Monogamy is a relationship style that is normally practiced by the masses. The stigma behind having multiple partners is on the rise. The relationship style known as polyamory seems to be gradually entering its way into mainstream, essentially becoming a conventional practice in a sexually progressive society that is being driven by today’s millennials.
Many couples embrace monogamy, but it doesn’t necessarily fit everyone. Some couples prefer polyamory: the state or philosophy of being romantically linked to multiple partners on an emotional and physical basis.
With new rhetoric emerging everyday and being cycled around by methods such as the book, “The Ethical Slut,” millennials are increasingly embracing non-monogamous relationships.
SF State student Albert Rubio has been practicing polyamory for a little over two years.
“Well for me, polyamory is a form of non-monogamy that literally means multiple loves,” Rubio said. “It is a relationship style that allows each person involved the opportunity to find romantic love with more than one person.”
But polyamory is not a perfect fit for everyone.
Christina Green, a 25-year-old senior at SF State, used to practice polyamory, but deviated away from the life-style.
“To my knowledge, polyamory is an umbrella term that defines having an emotional and physical connection with multiple people,” said Green.
Still a supporter of the polyamory lifestyle, Green added, “The reason why I left polyamory, mainly because my life got too busy to sustain multiple relationships that were both emotional and physically fulfilling for me and other partners I had.”
Polyamory, for the most part, has often been associated with other non-monogamous practices, such as swinging, which often get confused most of the time because of similar stigmas, but the two terms are not interchangeable.
Swinging is the sexual practice in which individuals that are single or in committed relationships engage in sexual activities outside their primary relationship. This has ultimately given rise to some of the biggest misconceptions about the lifestyle.
“I think a persistent misunderstanding is that polyamory is entirely about sex. It totally can be, and that shouldn’t invalidate anyone’s romantic or sexual engagement. Plenty of folks are also having long-lasting relationships, marriages, partnerships, and other arrangements” said, Operations Coordinator at Humble Bundle Angel Labate who has been practicing polyamory off and on for about four years.
Like most relationships, the key ingredients to a healthy relationship is honesty, communication, love, compromise, and last but not least, rules and boundaries.
In polyamorous relationships there are rules and agreements that are tailored specifically to each individual relationship. Due to its inherent flexibility, the polyamorous lifestyle allows an individual to pursue multiple partners and have each arrangement meet unique expectations of commitment and cadence.
When testing out the water to see if polyamory is a right fit for you, Rebecca Levy is your main person. Levy is an intake coordinator at a couple’s counsel center, located in SF. Her job is to help clients find therapist that cater to a couple’s specific needs.
“The first step for trying polyamory should be to reflect on your emotional needs and romantic goals,” said Levy.
Levy added, “Monogamy just isn’t a fit for my relationship goals right now, but I’m sure I will cycle through it again, someday just to spice things up again.”