Dear Dr. Romance
I am monogamous and the person I'm involved with is polyamorous. We're currently discussing whether to continue the relationship or not, but if he does decide that he wants us to be partners, I'm going to insist that we go to a trained counselor/therapist to help us work out guidelines for the relationship. My question to you is within your professional network, could you recommend anyone in my area we could go to? And if not, could you advise me on how to find a therapist who is trained/knowledgable about the difficulties involved in polyamorous relationships?
Dr. Romance responds:
Counseling is a very good idea in your situation, because it's very important to get clear on the parameters and boundaries of your relationship. To find a sex-positive counselor in your area, try the Society for the Scientific Study of Sex (SSSS) resource list for a recommendation. You can also try any sex hotline that exists in your area, or even a suicide hotline (many people are suicidal because they feel unacceptable for their sexual preferences, so the hotlines know good sex postive counselors). If all else fails, try a gay counselor. They're often more comfortable with alternative sexuality. Whomever you try, interview them on the phone first -- to make sure the sessions will be about what you want them to be about, and not the counselor's problem with your lifestyle. Read my article "Guidlines for Finding and Using Therapy Wisely" http://www.tinatessina.com/using_therapy.html. For information on safer sex practices and alternative lifestyles, you might want to read my book: Gay Relationships for Men and Women: How to Find Them, How to Improve Them, How to Make Them Last. (Tarcher/Putnam)