Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Dr. Love, who do you love?

Polyamorous is actually a much more recently coined term than you might think. Originating in the '90's the word is also a hybrid mix of Greek and Latin. Poly - meaning many or multiple partners or lovers and amore - meaning love. The definition of the word is definitely hard to pin down, though, and this is especially true because polyamorous relationships are confusing.

Perhaps one of the most straightforward of possible polyamorous configurations is the open marriage, wherein a husband and wife pursue secondary relationships outside of their marraige. At the opposite end of the spectrum is group marriage, which takes on the feeling of a commune.

In between these two extremes are a variety of shapes that polyamorists call "polygeometry." Some of these configurations are triads or quads, wherein three or four people are relationally involved with each other.  Although many polyamorists are bisexual, there are also heterosexual and homosexual variations. For example, one woman might date two men but those two men do not date each other. Or a gay man may have several consenting partners. Although threesomes and orgiastic type experiences may be including in polyamory, there are no hard and fast rules about how sexual relations are conducted.

Allow me to pause and say that I feel like my writing is excessively verbose and technical for the subject matter I am dealing with. I must be uncomfortable. Basically polyamory is just people who want to love more than one person. Is it really that complicated? Does it have to be?

I will admit that the idea of group marriage scares me a little. Talk about jealousy issues! But the idea of being intimate with more than one person? I suppose I'm open to that idea, but I don't know if it would work in my life. As my best friend would say - "Don't forget you're married!" And that, too, is true.

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