A Map of Non-Monogamy

via Franklin Veaux

I’m not convinced that this accurately describes all of the ways that people are non-monogamous, but it definitely captures many of the complexities and the relationships between different structures.

I especially like his explanation for making this chart:

I’ve been told, many times, that the word “polyamory” is not really necessary, as it’s simply a synonym for “open relationship” or “swinging” (or, depending on the person talking to me, “cheating”). This idea seems to assume that there’s really only one kind of non-monogamy, which is kind of silly.

There’s a bit more at his site. Check it out. 🙂

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8 Responses so far.

  1. What’s soft-swinging?

  2. Charlie says:

    The term describes group or public sex situations in which penetration is only between people who were already partners. So, for example, a couple might go to a sex party to watch others and/or be watched, but not have sexual contact with anyone else. For some people, they might allow some activities like kissing or massage, but no genital contact. It depends on the boundaries and comfort levels of the people involved.

  3. Is “Con Sex” when someone cons someone else into it… of the kind of sex they have in prison?

  4. anathema says:

    @Monika . . . my first thought was prison sex. But on following the link to LiveJournal and reading the comments, nope. There’s a whole category for sex had at cons–whether Star Trek, comic-book-related, or other geekfests. This says everything you need to know about the enormous overlap between the poly community and the geek community. And I say that with pride.

  5. Alan says:

    I must say that I disagree with “polyamory” being a synonym for “open relationship” or “swinging”. The second part of the word is “amore”, Love. Although the rule is breaking down recently, in swinging it used to be that you could have sex with someone, but only recreationally, you couldn’t fall in love with them. Open relationships I would say are a more inclusive category than polyamory, poly is one way to do it, but swinging, dating around and con sex fall outside the area of polyamory. And, I agree, I’ve been in the science fiction convention fandom for years (the folks that actually read books) and there have been a wide variety of relationships in that sub culture….

  6. Charlie says:

    @Alan I think that’s his point. Lots of people who don’t understand the different forms of open relationships confuse them. If you look closely, you’ll see that swinging and polyamory don’t overlap, except for a small overlap between closed group swinging and polyfidelity.

  7. Rebecca says:

    Con Sex is the nerd equivalent of what we in ACT UP used to call Horizontal Networking which was sex that was peripheral to a political conference or demonstration.

  8. Charlie says:

    Although for some people, con sex is the reason to go to the event. 🙂

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