I was at a conference recently where, during a session, one of the audience members stated that polyamory includes relationships where not everyone knew about everybody else. My initial gut reaction was 'That's not poly!'. I did not address it at the conference but have thought about this statement ever since.
For me, the ethical aspect of polyamory - honesty, communication, that everyone involved with me knows about the other people I'm involved with - is paramount in defining polyamory. The ethical aspect is what makes polyamory different. Without openness and honesty, it's cheating. Other people emphasize the 'many loves' part, where there is no love, there isn't poly. I happen to disagree.
Fortunately or unfortunately, polyamory is one of those squishy words that is in flux, and can be stretched to incorporate things that many of us find very uncomfortable. And I doubt it will be nailed down any time soon. I, for one, hope it retains some fluidity.
Last edited by opalescent; 08-22-2011 at 04:43 PM.
Reason: grammer edit