Agreements, guidelines and fidelity that is agentic polyamorous relationships


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Drawing on information from 343 studies and 12 interviews collected as an element of a large-scale scientific study on intimate relationships in the us, this research examines agreements and guidelines within self-identified polyamorous relationships. Findings illustrate that polyamorists explicitly resist the master template that is monogamous numerous intimate and psychological lovers although dedication continues to be salient within such relationships. Outcomes suggest that polyamorists do break the principles of these relationships although ‘cheating’ isn’t a appropriate construct for such behavior. Although polyamory affords explicit rejection of intimate and psychological exclusivity, study and meeting information claim that by underscoring their capability for numerous loves, there continues to be a continued increased exposure of psychological in place of intimate closeness. This article presents fidelity’ that is‘agentic that is a particular as a type of dedication among polyamorists that relies upon severe self-knowledge and option exercised through the capability to show requirements and boundaries.


We thank David John Frank, Francesca Cancian, Belinda Robnett, and also the anonymous reviewers at Psychology & Sexuality due to their insights and comments that are helpful.


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1. Polyamory joined the Oxford English Dictionary being a noun defined as, ‘The reality of experiencing simultaneous close psychological relationships with a couple of other people, seen as an option to monogamy, esp. in regard to issues of intimate fidelity; the customized or training of participating in numerous intimate relationships using the knowledge and permission of most lovers worried (OED Online)’.

2. Seventy-nine per cent of bisexual participants had been ladies, which can be a limitation associated with test and can even influence the leads to regards to the establishment, settlement and content associated with guidelines. But, research shows few guys earnestly self-identify as bisexual, whereas bisexuality is a far more appropriate orientation among females (Weinberg et al., Weinberg, M. , Williams, C. and Prior, D . Twin attraction: Learning bisexuality, ny : Oxford U Press . Google Scholar ).

3. Some relationships utilise a structure that is primary/secondary wherein main lovers are dyadic and additional lovers run more with regards to of satellite relations. For other individuals, the simple utilization of the terms ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ conflict with polyamory for the reason that numerous primaries are normal or this type of framework reinforces hierarchical valuation or prioritisation of lovers.

4. A few scientists have actually explored the text between BDSM/Kink subcultures and polyamory, suggesting both share comparable values (sincerity, interaction, security) (see Sheff Sheff, E . Polyamorous females, intimate subjectivity, and energy . Journal of modern Ethnography, 34: 251 – 283 . Crossref, internet of Science ® , Google Scholar). Both BDSM and polyamorists additionally have fun with breaking lots of standard kinds of relating and interaction that is social.


This study considered the text among components of rising adults’ identities and their relational and sociosexual orientations since well as his or her attitudes toward consensual non-monogamy (CNM). Outcomes suggest significant relationships among individuals collective that is social identification aspects, as dictated within the AIQ-IV, and exactly how rising adults label their relational orientations ( e.g., strictly monogamous, monogamish, available, and polyamorous). Furthermore, findings show that the salience/importance of social categories, functions, and reputations in one’s identification is related to exactly exactly just how people decide to label their relational orientation, their attitudes toward non-monogamy, and their orientation toward uncommitted intercourse (sociosexual orientation). Discussion, implications, and directions that are future.


This manuscript is founded on the very first author’s thesis, directed by the author that is second. The writers wish to thank three anonymous, helpful reviewers along with Drs. Jennifer Guthrie, Emma Bloomfield, and Rachael Robnett with their responses and help.

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Department of Communication Studies, University of Nevada, Vegas, USA

Amber K. Stephens & Tara M. Emmers-Sommer

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