Open, Poly and Swinging relationships are all forms of Ethical Non-Monogamy otherwise known as ENM or CNM for ethical/consensual non-monogamy.
It is NOT cheating because all parties involved are aware of and consent to their partner(s) engaging in romantic, sexual or emotional connections outside of their relationship.
Think of ENM as the umbrella term for all forms of non-monogamy practiced by consent. With that said, non-monogamy does not always mean “sex” outside the relationship. You can have a romantic or emotional bond, sexual bond or a combination.
To explain this, there are three major sub-categories that are most commonly referenced:
Polyamorous, Poly for short; and
So, what’s the difference?
Open Relationships typically involve a sexual component where partners in a committed marriage or relationship agree that they are open to engaging in sexual behaviours outside the relationship. Generally, this does not involve the forming of romantic or emotional bonds that are inherent in Poly. And, unlike Swinging, partners may have sex (commonly referred to as “play”) separate and apart from the other committed partner(s).
In Swinging, couples (or partners in committed relationships) engage in casual sex but only do so when together. They are not looking to form emotional bonds outside of their committed relationship. “Play” could be as casual as kissing and fondling, soft swapping which involves heavy petting up to and including oral sex or might “go all the way” to involve full penetration.
Polyamory is the practice, state or ability of having more than one sexual, loving relationship at the same time, with the full knowledge and consent of all partners involved. What sets Poly apart from swinging and open relationships is the ability to form emotional bonds. In addition, Poly relationships may or may not involve sex and may or may not involve playing apart from other person(s) in the committed relationship(s). Poly relationships come in many different forms and autonomy of person is held in high regard.
If you’re considering opening up your relationship or already have, remember first and foremost that every ENM relationship is negotiable. Each of the three dynamics above are interchangeable depending on the partner(s), situation, timing and more. You may find that what works in one relationship may not work in another. Or perhaps, you just need to take a break. Sometimes timing is off due to life circumstances. Just remember, which ever style you choose (or don’t), you have the right to change your mind on what works for you and making safe space for compassionate communication is key.
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Are you polyamorous? Do you think you could be? Why or why not?
“Polyamory is the practice, state or ability of having more than one sexual loving relationship at the same time, with the full knowledge and consent of all partners involved.”
The term was popularized in the early 1990s by Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart when used in her article entitled A Bouquet of Lovers. In 1999, she provided the above definition for the Oxford English Dictionary.
Today is International Fetish Day! It’s observed on the third Friday of January each year. It’s purpose is to create awarness around the BDSM/Fetish community while opposing the UK law criminalizing posession of extreme pornography.
But a fetish is not just about whips and chains. The Meriam Webster Dictionary gives the following brief history of the term Fetish:
When fetish first appeared in English in the early 17th century, it referred to objects (often amulets) believed by certain West Africans to have supernatural powers. During the 19th century, the word took on a broader meaning: “an object of irrational devotion or reverence.” The object need not be physical: a person may have a fetish for an idea, such as an unwarranted belief that a particular economic system will solve society’s ills. By the early 20th century, fetish took on yet another meaning quite distinct from its antecedents: a sexualized desire for an object (such as a shoe) or for a body part that is not directly related to the reproductive act (such as an earlobe).
What’s your fetish? Mine is pecs….mmmm…pecs. Oh, and floggers…and sex toys…and cuffs…and…Oh who am I kidding. All the things. Tonight we celebrate. Viva la fetish!
So I got my first delivery of toys for review – The Clone-a-Willy and the Clone-a-pussy. Has anyone tried these? What did you think? Toy Tester, Jimmy Dangler will be testing the Willy & I will be testing the Clone-a-Pussy. Stay tuned for the first hand account. This sounds like a great option for COVID safe sex.
I think most of us would agree that hugs just feel good. The Chakra Hug is like a superpowered hug on steroids. And, with the current COVID crisis, I can’t think of a time when we need this more.
Sit with your partner in the Tantra “Yam Yum” pose pictured below. Arms wrapped around each other. Foreheads touching, noses touching, chest touching and solar plexus touching. Stay in this pose for 2 minutes focusing on your breath. One partner breathes out while the other partner breathes in.
Commit to doing this with your partner for two minutes daily for one week and talk about how it made you feel and what benefits it brought to your intimate relationship.
Hugs heal. They boost oxytocin – the bonding hormone. This helps to heal sickness, depression, feelings of loneliness, anxiety and stress, and creates intimacy within the relationship. Holding hugs for extended periods can lift serotonin levels increasing feelings of safety and happiness.
Kissing releases a chemical cocktail of dopamine, oxytocin and seratonin. These feel good hormones can improve relationship satisfaction, lower cholestorol and even aleviate anxiety by lowering your cortisol levels.
Plus, kissing passionately can burn 2-26 calories per minute!
Complete this questionnaire to find out your love style and your love style match. Canadian Psychologist John Alan Lee, proposed that there are in fact SIX different styles of love – EROS (romantic), LUDOS (conquest), STORGE (friendship), PRAGMA (practical), MANIA (obsession), AGAPE (selflessness). Knowing your love style will help you understand and communicate around common topics such as jealousy and intimacy.