How Is Polyamory Different From Swinging.
Swinging and polyamory are often confused as being the same thing.
They are both part of a lifestyle choice of open relationships. They are similar in that they both can sexually involve more than two people – where everyone knows what is happening.
Swinging and polyamory have some things in common, but they’re distinct. Here are their differences:
Sex vs. relationships
Swinging involves a committed relationship of two people who want be open and have sexual relationships with other people, single or couples. Swingers are about recreational sex with some encounters developing into friendships. Swingers are not looking for meaningful long-term relationships. Swingers are more like friends with benefits.
Polyamory is more about loving relationships with multiple people. Opening up to falling in love with more than one person at a time.
Monogamy vs. Non-monogamy
Swinging is in many ways monogamous, varying only in that sexual fidelity isn’t part of that monogamy. Swingers are couples devoted to being together, to sharing a life together and being faithful to their feelings for each other. Their purpose in the lifestyle is to spice up their sex life and therefore bringing them closer together.
Polyamory is a lifestyle or sexuality. Being polyamorous is something that can define people as much as being heterosexual or gay. Polyamory couples date different people and can even date the same person. Polyamory is distinguished by the emotional bonds formed, which can range all the way to life-long committed relationships with multiple people. Polyamory doesn’t really need to include the sexual aspect of intimacy.
Discreet vs. Out
Swinging is usually a discreet activity that a couple does on the weekends. Many swingers see swinging as an event or series of events, some fun to be had one or more times a month. Due to social stigma swingers often do not open up to friends, co-workers and family because of negative judgements surrounding the lifestyle. Their meet ups are usually at secret places friendly to swingers environment, sometimes couples host parties themselves or they find a safe, secret location.
Whereas polyamorous relationship are part of every day life, and not an activity done from time to time. Usually polyamorous relationships are long term, and have a very regular component to them of a daily goings of a normal married couple.
Poly people tend to want their partners to be with them for major events – holidays, weddings, funerals, company picnics, etc. – as well as part of their every day life – grocery shopping, movies, hanging out, etc.
There is a bit of a commonality. There poly people who still swing, and there have been swingers who have developed poly relationships. And then there are folks who don’t worry about the terms, and just go with the flow.
You don’t have to choose one or the other – but they are not the same thing. It’s important, however to be able to communicate with potential new partners about what you desire in relationships.