Polyamory is the practice and philosophy of having more than one lover at the same time and not limiting the number of lovers your lovers have. It is the practice and acceptance of the desire to have more than one intimate-sexual-emotional relationship at one time with knowledge and consent of everyone involved.
Polyamory, often abbreviated to poly, is based on the core idea that humans are more than capable of loving more than one person at once. Limiting your feelings and life experiences to just one special love (as with monogamy) puts damper on living life to the fullest and having the most open heart. The universe is full of love and it is wrong to try to limit or contain that love. It is in essence: consensual, ethical and responsible non-monogamy.
Instead of viewing the world and love through a lens of lack, polyamorists see the abundance. The societal way of thinking says that a person has say, 100 units of love and they can give them to one partner but a new partner will take say, 30 of these units leaving just 70 for the original partner. But a poly person knows that your 100 units of love goes up to 130 when you give 30 to a new partner. Basically the more you love, the easier it is to love more. This can be seen when a mother has a 2nd child — she doesn’t love the first child any less.
The word itself means”many loves” from the roots “poly” – many and “amore” – loves. It requires a good deal of emotional intelligence, honesty and maturity among its practitioners. Polyamory is not just about lots of sex but is a love based philosophy that takes a realistic approach to relationships by working with true human nature.
Polyamory is also about freeing women from societal suppression that views women’s sexuality in a negative light. Instead, poly-people tend to embrace a healthy sexuality and support women by accepting and embracing their needs. Polyamory is not a heterosexual fantasy where the guy can have as many girls as he wants but the girl has only the guy and/or his female lovers. In true poly-relationships, the female has an equal opportunity to enjoy herself and other partners and indeed, she must have this right to avoid the eventual feeling of jealousy that may arise over a long term relationship.
Some people correctly argue that polyamory is wrong. It’s either multiamory or polyphilia. But mixing Latin and Greek roots is WRONG!
Polyamorists see possession and control as a misguided framework for relationships. Instead, poly folks view relationships through a non-possessive filter where control and possession are replaced by trust.
Instead of seeing other partners as competition, poly people try to mutually support the other partners. It goes with the philosophy that what is good for others is good for me. It is considered very bad form to try and undermine another’s relationship or to strike up a new relationship in order to harm another party.
Fidelity and Loyalty
Instead of seeing fidelity and loyalty in the monogamous framework of sexual exclusivity, polyamorists see loyalty and faithfulness as being loyal to their partner in spirit — by respecting their agreements and taking care of their partners needs. Of course, a secret sexual relationship would still violate the terms of fidelity in a poly-relationship as is fails to respect the nature of honesty to each other.
Compersion is a poly term for feeling a warm sense of love, joy, pleasure and excitement
when you see your lover with one of their other lovers. It has been called the opposite of jealousy — but compersion can also co-exist with jealousy and so it’s not a true opposite. But the fact remains: you can be really happy about your lover being in love with someone else. Poyamorists tend to see a new relationship as a gain in their partner’s life and not to view the new relationship as a threat.
Trust, Honesty, Dignity and Respect
Most poly relationships emphasize the values of trust, honesty, dignity and respect. A partner’s partner is not just tolerated as an inconvenience but welcomed into their lives as someone who genuinely makes their partner happy.
What it is not: Polyamory vs Polygamy and Swinging
Polyamory is frequently confused with Polygamy and Swinging because both involveother sexual partners. The key difference is poly relationships are typically long-term relationships based around love and emotional connections.
Swingers usually have a primary partner whom they have an emotional connection and have other strictly sexual partners. Swingers often view forming emotional connections with sex partners as cheating. In contrast, Polyamorous lovers often seek an emotional connection with long term lovers and a repulsed by the idea of sex in the absence of love.
Polygamy is a male patriarch having more than one wife. It involves both marriage and limits
the wife to just one lover, the husband. Polygamy is typically practiced amongst certain religious groups for the impregnation of as many women as possible to expand the religion quickly. What it is not known for is sexual openness, tolerance or respecting the rights of women. Islam in particular practices polygamy where each man may marry up to 4 wives. The Mormons are also known to have practiced polygamy in the past (over 100 years ago) and there was no limit on the number of wives. Now, only a few breakaway Mormon sects actually still practice it and it is not a part of the main church.
Polyamory vs. Monogamy
Monogamy is the mainstay of Western culture, or more specifically, serial monogamy — you can love more than one person, but never at the same time. People practicing monogamy often have the reaction that polyamory is good in theory but unworkable in practice. When a poly-relationship fails, they are quick to point out, “See, I told you it doesn’t work.” What this observation misses entirely is: monogamous relationships fail all the damn time. People are emotional and breakup with each other. Polyamory will not protect you from this.
Many polyamorous people feel that monogamy is far to constricting and that monogamy is not a realistic way of living. Monogamy has its roots in religion and dates back as far as the first farming settlements. When men started sowing seeds in the ground, their viewpoint shifted so that they now ‘owned’ the ground. This shift in viewpoint quickly made its way to women as men planted their ‘seed’ in the woman and therefore took on a form of ownership over her.
Monogamy is a way a man can ensure that the offspring of a woman is really his. This idea of ownership became supported by both state and religion and soon women found themselves suppressed and owned by men instead of being their equals.
DynamicsPolyamorous relationships can be a fair bit trickier than standard relationships because, well, way more people and feelings can be involved. Relationships can follow several models with a primary relationship, secondary relationship, playtoy, triads and group marriages.
A primary relationship is a core relationship between two lovers that is seen as a major focus and is held to be more important than other relationships. There is often a special amount of respect for the other partner’s feelings and they are consulted and informed during decisions and often have a form of veto power as well. Often a couple who decides to alter their relationship status from monogamous to an open relationship, the couple has a special bond that they wish to preserve. So they make promises to each other to ensure the stability of their long-term relationship.
These promises often include breaking off other relationships if the primary partner feels threatened, being open, honest and communicating any activities that go on with other partners to how they will deal with jealousy, child-rearing and family gatherings.
A secondary relationship is one where the relationship is seen as not as important as the primary relationship. The secondary relationship often doesn’t involve living together and may have breaks imposed upon it by a primary partner. Please note that not all polyamorous relationships involve secondary relationships but instead attempt to accept the wonderful nature of each lover/relationship with placing relationships into a heirarchy.
are people you enjoy sleeping with but both parties involved recognize that it isn’t going to be a big relationships – but it’s still fun to play with each other.
Triads are a strong, three-way relationship where all parties involved love each other.
Group marriages are a poly-relationship where a group of people all live together for the long term with many or all of the people sleeping with each other. I should point out that often not everyone sleeps with everyone else — it’s rare that everybody is into every other person, but it can happen. Some group marriages practice polyfidelity.
Polyfidelity is the practice of being faithful to a specific group of people and only having relationships and sexual contact with other members of that group and never with anyone outside of that group.
Open Relationships are a part of polyamory but not all polyamorous relationships are open. Any partner can gain a new partner in an open relationship but many poly relationships are set up so there there is more than one lover for each, but it is not open for new people to join.
is another subset of polyamory
where a closely bonded couple is willing to see other people, often together, and often with a greater degree of restrictive rules on the partners in order to protect the stability of the married couple. This can often cause a lot of difficulty for the new partner joining into the open marriage as if one partner feels threatened or it becomes somehow inconvenient they get dumped. Also they shouldn’t count on being invited to family gatherings or to ever gain a equal footing in the relationship.
There is also a misconception that people engaged in a poly-relationship are less emotionally vulnerable than a “single” person as they have additional support. While it is true that a poly-person has more support, it does not mean you can’t break their heart. In fact, poly people probably experience more heartbreak than others. It can be especially hard for poly people when a potential lover (someone you really think is awesome) rejects the possibility of having a relationship because it is a poly one.
The poly pride flag has three horizontal stripes in blue for openness and honesty, red for love and passion and black for solidarity against societal pressures. The symbol, “pi” is for the first letter of polyamory and it is coloured gold for the value of our attachment to others.
Continued HERE with Polyamory 2.