Polyamory, Swinging and Open Relationships. What’s the Difference?

Polyamory, Swinging and Open Relationships are all forms of Ethical Non-Monogamy. This is also known as ENM or CNM for ethical/consensual non-monogamy.

All parties involved are aware of and consent to their partner(s) engaging in romantic, sexual or emotional connections outside of their relationship. This is what what makes ENM different from cheating.

Think of ENM as the umbrella term for all forms of non-monogamy practiced by consent. It does not always mean “sex” outside the relationship. You can have a romantic or emotional bond, sexual bond or a combination.

Polyamory Swinging and Open Relationships. What's the Difference?
Most common categories of Ethical Non-Monogamy

To explain this, there are three major sub-categories that are most commonly referenced:

  • Open Relationships;
  • Swinging; and
  • Polyamory or Poly for short.

So, what’s the difference?

Open Relationships

Polyamory Swinging and Open Relationships. What's the Difference?

Open Relationships typically involve a sexual component. Partners in a committed marriage or relationship agree that they are open to engaging in sex 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).

Swinging

Polyamory Swinging and Open Relationships. What's the Difference?

In Swinging, couples (or partners in committed relationships) engage in casual sex but only 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

Polyamory Swinging and Open Relationships. What's the Difference?

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. Poly relationships may or may not involve sex and may or may not involve playing apart from others in the committed relationship(s). Poly relationships come in many different forms and autonomy of person is held in high regard.

If you’re contemplating polyamory, swinging and open relationships, remember that every ENM relationship is negotiable. Each of the three dynamics above are interchangeable depending on the partner(s), situation, timing and more. 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, whichever 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.

Looking to connect with others across Canada that are ethically non-monogamous? We recommend Club Eden.

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Happy Love Day

The greatest gift you can get this Valentines is the gift of loving yourself.

Poly Roots

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.

Learn more about the Witch and Wizard and the family that inspired the word Polyamorous.

International Fetish Day

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!

Citation: “Fetish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fetish. Accessed 15 Jan. 2021.

Sex Toy Review – Clone-a-Willy and Clone-a-Pussy

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.

Healing Hugs Challenge

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.

Slutty Science

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!

What’s Your Love Style?

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.

Learn more about the SIX love styles here.

The Colour Wheel of Love by John Alan Lee.

Image source: Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_wheel_theory_of_love

Little Love Lessons…

You would never assume how someone likes their coffee so why would you assume you know how they like to be touched? Ask…don’t assume.

Canada Sets Legal Precedent on Stealthing

An Ontario Court has ruled that a man who had unprotected sex after agreeing to wear a condom committed sexual assault because his behaviour invalidated his sexual partner’s consent.

This is a win for Canada and a win for consent culture!

Read the full article by CBC here.

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