With the Bible being one of the first introductions to unusual lifestyle choices, the acronym FLDS (for "Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints") is the most common reference used for open relationships.
The show , produced by TLC, which is now under scrutiny and a possible lawsuit; and various Lifetime movies have portrayed polygamy as an extremist religious practice. Open relationships can exist in many forms, some of which do not include marriage, and all of which -- as long as they are "legal" and ethical -- include consenting adults over the age of 18. It's something that takes more than one try, usually, to get right.
There is a common misconception that a polyamorous relationship is really no different from an open-relationship agreement: one committed couple, with some lighthearted fun on the side.
But the word "polyamory," by definition, means loving more than one.
Researchers estimate that as many as 5 percent of Americans are currently in relationships involving consensual nonmonogamy — that is, permission to go outside the couple looking for love or sex.
The boundaries in these relationships are remarkably varied, with some couples negotiating one-off "swinging" or partner-swapping experiences.
15 in Berkeley, Calif., and ongoing studies are examining everything from how jealousy works in polyamorous relationships to how kids in polyamorous familes fare.
Though there's a lot left to learn, initial findings are busting some myths about how love among many works.
Director Natalia Garcia writes, "We are thrilled that Showtime supported this series for as long as they did.
It would be unfortunately difficult to say which among these misunderstandings is the most common, or the most hurtful to polyamorous folks.
But there's one in particular that I'd like to discuss: the idea that "polyamory" means "committed couple who have casual partners on the side." There has been much talk about "open marriage" and "open relationships" in recent years, with some even paradoxically dubbing non-monogamy "the new monogamy." In this open-marriage conception of non-monogamous relationships, there is still a central, committed (often legally married) couple, who allow one another to engage in purely sexual (or at least quite casual) outside relationships.
and others forming stable bonds among three, four or five partners simultaneously.
The latter is a version of polyamory, relationships in which people have multiple partnerships at once with the full knowledge of all involved.