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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 research that is large-scale on intimate relationships in the usa, this research examines agreements and rules 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 principles 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 declare that by underscoring their capability for numerous loves, there continues to be a continued increased exposure of psychological in place of 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 express requirements and boundaries.


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


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

2. Seventy-nine per cent of bisexual participants had been females, which can be a limitation associated with the test that will influence the leads to regards to the establishment, settlement and content associated with guidelines. But, research suggests few males actively self-identify as bisexual, whereas bisexuality is an even more orientation that is acceptable females (Weinberg et al., Weinberg, sober dating site M. , Williams, C. and Prior, D . Twin attraction: Learning bisexuality, ny : Oxford U Press . Google Scholar ).

3. Some relationships utilise a structure that is primary/secondary 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 normal or this type of framework reinforces hierarchical valuation or prioritisation of lovers.

4. A few researchers have 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 energy . Journal of modern Ethnography, 34: 251 – 283 . Crossref, online of Science ® , Google Scholar). Both BDSM and polyamorists also fool around with breaking a number of standard types of relating and interaction that is social.


This study considered the text among areas of growing adults’ identities and their relational and orientations that are sociosexual well because their attitudes toward consensual non-monogamy (CNM). Outcomes suggest significant relationships among individuals’ group and 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 show that the salience/importance of social groups, functions, and reputations in one’s identification is related to exactly just how individuals elect to label their relational orientation, their attitudes toward non-monogamy, and their orientation toward uncommitted intercourse (sociosexual orientation). Discussion, implications, and future instructions follow.


This manuscript is dependant on the initial author’s thesis, directed by the author that is second. The writers want to thank three anonymous, helpful reviewers along with Drs. Jennifer Guthrie, Emma Bloomfield, and Rachael Robnett for his or her commentary and help.

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

Amber K. Stephens & Tara M. Emmers-Sommer

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