What is Polyamory?

We hear terms like polyamory, polygamy, open relationships and many other phrases, but do you really understand what they are and the differences? First, to clea up some misconceptions. Cheating, swinging and polygamy are all different from polyamory – these are defined below.

  • Cheating (blatant withholding of sexual emotional involvement with others)
  • Swinging (purely recreational sex without an emotional sharing/connection)
  • Polygamy (legal, religious and economic prescriptions for multiple partner marriage)

What is polyamory? Here are a few simple descriptions…

  • Responsible/ethical/honest non-monogamy
  • A deep, emotional, sometimes physical relationship with more than one partner simultaneously
  • Having multiple concurrent loving relationships with the full informed, consent of all parties.
  • Loving more than one person at the same time, with or without sexual engagement

Did you notice a couple of themes? First and foremost, be open, honest and communicate with the people involved. In a polyamorous relationship, each partner knows about the other partners. If you are going to spend the evening with another person, you tell your partner. There is also real love and caring for the additional people that come into your relationship.

Here are some interesting demographics and details about the average person who is in a polyamorous relationship. These details do not describe all polyamory participants, but will give you some insights.

  • Well Educated – Most have college or graduate degrees
  • Middle Class Professionals
  • Independent Idealists
  • Frustrated by the rigidity of monogamy
  • Swingers who want to build sustained intimacy and community
  • A plural family contains multiple adults who are emotionally, socially and usually sexually connected to each other.

How Do You Get Started

The very first thing to do is to sit down with your partner and have that honest and open discussion as mentioned above. Each couple must discuss their own rules and boundaries for a polyamorous arrangement. The same rules will not work for every couple – and it is critical that you decide what is allowed, what is not allowed, and much more. Discuss why you want to make this change in your relationship and be very clear with one another about what you want and need.  The more honest you are in the beginning, the more problems you can avoid over time. Also – if your feelings and thoughts change, you need to sit down with your partner and discuss these things.

Benefits of Poly Relationships

These are some of the benefits – feel free to share any that you feel should be included.

  • Variety – Let’s be honest, for many people, the sexual variety is a big appeal of a poly relationship. But there will also be many other types of variety as you meet and experience new people.
  • Best of Both Worlds – You can have a stable loving relationship at home, and also enjoy variety and new experiences. So, you can see if the grass really is greener on the other side of the fence.
  • Develop and Expand Your Individuality – Have you noticed how some couples in long term monogamous relationships tend to be in a couples mentality and have limited individual interests and activities? This is not true of all monogamous relationships, but polyamory gives you the opportunity to share and develop other interests, with or without your partner.
  • Discover New Things About Your Partner – This is just like the way you will learn new things about yourself. As your partner develops new relationships, you will likely learn new things about them too.
  • Expand Your Support Network – How much you share will depend on the relationship between the people involved in your relationships
  • Gain a Better Understanding of Yourself – Have you noticed how you learn new things about yourself through various friendships? Multiple intimate relationships can help you learn different things about yourself, what you like, what you don’t like, how you feel, what you have to share, what you need and much more.
  • Limit Insecurities and Co-Dependency – You need to deal with and eliminate any insecurities before beginning a polyamorous lifestyle. Once you invite other people into your relationship, co-dependency should be diminished between you and your partner. It can be like “airing out” your relationships.
  • Satisfaction on Greater Levels – It is very hard, if not impossible, to find one person that fills all of our needs. This option gives you the opportunity to get satisfaction on higher levels and a wider variety of satisfaction through different partners.
  • Share Interests and Activities with a Wider Circle of People – We all have a variety of people that we enjoy different activities with – that is true here too.

Definitions of Some Options

Definition of an Open Marriage – Open Marriage is a general term that refers to monogamously married couples who have an agreement to incorporate extra-marital erotic and possibly emotional activities. These couples can have “don’t ask don’t tell” agreements, engage in group sex together, or anything in between.

Definition of Swinging – Swinging refers to social sexuality.  Here monogamously married couples engage in erotic activities that often include sexual intercourse for recreational purposes.  They consider these activities to be “play.”  Here they endeavor to not generate emotional connections, but rather to simply have sex for the pleasure of sex. Some swingers do generate long-term social connections with each other, but are careful to not develop outside pair bonded love connections.

Define the Difference Between Polyamory and Polygamy

Polyamory is practiced in the Western World (especially US, Canada, Europe, Israel and Australia).  One of their reasons for practicing it may center on actualizing more of who they are by engaging a variety of distinct partners. Both males and females can have multiple partners and bisexuality is common. Polyamory is practiced for a combination of personal and ideological reasons.

Polygamy is typically practiced for religious and/or economic reasons.  While polyamorous women often view themselves as independent and liberated, women in polygynous marriages may be very dependent on the resources of a wealthy and much older husband. Mormon Polygamy only allows multiple partners for the male head of households. Mormon Polygamy is practiced for religious reasons.

Loveology University Polyamory Certification Course

This Course Is For You If:

  • You want to Love More than One Person at the Same Time
  • You want to Learn About the Difference Between Polyamory and Polygamy
  • You want to Know About the Impact Polyamory has on a Relationship
  • You are Interested in Polyamory Research and Data

Welcome to Loveology University’s Polyamory course. Polyamory means “loving more than one”.  In this course you will learn about the various kinds of Polyamory from a couple considering each other to be their “main squeeze,” to having multiple partners. You will discover the difference between Polyamory and Polygamy and what kinds of people practice them. There is plenty of research and statistics to back up all of the information in this course. You can decide if the Polyamory lifestyle is for you or if it is something that you want to share with someone simply to expand your sexual horizons.


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4 Thoughts to “What is Polyamory?”

  1. litekepr

    I totally agree that honesty, trust and communication are important in all relationships. I can’t imagine having a long term committed relationship without those elements. It sounds like you have found the recipe that works great for you both.

  2. After much discussion with my husband, we came to the conclusion that it was very much a voyeuristic thing with him, he basically got turned on seeing me having sex with someone else!
    Our “swinging” ended up consisting mainly of threesomes, we did occasionally indulge in foursomes & went to a couple of sex parties, but it was the intimacy of involving a third party that ultimately floated our boat!
    We found that it increased our level of pleasure to the extent that the two of us would often end up having sex, just the two of us, AFTER having indulged in a threesome only hours earlier. You could say that the threesome was part of our foreplay.

    1. litekepr

      Thank you for sharing your experiences. It does sound like the 3rd person was a part of your foreplay – and it sounds like it definitely works for both of you 🙂 I’ll hope you come back and chime in again 🙂

      1. I’m more than happy to contribute & share my experiences, feel free to ask me anything you think could be of interest.

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