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Polyamory for the Practical

The Cheater Liberated? Think again.

The Goddess of Giggle Speaks:

So, you've read all this great information on polyamory. You've got it down. You understand the Zen of it. So, you think you now have the proper context from which to explain to your wife/husband all about your lover.



If you have read through this site and you think that polyamory is an excuse for cheating, you ain't been paying attention. I have heard people say many times that they understand polyamory because they have a lover on the side. That ain't poly, it's cheating. Not only is cheating wrong, you can cheat even if you are poly. "But, how is that possible?" you ask. It's very simple. Cheating is about lying, it's about violating agreements. Even in a polyamorous relationship there are boundaries and agreements. When there is awareness and approval by all involved, there is not cheating. But when there becomes a lack of communication, even in a polyamorous relationship, cheating will occur.

Let's say that Suzie is married to Rick and Leslie. The three have an agreement that there will be no outside sex until all members of the marriage have met this prospective lover. Suzie has met the wonderful woman, Pam. The passion between them is explosive and one night, things get out of control before Rick and Leslie have had the chance to meet her. Now, the agreement is broken. Suzie has cheated.

This is not the only scenario that would apply. How about this one?

Greg and John have been together for 2 years. They don't have any restrictions other than using condoms and having safe sex. They also have agreed to complete disclosure. No secrets. Each of them must inform the other when they have had a sexual encounter. John meets Virginia at a bar one night and they go to her place where things get very intimate. There is no penetration but there is sex. John does not mention this encounter to Greg. John has cheated on Greg.

However, cheating does not have to involve sex. What if there is an agreement between partners for total honesty regarding their emotional involvements?

Jessica, Martin, George and Beth are all married to each other. They have agreed to be completely honest with each other if they ever have romantic feelings for someone. George works with a woman very closely and finds himself feeling very amorous towards her. He does not mention this to his spice. Instead, one night while working late, he tells his colleague how he is feeling. She is receptive and they begin going out for dinner after long work days. There has been no sexual intimacy, but the emotional bond has become very strong. George is cheating on his spice.

So you see, cheating isn't an exclusively monogamous activity. And non-monogamy is not always cheating. However, even the non-monogamous can cheat, and sometimes do. In any relationship, honesty is essential to its survival. When there is a breakdown of communication, agreements can get broken. When agreements are broken, hearts soon follow.

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