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3). Polyamory: But isn't that "cheating"?




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This article is from the Polyamory FAQ, by h-wilper@uiuc.edu (H. Wilper) with numerous contributions by others.

3). Polyamory: But isn't that "cheating"?

Nope.

Oh, you wanted a longer answer. Okay. According to the OED,
cheating means "fraud, deceit, swindling." There's a nice quote
from 1532: "The first...ground of Chetinge is...a studdy to seme
to be, and not to be in deede." In other words, cheating is to
convey through deliberate action the impression that one is of a
particular nature while one is, in fact, something quite
different. What this boils down to with polyamory is that
polyamorous people do not tell partners, lovers, or prospective
members of those groups that they are monogamous when in fact
they are not -- nor do they allow these people to assume they are
monogamous, regardless of how convenient or personally
advantageous such assumptions might be. The words "honest",
"negotiate", "communication" and "being out" occur frequently in
discussions of how polyamory usually works.

As Stef puts it:

"I think the key in defining polyamory is *openness*, that is,
having multiple relationships with the knowledge and consent of
your partner(s) rather than by deceit. (How much openness, how
many details are shared, of course varies widely.) A great many
people have secret affairs while they're in a supposedly
monogamous relationship. I think those people might have the
potential to be polyamorous, but I do not think they are
practicing polyamory. Another key in defining polyamory, IMO, is
that it need not involve sex (although it often does)."

Generally speaking, if someone openly practices "more than one
love" and calls themself polyamorous, they probably are; if they
practice "more than one love" and call themself monogamous, do
not adjust your television: the problem is *not* in your
receiver.

 

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