The Polyamorous Misanthrope
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Polyamory for the Practical
Why Swinging isn't really Polyamory
I'll use an example from this very discussion group to illustrate my opinion...because this was a very powerful story to me, emotionally.
Your child falls and breaks his leg. It's many weeks in the healing. Finally, it heals, and then he's afraid to stand on it... When he finally gets up the gumption, and does...
1.) Where are your Partners? (Non LDR) Poly partners are likely to be present. Swinging partners are more likely to be at home.
2.) How significant is this event to your partners? Poly partners are likely to be happy to have been present to see "their" baby take his second set of "first steps", having missed it the first time around. Swinging partners are more likely to go, "oh, cool...congratulations, Paul.", and go on about their lives... To me, it's not a type of committment, it's not necessarily about sex.
To me, the distinction between swinging and polyamory is a depth
of emotional involvement in each other's lives. Swinging partners, to
me, would seem to have a greater emotional distance from their partners,
and prefer to keep it that way, while Poly partners want to grow closer
in their relationships with others, often until the lines of distinction
between the "old" pair and the "new" pair are completely blurred to all
outside determination - you hadda be there, or hafta ask, to tell who
was with who originally.