What is the Difference Between Poly and Cheating

by Reid on September 10, 2015

Interested Lovely Woman Asking A QuestionEver wondered about Polyamory? Want to know how cheating is different from Poly?

Join relationship expert Reid Mihalko from ReidAboutSex.com and Cathy Vartuli from TheIntimacyDojo.com as they share simple, practical steps you can take to bring the passion back into your life, and create warmth and love again.

Cathy: Hey everyone. If you’ve been hearing something on the news or just from your friends about open or poly relationships, you may be wondering what the difference between that is and having an affair.

Reid: What’s the difference between polyamory and cheating?

Cathy: It’s all about ethics and communication.

Reid: And why is that important?

Cathy: Because if you don’t have ethics and communication, you don’t have an intimate, connected relationship.

Reid: And people will leave you. I’m Reid Mihalko from ReidAboutSex.com.

Cathy: This is Cathy Vartuli from TheIntimacyDojo.com.

Reid: Did I scare you?

Cathy: Yes.

Reid: I’m sorry.

Cathy: [Laughs]

Reid: So the big thing about — so think of it this way. Monogamy, non-monogamy just like inside of monogamy, you’ve got couples that go on vacation all the time together and couples who take separate vacations.

Cathy: Uh-hum.

Reid: And you know, a couple who’s it’s girls’ night every Wednesday and it’s the men go golfing every Saturday. Everyone is different. Non-monogamy there’s lots of different styles of non-monogamy. One in particular is polyamory, which is love – relationship based. Poly meaning many, amory meaning loves, it’s Greek and what’s the other?

Cathy: Latin.

Reid: Latin. So it’s a bad word to begin with in the construction of it, but it’s good idea if you happen to be somebody who wants to be non-monogamous, somebody who wants to be in an open relationships. Inside the polyamory, there’s lots of different kinds of polyamory. There’s open polyamory where we can date as many people as we want and there’s —

Cathy: No rules.

Reid: Well or there might be specific rules as to you know don’t date my sister or whatever that is right.

Cathy: Only safe sex.

Reid: Only safe sex, blah, blah, blah. There’s also closed polyamory which basically, you know, maybe it’s a triad. If you saw a polyamory married and dating on Show Time there was a triad on the show and they had an open triad in that that little unit had other lovers and relationships. A closed triad would be three people in a relationship kind of in a monogamous way but technically it’s not monogamy because there’s three not two.

Cathy: Right. And honestly when I first heard the word poly and I started hearing about it, it really scared me. It was outside my comfort zone, kind of fell into that the scary things scary people do. And getting to know more people and seeing the love in the relationship, it’s really beautiful. It’s very different from cheating or having affairs where it’s secretive and can be very, very destructive to the relationship.

Reid: Yeah. Cheating is basically non-consensual, non-monogamy.

Cathy: Uh-hum.

Reid: So people are having lovers, having affairs, having sex outside of the relationship and both people in the relationship aren’t having consent in that instance where one thinks well I have permission because I gave myself permission but the other partner doesn’t know about it —

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: — or is totally not into it.

Cathy: And you can have cheating within polyamorous couple.

Reid: Yeah.

Cathy: Like if you have an agreement —

Reid: You might be dating my sister and that was not okay.

Cathy: So if you’re curious where is a good resource for them to go?

Reid: There’s OpeningUp.net which is Tristan Taormino’s website for a really great book called Opening Up, that’s a really great resource. Loving More is a national polyamory organization. You can check out Show Time’s website, BlissCoach.com or KamalaDevi.com.

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: She was just on the polyamory show in Show Time.

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: These are all great resources. You can even check out ReidAboutSex.com, I have resources for polyamory as well.

Cathy: Yeah and find out. There may be things about it that you like. I really like that even in nonsexual relationships, there’s ranges of what people are comfortable to with. So it’s not like a lot of people have an idea that it’s very sharp gradient, black and white, but I have friends where I have a very deep connection with that some partners would feel very threatened by. So you get to decide how you open up and what areas of your life you open up.

Reid: Yeah. For some of you who are considering opening up your relationships, polyamory might make more sense if you already have lots of friends that you super, super care about. If you tell your friends that you love them and you hang out with them and they’re indispensable to you, for some people that’s kind of like polyamory.

Cathy: Yes

Reid: Because it’s about many loves. It’s not necessarily about many friends with benefits.

Cathy: Yes.

Reid: And under the polyamory umbrella for some folks that’s totally cool too.

Cathy: Yeah. Thank you.

Reid: You’re welcome. Thank you.

Cathy: Yeah. Check it out.

Reid: Leave comments, tell us what you think, tell us what other videos you want to see us do.

Cathy: Please.

Reid: Bye.

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