Is having more than one spouse, i. e., being married to more than one spouse at the same time. Polyamory means having multiple sexual partners, and presumably all partners know about the others, and all are in agreement that such an arrangement is acceptable. In other words there is no infidelity involved, which implies secrecy and deception. We do not make any moral judgment about such arrangements, but there are serious issues raised by either practice.
Our personal preference is monogamy, one sexual partner only.
Allows for close friendships with others, but in monogamous relationships fidelity is part of the agreement, meaning sex is limited to just your partner. Here are some issues to consider when deciding for yourself what type of relationship you desire.
- Safe sex is much more difficult with multiple partners. When you have sexual intercourse with a partner, you are at risk from every other sexual partner they have ever had sex with. This is a big risk and should be taken seriously.
- Typically the desire to have sex with many partners is driven by hormones, particularly testosterone (both men and women). In other words you are motivated by lust, not love. Of course there may be love, but there will almost always be lust as the primary motivation. Nothing wrong with lust per se, just beware of what is really going on. It is easy to deceive yourself and others about this, claiming lust is really love, when it is something quite different.
- With multiple sexual partners, there is inevitably comparison between them. Most people have extremely fragile egos, anyway, and once sex gets into the picture the level of insecurity can rise dramatically, creating a state of extreme vulnerability. Few have the detachment necessary to deal with such vulnerability in a way that will work in the long term, though that is not impossible, just unlikely. Almost inevitably someone gets hurt—badly enough to tear their life apart. Maybe that person will not be you, but what about the others involved—you must decide if that matters to you or not.
- Undoubtedly, the best sex is sex with emotional connection, trust and hopefully genuine love between the partners. There can be good physical sex without these things and if that is all you are looking for, no problem. If you want the deeper connection, it is extremely difficult to successfully create, nurture and sustain such love with even one person, let alone many.
- We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Furthermore, we all have a limited physical energy during that 24 hours, though some have more energy than others. Time spent with one person must preclude time spent with all others (unless you are talking about group sex). Also, most men are ejaculation challenged, meaning that they ejaculate quickly, and after an ejaculation most men lose their erection and their libido drops to zero. Women are far superior to men in sexual stamina, so it is unlikely that most men would be able to keep up with more than one female lover. Of course, anything is possible, it is just relatively rare to find such a male. Even the strongest male can only service so many females during any period of hours, unless he has completely mastered the ejaculation response, and some males can do this.
- The richness and fulfillment resulting from completely committing yourself to just one other human being is unimaginably wonderful. Using your monogamous relationship as a spiritual practice is one of the best options for spiritual paths, leading both partners ultimately as high as Enlightenment for Two. Learning to create love that lasts a lifetime is of the highest order of achievement, certainly ranking with supreme accomplishment academically, artistically or in sports. It is also difficult to do, witness the high rates of marriage breakups.
In the end, we must each make our own choice on this, but certainly there is room for experimentation.