If they think about us at all, here's what we are in their eyes:
Shocking, but true. We, on the other hand, I think would be disturbed to call those people "polyamorous," even though they are (a) nonmonogamous, and (b) honest about it. But these examples are the only ones a typical mainstreamer knows anything about, and the only ones the culture of compulsory monogamy even admits can exist,
although of course it is loathe to admit any possibility that love could be involved.
Poly cannot come out into the open so long as this is the image people have of it. So my questions are: (a) what is the critical component that separates us from polygamists and pimps*? and (b) how does one introduce such a concept into the public consciousness?
*whatever it is, we need to add it to any discussion of poly with the culture-at-large. Nonmonogamy-with-honesty is not enough, lest we be confronted with these images constantly.