This article is from the Polyamory FAQ, by firstname.lastname@example.org (H. Wilper) with numerous contributions by others.
First, there are no rules. Nobody owns the copyright on
polyamory. You get to build your own to fit you and your
One thing that comes up in every conversation about polyamory is
communication. If there is any basic building block, this is
probably it. If you can talk about your hopes, you're on the way
to realizing them.
If you're in a relationship already, and have not talked about
how you feel and what you want, and you're asking the question
"How do I start doing this poly stuff?", you may have some qualms
about talking to your partner. What you do will have to be
determined by your own ethics and your own situation; chances are
that if you ask on the newsgroup, many polyfolk will suggest you
talk it over with your partner, and they may point out that even
if you two do not decide to live polyamorously, you may very well
increase the intimacy level in your monogamous dyad by having the
On the other hand, it may all go blooey, and this is why people
hesitate. On the third hand, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
On the fourth hand, it might be useful to increase the intimacy
level in the existing relationship and address any outstanding
difficult issues there *before* having this particular
discussion. Four more hands and you've got a nice statue of Kwan
Yin there, and seeing as how she's the Goddess of Mercy, she
might come in handy at a time like this.
Joe Avins feels that it's not a good idea to try to force a
relationship into an attractive model; he favors the "relax, be
open, and see what happens" approach, and quotes Pete Seeger:
"Take it easy, but take it."
If you're already in more than one relationship and haven't
disclosed this yet, you will find people on the newsgroup who
have experienced similar things - from all three sides - and are
willing to discuss their perceptions and the actions they took.