Openness and honesty are key to making consensual non-monogamy (CNM) work, says clinical sexologist Dr Eve.
CNM is an umbrella category which includes polyamory, open relationships, swinging, and other consensual alternatives to traditional monogamy.
It's any relationship were all people involved openly agree to have more than one, concurrent sexual and or romantic partner.— Dr Eve, clinical sexologist
Dr Eve says CNM as a relationship structure is based on various values such as honesty, transparency and acceptance of sexual attraction to others.
She advises that CNM relationships are managed and partners often negotiate agreement and the terms of engagement.
Dr Eve explains that compassion, a positive emotional reaction to a loved one's other relationship, is a common part of CNM and an alternative to jealousy.
People who are polyamorous are deeply committed, just to more than one person at the same time.— Dr Eve, clinical sexologist
A few listeners phoned in to the show to explain how they navigate CNM in their relationships.
We've been doing it for over a year. My wife is more active. It's been great.. it's helped us.— Jason, caller
My partner and I have been considering opening up the relationship, but I've got fears and he's the one who's more comfortable with it.— Lerato, caller
I'm very much open to an open relationship, but he is not... I think pursuing other relationships outside would make me comfortable.— Lindiwe, caller
My wife and I have been doing this for two years.— Mark, caller
Visit Dr Eve's website to learn more about CNM.
Take a listen to her expert advice and callers share their personal stories:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Three isn't always a crowd: Understanding consensual non-monogamy with Dr Eve