Notions of Love in Polyamory—Elements in a Discourse on Multiple Loving

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Christian Klesse

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Abstract

Polyamory stands for a particular relationship philosophy, according to which it is valid and desirable to love more than one person. Love, intimacy, commitment, honesty, equality, reciprocity, integrity and communication are the central values attached to this ‘love style’, ‘relationship orientation’ or ‘ethical approach’ to consensual non-monogamy. The identification of love as the foundation of meaningful erotic and intimate connection is the common feature of most interpretations of polyamory. The author analyses popular publications on polyamory and personal narratives generated in qualitative in-depth interviews with primarily bisexual-identified polyamorous men and women in the UK with the aim of discerning salient features in the discourse of poly love. The article locates polyamory in a conjuncture of specific developments regarding (romantic) love practices in the 20th and 21st centuries.

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