What Is Polyamory?

This is our short definition:


Polyamory is the absence, rather than the opposite, of monogamy. It is the pursuit or practice of multiple simultaneous sexual relationships. It is not synonymous with cheating or promiscuity.

Cheating involves dishonesty. The creation and maintenance of viable polyamorous relationships generally requires complete honesty and a lot of work.

Promiscuity generally implies lack of discrimination. Being polyamorous does not mean you will sleep with anyone. Polyamorous people are just as discriminating as monogamous people; they just invest energy in relationships in parallel, rather than serially.


Polyamory is the potential for loving more than one person within a given period of time. Here we’ll define “love” as a serious, intimate, romantic, stable, affectionate bond which a person has with another person or group of people. Responsible non-monogamy is another way of saying polyamory, and it is used to distinguish polyamory from “cheating.”

Polyamory is a general term covering a wide variety of relationship styles, including group marriage (polyfidelity), open marriage, expanded family, intimate network, and some kinds of intentional community.

Polyamory is a relationship choice available to people of any sexual orientation. Sometimes language familiar to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people is used to describe aspects of living as a polyamorous person (such as “coming out” as polyamorous). However, there are polyamorous people of all sexual orientations, just as there are monogamous people of all sexual orientations.


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