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Photo: sirtravelalot (Shutterstock) The majority of prefer the familiarity and comfort of monogamy, but sexual adventurists of all stripes walk among us. Just think, while you’re haggling with your partner over the electric bill or Venmo’ing the same $30 back and forth to pay for weekly groceries, there are couples out there swinging from partner to partner, living in a committed throuple, or engaging in other alternative sexual and romantic lifestyles that fly in the face of tradition. But what’s the difference between being polyamorous, being a swinger, and having an open relationship? Are there differing rules involved in each of these more free-wheeling approaches to romance and intimacy? What are polyamorous relationships? Popular conceptions of polyamory tend to conflate it with sexual promiscuity. This is totally wrong, as polyamory is really about consensual companionship, albeit with multiple partners at the same time. Nor is it anything close to polygamy, which is the practice of having multiple wives, sometimes practiced by those of a fundamentalist sect. Psychologist Elisabeth A. Sheff defined polyamory for Psychology Today in 2018 as follows: Polyamory is a form of consensual non-monogamy (CNM) with emotionally intimate relationships among multiple people that can also be sexual and/or romantic partners. There are a wealth of misconceptions that follow the term—chief among them that it’s nothing but evidence of the practicer’s hedonism. According to the certified sex therapist Janet Brito, however, people in polyamorous relationships can indeed be very committed to one another, and their bonds are rooted […]