I’ve been in a polyfidelitous relationship for nearly five years now, and I love it! For me, it offers the perfect mix of freedom and security, space and connection. I’m not interested in sleeping with a bunch of people—that’s not why I entered into the poly lifestyle. I just wanted to honor the fact that my heart had room to grow.
Wondering if polyfidelity might be right for you? Read on.
What Is Polyfidelity?
Polyfidelity is a non-monogamous, egalitarian relationship model characterized by its closed-membership policy. It takes many forms, from triads to super complex polycules.
Some groups choose to all be romantically involved with one another, while others prefer to form individual relationships. In all cases, the rules they establish as a group must remain in place until everyone agrees to a change.
Is It Controlling or Restrictive?
Yes, and no. Equality and respect are central to polyfidelity. Relationship boundaries are determined right from the start, when everyone has the chance to voice their opinions. There might be times when you don’t agree with the group—perhaps you want to open the door to someone new, but others are resisting. The fact that new partners can’t be brought into the fold unless all agree, can feel restrictive at times.
It’s up to you to decide if you want to stay the course, or strike out on your own. If you feel trapped or guilted into staying, your relationship is toxic. You should never feel that you are being controlled by members of your polycule.
Is It still Polyamory, even with Limits?
Yes! Just because polyfidelity shares certain characteristics with monogamy—like rules about who you can and cannot sleep with—that doesn’t mean that it is any less poly! Polyamory is about more than just “free love.” It’s about creating relationships based on shared values and desires.
If members of a polycule choose to lock things down to new members, that’s their prerogative. As long as everyone is on the same page, and happy with the arrangement, it’s all good! Some people choose the poly lifestyle because they want to be free to explore as many sexual connections as possible, while others choose to dive deeply into a limited number of relationships. Both approaches are 100% poly.
What Are some Benefits of Polyfidelity?
Depending on the rules established within your polycule, you could enjoy the security of being fluid bonded, meaning that you don’t need to use protection when you have sex. This is a decision that takes lots of preparation, from STD testing to trust-building communication. Even if you never reach that level of intimacy, you could still benefit from the strong sense of love and community that comes of having more than one close, sexual relationship.
Some people find that engaging in polyfidelity leads to a greater feeling of connection and commitment, though it’s certainly not the only way to express those things in the polyverse.
Do you have any other questions about polyfidelity? Please ask in the comments!