OK one more attempt at this... trying to nail down words and apply logic to language and its use it like trying to nail jello to a wall, I know, but...
I tend to see relationships as falling into one of two categories - Monogamy (one love, one sexual partner - the same person) and non-monogamy (breaking either of those conditions above).
Non-monogamy can be further divided into "ethical" (everybody knows about is and is in agreement) and "unethical" (people are lying and cheating to each other). note that so far the distinction between love and sex hasn't been made...
Then we divide the ethical side into swinging (emphasis is on the sex, the love part is either secondary and forbidden, depending on the type) and polyamory (emphasis on the love in the relationship, whatever form that takes, the sex, while it may be important, is not considered AS important as the love).
There is a broad spectrum with each of the swinging and polyamorous communities. One subgroup of the polyamory group is those that practice polyfidelity.
There are subtle differences in here where there are shades of understanding that individuals take on board and use. This way of thinking about it may not resonate with anyone else - it's just the way I think of it. I don't think that any one way is inherently better than another
And I also think that the foundations of all of the various categorizations I have listed are very varied from individual to individual - we're not even close to "one size fits all", and I think that this discussion is more than amply showing that.
"Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf." - Native American Proverb
Last edited by CielDuMatin; 05-25-2010 at 03:32 PM.
Reason: clarification on a point.