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Infinite Love for All

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Doesn’t it feel great to flirt, to get sexual energy from outside your relationship? I mean, hasn’t everyone fantasised about someone other than their long-term partner? But who is honest enough to admit this to themselves let alone their lover? Neuroscientists Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam examined over 1 billion web searches, web sites, videos, personal adds etc and found that men and women are not very honest about what they like sexually and is very different to what they look at when no one is watching Despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of people enter into monogamous relationships, one of the top 5 categories of sexual interest world wide is “cuckhold porn” or “cheating-wife porn”  (see “a billion wicked thoughts” for some juicy reading). There are a lot of people getting off on extra-relationship sex.Most likely reflecting that many relationships are in fact already open, only one partner doesn’t know it yet.

To be polyamorous is to be involved in (or open to the potential of) multiple non-monogamous loving and/or sexual relationships. Polyamory is a hybrid word, Poly is Greek for many and Amor is Latin for love: Manyloves sounds good doesn’t it? I believe there is enough to go around.  Polyamory is not about sexual identity or gender, you can be gay, straight, bent, bi, trans  or whatever. The emphasis is on non-monogamy, honesty, love, respect and trust. Polyamory is not to be confused with polygamy, or more correctly polygyne. Polygyne is generally related to religious beliefs and dictates that a man may marry many wives; he can have sex with his wives but they must remain monogamous to him.

Awareness of polyamory (poly for short) as a viable relationship and family structure is growing in Australia. Poly visibility is promoted by British actor Tilda Swinton and Australian comedian Sue-Ann Post. There are several Australian poly community sites; Polyamory Australia and PolyOZ  as well as dating sites for poly relationships. The Poly entry for this Year’s Mardi Gras gained official recognition for the first time. The Poly float “A Brighter Future for All Kinds of Love” fitted well with the 2012 parades slogan “Infinite Love for All” and the Mardi Gras logo of a pair of hearts arranged as an infinity symbol.

I am taking the increased visibility of the poly lifestyle as a sign that people are beginning to accept the idea that humans are not biologically programmed to maintain high sexual desire with one person their whole life. A well documented finding known as the Coolidge Effect- seen in nearly every mammalian species that has been tested—demonstrates that males (and to a lesser extent females) exhibit continuous sexual activity if they are introduced to new receptive sexual partners, but eventually stop having sex with the partner they have already copulated with. The poly lifestyle is a great way to expand your sexual horizons whilst developing honest and respectful connections. For those that are interested in reading more I recommend “The ethical Slut” by Easton and Hardy for some sound guidance.

Words: Georgina Whelan
Photography: Michele Aboud

Georgina Whelan is a psychologist, sex therapist and registered nurse with over 16 years of clinical experience in the fields of sexual health, sexual function, sexuality, gender, mental health and drugs & alcohol. She is an honorary lecturer at Sydney University and works in private practice in Bondi Junction and St Leonard's. She holds Bachelor Degrees in Psychology (Hons., UNSW) & Nursing (UOW) and a Masters in Sexual Health (USyd).


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