It's 2016 and the world is at a crossroads. On the one hand, you have fear-mongering bigots like Donald Trump promoting a brand of conservatism which claims to protect people's rights through the elimination of difference and diversity. On the other, you have major celebrities such as Caitlyn Jenner and Ruby Rose helping to create a public understanding of people who identify outside of the realm of cis heteronormativity. For all of our advancement and progress, there still exist several demographics of people whose sexualities are ignored or considered to be illegitimate, and among these are people who identify as polyamorous.
Translated from the original Greek, polyamory means "many" or "several loves". Contrary to popular belief, polyamory is not the same thing as an open relationship. In an open relationship, a monogamous couple makes the decision to allow for auxiliary romances and sexual relations outside of their relationship. In a polyamorous relationship, there exist multiple relationships between multiple partners and each relationship is equally committed. Unfortunately, polyamory is often dismissed as a purely sexual framework for a relationship (think orgies and threesomes). There are very few representations of polyamorous relationships in pop culture and even fewer which are respectful or accurate.
For instance, movies like Savages (2012) depict two simultaneous heterosexual relationships (i.e. between Blake Lively and two different gorgeous men) where the basis of the relationship is a physical union between two men and a woman with no romantic or sexual relationship whatsoever between the men. This is an asymmetrical approach which focuses not on the comprehensive foundations of a polyamorous reality, but on the heterosexual, male-centric fantasy of 'sharing' a woman. People have a hard time accepting the possibility that an equality of love can be shared between multiple partners with the same degree of integrity as a monogamous relationship.
While, at first, this concern might seem logical, it is also built upon the presupposition of a romantic hierarchy. Most people feel that they are monogamous by nature rather than by choice and, therefore, that polygamy or polyamory is "unnatural." This belief that monogamy is at the top of the natural order undermines the very real and natural feelings of polyamorous people who don't believe that issues like jealousy or inequality come hand-in-hand with their approach to love.
So there you go, polyamory doesn't mean threesomes at parties or open relationships and it's not a jealousy trap. My advice: live and let live. There's nothing wrong with a little more love in the world! What do you think -could you see yourself in a polyamorous relationship, or would it be your worst nightmare? Comment below and let us know your opinion!
Video: Ask A Polyamorous Person