Is Swinger interchangeable with Polyamorous?
I was posting for Loud Love and i ran across this question on Facebook in the open polyamory group.
I see the words “poly” and “swinger” being use together as if they are one and the same… or maybe that is just how I am reading it. Do most consider them interchangable?
For me the answer is clearly “no”. The equivalent question would be “Is Baptist interchangeable with Christian?”. Polyamory is an over arching term of which there are many flavors (like Christian). Swingers are one relatively small subset of the entire group. Poly is about have honest interaction among multiple romantic and/or sexual intimates. Swinging is when you are honest about having multiple partners, but you are specifically seeking relatively low commitment and usually short term relationships. In the best case swingers are people who enjoy sex are responsible about it and want to have more than one sexual partner, but these connections generally do not lead to longer lasting romantic adventures.
Though i have no hard numbers, my guess is that the number of people who are involved in more committed polyamorous relationships far exceeds the number of swingers in the world. But then i found this graphic:
Of course there are swingers who are not being honest with each other and the above diagram shows this. What is the larger world of non-monogamy in this Venn diagram? Well, it could be people who are not honestly practicing multiple romantic relationships OR more likely this author uses a different definition of polyamory than i do. They might use a simpler polyamory definition of”multiple romantic/sexual relationships with the possibility (or desire) of long term committed relationships”.
And i personally object to this diagram, because it has non-monogamy surrounded by a sea of monogamy, which might be demographically true, but is certainly we dont need to be surrounded ontologically.