Poly Jargon and Poly Geometry

Poly Jargon

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Poly Jargon Decoder

Most of you know me and the wife are Poly and started this wonderful journey together, as well as learning how to deal with your own feeling and thoughts the world of polyamory has a huge chunk of jargon attached to it so i thought id share a breakdown of some of the most well used terms.

Closed Relationship

A relationship is closed if there is an agreement among the members to not get sexually and/or romantically involved with anyone outside the relationship. A monogamous relationship is a closed two-person relationship. Can also be known as polyfidelity.

Expanded Family

Where three or more people choose to live as a family unit. This usually involves a commitment between each of the partners and decisions are usually made by mutual consent. The term expanded family is also used to describe the core family and their closest supporting friends/families/lovers.

Group Marriage

Marriage that involves more than two people. Not usually legally recognized or by most major religions in western society. Some poly people do it by simply self-labeling, or making legal agreements similar to those found in a usual marriage.

Intimate Network

A term describing the social web that results from having sexual relations with friends and lovers of yours and your partners and perhaps their friends and lovers, etc.

Line Marriage

term taken from the works of Robert A. Heinlein, a science fiction writer, meaning a marriage that from time to time adds younger members.

Open Relationship

A relationship is open if there is an agreement among the members that it is acceptable to get sexually and/or romantically involved outside of the relationship.

Poly JargonPartner

May be short for life partner. Gender-free, hetero-assumption-free term for someone with whom one is involved, usually in a primary relationship. It may also sometimes be used in the context as a sexual partner.


Closed relationship involving more than two people. The members of a group marriage, for example, may limit their sexual/romantic involvement to members of the group.


Having more than one spouse.

Primary Relationship(s)

The relationship(s) which is (are) the most important and typically involve a high degree of commitment, such as the relationship with a marriage partner. In some cases “primary” refers to the lover with the most seniority. Some poly people don’t like to use the terms such as primaries and secondaries or the concepts behind the terms, and see putting the relationships in a hierarchical rating as devaluing.

Secondary Relationship(s)

Close, ongoing emotional and/or sexual relationship(s), but with a lesser degree of commitment than a primary relationship.

Tertiary Relationship(s)

Emotional and/or sexual relationship(s) with little or no ongoing involvement.


A social group that has a strong sense of identity and may have a family arrangement as its core.


A relationship involving three people. Often used in a fairly committed sense.

Triangle versus a V. In what is termed a V style triad where the person at the bottom of the V, or the pivot point, is involved with two people that form the arms of the V, those two people not being connected to one another with the same level of intimacy as the pivot base person in the V. In a triangle (or equilateral triangle) triad relationship the three people are each involved with both of the others.

Quads, pentacles, sextets… There are polyamourists who exist in multiple arrangements with more than three members. Poly geometry can get complicated and the agreements along with it as well. As in every other aspect of polyamory, the precise bonds of intimacy vary from group to group and from member to member within groups.


Swinger Nation Swinging is another form of non-monogamy. A term more people are familiar with perhaps than polyamory. Where polyamory is often viewed by those participating in it, as a lifestyle, and as a major part of their identity, sexually and otherwise. Swinging is generally viewed as seen as something more casual. A sub-culture of people who enjoy being sexual with acquaintances and/or friends. Usually in swinging, the focus is primarily sexual. Swinging is often done in groups, and there are networks and places that swingers can go to hook up with other swingers. Swinging can sometimes be a transitional phase where couples or singles experiment with non-monogamy. It may be an ongoing lifestyle choice, or individuals/couples may go back to choosing a monogamous lifestyle, or may go on to exploring non-monogamy that involves deeper connections than sexual exploration and then transition into polyamory.

Polyamourists usually tend to see a major distinction to be made between what is called “Swinging” and Polyamory. Most poly people view swinging, as the intent to engage in non-monogamous sexual behavior without the development of love, affection or personal intimacy between oneself and the secondary partners. With swingers generally seeking to engage in recreational sex without emotional intimacy. They see polyamory as having the intent to foster emotional intimacy to develop and grow between the people involved.

Non-consensual non-monogamy

What most people would term ‘cheating’. Adultery statistics indicate that 60% of men and 40% of women have extra-marital affairs. The numbers may be higher than reported, and the statistics may be different (higher?) for unmarried couples. There are a lot of people practicing non-consensual non-monogamy. Having relationships with more than one partner, without one or both (or more) of those partners knowledge. My question. Why? Since most of us are actually at one time or another actually participating in some form of non-monogamy at some point in our lives, even if we don’t use the label, people as a whole, are generally non-monogamous. Usually of the non-consensual kind, unfortunately. Wouldn’t it perhaps be better to own up to the reality of accepting and embracing non-monogamy as a healthy alternative when done consensually? All too often when these situations are found out, by the person who didn’t give consent. One or more of the relationships end, relationships that may have been perfectly fine, outside of the fact that trust was broken.

Poly Jargon and Poly Geometry
Article Name
Poly Jargon and Poly Geometry
Most of you know me and the wife are Poly and started this wonderful journey together, as well as learning about your feelings there is alot of Poly Jargon
Jon The Nudist
Jon the nudist

Jon the nudist

Well, my name is Jon the Owner of You Only Wetter a 37-year-old, Poly practicing, Dom with two great kids. I am a happy busy internet geek with a love of all things Google and I love spending time sitting on the sofa watching the latest Dr. Who, Mythbusters or a movie. I am a nudist mostly at home but do like to go down to the beach and bare all or go for a little walk around some hidden woodland really would like to do the whole nudist holiday :)

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Poly Jargon and Poly Geometry

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