A quick intro to some of the basic concepts of polyamory for monogamists. The intent here is not to convert you but to help you to understand polyamory and polyamorous people.

Love is about sharing yourself with your lover, because, in the sharing of yourself you build a stronger relationship and closer ties with your loved one. In a healthy relationship your lover will do the same for you.

Polyamory adds to that the concept of sharing your loved one. When you are with someone you love it makes you feel good, and when your loved one is with someone they love they feel good. And, generally, the happier your loved one is the happier being in their presence makes you. They become happy from being with their lover(s) and bring it back to you. All this loving creates a positive feedback loops that cycles through everyone involved. If you are the one with multiple lovers then you receive all the love you would get from one only multiplied by however many lovers you have. As with a monogamous relationship your lovers happiness becomes your happiness. You pass that on to all the other people in the relationship.

But polyamory relationships, like any other are not all smiles and roses. But, when someone in the relationship is having troubles with another they have someone else to turn to, someone intimately involved in their life who they can tell anything to, who will understand the relationship better than any friend could because they are part of the relationship too. Or, if one person is having a hard time in their life they have all the support of all their lovers to see them through it.

The key to all of this is that everyone involved must care about everyone else. if one person dislikes another in the group jealousies and rivalries will build and they will take their toll on the other people. If even a friend disliked my lover it would affect me... imagine if my other lover disliked her. Everyone must be able to be close and intimate, although not necessarily sexual, with everyone else. Doing so give the group the strength to weather the harder times that all relationships must endure.

There are some downsides to polyamory of course. We live in a monogamist society. People think you a deviant or a pervert if you find yourself in love with more than one person. When your employer invites you to a company outing with your SO do you invite only one of them and force yourself to choose? Do you stay home? Or, do you try and explain that you actually have two (or however many), lovers and have to deal with the whispers and glances that will haunt you for as long as you work there?

Polyamory requires more strength and communication than any monogamous relationship because your decisions affect more than just one, and because, if you don't communicate exactly what you are feeling, both the good, and the bad, then jealousy and distrust can quickly work their way in.

Something polyamory is not about is sex. Many people confuse a relationship where you can sleep around with polyamory. The two are not the same at all, although in many polyamorous relationships the members allow themselves and each other to sleep around. Usually there are specific rules regarding sexual activity outside the group so that nobody gets hurt and no diseases are brought back after an excursion. Polyamory is about sharing love between multiple people, not sex. Sex with multiple people at the same or different times is just a happy side effect.

A practical example of the polyamorists viewpoint:
This evening I was speaking with a monogamist friend. Who, upon hearing that I was missing my girlfriend, and that she was currently asleep in the arms of her boyfriend, tried to assure me that she was probably thinking of me. I realized that, had he been in my position, he would have felt left out, or that maybe he was loosing her. While I found myself happy and smiling at them getting a chance to be with each other, to touch each other tenderly or fuck each others brains out, to exchange words and feelings in each others presence.

Imagine, if you will, your monogamous lover is out with their best friend whom they love dearly. You would be happy for them because you know that being with that friend makes them feel good and you like to see your lover happy (well hopefully you do). You wouldn't think twice about their spending time together because you know you lover loves you and wants to be with you. It is the same thing in a poly relationship only you know that your lover is with someone who can make them far happier than anyone who is only a friend. If you and your lover have communicated exactly what your feelings are about each other you will know that they are coming back to you.

For more on polyamory read the polyamory node, the book The Ethical Slut. Or, watch these movies: Threesome, Splendor. If you can recommend a resource to add to this list please /msg me.

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