Polyamory Survey Results- Part 1

General

In this survey, 172 polyamorous people were surveyed. In general, people were reached through Facebook support groups and through sharing with their friends. Obviously, there are limitations of a survey that only reaches 172 people, but the results are interesting to consider nonetheless.

Participants varied from 18 to 56 years old, but responses weren’t accepted from people younger than 18 due to the sexually explicit nature of some of the questions. The age with the most answers was 26 years old. Most responders to the survey were in their 20’s or 30’s.

If you would like to answer the survey and haven’t done so please do so here. This will be periodically updated with additional answers and will only get more illuminating and reliable.

Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity

The polyamorous community seems to be far more diverse in many ways than the general population. Gender identity and sexual orientation make this clear. 96.6% of the general population considers themselves straight, but less than half of polyamorous people surveyed consider themselves straight. It is their turn to be the minority! 54.1%, the majority of the polyamorous community surveyed are polysexual, attracted to more than one gender. 23% of people have witnessed discrimination based on sexual orientation in the polyamorous community despite the diversity.

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In the polyamorous community surveyed, 82.5% are cisgendered and consider themselves strictly a  man or woman. Even with these large numbers or minority gender identities, 13 % people have witnessed some form of gender identity expression in the polyamory community.

screen-shot-2017-02-03-at-12-10-23-amPolyamory Basics

More people new to polyamory responded to the survey than people who had been polyamorous for a while. This could be due to where the participants were found, online support groups because people new to polyamory are more likely to seek out support. It could also be due to the fact that more responders to the survey were younger and therefore have been dating for less time.

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Some people consider polyamory to be choice while others consider it to be an orientation. People who see it as an orientation explain that polyamory is just a part of who they are, just like their sexual orientation. It was surprising to find that the majority of people who responded felt that polyamory was an ingrained part of who they are.

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Some people consider polyamory the best choice for them currently, but that they could be monogamous again in the future under the right circumstances. However, 58.7% of people who are polyamorous are unlikely to become monogamous in the future. Only 7.6% of people would definitely be in a monogamous relationship. Most seem to be here to stay.

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Frustratingly, many people incorrectly conflate polyamory and cheating. Most people who are polyamorous are not cheating and never have cheated. In fact, only 40% of polyamorous people have ever cheated. Some studies suggest that about 71% of the general married population have cheated. Cheating seems to be a hard statistic to measure as people are unlikely to admit they have cheated. The important thing to take away from this is that polyamorous people don’t seem to be more likely to be unfaithful like everyone assumes.

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Coming out, as anything not in line with the majority of people, can be difficult. Polyamory is no different. Only 15.1% of polyamorous people surveyed are out in every aspect of life. 5.2% of polyamorous people surveyed were not out to anyone- family, friends, work, or close friends. They are only out to their partners (god I hope so).

Participants who were out were far more likely to experience discrimination for being polyamorous.

Religion

A lot of polyamorous people have to deal with the assumption that polyamory is the same as polygamy that is associated with religion. Forget the idea that all the poly people are Mormons. Most polyamorous people, 85.5% in fact, are actually atheists or agnostic.

Sex

Safe sex is especially important when people are having sex with multiple partners. Experts suggest getting tested every 6 months. Our survey suggests that the polyamorous community could do a bit better on staying safe and healthy.

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BDSM & Kink

85%  of people surveyed are interested or actively into BDSM or kink. People surveyed reported discrimination within the community for both being into kink/ BDSM as well as being vanilla.

Polyamory Community Problems

The polyamorous community is great in many ways, but there are many things that can be improved upon. I think the first step to doing so is to listen to the problems people have encountered and attempt to improve upon them. For example, racism was reported by 20% of the people who answered the survey. Polyamory is often critiqued as being for rich, white people and I think this statistic confirms that we need to work harder to include minorities and consider racism.

There are some ways of doing polyamory that are inherently sexist. 41% of people reported encountering misogyny. Polyamory as a whole is weakened when it is used to oppress women instead of empower them.

I have written on ageism in the polyamorous community. 40% of people also reported this experience within the polyamorous community.

Ableism and inaccessibility are things that able-bodied people often forget in communities. 11% of people have witnessed ableism and 13% reported inaccessibility at events within the polyamorous community. It is important for people who plan events in the polyamorous community to consider accessibility and make it a priority. The community is stronger when you include everyone.

I have also written about couple privilege and couple-centrism within the polyamorous community. The majority of people- 63% have encountered couple-centrism in their polyamorous community.

Discrimination

There is a National Coming Out Day on October 11. Many polyamorous people began to come out on this day. In response, they were chastised by the LGBTQIAA+ community. One argument was that polyamorous people were never discriminated against so taking their day was inappropriate. That is an argument for a different day, but I do want to address the claim that polyamorous people are not discriminated against. These survey responses gave many examples of proof otherwise.

There were multiple accounts of people saying they lost their jobs, friends, and even their children. People also reported being denied housing and being evicted. In fact, I have had the personal experience of being kicked out by a landlord because I am bisexual and polyamorous. Additionally, people from the survey reported discrimination and losing their family, friends, and significant others. If having their children taken away or being denied a place to live, specifically because they are polyamorous, isn’t discrimination I don’t know what is.

 

 

 

Relationship Anarchy

Definition

Relationship anarchy is one of the (roughly) four types of polyamory. It can also refer to a type of monogamy, but we are going to focus on the polyamorous relationship anarchy. Basically, relationship anarchy means that only the people within the relationship dictate what they want that relationship to look like. Societal norms for relationships are questioned and often discarded.

Philosophy

If this definition seems a bit vague- it is because it is. There aren’t rules or guidelines to follow; after all, it is anarchy. People within the relationships dictate how they want the relationships to look. Therefore, each and every RA relationship is going to look different. It wouldn’t be true to say “there is no wrong way to do relationship anarchy.” It would be wrong to not communicate about this being your relationship style or be honest throughout any and all relationships.

Couple Privilege

In nonmonogamous relationships, an existing marriage or relationship often is rewarded certain privileges. Often a lot of rules for dating focus on protecting the existing relationship at the expense of all other relationships and everyone else’s wellbeing. Read more about it here.

One of the focuses of many people’s relationship anarchy is eliminating couple privilege. Many of the rules that are created out of couple’s privilege dictate relationships outside their own. Because relationship anarchy is about only the people in the relationship dictating how they want their relationship to look these rules don’t really mesh with rules that come out of couple’s privilege.

Friendship & Platonic Relationships

In our society, there is a lot more emphasis and importance put on romantic relationships than friendships. One of the appeals of RA to many people is that friendships can be focused on and made as important as they want. Sex isn’t the end all be all to relationships. If the relationship anarchist wants to spend most of their time in their friendship or if they want their friendship to be the closest, most important relationship in their life they can choose that.

Practice

Not letting people outside of your relationship dictate your relationship doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be considerate towards our metamours. I strive to be considerate and think of my metamour’s feelings. However, I no longer enter into relationships with people who allow their other partners to make decisions for our relationship. I won’t date people who give their partners veto power, make rules about what their partner can feel, make rules about what their partner can do sexually, etc.

Dating only people who value their autonomy as much as I do means that my partner and I are the only people making decisions within our relationship and it really helps to uncomplicate things.

I currently have a nesting partner, live with partners, and have a few casual partners. None of them are my primaries or secondaries and none of my relationships look the same.

My nesting partner is also a relationship anarchist. He and I share a room because right now it is right for us and our relationship, both our financial situations, and with my disability. We spend the most time together and are the most serious, but we have discussed that we are both okay with our relationship changing and embracing the fluidity of our relationship. We’ve discussed that this might not always be the case.

It is hard to imagine or talk about our relationship ending because it is currently not what either of us wants. However, we also both agree that ending our romantic relationship would not necessarily be a failure of our relationship and that a breakup doesn’t have to devalue that relationship. This leaves room for both of us to date others with freedom, let those relationships grow organically, and allows our relationship to grow. It is what we prefer to placing limits on each other’s relationships.

I have a few undefined relationships with people who I don’t see often and still mean a lot to me. I think on average I value friendship and nonromantic parts of relationships more than most people. That is why relationship anarchy is perfect for me.

The Danger Of Using STI Risk To Control Others

STI Risks

One of the most common questions polyamorous people hear is: but what about STIs? It is a valid question, but when most of what people think about STIs it is hard to sort out fact from fear. For example, people think that polyamorous people are far more likely to have STIs than their monogamous peers. In fact, this isn’t true. The reason for this lower rate can not be definitively identified, but I think it probably has a lot to do with the openness with how many of us discuss safe sex and frequent testing. Many polyamorous people, on the whole, are more likely to get tested more often, learn about their risks, and explicitly discuss STIs and risks before having sex.

It is absolutely understandable for people to want to minimize their risks for STIs. However, it is important to do so without basing risk control on stigmas and misinformation. It is also important that steps towards safer sex do not become unhealthy and controlling.

Boundaries vs. Control

Boundaries focus on yourself and what things you are comfortable participating in once you evaluate potential risks. Control focuses on what things you are comfortable with your partner participating in and here within lies the problem. In life, all you can truly control is how you yourself react to situations. While people commonly try to control and manipulate other’s behavior we cannot healthily control our partner’s behavior in relationships.

In terms of STIs, the key is to focus on your comforts and limitations. Before the time comes when sex might happen you should have (at least) the following questions answered:

  • Are you comfortable fluid bonding (not using condoms) with anyone? How many people?
  • What would someone need to do to for you to be comfortable fluid bonding with them?
  • Are you comfortable having safe sex with someone who has an STI? What about sleeping with someone who sleeps with someone with an STI? How many degrees away would they need to be away before you felt comfortable sleeping with them?
  • How many months can go by before people need to be tested for you to be comfortable sleeping with them?
  • In the case of accidental pregnancy, what are you comfortable doing?

Then make the decision of whether to sleep with someone based on your own boundaries instead of dating someone and then trying to control their behavior to fit what you are comfortable. There is a big difference between “I feel comfortable sleeping with people who do _____” and “You have to do ______ or I won’t sleep with you anymore.” One is asserting your boundaries and the other is trying to control your partner’s behavior.

More Than Two Chapters 1-3

Note: While this outline will give you some things to talk about actually reading More Than Two is probably going to be incredibly valuable. I have outlined and asked questions about the things I have found interesting and thought-provoking, but you may find different things more helpful to yourself.

This was made for use by The Denver Nontraditional Relationships Meetup. Feel free to use it for other groups or for your own use as long as you credit Poly Talk. Going through it with a partner or your polycule might be especially helpful!

If this tool has been helpful please consider donating to our group so I can create similar tools and pay for Meetup fees. Google Wallet: polypretzels@gmail.com or Patreon: www.Patreon.com/PolyTalk

Part 1: Starting Out & Ethical Polyamory

Polyamory vocab arose so we wouldn’t have to use the same jargon as wifeswapping, cheating, and swinging. Do you agree that it is important that these terms are different to prevent more confusion with people thinking that polyamory is the same as cheating or swinging?

  • Compersion- A feeling of joy when a partner invests in and takes pleasure from another romantic or sexual relationship.
  • NRE- New relationship energy
  • Wibbles- A brief or fleeting feeling of jealousy
  • OSO- Other significant other (metamour)

Are there any poly related terms you want to discuss the meaning of? This is a great resource to learn the lingo.

Themes:

1. Trust– A lot in polyamory comes down to: how much do I trust my partner? 

2. Courage– Confronting fears and going against societal norms.

  • Talking about feelings when afraid.
  • Giving partner freedom to explore relationships when we fear abandonment.
  • Challenging ourselves to step out of comfort zone.

3. Abundance– plenty of people to love & endless love to give.

4. Ethics– treating people with compassion, integrity, & respect no matter what our relationship.

5. Empowerment– to shape relationships, to ask for what we need.

“[Polyamory] means having multiple loving often committed relationships at the same time by mutual agreement, with honesty and clarity.”

What are your thoughts on this definition that goes farther than the standard “many loves” definition?

Why is it a problem when people confuse polyamory with polygamy, polygyny, or polyandry?

Commitment isn’t commitment to sexual fidelity. It is a commitment to making the relationship work. How does this shift in commitment change the way we think about marriage vows? When commitment is usually so centered around fidelity, how do we need to shift our understanding for this new definition? What does commitment mean to you and your relationship(s)?

 

The happily ever after fairy tale is a myth

  • People are not static
  • One person cannot always meet all our needs
  • Sometimes there is more than one “the one”

That doesn’t mean romance doesn’t exist or isn’t important. In what ways can we be more realistic about love but still maintain “fairy tale” level romance?

Some benefits to polyamory:

  • More financial support
  • More emotional support
  • Splits the responsibilities in parenting/ housework so each person has less expected from them
  • Having the amount of sex you want doesn’t depend on just one other person

What other benefits to being polyamorous have you come across?

MTT suggests these are some reasons to be polyamorous:

  • It is part of who you are (orientation)
  • It seems more honest
  • It makes us rethink control and property
  • This answer shouldn’t be “because of my partner”

Why are you polyamorous?

Downsides to polyamory

  • Can be complicated. Complication is not proof these relationships are wrong.
  • You will grow whether you want to or not.
  • Polyamory is not safe. Vulnerability is painful. Rules are not the answer.
  • Polyamory means giving things up. Lose time & attention.
  • Polyamory changes things.
  • People don’t always get along. You can’t make people like each other.

Polyamory is not an easy fix to relationships. Are these struggles worth it for you personally? Are you at the right stage in your life to take on these struggles? Which have you found the most difficult?

Relationships don’t meet a blueprint- they are as individual as the people in them. This means that people have to be flexible. How do you make goals for your relationships but still allow the flexibility relationships need to grow? Have you encountered the need to be flexible in your relationships? How did you adapt to new struggles?

MTT Suggests There Are Two Axis:

 

Relationship Anarchy   

free- agent →

community oriented   

Prioritize decisions by the needs of the group

 

Solo polyamory            

Solo →

entwined                

cohabitate, share finances, etc.

 

Are you more of a free agent or community oriented? Do you feel like relationship decisions should be made with only the people in the relationships in mind or with the polycule in mind? Are you more solo or more entwined? Do you like to maintain complete autonomy in everyday life or to share responsiblities and spaces with your polycule? Why do you prefer this?

Relationship Structures:

  • Triad- relationship with three people involved
  • V- triad where two people do not date
  • Quad- relationship with four people

What type of relationship structure has been your favorite? What type are you looking for and why?

Have you encountered an attitude of “I forbid you to have anyone meet your sexual needs but me, but I refuse to meet your sexual needs?” What other needs does this attitude apply to?

Ethical Polyamory

Pokemon poly- dating people for the needs they can meet rather than the whole person they are.

How can you use polyamory to fix this problem and get your needs met while still treating the people you date as people?

What has been the right number of total partners for you? How many is too many? How did you come to these conclusions?

Dunbar’s # says that humans can have only 150 stable social relationships at a time (family, friends, and lovers). Is this number higher or lower than what you would think? 

Flexibility is key. What most people think is important at the beginning changes the longer they are poly. How does what you want now differ from what you wanted when you first started polyamory? What rules did you have then that you no longer do? 

Polyamory has a steep learning curve. It gets easier as time goes on. How long did this harder time of learning take? What advice do you have for others in their steep learning curve phase?

You will hear “there is no right way to do poly.” This is true, but there are plenty of wrong ways and ways that people experienced will tell you don’t tend to work. Listen to the wisdom of people more experienced before getting defensive. What are some of the wrong ways (for you or in general) of doing polyamory? What do you wish you knew when you started polyamory? What mistakes have you made that others can learn from?

Ethical polyamory- being willing to look at your actions and the effect they have on other people. If someone says you are hurting them LISTEN and think about what you can do to limit this. Be willing to have convos without getting defensive and accusatory. How can you set aside the tendency to get defensive when someone tells you you’ve hurt them? What listening skills are important to master?

You have the right to want what you want, but not to get what you want. 

Rights

  • The people in a relationship are more important than the relationship
  • Don’t treat people as things

Relationship Bill Of Rights

Consent: your body, your mind, your choices

  • You do not have the right consent to what other people, including your partners, do. You can share what you are comfortable with, but they have the agency to do what they want.
  • Honesty is vital. For example, not telling someone you have HIV before helping with them is a huge violation of consent.
  • Communicatie dealbreakers. When you don’t you deny them knowing that a choice is being made about them.
  • Lies of omission aren’t acceptable when consent is involved.

Consent applies to things outside just sexual encounters. What aspects of relationships can these ideas about consent be applied to? Why can you never consent for another person, sexually or otherwise?

Is Solo Polyamory Ableist?

I can’t imagine a world where what I am about to say isn’t controversial, but it is time to get this off my chest. Solo polyamory is often inaccessible and ableist. For those of you who don’t know, ableism is the discrimination of people who are not able- bodied. It is rampant in our society and even more so in some groups.

I’m an extremely independent person, so when I figured out polyamory was a thing and I wasn’t alone I looked into solo poly online groups. I was upset to find that by many solo poly people’s definitions I could never be one of them.

If you ask solo polyamorous people what solo poly looks like to them, the answer obviously varies. Some of the answers include not marrying, not raising kids together, not sharing finances, and almost always- living alone. I have never been able to live alone and I never will. I frequently faint and have high risk of a blood clot and stroke so it is too dangerous for me to live alone. Doctors regularly tell me I can’t live alone. And don’t try to suggest one of those “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up buttons” as you usually have to be conscious to press a button.

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To so many solo poly people living alone is a big part of their solo poly identity. I am so envious when they share pictures of their single apartment talking about how they are having alone time. I’m envious that they have a space that is theirs and only theirs. They throw it around, and like so many ableist actions, they have no idea what a privilege they have in living alone. They don’t know how lucky they are and it hurts.

After so many posts and so many discussions about living alone and how living alone is essential to their freedom I came to the conclusion: Many people’s version of solo polyamory is simply inaccessible to disabled people like me.

I later noticed the posts on not sharing finances. So many people also considered this a cornerstone of their solo poly identity. But what about the people who can’t work because they are disabled? Disability pays out far less than you think. Medical bills are the most common reason for bankruptcy in the US. On my own, many months I have to choose between food and my medication or my medication and rent.

If I combine finances with someone I love it creates a buffer between me and starvation, between me and homelessness. The tables are stacked against me and I fight so hard- but I can’t do it alone. I need help. It is the sad reality of living in a country that doesn’t believe healthcare is a human right.

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Their take on what solo polyamory means to them is accessible to anyone and not ableist- way to go Kimchi Cuddles!

I am about to get kicked off my parent’s insurance and my best option for getting health insurance is to marry my partner who gets it through his job. In addition, if something ever happens to me (which is more likely with my conditions) having a spouse rather than a partner means a lot in medical decisions and visitations. I never saw myself getting married and now find myself rushed towards it due to circumstance. I love my partner, but I never felt like I needed or wanted a piece of paper declaring that.

So is solo polyamory on the whole ableist? No, but too much of the discussions and attitudes are. Not everyone can afford to or safely live alone. Not everyone can be financially independent. Not everyone can stay unwed. Putting so much emphasis on living alone, independent finances, and not getting married as a part of solo polyamory means excluding people with disabilities and other marginalized groups. It means that not everyone who wants to be solo poly is able to.

While there is not necessarily explicit solo poly gatekeeping, I couldn’t help but get the message from solo poly groups- this world isn’t meant for you. Discussions of solo polyamory don’t include people like you. You don’t belong here.

And that is why I consider myself a relationship anarchist.

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Freaking Out About Being Flaked On? Think Again.

Planning With A Chronic Illness

Online dating is hard and being flaked on is supremely annoying. That last minute change especially annoys us all to no end. Let’s take a look at it from the other side. Imagine having to constantly make that change or having your life be so variable you can’t even make plans in advance. Imagine having to constantly change your plans when you do actually make them because of how you are feeling. It is incredibly difficult and unimaginably frustrating to the person having to “flake.”

When someone asks me to go to a concert I have to predict how my ridiculous variable health status will change by that time. I have to predict if I have enough energy to make it to the concert, stand in line, or if I can even enjoy myself sometimes months in advance. Even simpler plans have huge obstacles because I literally never know how I will feel.

There is no easy fix. Low-key hangouts or dates run amok too. Sometimes I grab dinner with someone and then end up getting stuck puking in the bathroom all night. Other times people come over to watch a movie and I end up fainting (turns out dates aren’t too fun when someone is unconscious- who knew???). When these situations happen I feel guilty, embarrassed, and frustrated. Having no control of your own body is infuriating. When I cancel last minute it is because I am trying to keep my date from feeling awkward and frustrated as well. My attempts to do so usually have the opposite effect. Often they end up frustrated and I awkwardly apologize for something I have no control over.

How To Find The Real Flakes

There are plenty of people out there in the dating world who are genuinely inconsiderate flakes. But what about those of us who have to “flake” and do the best we can to fix it? When you make “flaking” a deal breaker you are shutting out people like me who are trying to date with a disability, as a parent with a sick child, or anyone who needs a mental health evening. The only way to get to know if someone is going through all that is to give them a chance- and actually get to know them.

You might ask, how do I tell the difference in people who have something legitimately come up and the inconsiderate jerks? Well, when I flake on people I feel bad and I try to reach out to them to plan the next thing. I try to explain the situation (my illness) and explain why I had to flake. I let the person know explicitly that I am interested in them. If someone wants to try again then I gladly work with them.

“Sorry I had to cancel last night. I was super bummed because I am excited to get to know you better. Are you free anytime after next Tuesday?”

Use The Free Time

Are you seriously telling me you can’t use that one night they flaked on you? I know very few people, especially polyamorous people, who don’t need a night to themselves. So use it! It sucks they had to cancel, but prioritize some alone time.

If you can’t be understanding about things coming up then I don’t want to date you anyway.  

Planning Privilege

Healthy people have the privilege of not having to constantly change their plans and cancel. If they plan to go to a concert three months from now they will likely be able to go. If they plan a date next week you will be able to go. Not all of us are as lucky to be so able- especially those of us with disabilities. Writing off everyone who has a disability, is a parent, or needs mental health days is going to keep you from meeting some amazing people. So give someone the benefit of the doubt and don’t write them off for canceling.

7 Mistakes People Make When Opening Up Their Relationship

I sincerely think that the hardest way to join the ranks of open relationships is through opening your existing relationship. Having to overcome what society has taught us about relationships is difficult. Overcoming those societal views and how they have affected your existing relationship is even more difficult.

This is not meant to chastise or criticize anyone. Opening relationships involves a lot of trial and error to find what works best for you. These are some of the mistakes friends, partners, and myself have made when first opening relationships. That isn’t to say that people can’t make some of these styles work for them, rather that these cause problems for a lot of couples.

1. Trying an Open Relationship with Closed Lips

(DADT) Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

It didn’t work for the military and isn’t likely to work with your new open relationship. When a couple initially opens their relationship they have trouble hearing about their partners with other people. As a result, they put in place a don’t ask don’t tell policy where they consent to their partners seeing other people but don’t want to talk about it or hear about it.

Why can it be a problem?

Addressing jealousy head on helps you get past it. If you are DADT to avoid feeling jealous is it is likely that those bad feelings will bubble up anyway. Sticking your fingers in your ears and singing isn’t the best way to avoid jealousy.

For me, polyamory isn’t just about having more than one partner. Polyamory, to me, is also about community. DADT means you can’t build that same community. With DADT you miss out on a big part of your partner’s life and possibly amazing friends and community.

2. Tell Me What You Want, What You Really Really Want

Not Figuring Out What You Want

A lot of couples dive into polyamory without talking about what they want. I know couples who have been to polyamorous events without even discussing how they felt about flirting in front of one another. They were broken up a week later. I see other couples, again and again, start dating new partners before figuring out what they want.

So why is it a problem?

It isn’t fair to the people you date. If you hop into a serious (or even casual) relationship before figuring out what you want you are kind of guaranteeing that your partner will get hurt. Don’t use people as experiments and stop seeing them as people.

3. Veto Power

“The second either of us is uncomfortable we will stop.”
“If I am not okay with someone you have to break up with them.”

Veto Power is the power of one part of a couple to make decisions for their partner’s dating life. Sometimes they can veto people or situations. Again, this may look like a good way to protect your feelings. Again, it isn’t.

The problem?

When I date someone I want to date that person. I want myself and them to be the only people making decisions for our relationship. Not their partner. When you allow your partners to make decisions for relationships they aren’t involved in you are hurting yourselves and anyone who dares to date you.

Vetoing things almost always from a place of insecurity or jealousy. When things are vetoed you may become more comfortable with the situation, but polyamory may never work for you if you don’t ever work through your insecurities or jealousy. Working through them both is so important to having multiple relationships; you can’t simply skip this step. Becoming uncomfortable is how we grow, so rethink the veto.

4. Avoiding Your Metamours

Metamours are our partner’s partners. Similar to don’t ask don’t tell relationships, many people consent to an open relationship but don’t want to meet their metamours.

An argument for meeting your metamours.

Often when we get jealous of our metamours we put them on a pedestal. Meeting them helps us realize they are a human with faults, just like you. Meeting metamours almost always helps with jealousy.

You already have so much in common, your partner that connects you, that often metamours get along wonderfully. I often become good friends or even date my metamours. If I never met my metamours I would have missed out on meeting so many amazing people.

5. You Can Only Have One Penis In Your Life

One Penis Policy

A one penis policy is usually a rule in heterosexual relationships and basically means that the bisexual woman can only date women and the man can date women too.

There are so many things wrong with this.

It says that relationships or sex between two women is not equal to heterosexual relationships. OPP lets men date anyone they are attracted to, but not everyone women are attracted to. It is sexist and simply unfair.

6. Unicorns Are People Too

Unethical Unicorn Hunting

Unicorn hunting is when a couple tries to find a bisexual (unicorn) to add to their couple. It can be done right, respectfully, and ethically -but it usually isn’t.

The mistakes unicorn hunters make.

Couples often expect the unicorn to come in as less than their relationship. Couples often treat the unicorn as a sex toy or relationship tool rather than a person. I dated a couple once and even though they were with each other all the time and I only saw them every once in awhile because of distance, they expected me to date only them (and didn’t communicate this). Basically remember they are a person and treat them as such!

7. Only Date The Same Person

A lot of couples only date the same people, but sometimes that can be even harder on the relationship.

How only dating the same people as your partner is limiting.

Finding someone that one person is compatible with is difficult, finding someone who is compatible with you and your partner is close to impossible. When you add in the common expectation that all relationships with this new person have to advance at the same time and in the same way- then it really is impossible.

You are your partner are different people (I really hope you realize this, but for some reason, some of you still share a Facebook so you need a reminder). You may be compatible with each other but it is unlikely that you will find the same people attractive, be drawn to the same personalities, or that the same people will be attracted to both of you. Only dating the same person is hugely limiting your dating pool and is going to make polyamory very difficult for you.

You may have noticed a pattern. A lot of the rules we put in place to protect our feelings aren’t protecting feelings at all. Rules about safe sex and abuse are, of course, exceptions. Rather, these rules keep us from growing as people and addressing our jealousy and insecurities. When we put off dealing with these feelings they grow out of control. They make polyamory hurtful, instead of how wonderful it can be.