I have dabbled in polyamory, but I would not describe myself as polyamorous. And I often make the mistake of assuming that most people out there know more about polyamory than I do.
Some of my most progressive friends don’t know what the word “polyamory” means. They usually say, “It’s a group sex thing, right?” Or they comment, “It’s kind of like polygamy.”
Even people living the lifestyle say that it’s a constant learning curve, that they’re always growing within polyamory. I’ll share with you some ways that you can explore polyamory, if it’s something you might want to try for yourself or with a current partner.
5 Ways to Explore the Polyamory Lifestyle
1. Search for Poly Forums
Poly people are generally very open and enjoy educating others about their lifestyle choices. They are also quick to dispel poly myths that get perpetuated through misinformation.Got a question? Don’t be shy, just ask.
You’re going to hear about a lot of different types of poly relationships, but don’t think that they are contradicting one another—there are so many ways to live a poly life. Knowing your options is just the beginning.
2. Explore Polyamory Blogs and Books
Google is your friend when it comes to online exploration of not just tips about polyamory, but also real-life stories about poly relationships, struggles that poly peeps face, what the must-haves of a poly relationship are, and also research and studies done about the people who choose this lifestyle.
If you’re an autodidact, you’ll likely want to read books on the subject too, of which there is no shortage.
3. Learn from Polyamorous Friends and Family
Maybe your cousin has two partners. Or your ex-girlfriend is living with her new boyfriend, and his other girlfriend. When someone in your sphere is poly, don’t be afraid to ask them about it.
What I’ve realized is that most people don’t ask, and that can be awkward. The worst that can happen is they tell you they aren’t comfortable answering. Most of the time, however, you’ll find a plethora of information from poly people who know what they’re talking about.
4. Reach Out to the Polyamory Community
Get online, and start exploring polyamorous groups in your area. You’ll likely be surprised by how many there are.
It may be a monthly meetup that gets together because they identify as poly (usually all interested are welcome). It may be a lecture or Q&A that discusses a specific concept within polyamory. It may be a theme-night at a raunchy sex bar. There are many community activities to explore polyamory.
5. Join Polyamory Dating Sites
This is where many poly people meet their partners. You’ll find sites that cater to individuals, as well as couples (new to or established as polyamorous). When you do find a poly dating site that suits your needs and desires, join.
It’s a safe place to explore polyamory from the comfort of home, where you can take your time, ask lots of questions, and plan your first poly date. You can design a complete dating profile to share that you’re new to polyamory, and state exactly what you are looking for, and what you’re not.
Because not one poly life fits all, it’s important to remember that when you hear about one type of relationship or lifestyle, that you don’t see that as the only poly path.
I have one friend who is in an egalitarian polycule with a man and his wife (she lives with them, but only has sexual relations with the husband.) Another friend has seven sexual partners, doesn’t live with any of them, but is honest with all of them, and open to more lovers. These are two very different snapshots of poly, but they both are on the spectrum.
What kind of poly lifestyle appeals to you? Are you already living it? Please share in the comments!