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Polyamory has come to be an umbrella term for various forms of non-monogamous, multi-partner relationships, or non-exclusive sexual or romantic relationships. Wesp created the Usenet newsgroup alt. Although sources define polyamory as a sexual or romantic relationship involving multiple people, with the consent of all the people involved,    the North American version of the OED declares it a philosophy or state, and some believe that it should be classified an orientation or identity like sexual orientation or gender identity.
There is a cultural divide between the polyamorous and swinger communities, the former emphasizing the emotional and egalitarian aspects of plural relationships and the latter emphasizing sexual non-monogamy and emotional monogamy.
As well, swingers occasionally develop deep emotional attachments with their sexual friends. Swingers and polyamorous people alike might engage in secret infidelities, though this is no more acceptable than in monogamy.
Separate from polyamory as a philosophical basis for relationship, are the practical ways in which people who live polyamorously arrange their lives and handle certain issues, as compared to those of a generally more socially acceptable monogamous arrangement.
Benefits of a polyamorous relationship might include: In , a Tennessee court granted guardianship of a child to her grandmother and step-grandfather after the child's mother April Divilbiss and partners outed themselves as polyamorous on MTV. After contesting the decision for two years, Divilbiss eventually agreed to relinquish her daughter, acknowledging that she was unable to adequately care for her child and that this, rather than her polyamory, had been the grandparents' real motivation in seeking custody.
Compersion or, in Britain, frubble   is an empathetic state of happiness and joy experienced when another individual experiences happiness and joy, and by members of the polyamory community [ when defined as? It is used [ according to whom? The concept of compersion within the polyamorous community was originally coined by the Kerista Commune in San Francisco , who also coined polyfidelity to describe their relational ideal. Easton and Liszt wrote that jealousy will inherently occur in open romantic relationships.
Bertrand Russell published Marriage and Morals in , questioning contemporary notions of morality regarding monogamy in sex and marriage. A article in The Guardian  proposed six primary reasons for choosing polyamory:. The Oneida Community in the s in New York a Christian religious commune believed strongly in a system of free love known as complex marriage ,  where any member was free to have sex with any other who consented.
Some people consider themselves Christian and polyamorous, but mainstream Christianity does not accept polyamory. On August 29, , the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood released a manifesto on human sexuality known as the "Nashville Statement".
The statement was signed by evangelical leaders, and includes 14 points of belief. Some Jews are polyamorous, but mainstream Judaism does not accept polyamory; however, Sharon Kleinbaum , the senior rabbi at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in New York, has said that polyamory is a choice that does not preclude a Jewishly observant and socially conscious life.
LaVeyan Satanism is critical of Abrahamic sexual mores, considering them narrow, restrictive and hypocritical. Satanists are pluralists, accepting polyamorists, bisexuals, lesbians, gays, BDSM, transgender people, and asexuals. Sex is viewed as an indulgence, but one that should only be freely entered into with consent. The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth only give two instructions regarding sex: This has always been consistent part of CoS policy since its inception in , as Peter H.
Gillmore wrote in an essay supporting same-sex marriage:. Finally, since certain people try to suggest that our attitude on sexuality is "anything goes" despite our stated base principle of "responsibility to the responsible", we must reiterate another fundamental dictate: The Church of Satan's philosophy strictly forbids sexual activity with children as well as with non-human animals.
Unitarian Universalists for Polyamory Awareness , founded in , has engaged in ongoing education and advocacy for greater understanding and acceptance of polyamory within the Unitarian Universalist Association.
Bigamy is the act of marrying one person while already being married to another, and is legally prohibited in most countries in which monogamy is the cultural norm. Some bigamy statutes are broad enough to potentially encompass polyamorous relationships involving cohabitation , even if none of the participants claim marriage to more than one partner.
In most countries, it is legal for three or more people to form and share a sexual relationship subject sometimes to laws against homosexuality or adultery if two of the three are married.
With only minor exceptions no developed countries permit marriage among more than two people, nor do the majority of countries give legal protection e. Individuals involved in polyamorous relationships are generally considered by the law to be no different from people who live together, or "date", under other circumstances.
In John Alejandro Rodriguez, Victor Hugo Prada, and Manuel Jose Bermudez become Colombia's first polyamorous family to have a legally recognized relationship,  though not a marriage: In many jurisdictions where same-sex couples can access civil unions or registered partnerships , these are often intended as parallel institutions to that of heterosexual monogamous marriage. Accordingly, they include parallel entitlements, obligations, and limitations.
Both are banned under Sections — of the Crimes Act In jurisdictions where same-sex marriage proper exists, bigamous same-sex marriages fall under the same set of legal prohibitions as bigamous heterosexual marriages. As yet, there is no case law applicable to these issues.
Having multiple non-marital partners, even if married to one, is legal in most U. In jurisdictions where civil unions or registered partnerships are recognized, the same principle applies to divorce in those contexts. There are exceptions to this: Some states were prompted to review their laws criminalizing consensual sexual activity in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling in Lawrence v.
At present, the extension to multiple-partner relationships of laws that use a criterion similar to that adopted in the United Kingdom , i. That is, it is not known whether these laws could treat some trios or larger groups as common-law marriages. If marriage is intended, some countries provide for both a religious marriage and a civil ceremony sometimes combined. These recognize and formalize the relationship.
Few countries outside of Africa or Asia give legal recognition to marriages with three or more partners. While a recent case in the Netherlands was commonly read as demonstrating that Dutch law permitted multiple-partner civil unions ,  the relationship in question was a samenlevingscontract , or "cohabitation contract", and not a registered partnership or marriage. Such endeavors, however, may be moot. The intent is to make monogamous marriage the only legal form, world-wide, with progress monitored by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.
Polygamy is seen as contrary to CEDAW Article 16, which bars "discrimination against women in all matters relating to marriage and family relations. During a PinkNews question-and-answer session in May , Redfern Jon Barrett questioned Natalie Bennett , leader of the Green Party of England and Wales , about her party's stance towards polyamorous marriage rights. Bennett responded by saying that her party is "open" to discussion on the idea of civil partnership or marriages between three people.
Research into polyamory has been limited. While openly polyamorous relationships are relatively rare Rubin, , there are indications that private polyamorous arrangements within relationships are actually quite common. A study by Moors et al. The first sample was of exclusively monogamous individuals who were not told the nature of what was being studied, and found that those with greater discomfort with emotional closeness tended to view CNM more positively as well as being more willing to engage in it but had not actually engaged in it.
The authors theorized this was "because these relationships promote distance from their partners and support their accepting attitudes toward uncommitted and casual sex".
Individuals with high attachment anxiety tended to view CNM negatively, but no correlation was found regarding willingness to engage in it. The second sample was a targeted recruitment of individuals currently engaged in CNM relationships. This sample showed low levels of attachment avoidance, and no correlation related to attachment anxiety.
The lack of correlation with anxiety in either sample with regards to willingness or actual engagement suggested it may have little impact on the matter. The large disparity in attachment avoidance between those willing to engage in CNM and those that actually engage in it could not be fully explained within the context of the study, but the authors offer several hypotheses.
In , a paper titled Working with polyamorous clients in the clinical setting Davidson  addressed the following areas of inquiry:. Its conclusions were that "Sweeping changes are occurring in the sexual and relational landscape" including "dissatisfaction with limitations of serial monogamy, i.
The paper also states that the configurations a therapist would be "most likely to see in practice" are individuals involved in primary-plus arrangements, monogamous couples wishing to explore non-monogamy for the first time, and "poly singles". Michael Shernoff cites two studies in his report on same-sex couples considering nonmonogamy.
Morin stated that a couple has a very good chance of adjusting to nonexclusivity if at least some of the following conditions exist: Green and Mitchell stated that direct discussion of the following issues can provide the basis for honest and important conversations: According to Shernoff,  if the matter is discussed with a third party, such as a therapist, the task of the therapist is to "engage couples in conversations that let them decide for themselves whether sexual exclusivity or nonexclusivity is functional or dysfunctional for the relationship.
Polyamory, along with other forms of consensual non-monogamy, is not without drawbacks. Morin and Fleckenstein noted that certain conditions are favorable to good experiences with polyamory, but that these differ from the general population. Unequal power dynamics, such as financial dependence, can also inappropriately influence a person to agree to a polyamorous relationship against their true desires.
Even in more equal power dynamic relationships, the reluctant partner may feel coerced into a proposed non-monogamous arrangement due to the implication that if they refuse, the proposer will pursue other partners anyway, will break off the relationship, or that the one refusing will be accused of intolerance. Scientific studies on polyamory have also not been without bias and methodological issues. First, a significant number of studies rely on small samples that are recruited from referrals, snowball sampling , and websites devoted to polyamory.
Individuals recruited this way tend to be relative homogeneous in terms of values, beliefs and demographics, which limits the generalizability of the findings. A second problem is that most of the studies rely entirely on self-report measures. This is problematic because prior research has shown that self-reports of well-being and relationship satisfaction over time are flawed, and are often based on beliefs rather than actual experiences. Polyamorous relationships also can have practical pitfalls.
A number of symbols have been created to represent polyamory. These include a parrot a pun, as "Polly" is a common name for domesticated parrots    and the infinity heart. The "infinity heart" symbol has appeared on pins, T-shirts, bumper stickers and other media. The polyamory pride flag, designed by Jim Evans in , has stripes of blue representing openness and honesty among all partners , red representing love and passion , and black representing solidarity with those who must hide their polyamorous relationships from the outside world.
In the center of the flag is a gold Greek lowercase letter 'pi', as the first letter of 'polyamory'. Gold represents "the value that we place on the emotional attachment to others From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the Breaking Benjamin song, see Polyamorous song. For the use and analysis of a triad relationship in sociology, see Triad sociology. For the reality TV show, see Polyamory: This article has multiple issues.
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Courtesy of the partners. Polyamory—the practice of having more than one intimate relationship at a time—is gaining traction. And when the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family at the University of Calgary recently conducted a polyamory survey to gain insights into the community, it discovered that attitudes towards polyamory in Canada are changing, too.
Furthermore, 75 percent of polyamorous respondents were between the ages of 25 and 44—hello millennials! The majority of those surveyed also said that in their view, the number of people who identify as polyamorous is increasing, as is the number of people openly involved in polyamorous relationships. Polyamory is very different than polygamy, which is the practice of having more than one spouse at the same time, typically a wife, and is usually rooted in religious beliefs.
Different still, is an open relationship , which is one that is not sexually monogamous, but is often more about the freedom to have different casual, sexual partners outside a relationship. Polyamorous relationships can take different forms. People can also have multiple partners that are not involved with each other, which is the case for Alaina Partridge.
Partridge, a year-old queer mother from Winnipeg, is romantically or sexually involved with several partners who are not in relationships with each other; she is the common thread. On top of these relationships, she also has two ongoing friends-with-benefits relationships. None of her partners are involved with each other, but some have other partners of their own. With several relationships at once, Partridge says being open and honest with her partners is vital.
But this is exactly what people are expecting of me when they ask why I feel the need to be so "open" about my "private business. Not all polyamorous people have multiple equally committed relationships, and many do designate a more central typically live-in relationship as "primary. Many share homes in configurations like ours, or as committed triads or quads or complex networks of five or more.
Many have deep and lasting relationships with no cohabitation at all. To project traditional conceptions of love and commitment onto these relationships, to view them only as a slight variation on monogamy, is to deny all of the many varied ways that polyamorous people form relationships and families. If you have polyamorous friends, relatives, or acquaintances, please don't make assumptions about their lives based on what you think all non-monogamous configurations look like.
Let them tell you how they define their relationships. And if they identify multiple people as their partners, don't try to read into who is more important than whom, imagining hierarchies even if you're told there are none. Though it might not fit with how you conceptualize love, offer polyamorous relationships the same validation that you would offer any other.
And remember what a common human thing it is to want to be able to tell the world -- and not be told by the world -- whom we love. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. Go to mobile site. A Guide to Infinite Sexual Possibilities. The Continuum Publishing Company. Archived from the original on March 13, Retrieved February 17, The Inquisition of Bertrand Russell".
Archived from the original on October 4, John Humphrey Noyes and the Oneida Perfectionists. University of North Carolina Press, pp. Free Love in America: Communal Love at Oneida: The Edwin Mellen Press, p. Retrieved August 25, Retrieved August 30, Retrieved November 21, Polyamorous Jews share love, seek acceptance Jewish Telegraphic Agency". Polyamorous Jews share love, seek acceptance". My People's Prayer Book: The Sh'ma and its blessings.
Rule II, Section C Archived from the original on May 18, Archived from the original on March 19, Retrieved March 13, Retrieved 27 June Retrieved 20 June Why polyamorous marriages are the next step to equality". Avoidance predicts willingness to engage but not actual engagement in consensual non-monogamy".
Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. What psychotherapists should know about polyamory PDF.
National Coalition for Sexual Freedom. Explicit use of et al. Sexual and Relationship Therapy. Archives of Sexual Behavior.
The final reason given by those in the 'Willing' group was that their engagement in CNM would be a sacrifice for their partner or for their relationship. This group of participants indicated that despite their own lack of desire to engage in CNM, they would be willing to try CNM for their partner or their relationship.
The Journal of Sex Research. Journal of Applied Philosophy. Retrieved October 9, Parrot graphic by Ray Dillinger, placed in the public domain for use as a poly mascot.
Today America has more than poly email lists and support groups. Retrieved 26 October When Three Isn't a Crowd". Retrieved November 20, Archived from the original on November 10, Retrieved December 20, Find more about Polyamory at Wikipedia's sister projects. Links to related articles.
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Until six months ago, year-old Maryëva Pelletier didn't look very favourably on polyamorous relationships. “I had a false impression that. The state of having multiple sexually or romantically committed relationships at the same time, That is called non-monogamy, and to say it is polyamory is a lie. Polyamory adds a significant layer of complexity atop the already complex job of managing a romantic relationship. Building good poly.