Cathy: What’s the difference between an open relationship and a polyamorous relationship? This is Yoni Alkan from http://www.ElementsOfSexuality.com/.
Yoni: And this is Cathy Vartuli from http://www.TheIntimacyDojo.com/ and we’re here today to talk about different types of relationships.
Cathy: And it’s so fun to dig into and see what other people think. Figure out where you might fit.
Yoni: Yeah because every person has their own rules and what they do and what they don’t do. You ask what’s the difference between open relationship and polyamory but I think that in order to talk about that let’s talk for a second about monogamy which is the standard, the default in our society nowadays. Basically, monogamy says that you are with one person and you are only with them both body and soul if you want to talk about it that way and that means that you don’t have sexual contact with other people and you don’t plan on having deep relationships with other people.
Cathy: And different people have fence. Some people are okay to have emotionally deep relationships and some people like no that’s mine.
Yoni: Yeah. As always what you define as a relationship changes from person to person so that also changes. That’s monogamy. When you keep a monogamy but you do have sexual contact to whatever degree with other people that is called an open relationship. You have one partner that is your main partner but you do have sexual contact, again to whatever extent with other people and that’s an open relationship. As opposed to polyamory that means that you have multiple relationships with a few people. You can have sex with those people, you can only have relationship with those people, you can have sex with people outside of that poly relationship or you can keep the sex only inside your, what’s called a polycule. Only the people who are polyamorous with one another that is called poly-fidelity. That means you’re poly but not open. Think about it.
Cathy: No. it’s great. I really like talking about this because the community I was hanging out with, they talked about open meaning of the non-monogamous kind of an umbrella term for monogamous. Where we’re using as a, your group using it as a definition different from poly ot non-monogamous. It’s not an umbrella term.
Yoni: Right and usually a lot of people use poly as an umbrella term and that’s not exact and I want to be exact and say there’s a difference between polyamory and sexually open relationships and using Poly as an umbrella term, I don’t like to do that. I usually use CNM which is consensual non-monogamy but each person I’ve heard ethical non-monogamy or alternative relationships. Each person finds their own.
Cathy: Dossie Easton’s book, The Ethical Slut is a great one for that. I think it’s important for you if you are listening, notice what resonates for you. Like oh yeah, I want to have one partner that I’m in love with and I’m planning retirement. We’re just the two of us working plan where we live and what jobs we take but we can sleep with other people versus U want to plan without several people I want to have in my life for the rest of my life and we’re going to plan together as either as a group or individual connections. We’re going to plan things together and more deep relationships.
Yoni: Right and each one of them can take so many different ways and forms and each person finds their own way, each relationship sorry, finds their own way. It’s just very so much, we might say that Poly and open are umbrella terms of themselves.
Cathy: Yeah and as it becomes more popular, some people are more comfortable with it. We can talk about it more. There might be some shifts in the languaging but just part of this having a dialogue about it, I think is powerful. I wish I knew about some of this stuffs when I was younger, some relationships that concluded very badly would probably been very healthy and loving if I have some other definitions of how I could but I just had you must marry and have kids, both be heterosexual and it was I love being less limited.
Yoni: Yeah and these subjects are so huge, we talk about them and we talked about them extensively and how to do it because it’s not simple but it’s definitely doable.
Cathy: So we’d love to know what you think. Can you leave some comments below or any question you have? What’s coming up for you when you hear these definitions?
Yoni: Yeah. What makes you cringe or what makes you excited about it? Thank you