Just as there are many different types of poly people, so are there many definitions of the term polyamory. There is not only polaymory but many polyamories. (Just as there are many monogamies: many different ways to enact monogamy.) Below is my current provisional definition of polyamory. It’s open to revision, of course. I welcome comment/critique, as I work to make this definition better and better. Thanks!

Polyamory is a relationship orientation and a cultural worldwide movement that rejects the assumption that love is a finite resource. Thus, to be polyamorous is to believe that abundant love is possible: within spiritual, sexual, emotional, and/or intellectual relationships between honest, communicative, consenting adults. As an orientation toward the world that is an alternative to monogamy (but not necessarily “against” monogamy–for monogamy may work for some people), a key tenant is the notion that it is possible to ethically and responsibly love more than one person at a time. However, a polyamorous person may identify as such no matter what form their various relationships take. In other words, one does not have to have multiple partners to be identified as poly (e.g an unattached single person can be polyamorous).

Other closely related terms but not quite synonymous terms are are “ethically non-monogomous” and “open.”

2 Responses to Definition(s)

  1. Singerofallsongs says:

    I came across your blog in a post you left on the polyresearch yahoo group I belong to. I really enjoyed what you wrote and resonate with much of it. Thank you for putting so much of yourself and your personal experience into your work. I have been exploring polyamory for the past 3 plus years and am extremely grateful to have found it. I think in my heart I have always been poly, but I didn’t know until recently that it was possible. Although, I have in many ways marched to the beat of a different drum, I also obey certain rules, and the stories that I was fed growing up, defined the rules for living and loving that I lived by…until I met my first poly partner. I now identify as poly by choice, however I am not openly poly in my home community, other than to some very close friends and family and my poly and kink social groups, because of the type of work that I do, and the communities that I live in.

    I admire and respect your bravery to be out in this way. I choose to continue to be a bridge builder today, and plant seeds where appropriate of relationship literacy and orientation choice to those within the “mononormative mainstream” who desperately need a way out from within……


    • heathertrahan7 says:

      Thank you for your feedback!

      I made the decision more than a year ago that I want my life to be a living testament to the beauty of polyamory. So being out is no longer an option for me–it’s a spiritual and political calling. More recently, due to many enlightening experiences with the kink/bdsm/spiritual communities (so much overlap there for me!) I realize that I also want my life to be a living testament to general sexpositivity and the radical healing potential in human touch. Touch is highly underestimated in our mainstream society.

      It truly is a shame that, for some of us poly folk, the work that we do and the communities we live in make us feel we have to be in the closet. Such a damn shame! However, I am sure that you will do what you can to make your life an expression of love. That’s really the core of poly. So even if you can’t be fully out and proud about your specific relationships, you can be out and proud about your wisdom that you have gained through poly. (Does that make sense? Are you following me?)

      Thank you for being brave and making brave choices. You rock.

      And thanks for reading my blog.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s