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Some Quick Education on Ethical Non-Monogamy and Terms

Updated: Nov 28, 2021


If you are relatively new to the exploration of ethical non-monogamy, you are probably trying to figure out what a lot of the circulating terms mean (what is a "Vee?!", compersion, relationship anarchy and etcetera) so we wanted to make sure that we give you some terminology to help you navigate your journey a bit easier!


Ethical Non-Monogamy

Umbrella term for any type of relationship that does not follow the practice of monogamy, which is one partner and one relationship at any one time. Ethical Non-Monogamous relationships can be:


Polyamory - An approach to relationships where people can have multiple romantic/sexual partners at the same time.

Solo Polyamory - Someone who has multiple intimate relationships, but has an independent/single lifestyle.

Open relationships - When a couple has an individual romantic relationship but does not commit to one another sexually

Swinging - When a couple has sex with other couples, or swap partners for sexual encounters.

Polygamy - The practice of having more than one wife (Polygyny) or husband (Polyandry) at the same time. Polygamy means "many spouses". There is often a religious component and can also have a poly-mono relationship dynamic (Example being - Larry has two wives, and those two wives are "sister-wives", where they are monogamously linked to the husband and do not have a romantic connection to one another)

Relationship Anarchy - The practice of eliminating the relationship escalator of socially mandated expectations and labels (friends vs. lovers) and forming relationships defined entirely on needs, wants, and desires of those practicing it.

Ambiamorous - To have the ability to enjoy both monogamous or polyamorous relationships with little to no preference between the two


Metamour

Two individuals who share a partner, but aren't romantically involved themselves. For example, Derrick and Yvonne are a couple, but Yvonne has another boyfriend named Michael. Michael and Derrick are not romantically involved, but they are both partners of Yvonne, so that makes them Metamours to one another.

Compersion

The opposite of jealousy. In relation to polyamory, it is used to explain the feeling of joy or pleasure you get when you see your partner happy. When they meet someone they like, when they go on a date, when they find another partner they like. You feel happiness for their joy.

Fluid Bonding

It means not using protection and "exchanging bodily fluids" with a partner. Because of the risks that come with having sex, it is important to communicate with your partners on how you each intend to practice safe sex, and how you feel about your partners having sex without protection with their other partners.



Those are just examples, there are many configuration types with many partners involved to some capacity. What it looks like really depends on the person and partners involved. As long as there is always consent and communication present, you get to decide what type of partnership works best for you.

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