Ok this is my definition of what a polyamorous person is.

A lot of people say there isn't only one way to be a poly & although I agree to a certain extent, I still feel that most polyamorists that congregate around each other have the same basic intents. That is what being a true polyamorist is to me.

Why I mention this is because a lot of people claim to be poly & really they are either just confused about what polyamory is all about, or they lie about their true intentions while claiming they are a polyamorist. Really they are a swinger or polysexual.

I will write up a short definition & my 13 additional pages will explain it in more detail. When dating online or even offline, I feel it is very important for everyone to write down exactly what they are seeking before they even start looking. That way their expectations of any relationship are clear and transparent from the start.  One can write up a profile for a dating site or even write a one or two page web site so people can read it over at their leisure.

As we change & grow, we can always edit our sites so people are kept up-to-date. Writing things out can also be therapeutic so you better understand yourself. This helps others to better understand you.

I find that out of all the people online, polys are the ones with the most personal web sites. Hats off to you polyamorists :)


If your intent in a relationship is to have a longer term ongoing serious emotional relationship based on love, trust & respect, but you wish to have that type of relationship with more then one person, that means you are polyamorous aka poly. Just pretend you are seeking just one person for a serious romantic relationship that will grow in time with love & respect. Some may eventually wish this relationship to lead to marriage or a common law situation. Now just think of having that type of relationship with 2 or 3 people & you are now poly living the polyamorous lovestyle. :)

If your intent is sexual or you are seeking a sexual relationship that is casual & your main focus is on the sex, than you are a swinger or swingle (single person who enjoys swinging).

If you are seeking a sexual relationship with just a few ongoing people, you are most probably a polysexual. You want friendship & sex, but love & those deeper feelings of building a family just aren't there for you.

Some swingers don't even know what polyamory is all about because they consider this cheating on their spouses. They are more than willing to just give away their body to a stranger or just for purely sexual gratification, but opening one's heart, loving & enjoying a family & commitment is beyond their comprehension. I don't understand these people at all, but then again, I'm not your "average" human being.

For those of you who were never quite satisfied in the swinging lifestyle, I welcome you to read over what I've written & see if it resonates with you.

In the last several years I've had a few swingers thank me for showing them there isn't just one way to connect to multiple partners.

Keep in mind that a lot of polyamorous people don't feel every poly partner has to be a sexual one, & a lot of poly people believe one is born being poly. It's not a lifestyle, it's a way of life.

The reason most people don't acknowledge they are polyamorous from a young age, is because society tells humans how to act instead of humans deciding how they should act & live their lives.

The most common words/terms swingers use & what they look for so you can be better prepared when you have to determine if a person is a swinger, polysexual or a polyamorist ...

PLAY (taken in a social online context only)

we want you to come play with us” - “we are looking to play

I've never heard true polyamorists use those words because sex isn't what they are after. They are after the real human person inside & their whole package, not just the sexual gratification.

Whenever a couple or person e-mails or IMs me saying they want a 3some, I know they are a swinger or have a swinger mentality because true polys NEVER use this term. This means to have 3 or 4 people in the bed sexually at the same time whether all participate or not.

Now I do feel that looks are important to chemistry & attraction, but if the person you are talking to ONLY cares about your looks or their looks & they never want to get to know you as a person (your personality, your goals, what you do for a living, your interests, your values, etc.) then I would call them a swinger or polysexual.

It's unfortunate that this is the mindset of most humans these days & it's all starting from a very very young age even in middle school, so while they may not be swingers yet, their mindset clearly already is.

What do you look like?”, “I want to see your body”, “What size are your breasts or penis?”, “Can I see your pic, pic, pic, pic & more pics”, “Do you have any nude pics?

As a person who knows what compatibility is all about, I want to be attracted to you, but I care more about your intelligence, sense of humour, values, personality, interests & a whole host of other things that are way more important to me than your body & how it turns me on. Healthy Love will turn me on.

I used to ask for a pic all of the time, but as I began to learn about what love is really all about & delved deeper into the polyamorous lovestyle, I realized the Universe would bring me people I was sensually attracted to & if I didn't come across people I was sensually attracted to, that was fine, because I'm always seeking new friends, not just intimate partners.


Many times swingers (not all) usually wear trashy or slutty clothes to show off their body parts because the body & turning people on is their main focus. Most of the time all they talk about is sex. They watch endless porn & try to copy what they see on the screen which isn't reality.

I found that any of the swingers I came across (yes, I started off in the swinging lifestyle not knowing polyamory existed) don't have a clue how to be a good lover because for them it isn't about making love, it's about "getting it"! What shocked me is the lack of foreplay & how women were usually providing more than they were receiving.

Swingers generally pose for total strangers in the nude, and/or are constantly sending out nude pics of themselves to people they have never even talked to on the phone or face to face.

And just so you know, I believe nudity is a beautiful thing when it is presented with class & respect.

True polyamorists tend not to act in these ways because they are looking for long term partners, not to show their body off to a whole internet of strangers.

I must state that this has nothing to do with being a nudist in my opinion, although I've come across a few nudists that don't respect other people because they don't first determine if that person even wants to see their nude pic. They pass their pics around as if it's their given right to do so, & that has offended me when they "claimed" they were a polyamorist.

A polyamorist will usually show up on a date wearing what he/she would wear on any first or second date. It's just like a normal every day situation.

Dressing in a sexy manner, which I totally approve of, is totally different than wearing sleazy clothing just to show that sex is all they are really after. Unfortunately young kids these days have learned that the only way to fit in is to dress in a trashy manner.

Swingers very often use crude vulgar words like "fuck", "screw" etc., while polyamorists talk in respectful terms about their sexuality. All humans' sexuality is to be respected & embraced in a loving sensual manner.

I've only come across one person who claimed they were a true poly who used such crude & vulgar language. I was told by his wife that this is just the way he is. I guess even if he is a true poly, I would never want anything to do with someone like that. In my opinion some words are just left for the bedroom & not for common conversation.


Being a well rounded healthy person means everyone respecting their sexuality. Exploring it, not out of fear & confusion, but out of self realization. Embracing it, learning how to be creative, enjoying & bonding spiritually (not talking religion) when making love.

Even though this is every person's human right, most people looking for loving long term relationships do NOT start talking about these personal sacred points of view with total strangers. In fact, the only reason I talk about it so openly with strangers, is because I have been studying sensuality & sexuality for so many years, so it doesn't phase me one way or another to talk about sex. I am not most people though & I certainly don't go around having cyber or phone sex by way of getting to know the inner person inside.

Polyamorists tend to respect the other person enough to get to know them as a human being FIRST. Their private love making sessions are meant to stay between the 2 or more people that participated. Most polys don't go around advertising their personal lives to others unless they are seeking help from other like minded people.

Our love making is usually private moments of passion not meant for the whole world to hear about or view. There are always exceptions to the rule, but this is the norm.

Most swingers just can't seem to help themselves because they think life is ALL about sex, sex & more sex. For me that is a sign of sexual dysfunctionality.

Swingers are concerned about how much they will turn you on sexually - What they will do for you sexually - How great you think you are in bed - Fantasies, role playing etc.

Again, these are all things I embrace, but ONLY between me & my partners, not total strangers.


Now the reason I'm trying to be so clear here is because of all the problems I & other polyamorists have experienced.

We are really serious about finding other like minded poly partners. We aren't playing games or joking around.

What has happened many many times in the past according to me & others I have talked to, is that swingers & polysexuals try to pass themselves off as polyamorists.

So the poly person starts to get to know this person(s) & believes them when they say they are polyamorists & then they find out, BAMM, they are really just looking for sex.

Some have even been tricked into this by some swingers.

I've often received contradicting messages from some people that tell me they don't swing, yet when they approached me online, all they cared about was my looks.

Where as polyamorists talk about social issues, getting to know you questions, talking about family, polyamory relationships etc., a lot of swingers and/polysexuals don't even try to find out about the other person & their life.

It's really all about intent.

What are your intents in the relationships you seek?

I feel that even if you are making love to 2 or 3 different people at the same time, you have really strong emotional feelings for these partners of yours & you wish to be in a "real" relationship with all of its ups & downs, than you are probably polyamorous.

If you run away to the next partner at the first sign of an argument, disagreement or conflict, than you probably aren't a "true" polyamorous person seeking a real committed relationship.

Now I'm certainly not suggesting you stay in an unhealthy monogamous or polyamorous relationship, but if you feel that having multiple partners gives you the excuse to run away when real life relationship situations crop up, than I don't feel you had the polyamorous intent to begin with.

I don't feel a person can be a swinger & a true poly at the same time.


Because if your primary goal is sex, than your primary goal isn't love. Either you want love & to express your love to your partners sexually, or you want just sex with multiple partners.

Here is where the polysexual comes into play.

A polysexual is sort of one step up from a swinger. They may want to be friends with their partners & have some feelings for them, but their main goal is still sexual. They may even want to have a longer term sexual relationship with others, but they just can't get over that sex part & really start to love the other person. Polysexuals & swingers may even resist & I mean really resist any deep emotional feelings for their partners because they just don't understand what is going on & it scares them. I've heard that one before.

Now can a swinger or polysexual become a true polyamorous person?

Yes they can.

I used to label myself a swinger & I never even heard of polyamory & when I did, I thought I was poly when I wasn't. 

Like I said, most swingers haven't heard about polaymory, or if they have, they just don't understand it.

I knew after 1-2 yrs. of going to swinger's dances & being with a few couples that I was just being used & abused for sex.

Even though I was consenting, I was really searching for more & just didn't know it.

I feel those years were my baby steps to learning more about love & opening my heart to others without compromising my need for independence & openness. I really started to feel that most people really aren't monogamous even though everyone says they are. In fact, there is a whole slew of people we call serial monogamists. These are people that go from relationship to relationship looking for the greener grass on the other side when really all they are is a poly seeking to have many committed loving relationships at the same time.

Can people open their minds up to this concept without getting all stuck about the sex part? I hope so. We will be a better world for it.

It is said that polys are now at the stage where gays & lesbians were many years ago. We are trying to forge new ground. We AREN'T polygamists, as they are a WHOLE different kettle of fish.

So, that is my short version of just some of the huge differences between swingers & polys & what I consider true polys to be like. If you are requesting authorization to one of my Yahoo poly groups, you don't have to read any further. Please make sure you fall into what I & others consider to be the polyamory lovestyle. There are many many swingers sites out there that will satisfy what you seek if your main intent or close to your main intent is sex. Just please respect polyamorists enough to be open & honest about your true intentions. 

Thank you so much. :)

For those of you who don't know about the various groups I moderate, here is the link to my Yahoo groups page.

Please read over the description of each group & its homepage before you decide to join.

Thank you & I wish everyone all the best

Michelle ;) Peace & Serenity

Now onto my longer version of what polyamory is all about...


Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illumines it.

— Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

If you find any errors, bugs, typos etc., please contact me giving me the URL of the page plus copying the paragraph where the error is.

Thank you so much for letting me know.

Last updated 25-Oct-09