Both The Photographer and Ethical Hedonist are in open poly relationships with other people. I'm not actually sure what my precise, OED defined status is with either of them beyond "enjoying myself very much, thank you" but I do know that naming a thing makes it real. To give a name is to bestow an identity and to give it a referent, co-ordinate points that will distinguish it from other interactions that one might have.
Once you've defined something, you create a ideological list of what it is and what it isn't. Which is both limiting and comforting in the way of all definitions and it can cause a little anxiety. The Photographer and I have started calling it the "r word" in an almost underhand fashion, skirting around any form of category. I like knowing where I stand, but I also don't want to clamp down on something that seems to be doing very well without any linguistic interference. It's possibly a societal hang-up, the need to assign a value to any relationship, to be able to positon "me" as regards "you". In play it's easier, of course, and roles are much more defined.
I got an interesting message from Understated Fetishist, clarifying that one of his reasons behind our mutually agreed "thanks but no thanks" decision was that I was not prepared to enter into a monogamous relationship. Which is fine, and I appreciate his point of view, I just don't share it. This doesn't stem from any particularly strongly held belief about relationships in general, merely that I'm in an experimental place at the moment and I'm not going to be able to explore everything I want to with one person. This may change, of course and I'm open to that possibility. It may not, I'm open to that possiblity as well.
2 weeks ago