The prevalent narrative that women are more loyal, not that much into sex, and therefore are naturally inclined to monogamy than men is outdated and sexist. There’s no scientific proof to support this belief. On the contrary, abundant proof has shown that women have sexual needs and desires that one partner alone can rarely satisfy. It’s not a surprise then that women are leading the change when it comes to non-conventional relationships.
What is polyamory?
Polyamory can be defined as the practice of establishing intimate and romantic relationships with multiple partners at the same time. It’s a nonpossessive, ethical and honest lifestyle that emphasizes individual choice, consent, and open communication over social norms.
People in polyamorous relationships can identify with different genres and sexual orientations. Still, they’re all equally entitled to shape their relationship the way they see fit to fulfill their needs and desires, as long as they respect everyone else’s boundaries.
Polyamory isn’t cheating, as it’s consensual. It’s simply a different way of living and sharing love. And it seems that more and more people in the United States are buying into it and finding polyamorous relationships as satisfying as monogamous ones.
Polyamory VS other non-monogamous relationships
There’s a lot of confusion when it comes to describing polyamory.
What makes it different from polygamy is that it doesn’t involve marriage. Many countries don’t allow people to have multiple legal spouses and when polygamy is allowed is typically in the form of polygyny, which means that a man can marry several women, but not vice-versa.
Polyamory involves a certain degree of commitment towards all partners involved, with the intention of creating romantic relationships, which don’t necessarily have to include sex. Conversely, people in open relationships, swingers, and spouse swappers are committed to each other and agree to have multiple sexual partners without developing any emotional or romantic connections with them. Polysexuals strictly want sex. We will discuss the topic of polysexuality in another post.
Who practices Polyamory?
Many think that polyamorous people are just greedy or sex addicts, but there’s no direct connection between polyamory and sex addiction. Asexual people may happily engage in polyamorous relationships, and, as stated above, sex doesn’t necessarily have to be in the equation.
There’s also a misconception that polyamorous people simply cannot commit. We don’t believe that it’s true, as polyamory is, by definition, a committed relationship, and all committed relationships require time, energy, and presence, no matter the number of partners involved.
Some people feel drawn to polyamory because they’re attracted or fall in love with more than one person at a time. Others want to experience romantic love and sex with someone of a different gender or sexual orientation. Practically all polyamorous people reclaim their freedom to shape their relationships the way they want, rejecting the one-size-fits-all social and cultural norm.
Why do women choose polyamorous relationships?
Historically, all monogamous relationship models have subjugated women, treating them as objects or property to trade-off in order to secure alliances and power. It’s easy to see how polyamory can give women autonomy over their bodies and hearts and empower them to choose what’s best for them, despite social conventions.
Dr. Anne-Laure Le Cunff surveyed 509 individuals who self-identified as polyamorous, monogamous, or ambiamorous (people happy in either a monogamous or polyamorous relationship) and found out that women are overall more comfortable with the idea of non-monogamy than men. She hypothesized that maybe polyamory is a safe, ethical way to pursue other relationships for women or a tool to keep their desire alive.
Some women regard polyamory as a more evolved and honest way to fall in love and establish relationships that are realistic and take into account the ever-changing nature of life, feelings, and emotions. Being the one and only confidant, friend, emotional support, and sexual partner for someone can be exhausting and frankly quite an impossible task, especially when you’re a woman and everyone expects you to be perfect all the time. The possibility to share this insane amount of pressure and responsibility with other people can be seen as a relief and a healthier way to enjoy love and sex.
Polyamory also involves a lot of communication and conversations about feelings, one thing that many women probably feel lacking in their monogamous relationships. Being in a polyamorous relationship can feel safer because every step is discussed and agreed upon, limiting heartbreaks and disappointment.
When forming intimate and romantic relationships with more than one person, many women may feel like they stop caring about society’s traditional standards on female beauty and sexuality. If they’re in a monogamous relationship, they may perceive their self-worth to depend heavily on the opinion and whim of just one person. In a polyamorous relationship, instead, they feel like they can explore who they are and share it with less pressure and judgment. Having multiple partners of different genders, sexual orientations, and backgrounds can widen their experience of womanhood and attractiveness.
Finally, for some women, polyamory is a form of liberation. In a world where women’s desires and behaviors are constantly under scrutiny, polyamory encourages women to embrace their evolving feelings and voice their wants and needs freely. It allows them to love on their own terms and step off the traditional “Relationship Escalator” that depicts them solely as wives, mothers, and loyal life companions.
Nobody should feel forced to accept a relationship that they don’t want, just because it’s what everyone else does. Only you know what’s right for you.
Having a polyamorous relationship not only involves challenging the ideal of monogamy but examining what you expect from love and romantic partners. Being honest about who you are and what you want is the most important element for a fulfilling relationship and a happy life.