After reading a few introductions, I feel like it would take months of research to learn all the terminology needed to describe oneself here!
I'm Leelee, and I think what I am is the "secondary" to a person who has a "primary".
I am a (divorced) single woman. My lover is a man in a long-term relationship with a woman. They had a monogamous relationship for many years, but decided a few months ago to turn it into a sort of open relationship. I say "sort of" because it's only open on HIS side, i.e., his partner is not interested in any other partners, which he is happy about, because he's not sure he'd like it if she were. He is allowed to have male and/or female secondary partners, but she is entitled to ask him anything she wants about those relationships. I am the first "secondary", supposedly. I haven't met his primary and he doesn't want me to meet her. He says she wouldn't want to meet me.
One of the first things I read when I first checked out this site was David Noble's "So somebody called you a Unicorn Hunter" article. It made me sad. What he wrote about these "unicorns" that people are supposedly looking for sounded alot like my situation. I have no say in the terms of my relationship with my lover -- his primary gets to dictate when he can and can't see me, what we can do together (sex only; "socializing" like going out for a drink or for dinner is forbidden), etcetera. I didn't get to negotiate ANYTHING about the relationship, and I constantly wonder when his "primary" is going to pull the plug on things. Sometimes I even wonder if she actually exists, or if he is making her up. If she DOES exist, she seems to view me as a sort of free service provider that takes care of her husband's sexual needs for him so that she doesn't have to.
I guess this introduction sounds pretty miserable. My first impression of polyamory is pretty negative, I think. Objectively I can understand it -- my ex had lots of mistresses and he was constantly lying about it. I'm not sure monogamy comes naturally to many men. For a couple to accept that and to negotiate other partners in a honest way does seem like a good thing. But from my perspective, my position in this thing has many negatives and very few benefits.