In cultures where monogamy is the dominant tradition there is a rich heritage of nonmonogamy. Some of these nonmonogamous relationships are responsible but many of them are not. Some of them are operated under the "Mistress System" that states "It is OK to love more than one person as long as you don't get caught." Many of the worlds wealthest citizens have mistesses and kept men. The wealthy have the financial resources to maintain separate multiple households. Others operated under the system of infidelity as exhibited by many monogamous cultures high incidence of extramartial sexual involvement. Recent conservative estimates are that 60% of men and 40% of women will have an extramartial affair at some time in their monogamous marriage. Even if half of the women having affairs (20%) are married to men not included in the 60% having affairs, then at least one partner will have had an affair in approximatly 80% of all marriages. I was told by an ex-monogamous partner, "you won't be hurt by what you do not know and I prefer to keep it this way". Where is the honesty and ethics in these systems? Then other nonmonogamous relationships in monogamous cultures are represented through Open Marriages or Relationships. Then still others occur as a result of couple involvement in recreational swinging activities. So Nonmonogamy has always exsisted in monogamous cultures and one would be lead to believe that they alway will. Concepts such as more variety and diversity are not words that just recently came to the attention of monogamous cultures, they have been around for centuries. Some of these Nonmonogamous relationships were honest and ethical and many of them were not. The present day Polyamory Movement grew out of the Group Marriage and Communal Movement of the nineteen sixties and seventies. The term Polyamory was not coined until the the nineteen eighties. Prior to the nineteen eighties the words that were used were Group Marriage, Plural Marriage, Polyandry, Polygamy and Polygyny.
Polyamory is the nonpossessive, honest, responsible and ethical philosophy and practice of loving multiple people simultaneously. Polyamory emphasizes consciously choosing how many partners one wishes to be involved with rather than accepting social norms which dictate loving only one person at a time. Polyamory is an umbrella term which integrates traditional multipartner relationship terms with more recent terms. Polyamory is from the root words Poly meaning many and Amor meaning Love hence "Many Loves" or Polyamory.
Polyamory is a lovestyle. Not a group, sect, or cult asking Polyamorists to isolate themselves from their loved ones or asking them to follow a specific dogma or doctrine. It is not about your family member isolating themselves away from their family of origin but about expanding the family. Polyamory is not a swing club or group. Polyamory is not about recreational or promiscuous sex. Most Polyamorists are not promiscuous people.
Polyamory is about community, honesty and ethics. Polyamory is about future family models and the belief that human beings have the ability to love more than one person intimately in a committed, sustainable, multiple relationship. Polyamory is about maturity and overcoming our jealousies. Practicing new concepts such as Compersion.
Compersion is the feeling of happiness in the joy that others you love share among themselves, especially taking joy in the knowledge that your beloveds are expressing their love for one another. The term was coined by the Keristan Commune in San Francisco which practiced Polyfidelity. Kerista disbanded in the early 1990's.
Polyamory is about committing ourselves to a group of people and purpose(s) that we identify with and love to be with. Polyamory is about mutually sharing one life with a group of people whom we believe in and identify with. Polyamory is about living a wholesome, healthy and responsible life. It is about leaving a foundation behind for other humans to build on when our era has past. This includes those that have chosen to practice monogamy. Polyamorists are like the Native, Asian and African Americans, Gay men, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Transgendered and other minority groups in the World who face bigotry and discrimination in their lives by people who would choose to dictate how other's should live their lives.