Similar to bisexuality, polyamory is often misunderstood as a selfish endeavor. However, I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that this was not a choice for me and explained why I grew increasingly unhappy in my long-term monogamous relationships. Before I understood this about myself I was intensely isolated by my confusion and complete lack of joy which, as an abundantly loving person, became increasingly painful.
"Terms used to identify such relationships are as numerous as the individuals who endorse them, continue to evolve within cultures, and are often dependent upon the particular configuration of the couple, triad, or family at a given moment."
I will say polyamory narrows in less on diversified sex and more on intimiate open relationships. There are boundaries and discussions unique to each situation. So, what is polyamory?
"Polyamory is the philosophy or state of being in love or romantically involved with more than one person at the same time."
Polyamory relies heavily on consent and communication. Essentially (in my opinion) it explains the idea of free love in modern times. Even for those who can not grasp this, primarily convicted monogamists like my first husband, the fundamental message that we love more than once and in many ways seems to be universal. It can easily be agreed upon that monogamous relationships come with a great deal of pressure by putting all of your joy and dreams into one person. Personally, the lovers in my life all fulfill their own meaningful role, as I in them, and meet my own complex set of needs in a much more satifying way.
In a world where we are talking about the various levels of sexuality, gender, and relationships it is important to remember that the perspectives and definitions therein are highly susceptible to context and subjective reasoning. I have found, personally, that not clinging to labels or social explanations while exploring my relationships and happiness has served me greatly. (After all, you don't see people walking around telling everyone they are straight.)
"We must challenge ourselves to confront our own values and stereotypes around sexual and relational diversity..."
There is so much more I want to say, but, for now, I will leave it here: An open discussion on the myths and realities of loving in many directions.