Agreements, guidelines and agentic fidelity in polyamorous relationships

Agreements, guidelines and agentic fidelity in polyamorous relationships


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Drawing on information from 343 studies and 12 interviews collected as an element of a large-scale scientific study on intimate relationships in the us, this research examines agreements and guidelines within self-identified polyamorous relationships. Findings illustrate that polyamorists explicitly resist the master template that is monogamous numerous intimate and psychological lovers although dedication continues to be salient within such relationships. Outcomes suggest that polyamorists do break the guidelines of the relationships although ‘cheating’ is certainly not a appropriate construct for such behavior. Although polyamory affords explicit rejection of intimate and psychological exclusivity, study and interview information claim that by underscoring their capability for numerous loves, there continues to be a continued increased exposure of psychological in the place of intimate closeness. The content presents fidelity’ that is‘agentic which will be a particular as a type of dedication among polyamorists that relies upon severe self-knowledge and option exercised through the capacity to show requirements and boundaries.


We thank David John Frank, Francesca Cancian, Belinda Robnett, while the anonymous reviewers at Psychology & Sexuality for his or her insights and comments that are helpful.


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1. Polyamory joined the Oxford English Dictionary as a noun thought as, ‘The reality of getting simultaneous close relationships that are emotional a couple of other people, seen as an option to monogamy, esp. in regard to things of intimate fidelity; the customized or training of participating in numerous intimate relationships with all the knowledge and permission of most lovers worried (OED Online)’.

2. Seventy-nine % of bisexual participants had been ladies, which will be a limitation of this test and might influence the leads to regards to the establishment, settlement and content regarding the guidelines. Nonetheless, research suggests few guys earnestly self-identify as bisexual, whereas bisexuality is an even more orientation that is acceptable ladies (Weinberg et al., Weinberg, M. , Williams, C. and Prior, D . Double attraction: Learning bisexuality, nyc : Oxford U Press . Google Scholar ).

3. Some relationships utilise a primary/secondary framework, wherein main lovers are dyadic and additional lovers run more with regards to of satellite relations. For other people, the simple utilization of the terms ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ conflict with polyamory for the reason that numerous primaries are typical or this kind of framework reinforces hierarchical valuation or prioritisation of lovers.

4. A few scientists have actually explored the text between BDSM/Kink subcultures and polyamory, suggesting both share values that are similarsincerity, interaction, security) (see Sheff Sheff, E . Polyamorous ladies, intimate subjectivity, and power . Journal of modern Ethnography, 34: 251 – 283 . Crossref, online of Science ® , Google Scholar). Both BDSM and polyamorists additionally fool around with breaking lots of standard kinds of relating and interaction that is social.


This study considered the text among areas of rising adults’ identities and their relational and sociosexual orientations since well as their attitudes toward consensual non-monogamy (CNM). Outcomes suggest significant relationships among individuals collective that is social identification aspects, as dictated within the AIQ-IV, and exactly how growing grownups label their relational orientations ( ag e.g., strictly monogamous, monogamish, available, and polyamorous). Also, findings display that the salience/importance of social groups, functions, and reputations in one’s identification is connected with just just just how people elect to label their relational orientation, their attitudes toward non-monogamy, and their orientation toward uncommitted intercourse (sociosexual orientation). Discussion, implications, and directions that are future.


This manuscript will be based upon the very first author’s thesis, directed by the author that is second. The writers wish to thank three anonymous, helpful reviewers in addition to Drs. Jennifer Guthrie, Emma Bloomfield, and Rachael Robnett with their feedback and help.

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Department of Communication Studies, University of Nevada, Vegas, United States Of America

Amber K. Stephens & Tara M. Emmers-Sommer

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