What is polyamory? Myths About Polyamory

What is polyamory? Myths About Polyamory, Polyamory vs. polygamy. What is the Difference Between Polyamory and Swinging?

What is polyamory? Myths About Polyamory
What is polyamory? Myths About Polyamory

What is polyamory?

Polyamory is a form of consensual or ethical non-monogamy wherein people may have romantic relationships with multiple people at the same time, says sex and relationship coach Azaria Menezes. “Everyone involved in the polyamorous relationship has consented to the relationship dynamic,” she adds. [1]

Polyamorous people have multiple loving, intentional, and intimate relationships at the same time. Polyamory is a type of open or non-monogamous relationship that follows certain guidelines. [2]

Polyamory specifically refers to people who have multiple romantic relationships at the same time. It does not mean any type of open relationship that may include more casual sexual partners. In many polyamorous relationships, each partner is aware of the other ones. Partners may also have relationships or friendships with each other. [2]

Polyamory vs. polygamy.

While the words sound similar, polyamory and polygamy aren’t the same things. In fact, they’re very different, according to Kamela Dolinova, a counselor who works with the polyamorous community.

Like monogamy, Dolinova explains, polygamy has to do with marriage: being married to many people rather than one (mono). But historically, most polygamous cultures have only allowed one man marrying many women. Women have rarely had the freedom to marry several men or to have relationships with anyone other than their husbands.

“Polygamy tends to operate as an oppressive double-standard, often for the purpose of producing many children,” she says. “Polyamory, on the other hand, may involve any number of people and a mix of genders, each of whom may or may not be married to anyone.” [1]

What is the Difference Between Polyamory and Swinging?

Swingers have multiple sexual partners but may not develop emotional or romantic connections with their partners. Swingers usually attend sex parties and other events to swap partners. They may have recurring sexual partners, but their focus is not on having romantic relationships.

Polyamorous people, on the other hand, focus on fostering romantic relationships. Polyamorists can also be swingers or attend swinger parties. Swingers are sometimes also polyamorous.

Myths About Polyamory

Polyamory is Just Cheating

People in polyamorous relationships are open and honest with each other about their other partners. Successful polyamory depends on honesty, integrity, and communication. Polyamory is not about being secretive or hiding your activities with your other romantic partners.

Additionally, people in polyamorous relationships can cheat. In a poly relationship — as it is sometimes called for short — doing something secretive may count as cheating, depending on the relationship agreements. Examples include seeing a new partner and hiding it from someone or violating a previously set boundary.

Polyamorists Are Just Avoidant or Afraid of Commitment

Commitment in polyamory often looks different than it does in monogamous relationships. Couples may not create traditional relationship milestones together, like cohabitation, engagement, or marriage. However, they still have committed relationships and are there for each other. Some people believe that polyamory requires a lot of commitment because of how much dedication to open and honest communication it requires.

Polyamorous Relationships Don’t Have True Intimacy

Some people do find that having multiple partners detracts from the intimacy in their relationships. But, other polyamorous people find that being in intimate relationships with multiple people creates more intimacy due to the vulnerability and communication required.

Polyamorous People Don’t Get Jealous

Many polyamorous people do get jealous. However, the way they deal with jealousy is usually different than the way monogamous people do. They usually view it as insecurity or fear to work on and overcome, rather than a relationship-ending problem.

Parents Having Multiple Partners is Damaging for Their Children

More research is needed to determine the full effect of polyamory on children. However, preliminary research shows that some polyamorous families can be good for children. Just as with monogamous parents, some situations may be better or worse for children depending on several factors.

Polyamorous People Just Want to Have a Lot of Sex

Some polyamorous people do have a lot of sex, but for many, the focus of polyamory is more about building loving, intimate relationships. Most romantic relationships do involve sex, including polyamorous ones.


[1] mbg relationship: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/polyamory/

[2] webMD: https://www.webmd.com/sex/what-is-polyamory