Jump to content
DDlg Forum & Community Spring is Here !

Polyamory Basics by Belle!

Guest QueenJellybean

Recommended Posts

Guest QueenJellybean

The word polyamory comes from the Greek word meaning “many” and the Latin word meaning “love.” Polyamory literally translates to many loves, and just like we have many forms of love in our lives, we have many forms of love in our romantic interactions as well. Polyamory is a huge blanket term that can apply to many different situations and set-up, but the most important thing to remember is that there is no guidebook or how-to guide on having multiple relationships. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Polyamory looks and feels differently to everyone who practices it.


The most important things to remember are to do what works for you, and make sure that everyone involved is doing what works for them, and is aware of what’s going on. There are no secrets in polyamory. Sure, there are things that stay between specific people, but in a large group of many partners, you won’t be very successful hiding big things. So don’t bother trying. The best way to make polyamory work is complete transparency and honest communication. I always tell the people I mentor in polyamory that you have to communicate, especially when you don’t want to. It’s the times when we are most uncomfortable about speaking up that we must speak up the most.


Polyamory isn’t about being strong enough to not be jealous, because jealousy exists. It happens. It always will, it’s a natural human emotion. Polyamory is about being willing to sit with that jealousy and figure out the root instead of dismissing it as an emotion that means something is wrong. Polyamory doesn’t take strong people, it takes people who are willing to do things that they are afraid of or make them uncomfortable, and people who are willing to consider how their choices and decisions affect the whole of everyone involved and not just themselves.


When you begin a poly relationship, you aren’t dating one person. You’re dating your partner, and your partner’s partners, and their best friends, and anyone they’re playing with, or sleeping with. You are being initiated into a family of people who all love and care about the same person you do. Even if right now, it’s only you and this person, that’s a really good way to look at entering into a poly relationship.


A lot of commonly asked questions about poly include something along the lines of “But how do you not get jealous? I would get so jealous.” The answer is simple; we do still get jealous. Jealousy happens. And complications arise. And sometimes our partners don’t like our other partners, sometimes we’re being taken advantage of and only someone else who loves us can see it, sometimes feelings get hurt. I always say to new people entering into polyamory that feel guilty or selfish for making this choice that it’s very rare to wake up one morning, completely unattached, single, and unable to hurt anyone and say “You know what? I think I’m going to love multiple people for the rest of my life.” It would be nice if it happened that way, but life isn’t always fair. The road to polyamory is often messy, paved with broken hearts, and a learning experience as you go.


You will make mistakes, so be gentle with yourself. You will fall down, screw up, so be willing to forgive and apologize. You will hurt people. Don’t expect that you won’t. There will be people who will never understand why you did what you did, and that’s okay. We are human, and we make mistakes. Grow and learn from them, and let them forge the path ahead to a better horizon. I have learned from all of my past failings, and even though it probably doesn’t comfort those I hurt, they taught me many lessons on how to behave and act better in the future.


I am more than open to receiving PMs about polyamory, so please feel free to do so! I like talking about it, and I’ve mentored a lot of people and couples on the subject. In fact, I’m talking to a couple of members about this now!


Some suggested reading for those interested in Polyamory would be The Ethical Slut and More than Two. I also suggest checking out morethantwo.com which works along with the book to provide answers, and helpful suggestions for people who are begining in polyamory and have a very monogamous mindset.


Common Terms for Polyamory:


Polycule/Poly Family: A unit of people all involved in some way with one another. The framework of a polyamorous relationship; all relationships in one word.


Triad: Three people all involved in some form of a relationship with each of the other two people involved, making a triangle.


House: This doesn’t always have to mean an actual house of people living together, but it could! This is another term for a family, or polycule.


Unicorn/Third: This is a concept that is more like slang used in the BDSM community, but also relates to polyamory. A unicorn is usually a bisexual female who is willing to be a third in a pre-existing open relationship between a man and a woman. A unicorn can also have a differing gender or sexuality, but this is the most commonly used definition.


Dyad: A relationship involving exactly two people.


Compersion: Experiencing intense joy watching your partner experience joy, usually in regards to loving someone other than yourself, or in regards to a relationship that does not directly involve you. Compersion is one of the greatest parts of polyamory; watching someone you love experience love the way you think they deserve.


Metamour: This term relates to a person who is seeing the same partner that you are, but you are not romantically involved with. My fiance’s partners, apart from our girlfriend, are my metamours because I’m not in a relationship with any of them.


Ambigusweetie: (This is one of my favorites) This term relates to a person who you have not defined a relationship with. They aren’t a partner, they aren’t just a friend, they aren’t a metamour. They are someone you care about, and are still working things out with.


Bipoly: Someone who is bisexual and polyamorous.


Comet: (Another one I love a lot.) This is an occasional lover who passes through your life regularly, without expectation of being defined or put a label on.


New Relationship Energy (NRE): This refers to the excitement, energy, and general feeling that comes from embarking upon a new relationship. Also often referred to as the “honeymoon stage”, a lot of couples experience this almost obsessive attraction to each other during the first few weeks or months of courtship. NRE can be hard on other, pre-existing partners because their partner may spend a lot of time talking to, about, or being with the subject of their NRE, but having the term in place actually helps remind and alleviate that feeling.


Old Relationship Energy (ORE): Less talked about, but just as good as NRE, ORE refers to the feeling of safety, stability, and comfort that comes from a well-established, long-standing relationship.


Panamory: This refers to anyone who identifies as pansexual and polyamorous.


Polysaturated: I’m not putting this as a type of polyamory, because it’s mostly a joke term. Essentially, someone is polysaturated when they are no longer accepting new partners or relationships because of time constraints and having too many current partners.


Swolly: Someone who is both polyamorous, and a swinger sexually (someone who has multiple sexual relationships at once, and engages in recreational sex with multiple partners consensually.)


Wibble: The opposite of compersion, a momentary feeling of insecurity, fear, or jealousy over a partner paying more attention to another, newer partner. (This is a primarily UK term, and instead of compersion, frubble is used!)


Types of Polyamory:


Hierarchical Polyamory: This form of polyamory involves the use of the terms primary and secondary in regards to partners. A primary partner is someone who, for financial, emotional, or other reasons, has the highest degree of involvement or entanglement in your relationship. Usually, this term is used in order to make a new couple feel comfortable as they venture out into polyamory, or because two people share a child, a home, a bank account, are married, ect. Not all married/having children/sharing a home couples use these terms, but it does help when introducing new partners to the dynamic for them to understand. Every other partner would then be a secondary partner to the primary. There can also be more than one primary partner in your relationship.


Closed Polyamory: This type of polyamory refers to a relationship that is no longer accepting new partners, in which the people practicing cannot have romantic or sexual relationships outside of the poly circle. This is often modified between partners, and closed polyamory means many different things now, but is usually used to indicate that the person is not seeking a new partner.


Cluster Marriage: A polyamorous relationship where several married couples live together and usually exchange partners in a sexual or romantic sense.


One Penis Policy/One Vagina Policy: A type of polyamory where a man can have sex with as many women as he wants, but his partners may only have sex with him. Vice versa, a woman can have sex with as many men as she wants, but her partners can only have sex with her.


Open Network: This is a form of polyamory where all partners are open to new relationships and connections, and the polycule is willing to accept new partners into the fold.


Open Relationship: A relationship where the members are not sexually monogamous, or a relationship that permits sexual interactions outside of the polycule. This term is often confused or used interchangeably with polyamory, however it is not always the case. You can be polyamorous and not be in an open relationship, and you can be in an open relationship, and not be polyamorous. The two are not mutually exclusive.


Puppy-Pile Poly: A kind of fun term for a polyamorous relationship where everyone involved in engaged in some form of a sexual/romantic relationship with everyone else, resulting in a ‘puppy-pile’. These relationships usually involve a lot of cuddle and bed sharing!


Relationship Anarchy: This type of polyamory refers to people who do not see their relationships as working with each other, but as separate entities in and of themselves, and therefore are free to have as many or as little relationships as they want. This can be problematic, especially for beginners, and must be consensually agreed upon by all people involved in order to work effectively.

Solo Poly: This type of polyamory is for people who do not want to be engaged in any polyamorous couples, or families and would rather operate on their own as a free agent.

  • Like 17
Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Create New...