Agreements, guidelines and agentic fidelity in polyamorous relationships

Agreements, guidelines and agentic fidelity in polyamorous relationships


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Drawing on data from 343 studies and 12 interviews collected included in 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 partners although dedication continues to be salient within such relationships. Outcomes suggest that polyamorists do break the guidelines of these relationships although ‘cheating’ just isn’t a appropriate construct for such behavior. Although polyamory affords explicit rejection of sexual and psychological exclusivity, study and meeting information claim that by underscoring their capability for numerous loves, there continues to be a continued focus on psychological as opposed to intimate closeness. This article presents ‘agentic fidelity’, that will be a specific type of dedication among polyamorists that relies upon severe self-knowledge and option exercised through the capability to show requirements and boundaries.


We thank David John Frank, Francesca Cancian, Belinda Robnett, plus the anonymous reviewers at Psychology & Sexuality because of their insights and comments that are helpful.


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1. Polyamory joined the Oxford English Dictionary being a noun understood to be, ‘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 doing numerous intimate relationships with all the knowledge and permission of most lovers worried (OED Online)’.

2. Seventy-nine per cent of bisexual participants had been ladies, that will be a limitation regarding the test and may also affect the total leads to regards to the establishment, settlement and content associated with the guidelines. Nevertheless, research suggests few guys earnestly self-identify as bisexual, whereas bisexuality is an even more orientation that is acceptable females (Weinberg et al., Weinberg, M. , Williams, C. and Prior, D . Double attraction: Learning bisexuality, ny : 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 individuals, the simple utilization of the terms that is‘primary ‘secondary’ conflict with polyamory for the reason that numerous primaries are typical or this type of framework reinforces hierarchical valuation or prioritisation of partners.

4. A few scientists have actually explored the bond between BDSM/Kink subcultures and polyamory, suggesting both share comparable values (sincerity, interaction, security) (see Sheff Sheff, E . Polyamorous females, intimate subjectivity, and energy . 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 social discussion.


This study considered the bond among facets of rising adults’ identities and their relational and orientations that are sociosexual well as their attitudes toward consensual non-monogamy (CNM). Outcomes suggest significant relationships https://datingreviewer.net/introvert-dating-sites/ among individuals’ group and social identification aspects, as dictated into the AIQ-IV, and exactly how growing grownups label their relational orientations ( ag e.g., strictly monogamous, monogamish, available, and polyamorous). Also, findings show that the salience/importance of social groups, functions, and reputations in one’s identification is connected with exactly 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 is dependant on the initial author’s thesis, directed by the second writer. The writers want to thank three anonymous, helpful reviewers in addition to Drs. Jennifer Guthrie, Emma Bloomfield, and Rachael Robnett due to their reviews and support.

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Department of Communication Studies, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA

Amber K. Stephens & Tara M. Emmers-Sommer

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