Polyamory = many lovers without cheating

Can you love more than one person at once in a romantic way? I never thought I could. I’m still not sure I can. But it’s something my girlfriend of 5 years and I are beginning to explore.

Polyamory means Many Loves. It differs from swinging which is primarily about sex and friendship. Swingers are usually couples who want to explore other people together. Although sometimes they go off alone purely for the sexual experience.

Poly people on the other hand are interested in creating relationships with other people. Relationships that can be just as meaningful as their primary relationship. Sometimes they end up in triads or quad relationships where everyone in a “pod” are involved with each other in some way.

Logically polyamory seems to make a lot of sense. The idea is that love is not divided but multipled. You have the capacity to love more than one person in a romantic way, just as you have the ability to love more than one of your children or two parents or siblings or many friends. The ony thing that is finite is time. So you have to manage your time wisely and you have to communicate constantly with everyone, especially your primary.

Immediately some people think “I just wouldn’t have time for all of that” and maybe you wouldn’t. But even in monogamy you have to manage your time. You aren’t always with your significant other. You still need time for your friends, your family, your kids if you have any and time for yourself.

To be completely honest my girlfriend and I are still a little confused about what would be the right path for us. With polyamory you really have to temper jealousy issues. In monogamy there is a default agreement that you won’t romantically love someone else or share yourself sexually with someone else. But in polyamory that agreement changes. Romance, love and sex with others is allowed but often a new agreement is esbalished between yourself and your primary as to what is ok and what is not. Are we allowed to stay the night at another lovers place or do we have to come home to each other each night? Are we allowed to involve ourselves with other couples or strictly singles? Are we allowed to have sex on a first date with someone else?

While there is a greater degree of freedom with polyamory and the core concept behind polyamory (any really any good monogamous relationship) is that you don’t control your lover. There are still rules you agree on to respect each others feelings.

As for my girlfriend and myself, we decided to talk about this based on some of our desires and past experiences. Both of us are bisexual. Myself less than her. I’ve talked about that more in previous blog entries. So I think we both reached a point where we realized we wanted independent freedom to be with other people after our threesome we had several months back with another woman. While we both enjoyed the threesome and it went realy well, she expressed that in some ways she wished should could have had alone time with her. I expressed the same feelings. But my girlfriend is also not a big fan of sex between two men. She excepts gay people, but the idea of seeing her boyfriend with another guy grosses her out. So if I ever did want to express my bisexual side with another guy, I’d have to do it independent of her. As a result it makes the more sense that we free ourselves up to have independent relations with both either gender.

But even that is just swinging or an open relationship. That’s us giving each other the freedom to have friends with benefits on the side which still being with each other primarly. However it’s not a hard leap to make to think that friends with benefits could turn emotional. You can’t really put restrictions on emotions. So why try to stop it. In some ways it makes more sense and is less dirty to have a couple lovers who you have something special with and a real emotional connection with than just fuck buddies.

Are you struggling to decide what path to take in your relationship? Trying to find that someone special? Does this special number keep popping in your life? We can help you discover the meaning behind it!

What are your thoughts on this? Could you be in a relationship like this and why not if you couldn’t?

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0 thoughts on “Polyamory = many lovers without cheating

  1. My partner and I are involved in our local poly community (there’s a lot of poly-minded people in my city come to find out!). Personally, I think polyamory is awesome and I am very much a poly-oriented person. My partner is still working out the engrained ideas of monogamy that society drills into our heads, his reservations however stem from him being my protector and he doesn’t trust anyone else at this point to look out for my well-being at the same level that he does (which is totally understandable considering my past relationships, be them friendships or romantic). We are actually going to a big poly play party tonight that we’ve been looking forward to for a while. 

    It’s not all fun and games though, ethical polyamory forces everyone to be totally open about their feelings and takes communication to a whole new level. While communication is vital in every relationship, it is much more vital in poly because there are a lot of people involved at different levels. While I do not plan on having a relationship on the same level as I do with my primary partner, I am excited at the idea of having another boyfriend or girlfriend. I also get great feelings of compersion when watching my primary partner playing with other people and seeing other people attracted to the same qualities that I am attracted to in my partner. It’s not for everyone, but to me it’s beautiful, challenging, and fun.

  2. jealousy issues are inherent. Usually the first time the woman takes advantage of the fact that she can draw lovers at ten times the rate a man can, its all over. These things seem to work best when one partner is somewhat submissive to the other. Just my take on it but for you I hope it all works out

  3. Honesty and openness seem to be at the core of all relationships, whether monogamous, polyamorous, or whatever. Toos in a good dose of maturity, and it may just work. I know @suggestivetongue has posts on this and many other subjects.  

  4. It is something I am very much interested in doing, but I don’t see my husband wanting to do it. It is something we have discussed in a lighthearted way because it has been on my mind lately, I am pretty sure jealousy would be an issue for him. For me, monogamy was always an odd concept. It felt unnatural, but because it was one of those things that is engrained into your head, I figured one day I would have to settle for being with one person for the rest of my life. I struggled with it before getting married but I think I asked myself the wrong question. I asked if I could be monogamous instead of if I wanted to be monogamous. I don’t, but I am out of respect for my husband. He has other issues with poly-relationships, one being that he saw his friends get hurt by them and he also doesn’t see the point in being married but still seeing other people.

  5. I think it sounds like fun but is ultimately unhealthy for normal and healthy relationships. Humans tend to be mostly monogamous for a reason. To each their own I suppose. 

  6. it works for some, and it doesn’t work for others.  from what I’ve seen, it can have devastating effects on the primary relationship.  also, from what I’ve seen, it can cause incredible growth and depth in those involved, and strengthen their relationships.

  7. I love a lot of people but I refrain from having sex with them and I truly mean that I love them, very much so.  It might be healthy to start simply being open to those around you and expand your ability to love others in a whole-hearted way, because that’s what it’s about right? With your poly-amorous relationships, just like any relationship, there’s needs to be a balanced and healthy approach for it to work.
    You also have to figure out for yourselves how you define love because that is going to determine your approach to it. Lust is not love although it is a component and even though I can tell you two are not in it just for sexual gratification, sometimes ideas brought in with good intent can be easily turned into something you never wanted it to.

  8. I just can’t even comprehend it. I can’t comprehend feeling happy with my partner being physically sexually pleasured by another man whilst she’s with me. It would feel like being emotionally stabbed in the heart. I’m quite fascinated by how someone could be OK with this and intrigued by the differences between why I ended up feeling the way I do about it, and why someone who’s fine with it ended up feeling the way they do about it. Like, is it to do with the way we were brought up emotionally? Or is it something within us, like homosexuality? I don’t know.   

  9. Oh sweetheart, I really don’t think this is a good idea. Christian values completely aside, there is a practical side to staying monogamous. Staying sexually committed to one partner (who is also committed only to you) ensures that you do not bring home any kind of disease, or that she does not accidentally become pregnant by some other man and have to deal with that.

    Just so you know, a condom has tiny holes in it. They all do, because of the way they are made (by a latticework of fibers crisscrossing in all directions). These holes are small enough that usually sperm cannot get through, but they are 10 times larger than an HIV virus 25 times larger than a Hep-B virus!

    I have been reading about these things in a book called “The Myths of Sex Education” and it is just shocking what they are not telling kids in school sex ed classes.

    The only way to truly avoid sexual diseases (and the awful heartbreak that promiscuity can cause) is to a) abstain from sex or b) be completely monogamous with a partner who is also completely monogamous.

    As much as your many lovers may try to convince you that they are disease-free, as well as totally ok with sharing you, there is a huge risk that any one of them might lie. You are right, you cannot control another person, even a lover, which means you cannot make them tell you the truth.

    According to one study of teen and college age students, 34% of young men admitted to lying in order to have sex. 10% of women lied. 20% of men and 4% of women said they’d be willing to lie about their HIV test results in order to have sex.

    Still think you want to deal with many lovers?

    Sweetie, I will admit that I am a Christian woman who lives by Christian values. But it goes so much further than just Bible verses and church songs. Monogamy (preferably within the confines of marriage, but that’s another story) is PRACTICAL and SAFE. Polygamy or Polyamory is NOT. Please, please think about what you are doing, and ask your girlfriend to reconsider this course of action, for your own safety and health.

    I will be praying for you both, that you both are safe and sound tonight and make good decisions for your own sake.

  10. @fruit_snacks_galore – I apologize in advance because I don’t know you, but that is the biggest load of shit, and I say this only because of the gross level of miseducation you have clearly been subjected to and are unwittingly perpetuating. Condoms do not have holes in them. This rumor actually stemmed from a report on latex gloves, not condoms (source: Straight Dope), which was immediately picked up by conservatives to further demonize sex education. Condoms fail only 1% of the time, and their production is highly regulated, to exacting degrees of medical quality. Your issue here is with the non-Christian sexual ethic, and the suppression of any sexual expression other than strict exclusive monogamy. It sounds like Rox and his girlfriend are going about this in a healthy and communicative way, and I applaud them for being open to exploring this aspect of their relationship together.

  11. @vocalcomposer – Oh dear, I think that your issue is with my religion, not with me, so I accept your apology and forgive your foul language. I am not here to convince you or anyone of anything other than to tell this young man that what he is thinking of doing is highly unsafe and unhealthy.

    Even supposing that properly used condoms fail only 1% of the time (which I think is probably false), one must take into account that condoms are not always used properly. By the way, my younger sister and her boyfriend used condoms AND spermicide. He got her pregnant and gave her chlamydia anyway.

    I have seen what happens when people are promiscuous. I have lived a less than exemplary life. Take my word for it, darling, bad things happen no matter how “careful” you think you are.

  12. @fruit_snacks_galore – My “issue” is with conservative Christians trying to tell others how to live their lives or attempting to shame or scare them into a Puritanical lifestyle on the basis of flawed or incomplete information. There’s the saying, “Correlation does not imply causation.” The occurrence of a condom failing your sister and her boyfriend is not conclusive evidence that condoms are in fact harmful. That’s the so-called rationale that the Pope took to Africa, which has led to so much suffering and death in that continent. But your belief about condoms having holes in them is simply wrong, and since you claim to be a Christian, I ask you to please stop spreading that detrimental falsehood (as per Colossians 3:9-10).

    But this isn’t a conversation about condom use.

    The aspect of polyamory you don’t seem to understand is that this isn’t “swinging” or casual sex. It’s building relationships with multiple people. If you’re building a relationship with someone who’s less than trustworthy, it’s not surprising that you might pick up an STI. The so-called “study” you cite was of college-aged students, a demographic not exactly known for making good life choices as a whole. That would be like saying that because some kids paint on walls as children that all children are going to grow up to be vandals. Again: “Correlation does not imply causation.” An aspect of my adult sexual relationships has always been talking about disease testing, and I’ve had good success with that. Rox and his girlfriend are not just going out and picking up strangers. That’s not how polyamory works. If you’re really curious, I suggest this:


    Just because you’re not sex positive doesn’t mean that others can’t or shouldn’t be.

  13. @vocalcomposer – As this is not my blog, I will only respond once more and I’ll be done with it out of respect for the owner of this site.

    Sex positive? That implies that sex between a married, monogamous couple isn’t as positive or fulfilling an experience as sleeping with many people. I disagree with you. True intimacy is something shared between two people and no one else.

    I postulate that you are simply upset with me because you feel as though my disagreement with your lifestyle is a judgment I have placed upon you. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sweetheart, I am not here to tell others that what they do makes them bad people. Neither do I encourage “Puritanism” as you have called it. My life is more free now than it ever was when I allowed myself the “freedom” that sexual promiscuity promised me. I am free of diseases. I am free of jealousy. I am free from sexual situations that aren’t within my control.

    My initial comment to this young man was meant to educate him of the dangers that are out there. Denying that there is danger in promiscuity is like denying that there is a train headed down the tracks you have chosen to walk on. I meant to educate out of love, out of concern for his safety.

    Safety and love do not seem to be your primary concern, although it’s possible that I am wrong and that we are simply misunderstanding one another’s point of view.

    In any case, you are both in my prayers. I wish you safety, health, and love, whatever choices you may make.

  14. I’ve been single for a very long time. The idea of my girlfriend (someone I’m pretty sure was hard to get in the first place) going out and spending time with other people, well… that rustles my feathers, so to speak. I’m even more unnerved about the prospect of another guy banging her, among other things. Add a few more into the mix… Hell, I doubt I could ever be OK with polyamory.

    I won’t deny that there are benefits. Obviously, shuffling the deck of lovers wouldn’t be exclusive to her. The biggest bonus is that you don’t have to worry about the candle dying out in the relationship because there’s balance of time and attention. It’s not all about sex… It’s hard to get bored when you have 3 or 4 boyfriends/girlfriends. If you can get comfortable with the idea that she’s on a schedule that includes other guys (maybe even girls, too), knowing is half the battle. 

    Maybe I’m just old school. I’m hardly the alpha dog, but I’ve been known to be a jealous son of a gun. Say if I gave her the green light and she could spend time with Bob, Garry, and Tom, my mind will go places. Dark places…

    “Hmm… she’s been spending a lot of time with Garry. He’s probably a better lover. He probably makes her laugh more. He probably has a bigger bank account than me. What if Garry talked her into anal? She has a cold… maybe she got it from that Garry guy. Yesterday, she accidentally called me Garry… at least I think it was an accident. I wanted to see that movie with my girlfriend, but she already saw it with fuckin’ Garry! Oh, damn… Garry is leaving hickeys on her neck again. He wants me to see it… He’s trying to get inside my head. Shit! Is that a hand print?!” 

    It’ll go on and on until I work up enough nerve to kick Garry’s ass. Shit, and that’s just ONE guy! Bob and Tom might have to go into hiding—lay low and change their names. Why? Because I can’t be trusted. I’ll break the treaty. I’ll go against the code. I never considered myself possessive, but… fuck it. I am! I’m that guy. I’m stingy and don’t play well with other guys.  

    Of course, my hypothetical girlfriend is a grown woman and can make her own decisions. I don’t ever want to control a woman and make her do things she’s not comfortable with. So, if she’s serious about multiple lovers, I guess I won’t be in the equation because… I can’t handle it.

    This is going to sound weird, but I’m mature enough to admit that I’m not mature enough for polyamory.  

    Fuck Garry.

  15. I felt that my jealousy was more poorly managed while monogamous. There was no outlet for that. In some respect I think you’re expected to show that jealousy in relationships. To use it as a leash. I am feeling jealous so that means you shouldn’t be doing what you’re doing. That was a strange feeling for me. In the past few years of being open jealousy has faded out and been replaced with more meaningful processes. Still there? Just as much as any other emotion. But it’s easier to pick out, and much easier to deal with, and more often than not I call it “envy” instead. There are so many ways you can make it work if it’s something your interested in. Good luck.

  16. Hmm, I’m not judging the polyamory lifestyle or anything, but one red flag went up for me when you said, “She excepts gay people, but the idea of seeing her boyfriend with another guy grosses her out.”

    She’s going to be your primary and she’s disgusted by the thought of you with other men, but you want romantic relationships with men… that seems like a problem to me, like she doesn’t accept part of who you are. I know you didn’t really ask for relationship advice in that respect, but it seems a little concerning.

    As far as whether or not I personally could be in a polyamorous relationship… no. And I freely admit that it would be because of jealousy. I want to give all of myself to my man, and I want all of him in return. Since we’re both on board with that, I don’t think it’s such a bad thing. For other people, I guess polyamory can work. I think there’s a lot of potential for people ending up hurt or dissatisfied with the relationship(s), but it’s the same with monogamous relationships– you just need to be open and honest from the get-go about who you’re already with, and what you each want out of the relationship.

  17. @TheyCallHerEcho88 – @lorelei – @Jack_Hawksmoor – @vocalcomposer – @fruit_snacks_galore – @Kuai_le1010 – @AutumnStrength – @plantinthewindow – @PlatotheSmurf – @MedicMark – @Erika_Steele – @ccrider17 – @lonelywanderer2 – @trunthepaige – @forever_musing – 

    Thank you all for your replies. As I said at the beginning of my post, my girlfriend and I were exploring the idea, we weren’t set on it. In theory it makes a lot of sense to both of us. So we’ll continue to explore the idea. But we’ve talked a lot more since I wrote this post a couple days ago and since we began to explore it just over a week ago. Realisitically neither of us think it’s practical for our lives at the moment and we both have reservations about it.

    My girlfriend is not excited about the idea of me having romantic relationships with other women. She’s much more open to just casual sex or swinging with other couples from time to time. Of course I’m not thrilled about the idea of her being ith other guys at all. But it’s only fair if I were to be with other women. To be honest she’s expressed that she really doesn’t want to be with other guys but would mostly be doing so for the fairness aspect of it. Which is probably not a good way to go into it.

    As for my bisexuality and being with other guys, It’s not that big of a deal to me. My desire to be with other guys fluctuates on a daily basis. I don’t desire romantic relationships with other guys. If anything a single trusted friend with benefits every so often would suit me just fine. Perferrably another bisexual guy in a relationship with a woman who wants to get away and have some fun here and there. But I can go the rest of my life without it. I’m far more attracted to women and if given the choice to live this lifestyle I’d prefer to explore other women over guys any day of the week. In fact there aren’t enough days in the week for the amount of women I’d like to explore. lol Whereas I tend to be really picky about guys. 

    So as it stands I think the two of us are just going take things as they go on a case by case basis and probably more like swingers than poly. If she meets another woman she wants to play with every so often, I’m cool with that. She’s expressed to me that there are days she wants me to be with other women. So if we or I meet another woman and I want to mess around with her purely sexually, I’d just have to get girlfriends blessing first. 

    I guess the point is, we’ve decided not to practice strict monogamy but to leave things open for sexual exploration. If it turns out with get really comfortable with that and go full poly in the future, so be it. If not, things will go as they go. But as far as love and time, we’ve decided to remain mostly monogamous. 

  18. Personally, I don’t see any reason why people should restrict themselves to a monogamous relationship.  For quite awhile now I’ve been trying to explore the dynamics of a poly-relationship.  

    Outside of the sexual relationship between you and another man, what’s left to turn off your girlfriend about your possible development with the same sex?  If you both are open and accepting of your bisexuality then, in some degrees, aren’t you accepting of the sexual interactions?  I definitely understand where your girlfriend is coming from, but if you are honestly looking to explore a poly-relationship you’re already challenging your comfort levels.  Wouldn’t it be fair to look at the situation and give the relationship a chance in which you bring another guy into it?  Then, once you’ve exhausted the idea and you two can’t make it work then set a rule that says, “this option doesn’t work for us.”
    For as complex as a monogamous relationship is a poly relationship has even deeper complexities to it.  Good luck and stay patient! :)

  19. As long as everyone is clear on boundaries and has respect for eachother, I say it’s okay to dip your toes in the water. We can’t know how we’ll react in a situation unless we put ourselves in it. My fiancée and I are exploring this ourselves, we’ve been seeing someone else for threeways for a couple of months now and it’s gone well, but I think we’ll be seeing the end of it soon. We had our fun and in the end it really strengthened our relationship, it opened up the lines of communication in almost every aspect of our lives. I’m happy to have had the experience, but I’m ready for things to go back to the way things were. I do see us trying it again in the future though!

    Once you’ve tried, you’ll know if it’s for you or not. If your relationship is going to fall apart because of too many complications though, it probably isn’t a good idea to go diving into something like this. It’s not for the unsure or the faint hearted!

  20. I’m in an open marriage and wouldn’t want to be poly. I don’t like the idea of either of us becoming emotionally connected to someone else. I’d rather keep it at just sex on occasion with new people.  

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