What is polyamory and why is everyone talking about it
Willow Smith, 18-year-old daughter of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett, revealed during the TV program Red Table Talk that she believes in polyamory. And she is but the latest in a string of (young) stars talking about it.
But what really is polyamory? What does it mean? And what does it mean to choose to live in a polyamorous relationship?
Here are the answers to all your questions.
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What is polyamory
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What does polyamory mean
The American Polyamory Society defines polyamory as, The non-possessive, honest, responsible and ethical philosophy and practice of loving multiple people at once.
Polyamory emphasizes consciously choosing the number of partners one wishes to be involved with rather than accepting social norms that dictate loving only one person at a time.
What it means to believe in polyamory
Polyamory is a different way of experiencing relationships: those who share this philosophy have non-monogamous relationships that do not follow the guidelines usually imposed by society.
Polyamorous people therefore have multiple relationships at the same time, all of which are intentional and intimate.
But beware: polyamory does not mean an open relationship that can include multiple casual sex partners.
In most polyamorous relationships, each partner is aware of each other’s presence and relationship.
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How polyamorous relationships work
Polyamorous relationships are complex and each one is different. People in polyamorous relationships design their own histories by setting desired boundaries and establishing rules different from those in monogamous relationships.
Unlike open relationships, polyamory is characterized by emotional as well as sexual or romantic intimacy between partners. It is not infidelity, adultery, or extramarital sex; polyamory is consensual and is disclosed to all involved.
One of the most important agreements that polyamorous people have is about safe sex.
This usually refers to an established rule about who you will have unprotected sex with. This is essential to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections.
There are different types of polyamorous relationships
Sometimes polyamorous relationships are hierarchical (one relationship has priority over the others) and sometimes they are equal. In a hierarchical scenario, a person may have a primary partner and a secondary partner.
But what is meant by this? A primary partner (which is not necessary in polyamorous relationships anyway) is at the top of the hierarchical structure; this person may be the person you live with, have children with, or are even married to.
Secondary partners, on the other hand, may not be as involved in your life. For example, you may not share housing but still be fully committed to each other.
On the other hand, on the other hand, non-hierarchical polyamorous love relationships are those in which-as the term implies-there is no hierarchy between the partners. They are also called egalitarian polyamory or relational anarchy.
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The difficulties of living in a polyamorous relationship
Polyamorous relationships do not follow the traditional social construct, and this is often confusing to outsiders or first-time polyamory seekers.
For such a relationship to be successful, all involved must be open and honest about what they want and need out of the union.
Although the boundaries in polyamory are ofverses monogamous relationships, they still exist: they define both who can enter a relationship and the limits on how much time can be spent with each.
Maintaining open communication is an integral part of a polyamorous relationship so that problems do not arise between partners.
Why does everyone talk about polyamory?
Polyamory is the biggest sexual revolution since the 1960s. And it is surprisingly common among Millennials and Gen Z.
Although it is often misunderstood and stigmatized by mainstream monogamous culture, many people think it is the best way to integrate sexual freedom, honesty, openness, and commitment.
Others, however, think it is an existential threat to Western civilization.
Polyamory is still a small subculture, but it is already much more common than you might think.
According to some studies, among the 83 million American Millennials, 24 million of them support polyamorous ideals, 17 million have tried polyamory, and 4 million are currently in a polyamorous relationship.
Is the world really ready for polyamory?
Difficult to find an answer to this question.
From one point of view, the numbers speak for themselves. On the other, there are still a lot of misconceptions about polyamory and people in such a relationship.
Telling friends and family about a choice of polyamory might still be something difficult to do, because today’s society still has an overly entrenched view of the traditional couple.
But things are slowly opening up and prejudices are slowly disappearing, thanks in part to the stories of celebrities and well-known personalities who can reach millions of people around the world with their experiences.