The Many Types of Polyamory

Nakedone

New member
This is my first visit to this site. But it is not my first time to experience what is discussed her. I have had a number of experiences which could be called "polyamory", even though they were very different.

I am very aware that there are many different "kinds" of polyamory, and that nearly everyone will have a different definition, so I will give mine and attempt to help others organize their thinking on this very "outrageous" topic.

One thing that seems to be basic to all defiinitions is that there are at least three people involved in a sexual relationship of some kind. But, beyond that, the varieties are many!

From my own experience, the most "usual" polyamory relationship involves two men and one woman. And, in most cases, one of the men will be the husband of the one woman involved. But, not always.

I, personally, have been involved in MFM sexual situations in which the woman was my wife; in others where the woman was the other man's wife; and in still others where neither was married to the one woman. Of all those relationships, my estimate is that sixty percent of them were those involving my wife and me and one other man. Another thirty would have involved a woman, another man, and me, and neither of us was married to her. Only the other ten percent would have involved me with a married couple.

I would like to discuss the many different kinds of polyamory, either through private messages, or on this open forum. I do want to read the experiences from others and am willing to share my own. Perhaps we can learn from each other in this way.

My question to any who read this is: "How do YOU define Polyamory, and what kinds of three-person sexual relationships have you enjoyed most?"
 

sage

New member
Hi and welcome

I totally disagree with you. Polyamorous relationships do not have to be sexual. Wikipedia has a good definition ...it is the practice, desire, or acceptance of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved.
- Intimacy and sexuality are two different things. My partner and his SO love each other and are intimate but not sexual as yet (their relationship has been going on like this for years). It may become sexual in the future but the fact that it is not does not lessen any of the issues: they speak together about love; they are naked together; she gives him naked massages and he fondles her breasts; they kiss;he wants her to live with us.

- I don't think mfm dynamics are the most common form of polyamory. You only have to read through the threads to see that. I don't think there is a "most common" form of polyamory, it's so varied.
 

NeonKaos

Custodian
sage, what you just described between your partner and his SO does indeed sound "sexual" to me. Just because there is no genital stimulation, penetration or orgasm does not mean it is not sexual. I am sure we all agree about that. You described kissing and fondling of breasts, and naked sensual massages, which are all a form of "sex".

A "non-sexual" romantic, "intimate" relationship would involve things like holding hands, exchanging terms of endearment, candle-light dinners, etc., but when it comes to rolling around naked, with or without orgasm/fluid bonding, the line between "sexual" and "non-sexual" has been crossed.
 
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Breathesgirl

New member
To me a relationship does NOT have to include sex of any sort. It needs to include some sort of connection. Whether that connection is intimate, mental, emotional, sexual or any combination of those doesn't really matter. It must have at least one of those connections.

I have had connections in all of the above and thoroughly enjoyed each and every relationship for what it offered.

Most of my relationships are either not sexual at all or rarely include sex so for me relationships tend toward the intimate rather than the sexual aspect.

I have long thought that the whole of humankind is really polyamorous. We have friends outside our main relationships which fulfill us totally different ways from each other and our main relationships.
 

sage

New member
@Neonkaos

That's interesting, maybe I have to rethink their relationship. The line between intimacy and sexuality is very blurry. They don't "roll around", they cuddle and the kisses aren't open-mouthed. She considers herself celibate and holds a boundary around their physical closeness.

I suppose I use this to mitigate the fall-out when I explain the situation to others. "They love each other but it's non-sexual" is an easier way for me to accept their relationship and to come-out. It's also easier for her to get her head around. I think she would still be very uncomfortable if it was put to her that her relationship with Z is sexual.
 

NeonKaos

Custodian
I think it's obvious that "rolling around naked" doesn't have to mean that they LITERALLY "roll" around. It is a euphemism for "cuddling" naked or "intimate nudity" (instead of non-sexual "recreational" nudity, such as skinny-dipping). I think it's less sugar-coated and perhaps more crude-sounding than "cuddling", but it basically means the same thing.

As far as I'm concerned, you don't OWE others an explanation that they can "handle" when it comes to whether they'll accept your poly lifestyle choices and how you express yourselves within them, so you don't have to "rethink their relationship" for other people's benefit.

Sorry about the excessive use of quotations; i'm not doing that to sound adversarial, i'm doing it to denote specific terminologies.
 

Fidelia

New member
Hi, Nakedone. Welcome to the forum. Interesting that a new member is going to help us all organize our thinking on this "outrageous" topic. Really?

I'm trying not to be offensive here, but your post has really triggered me, in that it seems to assume that you possess superior knowledge and experience concerning polyamory. Perhaps that was not your intention.

Like sage, I also completely disagree with your "definition" of polyamory. I would encourage you to read through some of the other threads, especially the stickies in this "New to Poly" section and the "Golden Nuggets" section. In fact, here's a link to the glossary and definitions: http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1720

This is old ground you're covering, and consensus has already been reached.
 
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Jade

New member
I, personally, have been involved in MFM sexual situations in which the woman was my wife; in others where the woman was the other man's wife; and in still others where neither was married to the one woman. Of all those relationships, my estimate is that sixty percent of them were those involving my wife and me and one other man. Another thirty would have involved a woman, another man, and me, and neither of us was married to her. Only the other ten percent would have involved me with a married couple...

My question to any who read this is: "How do YOU define Polyamory, and what kinds of three-person sexual relationships have you enjoyed most?"

What you're describing here sounds like swinging to me, not polyamory. If it's just sex, it's not polyamory.

Poly - amory means many loves, so one who is polyamorous would have or is inclined to have more than one "love" partner. Sex may or may not be part of those partnerships.
 

GroundedSpirit

New member
Hi Nakedone,

Yea, as others have alluded to, I suspect you have some catching up to do :)
Seems you've fallen for some of the many of the mis-perceptions circulating in common society. I'd say welcome and jump right in and get an education !
Polyamory - as the term implies - is about a LOT more than sexual activity, although that MAY be a part of it in the majority of cases (far from all).

Common error to many people.

Keep reading & learning. It will start to click in. Then it will make more sense.

Good luck.

GS
 

redpepper

New member
This is my first visit to this site. But it is not my first time to experience what is discussed her. I have had a number of experiences which could be called "polyamory", even though they were very different.

I am very aware that there are many different "kinds" of polyamory, and that nearly everyone will have a different definition, so I will give mine and attempt to help others organize their thinking on this very "outrageous" topic.

One thing that seems to be basic to all defiinitions is that there are at least three people involved in a sexual relationship of some kind. But, beyond that, the varieties are many!

From my own experience, the most "usual" polyamory relationship involves two men and one woman. And, in most cases, one of the men will be the husband of the one woman involved. But, not always.

I, personally, have been involved in MFM sexual situations in which the woman was my wife; in others where the woman was the other man's wife; and in still others where neither was married to the one woman. Of all those relationships, my estimate is that sixty percent of them were those involving my wife and me and one other man. Another thirty would have involved a woman, another man, and me, and neither of us was married to her. Only the other ten percent would have involved me with a married couple.

I would like to discuss the many different kinds of polyamory, either through private messages, or on this open forum. I do want to read the experiences from others and am willing to share my own. Perhaps we can learn from each other in this way.

My question to any who read this is: "How do YOU define Polyamory, and what kinds of three-person sexual relationships have you enjoyed most?"
I was a little triggered also actually. A lot of us have worked hard on here and in our lives to come to a respectful acceptance that we know little about any one elses poly but our own... check out a "tag search" on "descriptive" and "prescriptive" to see the debate and discussions of the past and you will see what I talk of.

I also think you should check our the media section for the court case that is going on in Canada BC as it is an argument that includes this very topic, "what is the definition of poly?"

It seems my peers have gotten on you about all this and so I won't go on about it except to say that the main consensus seems to be that poly is not about sex specifically, but a healthy love for each other. It's a mind set that permeates ones entire life. It encompasses some basic principles for me that set a foundation for any solid relationship ... I have written about this all on numerous threads over the last two years. but basically if you read some threads in the stickies and do tag searches ("rules," "foundations," for a start) on all of this you will find my opinion.
 

Ariakas

Bosun
One thing that seems to be basic to all defiinitions is that there are at least three people involved in a sexual relationship of some kind. But, beyond that, the varieties are many!

Sexual intimacy can be very important to how people love, but there are those who don't need it

From my own experience, the most "usual" polyamory relationship involves two men and one woman. And, in most cases, one of the men will be the husband of the one woman involved. But, not always.

I honestly don't see any regular patterns. This is simply one of them :)

My question to any who read this is: "How do YOU define Polyamory, and what kinds of three-person sexual relationships have you enjoyed most?"

Loving more than one. Thats it. The relationship construct around it is defined by the individuals involved

for 3 person relationships I dig ffm. :)...but really the most enjoyable relationship I have had is my current one. A fmf V. Far more satisfying than any threesome I have had.
 

Poison

New member
flexible vs. ?

Just curious about the types. I often hear people refer to themselves as "flexible poly" meaning they are open to other sexual relationships with others but not emotional... so what is the definition for poly types who are open to both? Anyone know or have suggestions? Thanks
 

Sapphire

New member
Hmmmmm well seeing as I am brand new to this.... this is how I see it fitting us for OUR situation.....

Im not well, hubby needs more than I can give, and has fallen for a lovely young lady, who I absolutely adore as well.....

Its only been a couple of weeks, but so far its all good :)

Its not JUST about sex, its about friendship, intimacy (in a non sexual way - lots of cuddles, touching etc not all leading to sex), and sharing :)

Thats how I see it anyhow :)
 

Poison

New member
Totally. I'm just curious about the term.
 

Fidelia

New member
I often hear people refer to themselves as "flexible poly" meaning they are open to other sexual relationships with others but not emotional... so what is the definition for poly types who are open to both? Anyone know or have suggestions? Thanks

There is a wide variety of possibility when it comes to consensual nonmonogamy. And a wealth of valuable information is available through this forum. New members are encouraged to look through what's already here. Chances are good that your question has already been answered.

For instance, in this case, sexual involvement with partners other than one's spouse/primary without emotional or other deeper connection is understood within this community to be swinging, not polyamory. It is possible, however, to be open to both swing and poly. They are not necessarily mutually exclusive.


Again, a link to the glossary and definitions: http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1720
 

redpepper

New member
Just curious about the types. I often hear people refer to themselves as "flexible poly" meaning they are open to other sexual relationships with others but not emotional... so what is the definition for poly types who are open to both? Anyone know or have suggestions? Thanks
well to me that is polyfuckery or polysexual, not polyamory. One could also include swinging and open in this.
 

Ariakas

Bosun
well to me that is polyfuckery or polysexual, not polyamory. One could also include swinging and open in this.

I don't necessarily read the above as polyfuckery...

What about a poly triad who is still open to swinging? The three love each other, but are still open to having sex with others?

When does polyamory stop being "loving more than one" and become being open?

Or what about that poor single poly person who is open to having casual sex to find love. Or just likes casual sex while waiting for more people to love

All of it is polyamory. Poly is just loving more than one. How people like to bang around that doesn't make it less poly.
 
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SourGirl

Member
Polyfuckery to me, is a derogatory term. Used for someone who is lying to others, or themselves, in order to obtain sexual pleasures as a primary. They are hiding behind the idea of 'many loves' when they have no intention, or ability to love more then one.

You can be a swinger, open, or as my husband terms himself, 'poly-friendly'. none of which are derogatory terms. Polysexual sounds like a good term as well.

My husband has never actually been in love with 2 women at once. He is open to the concept though. He is also open to other aspects, of other alternative lifestyles.

He doesnt lie, nor hide behind a poly label,..just tells people he is poly-friendly.
 

redpepper

New member
I don't necessarily read the above as polyfuckery...

What about a poly triad who is still open to swinging? The three love each other, but are still open to having sex with others?

When does polyamory stop being "loving more than one" and become being open?

Or what about that poor single poly person who is open to having casual sex to find love. Or just likes casual sex while waiting for more people to love

All of it is polyamory. Poly is just loving more than one. How people like to bang around that doesn't make it less poly.
poly just means more than. I read the question as more sex with more partners. Sure Poly can means whatever a person wants, but to me polyamory means more loving relationships... anything outside of that is polyfuckery, polysexual.... etc. and sure a person can be all of these at the same time.
 

Poison

New member
I completely agree with the idea of 'polyfuckery' being a derogatory term; even aesthetically I find it harsh. I like the fluidity of the concepts and understand definitions may be a little different depending on who you're talking to. I am still trying to figure out where the term "flexible poly" came from and if there is a countering term like "rigid poly" (or something) that means the opposite...
 
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