ABSTRACT

Polyamory circumscribes a relationship philosophy or an approach to intimacy and sexuality that is based on the belief that it is worthwhile and valid to have more than one loving and/or erotic relationship. The term combines word elements derived from the Greek (poly) and Latin (amory) languages and thus literally translates as “many loves.” Polyamory endorses an ethical approach, according to which all participants in a relationship are aware of the (potentially) non-monogamous character of their mutual bond(s). As a consensual approach to non-monogamy, polyamory promotes an ethics based on honesty, respectful negotiation and decision-making, integrity and equality (cf. Anapol 2010: 65-86; Barker and Langdridge 2011). Its most distinctive characteristic is its up-front endorsement of love. For example, Lano and Parry translate the term into “more loves than one.” They propagate polyamory as “a generic term intended to cover all forms of responsible non-monogamy,” because it “helps to emphasise that there is more than just sex at the issue in non-monogamy” (Lano and Parry 1995: v).