Pacific Lutheran University’s Women’s Center and Diversity Center have been hosting an award-winning Sex Positive series focusing on spreading knowledge and understanding of sex and relationships. To start off the semester, the series introduced polyamory to PLU.
Unlike polygamy and polyandry, where there is one primary person with multiple partners of the same sex, polyamory allows a person to have many partners of different genders and levels of relationship commitment. Someone may see one of his or her partners as a live-in boyfriend or girlfriend, while another partner is seen as a new love or crush.
“Poly has many definitions,” Allena Gabosch, a Sex+ panelist and executive director of the Center of Sex Positive Culture, said. “But it is mostly focused on relationship structures and communal ethics between partners.”
The panel was made up of five people in polyamorous relationships, one exclusively gay, two in bisexual relationships and a married couple. When asked how polyamory works in their marriage, Adrianne and Jay gave informative answers.
“I love the freedom to connect with other people,” Adrianne said. “I love seeing him [Jay] be in relationships and be happy with those people.”
Jay agreed, saying polyamory has allowed him to make deep connections with a few people whereas monogamy only allowed for a relationship with only one person.
The audience at the event asked Jay and Adrianne if they ever feel jealousy within their relationship, especially since they are married.
“I feel a sense of compersion,” Adrianne said, “which means that I get a sense of joy from seeing my partner interact with others. Like, when I see him kiss someone, he looks so cute and happy and that makes me happy.”
Attendees also asked the panelists what major misconceptions people have about the polyamorous community. The most common one the panel discussed was the myth everyone in the community has sex all the time.
“I wish,” Gabosch said. “The funny thing about the poly community is we spend a lot of time talking about sex and relationships and don’t have a lot of sex.”
At the close of the event, the panel encouraged students to learn more about polyamory and to learn more about themselves.
To learn more about polyamory, visit the Center for Sex Positive Culture’s website.