Polyamory is a relatively new word, coined around 1990 by Morning Glory Ravenheart Zell, that has Latin and Greek roots that translate to “loving many”. There is no single definition of polyamory, and many people use the word to mean different things. Some people use the word polyamory to describe multiple committed relationships at the same time. Some people use the word polyamory to describe relationships that involve more than two people. Some people use the word polyamory as an umbrella term that covers forms of relationship and sex that fall outside of traditional monogamy. Monogamy means having one romantic or sexual relationship at a time.
SERC considers polyamory to be any honest, ethical and consensual relationship that fall outside of traditional monogamy. Polyamory is different than infidelity, or “cheating” on a partner, because all partners are aware of the relationships, and there is no expectation of monogamy. All partners know about and agree to other partners’ involvement, and all partners involved determine the boundaries of their relationships.
We know that there are many different ways for people to experience relationships. At SERC, we hope to create space for education and information that reflects both monogamy and non-monogamy. Learning about safer sex, consent, and healthy relationships is important for anyone, regardless of the makeup of their relationship partner(s).