees (2/2)
- Episode 11: The Birds & The Bees (1/2)
- Episode 10: Love & Death
- Episode 9: Communication- Mind and Body
- Episode 8: The Power of Sexual Healing (2/2)
- Episode 7: The Power of Sexual Healing (1/2)
- Episode 6: Redefining Masculinity and “The Million Dollar Point”
- Episode 5: Creating Body Maps and Reconnecting with Pleasure
- Episode 4: (In) Fidelity in The Time of Technology
- Episode 3: Let’s Get Cliterate! Narrowing The Orgasm Gap
- Episode 2: Today’s Not So “Liberated” Sex Culture (2/2)
- Episode 1: Today’s Not So “Liberated” Sex Culture (1/2)
- Episode 0: Google doesn’t have all the answers
- Trailer: Let’s Get Intimate!
Let's Get Intimate!
Episode 23: The Evolution of (Non)Monogamy (2/2)
In the second episode of our two-part interview with Dr. Heath Schechinger, a researcher and psychologist at the University of California, Berkeley who specializes in consensual non-monogamy (CNM), we dive deeper into jealousy—how it manifests in both CNM and monogamous relationships, how it relates to anxiety, and the subtle difference between its equally complex sister emotion: envy. We also further unpack communication tools and techniques to talk to your partner about CNM. Spoiler: it’s not always easy. Let’s get into it!
Navigating Jealousy in Any Type of Relationship
The inconvenient truth is that jealousy can be present in every type of relationship—monogamous or not. The difference, however, lies in the expectations surrounding jealousy within a CNM partnership and a monogamous relationship. While jealousy is expected in CNM relationships (and thus regularly unpacked and discussed), jealousy is expected not to exist in monogamous relationships, attaching shame and guilt to the emotion.
Call it like it is! Jealousy & Anxiety
Similar to anxiety, the more we avoid or dismiss our jealousy, the more it grows. If we want to address either our anxiety or jealousy, the best thing we can do is give these emotions space to exist. That means: remove the guilt, the shame, the demonization. If we call these emotions out and address them by name, we’re creating the space to unpack and deal with these emotions in a healthy way.
I believe that every person has areas of enduring vulnerability. For a marriage to succeed, these vulnerabilities need to be understood and honored.John Gottman
Jealousy vs. Envy — What’s the Difference?
Let’s take a moment for semantics. Envy is the desire to have what another individual has. In other words, envy comes from a feeling or place of lack. Whereas jealousy is the experience of feeling threatened by the potential of losing something/someone we already have. Many times we confound these feelings, and it’s important to differentiate between the two in order to deeper understand our feelings of insecurity.
Moving From Monogamy to CNM
It’s natural to experience an increase in jealousy when transitioning from a monogamous relationship to one that is CNM. Think of it like a muscle: you haven’t used or tested these relationship skills yet, so you’re likely to feel weak or clumsy at first. Once you break the monogamous structure you were once operating within, you can create a new (potentially stronger) definition of security and intimacy.
Monogamy can act as a construct or stand-in for security in a relationship.
Communication Tip for CNM Conversations
Let’s break another common myth: people who are opening up their relationships are dissatisfied. False! Studies have shown that psychological well-being and relationship satisfaction are not correlated to relationship structure. You can be satisfied in a relationship, while still experiencing an attraction to other people! Starting the conversation from this viewpoint will help eliminate many of the insecurities that will inherently arise during the conversation.
A Quick Note on Exclusivity vs. Commitment
Inmany cases, exclusivity and commitment go together, but the two words are not synonymous. An exclusive monogamous relationship doesn’t necessarily signify commitment and vice versa: a non-exclusive relationship doesn’t signify a lack of commitment.
Let’s (Not) Talk About Sex
Well, at least not all the time. Dr. Heath points out the harmful tendency to hyper-sexualize CNM, which inevitably isolates and silences narratives surrounding non-sexual forms of CNM like polyamorous asexuality.
As we mentioned, Dr. Heath is the founder and co-chair of this organization, which promotes awareness and inclusivity about consensual non-monogamy and non-traditional relationships. But how? The task force focuses its energy on generating research, creating resources, and advocating for the inclusion of CNM relationships in four areas:
- Basic and applied research
- Education and training
- Psychological practice
- Public interest
The goal of the task force is to de-stigmatize CNM and non-traditional relationships in both social and medical realms in order to embrace intimacy in all its diverse forms and structures.
About the Expert
Dr. Schechinger offers therapy and consultation for individuals, couples, and multi-partner relationships from a feminist, sex-positive lens. As founder and co-chair of the APA Division 44 Consensual Non-monogamy Taskforce, he has considerable experience supporting the non-monogamous, kink/BSDM, TGNC/NB, and LGBQIA communities. He also offers support for individuals & partners processing infidelity or experiencing sexuality concerns. In addition to his private practice, he's also on staff at the University of California, Berkeley.