Defining Polyamory
By Elizabeth Scarlett
Copyright © Elizabeth Scarlett, All Rights Reserved.

Ask polyamorous people to define polyamory and you are likely to get a distinctly different definition from each of them. Thatís because weíre generally a diverse and open minded group of people, so why would we conform to any standards? We all have our own perspective, or view of what polyamory is, based on our personal desires and individual situations. Many of us are in dynamic relationships, the factors constantly changing; especially as we make mistakes and learn, growing in our experiences, discovering more and more about what we truly desire in our partners.

So what is polyamory, exactly? I define it as the ability to love multiple people. Anybody can have sex with multiple people and we have plenty of terms for that: polyfuckery, playing the field, swinging, etc. Many polyamorous people are also swingers or into casual sex. However, to be truly polyamorous, you have to be desirous and capable of having multiple loving relationships. Poly = multi. Amour = love.

I am polyamorous. Iíve been this way for much longer than I knew the term that defined me. I adore love; everything about it, in fact. I love falling in love: the feelings stirring within my breast, the butterflies in my stomach, the shivers that run up my spine with every touch, and that oh so wonderful first kiss. I love being in love: lying in my loverís arms, cuddling together, talking late into the night, holding hands and gazing into each otherís eyes. Why oh why, would I ever want this to only happen once in my lifetime? Or to have to wait for the tragic end of a relationship to discover love all over again with someone new?

No! I want to fall in love whenever I can; have love in my life at all times. How often are we blessed to find someone that moves us in the way that we need, that we crave, and madly desire? Why limit ourselves to only one? I love my husband; he is my rock, my heart and we will be together as partners, raising our daughter, managing our home, and living our lives. We do not, however, fulfill each otherís every need and desire, nor do we expect that of each other.

No one person can be everything for another. The expectation of such puts entirely too much pressure on someone and they will inevitably fail in the effort, if they even endeavor to try in the first place. Polyamory allows us to find what we need in multiple relationships. Sometimes itís not even different things, but more of the same. More attention, more love, more intimacy than one person can give you. Sometimes itís just the pure delight of spending time with someone that you donít talk to about bills and the kids.

I love the security and stability of waking up next to my adorable husband everyday, hearing the pitter pat of my daughterís feet running down the hallway. Iím equally in love with the laziness of waking up next to my lovely boyfriend on occasion, knowing Iíve got no responsibilities for the morning; can simply indulge in the comfort of his arms and getting covered in kisses. And still, there is my beautiful girlfriend; we giggle together, hold hands and talk late into the nightÖmostly about the boys in our lives, but we donít hesitate to kiss and cuddle while we do so, taking comfort in each otherís embrace.

Do I prefer one over the others? At times, of course I do. Sometimes the stresses that come with everyday life make me want to escape and pretend that Iím no oneís wife and mother, and being out on the town with someone other than my husband allows me to do just that. At other times, I love nothing more than to wrap myself in my little family, baking cookies with my daughter playing at my feet, or reading in bed next to my husband. At the moment, my boyfriend is who I daydream aboutÖ

The point is, polyamory allows me to be exactly who I want to be, by giving me the ability to live out all of my desires in multiple relationships. My heart is constantly open to love, only limited by time and desire. I have a husband, a boyfriend, and a girlfriend. I am a wife, mother, lover, mistress, girlfriend, partner, and sex kitten. I am happy. I am fulfilled. I am polyamorous.