The New Monogamy: Finding Poly


5 session eLearn experience examines the concept of a “new monogamy”, the expectation of monogamy as the foundation or the reason for marriage, research on non-monogamy relationship models, polyamory and the whole family, and the real life implications of multiple partners.


Finding Poly, Non-Exclusive Relationships

When it Works and When it Doesn’t

Check out Tammy’s work with the press!

The expectation of monogamy as the foundation or the reason for marriage remains. Why?

Many couples today are finding that their primary commitment to one another is the emotional bond and companionship, but they still want to expand to include outside relationships without losing that primary bond.

This “new monogamy” demands a more mature type of communication, negotiating a monogamy agreement helps the couple remain connected, but allows for other attachments, as long as those ancillary relationships don’t threaten the primary marriage or committed partnership.

Kind of like having your cake and eating it too? –You betcha.
And why not? Who doesn’t love cake?

Without the dishonesty inherent in infidelity, an arrangement between two adults who are committed to making a marriage or partnership work, can this new monogamy work?

A meaningful relationship is a framework that has an emotional commitment, a transparent and honest agreement, a promise of future and a level of fidelity that works for the couple.

Download the teleseminar and listen at your convenience.

Taught by: Dr. Tammy Nelson with expert guests Dr. Elizabeth Sheff, and Jim Fleckenstein. Two bonus recordings featuring Ken Haslam and Scarlett Ross.

Designed for: Therapists, counselors, mental health practitioners seeking to develop their knowledge of the field of human sexuality.

Course Includes:  A three part teleclass with reading material and two bonus sessions. Each part is one hour in length.

3 AASECT CEs** available in these Core Knowledge Areas (CKAs): 

Sex Education: B, C, E, F, I, M, N, O, P

Sex Therapy: A, B, C, D, E, F

Certified Sex and Couples Therapist (CSCT): Category 1d, 2c, 3a

You must complete a Feedback Form and pass a short quiz at the conclusion of the course to get CE credit. Please email your Feedback Form and quiz to

In this course we will discuss:

  • What is the new monogamy?
  • How can a couple open their relationship?
  • What happens when there are betrayals to heal from?
  • What is polyamory and can you raise a family or grow older in an open more fluid relationship?
  • Meet two grown people who are making it work, despite the tension that arises.
  • Meet a researcher who gives specific info on who is doing it and how it’s working.
  • Meet an expert on poly families and hear about her research and what she has to say.
  • Meet a 22 year cohabitating mother and entrepreneur with consensual non-monogamous relationships.


Session 1: Dr. Tammy Nelson

Session 2: Research on Non-Exclusive Relationships with James R. Fleckenstein

Session 3: Polyamory and Families with Dr. Eli Sheff

Session 4 (Bonus): The New Monogamy with Ken Haslam and Ann Huessener.

What is it? How do you do it? And why would you want to?
Finding Poly: New Monogamy, open relationships, the status of poly, and older couples in these newer relationships.

Session 5 (Bonus): Real Life in Polyamory with Scarlett Ross

Cohabitation, jealousy, family structures, maintaining a sense of identity within relationships, secrecy vs. privacy within polyamory, negotiation and communication and the practical pieces of life in polyamory.


Want to have a conversation with your partner about these ideas?

Listen to your host, Dr. Tammy Nelson, discuss ways to create a new monogamy agreement today.

Try the new monogamy questions included with this course, an excerpt from my book, The New Monogamy, for ideas on how to begin or pursue this type of dialogue today.

Meet your instructors: 


Dr. Tammy Nelson is a sex and relationship expert, an international speaker, an author and a licensed psychotherapist with over 25 years of experience working with individuals and couples, is in private practice and teaches seminars and workshops around the world for couples and professionals.  She is a Board Certified Sexologist, a Certified Sex Therapist, a Licensed Professional Counselor, and a Certified Imago Relationship Therapist.  She is an invited speaker at Harvard Medical School, Department of Psychiatry, Cambridge Health Alliance Physicians Organization and at the University of California, Irvine.   She speaks worldwide on global relational change.


James R. Fleckenstein is a sexologist, researcher, educator, and coach with over a decade of experience helping people improve their intimate relationships. He has distilled this experience into a unique approach to relationship success, Affirmative Intimacy TM. Jim’s research interests encompass all aspects of non-exclusive relationships, including their effects on the health and well-being of participants. Jim also devotes energy to outreach to researchers and to helping professionals in order to enhance their cultural competency.

Jim’s expertise has been recognized by his selection to present at nine major conferences for the sexuality therapy and research professions since 2002. In 2015, he published his first research paper, with anthropologist Derrell Cox, II, in the journal Sexual and Relationship Therapy; that paper became a chapter in the 2015 academic volume, Sexuality and Ageing. Jim also sits on the editorial board of the peer-reviewed Journal of Positive Sexuality.


Dr. Elisabeth “Eli” Sheff is the foremost academic expert on polyamory in the US and the worldwide expert on polyamorous families with children. Sheff’s first book, The Polyamorists Next Door (2014), details her 15-year study of poly families with kids and was just reprinted in paperback, and her second book Stories from the Polycule (2015) is an edited anthology of writings by poly folks. When Someone You Love is Polyamorous (2016) is Sheff’s shortest book that guides family members and significant others who are trying to understand a polyamorous loved one. Dr. Sheff specializes in gender and sexual minority families, kink/BDSM, and issues facing trans* people. She is the CEO and Director of Legal Services at the Sheff Consulting Group, a think-tank of experts specializing in unconventional and underserved populations.


Kenneth R. Haslam MD (82) is a retired anesthesiologist living in a retirement community in Durham, NC with his partner Ann. For Grey haired and bearded man with glassessome 17 years, he has been a Polyamory activist lecturing nationally and being a founding member as well as board member of several polyamory organizations. He was a failed serial monogamist with two unsuccessful monogamous marriages who discovered Polyamory at the age of 60. It changed his life. He became so interested in this new way of relationship building that he became an activist. In 2006 he established a collection of polyamory historical archives for the Kinsey Institute, Indiana University. Although he is moving into senior citizen status he still participates in local Poly events. He teaches classes on aging and sexuality and non-monogamy at Osher Lifelong Living (OLLI) at Duke University. He and his partner Ann have a classical Poly-Mono relationship of 7 years with all of the attendant problems. He tells his classes Polyamory is not for everyone and NOT for sissies.

headshot of Woman with smile


Scarlett Ross is a writer, teacher and practicing polyamorist with 22 years experience in many relationship styles. Half of those years include family cohabitation and co-raising children. Scarlett’s personal experience combines with her activism and independently driven research to uniquely inform her work. Scarlett lectures at a wide variety of venues on polyamory, the humorous side of living alternative love styles, women’s concerns, family dynamics, communication, spirituality and living intentionally brilliant lives. Scarlett is also a published author and editor. Scarlett currently works on the Board of Directors for the Relationship Equality Foundation and closely with the Atlanta Poly Weekend to create positive social, political and personal change in the community. When she’s not writing, speaking, or running her own virtual assistant business, Scarlett thrives on time with her family of choice, travel, sewing and art.


**This program meets the educational requirements of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) and is approved for 3 CE credits – asynchronous. These CE credits may be applied toward AASECT certification and renewal of certification. Completion of this program does not ensure or guarantee AASECT certification. For further information please contact or go to  Please contact your local certifying organization for detailed information on courses they accept for CEs.