Polyamory, What Is It?

by Alicia | 17 August 2021

What does it mean to be Polyamorous?

Being ‘Polyamorous’ means that you want to / can have multiple intimate and meaningful relationships, all at the same time. Quite literally the word Polyamory relates back to Greek heritage; “Poly” meaning ‘many’ and “Amor” meaning ‘love’ – so many lovers! There is a huge difference between being polyamorous and then having affairs, as with a polyamorous relationship all partners are aware of the other lovers. Being secretive and not telling is quite simply cheating. 

With society becoming more liberal in recent years – about time! – it’s no surprise that relationships are changing too. From monogamous relationships to poly. Let’s take a look what it actually means…


What are the types of Polyamory?

There are different types of ‘Polyamory’, indicating how complex they can actually be! Take a look through below and understand the polyamorous world – who knows, you might even find yourself there one day!

  • Solo Polyamory – People who don’t have one particular partner and instead just date multiple people. They don’t feel the need to have ‘one’ person and are pretty independent.
  • Polyfidelity – A group of three or more people who continuously date within the group – they don’t date anyone not in their group.
  • Hierarchy Polyamory – This is when someone has one primary relationship, to whom they devote the most time, respect and love to. The person may proceed to then have secondary relationships – which are less important than the primary yet still part of their relationship.
  • Non-hierarchical Polyamory – In this style relationship, there are no primary or secondary favourites as all members are equal and receive the same amount of respect and love.

It’s important to remember that all polyamarous relationships are A. complicated and B. very different to each other! Polyamarous people design their relationship based on their own desires and boundaries – which is different to monogamous relationships. One of the main discussions and foundations of a polyamarous relationship is that you discuss and are very open with who you will be having sex with – in partoicular, who you’ll be having unprotected sex with. This is to ensure that no unwanted pregnancies or sexually transmitted diseases are spread!

Polyamory Structure

How to start exploring Polyamory 

If you’re in a relationship already, the first step you should take is – talk. It might be pretty daunting at first, especially if there’s never been any mention of an open relationship before. That doesn’t have to stop you however, as it’s just necessary to ensure that you’re both feeling comfortable and are happy with the situation. You could ease into the conversation by dropping hints, sending them polyamarous articles and blogs, speaking about friends / celebrities who are in polyamorous relationships and see how they take it! Once you’ve sparked the topic in their head, go ahead and tell them how you feel and where you’d like to be. If they have your best interests at heart then we are sure that they will understand.

Don’t bring up the idea that you’d like to try a polyamorous relationship when in an argument – as we are sure that you know, arguments are not the best place to bring up new controversial topics! If your partner does feel uncomfortable and frustrated, listen to them. Do not disregard their opinions or feelings just because they are trying to understand where you’re coming from.


Is Polyamory and Polygamy the same?

In short, no. Polyamory, as we have spoken about, is the principle of being intimate and having sexual relationships with multiple people rather than just one. This is different to being polygamy, as that means that you are married to multiple people. The principle of them both is the same however the practicality and reasoning behind both is completely different. Usually people in polyamorous relationships don’t look towards getting married and officially labelling their relationships.


Some myths… BUSTED!

“Polyamory is just cheating”:  Polyamory is in fact the complete opposite of this common myth. One of the foundations of a polyamorous relationship is being open and honest with you partner/s about who else you are spending time with and what you are wanting from each relationship. There is no secrecy or hiding involved, meaning that being polyamorous isn’t code for cheating. It must be noted though that polyamorous individuals can still ‘cheat’ – by being secretive or hiding things from others.

“Polyamorous people just want loads of sex”:  This is another common myth, however is very far from the truth! In actual fact, polyamorous people tend to look for building intimate and strong relationships, rather than the physical sex. This clearly highlights that sex is a secondary bonus – and not a main reason for turning polyamorous!

“Polyamorous people don’t get jealous”: There are still individuals – even those who are polyamorous – that will get jealous. Afterall it is a completely natural feeling, but in most cases it has been found that the polyamory people actually just deal with jealousy in a different way. They don’t see it as a reason to end a relationship or the other persons issue, but rather they see it as a personal flaw and insecurity that they need to work at to fix it!

Now that you’ve explored the world of Polyamory, you know the ins and outs! One day that could be you – who knows! To add extra Shazam to your relationship – take a look at how you can introduce sex toys!

Poly group of friends cartoon