What is Polyfidelity?

Polyfidelity is form of polyamory where all members are considered equal partners. Sounds like straight-up poly, but here’s the twist… all the people in the group agree to be sexually involved only with other members. How big the group is varies, as well as the living arrangements. Trust and honesty play a big part in these groups, as they should in any healthy relationship.

The term polyfidelity was coined back in the seventies in a San Francisco commune called Kerista Village. There, members were expected to be sexually active (within gender-identity boundaries) with all other members and to not form any exclusive relationships. Polyamory rules and structures are forever evolving!

Polyfidelity may also be referred to as polyexclusivity or the relationships as polyfaithful. So to me, it almost sounds like a cross between monogamy and swinging. These relationships are like monogamy in that they are closed outside of the defined group which is always more than two.

Keeping your sexual activity within a contained group allows for more intense bonding, more than you might have with just a primary partner. Another advantage of being in a polyfidelity group is the emotional safety members feel from those who are committed to the group. Not that you can’t leave if things turn sour; it’s not a cult!

The PF group is not for every practicing poly though; many polys want more flexibility. A more open relationship allows for sexual and emotional bonding with less boundaries and more individuals. And as great as polyfidelity may sound, it can be hard to find the right group who will all be able to commit for any length of time.

Read more about the origins of polyfidelity: Kerista Commune

What do you think about polyfidelity? Do you have experience with this form of polyamory?

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