Open with Ease
4-Month Couple's Intensive
Overcome your fears, deepen in intimacy, build trust and create agreements for a healthy open relationship in the age of COVID at a drama-free pace.
An open relationship journey can reinvigorate your sex life and bring you closer.
But starting one without a road map is risky business.
I'll help you open up without the drama.
Open relationships provide amazing depths of connection and pleasure. But they can also be really challenging, especially at the beginning, if you don't have the right tools.
After a decade in open relationships plus years of supporting non-monogamous clients, I know how to prevent the most common mistakes people make at the beginning of this journey. That's why I created this comprehensive course for couples who are in the beginning stages of their open relationship exploration.
Healthy open relationships require a strong foundation of trust, emotional intelligence, self-awareness, honesty, vulnerability and intimate communication. This program will empower you two to thrive in ethical non-monogamy even before either of you connects with someone else.
A big mistake couples make is jumping in too fast.
Quarantine is the perfect time to start this exploration slowly.
Opening up in the age of COVID is an invitation to start your journey intentionally and methodically instead of diving in head-first, which can cause unnecessary pain and confusion. The secret to a successful open relationship is creating a solid foundation of trust and communication first.
In this intensive, you'll learn how to increase the value of your relationship before you explore connections with other people.
Then, you'll start small: through talking about fantasies together, then exploring light connection with other people virtually to see how those baby steps feel. Combined with emotionally intimate check-in's, this will ensure a highly secure beginning to your open relationship journey.
This program is for you and your partner if:
You're at the very beginning of your open relationship journey.
You both know you want to try opening your relationship but you have different comfort levels with it; different desires for the pace of exploration; conflicting ideas about what your open love could look like; or unhealed past trust or communication issues. This program was designed to help you explore ethical non-monogamy in the most supportive way possible--by empowering you to deeply connect with each other first, then exploring baby steps together.
You've struggled with past experiences of opening up.
If you two have already experimented with opening your relationship and it was difficult or painful (perhaps involving a breach of trust) and now you're left with confusion, pain and/or differing desires for how to move forward, this program will walk you step-by-step through how to try again in a healthier way. In this intensive, you and your partner will rebuild trust, gain clarity on your open relationship agreements, and feel more intimately connected to each other.
Do you two have different comfort levels with the idea of an open relationship?
I've got your back.
I've been on both sides of this story. I've been the partner who is nervous and afraid of losing my person in an open relationship, and I've been the impatient one who wishes things were moving faster than my partner was ready for.
This program is not about pushing one of you to move more quickly nor about shaming one of you for being "too much," too desirous or too eager.
This course is a structured, ritualistic space in which you will both feel seen, heard and accepted for where you're at and for what you want. I'll help you bridge the difference.
70 powerful lessons, including professional video & transformative practices, released over 4 months:
Module 1: Strengthen Your Relationship First
Week 1: Deepening in Intimacy
Begin your journey by deepening your connection to each other through a powerful practice called "3 Questions for Deeper Intimacy."
Week 2: Can You Tell Each Other "No"?
Naming your boundaries lovingly is a huge part of maintaining trust and connection in an open relationship. Practice a communication exercise to get more comfortable with expressing boundaries to each other.
Week 3: Communication is Everything
Open relationships require excellent communication and emotional intelligence. This week, learn how to be vulnerable, express your needs and desires, de-escalate conflict and more in Janel and her partner Patrick's couple's communication workshop.
Week 4: The Importance of Check-In's
Relationship check-ins are one of the biggest predictors of success in longterm open relationships. Learn how to do a weekly or monthly check-in and practice doing one.
Milestone 1: schedule your relationship checkin's through the end of the program.
Reward: lifetime access to my signature Relationship Check-in mini-course & 12-prompt PDF.
Module 2: Cultivate Your Open Mindset
Week 1: Relationship Myths
The "standard narrative" about love & sex is that heterosexual monogamy is the only right way to be in relationship. You'll unlearn negative assumptions about ethical non-monogamy and begin to let go of shame about it together.
Week 2: Unlearning Shame
To cultivate your own relationship rules, learn how to free your mind from relationship "supposed to's" and train your brain to believe more authentic narratives through my step-by-step process for unlearning myths.
Week 3: Let's Talk About Sex
This week, explore your sexuality through a fantasy visualization and share with each other to get more comfortable with talking about sex. Learn why sharing desires doesn't mean you have to act on them IRL; identify your "risk tolerance" for your sexual health; and write out your values for your sex life.
Week 4: Our "Positive Boundaries" & Relationship Values
Open relationships thrive with "positive boundaries," or commitments you make to continue to add to the value of your relationship over time while exploring ethical non-monogamy. Discuss what success looks like for your relationship, write down your relationship values, and create your own definitions of loyalty and commitment.
Milestone 2: Write your "positive boundaries" and commitments to each other.
Reward: exclusive access to an hour-long interview with Janel & Patrick about our open relationship.
Module 3: Build Your Open Foundation
Week 1: What an Open Relationship Could Look Like
Begin exploring your options for ethical non-monogamy. Discover the 4 kinds of exclusivity, 9 examples of unconventional relationships that work, and discuss what feels exciting or scary.
Week 2: Valentine's Date Week
Take this week to re-read your relationship values and commitments to each other, do a check-in, and discuss how else you could add value to your relationship this week.
Week 3: How to Handle Jealousy
Learn how to use jealousy as a tool for deeper understanding of your and your partner's fears, boundaries and needs. Practice my script for responding to your partner when they feel jealous. Share your known "triggers" and discuss ways to be considerate of each other's as you move forward.
Week 4: Play with a Fantasy
Taking baby steps and checking in every step of the way are critical for a safe, drama-free journey towards opening up. Try watching porn together or talking about a fantasy involving another person (either clothed or during sexy time or both) and talk about how that feels.
Milestone 3: explore ethical non-monogamy together through porn or fantasy.
Reward: live virtual event with Janel and program participants to play with flirting with others in a safe, virtual container.
Module 4: Soft Opening
Week 1: Exploring Agreements for Opening Up
Discuss what your needs are around time management, how much information to share about your experiences with others, and do my Open Relationship Checklist together. Be open to change and to keep discussing into the future, as boundaries slowly shift over time.
Week 2: Virtual Flirting
Begin your first live exploration with others online for the safest, least threatening first experience possible. Come to a live virtual event with Janel and other participants to play flirty games in Zoom breakout rooms, then discuss what came up for you and your partner in doing so.
Week 3: Navigating Different Desires
What if you have very different desires or boundaries around something when it comes to ethical non-monogamy? Learn how to hold space for each other's fears, decide what you're willing to let go of to make the other person more comfortable (and what you're not), and practice my unique relationship ritual for holding space for disappointment.
Week 4: Creating Agreements for Going Forward
In the final week of Open with Ease, you will co-create your road map for moving forward on your open relationship journey. Make safer sex agreements, COVID safety agreements for the rest of the pandemic, and hone your "positive boundaries" for how you'll stay emotionally connected to each other through your exploration.
Milestone 4: write your first take of your agreements for moving forward on your open relationship journey.
Reward: 30-minute private assessment call with Janel.
- How to Meet Open-Minded People: a resource list I've created for you with ideas for how to meet other ethically non-monogamous people, either online or locally.
- Should We Tell Our Family & Friends? The pros and cons of coming out about your relationship orientation to your loved ones. This can help you decide if it's the right move for you or not and how to talk about it if so.
- Terminology & Definitions: what's the difference between polyamory, an open relationship and ethical non-monogamy? What is "solo polyamory"? What is Living Together Apart?? This document helps you understand the wide range of options for your unconventional relationship.
- Sexy Communication Workshop: an hour-long prerecorded workshop to help you get more comfortable with talking about sex both in and out of the bedroom.
- Recommended Reading list: Janel's all-time favorite books on all things sex and relationships.
- Sex-Positive Sexed & Alternative Porn list: a compilation of sex education resources including instructional videos and feminist porn.
- The EFFORT Method for De-escalating Conflict: this is a mini-course that explains my EFFORT Method for calming down a triggered loved one. Then, there is a practice video with a role play exercise for you and your partner to experience together.
You'll Also Get:
Weekly Q&A video from Janel to address your questions along the journey.
Access to my coursework library for the duration of the intensive.
Access to a private Facebook group to discuss struggles & wins and connect with other participants.
20% off a private coaching package with Janel if requested in tandem with this program.
Save thousands in therapy with guidance & tools you can't get anywhere else.
"We have been working with Janel for the past 8 months as we began the process of opening our 22-year marriage. Her amazing communication techniques gave us the wisdom, confidence and empathy we needed to transcend many years of outdated belief structures. We have since been deeply moved by our ability to grow together and better honor each other’s needs and desires."
-Kyle & Lara H.
Patrick, Janel's partner, is also a coach in this program. Challenged with painful relationships and mental health struggles in his early twenties, Patrick has studied interpersonal dynamics, compassionate communication, and human behavior for more than a fifteen years. He's passionate about helping others develop more intimate relationships, supporting people to love themselves more deeply, and educating about interpersonal and systemic power dynamics.
Patrick has worked in the private and nonprofit sector, including a period working for the Burning Man organization, taking high schoolers on weeklong wilderness backpacking excursions, and running an independent nonprofit consulting business. He has a BS and MBA from UC Berkeley and is a CTI certified coach. He has done hundreds of hours of communication and facilitation trainings, including classes on nonviolent communication, antiracism and anti-oppression, and group counseling.