Anna Pulley, @annapulley
RedEye's sex columnist
6:48 AM CDT, July 10, 2013
OK, so are group relationships like the new fad in Chicago? I've heard people talking about them lately and noticed sections for them on dating websites. My bi-curious friend hooked up with a girl who is in a group relationship with that self-proclaimed sex expert. He's hot, but umm please. Are group relationships normal or is this just something self-proclaimed sex experts do with girls who are confused about their sexuality?
It’s true. Now that DOMA is dead and the gays can legally destroy the fabric of the universe or whatever, it’s the polys turn to rise up and bring down the tyrannous mono-dating system!
I’m not entirely sure what you mean by group relationships, and Google was unhelpful in providing a definition.
I’m guessing that by “group relationship” you mean another way of saying a polyamorous configuration that is somewhat closed, as in dating and sex occur within the group only, however large or small (or open or closed) that group may be. As with all sex trends, it’s not a fad until it has its own reality TV show, so I’m afraid we’ll just have to wait and see if it takes off. My bet is it won’t, though if you suddenly start seeing a lot of wedding registries at Costco, you’ll have your answer.
While group relationships may never be the norm, the option does indeed exist outside the realm of so-called “sexperts” and pickup artists. Sometimes referred to as polyfidelity, group relationships allow people to have emotional bonds and multi-partner sex in a relatively safe manner with regard to STIs, assuming, of course, that all people keep their promise and only bone within the group. You can think of it like monogamy+, in that it’s similar to the two-party system but includes more than two people.
The term polyfidelity originated in San Francisco (who didn’t see that coming?) in the ’70s Kerista commune, whose website appears also not to have been updated since that era, but does include something called “The Nine P’s of Great Cunninlingus.” Other names for group relationships include triads, dyads, quads, vees, pentacles and sextets, though as to what those configurations entail, you’ll have to ask someone better at geometry.
As to the latter question, I can’t say for sure, but you should probably give me your bi-curious friend’s number just in case.
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