*Below is the script of the narration for episode 1:
Welcome to Poly.Am.I
I am your host, Polyamorous J.
Today’s episode will discuss the question “What Is Polyamory?”
First off, I’d like to start by saying that everyone does polyamory differently. The dynamics and overall setup of any particular individual may be vastly different from the next, as these things represent the individual’s preferences, wants, and needs. Just because your journey looks one way, that doesn’t mean that every other polyamorous person will have the same experience. There are as many ways to do polyamory as there are people that are polyamorous.
Secondly, I’d like to state that this podcast personally endorses the idea that polyamory can be both an identity and a lifestyle. A lot of people fight over this – is it innate or is it something you’re choosing to do? I firmly believe that it is different for different people. Some people are inherently polyamorous, as I myself am. We don’t feel comfortable in monogamous dynamics. Monogamy isn’t normal to us. We just weren’t built for that. For others, they’re just living a lifestyle that seems right for them. Or they’re trying it out. Maybe it takes a little bit more work to get used to it, or it just doesn’t come as naturally, but it’s a choice they’ve made (for whatever reason).
Thirdly, and this is important, we are in no way trying to compete with monogamy. There is nothing wrong with monogamy. It works for some, and it doesn’t work for others. If you’re happy being monogamous, that’s great. If you try polyamory out because you think it might work for you but you realize it doesn’t, that’s fine. And if you’ve lived polyamorously for years and years and decide that you’d like to settle down into a monogamous partnership instead, that’s totally cool, too. We support you. These are your choices to make, not ours. We are not trying to push our point of view on anyone. Do what makes you happy.
So, what is polyamory?
Polyamory is a form of consensual non-monogamy. Now, non-monogamy is an umbrella term. It includes all things that are outside the sphere of monogamy. This includes things like swinging, open relationships, casual sex, relationship anarchy, and so on. Then there are two types of non-monogamy: consensual, and non-consensual. Polyamory falls under the consensual category. Things such as cheating fall under the non-consensual category. This means that if you are in a dynamic in which all parties do not consent to being involved – it is NOT polyamory. Coercing your partner into turning your dyad into a triad is not at all okay. Unless all your partners know and approve of your involvement with the others, it is not consensual. Polyamory is only polyamory if it includes the consent of all involved.
Polyamory, literally, translates to “many loves.” Here the focus is on loving relationships and not on sex, unlike some other forms of non-monogamy. This does not mean that polyamorous individuals do not engage sexually, but sexual relationships are not a requirement for polyamory. Still, some polyamorous individuals will engage in other forms of non-monogamy, as well. It is acceptable for you to be both polyamorous and also engage in swinging, or anything else consensual. Having a healthy sex life does not disqualify someone from being polyamorous. Nor does the lack of one disqualify anybody either. Polyamory is its own thing – and the relationships you form within it can be comprised of romance, sex, friendship, or just about anything. Do not slut shame polyamorous (or any other consensually non-monogamous) individuals. Also, do not erase the existence of asexual or aromantic polyamorous individuals. Anyone, from any walk of life, and under any sort of identity, can be polyamorous. Do not stereotype us.
Lastly… relationships within polyamory, like any form of non-monogamy, can be either open or closed. A closed dynamic means that there are only certain people involved, and no one else can join the relationship. This is typically used within group relationships, such as triads, quads, and so on. Sometimes the group will make decisions together whether or not to let in new partners. Other times there are no opportunities for new partnerships to develop. Those in the swinging communities, and other non-monogamous communities, may use similar closed setups for any number of reasons. One main reason is to maintain sexual health of the group by not exposing anyone to new potential risks. Another reason is so that everyone feels comfortable and close to everyone, like a family unit. Closed dynamics can also be used short term while those involved work through their own relationship issues, before allowing any of the partners to branch out and find anyone new.
A lot of times, when closed relationships exist in the polyamorous community it is because the individuals involved want to form a family unit within their group relationship. Some people call this “monogamy with extra steps”, because it is essentially the same thing as monogamy, just with more partners. It is often made fun of or otherwise criticized within the polyamorous community by those who came to polyamory to find more freedom. However, as long as it is consensual – meaning each and every person involved agrees that they want a closed relationship – then there is nothing wrong with this dynamic.
On the other hand, having an open dynamic means that you are open to date whomever you wish (just as all of your partners are) – and that you can choose how many partners you have at any given time. When an open dynamic is established, it is up to each individual to make the call about whether to create new relationships or not. Depending on individual circumstances, everyone becomes polysaturated at different levels. Polysaturated meaning when you feel you can’t form new connections with potential partners because you don’t have enough time, energy, etc. to extend to another person. When someone becomes polysaturated, they typically choose not to form any new relationships, or else they may risk damaging the ones they are currently involved in. Please note, that some individuals may be able to happily carry on a multitude of relationships at once, whereas others may feel tapped out at only one or two. Polyamory is not a competition, and it does require you to keep adding more and more partners. You can be single and still be polyamorous.
To recap: It is NOT Polyamory if it is not consensual. Polyamory is about loving more than one person at a time. It is not sex focused; and anyone – from those who are highly sexual, to those who aren’t sexual at all – can be polyamorous. And it is up to those involved to decide whether they want to establish a closed or open dynamic. Remember that everyone does polyamory differently. That some individuals identify as polyamorous, and others are simply living a polyamorous lifestyle. And that there is nothing wrong with monogamy. Choosing to be monogamous or some form of non-monogamous (such as polyamorous) is up to the individual. Different things make different people happy. Everyone has different wants, needs, and preferences. Try not to stereotype, and please do not judge others for being (living, or loving) differently than you. Thank you.
We hope this episode has helped you better understand the basics of what polyamory is. If you have any questions you’d like us to answer on our podcast, please e-mail them to Jauni@PolyamorousLiving.com that’s J-A-U-N-I @ Polyamorous Living .com
For our next episode we will be exploring the different forms of polyamory, as well as their benefits and drawbacks.
Til next time, this has been Polyamorous J on Poly.Am.I discussing the question “What Is Polyamory?” I hope you have a gay day! Ciao