Polyamory: Intimate practice, identity or sexual orientation?

  title={Polyamory: Intimate practice, identity or sexual orientation?},
  author={Christian Klesse},
  pages={81 - 99}
  • C. Klesse
  • Published 1 January 2014
  • Sociology
  • Sexualities
Polyamory means different things to different people. While some consider polyamory to be nothing more than a convenient label for their current relationship constellations or a handy tool for communicating their willingness to enter more than one relationship at a time, others claim it as one of their core identities. Essentialist identity narratives have sustained recent arguments that polyamory is best understood as a sexual orientation and is as such comparable with homosexuality… 

Marriage, Law and Polyamory: Rebutting Mononormativity with Sexual Orientation Discourse?

This paper traces the genealogy of sexual orientation discourse in US legal scholarship and explores potential drawbacks of the articulation of a sexual orientation argument in the field of

Queer Intimacies: A New Paradigm for the Study of Relationship Diversity

It is argued that a queer paradigm shifts the dominant scientific conception of relationships away from the confines of normativity toward an embrace of diversity, fluidity, and possibility.

From romantic jealousy to sympathetic joy: Monogamy, polyamory, and beyond

  • J. Ferrer
  • Psychology
    International Journal of Transpersonal Studies
  • 2019
This paper explores how the extension of contemplative qualities to intimate relationships can transform human sexual/emotional responses and relationship choices. The paper reviews contemporary

The Fluidity of Human Intimacy: A Look at Relationship Orientation and Identity with a Focus on Polyamory

Polyamory (or “Poly”) is an alternative way that people conduct their relationships. My research was aimed at discovering what role relationship structure has to an individual’s identity. In this

Bisexual desires for more than one gender as a challenge to normative relationship ideals

ABSTRACT Normative western understandings of intimate relationships continue to draw upon the discourses of romantic love and the ideal of finding ‘the one’ who meets all our romantic and sexual

“You enjoy being a second class citizen”: Unicorn dynamics and identity negotiation on subreddit r/polyamory

Recent attention to the non-monogamous identity known as the “unicorn” has increased the visibility of a poorly understood sexual minority. Conflicting definitions in popular media, heightened social

Scientia sexualis and ars erotica: Indonesian young people resisting the discourse of sexual desire

ABSTRACT Based on a qualitative study conducted with Indonesian young people, this article explores the ways in which the discourse of sexual desire – that constitutes sexual self as categorisable

Bisexuality, Slippery Slopes, and Multipartner Marriage

ABSTRACT This article explores the position of polyamory in slippery slope arguments directed against the campaign for same-sex marriage rights in the United States. In the rhetoric of right-wing

"I have the right to my desires" : que(e)rying heterosexuality and feminism in practice

This thesis considers the relationship between feminism and heterosexuality in practice. It aims to explore how feminist values and beliefs help to shape or inform (hetero)sexual practices,

Adults’ Identities, Attitudes, and Orientations Concerning Consensual Non-Monogamy

This study considered the connection among aspects of emerging adults’ identities and their relational and sociosexual orientations as well as their attitudes toward consensual non-monogamy (CNM).




This Article examines, from a theoretical standpoint, the possibility of expanding the definition of “sexual orientation” in employment discrimination statutes to include other disfavored sexual

Uncomfortable Bridges

Abstract This article discusses the relationship between polyamory and bisexuality in the context of the formation of the Trent Polyamory Society, a university discussion and social group. Through a

Patrolling the Borders of Sexual Orientation: Bisexual Refugee Claims in Canada

Canada’s current definition of a refugee includes those facing persecution on account of sexual orientation. This article demonstrates that the success rates for sexual-minority refugee claims are

Make Love, Now Law: Perceptions of the Marriage Equality Struggle Among Polyamorous Activists

SUMMARY The paper examines marriage equality through the eyes of the polyamorous community. “Polyamory” is the practice of romantic relationships with more than one person, simultaneously, with the

Sexology, the Homo/Hetero Binary, and the Complexities of Male Sexual History

This article re-evaluates the emphasis on the ‘homo/hetero binary’, which appears in many discussions of sexuality since the late 19th century, by exploring several key European sexological texts and

Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women's Love and Desire

Is love "blind" when it comes to gender? For women, it just might be. This unsettling and original book offers a radical new understanding of the context-dependent nature of female sexuality. Lisa

A history of bisexuality

Why is bisexuality the object of such skepticism? Why do sexologists steer clear of it in their research? Why has bisexuality, in stark contrast to homosexuality, only recently emerged as a nascent

The Invention of Heterosexuality

"Heterosexuality," assumed to denote a universal sexual and cultural norm, has been largely exempt from critical scrutiny. In this boldly original work, Jonathan Ned Katz challenges the common notion

Therapy with Clients Who Are Bisexual and Polyamorous

SUMMARY Polyamorous partners offer each other the freedom to pursue romantic bonds with other people, in addition to being romantically close within their own relationship. Given the prevalence of

Evidence for a biological influence in male homosexuality.

Plato’s myth is perhaps the earliest “biological” explanation of sexual orientation; it demonstrates how attitudes toward homosexual behavior vary from culture to culture.