Researcher Seeks Participants for Study of Married Couples

Participants needed for Qualitative Study

Vanilla and Kink: Married Couples in Which One Partner Identifies as a Part of the BDSM Culture and the Other Partner Does Not.

Looking for a legally married couple:

  • At least 18 years of age
  • Married for at least 1 year (including open-marriage and other variations)
  • Male and female partnered marriage
  • Speak and write English language fluently
  • One partner self-identifying as a part of the BDSM culture/community for at least 1 year and the other partner self-identifying as not specifically BDSM (including vanilla, kinky but not identifying as BDSM, etc. )
  • Not currently pregnant or experiencing psychosis or suicidal ideation

Due to the limited time and resources, this particular study focuses the above specific population. Future research will include a variety of types of committed relationships, sexual orientations, etc.

For questions or interest in participation, contact:
Catherine Meyer, MA, LMFT #88224, Cmeyer2 [at]
Supervised by Hao-Min Chen, Ph.D., Hmchen [at]

Goal of this study is to understand how married couples communicate and negotiate the rules, roles, and expectations about their sexual relationship when one partner identifies with the BDSM culture and the other does not.

All identifying information will be kept confidential.

I’m currently seeking 20 female and male individuals who are interested in speaking about their experiences of being in a marriage in which one partner identifies being in the BDSM culture and the other does not. The interviews are part of a doctoral dissertation study (entitled Vanilla and Kink: Married Couples in Which One Partner Identifies as a Part of the BDSM Culture and the Other Partner Does Not?) which is required to fulfill the requirements for the doctoral degree of the Couple Family Therapy Program at Alliant International University, Irvine campus. The project supervisor for this study is Hao-Min Chen, Ph.D. The study is interested in learning about and understanding how married couples communicate and negotiate the rules, roles, and expectations about their sexual relationship when one partner identifies with the BDSM culture and the other does not. Criteria for participation includes the following: at least 18 years of age, male and female partnered marriage, ability to speak and write the English language fluently, self-report being a part of the BDSM community for at least 1 year, be in a marriage for at least 1 year (inclusive of open-marriage), and not currently pregnant or experiencing psychosis or suicidal ideation. Interested individuals will be asked to fill out a short demographic questionnaire (about 5 minutes to complete) and participate in an interview, which will last approximately 60-90 minutes. Please note that participation in the study is voluntary. If you choose to participant in the study, I will be removing your name and any other identifying information from the final document to conceal your identity. If you are interested in being interviewed for the study and/or would like more information, then please contact me by email or phone so we can discuss, in more detail, the purpose and the process of the study. —Catherine Meyer, MA, LMFT

Study finds poly people less jealous, just as satisfied as monogamous people

A recent study by relationship researcher Terri D. Conley and four colleagues at the University of Michigan concludes that there is no evidence to suggest that monogamous folks are any more satisfied than non-monogamous ones.

The study is a review of other research on consensual non-monogamy, and appeared in Personality and Social Psychology Review with the title A Critical Examination of Popular Assumptions About the Benefits and Outcomes of Monogamous Relationships.

After reviewing the research, the study concluded a few things: that "sexually unfaithful" individuals were less likely to use barrier methods than consensually non-monogamous (CNM) individuals; that gay men in CNM relationships felt a comparable level of satisfaction to gay men in monogamous relationships; and that jealousy was lower, more manageable, and less problematic for people in CNM relationships. The study elaborates:

Men reported that their open relationships accommodated their intimacy needs as well as their desires for sexual diversity. Moreover, the men in these partnerships often felt more intimate with their partner when they agreed to be non-monogamous. Just as monogamy can provide a sense of support and protection, consensual non-monogamy can provide the emotional support of a primary partnership while also allowing exploration of other sexual relationships.

Over at Psychology Today, Bella DePaulo summarizes the study's findings in a series of three posts: Are Monogamous Relationships Really Better?Satisfied? Jealous? On Deciding Not to Be Monogamous, and Is Polyamory Bad For Children?.

Researchers looking for poly Americans and Australians

The blog Polyamory Practically has posted a call for participants in a research project on polyamorous lives. The study is being conducted by researchers in the Department of Sociology at Macquarie University in Australia. They are looking for poly folks ages 18-65 of any sexual orientation or gender identity, both in the U.S. and Australia. It appears their aim is to discern differences between non-monogamous experiences in the two countries.

The call reads:

We are looking for participants for a study on polyamorous lives, what makes them possible and how they are lived. The research is part of our work at the Department of Sociology, Macquarie University. In this study we aim to find out what relationship agreements and structures poly people have in their lives and what life stories each individual brings to non-monogamy.

A 1-2 hour interview will be conducted, which will involve a short survey. There is no deadline listed.

If you are interested and live in the U.S., please contact Beth Hill at beth.emily.hill [at] gmail [dot] com. If you live in Australia or have general inquiries, please contact Dr. Nikó Antalffy of the Department of Sociology at Macquarie University at Niko.Antalffy [at]

Study finds unfaithful individuals less likely to practice safer sex than non-monogamous individuals

A study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, entitled "Unfaithful Individuals are Less Likely to Practice Safer Sex Than Openly Nonmonogamous Individuals," has determined just that. Researchers Terri D. Conley, Amy C. Moors, Ali Ziegler, and Constantina Karathanasis undertook the study in order to determine whether sexually unfaithful individuals or negotiated non-monogamous individuals would be more likely utilize safer sex methods. In their introduction, they state:

Given the prevalence and harm of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), there is a need to examine safer sex strategies in the context of romantic relationships and extradyadic sexual encounters . . . little research has addressed the sexual health ramifications of sexually unfaithful partners and members of other high-risk nonmonogamous lifestyles.

Researchers gave an anonymous, online sexual health questionnaire to several hundred sexually unfaithful individuals and individuals with a negotiated non-monogamous agreement. In the end, sexually unfaithful participants demonstrated significantly lower rates of risk reduction behaviors in both their primary relationships and their extradyadic sexual experiences. They were also less likely to undergo frequent STI testing and to discuss safer sex concerns with new partners.

Unfortunately, access to the study is restricted to those with institutional access, a society membership, or those who wish to pay for a 24-hour period of access, but the abstract can be found online.