My partner and I are emotionally and sexually close with a third person - what do we call this?

So my boyfriend and I are in a very committed relationship with each other, but there's this girl were kind of in, like, an open relationship with? (We'll call her E.) My bf and I are intimate with E, but only when the three of us are together. We kiss, cuddle, etc. We all love each other A LOT, but E is free to date/be intimate with whoever she wants without us. We don't consider ourselves in a "serious relationship," but we're way more than friends. Is this polyam or just complicated?

P.S. I apologize deeply if I misused any terms, and I did not at all mean to imply that polyam relationships are less serious than monogamous ones, I was referring to our situation individually when I said "we don't consider ourselves in a 'serious relationship.'" Sorry if that came off wrong!

There are more options in the world than “polyam” or “just complicated.” Because it doesn’t sound like your situation is “complicated” at all! It sounds like you all know what you want and how to get it, and that you’ve found a relationship arrangement that works for all parties involved. I wouldn’t call that “complicated” at all!

It’s up to you whether you want to identify your relationship as polyamorous. Here’s my FAQ page on that. If identifying as polyamorous helps you find language and resources to keep things happy and healthy, great! If it doesn’t seem relevant or necessary, great! You might also consider checking out Relationship Anarchy, which is a way of thinking about relationships that makes lots of space for different types of emotions, arrangements, etc. without trying to force them into pre-existing formats and boxes, including “polyamorous!” I’d say this is a pretty great example of RA, personally - people who know how they connect sexually and emotionally, and who don’t assume that those connections mean they have to do everything else a certain way. But I don’t decide what and who you are, you do!

I also really loved the sweet little postscript. It’s rare that I get hurt or offended by a letter-writer’s language (with some notable exceptions); I usually try to gently steer people toward a linguistic re-framing for their sake, not mine. I think it’s clear that you’ve thought intentionally and honestly about the language you use around “commitment” and “serious relationship” and how that applies to your relationship, which is probably one reason it’s working so well for you three. It’s good to recognize that your application of certain terms and ideas doesn’t generalize to other people, and to be considerate with your language. You’re good, letter-writer; keep on keeping on!

Am I polyamorous if I'm only interested in two people?

Am I poly if I’m only interested in two specific people? I’m interested in a relationship with them, but the thought of being in a non-monogamous relationship with anyone else just feels wrong.

Of course! I answered a nearly identical question here. To quote from that answer:

Monogamous people don't think "hm, I can't see myself in a monogamous person with my hairdresser or my coworker - maybe I'm not really mono!" Straight men don't think "oh no, there are women out there who I don't want to date - do I count as a straight man?"

Of course you only want to date the people you want to date. Of course you can only see yourself being polyamorous with the people you want to date polyamorously. That's totally fine. You're in love with the people you're in love with - and it happens to be multiple people - so you're polyamorous. It doesn't matter how you feel about anyone else! 

Is it possible to be neither, or both, polyamorous and monogamous?

How do I identify if I'm comfortable with the idea of both polygamous and monogamous relationships?? I'm either monogamous or polygamous right? I can't be completely happy in both type of relationships?

First off, the correct term is "polyamorous," not "polygamous."

Second, it is entirely possible to be a person who would be happy and fulfilled in a polyamorous or monogamous relationship. Just like there are people who would be equally happy staying at home with kids or working in a career. People who would be equally happy in a relationship with a man or a woman. Very few things in this world are true, all-or-nothing, either-or binaries.

As for an identity term that captures this, there isn't one that is widely used for this, the way we have "pansexual" and "bisexual" or "bigender" and "genderfluid." But some that are out there include:

  • monopoly or polymono
  • polyamorish or monogamish
  • polyflexible or monoflexible
  • biamorous
  • flexiamorous

But, above all, relax! You are who you are, and it's pretty neat that you have available to you a wide range of relationships and partners. Seek partners based off mutual connection, be clear about what you expect of your partners and what expectations of theirs you can and can't meet, and you're golden! 

Can you be polyamorous with a preference for monogamous relationships?

Is it okay to be polyamorous with a preference for monogamous relationships?

I'm going to do that annoying thing where I sort of reject the entire premise of the question, and then answer it anyway.

You don't need to ask me whether something about who you are or what you prefer is okay! I'm just some blogger - and there's no almighty arbiter of whether a way of being in relationships or a certain identity is "okay." You do you, in whatever way is healthy and honest for you and your partners.

But since you asked - of course it's okay! Plenty of people fall under the umbrella of "could be happy with A or B, but generally prefers A." Plenty of people could be happy and fulfilled in a polyamorous or a monogamous relationship.

If you want to identify as a polyamorous person, that's fine! You could also identify as polyflexible, monoflexible, monopoly, poly-mono, monogamish, or whatever other term feels right to you. But if you have a preference for monogamous relationships, it might make more sense to actively seek out monogamous relationships instead. The good news is that the majority of people identify as monogamous (whether because of something innate or socialized assumptions), so your preference should be relatively easy to indulge.

Am I still polyamorous if I only want to be polyamorous with certain people?

Can I be poly if I only want to be with certain people. I'm not poly in general but I'm in love with multiple people, like I'm only poly for them if that makes sense. Does that count?

That is exactly what being polyamorous means. Being polyamorous means you are interested in a relationship with multiple specific people, not everyone on the entire planet! 

Monogamous people don't think "hm, I can't see myself in a monogamous person with my hairdresser or my coworker - maybe I'm not really mono!" Straight men don't think "oh no, there are women out there who I don't want to date - do I count as a straight man?"

Of course you only want to date the people you want to date. Of course you can only see yourself being polyamorous with the people you want to date polyamorously. That's totally fine. You're in love with the people you're in love with - and it happens to be multiple people - so you're polyamorous. It doesn't matter how you feel about anyone else! 

Sure, maybe there are people you'd be happy in a monogamous relationship with. But forget about the maybes. In this reality, in this universe, you're in love with multiple people and want to be in a polyamorous relationship with them. That's all the information you need!

How do I self-describe if I could see myself in a polyamorous or a monogamous relationship?

i haven't been in a relationship yet, and i'm open to the idea of having 2 or 3 girlfriends, but i wouldn't mind having just one. would the correct term for people like me be "open to polyamory", or just plain polyamorous?

Whatever term helps you self-identify in a way that's healthy and gives you the tools and language to find the relationships that work for you. Some people use terms like "polyflexible" or "mono-poly" to describe themselves as someone able to have healthy, fulfilling relationships that are polyamorous or monogamous.

Zinnia talks about her faith & polyamory

Hi Zinnia! If you are comfortable with it, would you mind talking a little bit about your faith and its relation to polyamory? I was raised Catholic in a rather strict community and had to unlearn a lot of toxic teachings to become comfortable with polyamory. I’m curious about your experience and keeping with the faith.

This answer ran really long, so I’l put it under a cut and break it up into sections.

My identity

I believe that I have always been polyamorous; I can look back at some thoughts, feelings, and questions I had even as a young kid and recognize that traditional monogamy just would never have been healthy for me. This “born this way” narrative helps strengthen my conviction that polyamory is an okay way to be; it’s not just urges that I need to resist to be a good person.

My personal faith journey is a bit unconventional in the sense that I was not raised Christian but converted as a teen. So I was lucky in that I didn’t grow up with a lot of toxic teachings about bodies, sexuality, relationships, purity, etc. I converted in the context of the Evangelical church, passionate and individual-focused, but I never held to much of their theology around social issues.

When I discovered polyamory as a term and concept and started practicing, I was 19 and had been Christian for about three years. I wasn’t too concerned with how it intersected with my faith; I was still learning who I was and what I believed, and I was the only Christian in my social group, so there wasn’t much pressure around that. My parents are okay with my polyamory and NOT okay with my conversion to Christianity. Go figure.

By the time I was 21, my identity and theology as a Christian, and my identity and philosophy as a polyamorous person, had both crystallized. They grew in form together, informed by my studies into queer, liberation and feminist theology. My polyamory is part of my faith; my faith is part of my polyamory. I see traditional attitudes about relationships, gender roles, and property rights as violent and outdated, and standing in opposition to the Gospel message, and healthy, intentional polyamory is one way, for me, of re-claiming the dynamic vision of wholeness that I believe the Kingdom reflects.

Romans 13:10 tells us: “Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” I believe sin is anything that separates us from God, each other, or ourselves; anything that denies someone agency and wholeness; anything that causes trauma to our bodies, earth, relationships, or minds. I can see no evidence that healthy, intentional polyamory does harm. It liberates us from rigid relationship roles that are tied up in oppressive ideas about gender, bodies, and economics. I don’t think it’s “wrong” or “sinful” to be polyamorous.

I am fully aware that parts of the Bible clearly prescribe monogamy - but I believe those sections must be understood in the context of the time. It is clearly sinful to cheat on someone, to use your body or your language in ways that hurt someone or leave someone vulnerable. Without a cultural concept of healthy polyamory, unhealthy non-monogamy of course looks sinful.

But the Bible also condones slavery, plural marriage, and violence against children, so, again, it’s important to understand context and culture. My old priest used to say “Jesus talked a lot more about economics than sex,” and she’s right. If you look at the core message of Jesus - liberation, wholeness, reconciliation, redemption, love - it is a lot more compatible with polyamory than a lot of the stuff we see in the Old Testament, stories being related to us not as an example to follow but a historical record of a specific people’s relationship to the Divine.

I get really insulted when people (that means you, everyone who messages me on OKCupid) imply that my polyamory and Christianity exist “in spite of” each other; or that I must “compartmentalize” in order to be both, or that I have to do some “reconciling” to avoid “cognitive dissonance.” To me, they are intertwined; they inform each other; they are rooted in the same thoughts, beliefs, values, feelings, desires, and needs. 

My Christianity influences my polyamory - Gospel ideas about growth, healing, inclusion, and love. My polyamory influences my Christianity - practices centered around intentionality, identifying and communicating needs, honoring a person and their relationships without having to fit it into a pre-existing box. I am both a Christian Anarchist and a Relationship Anarchist, and that’s not exactly a coincidence.

Being polyamorous in a Christian community

I immediately started running into opposition, however. My spiritual leader on campus, the InterVarsity coordinator, disapproved of my polyamory and cited Scripture about it. It hurt my heart to have such an important part of my life and relationships rejected by someone who I needed to be a safe person, so I sort of just dropped that as a conversational topic, and she did the same, though I know she continued to “pray for me” over what she saw as a dangerous and harmful choice I was making.

Later, I took a volunteer gig as a youth ministry helper in a church. But since I was living with my boyfriend and unmarried, I was unable to sign the covenant the church required of actual volunteer-staff, which was why I remained a “helper” instead of a “leader.” In practice, had all the same roles and responsibilities as a leader, but on paper I held a lower position. The youth pastor and his wife were supportive and welcoming, treating the whole situation like a bureaucratic annoyance. But it was a clear signal that my understanding of sexual morality was different than this church’s party line, and so I kept my polyamory to myself.

I was accidentally outed during a conversation with the youth minister’s wife - I mentioned a college boyfriend, but she remembered that I had been with my current partner since high school. I said yes, we opened our relationship to get through the distance of college. She said “but now that you live together, that stopped, right?” I could have lied to her, but I really don’t like doing that - staying closeted through omission of details is one thing, but answering a direct question with a lie feels gross. I told her the truth.

She was clear with me that she doesn’t believe that is a wise or healthy or Godly choice. I was clear with her that I respected her position but wasn’t interested in being evangelized out of my relationship and identity. She told me she would pray for me and encouraged me to spend some time with the Holy Spirit seeking discernment about this. I told her that I would (knowing that the Holy Spirit and I frequently come to conclusions together that she wouldn’t agree with). She also made it clear that I was to keep this private at church, especially since I worked with the kids. I promised her that I would. She continues to be a good friend of mine, a loving and supportive sister in Christ.

When I moved to where I live now, I sought out a more open church. I found my way to the Episcopal church. They are known for being incredibly progressive in issues of sexuality, gender identity, etc. They have openly gay and  leaders in the church, perform same-sex weddings, teach comprehensive sex-ed rather than purity-culture nonsense in their youth programs. I joined an Episcopal church in the area and soon was interviewing to be their youth minister. As part of the interview process, I told my priest, who would also be my boss, about my polyamorous identity.

He was less aggressively this-is-wrong than the other church leadership I’d spoken to, but was also not immediately welcoming. He told me that he didn’t see it as a problem and was still happy to hire me to minister to the youth of the parish. However, as a condition of my employment, he did want me to stay closeted at church. Essentially, his position was, he didn’t have an issue with it, but he also wasn’t “for it” enough to take a stand for me if the parents of the parish were put off or uncomfortable. He didn’t want me to put him in the position of defending something he wasn’t sure he was able or willing to defend. He also didn’t want concerns to be raised that I was teaching the kids something inappropriate or out of line with the church’s beliefs.

So I agreed. It was worth it - I love the kids and wouldn’t trade my place in the community for anything - but it is painful and isolating. I do live in fear of being “caught.” I have two long-term partners right now, one of whom is seen by the church as my boyfriend; and another who is my “friend.” I am very lucky that this person doesn’t pressure me to let him be his true self, hold my hand or kiss me when he visits me at church to hear me preach - it is a big thing I am asking of him, too, to be closeted as well, to be kept a secret. I have a lot of church people on my Facebook, so I cannot wish him a public happy anniversary, refer to him as my boyfriend, post any photos of us kissing, etc.

But I also live in most areas of my life as an out poly person. I run this blog (actually, the login page for my gmail which clearly says “polyamoryadvice” was accidentally projected to the entire parish when I plugged my computer in once, which gave me a gnarly panic attack but thankfully had no consequences) and have an OKCupid account (where local people have found me!). I worry about being doxxed or being seen out and about with one of my other partners. So It’s a fine line to walk and I do carry a lot of stress and sadness about it. 

I have been open with my priest about my future desires to go into the Episcopalian priesthood, and he is very unsure of whether he could support me if I continue to be a practicing polyamorous person. If I started in the seminary, I would want to be out and proud, but that is not a bridge I need to cross just yet, because I am making different plans for the next few years of my life.

Why I don’t fight for inclusion right now

I would love to be able to write this blog under my real name. I would love to be able to publish articles about polyamory elsewhere, under my real name. I would love to be able to include all my partners in all areas of my life. I am often asked why I don’t push my priest, and my church community, to be more inclusive and accepting.

The answer is two-fold: one, I simply don’t have the energy right now. I am the only person of faith in my polyamorous network right now, and the only person my age in my church community. I just don’t have the peer support or community foundation to start such a fight right now. This sometimes makes me feel ashamed - I look at the pioneers who fought for women’s ordination or LGBTQ rights in the church, and I know their journey was lonely, and difficult, but ultimately worth fighting. I am just not ready to make those sacrifices just yet, to step into that loneliness and pain and struggle.

The second answer is that I want to be sensitive about what I am asking for. Church community and church beliefs are messy, complicated, and, for many people, sacred.

I wouldn’t appreciate it if I was running a community with a set of stated values and someone just showed up and insisted we change to accommodate them. Even if I agree that inclusion is a good thing! Even if the change they’re asking for would ultimately be for the better! This is the kind of thing where, sometimes, you stay in your seat and be a passenger for a while before you try and take the wheel to change course. I respected the right of my former church to set their morals and covenants, even if they didn’t suit me entirely. 

I do not get to show up to an established community with established values and an established identity and start making a big mess of things. I don’t get to demand that they change the way they do everything to include or accept me. I wish I could. I wish there was space for me, all of me, in the church right now. But there isn’t. This makes me feel sad and lonely. And I intend to continue fighting for myself and others like me, looking ahead to a future where I don’t have to be so closeted or compartmentalized - but, for now, the healthiest thing for me to do right now is keep my head down on this issue, because I need a secure place in a church community to build a foundation on before I feel safe striking out on my own like that.

In conclusion

So there you have it! I hope this answers your questions.

This is a really sensitive topic for me - I often feel rejected and alienated from polyamorous communities because of hostility against Christianity, so please don’t send me hate mail about that. I honor and recognize that a lot of people, especially people in the queer community, have a lot of pain and trauma history around childhoods in the church, and you have every right to your anger. But please try not to direct it at me. I get enough snide comments and casual alienation in my daily life, where 99.9% of my peer group is atheist, and it’s pretty lonesome being a polyamorous Christian in an incredibly secular area, attending a church where my demographic is under-represented along every axis. 

And if you are a Christian who wants to send me hate mail about how my Biblical interpretations are wrong and I am a hedonistic sinner, also, please just don’t. It really hurts my feelings. I don’t exactly fit in anywhere. I literally cried when I saw an etsy listing for a polyamorous-and-Christian pendant. So trust me, whatever you have to say, I’ve already heard it, and it made me feel bad, but I’m still polyamorous and Christian, so, save your energy and do something slightly more Christlike with your time. <3

Am I polyamorous if I only want a triad?

Hi, I just recently discovered I’m into the concept of polyamory but for some reason only the concept of a triad really appeals to me. Does this mean I’m not really poly or is this just a preference like how I’m bisexual but tend to gravitate more toward men?

Triads and polyfidelity are a type of polyamory. So wanting a triad is a way of being polyamorous. You’re exactly right in that it is just a preference of a polyamorous person. Relax! You are polyamorous!

Your identity should never be a topic of debate, and if someone tells you that you’re “not really poly” because you only want a polyamorous triad, bounce their invalidating, gatekeeper ass right out of your life. 

How can I figure out if I’m poly? I’ve been confused about this for a while now. Also, if I am poly does that mean that I’m not “actually asexual”

Here’s my FAQ page about this! Don’t worry too much about “figuring it out” - there’s no test or scan that can go “beep boop, polyamory nodule located, you are polyamorous.” Spend some time daydreaming about best and worst case scenarios, think about what draws you to relationships in media, read about polyamory, and in the meantime, live your best life.

You can be asexual and polyamorous; polyamory is the ability to have multiple romantic and/or sexual relationships. You can be interested in a dating or romantic relationship, but not a sexual one. 

How do you get over the feeling that your relationships are inherently unsustainable? I feel so isolated sometimes that I wonder if dating both my partners is futile bc no one I ever see seems to have the same situation

Can you identify whether there are people, or media, or other influences in your life that are the source of this feeling? What, or who, has implied to you that your relationships are inherently unsustainable? Cut that influence out of your life as soon and as much as possible.

Having any kind of identity, relationship, or lifestyle that you don’t see frequently and positively reflected in the world can feel isolating and alienating. And you’re right, it can be hard to see depictions of other people in similar situations. But they are out there!

The way you “get over that feeling” is by actively seeking out positive, healthy messages and amplifying them in your own life, while at the same time avoiding and challenging negative messages. I give a lot of advice about doing that in this post and this post!

Check my resources here as well and consider joining a polyamorous forum or meetup group to meet other like-minded friends. Here is some information on finding polyamorous representation in media. And if you find that fear, shame, and isolation continue to be serious problems for you, talk to a polyamory-informed mental health professional.

So I’m pretty sure I’m polyamorous but my mom is completely against polyamory (it came up because my friend and his boyfriend are moving in with their boyfriend).

Your mom’s opinions and reality do not have to be your opinions and reality. It is okay to do or be something that other people don’t approve of.

If there is an issue of safety - if you still live with your mom and feel that she would act in a way that threatens your well-being, security, or relationships - then it is okay to stay closeted and wait it out.

But it’s not your job to convince your mom that polyamory is healthy and acceptable. Changing her mind is not a prerequisite to you living a healthy, happy life and having fulfilling polyamorous relationships. 

I have family members who disapprove of my polyamory. I have people in my life who disapprove of my career choices, my diet, my hairstyle, whatever. There are a frighteningly large number of people in my country who disapprove of my beliefs and my personal right to exist. That means I need to take steps to protect myself, emotionally, physically, financially, etc. but it doesn’t mean I cannot or should not be my real, best self.

Some other posts about this:

First off may I say your blog has been so helpful to me and I am so happy that I found it, thank you so much for all the work you do <3. So after some research and thought I find I am both poly and mono, as in I would not mind either kind of relationship. Is this a common thing? Does this even count as being poly? And also, when I imagine my ideal poly relationship, its usually in which me and my partners are loyal to each other, as in we only see each other and no one else. Is this idealistic?

Is it a common thing? No real way of telling, honestly, since there hasn’t been a “polyamorous identity census” yet. Plus, I don’t know your definition of “common.” The good thing is, it doesn’t really matter! You are you and that’s what’s up. I do know some people who are polyflexible, or mono-poly, or whatever term you settle on, so it’s not completely unheard of.

Does it count as being poly? I don’t see why not. Remember that no one person, not even me, is the Official Gatekeeper Of Whose Identity Counts As Poly. If polyamory is part of your identity, then it’s part of your identity. If it helps you find and build relationships that are happy and healthy, great!

What you’re describing is called polyfidelity! It’s definitely a thing that happens, so it’s not unrealistic to imagine that as your ideal. All imagined ideals are, by definition, idealistic, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible! You know what you want, which is a great first step toward getting it. Find poly community, work on yourself, and find that balance of patience and proactivity!

Not sure if you’ve answered something like this already but - One of biggest issues with possibly being poly is dealing with the idea that my relationships aren’t as strong as the ones that mono people have. Like when people say they love their “one and only” and they only have eyes for their person.. it makes me feel like crap for not being satisfied with just having my girlfriend. Any advice or words of wisdom?

Everything I can say to this falls so annoyingly in the category of “easier said than done,” for which I apologize. It has taken me years of therapy, lots of time, money, effort, reading, self-work, and angst to even get to the point where I know what advice to give here, and I won’t pretend I’m always good at taking said advice. But here goes…

Other people’s opinions do not have to be your reality. If you’re walking down the street eating a chocolate ice cream cone, and someone walks up to you and yells CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM IS DISGUSTING AND EVERYONE HATES IT, the best response is to just ignore them, walk away, and - this is important - keep enjoying your ice cream. So someone else doesn’t like it? That’s their problem.

I used to have a job where I’d get emails from people constantly telling me how to do my job, that I was terrible at my job, etc. I got very good at giving a pleasant “thank you for your feedback” response and shrugging it off. People will share their thoughts with you. You are free to receive those thoughts, decide they aren’t useful or helpful, and let them go.

Again, if you were walking down the street and I came up to you and handed you some garbage and said THIS IS TREASURE! HERE, CHERISH THIS! you are welcome to take the garbage, look at it, decide that it is garbage, and decline to continue carrying it. You can gently hand it back to me, or just toss it once you walk away. Just because I think it’s great doesn’t mean you have to as well.

People out there have one worldview, a monogamous worldview, about what love is. You don’t have to agree with it. You don’t have to live in their perspective. You can hear that and think “hm, yep, that’s your perspective.” And then move on with your life. Someone disagreeing with you or being different from you doesn’t mean you’re wrong. It just means you’re different. 

If you find yourself feeling torn down and invalidated by mono-speak, try finding positive ways to challenge those ideas. Make a playlist of love songs that don’t use only-have-eyes-for-you concepts to express love. Read some blogs, webcomics, fics, etc. that represent polyamorous love in a healthy, normal light. Find a poly meetup near you so you can connect with other people who ‘get it.’

If there is a specific source in your life of these kinds of ideas that make you feel torn down, try and reduce that source’s impact on you. If someone in your life talks like that all the time, gently ask them to try and tone it down: “when you say things like that, it makes me feel like my polyamorous relationships are being portrayed as lesser-than. Can you try to avoid phrases like that?” If it’s a TV show or genre of music or film that contains these ideas, try and branch out from that. 

Above all, practice self-affirmations and self-love: “My relationships are strong and healthy.” “I am full of love and I express it in meaningful ways.” “My love is not inferior to a monogamous person’s love.” Practice that - meditate on it, set it as your phone background, journal about it, whatever -  so you can rest in that truth when the bad feelings rise up. When you know and livenyour truth, you can come into contact with someone else whose truth is different and not feel so threatened. 

So um, I’ve started thinking that I might be poly but I’m not totally sure. Are there telltale signs or something? I’m sorry if I’m being rude I’m just kind of confused.

@polyamory-place gave you a good answer here already, and you can read my FAQ page about this here!

Short answer - there are no “telltale signs,” just a journey of self discovery and introspection. Do you think you would be happy, healthy, and fulfilled in a polyamorous relationship? Then you’re probably poly. It is okay to be unsure or experimenting for as long as it takes. 

If I am only interested in a closed relationship, such as a triad or a 4 person triad (quadriad?, quartette?) am i poly? Then again, I’m only 15. I’ve only dated one person and that was only for a month.

Sure! Closed multi-partner relationships are a completely valid type of polyamory. Don’t let anyone tell you your identity doesn’t count or that you need to feel a certain way to be poly.

Here is my FAQ page on the issue. Best of luck figuring out the identity that works best for you and helps you find the healthiest, most fulfilling relationships for you! 

Is it possible to be ace/sex repulsed and polyamorous at the same time? I feel like I can love a lot of people, but sex isn’t enjoyable for me.
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Is it unreasonable to want a closed poly relationship? Like. Just me and my two significant others, and no one else? I know a LOT of polyamorous people are very open and thats like part of the “culture” or whatever but. It makes me kinda hurt when my girlfriend shows interest in others even though we’re in a poly relationship
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There is such thing as a queerplatonic poly relationship, right? (sorry, I’m kinda new to all this)

To all three: yes, yes, and yes. There is no one right way to be poly, and there is no standard somewhere that poly-identified people are measured against. You can identify as poly even if you don’t have sex, because polyamory is about more than sex, it’s about relationships. You can identify as poly if the only relationship structure you want is a closed triad. You can identify as poly if you are in queerplatonic relationships.

Some people might not recognize the validity of your chosen terms. The stamp of an online advice blogger cannot, unfortunately, prevent jerks from arguing with you about whether you fulfill the appropriate criteria to identify yourself or label your relationships a certain way. But you don’t need their approval. Use language as a tool to help you articulate your needs and live a fulfilling life as your best self, not as some external measurement. 

I grouped these three questions together because they all fall into a FAQ that I have a page for. You can read more about this issue here!

I’m a bisexual (or asexual?) trans guy and I think from the very little I know of it I MIGHT be polyamorous. I would honestly love to know more about it to determine whether this is a thing for me; is there any advice, books, websites, or videos/documentaries you could recommend me?

Here is my FAQ page on how to figure out whether you’re poly!

I recommend reading narrative descriptions of healthy poly relationships and seeing whether this fits in with your understanding or expectations of relationships. Here’s one in The Atlantic, another in CNN.

But honestly, there is no specific “how to tell if you’re polyamorous” checklist I can point to you. Everyone’s path is different, and there are lots of resources out there - you’ve gotta break out your Google-fu and find what you need. Everything from poly parenting stories to the philosophy behind “solo polyamory” is available online - poke around the big poly forums and websites, search tags on tumblr, and be patient as you learn about yourself!

Is it advisable to come out to your friends on Facebook/social media that you’re in a polyamorous relationship or is it best to just keep that knowledge to a small select group?

This is totally up to you. I have a lot of mixed feelings about this, so I’ll try to organize them here. A few things to consider:

Your personal safety: If you worry that being so out would jeopardize your career or personal safety, don’t. If you work with children, have a career with a political or religious aspect, or otherwise think this would put you at risk, it might not be worth it.

Your partners’ feelings: Your partners are part of your life, and they deserve to feel that way. If someone feels hurt or left out because you are ‘hiding’ them, consider whether staying closeted is sustainable.

Where you are in your life: If you’re young and your relationships are casual, coming out has different consequences than if you’re older and more committed. If you’re raising kids together, wanting to bring all partners home for Christmas, etc. then it’s harder to hide, but the consequences from disapproving people can be bigger.

How you experience your polyamory: If this is an identity, part of who you are, then I think coming out can be more freeing. If you experience it as a choice or a sexual behavior, you might be more comfortable only telling a few people. I’m all for people being openly out as gay, but if you’re kinky, that might not need to be everyone’s business. If you feel frustrated at not being able to live out loud as your polyamorous self, I think that’s a good argument in favor of coming out. If you kinda don’t care who knows, there’s no reason to feel obligated to announce it.

Best of luck making your decision! <3

Can you call yourself polyamorous if you have never been in a poly relationship, and are young? (I have done loads of research into it and feel it sums me up perfectly, but I am currently sitting a levels so haven’t actively looked for a relationship)

Yes. Just like you can be gay even if you’re young and have never been in a gay relationship. Focusing on your studies instead of relationships right now is mature and responsible, and I have no doubt that you will grow into a healthy, awesome, self aware practitioner of polyamory! For now, it is totally legit to identify as polyamorous even if you’re not in a poly relationship. Good luck with your exams!