Polyamory has risen like bubbles at a spring break foam party. Every day more and more people come out as polyamorous; even Willow Smith did. Sex parties, throuples, and open relationships are more common every time; so much even The times and Newsweek are writing about it. But, what's Solo poly? And where does it take its place?
Someone who's polyamorous is a person who's open to the idea of loving multiple people at the same time. Being "open" is the key here, as you can have just one partner or even be on your own and still be polyamorous. A "single poly" is a polyamorous person who has no partners at the time.
Now, we're here to talk about "solo poly" and everything that this implies, so check out this list we made with 7 things you need to know about this style of polyamory.
Top 7 things you need to know about Solo Poly
1) What does make you solo poly?
Many polyamorous men have formal and steady relationships with several other men, all equally committed, sharing love, intimacy, and -of course- hot sex.
Other men prefer to have one primary partner (or nesting partner) with whom they live, get married, share finances, have kids, and more. Still, they have other partners with whom they also share intimacy and sex.
One important thing to clarify here is that polyamorous relationships need to have one essential thing: consent. Men involved in polyamorous relationships need to be open and communicate all the time; they are conscious of who their partners are involved with, and they're okay with it. We're not talking about cheaters here.
Now, solo poly is a relationship where a person chooses not to have primary partners. They have no desire to live together with a partner or get married or form any formal relationship. They have no desire for dependence or interdependence at all.
Being solo poly is something you decide, not a matter of circumstances. Being single and dating around, fooling around, and fucking around without finding your other half does not make you solo poly.
When you're dating, you usually build some kind of bond with those men, and they may not fully "convince" you because your heart is waiting for "the one." Unless you're solo poly, and that means you don't want to build a bond at all, and you're not interested in any kind of connection and settle down with any of them any time soon.
2) What are the primary characteristics of solo poly?
Let's make a list of some of the most important aspects of what it means to be solo poly:
A choice to be single while seeing multiple people openly and ethically.
A relationship first with oneself and then with one's partners.
A lifestyle and philosophy dedicated to being a self-fulfilled, stable, and financially-secure individual.
An understanding of not being currently interested in engaging in most of the "traditional" relationship goals. For example:
Having joint finances.
Offering potential partners the knowledge of being currently seeing other people.
Being the center of one's own life instead of making one's relationship or relationships the center of one's life.
Not using a hierarchical system for one's relationships, nor looking for serious partners.
Building intimate and authentic relationships with other individuals without following the traditional and linear progression.
All is communicated with one's partners.
3) What's makes solo poly different from other forms of polyamory?
Other forms of polyamorous relationships still fall into kinds of coupling. You can have your nesting partner, being an open couple, and date other men. Or maybe you can have multiple partners, and you form a couple with all of them. Or perhaps it's three of you, and you're a throuple.
The thing is that there's always this idea of being "tied" to someone when you compare it to solo poly. Being solo poly usually involves more experienced poly men who do not seek to cohabitate with their partners or have a hierarchical partner arrangement.
In short, what differentiates solo poly from other forms is the freedom and independence it offers.
4) Why do people decide to identify as solo poly?
Solo poly might sound like a free but lonely lifestyle, so why do people choose this kind of lifestyle?
It's subversive against the "traditional" idea of relationships and against other polyamorous forms' hierarchy systems.
They feel relationships can absorb every aspect of their life.
The most important relationship one must have is with oneself.
To experience being single while still having intimate connections but maintaining a single lifestyle.
Being able to evaluate their needs, values, and priorities healthily.
It allows creating an array of partners individually while maintaining their own space and identity.
5) What are the advantages of being solo poly?
For people who choose to be solo poly, it represents many advantages. Yes, some reasons motivated them to participate in this kind of lifestyle. Still, many more things encourage them to keep going with it.
One example of this is the freedom it provides. When you're solo poly, you can freely be your own person whenever you're in your space, and you can come together with others and share yourself with them. Many solo poly people enjoy the capability of this lifestyle to allow them to prioritize responsibility for and commitment to building and maintaining their own lives.
Compared to other polyamorous relationships where you have a primary or nesting partner, solo poly removes the negative impact that this dynamic can have on your partners. If all partners practice solo, nobody feels left behind, and nobody's competing to be your "main man." No hierarchy means less stress and, why not, also steamy hot and fun group sex.
Polyamorous men enjoy spending time with different people and embracing what everyone brings to their lives. Being solo poly allows you to connect with many people, utterly conscious that none of them will fulfill all your needs. You won't achieve theirs either, and that's okay. In the end, what matters is being free to grow alongside others who feel like you and, of course, having wild sex with all of them without feeling tied down to any of them.
Even if you're not currently seeing anybody, you can still be solo poly. You're not tied to a partner in any way, but this also brings more advantages to the table as you can learn many things from being polyamorous:
To be communicative.
To be aware of your own emotions.
To be able to create and respect boundaries.
To apply what you learn to your partners as they come and go.
To understand that everyone will go their own path and let go.
6) What are the cons of solo poly?
Of course, nothing can be perfect. Many men practicing solo poly will tell you that this lifestyle has no cons, as it's the only way to "have it all"; being free to be yourself while having connections, while not being tied to anyone. However, it definitely has some cons.
For starters, there's scheduling. When you're free to see, date, connect, and fuck with anyone, it can mean your list of partners (if you're lucky) can grow, grow, and grow. But being solo poly is not about spending time with all of your partners for an equal amount.
Of course, you can schedule a sexual marathon if you're into it and visit each and every one of your partners for a steamy sex encounter if you're into it. Remember that being solo poly is about you and your needs, so balancing your calendar between you and your partners can be a tricky situation.
As we said before, being solo poly can make your list of partners grow and grow IF you're lucky. That's a big "IF" because you'll see how there's a minimal dating pool. Many people, including polyamorous ones, reject solo poly men as they feel selfish or scared of commitment. So, they might leave you as soon as they find out you're solo poly.
On the other hand, there's a thing with loneliness that can come attached to solo poly. You need to learn how to navigate the amount of alone time, especially if you're used to living with someone, for example, if you come from a big family. Even if you have multiple partners, in the end, this lifestyle is about being on your own.
Solo poly can give you a lot of freedom. Still, it also brings a moment of separation from partners that's normal to this lifestyle. This means there's the fact that you don't have a "special one" who can comfort you in many moments of solitude.
7) What are some of the misconceptions about solo poly?
Some common misconceptions about solo poly are:
That they are selfish hedonists.
That they're sex addicts.
That they'll inevitably get a primary partner.
But the biggest misconception is that they're afraid of or unable to commit.
Society has made some rules or statements about what a relationship must be, even with queer men. There are roles, expectations, practices; polyamorous relationships are challenging all of that. But, when it comes to solo poly, even polyamorous men think they just don't want to commit, and that's why there is some sort of rejection.
We understand commitment as some of the most vital parts of a relationship. But for solo poly men, a romantic commitment means being loyal over anything else, and they don't feel like they lack this virtue. The only difference is that they're dedicated to themselves. They're committed to their health, self-care, stability, and wellbeing.
For solo poly men, being committed to them being the best version of themselves provides their partners a fulfilling, safe, always-evolving, and empowering sex life.
Are you into solo poly?
Solo poly is a choice, not a matter of circumstances. It provides many advantages derivated from freedom, but it has its challenges. You need to be aware of them to know how to manage yourself in this kind of lifestyle.
In the end, it is about something you can be during the time being. It can be forever, or it can be until you decide it's time to move to search for a different kind of polyamorous relationship or to look for a monogamous one. The most important thing is being honest with yourself and the ones you get involved with.