Polyamory (from Greek πολύ poly, “many, several”, and Latin amor, “love“) is the practice of, or desire for, intimate relationships with more than one partner, with the informed consent of all partners involved. It has been described as “consensual, ethical, and responsible non-monogamy“. People who identify as polyamorous believe in an open relationship with a conscious management of jealousy; they reject the view that sexual and relational exclusivity are necessary for deep, committed, long-term loving relationships.
Polyamory has come to be an umbrella term for various forms of non-monogamous, multi-partner relationships, or non-exclusive sexual or romantic relationships. Its usage reflects the choices and philosophies of the individuals involved, but with recurring themes or values, such as love, intimacy, honesty, integrity, equality, communication, and commitment.
Lately people have asked me a couple of times about polyamory. I talk to people who want polyamory in their relationship. I have to admit it sounds really good in theory. And there are a lot of angles where you can see this from. You can look at it from a gender, historical, health and emotional way. Let us do a small exploration;
Let’s look at history first.
In the last 2000 years we have a society that has been patriarchal. So this meant that men were at the head of companies, health organisations, religious centers and in the household. Women had to obey or at least listen to what a man was saying. Her sexuality was kept for her keeper, master and husband. I write it a little bit crude, just to show you how this took place. So women would have to get married to ensure their place and take the man’s name. Women would have the babies of that man, so you would be sure of that you were not giving your name or your heritage to your children. Men would have the freedom to look for novelty or sexuality outside. Because his wife was for the children and the household. In this day and age we see reminiscences of these structures. Slowly they are tumbling down, but still a lot of men and women tend to think this way. For men it has been socially accepted to be promiscuous. Hence naming the man a stud and the woman a whore.
Let’s look at health in a polyamourous relationship
Most of the research in history has been done on men. The clitoris was ‘found’ in the eighties, before that women could even be called hysterical or even be burnt for having a pleasure organ. All women have a clitoris, but in those times you just had to hide it. Women did a good job in that, so sometimes she doesn’t even know that she has a clitoris.
So when man and women go around and having sex with eachother they exchange bodily fluids. Now you have to be very sure of a few things, that she is using some sort of birth protection and he is using a condom. And we all know, the longer you start knowing somebody, those habits fade away. Another way to go around that is, getting tested regularly.
Let’s talk about the gender differences.
I am always surprised how men are given the idea that they should be these massive studs and women should be the sweet accepting role models. There is truth to it, but it is also exaggerated.
From a young age on, I would always be so awe of female sexuality and I would call my body a temple. Most of the time because I thought, why would I want everybody touching me?
Women need a certain hormone to really open up to a man, that is called oxytocin. When she has an abundance of this hormone she will be able to climax. Otherwise it will be very hard for her to climax. The vagina of a woman is the most magical thing. Women can have full body orgasms, they can have the ‘tiny’ clitoral orgasms, g-spot orgasms and they can squirt (and there is more). Women also need novelty, they need all their juices flowing.
Deep inside, every woman knows that women are by nature more capable to entertain more men. Society and history has kept that away from women, but if you would look at the gender, she would be the one who could manage more lovers in a physical way.
Look at the phenomen survival of the fittest by Darwin, which I don’t completely believe in, but in the case of sperm in the vagina competing to get to the egg, then yes. If she would be with more men, the sperm would compete even more.
There is a type of duck where the females have a vagina like a corkscrew, so evolution made that the male duck also developed a penis that can fit in there and not let her go. In that way he ensures that he will get his sperm to the egg. But the woman has another trick, when a man does his job well she has like little doors that open and close to the man of her liking. So she makes the decision whose sperm enters and makes the baby.
That is true magic right there.
For guys testosterone is the one thing that will make him the most healthy and virile. He also needs novelty and challenge, like women also need. He has to have the feeling that he is winning (there we get to the survival of the fittest thing again). Changing partners will give him that novelty. The right partner will give him that winning feeling.
So both genders could do polyamory. A man more in a serial way and women could have more men at the same time. Although if a man is young or has very high testosterone, he could entertain more women. On the other hand, men’s brains are developed to only do one thing at a time. They have a hard time focusing on more things at a time. Women can think of more things simultaneously. So for women three or foursomes would work much better.
The emotional way
This is a tricky one. For generations women have been taught to be in a certain way. Women know when you act in a certain way it pays off. So you act sexy, be very pleasing, nails done, hair done, you go for that certain look. Some women in some cultures can show more skin and others can’t. This all feels good. Approval feeds the need for oxytocin in women, but also serotonin.
Same goes for men, if culture says you need to be with more women, you will. When culture says don’t show your feelings too much, you won’t. By doing what society wants you will feel so much better.
Emotions are very connected to your thoughts about the situation. Sometimes this means that you look for validation, look for your own tribe. Just to make sure that you are thought of as normal.
As you can read every angle is related to the other, but the emotional one shows that if you are with people that accept the way you are, then polyamory is perfectly okay to do. In primate apes this is much more common. The Bonobo’s (the closest to human DNA) and the Maqui monkeys use sex in many varieties; polyamory, gay, hetero. There are even female monkeys with a small harem of men, to cater to her every need. In the animal world it is very common to do all kinds of things. In human society we are so ruled by dogma and ideas, what is right and what is wrong, that we slowly have to break free from those ideas.