Dare to Ask Summer: Polyamory

What does it mean: poly (greek) many, Amor (Latin) love.

Polyamory is about building and maintaining committed multiple romantic relationships at the same time.

polyamory is about:

Trust, honesty, dignity, and respect.

Polyamory is only one type of non-exclusive relationship. Polyamory is not an interchangeable term for non-monogamous relationships.

Polyamory is

  • consensual;
  • has many variations;
  • usually respects sexual and gender diversity;
  • you don’t need to have multiple relationships to be in a relationship with a polyamorous.

Polyamory requires advanced interpersonal skills and a huge dose of commitment to the continuous development of relationships. It requires awareness of one’s limits and needs and willingness and high abilities to discuss and solve interpersonal issues among multiple partners and their partners.

Polyamory does not contain any assumptions about sexual intercourse among partners or partner’s partners. sexual choices, habits, and needs are individuals and vary among individuals. In polyamory, you are not required to take part in group sex! But if you’d like to, as in any other relationship, you should explore your needs, express your wish, and look for a suitable arrangement and consenting partners.

Some vocabulary


n. or adj., is short for polyamory and polyamorous, sometimes used also as a prefix.

Poly network and intimate network:

commonly a poly network is composed of two or three people living together and having other relationships depending on their life situations. as Poly networks, intimate networks are webs of people “with varying levels of interpersonal bonding and commitment who share a belief in open multilateral relationships.” (Cherie L. Ve Ard and Franklin Veaux. ©2003, 2005)


sharing your beloveds’ happiness knowing that they are expressing their love also beyond your relationship.


is a term in use to refer to a partner’s partner.

Solo poly:

is a style of living polyamory in which a person has multiple committed relationships still maintaining their independence (housing, finances, etc.). solo poly people do not cohabitate with partners.


happens when a person who does not have multiple committed relationships and maybe identifies as monogamous is in a relationship with a poly and doesn’t experience their partner having multiple committed relationships as a problem.


are ambiguous expressions. With “primary” was once designated a partner whose needs were for everyone the most important and with “secondary” those partners whose needs were secondary to the primary partner/relationship. This is also called a hierarchy, or a hierarchical type of relationship. Later, some have started using “primary” designation for the partner with whom they have the most commitment, for example, living together and having children. Secondary, as a term, is obsolete mostly because many find it offensive.. meaning should always be ascertained with the user. (www.polyamoria.fi)


a group in which all partners are primary to all other partners and sexual fidelity is to the group; shared intent of a lifelong run together. More primary partners can be added with everyone’s consent, or the group may not allow any “outside” partners at all. The term was coined by the Kerista commune. (Cherie L. Ve Ard and Franklin Veaux. ©2003, 2005)