poly fidelity- the poly version of monogamy

Does poly-fi equal fluid-bonding BTW? I imagine if one partner would have an existing condition it wouldn't necessarily.

Good question BU. Poly-fi usually means a closed sexual group that treasures sexual fidelity and therefore trusts that the need for most safe sex practices is not necessary. At least this is what I understand.

I don't think polyfidelity should automatically be equated in one's mind with fluid bonding. There are surely polyfi tangles who still use protection, for whatever reason, and there are poly people who have open arrangements and are fluid-bonded with certain people but use protection with others. Of course, fluid-bonding is an agreement hopefully reached after a long period of developing trust, but it's not the same as polyfidelity, which is also about emotional faithfulness.

That is why I said "usually."

Some people would say that I am in a poly fi situation at the moment, but as there is no agreement that we stick to having sex with JUST the closed group, and because I use condoms with two of my partners, this to me is not a usual example of poly fi.
That is why I said "usually."

Some people would say that I am in a poly fi situation at the moment, but as there is no agreement that we stick to having sex with JUST the closed group, and because I use condoms with two of my partners, this to me is not a usual example of poly fi.

Oh yeah, I wasn't challenging you, just adding to what you said and directing my answer to BU.

Interesting about your situation, RP. I did think you had an agreement with your partners to be polyfi.
Interesting about your situation, RP. I did think you had an agreement with your partners to be polyfi.

I did as well. If you use condoms, wouldn't it just be for birth control and not to protect against disease? I assume both your guys are disease-free.
Interesting about your situation, RP. I did think you had an agreement with your partners to be polyfi.
I did as well. If you use condoms, wouldn't it just be for birth control and not to protect against disease? I assume both your guys are disease-free.
No agreement to be poly-fi, it just kinda turned out like that. Some of us are able to seek other partners... I am too even. There are just no interests right now. We have an agreement to stick to our agreements... :p

Yes, condoms for birth control... not disease control. We don't have any concerns to think about in that area, last time we checked....
I got this from wikipedia.....

Polyfaithful relationships are closed in the sense of closed and open marriages, in that partners agree not to be sexual outside the current members of the group. New members may generally be added to the group only by unanimous consensus of the existing members, or the group may not accept new members.

This is why I feel polyfidelity is more open than the traditionally strict definition of monogamy. In a poly relationship, partners make agreements, but those can change. Where monogamy is sexual fidelity between two partners.

I would like to point out that perhaps there is an emotional as well as physical aspect of relationships. People practicing non-monogamy recognize that you can have sexual exclusivity without emotional exclusivity, and vice versa, you can be emotionally exclusive without sexual exclusivity. Or you can be both emotionally & sexually non-exclusive.

There are also lots of 'inbetween' stages between polyamory & polyfidelity.
Some partners may be open to the idea of adding more partners, but haven't found the right person yet, so they are 'practicing' polyfidelity.
Others have open relationships, but require that their future partners get along with current partners.

Another example; perhaps 3 people in a romantic relationship (triad) make the agreement to only date each other (polyfidelity)& and for safety reasons, only share fluids between each other (fluid bonding).
However, this triad, decide to go play with some people strictly for NSA non-monogamy (swinging) using barriers/condoms. So while they fluid & emotionally exclusive, they are not totally sexually exclusive.
Or, they could decide to later add a 4th person to the group to make a quad. (opening then closing the relationship again)

I really don't know what to call all these examples haha all I know is that there are lots of ways to make relationship styles it work for you, so every relationship is going to be different & I think that is a good thing as long agreements are clear, and communication of new needs/desires is taken into consideration.
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Someone told me awhile back that they considered poly fidelity the same as monogamy.
Is this a common thought in the community?

Hey RP,

It never ceases to amaze me how we have to try and constantly rewrite the dictionary. We have more communication breakdowns in this world because of this than any other reason. People just insist on calling apples oranges because they are color blind !

We have terms like 'orange' and 'tangerine' for a reason. Although they share certain common traits (color, taste to a degree) etc, they are distinctly different enough to justify their own definition.

Poly fi is POLYFI !
Monogamy is MONOGAMY

Tell your friend to give up playing linguist :)

Weird...Somehow, my post got put into a different thread...That was weird. Anyway, THIS is the thread it was MEANT for...so here it is again. ;)

Again, we run into definitions and how everyone's definition is different.

I have a different VERSION of poly than a lot of you guys do. Does it make MY version "bad"? No. Does it make it "wrong"? Not really. How about the same questions for your versions? Not even.

Of course, to me, it sounds like he is more "swinger" than "poly", but if it works for his/her relationship, then great!

Now, I may be misunderstanding something here though. This is difficult to put into writing...but...I'll try

We have a couple: H1=husband 1 and W1=wife 1
And another couple H2=husband 2 and W2=wife 2

These 2 couples are in a poly-fi relationship.

For this example, all parties are straight. (no reason behind it other than it's easier)

IN MY OPINION, H1 should be able to sleep with W1 AND W2 any time he wants to as long as that is their relationship dynamic. SOMETIMES, that is not the dynamic. SOMETIMES, the dynamic calls for a 4-some only, and therefore the only time H1 would be able to sleep with W2, would be if H2 and W1 are both present.

For H1 to be able to sleep with W2 or W1 anytime he wishes (and the woman in question is willing) all parties should be on the same page. This may take time to reach that level of comfortability.

NOW....Does H1 get to sleep with random women from craigslist also? How about at the swingers club? or a swingers party? I don't believe so.

Let's look at the words involved here......Polyamorous, and fidelity. (Oddly enough, google chrome is calling both of those as misspelled words. LOL)
Poly-amorous-loving many
fidelity-strict observance of promises, duties, etc. and loyalty and conjugal faithfulness

So, the people involved, H1, W1, H2, W2 are all loving each other, yet staying faithful TO each other in the relationship dynamic. e.g. not going out and sleeping with random other people that are not involved within their quad.

Just my opinion.
There seems to be quite the issue here with poly fi...Well, from a poly fi stand point, some us view non-poly fi as just a bunch of people cheating openly. I am not saying that is how all of us feel. We are unusual here, i think. We are two women and a man. The girls are both bi, the man is straight. The girls have sex together, and with the man. The man has sex with either girl and often with both together. We are not a V, where one has sex with the others. I don't know how to describe us here. We are not open to others, it is what is sounds like, fidelity. And while someone here says we are no different from mono. think about this, you are married, but all of your friends and family know that where you go there will always be three. it is a life long relationship that you have to explain to everyone who knows, or catches on, or...is that like mono??? I think not. The people who i see here mostly seem to be in open marriages, and get to decide occasionally to have sex with a third. this is consent to by the others. But many of these people have it as a secret. in poly fi, it can't really be a secret, it is a commitment to living openly very differently, and that is soooo not mono...
I wouldn't say your situation is unusual -- you're in a poly-fidelitous triad. While it's not what many in the poly community end up finding works best for them, it's certainly an understood and accepted way of going about things, except for perhaps among the few closed-minded folks who think their way (of more openness) is the only real/right way.

I see poly-fi as definitely being different from mono. After all, you've discardeded the fundamental idea that only two people can love each other romantically at once. However, there is a similarity that doesn't exist in more open poly structures in that sexual and romantic exclusivity is equated with commitment. So, I see poly-fi as being poly, but a certain subtype of poly that does share at least one thing in coming with monogamy.

All that said, I really take umbrage at the suggestion that more open poly is equivalent to cheating. Maybe it would be in your relationship, but if others have set different rules, which they are following faithfully, then by definition they're not "cheating". It's dismissive and divisive to put it that way. It also just seems odd to imply that there's anything wrong with open poly when so many people find love, joy, and commitment within it.
In addition to what AnnabelMore said about not equating more open poly to cheating, I also wanted to challenge your idea, Russ, that anything but poly-fi is just people occasionally having sex with a third person. My husband and I aren't poly-fi, but we have outside relationships. It's not just an occasional romp in the sack either, my husband has been with his girlfriend for three years. They love each other. While I've only been with my boyfriend for two months, it's not just about sex, we're trying to build a loving relationship. Just because we don't have the same rules you do doesn't mean we're not commited to our other relationships. Exclusivity does not have to be present for commitment to exist and it's very closed-minded to say that if there isn't exclusivity then there isn't honesty or love but only sex.

Edited to fix a very funny auto-correct by my phone.
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I also would challenge that assumption. Runic Wolf and I have been married for 11 years and involved in our quad for almost 3 years. There is deep friendship, lots of love, and yes SEX in our relationship. We are not intentionally poly fi. Pretty Lady and Wendigo respect that while they are our lovers, they cannot control our hearts or actions. They can only trust that we will bring things to their attention as needed. We know that we can expect fidelity from Pretty Lady, as she is only exploring non-monogamy because it is us. Their only request has been discretion; that we keep their identities as our lovers secret for valid reasons. Sometimes even Wendigo struggles with this; and occasionally we really suck at not showing just how much we care for each other.

At this point, we have had one failed attempt at allowing another couple into our quad. Pretty Lady and I decided to fulfill a long time friend's wish for a threesome with the blessing of the guys; afterwards he informed us that his fiance was interested in Wendigo;who had been crushing on her for a while. Long story short, he had totally misunderstood his fiance's intentions (she had only wanted a cuddle buddy); she discovered she was pregnant; and our friend kept telling us he that Wendigo just needed to be patient and she'd come around and then suddenly changed his tune after we discovered he'd went a head with our threesome while she was still contemplating it because she'd said she couldn't find anything wrong with it in theory. Pretty Lady, Wendigo, and I are still recovering from the misconceptions; misunderstandings; and lies.

Runic Wolf's only problem with the situation was that it seems to have had the opposite effect on Pretty Lady's availability to be with him than we'd hoped. Of all of us, he is the one who seems to need an outside relationship the most; still feels like he's missing part of his own personal life puzzle and none of us would presume to tell him that he can't find that. We only ask that he is respectful of everyone involved; especially Pretty Lady; who struggled for a long time to accept that Wendigo truly could hold both of us in his heart (for some reason his feelings for Runic Wolf have never bothered her) and not abandon her. I think she fears that if Runic Wolf finds another lover; she will have done all of this personal work to be with us for nothing.

So at the moment we are practicing poly-fi, but it has been born out of circumstance not desire.

Edited due to phone interrupting thought process.
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russgm- You aren't unusual at all. The way you say that you are unusual comes off as a little "holier than thou." I find it rather presumptuous actually.

People come and go here. Most in your situation don't stay as they have their thing and are out there doing it. Its working and they don't need to talk about it or get support. This forum is built on supporting people, discussing theory and searching for what works for us. Some find poly fi, some are fine and enjoy being poly singles. Its a personal journey that you can read parts of if you decide to read here in depth.

Assuming that people want what you want is insulting. I don't know if you intended to be insulting but might I suggest that you ask what's up here rather than assuming you know.
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This forum is built on supporting people, discussing theory and searching for what works for us.

As a newcomer, I just want to say that I really like this comment. This forum has a supportive atmosphere and even if I wasn't looking for more I would likely still frequent it just to listen to all the differing opinions on what poly is and what it can mean.

I believe that monogamy =/= polyfidelity. Additionally, I don't think anyone should be insulted for practicing either, or practicing any form of poly that works for them! Polyamory is not about adhering to a particular lifestyle because that is how it is defined on wikipedia. It is just a word for something that people do to fulfill their relationship desires. Even if there wasn't a word for them, all the kinds of relationships that people engage in are equally valid for they people in them. As long as you are happy with your situation it doesn't matter if it has been defined by someone.

That's just my two cents. I'm relatively new to poly, but that's how I feel about it.
I don't care for the idea that just because I am not polyfi that I will sleep with anything that moves.

I have a couple of very nice relationships, and if someone wants to spend time with me they need to be worth a relationship. I don't really go for one night stands...it isn't the body or the face that is the primary reason that I am attracted, it is the PERSON, and getting to know people takes time. Time can be in limited supply, as I have people that I already want to spend time with. I may not be polyfi, but, what I do is hardly what seems to be imagined by some folks. It also isn't cheating, because I am open and honest with my partners when I do meet someone who could turn out to be interesting.

Polyfi isn't monogamy, though. Monogamy is supported in our culture. Two soulmates supposedly spending the rest of their lives publicly together. They get cake! And celebrations! And an idea of a one size fits all agreement to be faithful and all that.

Poly folk whether polyfi or not have to build their agreements more from scratch. It's a custom arrangement hopefully built around the needs and desires of all involved, rather than the off the shelf marriage available to monogamous folk if they so choose. There are fewer assumptions, in poly, though hardly no assumptions at all. There's just less of a road map to follow.

Here's some things people do seem to assume:
I'm not bisexual. That isn't why I am poly. I just no longer want a limit on who I may or may not fall in love with. I've been there, done that, and ditched the t-shirt.

I don't and won't sleep with just anyone who wants to fuck. I'm not desperate for sex. Really. For me to be interested at all the person needs to be as interesting as my friends are. Otherwise, why spend the time?

I actually don't have an easier time finding outside partners than my guys do. I'm picky, yes, but, my guys do fine on the market when they feel like it. They don't always feel like it. Shockingly, they don't feel like sleeping with anything that moves either.