‘The practice of engaging in multiple sexual relationships with the consent of all the people involved’
Call it the Tinder effect or a social shift that is sweeping the globe, the hookup culture has become quite a phenomenon in major Indian cities as well. But many critics have argued the case of another upcoming (even ancient, according to some people) relationship practice called polyamory. Even the version of Microsoft Office installed on my computer doesn’t recognise the term. So here’s what both you and my PC need to know about it.
What is polyamory?
The term is derived from Greek and Latin words poly and amor, implying ‘many loves.’ Someone who is polyamorous has more than one romantic relationship at one time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved.
You mean polygamy?
Polyamory should not be confused with polygamy, which is the practice of one person in a couple having more than one partner. Polyamory, on the other hand, stresses on openness, fair distribution of attention.
It is different from cheating, where people are kept under the dark about other relationship(s). Polyamory is a completely different philosophy which believes that relationships do not come as a one-size-fits-all.
It is also different from Swinging. There, the focus is on recreational sex, though friendships and deeper bonds may develop. On the contrary, polyamory sets the focus on deeper relationships and sex is (often) a part of it.
Are there any rules?
Though there are no fixed rules for polyamory, one of the following arrangements can be commonly found:
How do I discover if I’m poly?
To give a try at being poly you need to be in one such arrangement. Make sure that everyone is on the same page in terms of your expectations, restrictions, involvement of new people and the involvement in each others’ lives. Also, be compassionate, give things time and ensure that there is good communication and regular conflict resolution.
Where do you find other poly people?
Go out and talk. Also, join a local poly group to help learn more about such arrangements. You even have polyamory dating sites these days!