Difference between poly and open

This is a thought that came to me the other day.  What is the real difference between a Poly, and an Open relationship.  Obviously, different people are going to think differently about each, but here is my take on the two.

Polyamourus –

Multi-Love.  That’s what it means.  In other words, you have to be in a relationship with more then one person.  Not fucking.  Not playing.  But in a true, down to earth, relationship.  You have to have emotional give and take between yourself, and AT LEAST, two other people.  Not only that, but if your screwing another person who is not part of the relationship, then you have just brought in an Open Poly.  Confused yet?

A true poly is were everyone involved not only knows about each other, but EVERYONE is getting emotional attachment.  That doesn’t mean that everyone is fucking.  Three guys, three girls, and they switch partners, but there is also a love dynamic.  It could be that one of them is loved as leader, all the guys could view each other as brothers, or what have you.  There are so many things that it could come from.  But, the emotions have to be there.

And, yes, that does mean you can have poly with three people.  But, as everything else, you have to make sure everyone is getting the emotional cuddling that is needed.

Open –

An Open relationship is a bit different.  In this type, not everyone is involved with everyone.  Some are very open (IE:  You can fuck whoever, just remember who you love), others are strict (mine is, both of us have to agree on the other person.  Safer that way).  As above, you can have an open poly, but that brings in a world of confusion.  And, possibly, unsafe practices.

As in a conversation with an ex of mine.  Her open relationship has rules.  No hardcore play.  Sex, ok, light play, ok, but if she feels herself heading toward subspace, she stops it.  Nothing wrong with that.  Having rules set up before hand in the relationship when there’s any type of openness is a great idea.  It means that all parties know what’s happening, where the lines are, and all of that fun stuff.

2 Responses

  1. Really love the way you described both relationship styles. Nice to find somewho who “gets” it.

    I am the owner of a poly site in New Zealand and we often get asked the difference between the two I think I shall send them here to read this 🙂


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