I always thought of myself as poly, but I think my relationship may fall under ENM, which is fine too.I know I'm the only "partner/girlfriend" of my partner. He has many lovers and they also know he has a partner. I'm fine with it, as long as he uses condoms, which he does. That's the only "rule" we have. He does a lot of things with them besides just sex. He can do sleepovers and travel with them and cook dinner, and go to concerts and play partys with them.... etc. I don't have any lovers, because I'm busy with other stuff & he's enough right now.I hate it so much when ENM couples say things like, "You can do sexual things with other people, but you can't fall in love with them." So I'm cool with him feeling however he feels.
We would need to have a discussion, if he wanted to have another partner, because as stated in "The Ethical Slut" (great book!) "Love is unlimited, but time and energy aren't." So I would imagine, if he had another partner, it would take more of his time and energy, but we both don't want that right now anyway.
Is anyone else in this grey zone? Just for fun, where would you place my relationship?
The two aren’t mutually exclusive but rather overlapping sets, and I would put you in that overlap
Hmm, interesting one 🤔 Thanks for sharing Amy!
So for me, I consider Non-monogamy to be the umbrella term and polyamory to fall within that.
From what you've described, I'd describe your situation as an "open relationship" currently 😊That's not to say that that label can't change if either of you ends up pursuing other partners though!
I mean, I'm very much in the thick of this at the moment.
My partner and I opened up our relationship two years ago and I met my other partner who I have a relationship with now.
I'd describe myself as polyam, but my now wife (first partner, of 6 years) not sure she can accept that.
She's in a place where the nature of the relationship she was agreeing to, is now very different from what she wants.
But constant communication and trying to figure out how we can move forwards together has always been my main goal, but I'm hearing a lot of mono normative language when we discuss how we do move forwards.
Amy, could you define lovers perhaps, and what that entails?
I prefer Conscious/consensual nonmonogamy vs ENM, where the ethical sounds a bit performative.
I call myself polyaffective because I am not always so-called "amorous". I sought about what would be the bottom line in my relationships and the answer was affection at least. Then come different flavours and toppings and times and spaces and intensities and quantities and feelings and and and...
‘Benefits’ is such a loaded term in any case which more widely (non kink/poly community) I think is seen as always implying sex. One of my partners has a friend who she does shibari with. I’ve seen her be tied by him and although it’s a very intimate and physical thing they don’t actually have sex.
Agreed - like why does it have to be defined as ethical. It insinuates that it is not ethical in some way and does not account for all those ‘monogamous’ people having secret affairs without permission or healthy communication
I agree that polyamory is a subset of non-monogamy. The issue is that some people are more interested in gatekeeping polyamory, whereas others use it as a very broad umbrella term.For example, polyamory usually refers to multiple romantic relationships, so I've previously grated with people who say that ace people can't be poly (despite not being on the ace spectrum myself). And indeed, I'm more sexual than romantic and that lead me to think that polyamory was the wrong term for me, not least because I feel that multiple romantic relationships is less "realistic" for me in terms of it actually happening, than multiple sexual relationships
I'm also of the opinion that polyamory comes under the umbrella term of non-monogamy!I tend to use "polyamorous" to describe a desire and personal ability to pursue and nourish multiple romantic relationships (physical and situational limitations notwithstanding). I'd use "non-monogamy" as a general descriptor of any number of relationship styles and practices that lie outside of traditional monogamy