I have had cause to ponder polyamory recently.
Wikipedia gives this definition:
Polyamory (from Greek πολυ (poly, literally “multiple”) and Latin amor (literally “love”) is the desire, practice, or acceptance of having more than one loving, intimate relationship at a time with the full knowledge and consent of everyone involved.
I have seen slightly different interpretations on my travels through cyberspace, but this seems a fair summary. I am particularly interested in the "full knowledge and consent of everyone involved" bit. As some of the self-proclaimed polyamorous types I have been reading about on their blogs seem to fall down a bit on that last one.
Some seem to think that although they have a wife who believes she is in a monogamous relationship, as long as their lovers know about each other, that means they are polyamorous and not just shagging around.
Then there are those who bully, coerce or just plain nag their partners into "consent". These poor sods often acquiesce because they feel that any part of their loved one is better than losing the relationship altogether. Inside they burn with jealousy and insecurity, and the cruellest part is that the partner pushing for polyamory knows this. They are perfectly aware that their partner's natural preference would be monogamy, but nuts to them, their desires are the ones that need fulfilling most. Their bollocks might just swell up, explode and kill them if they don't get to explore their needs with other people. Or their emotional growth will be stunted. And you wouldn't want that on your conscience, would you? No, you must encourage them to be free, to be who they must be, even if it means you must become someone you no longer recognise.
In many instances the "amor" facet has been lost, with the "poly" taking precedence. There is a difference between forging a loving relationship with more than one person and getting your hand up the skirt of as many internet conquests as you can.
Oh, it fair makes my blood boil.
Still, I shall finish on a positive. Someone who does put the amor into polyamory is Curvaceous Dee. The love and respect she has for her lovers, and they for her, comes across in a way that is conspicuously absent from other faux-poly blogs. She doesn't claim it runs smoothly all the time, but hers is one of the better examples of how polyamory can work. Read and learn, pretenders to the poly throne.