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Polyamory is a neologism which denotes the concept of "multiple loves". It has been independently coined by several people; one instance was Jennifer Wesp, who created the Usenet newsgroup alt.polyamory in 1992. However, the term has been reported in occasional use in the 1960s.

Polyamory consists in having honest, usually non-possessive relationships with multiple partners. It can include:

  • open relationships, which involves romantic partnerships that are not sexually exclusive;
  • polyfidelity, which involves multiple romantic relationships with sexual contact restricted to those;
  • subrelationships, which denote distinguishing between a "primary" relationship or relationships and various "secondary" relationships;
  • group relationships or marriage, in which all of the involved parties consider themselves equally associated to one another.
  • relationship webs

Most practitioners of polyamory consider honesty to be an integral part. "Don't ask, don't tell" is often frowned upon.

Unlike polygamy, polyamory does not necessarily involve marriage, although some polyamorous people are married. Unlike swinging, polyamorous relationships generally involve an emotional bond. Most monogamous people define fidelity as restricting one's sexual involvement to exactly one sexual partner; most polyamorous people define fidelity as not lying to your partners.

Quote from Torn Between Two Lovers, sung by Mary Macgregor[?]:

There's been another man that I've needed and I've loved, but that doesn't mean I love you less, ... Torn between two lovers, feeling like a fool, loving you both is breaking all the rules.

See also: Safer sex

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