You may have noticed that sometimes when you’re dating, a woman you’re seeing is obviously seeing other men as well. Maybe a married woman has caught your eye online, and says she is looking for casual sex. You yourself are juggling different connections and not looking to settle down. By now you know that some people date one person at a time, and some date many or are open to it.
Polyamory has really come out of the woodwork lately. While it is nothing new, and exists as a lifestyle choice or a custom through many cultures and eras, it is more and more visible, and common to choose polyamory.
That doesn’t mean everyone is polyamorous, and not everyone identifies that way or calls their current state of dating by a label. People continue dating in a range of ways with a variety of purposes. But many of them do choose polyamory—the love of many.
6 Reasons People Choose Polyamory
1. Polyamory Is Natural
Most proponents of polyamory recognize that monogamy is not natural and reject the social construct of propriety, embracing our natural attraction to a variety of partners. Monogamy is rare in the animal kingdom, including the primates that are closest to us.
2. Polyamory Is Political
Some choose polyamory because it is natural, and some take it a step further and see the embrace of nature as a radical act of resistance. They view monogamy as a means of social control, especially control of the female. Heteronormative monogamy excludes women, trans people, and folks with different orientations from “God’s plan” so these lovers reject that plan and follow nature’s way as an act of defiance from social control.
3. Poly Happens
Polyamory often presents itself as a radical solution where it seemed there wasn’t one. Maybe a couple who loves each other very much didn’t want to break it off but there wasn’t much spark left in the sex. The couple chose “an arrangement.” In older television or film, you’ll often hear these words as a euphemism or a wink-nod of sorts. “Ma’am, were you aware your husband was having an affair with his secretary?” “Yes, we had an arrangement.”
Or maybe a person came to a fork in the road, in love with two people at once, or attracted to two men or women. They had a choice to make, and then realized there was another option altogether.
4. It’s an Orientation
For some people who choose polyamory, it’s not something accidental or something that just “comes up” at some point in their dating life. Some polyamorous people identify that way and view polyamory as a sexual orientation. They know they aren’t wired to be monogamous and view polyamory as an identity, the way someone else might view being gay or kinky.
People choose polyamory for the freedom to enjoy and experience sex on their own terms, without socially imposed limits. Many people who love kink and BDSM find more acceptance and like-minded play partners in the poly community.
6. Polyamory Is Part of their Culture
The western world is used to the construct of one-man one-woman marriage, but just because that’s the most familiar to our history doesn’t mean it’s the only way cultures perceive marriage and sex. There are countless traditions that veer dramatically from this paradigm. Cultural customs and taboos vary widely.
There are polygamous cultures where men have many wives, and not all of them are experienced as misogynist: some view this is as a natural way of keeping communities of women around children, or keeping sisters together, or making sure women have a husband when male populations are low because of war. Some cultures are polyandrous—women take many suitors.
Are you polyamorous? How did you get there and why? Tell us in the comments below!