Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today

Sex

Are Alternative Sexualities a Threat to Traditional Sex?

The paradox of sex.

Key points

  • Gay and lesbian couples, consensual non-monogamy, bisexual plus couples, transgender, non-binary, kink are all normal.
  • Alternative sexualities are not a threat to traditional couple sexuality.
  • As a culture we should promote sexual acceptance.

Sex had always been a value-ladened, contentious topic. This is especially true in our present culture. There is increased attention to a range of alternative sexualities including open relationships-consensual non-monogamy, gay and lesbian couples, bisexual plus couple sexuality, transgender and non-binary gender expression, and kink sexual expression (especially BDSM). Traditional married couples feel confused, overwhelmed, and threatened by alternative sexualities. Are alternative sexualities a threat to traditional sexual couples? Is sexuality a zero-sum game where someone has to be wrong and lose?

Sex educators and therapists advocate for each person and couple to find their “authentic sexual voice” and integrate that into couple sexuality.” Sexually, one size never fits all.” Sexuality professionals advocate for the acceptance of sexual diversity. This approach is misunderstood as negating traditional couples and values. The essence of traditional couple sexuality is to prioritize their intimate bond and an emotional commitment to monogamy. The role of sexuality is to energize the couple and reinforce feelings of desire and desirability. The majority of married and partnered couples advocate for traditional couple sexuality. Unfortunately, they feel threatened or even negated by alternative sexualities. There are proponents of alternative sexualities who feel negative about traditional couples. An example is BDSM couples who describe traditional couples as “vanilla” or polyamorous couples who describe monogamous couples as trapped in a “sexual desert.” This adversarial attack is unnecessary and destructive.

The core healthy, motivating concept is that sexuality has a small, integral (15-20 percent) role in a person’s and couple’s life. As long as the sexual alternative does not involve force, children, or public behavior it is in the normal range of human sexual behavior. The challenge for traditional as well as sexually alternative couples is the same, express your authentic sexual self in the context of your relationship. The mantra of desire, pleasure, eroticism, and satisfaction is applicable to both traditional and alternative sexual couples. The challenge is to make a “wise decision” about sexuality that is the right fit for you and your relationship. There is nothing about alternative sexualities that negates traditional couple sexuality.

Proponents of alternative sexualities advocate for awareness of the complexity and multiple ways to express sexuality. They encourage individuals to be open and communicate rather than believe that their way is the only way to be sexual. In itself, curiosity and communication are good attributes as long as there is no pressure (subtle or otherwise) to force change. Most proponents of alternative sexualities advocate for sexual diversity rather than claim sexual superiority. Individually, as a couple, and culturally we would be healthier if we reinforced acceptance. Allow the couple to create a sexual style based on congruent attitudes, behaviors, emotions, and values. Alternative sexualities are not a threat to traditional couple sexuality.

advertisement