As I’ve written about in numerous other places on this blog, one of the more common situations I see in my practice is when a couple has been destabilized or thrown into crisis due to a new revelation from one of the partners about their sexuality. Some years ago, the most common type of revelation involved orientation, in which typically the male partner would be discovered or would initiate disclosure that he was gay. This was more common back before the kind of social acceptance that we are privy to now, but I certainly still do work with a number of men that still struggle in their coming out process.

Nonetheless, these days I’m seeing more of a trend of “coming out” issues revolving around sexual interests such as kink/BDSM and nonmonogamy. Just as social mores around orientation have evolved, so has this social awareness affected other forms of sexuality, such as BDSM, polyamory, swinging, and other forms of non-traditional relationships. As part of this process, media, in the form of magazines, books, and television and film have shed light or even popularized such “alternative” types of relationships. With 50 Shades of Grey selling more than 125 million book copies and the movie version grossing more than $500 million at the box office, it is no surprise that a growing number of people are becoming more aware, less judgmental, and more curious to explore new sexual behaviors within their own lives. Much of my own work, including my book Modern Sexuality and my Psychology Today column, has been in the service of helping individuals process […]