between Prof Ernesto Spinelli and
Dr Niki D
15 April 2023
“Sexuality can awaken us to our interrelated being. A way of knowing ourselves through someone else” (Smith-Pickard)
“Our unique or ontic expressions of ‘being sexual’ reveal aspects of ourselves and the way in which we respond to the ontological givens of relatedness, embodiment and uncertainty. The term existential sexuality describes sexuality from an embodied, relational experience, where the intersubjective nature of sexuality is emphasised, rather than reducing sexuality to drives, physiology or cultural norms.
OPEN & POLYAMOROUS RELATIONSHIPS
“We judge what we don’t understand” (unknown source)
The co-creation of a unique, open relationship can be a wonderfully empowering and uniting experience for couples who have been a closed dyad. It can also be intense, exhausting, confusing and distressing. In this discussion, I want to hone in on the specific factors and challenges that may present when one partner is requesting a move to an open or polyamorous relationship and the other is reluctant. Examining different views and assumptions about relationship styles can feel like walking a tightrope, especially when a client’s unreflected mononormative bias is in the room. It’s a theme that has tripped me up in sessions and one I would like to explore further in this dialogue.” Niki D
Niki D is an existential psychotherapist with 30 years’ experience in private practice, statutory and voluntary sectors. She works with individuals and groups, as a relationship therapist, supervisor, CPD trainer and a visiting lecturer at Regents University. She has an MA in Existential Psychotherapy, a diploma in working with GSRD clients (gender, sexual and relationship diverse) in Relationship Therapy and additional training in somatic body therapy. She is a clinical associate of Pink Therapy and has recently written a chapter on working with couples opening up their relationship – for the fourth volume in the Pink Therapy series (co-edited by Dominic Davies & Silva Nieves and due to be published in 2023).