Am I polyamorous?
So many ways to interpret the question. Some people want the word to mean anything and everything. Bit frustrating. I got this all the time, as a queer person, when it came to defining bisexuality. Meeting women who said they were bi, but meant, “I like to make out with women in front of my boyfriend.” Um, okay. I guess that’s a definition. Not quite what I had in mind.
You have no idea the relief that swept over me when “heteroflexibility” became a thing.
And what is polyamory? “Poly” can refer to quite a lot. Polyfuckery. Polyromantic. Then there’s polyamory.
Do you love other people besides yourself?
Awesome, you’re not a sociopath. But plenty of people love other people. Still, you’ve checked off the “amory” bit.
Do you love many?
That’s the “poly” bit. But monogamous love many, too. They simply aren’t interested in a romantic relationship with more than one.
Do you want to spend a lifetime with them?
That’s a start, but lots of non-polyamorous persons want a lifetime to connection to many people. I have mono and non mono friends who have decades long friendships. None of them being polyamorous.
Do you want physical and emotional intimacy with many?
That likely (but not definitively!) means you’re not monogamous, certainly not monoamorous. Could be swinger, ENM, etc. Swingers, despite popular belief, do want emotional, lasting relationships. It’s simply that, to them, sex is merely one activity you might do with friends (as opposed to yoga or biking). And, for most swingers, a favorite activity. That is, after all, what swinging centers around.
But, there is one important, distinguishing question,
Do you want long term commitments with multiple people? People you have deep, or maybe casual, feelings for, beyond people with whom you solely have business or other such formal commitments?
Because when it comes down to it, that’s what separates Relationships from relationships. It used to be sex. Sex was the difference between a friend and a “partner.” But in the kinky community, sex is more fluid. One might sleep with a friend, a playmate, or a partner.
But Commitment? That’s still generally reserved for Romance. When it isn’t, it’s the exception, not the rule.
While swingers may be sexually and emotionally intimate with a few– generally they don’t view “partners” as any different than “friends.” They just engage in a particular sort of activity with a select few.
Then you have the “I want my partner exclusive to me, but I want to sleep around” type. You’re unethically non monogamous. Not polyamorous (no judgement, simple observation).
You want multiple, long or short lasting, affectionate relationships with expectations, commitments, and responsibilities?
Congratulations, you’re polyamorous!
…if you want to be.