Relax, It's Just Sex

Understanding Non-Possessive Intimate Relationships

by Leslie Spurr, PhD


The idea that sexual fidelity may not be necessary—or even desirable—in a successful, committed relationship runs counter to what most people believe. But could this type of nontraditional arrangement offer significant benefits for couples?

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Cover image for Relax, It's Just Sex

May 2017


Pages 185
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Current Events and Issues/Society
  Psychology/Human Sexuality

Surveying the many forms of non-possessive intimate relationships, this book explains how these alternative lifestyle arrangements work, psychologically, and describes the benefits and risks for those involved within contemporary contexts such as swinging, threesomes, polyamory, and recreational sex clubs.

The thought that one could have sex with outsiders with the consent and support of your spouse or significant other, and still love and make love with your primary partner, is a radical notion for most men and women. And yet, an increasing number of married and unmarried couples are doing just this, and their relationships are flourishing as a result. Relax, It's Just Sex: Understanding Non-Possessive Intimate Relationships examines a relatively new form of intimate relationship that is increasingly popular among contemporary couples and singles. The book introduces the term "non-possessive intimate relationships" and shows from a psychological perspective how these arrangements work, emotionally and cognitively, for the individuals involved.

Licensed clinical psychologist and relationship therapist Leslie Spurr, PhD, explores the psychologically issues involved and then takes a close look at various examples of the non-possessive intimate relationship style within several, mostly covert, contexts, in which relationship partners agree to provide each other with the freedom to engage intimately with outsiders. Written in a nontechnical, accessible style, Relax, It's Just Sex uses humor and references to popular culture, including films, novels, and songs, to engage the reader in content that is primarily informative but also entertaining. This important and eye-opening book makes clear the significance and reasons for the growing popularity of the non-possessive intimate relationship phenomenon and explains why and how this "lovestyle" may constitute a sexual revolution.


  • Describes a relatively new form of intimate relationship that is not well known to most people yet is intriguing to nearly all
  • Offers potential erotic options to couples struggling with diminishing passion
  • Suggests psychological insights as to what makes nontraditional relationships work
  • Engages readers with appropriate humor to better illustrate the concepts and theories regarding non-possessive intimate relationships
Author Info

Leslie Spurr, PhD is a relationship therapist who works with sexually adventurous couples and singles, assisting them to reconcile their atypical lifestyles with the demands and expectations of mainstream society. A licensed clinical psychologist, Spurr has been in independent practice for more than 30 years in Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Honolulu. Formerly chief of psychology for American Medical International, Inc., and director of the Residential Treatment Center of Hawaii, Spurr is a graduate of the University of Victoria, the University of Colorado, and the University of Hawaii as well as a Life Status member of the American Psychological Association.

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