Polyamory, which is the practice of having romantic relationships with multiple partners simultaneously with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved, has a long and varied history. While the term “polyamory” is relatively new, the concept of non-monogamous relationships dates back centuries.
Many indigenous cultures around the world have a long history of non-monogamous relationships. For example, in some African societies, it was common for a man to have multiple wives, and in Polynesia, there were cultural practices that allowed for multiple partners. In ancient Greece, there were relationships between multiple men and women, and in ancient Rome, there were examples of marriages involving multiple partners.
In the 20th century, the idea of non-monogamy gained greater visibility and acceptance within certain subcultures. In the 1960s and 1970s, the counterculture movement in the United States challenged traditional societal norms and championed the idea of free love, which allowed for more open and exploratory relationships. In the 1980s and 1990s, the LGBT community also began to explore non-monogamous relationships as a way of challenging societal expectations and creating more inclusive relationship models.
The term “polyamory” was coined in the early 1990s by the Kerista Commune, a utopian community in San Francisco. The term quickly gained popularity and was adopted by other non-monogamous communities, including the BDSM community.
Today, polyamory has become more mainstream, with a growing number of people openly practicing and advocating for it. However, it is still not widely accepted in mainstream society, and many people who practice polyamory still face stigma and discrimination.
Different Types #
Polyamory can take many different forms, and the relationships within a polyamorous community can vary widely depending on the people involved and their preferences. Here are a few examples of different types of polyamorous relationships:
- Hierarchical Polyamory: In hierarchical polyamory, one partner or relationship is considered primary, and other partners or relationships are considered secondary. The primary partner or relationship may have more importance or decision-making power, and may take priority in scheduling and other logistics.
- Non-Hierarchical Polyamory: In non-hierarchical polyamory, all partners or relationships are considered equal. There is no hierarchy or primary relationship, and everyone involved has an equal say in decision-making.
- Solo Polyamory: Solo polyamory refers to individuals who are not currently in a committed primary partnership, but who have multiple intimate relationships with other individuals. In this type of polyamory, the focus is on individual autonomy and independence, rather than on building a primary partnership.
- Relationship Anarchy: Relationship anarchy is a philosophy that rejects traditional relationship hierarchies and encourages individuals to create relationships based on their own preferences and desires. In relationship anarchy, all relationships are seen as equal and there are no predefined rules or expectations.
- Triad/Quad Relationships: A triad or quad relationship involves three or four individuals who are all involved with each other romantically or sexually. In a triad, each person may be involved with both of the other two people, while in a quad, each person may be involved with three of the others.
- Polyfidelity: Polyfidelity is a type of polyamorous relationship in which a group of individuals are committed to each other romantically or sexually, and do not involve any other partners outside of the group. This is often seen as a way of creating a committed, long-term polyamorous relationship that is similar to a monogamous relationship in terms of exclusivity and commitment.
These are just a few examples of the different types of polyamorous relationships that exist. It’s important to note that polyamory is a diverse and evolving community, and the definitions and practices may vary from person to person.