Freedom of choice is a big draw, says Cherie, a 34-year-old technology consultant who is traveling around the country and telecommuting with her partner, Chris, also 34 and in the same business.Chris and Cherie asked that only their first names be used in this article."Swinger lifestyles are very sex oriented," she says.
"In the '70s, there was the playing loose around the edges idea," she says.
"Poly is trying to come across as thoughtful and considerate." An obvious benefit, Weston says, is that sexual monotony seldom sets in.
Before the road trip, Cherie had three boyfriends at once.
Right now, she and Chris are monogamous, she says, but they plan to pursue other relationships again.
On one point all agree: a "poly" relationship isn't going to work unless all partners are in favor of the arrangement. adults have some sort of open arrangement, estimates Franklin Veaux, 41, an Atlanta-based computer programmer and web site developer who also runs a polyamory web site.
The number of adults with open relationships -- be they formal marriages or more informal arrangements -- is small. Others, including Steve Brody, Ph D, a psychologist based in Cambria, Calif., put the number much lower. He has counseled thousands of couples in the past 30 years and has encountered very few instances of open relationships among his patients.
"Every partner adds something to my life," he says.
"All of these things make me a better person." The big attraction, he says, is emotional intimacy.
When the O'Neills, trained as anthropologists, wrote their book, Open Marriage: A New Life Style for Couples, they weren't just talking about the freedom to explore sexual relationships outside the marriage, although that idea got the most attention.