The Poly Column, Number 1
by Alan Wexelblat

Greetings. This column will be a semi-regular feature on this site. I will be writing about and answering questions on topics related to polyamory, polygamy, open marriages and so on. It's always a bit awkward writing when one doesn't know one's audience, but I will generally assume that you, dear reader, are not well versed in these topics. If you want to ask me about more advanced things, please send in questions. I will try to answer all the serious queries I get; however, no personal replies will be sent. Questions will be answered anonymously in public.

As for myself, I should warn you that much of what you will read here is my opinion and experience. I've been poly for over twenty years, through many different kinds of relationships. The ideas and practices of poly are almost as varied as the people. Trying to generalize about What It Is That We Do (WIITWD) is always somewhat dangerous. But what's life without a little danger?

Let's start with a few definitions I use. These terms tend to be commonly used in the poly community and they cover a good deal of what goes on. Other people may define things slightly differently. All of the following assume that all the people involved know what is going on and that they are communicating as honestly as we humans know how. Sneaking around, cheating, and having affairs without one's partner's knowledge are not what we're talking about.

Obviously, each of these terms is open to several different kinds of interpretations and the combinations are as varied as you can imagine. I know of triads where two heterosexual males each relate physically to a female partner, but have a strong shared emotional bond between the men. In other situations, the men may be bisexual and enjoy a physical aspect to their relationship. Or the woman might herself be bisexual and have both male and female partners who do not relate physically but are brought into emotional closeness by their shared love for the third partner.

The bottom line is: don't assume.

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Copyright © 1996-2001 Alan Wexelblat
The opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author.

Last modified: Mon Jul 30 15:18:36 2001