WHY KNOT – Breaking the Silence on Monogamy

This film, Why Knot-Breaking the Silence of Monogamy, was shared with us recently by Dr. Daamini Shrivastav. The film makers are raising money for the film now and it is definitely worth taking a moment to look at.  Quoting from their website:

“Through art and introspection, we wish to leave a film behind in this world which will help others make informed decisions about the most valuable relationships in their lives.

It is not our objective to advocate for or against monogamy, but to break the silence on this issue. Our vision is to empower relationships and to encourage communication within, with the hope that one day, infidelity and the containment of our desires may only be a remnant of human history.”

Check out Why Knot online and the crowd funding page!

Enjoy the trailer and an excerpt of Dossie Easton’s (author of Ethical Slut) interview.

There’s Only One Kind of Polyamory…Right?

Different KindsHierarchical.  Egalitarian.  Relationship Anarchists.  Just going with the flow. Old school polyamory.

If your new to polyamory or even if you’ve been around the block, you may have heard these terms or others like them.  They are used to describe kinds of relationships that exist in the polyamorous community.  Unfortunately, people don’t always agree on what is right or wrong.

Debates spring up about how people should practice polyamory.  Some of these debates can get pretty heated.  There are those who will claim “their” polyamory is the only type of polyamory.  If you’re not practicing their version then you’re not really polyamorous, your only “playing” polyamorous or your on the “fringe” of polyamory.  Others claim that polyamory can be practiced in various different ways, and it won’t make you any less poly or more poly.  Some will go as far as to say that you can practice polyamory in any way you want and no one should judge you.  Understandably, people get upset.

Is there a right way to practice polyamory?

Yes…and no.  It depends on you.

 I know, it seems like a cop-out answer, but let me explain.  There is a right way to do polyamory.  It’s the way that fits you and the relationships you’re in.  Polyamory is not a one size fits all.  Everyone doing it the way the other person does it does not ensure that you will be as successful.

People are unique.  We are formed, shaped by the experiences in our lives.  Though we may be similar in many ways, we are also very different.  Does this mean there are no common elements to the relationship styles mentioned previously?  There are common elements that a successful poly relationship should always have.

Don’t have a power imbalance: If one person has has more power or control in the relationship, it creates a power imbalance.  Being equal in a relationship means having an egalitarian agreement or understanding that benefits everyone equally.  That will be different for everyone.  Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean tit for tat.  It may mean that she needs hugs  and you need a day to decompress alone.  You both get what you want and thereby keep it equal.  If you come into poly with a dysfunctional relationship, it will only create a dysfunctional poly relationship no matter what kind of poly relationship dynamic you may have.

Do not cheat.  Polyamory is all about honesty.  Everyone knows and accepts the No Cheating relationships.  If you lie to your partner about who you’re with or force your partner to “accept” polyamory, you are not practicing polyamory.

Communication is important.  This can’t be stressed enough.  In any relationship dynamic, communication helps to ensure everyone is on the same page as well as helping to work through issues that may arise.   

Remain honest.  This is part of communication.  You and your partners need to be honest about what you want, how you feel and how everything is going for you.  Once you start to color the truth or just lie to your partner about how you feel, you begin closing the doors to communication.  You don’t want to do that.  It’s also important to be honest with yourself.  Don’t lie to yourself.  Be honest with yourself.

Respect yourself and your partners.  Don’t be selfish and don’t diminish you or your partners’ feelings.  You and your partners’ feelings, desires and thoughts are important.  It’s not all about you.  It’s about everyone you are involved with.

EducateEducate yourself.  There are numerous websites and books that address many different aspects of polyamory.  Many major cities have poly groups.  Talk to poly people.  Educate yourself.

Meet others.  No man or woman is an island.  We need people, connections, friends.  You may live in a small community, but it’s still important to get connected. 

What about these relationship styles?  Which is better?  Worse?  I can claim that one is better than another.  I could say how I have known hundreds of people over the last 15 years who have been successful doing it one way or another.  I could point out the flaws in the relationship styles.

I could do that with every one of the previously mentioned relationship styles.  I do see some as better than others, but that may not be true for everyone.  That was hard for me to see when I first started polyamory.  I thought that if I did the same thing everyone did I would be guaranteed success.  That’s not true.

You have to look at your life, relationships, beliefs and values.  You have to figure what is best for you.  So do your partners.  This is not always easy, especially when you find yourself on different paths.  When entering into polyamory, we enter into a different world. 

Children in Polyamory Families Part 2

Children and polyamory- the thought bothers some people while others see no issue.  In the previous article, we started looking at how polyamory could impact children.   Let’s look at the research findings closer.Polyamory Children

The study broke down the data into two parts: those that practice non-monogamy within a family unit and those that practice outside the family unit. 

Outside the family unit was considered swingers and those who dated but did not try to incorporate them into the daily family unit.  Such families tended to keep their activities private.  They didn’t tell the kids what they did in private or outside the home.  As far as the children were concerned, their parents lived a “normal” life.  There was little or no impact on the kids.  Being polyamorous would not impact the children if they did not know their parents were poly.

Polyamorous people who practiced a non-private polyamorous lifestyle, at least in regards to their children knowing, could impact the kids.  These families either incorporated or attempted to incorporate partners into their daily lives.  This could either be through partners becoming life partners and living with the family or through dating other partners and bringing them into contact with the children.  “Some individuals in polyamorous relationships with children involve all or some of their partners in their children’s lives, either through co-parenting or with the partners taking on roles similar to those of aunts or uncles in American culture (i.e., non-obligatory bonds between the partner and the children).”  Basically, they married their partners and added new moms and dads to the family or they brought their boyfriends and girlfriends around.  In positive situations, boyfriends and girlfriends would bond with the children in the same way that an aunt or uncle would.  Pros and cons were listed.

Pros listed for children:

  • Children had more individual time with adults. 
  • Children spent less time in day care because of the flexibility of having multiple parental figures involved in their lives.
  • Diversity of interests available from adult figures that helped children foster a wider variety of hobbies and skills. 
  • Children were being raised in a sex-positive environment
  • The parenting situation allowed children to see their parents as real people, promoting honesty between children and parents
  • Children stated that they felt more “loved, safe, and secure”

Cons listed:

  • Children who bonded with their new parents or partners experience emotional trauma when the adults split and the additional partners leaves.   It is important to note, that they similar trauma occurs in monogamous families where infidelity occurs.
  • Difficulty with departing partners maintaining relationships with children
  •  Being aware of being in an “alternative” lifestyle than other children.  Another note is that children stated that though they knew they were in alternative lifestyle, they were not questioned or bothered by other adults (school officials, ect.)
  •  Possibility of being stigmatized.

BreakupAn interesting thing that came up: some adults may have issues with partners that they separated with (in under less than ideal situations) seeking to maintain relationships/friendships with their children.  The children on the other hand saw this as a plus, seeing their relationship with the departing partners as separate than the parent’s relationship with the departing partner.

Ultimately, the study showed that polyamory was not worse for the kids.  Monogamy could have positive AND negative impact on the children.  In the same way, polyamory could have positive AND negative impact on children as well.  Polyamory was not found to be inherently bad for kids and could have positive impact on them.

Polyamory is not inherently bad for the kids in your family.  It all depends on you and how you handle your relationships and family.  Always consider that when considering polyamory.

Children in Polyamory Families

Polyamory and Children

Recently we wrote about how there has been some research into polyamory.  We touched on how polyamory effects children.  I’d like to explore that aspect of the research more fully and how we’ve seen polyamory effect children and families.  Due to the extensiveness of this topic we will break it into several articles.

Before I go further, I want others to understand that I don’t write this flippantly. I write this as a polyamorous father and husband.  I have children that came into our family with one of my spice and children I fathered  with all of my spice. We have raised children from infancy into adulthood in a polyamorous family.  Whether by blood or by marriage, they are my children through and through.  As we raise the last of our children into adulthood, I can honestly speak from experience concerning the effects of dating, exes, adding new partners and raising children in a multi-partner household.  Our experiences may not be everyone’s, but it does give us a frame of reference in which to evaluate this topic.  Deborah Anapol, Ph.D wrote an excellent article titled “Polyamory and Children“.  It is worth a read.

The topic of children is obviously a sensitive one.  As adults, we make choices for our lives that not only affect us but can impact the lives of our children.  It is not only selfish but irresponsible of parents not to consider this when considering polyamory.  Any parent entering into any relationship, whether monogamous or poly, should always consider the impact on their children.  Some polyamory proponents would argue that there is no reason for anyone to worry about the children.  They will say polyamory is a healthy relationship alternative and no one needs to question how it will affect the children.  In a perfect world this would be true. The problem is not necessarily that polyamory is bad for children in a family but that a relationship/family dynamic is created that conflicts with a pro-monogamous society.  Whether we like it or not, there will be conflict from the world around us.  This monogamy only society will want to tell our children that their family is wrong and if they like or agree with their polyamory family, something is wrong with them.

Our choice to be polyamorous will affect our children, whether positive or negative.  What we choose to do will impact them.  Never take your children lightly in this matter.  Boyfriends, girlfriends, ex-husbands and wives and new husbands and wives will impact your children.  Teachers and parents of your kid’s friends can impact your children’s lives.  It can be positive or negative, but it can happen.

I believe that polyamory is just as acceptable a family dynamic as monogamy.  Like any successful family, it takes time, effort and work from everyone involved.


Research into Polyamory and Monogamy

Recently, I came upon a paper written for Personality and Social Psychology Review.  In short, it examined monogamous and non-monogamous relationships.  It can be found here:

A Critical Examination of Popular Assumptions About the Benefits and Outcomes of Monogamous Relationships

The writers made some interesting points.  One of the first things they did was dispel thePolyamory research myth that several animals in nature are monogamous.  Though some animals (like swans and prairie voles) may have life partners, it has been proven that they are not sexually exclusive to that partner.  Bottom line, they stay “married” to one partner but had sex and fathered children with numerous other partners.  Why is this important?  The writers questioned whether researchers who are part of a culture that esteemed monogamy were influenced in how they interpreted animal behavior.  A researcher, D. P. Schmitt, “performed a cross-cultural study (from “Argentina to Zimbabwe”) and concluded that women and men have not evolved solely for long-term mating.”  He discovered that most cultures were not completely monogamous. 

In America, the researchers found that 4%-5% of Americans practiced polyamory (which is referred to as consensual non-monogamy or CNM).  That is about 12.5 million polyamorous people in the US today.  That’s the entire metro population of Los Angeles.  If you thought you were the only one considering polyamory, you’re not.

The writers state that their research showed some preconceived notions about monogamy.  They found that people thought monogamy improved sexuality, prevents the spread of S.T.D.’s, improved the quality of the relationship (increase trust, reduce jealousy) and provided family benefits (especially concerning raising children).  Let’s look at each of these.

There isn’t enough research to compare sex in monogamy and polyamory.  What research does show is that people in monogamous relationships can have “lower levels of satisfying sexual relationships.”  Polyamory isn’t about sex but with more sexual partners, there is the possibility of more sex and varied types of sex.

Concerning STD’s.  Again, little research has been done but what they were able to see polyamory and safe sexwas that monogamy didn’t ensure a lower rate of STD’s in comparison to polyamory.  Condoms were considered a better defense against STD’s than monogamy.  They did note that with more sexual partners you did have a higher chance at STD’s but that did not guarantee it.  In short…use protection and be safe.

People were both equally satisfied in monogamous and polyamorous relationships.  Jealousy is where it got interesting.  Polyamorous people tended to have less jealousy.  Some people argue that monogamy would help ensure no jealousy but research doesn’t support this. 

Some people argue that polyamory is bad for children.  The researchers did not support this idea.  They state: “It appears that monogamy and consensual non-monogamy provide similar outcomes for children in these types of families.  Monogamy and polyamory both rated fairly equal regarding children.” 

The article is worth a read.  I’ve summarized some of the main ideas but you may want to take a look at the article.

Polyamory Myths


Poly Myth1.  Myth: Polyamory will always be easy when you find the right person or persons.

A poly relationship is like any relationship.  Regardless of who you are with, it will always take time, effort and commitment.  The more individuals in a polycule the more effort and commitment it will take to maintain it.  If you think maintaining a monogamous relationship takes a little effort, a poly one takes even more.

2.  Myth: Poly people are sex fiends or addicts, which means they are extremely promiscuous and unsafe.

Polyamorous means by definition many loves.  It does not mean much sex.  Now, if you love more than one person, does this mean you will have more sex?  Yes, it could mean this, but it is not always true.  Polyamorous people love more than one person.  Poly is about love, and sex is a fringe benefit of love.  If anything, poly people are love fiends or love addicts.  Robert Heinlein wrote it eloquently:  “The more you love, the more you can love–and the more intensely you love. Nor is there any limit on how many you can love. If a person had time enough, he could love all of that majority who are decent and just.”

Polyamory does not mean promiscuous or unsafe.  There are plenty of promiscuous and unsafe monogamous people, who’ve spread diseases to others.  In fact, many poly people today practice safe sex.  Being promiscuous or practicing unsafe sex isn’t a aspect of poly but an aspect of the individual, whether they are poly or monogamous.

3.  Myth: People become poly because they are damaged and/or have low self-esteem.

In order to be successful at poly, you must have a healthy self-esteem.  Most poly people see their own value and love themselves before they seek partners.  We’ve all heard the statement, “We must love ourselves before someone else can love us.” When we love our self first, we find inner fulfillment, and we also know what we need or want from others.  Many polyamorous and monogamous people have an extremely healthy sense of self-esteem.  Conversely, many polyamorous and monogamous people have a low sense of self esteem.  Contradiction?  Not at all when you realize that emotional or self esteem issues are not an aspect of polyamory or monogamy but, again, a reflection of the individual.  People’s motivation, whether good or bad, for entering any type of relationship, whether monogamous or poly, is completely dependent upon them.

4. Myth: We will improve or fix the problems in our relationship by adding another Poly Mythsperson to help enhance or fix it. 

Actually, adding another person to a currently damaged or hurting relationship will only complicate matters more.  Your relationship must be in a healthy state before you even begin thinking about adding another partner. This is not much different than monogamous couple with damaged relationships believing that having a baby will fix their relationship.  Adding other partners will confound issues by adding jealousy, envy, and other issues that come with this new person.  Additionally, the partner you are adding is a tool, a commodity, that you are using.  If you were honest with them, do you think they would be happy because you only wanted to be with them to fix problems in your relationship?  It is not fair to them or you.

5. Myth: Polyamory is easier than monogamy because in poly, more partners mean you have more help.

Although a benefit of polyamory is that you have more partners to help you and share all of the burdens, it also means you have more partners to create more burdens.  Some things can be easier.  Some things can be harder.

Partners not only bring in their love, but they bring their lives with them.  Familial issues, debt and personal or emotional issues also come with your new partners.  For people we love, their problems become your problems.  Plus a new relationship creates new things to deal or cope with all by itself.

6. Myth: Finding a poly partner will be easy for us.

The fact remains that many people who desire to be poly never find a poly partner.  Some people have an issue finding a monogamous mate and monogamy is actually considered the norm.  Many people do not wish to be poly because they realize that many of their family and friends will have issue with it and may reject them.  They also have issues with poly due to intense jealousy, religious belief, or their societal norm.

7. Myth: Since we’ve been poly and successful for many years, we can add another partner and be just as successful.

Being successful in your current poly relationship does NOT guarantee that you will remain successful in a new poly relationship when you add a new person to your current polycule. Your current polycule has a certain set dynamic, but once you add another partner, you change the current dynamic.  This new person brings in new ideas, beliefs, wants, and desires, so they will change the current dynamic.  It will take work and effort to make a new addition as successful as your current relationship.

8. Myth: We can always try poly out for a while and see if we like it. If not, we can always just end it.

The problem with trying poly out for a while and then ending it if we do not like it is thatPoly Myth people are involved.  No one should go into any relationship, whether mono or poly, acting so nonchalant towards other people as if they are disposable.  People are not disposable, and we must remember everyone has feelings.  It is one thing for all parties in a poly relationship to agree to a trial period, but it is quite different and wrong for two people to agree to try it on for size without the other party being in agreement.  People are not commodities to be used and discarded if you don’t like them.

9. Myth: If I let my partner have another partner, he/she will love me more.

Why would this even be true?  Does this partner love their partner based upon what they allow them to do or what they give them?  Love should be based upon the emotion you feel for that one individual person, and not based upon what that one individual allows or does not allow.  This thought process indicates a relationship that already has issues and people that think polyamory will fix it. 

10. Myth: Poly only works if everyone lives together.

This is definitely not true. Some poly families all live in the same house, while others live in separate houses.  Some prefer their own living space, while others need to be altogether.  We’ve known poly families who have lived together and ones who have not, and both forms have worked.  Some families start with living apart, and then, they decide they want to live together. Sometimes, they begin by living together, and later, decide they’d rather living in separate homes.  Some people find they are happier having their own space, while others prefer not feeling alone.

11. Myth: Poly only works if everyone has their own home.

This is definitely not true. Some poly families all live in the same house, while others live in separate houses.  Some prefer their own living space, while others need to be altogether.  We’ve known poly families who have lived together and ones who have not, and both forms have worked.  Some families start with living apart, and then, they decide they want to live together. Sometimes, they begin by living together, and later, decide they’d rather living in separate homes.  Some people find they are happier having their own space, while others prefer not feeling alone.

12. There is only one true form of poly.

This is nonsense.  A variety of forms exist: polyamory, polygamy, polygyny, polyandry, “V”, triad, quad, line, group marriage, open marriage, swingers, etc… 

13. Myth: Anyone can be poly.

No, not anyone can be poly, just like not everyone can be monogamous or married.  Many people are extremely jealous and cannot share their partner with another person.  Some people cannot give an equal amount time, energy, love and commitment to more than one relationship. 

14. Myth: Poly means no jealousy, or if you do feel jealous, it means you are not meant to Poly Myth Jealousybe poly.

Poly doesn’t mean NO jealousy. It means you learn to live with it. It could also mean you learn to communicate with your partners your jealous feelings, and hopefully, they help you discover why you are feeling jealous.  Once you learn why, hopefully, they can help you find ways to overcome this particular incident of jealousy. 

If you are poly and you experience jealousy, this does not mean you are not meant to be poly or that you are bad at poly, it just means you are normal; you are human.  Your jealousy could be an indicator that your partners are not meeting your needs, or you actually need some more time with one or all of them. See our article on Jealousy.

15. Myth: For a woman, adding another female partner means you’ll never feel lonely and you’ll always have companionship. 

This can be true, but it is not always the truth.  If both women work, you may have opposing work schedules.  She may not even like the same things as you, or the two of you may not get along.  When your other partner spends alone time with her, then you will be alone during that time.  If you are in a “V” relationship, you and the other non-romantic partner may only be friends.  Even if you are in a triad and the two of you do share an intimate relationship, there will still be times where you may feel lonely.   

16. Myth: If I let my partner have another partner, it will ensure he/she will stay with me.

This is not true: allowing your partner the liberty of having another partner provides no insurance that he/she will stay with you and never leave you for the other person.  Just like in monogamy, people get divorced, separated or leave one another for other people. Being poly does not make a person more or less ethical or moral.

Polyamory and Emotional Dissonance


emotional dissonanceI was reading an interesting article by Aaron Ben-Zeév, Ph.D, a professor of Philosophy at the University of Haifa.  In it, he states how “humans are capable of having sex and loving more than one person at the same time.” People are capable of being polyamorous in theory but a question arises: how to deal with polyamory and emotional dissonance?

What is emotional dissonance?  It’s when something we feel conflicts with what we believe about our self or when we lie about our emotions.  An example:  We believe that it is wrong to love two people, but we fall in love with two people at the same time.  We “feel” conflicted.  We “know” it’s right to only love one person,  but it doesn’t change the fact we fell in love with two people, which” feels wrong”.  The conflicting emotions are emotional dissonance.

Ben-Zeév states that one way to cope with such dissonance is to change the way we think.  Change the way we think, we can change the way we feel.  Changing the way we feel can get rid of the emotional dissonance.

How do people feel about polyamory?

Honestly, in most modern societies, polyamory is frowned upon.  It is considered at thehappysad least immoral.  We are taught that it is wrong to love multiple people, and in some cases, we are ostracized when we do.  When we love two people, we can be called cheaters or adulterers and that hurts a lot.

But what if we change the way we think about things?  What if we could look at relationships in a new way?

What if we believed it is okay to love more than two people?

Remember, polyamory is not cheating or adultery.  It is a multiple partner relationship that has the full knowledge and consent of everyone involved.  It’s people loving people and being happy that their partner is in a loving relationship with another person.  It is feeling secure in the knowledge that your partner doesn’t love you less and that both of you can love others without loving each other less. If you can wrap your mind around that, you are starting on a whole new way of thinking about love and relationships.

This is not an easy endeavor.  When society can look down on you, when your friends and family may shun you or when you feel like what you are feeling is wrong…it is not easy.  But if you do, it’s a different life.  Infinite LoveYou don’t have to live with emotional dissonance.

Better? Worse? No…just different.  Being single…being married…it all depends on you.  It doesn’t have to be better or worse…it just needs to make you happy and not harm others.

Be happy.

Ben-Zeév Article At Psychology Today

Is Poly Accepted Today-Not Really


        People may hate you for being different and not living by society’s standards but Polyamorydeep down, they wish they had the courage to do the same (Rawforbeauty.com).”  Let’s be real: polyamory is not considered a social norm today.  People see poly people as different, abnormal, and even sex fiends.  Even though it may be an age old practice to be polygamous or even in some societies polyandrous and even though the United States experienced the free love period of the 1960’s and 70’s, polyamory is not considered a normal practice. In fact, many consider poly to be a taboo.  According to mainstream America, monogamy is the norm.

            Parents teach their daughters to look for the man who loves them and only them, and we teach our boys to look for the same. Sadly, we have taught our sons not to be involved with “sluts”, “whores” or “loose women”, and our definition of these women are those who sleep around sexually with more than one person.  On the other hand, it’s more acceptable in our society for males to have more than one sexual partner before marriage, but we expect them to become monogamous when considering marriage and during marriage. 

            How does society react to taboo subjects?  We’ve seen this in the past with interracial dating/marriage and currently in the States with homosexual relationships/marriage.  Taboos cause societal uproars.  Of course with television shows like, “Big Love”, “Sisterwives” and “Polyamory: Married & Dating,” polyamory gets more positive exposure helping to move it away from a societal taboo, but we are far from there yet.

            How will your friends, family, boss, and or church react to you being poly?  polyamoryWell, that just really depends on each individual.  Poly people have lost their jobs, friends and family for being poly: their churches have excommunicated them as well.  Poly people have lost custody of their children just because they were poly and not because they did anything abusive or neglectful to their children. 

            You may think, “Oh, no, my friends or family wouldn’t reject me!”, “My church wouldn’t exclude me!”, or “my boss wouldn’t fire me!”  They can, and many do. Do not allow yourself to think even for a moment that your family, friends, church or community wouldn’t reject you.  You need to prepare yourself because others could reject you.  You have a lot to lose if you lose your career or job over poly. If you believe this is illegal work a place of employment to fire you, so it cannot happen.  You are sadly mistaken because people have been fired for being poly.  How would you feel if your parents, siblings or grandparents stopped talking to you, or even if they turned you into the authorities for your life style choice? 

            You must ask yourself is a poly lifestyle worth the possible loss of your job, family, and friends?  Is being poly worth societal rejection?  If you decide it is worth it for you, then you must proceed with caution.  In the beginning, you should only tell people who you know will except you without a shadow of doubt. Personally, I never speak about my poly relationship at work, and I suggest the same for you.  Many places of employment in the States have morality clauses by which they use to fire people who step outside of their morality code, and this code is usually not defined leaving it up to the people in charge to decide randomly. 

            polyamory-203x152.jpgAfter you have told a few people who you know will support you, you can later move to informing others if you so choose.  However, remember, you do not have to tell anyone.  This is your private life, so it is not privy to others.  Other people can hurt you with this information.  We’ve all seen the statements: “I learned pretty quickly that you need to be pretty careful who you trust. If some discuss others with you, they will certainly discuss you with others.” and “Be careful who you share your weakness with. Some people can’t wait to for the opportunity to use them against you.”  These are true.  People will use poly against you.  Be careful who you trust your private life with.

            Henry Miller  once said, “Whenever a taboo is broken, something good happens, something vitalizing. Taboos after all are only hangovers, the product of diseased minds, you might say, of fearsome people who hadn’t the courage to live and who under the guise of morality and religion have imposed these things upon us.” People will try to impose their belief, religion and morality on you.  They will try to force you to live within their standards. Your poly lifestyle choice goes against what many believe to be right and true.  Look at the negative reactions to homosexual marriage. 

            Do not be naive in thinking that your family, your friends, your church, your boss or your community will be different.  Plan ahead.  Have a plan of action.  Know that any person can and will reject you for your poly choice.  Only tell those you know you can absolutely trust.  Never tell your place of employment unless losing your job is an acceptable choice for you.  If you are one of those people who feels the need to tell everyone, then you need to know that you could face a lot of loss.

This doesn’t have to be you.  We can hope that it will be different, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared. Like any relationship, polyamory has pro’s and con’s.   It’s important to know the good…and the bad about polyamory.  Be prepared.

Polyamory and Safe Sex


polyamory and safe sex

Whether you are monogamous or polyamorous, practicing safe sex is important.  When a person is monogamous, they usually have one partner at a time.  We tend to trust that our partners will not have sex with others outside the relationship.   This does make it easier when wanting to make sure that we don’t get an STD.  Polyamory is slightly different.

In polyamory, there are multiple partners.  If you are in a closed relationship, then you may have the same assumptions that a monogamous person has.  You will believe that they will not give you an STD and you believe they don’t have one when they came together with you.  Short of ignorance, cheating or someone lying, this is a safe assumption.

Those who choose to have an open polyamorous relationship must be more diligent about their safety.  When you have an open marriage or relationship, you can introduce multiple partners.  Again, we like to assume that all is well, but the reality is that not everyone may be as healthy as you.  Against all decency and common sense, some people won’t tell their partners that they have an STD.  Some are victims themselves, ignorant they have been infected with anything and blindly passing it on.

Another aspect of safe sex is birth control.  Unless you and your partner(s) want children together, it is prudent to practice safe sex.   There are a lot of myths about pregnancy.  The long and short of it is that if you have sex, you run the risk of getting pregnant or getting your partner pregnant.   No method of contraceptive is 100% fool proof.

For some, polyamory allows them to have multiple sexual  relationships, some casual, some serious.  Don’t throw common sense out the window.  Choose your partners carefully.  You are not only risking your own health or future but that of your partners.  They may not have sex with your boyfriend or girlfriend, but they will have sex with you.  If you get and STD, they will probably get one as well.   If a child is conceived, it can complicate things with your other partners.

If the unthinkable happens and you do become infected, don’t let pride or shame keep you from doing the right thing.  See a doctor and get treated as soon possible.  Let any partners who may have been infected know so that they can get tested and treated if necessary.  This is the right thing to do.think safe

Remember, polyamory isn’t about sex.  It’s about being in multiple loving relationships.  But a by-product of any romantic relationship can include sex.  The more people you are romantically involved with, the more likely it is you will have multiple sex partners.  Be smart and be safe.



Compersion is a state of empathetic happiness and joy experienced when an individual’s current or former romantic partner experiences happiness and joy through an outside source, including, but not limited to, another romantic interest. In romantic relationships, jealousy refers to the negative thoughts and feelings of insecurity, fear, and/or anxiety over an anticipated loss of a partner or of that partner’s attention.

Wikipedia – Compersion

compersionCompersion is the opposite of jealousy. With compersion, a polyamorous person finds happiness and joy when their poly partners have happiness with others. Can jealousy still exit? Yes, but not for the same reason. If one is secure in their relationship, then the fear of loss shouldn’t. You can know that no matter how many people your partner loves, you will not have to fear loss.  How do we reach compersion?

One thing we must learn to do is to change the way we think.  As stated in Polyamory and Emotional Dissonance, we may have a certain perception about relationships.  This will affect the way we think and feel.  If we can change what we believe, we can change what we think.  This in turn will change what we feel.  Living with thoughts that polyamory is bad or that believing in the insecurities we may bring with us will affect how we feel about our partners and their metamours or paramours.  We need to be able to honestly evaluate why we feel the way we do.  Why do we feel jealousy instead of compersion?  Then and determine whether we are justified in those feelings.  If those are justified feelings, then we need to take steps to rectify the situation that caused them.  Emotions that are not justified but stem from simple fear or our own internal insecurities need to be dealt with honestly by the individual.  This is neither easy or quick.  It can take time to reach a point where we move past those unhealthy feelings and into a more positive mindset.

A recent article in Scientific America discussed how human bonding causes the release of the hormone, oxytocin, into the blood stream. Oxytocin is part of intimate, loving relationships where physical touch is involved.  Both men and women release oxytocin, though women in larger amounts.  Some people want to dismiss this. Yet numerous studies have shown that bonding between individuals can be facilitated by oxytocin.

In any relationships, bonding amongst all the partners will help diminish jealousy.  It could even help make it disappear. Many people believe that jealousy is a must in polyamory.  Though jealousy can arise for different reasons, it doesn’t have to be the norm in a polyamory relationship.

Studies from the University of California reveal interesting information. When a female has sex, she releases twice the amount of oxytocin into her blood then a man. This is why females may bond quicker in intimate relationship then males do. Oxytocin floods the woman’s blood stream causing her to quickly bond with other she shares intimacy with.

According to the same study and others, the more intimate a woman or a female grows with another individual the more oxytocin released. Frequent oxytocin release between the same people strengthens the relationship. Touch is vital. Females usually hug and kiss more than the average man. Some females hold hands with one another even as just friends.  It’s interesting to note that oxcytocin creates a positive feedback loop.  Psychology professor Ruth Feldman at Bar-Ilan University in Israel states,”Oxytocin can elicit loving behaviors, but giving and receiving these behaviors also promotes the release of oxytocin and leads to more of these behaviors.” (Scientific American)

These studies are important to polyamorous relationships.  Bonding among the partners can helpCompersion diminish jealousy . If female metamours in a relationship become intimate with each other, they will release oxytocin which will help them to bond to one another. This can include cuddling, hugging, kissing, caressing, holding hands, and touching one another.  More intimacy means more bonding.  If the partners stay intimate with one another every day, the bond grows. It could reach a point where jealousy could completely disappear.  A person who is in love with or bonded to another can start having a poly mindset. What does this poly mindset mean?  They are looking out for their partners and their partners are looking out for them. You can take joy in the fact that your partners love each other.  It won’t take away from you.  This is compersion.

Oxytocin allows a person to love more than one.  A person can remain bonded to multiple partners.  They just needs to maintain affection and intimacy with them.  They can take joy without fearing loss.  Compersion can be a part of their life.

Partners should allow themselves to fully love each other.  Create intimate bonds through physical touch daily. Examples of physical touch: kissing, caressing, hugging, holding, cuddling, massage even sexual intimacy. This intimacy releases the oxytocin through the body.  The oxytocin helps create a strong love bond with your partners. There is one exception. Where abuse or force is present, little or no oxytocin will be released.  Oxytocin is not a magic potion. It will not make everyone fall in love and live without jealousy.  What it can do is help willing partners bond and connect more. “If people are not connected at all, then oxytocin is not going to force that connection,” Adam Guastella, a clinical psychologist at University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Research Institute, says.

Love your partners.  Let your partners love each other and you.  Take joy in their love.  Diminish your fears or insecurities and you can begin to rid yourself of fear and jealousy.  Allow yourself to feel compersion and you can find more happiness.

“Be Mine Forever: Oxytocin May Help Build Long-Lasting Love” Scientific America Article by Luciana Gravotta