Anyone who’s ever been in a non-monogamous relationship – or has friends who are – knows that there’s many different kinds of non-monogamous relationship styles, so many that it can get a bit confusing. Five years ago, polyamory expert Franklin Veaux found no less than fifty variations on such relationships and outlined them all in one handy grid worth taking a peek at below.
Veaux divides the fifty styles into a series of overlapping categories. including Open Relationships (in which everyone has sex with other people), Polyamorous Relationships (where there’s some element of a long-term relationship involved with the third or fourth party), BDSM relationships (professional or otherwise), Commercial Transactions (“My boyfriend digs that I’m an escort,” or “My husband the minister is not having relations with that male escort…”) And so on.
The one category that doesn’t overlap with the others is Religious/Social Polygamy, which is a real (and very serious) thing. Unfortunately, the people in those situations most likely aren’t reading polyamory blogs for positive relationship advice.
Franlin Veaux knows a lot about non-monogamous relationships. Last year, he co-authored More Than Two: A practical guide to ethical polyamory, a 500-page book about the practicalities of having more than one partner. Veaux is currently in five long-term relationships, and co-author Eve Rickert is in three. Veaux just released The Game Changer: A Memoir of Disruptive Love, which is about the end of the two-decade poly relationship with his first wife. Now Veaux and Rickert have started Tacit Pleasures, a high-tech strap-on with electrodes in it so that the person wearing it can actually feel sensations from contact. Whoa.
(featured image from the 1969 film Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice, via Doctor Macro)