Polyamorous Dating In Australia

Where does a polycurious or polyamorous person get started if they want to find like-minded people to connect with, or a polyamorous relationship in the land down under? The best place to start is to sign up to our poly dating online site, www.polyfinda.com or search for the PolyFinda app in your app store. There are thousands of people across Australia and around the world seeking the same!

Meetup and Facebook are good ports of call, too, with public polyamory groups in most capital cities. In Melbourne you can check out our site on Meetup, Melbourne Polyamorous Meetup (Singles/Couples/Poly). In Brisbane, look up Brisbane Poly People on Meetup, and in Sydney, have a look at Sydney Polyamory on Facebook. It’s a bit tougher for you regional members of our Australian polyamorous community to find a poly relationship or lover.  Check out PolyFi, “an online community for polyamorous folk in regional Australia” published by Polyamory Resources Australia (PolyOz). It’s a site dedicated to rural polyamorists, with links and resources and events (including poly speed dating!) for those polyamory Australia folks outside of the main cities. “One of the problems that we have in spreading the message about polyamory in regional Australia,” states the site, “is that most folks in ‘the bush’ don’t have decent internet access.” To counteract this, PolyFi is looking into podcasts as a way to share Australian polyamorous information.

Wherever you are, trusty apps like Tinder, Grindr and Feeld are a good place for dating in polyamory Australia, as is OkCupid, the online dating behemoth which has just added a polyamorous function to their search.

Finally, those seeking to learn about, or practise something, a bit sexier can check out international organisation, Killing Kittens, who have established their parties for the “sexual elite” all over Australia or the Swingers Dating Guide which has links to swinging parties all over Australia.

What are your tips for polyamorous dating in Australia? Know any great spots, sites or apps? Leave it in the comments!

Polyamorous Dating in Melbourne

Where does a Melbourne polycurious or polyamorous person get started if they want to find like-minded people to connect with or partners for a polyamorous relationship? The best place to start is to sign up to our poly dating online site, http://www.polyfinda.com or search for the PolyFinda app in your app store. There are thousands of people across Australia and around the world seeking the same!

The Melbourne polyamorous community is the thriving hub of polyamory in Australia, with regular social events, regular parties, and links to other communities. Just the places to meet someone special.

“Every event, every time I meet up with you all, the party just keeps on getting better and better,” writes Melbourne polyamory community member, James.  “There’s always new faces and some more experienced ones and everyone is friendly warm and a pleasure to be around.”

Another good place to start your search is Meetup. Check out our site on Meetup, Melbourne Polyamorous Meetup (Singles/Couples/Poly). We meet socially every month at Back Bar for drinks, chats and to mingle with like-minded people. You don’t need to know what you’re doing, either, or, heck – even be polyamorous! “Let me just say how chilled out and non threatening the whole experience was,” writes new Melbourne polyamory community member, Mia. “The group welcomes a lot of people who aren’t necessarily polyamorous but are curious to find out what it’s all about.”

Trusty dating app classics like Tinder, Grindr and Feeld are a good place to meet Melbourne polyamorous people in Melbourne, as is OkCupid, who, as we know, has recently added a polyamorous option to their searches. Those seeking to learn about, or practise something, a bit sexier can check out international organisation, Killing Kittens, who have established their parties for the “sexual elite” in Australia in Melbourne, The Monkey Club “hottest swingers parties” or Debauchery, ‘an erotic house party’.

What tips do you have for Melbourne polyamory dating? Leave them in the comments!

Polyamorous Dating In Sydney

Where does a Sydney polycurious or polyamorous person get started if they want to find like-minded people to connect with or partners for a polyamorous relationship? The best place to start is to sign up to our poly dating online site, http://www.polyfinda.com or search for the PolyFinda app in your app store. There are thousands of people across Australia and around the world seeking the same!

Meetup and Facebook are also a good port of call, with both social media giants having polyamorous groups in most capital cities across Australia. Sydney Polyamory, a Facebook group, runs a Sydney polyamory discussion event on the fourth Thursday of every month, covering a wide array of poly-relevant topics. On the second Sunday of the month, they also run a social event at the Warren View Hotel in Stanmore, where you can meet other poly and poly-curious people and “chat about non-monogamy, relationship anarchy, open, negotiated and ethically non-exclusive relationships — and generally have a good time.”

Trusty dating app classics like Tinder, Grindr and Feeld are another good way to meet polyamorous Sydney lovers, as is OkCupid, who, as we know, has recently added a polyamorous option to their searches.  None of these specifically cater to the polyamory community though. That why we created PolyFinda dating app. It makes it easy to find poly people all around the world.

Those seeking to learn about, or practise, something a bit sexier, can check out international organisation, Killing Kittens, who have established their parties for the “sexual elite” in Australia in Sydney, Our Secret Spot— “your path to fantasy, exploration, seduction and satisfaction”—or The Couples Club, “Sydney’s first council approved sex on premises adult club,” a swingers club that has been operating for over twenty years.

What tips do you have for Sydney polyamory dating? Leave them in the comments!

Polyamorous Dating in Brisbane

Where does a Brisbane polycurious or polyamorous person get started if they want to find like-minded people to connect with or partners for a polyamorous relationship? The best place to start is to sign up to our poly dating online site www.polyfinda.com or search for the PolyFinda app in your app store. There are thousands of people across Australia and around the world seeking the same!

The site is not just for polyamorous dating, though: it hosts a community of people who like to socialise and party together and a place to find support in a society which can be hostile to this lifestyle.

Meet up and Facebook also have public groups in most capital cities.

Brisbane Poly People, a Meetup group, is primarily “a social and discussion group based in Brisbane for all who are interested in open relationships, and the varied alternatives to the standardised couple of a monogamy lifestyle.” They have almost 1000 Brisbane polyamorous people to connect with and meet for a “social afternoon”on the second Saturday of the month. Their Meetup page has links to Brisbane polyamory events, Brisbane polyamory-friendly counsellors and discussions on Brisbane polyamorous subjects. You can email them at info@brisbanepolypeople.org.au.

While you may be lucky enough to meet a polyamorous Brisbane lover there, the old trusty favourite dating apps like Feeld, Grindr and Tinder are a good bet. Brisbane Poly people also recommend, OKCupid, who, as we all know, have recently added a polyamorous option to their searches. None of these specifically cater to the polyamory community though. That why we created PolyFinda dating app. It makes it easy to find poly people all around the world.

Those seeking to learn about, or practise, something a bit sexier, can check out international organisation, Killing Kittens, who have established their parties for the “sexual elite” in Brisbane and check out Brissy Swingers for links to swinging parties in the sunny city.

It’s not all fun and games in Brisbane, though and, while this sounds like something from the dark ages, discretion is advised. Last year a polyamorous Brisbane woman was fired from her job after her employers discovered her lifestyle, and, even worse, the Australian Human Rights Commission upheld the decision, and compared polyamory to necrophilia and paedophilia.

Are you a Brisbane polyamory aficionado? Let us know your tips in the comments for poly friendly bars, events etc in Brisbane! Have you ever been discriminated against for being polyamorous in Brisbane?

A Polyamorous Triad: A couple with three people in it

Allan and Kate, both psychologists, had been married for three years and had just bought a house in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs when Allan met Lou, a lawyer, at a party. “You’ve got to meet my wife, Kate,” he told Lou. “You’d love her.”

She did. And so did he.

Prior to meeting Lou, Allan and Kate had long considered themselves to be in a polyamorous relationship—“We both love women,” says Kate. They enjoyed threesomes together, meeting women on polyamorous dating websites, but were always careful to negotiate the emotional boundaries beforehand.

Before, “I hadn’t ever heard of a poly triad,” laughs Lou. “I was on poly dating sites, so you think I would have.” Lou came home after spending one weekend with Allan and Kate and realised she had caught feelings. For both of them. “I googled it, and up it came.”

A polyamorous triad—or poly triad—is a form of polyamorous relationship in which three people, of any gender, are involved romantically or sexually with one another.  It not a Vee, in which three people are connected through one shared lover.  A poly triad is also not a threesome. Nor is it a situation where there is a couple and an ‘other’.  “In the end,” writes Jeff Leavell who is in a triad with two men, “each side of the triangle has to be equal or it falls apart. Without equality there is no actual relationship.”

The best way to describe it is that a polyamorous triad is a couple. With three people in it! “It’s like having a regular, monogamous relationship but having more than one of them in it,” says Mark, a polyamorous computer programmer.

Two years after meeting, Kate and Allan and Lou now share domestic life in that house in the Eastern suburbs and are “just your average middle-aged couple with a dog and bills,” laughs Kate. “There’s just three of us instead of two.”

It can’t all be domesticity though can it? Well, no. “People always ask about the sex,” writes Leavell. “They imagine constant nights of three-ways and orgies, and to some extent they are right.”

Are you in a poly triad? Let us know your stories in the comments.

Should we be gossiping about celebrity open marriages?

Should we be gossiping about celebrity open marriages?

Every year, celebrity rags and blogs trot out a new version of Celebrities Who Have Open Marriages!According to these articles, Angelina Jolie doubts that “fidelity is absolutely essential for a relationship,” pre-divorce Demi and Ashton invited other women into their marital bed, Jada Pinkett-Smith gives Will Smith “all the freedom in the world” as long as he can “look himself in the mirror and be okay” and Dolly Parton has a don’t ask, don’t tell policy with her husband, Carl.

But, should we be gossiping about celebrity open marriages?

Perhaps relationships are no ones goddam business but the people who are in them. But, we also likeanything that gets people talking and thinking about healthy alternatives to monogamy, so…we’ll allow it :).

Firstly, what is an open marriage? Well, it is not cheating. Open marriage is a marriage in which one or both of the members involved have other sexual relationships, romantic relationships, or both, with the open agreement of all parties.

“The biggest misconception about poly/open marriages,” writes Jenny Block, author of ‘Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage’ “is that they are a free for all, and that no one cares about anyone else and that those of us involved are promiscuous whores. This is all about caring for your partner enough to see them as a whole human being who has needs that deserve to be filled.”

Openly polyamorous Oscar winner, Mo’Nique, agrees. “Because [another lover] may give you something that I’m simply not willing to do. And if that’s the case, how can I be mad? Because I’m not going to do it, should I deprive you of not having it? That’s when the relationship is real, real.”

Not many celebrities speak out openly about polyamorous relationships, so, unfortunately, most of the gossipy articles rely predominately on conjecture. Hopefully, this will change soon. For, “if a well-loved celebrity was out and modelling good open relationship behaviour,” writes sex writer and author, Rachel Kramer Bussel. “It might help to give open relationships the kind of visibility boost they need.”

Mo’Nique agrees and is speaking publicly because “we’re so closed off and we’re so used to doing things the way people think we should do things, and we wanted to put it out there so that people understood it.”

Interested in exploring open marriages or finding a polyamorous relationship? We recommend connecting with other likeminded people via our polyamorous dating app. PolyFinda in an app store near you.

Got any gossip on celebrity polyamory? Let us know your experiences or questions in the comments.

A Poly Journey, Lesson 1 – The Fundamentals of Open Relationships, PART 2.

The following piece is transcribed from personal counselling sessions. General examples are given for the benefit of readers. Only take the information that resonates and simply discard the rest. Respect for sharing this material and my style of writing is expected. 

Through my journey of transition from a monogamous to polyamorous relationship, struggles of jealousy, insecurity and cracks within my relationship began to show. I sought counselling from a poly friendly life coach and sexologist, Olivia Bryant.

This is a continuation of our first session, understanding some of the fundamentals of open-relationships.

“Sharing Impact”- Communication Strategy

Communication between my partner and I has always been open and honest, however we were still lacking constructive and positive communication skills. We would usually discuss an issue as it arose (which is better than holding onto it), but used our emotions to guide the discussion. I would blame him for my feelings by saying “you do (insert behaviour) and it makes me feel pressured/angry/unheard etc” and he would retaliate to my finger pointing by expressing his own hurt feelings. So neither of us would feel heard or validated.

Olivia taught us about “sharing impact.” To express to my partner the things he may do that upset me, I would say “the impact of you accidentally crossing one of my boundaries, is that I get anxiety and when I get anxiety I cannot be free, I shut down and I feel I cannot trust you”. Or “When I see you with another woman and we haven’t made the effort to connect with each other beforehand, the impact of this is that I feel unwanted, devalued, rejected and that I am being ignored because you have found someone better to connect with.” This is a much better method than ‘attacking’ him with “you went and did (insert behaviour) without discussing it with me first, I would never do that to you and now I can’t trust you!”.

Even if you believe your feelings seem unjustified or not in accordance with reality (if your emotions are heightened through jealousy for example) it’s still important to express them in this healthy manner. The wording is important as it’s to ensure you do not place blame on your partner for YOUR feelings. Once you’ve expressed “the impact of x on y is…,” the next step is for your partner to say how hearing that makes them feel. My partner would respond with something like “hearing the impact of me accidentally crossing one your boundaries upsets me. I feel guilty because I would never want to do anything to hurt you like that.” If my partner usually retaliates to my finger pointing with anger, I would never know that he’s actually quite hurt and sad.

It’s then the other person’s turn to share their impact and my partner might say “the impact of when you shut down emotionally is that I feel like I have hurt you, I have failed and I can’t seem to do anything right.” My response would then be something like “hearing the impact of when I shut down on you emotionally makes me feel quite guilty and sad. I will try my hardest to work on this because you don’t deserve that kind of treatment.”

Speaking to each other in this way might seem a bit weird at first, but it helped us both feel heard. Rather than pointing the finger, blaming, demanding an apology or whatever it is that we both felt we needed, this created a lot of healing in our relationship and helped us move forward with issues we may have been holding onto.

Creating Agreements

 Agreements are important in any non-monogamous relationship, to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that all involved feel heard and respected.  But everyone has different boundaries and expectations, so navigating this can prove somewhat challenging. The most important thing is being clear on what you are and are not ok with. My (mis)understanding of poly when I first started exploring it, was that my partner was now free to do as they liked and if I’m dealing with difficult emotions, they’re my own problem to work out. Obviously this is not true and I wish we were educated on the importance of creating an agreement before we started.

An example of miscommunication and creating mistrust in your relationship, would be if your partner disclosed they were going on a date and the intention being to eat a meal or have a drink out in public to get to know them. If you’re starting out (like we were) and struggle with feelings of insecurity and anxiety (like myself), this may be a big deal in your relationship. When your partner comes home from the date and reveals that they actually never made it out for that dinner, but rather stayed in and had sex, this can have very negative consequences for your relationship. Some people may not have an issue with this, but before a tricky situation like this occurs, make sure you clearly state your intentions and clarify any boundaries with your partner/s.

The broken trust is often not around the activity that occurred, but the fact that the one whose feelings were hurt was not able to give their consent for that activity beforehand. When someone is unable to give consent, they then become a “victim.” Olivia explained the importance of discussing the following points to help avoid issues like this:

  • If any kind of intimacy or sex is a possibility, are you ok with this?
  • What are you NOT ok with?
  • What do you need from me in order to feel safe and loved?
  • Do we need to set a time limit? Or what time would you like me to be home/call you by?
  • How would you like us to reconnect when I return/we see each other again?
  • How much would you like to hear about my date?
  • Is there anything you do not want to hear?
  • If you are experiencing any negative feelings throughout this, what can I do to help?

These were questions relatable to my own relationship. As all relationships are different, you can create your own variations that suit your own relationship dynamics. Olivia also helped us create a dialogue of things I need to hear if my partner has spent time with someone else. Different phrases work for different people, but if I’m feeling jealous or unsafe, I ask my partner to say some of the following: “I’m not going anywhere/ I love coming home to you/ You’re not losing me/ I really appreciate your courage in letting me do this/ I really value the time we get to spend together, etc.” As someone with significant abandonment issues (and I’m not alone in that), discussing boundaries and after-care to help me feel safe is paramount.

TO TAKE HOME

Communicating through sharing impact and creating agreements can be scary. You’re allowing yourself to be vulnerable, sharing your needs, desires and boundaries and you may fear judgement or rejection from your partner/s. But you’re not alone in that fear. Make sure you stand in your own power and realise that you deserve all that you want and you are entitled to your boundaries. If you’re in the right relationship, you will both work towards agreements that are fair and respectful of one another. And think of the bond and connection that will grow in your relationships when you are this honest and understanding of each other. Communicating in this way bought my partner and I closer together, healed some pre-existing wounds and helped us both feel safer.

Moreover, something I really love about Olivia, is that she always sees both sides of the story. She makes sure that both people take responsibility for the part they play in any situation. Even if communication between my partner and I broke down, my boundaries were crossed and my feelings became hurt, I am not allowed to purely point blame on him and play the victim. I really appreciate someone who can bring forth that level of ownership and making sure all involved feel heard and respected.

Olivia finished our session by reiterating that our relationship is a “safe container”. This means that we create a safe space within our relationship, where we both go out into the world together, but when one of us doesn’t feel safe, we both come back in. She also stated “you are the source of your own love and validation. It is not outside of you, but it is all within you”.

Copyright © Polyamorous Pty Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.

A Poly Journey, Lesson 1 – The Fundamentals of Open Relationships

The following piece is transcribed from personal counselling sessions. General examples are given for the benefit of readers. Only take the information that resonates with you and simply discard the rest. Respect for sharing this material and my style of writing is expected. 

It was time to start my first session with poly friendly life coach and sexologist, Olivia Bryant. Olivia has such a wonderful energy about her as well as an incredible amount of insight and experience in coaching those in open-relationships. It’s important to remember that my partner and I were a mono couple turned poly, so this is a journey we have agreed to take together. However, the advice is still relatable to all open-relationship dynamics. In my relationship, there were various instances of poor communication, not nurturing the relationship whilst connecting with others and not dealing with past occurrences that created hurt, dis-trust and affected my self-worth. Consequently, this created such a rift between us, we felt it necessary to seek the right kind of help. Our first session was about understanding some of the basic fundamentals of open-relationships.

Respecting Your Own and Others Boundaries

Firstly, we discussed sexual obligation. How many people have given in to having sex with their partner when they really weren’t in the mood? Or in the context of swinging and group play they hook up with someone (i.e. “taking one for the team”), so their partner can be with the person they want? I don’t’ think many could admit to not having experienced sexual obligation at some point. Olivia said to me firmly, “in a space of sexuality, obligation is not ok”. People should never give themselves in a sexual nature and provide such a profound exchange when the motivation is OBLIGATORY. She then continued, “If you compromise yourself for someone else, you are abandoning yourself.” This in-turn ruins your health, even if it doesn’t feel like it initially.

We then discussed how some of the issues within my relationship had come to fruition. A huge contributing factor being that I was bending my boundaries in an attempt to please my partner, essentially abandoning myself. I was unaware of this as I was under the impression that being poly meant your partner was free to do as they please and any feelings of jealousy, insecurity or discomfort was your own issue to deal with (that’s a lot of the advice I got). Olivia explained that any situation that makes me uncomfortable, I am allowed to say NO to, including my partner doing certain things with others. Due to low self-worth and feeling undeserving, I put my own needs and feelings aside in an attempt to make my partner happy. This tactic proved incredibly detrimental and even toxic to our relationship. However, that’s not to say you’re allowed to veto every experience that causes you discomfort. It simply means to open up the lines of honest communication and create a compromise with your partner/s.

When situations that I was clearly struggling with would arise, I experienced feelings of jealousy, anxiety, nausea, panic and I would shut down emotionally. I’d tell myself to get over it and even harbour guilt, shame, anger and resentment towards myself for these emotional responses. Moreover, I felt genuinely shocked and perplexed by these emotions, when I whole-heartedly believe in and desire an open-relationship. Olivia pointed out that this was my core being (or true self) crying out that this situation doesn’t sit right with me at this point in time. Whether it be because my own needs within my relationship were not being met, or I had issues within myself I needed to address. It was comforting to hear Olivia state that having boundaries was not only OK, but actually necessary for emotional stability and building trust within my relationships.

Furthermore, she emphasised that pressuring someone is NOT ok. Sometimes we may try and persuade a partner to be ok with something because it’ll make us happy or possibly be beneficial to them or our relationship (in our eyes). You don’t realise that this is actually forcing their consent, putting them into “victim mode” and not respecting their boundaries. My partner and I have done this to one another without realising. It can be as simple as trying to convince your partner to go out to dinner, to have another drink or do an activity they don’t like simply because you like it. In relation to poly dynamics, this may include persuading a partner to engage in sexual activities they are not comfortable with, persuading them to bend or forgo their boundaries or pushing them to engage in certain activities so that it can be seen as fair that you can do the same.

There’s a common misconception that everything in an open relationship should be equal. But Olivia explained that you and your partner may have different boundaries. Just because you are OK with one thing, doesn’t mean your partner has to be consenting for you to do the same. Boundaries like this need to be negotiated and for the partner who is coping, they need to come down to the same level of the partner who is not coping. Don’t try and pull your partner up to your level, it doesn’t work that way.

An example of this, is in my partner’s state of fear when I was requesting a “time-out” from our poly lifestyle (after all the things that went wrong) and return to a more monogamous dynamic, he would try and push certain situations onto me. His actions stemmed from fear, that if we completely shut out the poly world and returned to a monogamous life, I would not want to go back. He thought by keeping small amounts of polyamory in our relationship, we were more likely to return to it fully down the track. However, these actions would inadvertently put me into “victim mode.” I felt as if I wasn’t being heard and my boundaries were not being respected. The more he pushed, the more I pulled away and thus creating more tension and anxiety within our relationship. This was a great learning curve for us.

Re-establishing Broken Trust

After a series of events had occurred that lead to our relationship breakdown, I had asked my partner to take a step back and focus solely on us for a while. He expressed his fear in doing this (as stated earlier), as he was concerned that if we returned to a mono relationship, I would never want to go back to being poly. This was an understandable fear as it could have been seen that I was simply running away from my problems and wanting to go back to my comfort zone of having him all to myself.

It’s difficult to decipher when to push through and when to take a step back. Olivia validated my partners fear and firstly asked me, “Ash, would you prefer a monogamous relationship?” I thought for a while and imagined living that dynamic with my partner. I replied, “no I wouldn’t. I know I would revert back to feeling trapped and controlled and I’d probably get bored.” Olivia also agreed with my request and explained it to my partner, on my behalf like this, “at this point in time, I need us to reset and lay the foundations of our relationship again. It’s gone so far in the one direction that I now feel unsafe and if we are going to do this together, we have to reset.” It’s basically saying that as we seemed to jump into situations blindly, I have been left feeling unsafe and the foundations of trust, love and strength that we previously had, need to be rebuilt before I feel safe in returning to these dynamics.

Olivia explained that we need to go to events (poly gatherings, swinger’s parties etc.), pretending like we have never done this before. Being unsure of each other’s feelings and boundaries and completely starting from scratch. She also stated that it is VERY NORMAL for couples in this world to go through phases of swinging/dating others & then back to nesting. I definitely do this as I’ve experienced periods of loving sharing my partner and connecting with others and then wanting to take a step back and simply be with him. It’s the same when you’re single. Sometimes you’re keen to date and seek potential partners and other times you’re content being alone and just doing your own thing

I was concerned that my feelings were completely unwarranted and that I was exhibiting selfish and controlling behaviour. Olivia assured me that this was not the case at all. Based on previous experiences within our relationship and the things that had gone wrong, my feelings were quite normal and justified. She then made sure I owned my own behaviours in these situations and I wasn’t purely putting blame on my partner. If I said yes to a situation, when I really meant no, that’s not his fault. If we didn’t communicate a boundary beforehand and he accidentally did something that I seemed ok with, that’s not his fault, that’s miscommunication on both our parts.

Olivia then stated that if the relationship is important enough, we will meet each other halfway and my choices will be respected. My boundaries and needs come before his pleasure, his need for engaging with others, his desire for seeking new partners and so on. Same goes for me. If our relationship is my priority, his boundaries and needs come before all other things I desire outside of our relationship.

To Take Home

Learning about respecting my own boundaries first and foremost was something I’d never considered. We live in a society where we are expected to put other people’s needs before our own. Living by this societal dictation will prove destructive to your health and relationships, as it did for me. It’s also important to note how often we inadvertently force consent or bend boundaries from others in our everyday lives. This behaviour spills over into our sexual and dating lives and can be the crux for relationship breakdowns.

I also learnt how easy miscommunication is. When a partner is doing something that you may take as hurtful or selfish, their intentions may actually be for good and based on their own perception or life experiences. We all deal with things differently and when you don’t communicate openly and honestly, it’s very easy to misconstrue any action or situation.

Lastly, I appreciated Olivia’s fairness in conflict resolution between my partner and I. Making sure we took equal responsibility for the situations that had occurred so that even if I am psychologically in “victim mode” that does not mean I am a victim and entitled to place blame. Nothing good will come from pointing the finger and creating shame or hurting your partner if they always had the best of intentions.

Copyright © 2016 polyamorous.com.au. All rights reserved.

What is Polyamory?

Right now in Australia the term polyamory seems to be becoming more mainstream, through newspaper and media coverage, along with general conversation between friends. So for those still unsure of the term, what does it actually mean and who are these polyamorous folk down under?

If you’re steadfastly poly, you may already have an idea. However, if this is one of the first stops on your poly journey, let us serenade you with some facts.

Poly is from the Greek polus, meaning ‘much’ or ‘many’. Amory is from the latin amor, meaning love. So polyamory, also referred to as ethical non-monogamy, means, many loves.

There are many variances on the definition of polyamory, however here is one that resonates with us: ‘polyamory is the non-possessive, honest, responsible & ethical philosophy and practice of loving multiple people simultaneously’.

Okay, but how does it work? Well, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to polyamory, and it can take on a wide variety of forms – from open relationships, to occasional swinging to long-term live-in  relationships between several people and much more. (Watch this space in the future for profiles on local poly people discussing their lifestyles)

So who practises poly?  Well happy, smart people! But don’t just take our word for it. Academic studies show that polyamorous people are happier than the general population, as well as being better educated, with more PHDs and Master’s degrees. Some claim that these smarts provide the “intellectual sophistication to understand that sexual monogamy is neither natural or common” and that “polyamory is the sweet result of modernity”. Hmm, fighting words.

Research also shows that poly people are more open to new experiences (that’s an obvious one, right?), very rarely religious, but not typically wealthy (dammit) – possibly because we place more emphasis on those new experiences rather than on material possessions.

While we are on a roll here, poly people are all ages statistically, however more women than men, and more lesbian, gay and bisexual people than heterosexuals identify as poly.

Poly people are typically chatty, as psychologist Bjarne Holmes states “they communicate to death”. Polyamorous people generally have good relational skills and tend to consistently discuss and reassess boundaries. They’re also typically less jealous than the general population, but that doesn’t mean they don’t experience jealousy. It can be noted that due to their higher levels of communication, they may seek better coping mechanisms to deal with such difficult emotions.  This has led some academics to argue that polyamory—rather than being the death of marriage – could in fact save it.

Finally, people who practise polyamory are typically emotionally aware, and “bring their feelings to the table”, writes Holmes.

It’s true. We’re empathic talkers. And you know what that means? Better sex. What’s not to love?

Luckily, there are a lot of us to love. There’s no numbers for Australia (as yet) but in the US, academic studies estimate that 5% of people are in sexually non-monogamous relationships. If we apply that to Australia , we could have 1.2 million polyamorous people living in this sunburned country.

The number of people identifying as poly are growing, too. Online dating behemoth OKCupid just added a polyamorous option after their research showed that a whopping 42% of their users would consider dating someone already involved in an open or polyamorous relationship.  At the same time, the number of people identifying as monogamous on OKCupid has decreased significantly from 56% in 2010 to only 44% in 2015 .

But it’s not all good news. While awareness of polyamory is growing, it’s still a way off being mainstream. 25.8% of poly people have experienced discrimination, and most of us aren’t publicly open about our lifestyles, with some people declining to use their surnames, or to use pseudonyms, when discussing polyamory in the media.

Collectively, this is why we have created a safe space and community in Australia for anyone who is open to or already engaging in polyamorous relationships. While it is slowly becoming less stigmatised and more accepted, we have nation-wide online dating as well as Melbourne bar events, workshops and private parties, with the goal of expanding across multiple cities. So if you think polyamory may be for you, stick around and meet some smart, happy people who share in the same values.