Adult Bliss Erotic Boutique

Am I In A Polyamorous or Open Relationship?

Everybody has a different idea of what a relationship looks like to them and with that comes different wants and needs within those relationships. Western society typically favours monogamous relationships, we grow up seeing monogamous relationships in real life and popular culture; but what if that doesn’t work for everybody? Some people have higher sex drives or want to do things their significant other doesn’t. Some people find emotionally they want more than one partner, whichever arrangement works for you is the right one. We don’t need to stick to what is “normal”, think about what will work for you and your relationships.

What is monogamy?

Monogamy is having a sexual and emotional relationship with only one partner. That’s it, simple. This means that people in a monogamous relationship can get their cup filled by this one person across all areas they need in a relationship, they don’t need anybody else to fill in any gaps. 

What is Polyamory? 

Polyamory is when people in a relationship have multiple romantic (and typically sexual) relationships, with the knowledge and consent of all the people involved. I say this again, with the knowledge and consent of ALL people involved. This can look completely different in every poly relationship.

An analogy I always use for polyamory is how we all have numerous friends, and we don’t get jealous over that. I am friends with Rachel because she has these same interests as me. But I am also friends with Hannah because she has other interests in common with me. I am friends with Brad because he really supports me with this and that. I can’t get everything I need from one friend, they all come together to fill in any gaps I need filled. Sometimes that’s what it iss like for poly people, you might be the best partner, but you hate going on hikes and you hate anal, so instead of doing things you hate, you let the other partner who loves hikes and anal do that side of things. you might be the best partner, but you hate going on hikes and you hate anal, so instead of doing things you hate, you let the other partner who loves hikes and anal do that side of things​.

This might be that partner A and B are bisexual and want to have a female and male partner, this might be that the partner A is fine with just partner B but is also okay with partner B seeing partner C; it might be that partner A is dating partner B and C while B and C are dating each other too; it might be that partner A and partner B have numerous other partners C,D,E,F However it looks the important thing is that everybody knows about everybody else and is happy with the arrangement.

Ethical polyamory is a term you might come across in conversations with other poly people and it is important, but why? Because ethical in this context literally means that everybody knows about the arrangement, nobody is lying or hiding anything from the other people involved. Open and honest communication is key here.

If you aren’t open and honest with your partners that you have other partners, then you are just cheating and trying to disguise it as polyamory to make yourself feel better about it.

Don’t feel better about it, cheating is cheating, polyamory is polyamory, they are completely different.

While I’m touching on Ethical polyamory, I want to touch on sexual health within poly and open relationships because I think sexual health in relationships is an ethical issue too. If you have more than one sexual partner, and they have more than one sexual partner, the likelihood of sexually transmitted diseases and/or pregnancy increases. 

Please remember to have the discussion with all partners about what contraceptives and prophylactics everybody is using and what everybody expects of the other partners too. 

I have had in the past where I was fluid bonded with somebody I was seeing already when I started seeing somebody else too. The partner I was fluid bonded with – we kept it with me just on the pill and he would use condoms with others. With my new partner we used condoms as well as the pill. This always must be coupled with getting regular STD testing. I get mine done every 3-6 months depending on how sexually active I have been. Better to be safe than sorry, and if you do find you have an STD make sure to tell all your partners so they can get checked and so can their partners. Things happen sometimes, and we can’t help it, better for everybody to be informed ASAP.

Every polyamorous relationship looks different, and that is fine, the most important rules are contraceptives, prophylactics and open honest communication. Other than that, there aren’t any real “rules” as such. Have fun and experiment to see what works for you. Polyamorous relationships are different to open relationships, or you might have both, rules around open relationships I will touch on soon.

So, what is an open relationship then? 

Open relationships typically mean partners can engage in sexual activity with other people but not date other people. This can be allowed separately, together or both. Some relationships only let their partners sleep with others while their partner is there, others you can do what you want sexually with other people; just make sure that your significant other knows about it. Remember if you are lying or hiding things from your partner it isn’t an agreed arrangement, you’re just cheating.

Again, I touch on the ethical part of open relationships, this is so simple, talk to your partner, make sure you are both okay with what is happening and that nothing has changed. If your partner isn’t happy with something, stop, figure out what is going on, talk it out and then move on. It might be as simple as some insecurities, and they just need some reassurance that you still love them. If the problem is something else, the best option is to stop, debrief and then decide where to go from there. Also remember to be ethical with contraceptives and prophylactics here too. If your partner expects that you will use a condom with others, then do it.

If you are in a monogamous relationship and want to trying being open or poly then you need to start this conversation with your partner. Bring it up and see what they say, you never know.We are so lucky that we have the internet at our fingertips now, have a google and see what others are doing and what advice is out there for you both. You can always give it a try and if you or your partner don’t like it or don’t feel comfortable, you can always go back. You can always say we tried but it’s better this way or just make small adjustments to things as you go to see what works when.

What’s the difference between polyamory and open relationships?

The easy answer is polyamory is emotional and can be sexual, open is just sexual. This might be that you are allowed to go have a one-night stand but not date somebody. This might be you and your partner going to swinger parties together, all sex no relationship. Whatever your arrangement is, stick to it and if you want anything to change, have that conversation, don’t lie or hide things.

Whether you want to be monogamous, polyamorous, open, both or anything in between the only thing you must remember is to be open and honest with everything and it will all work out. Lies and hiding thing sow the seeds of jealousy and doubt. If you have any questions have a look on the internet, have a look in some groups on Facebook, have a chat to your friendly sex shop owner, have a read of some books (The Ethical Slut, by Dossie Easton, springs to mind) and trust your gut. Everybody is different and the relationship that works for you might not work for others and that is fine.

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkdin
Share on Pinterest

Want to Write For us? or have a topic you would like us write about?

Get in touch and we will get back to you soon.

Love Sex Positive Content?

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Leave a comment

You must Be 18 or older to Continue

this website cantains material intended for people over the age of 18.
are you over 18 years of age?

Click here for general information on parental controls.

By selecting yes, you are consenting to our cookies policy and agreeing to our policies and age verification.