Ask Orpheus Black: Open Relationship’s, Polygamy and More.

1422908_10200805790421467_1982934996_nQ: Can you have an open Polyandrous or Polygynous relationship?

A: The short answer is, “Yes“…. While rare, you can have an open Polyandrous and Polygynous relationship…. Before I go further, I think that its important to state that you have to remember a relationship can be anything that the people in the relationship want it to be. That being said I will speak from a Traditional Poly (Polyandrous and Polygynous) stand point while explaining this.

How does it work? When three or more loving consenting adults come together they form one primary dynamic. Unlike other Non Monogamous relationships that orbit a couple which is deemed to be the primary dynamic…. Polyandrous and Polygynous relationships bring everyone into one committed dynamic were everyone is a valued member of the group complete with their own voice, individual responsibilities and are untitled to there own opinions about the overall care, direction and maintenance of the  relationship. ( And believe me there is a lot of maintenance needed in multi person household).

As with any romantic relationship there are  agreements and guidelines that help maintain the structure and foundation by which the relationship is built. Those agreements shouldn’t compass not only encompass the needs and wants, do and don’ts of the relationship it should also take into account the wants, needs and desires of everyone in the relationship.

As a result, people in a relationship may find that they require either physical emotional or sexual needs that either cannot or will not be provided by the people in a relationship. When this happens there’s often a need to bring in another person that will facilitate those needs.

When this happens the principles will come together and talk about what is needed and then begin the process of opening the primary dynamic, so that the person in need can find a person that can facilitate there individual wants. (I think that it is important to note that it is usually the ‘head of the household ‘ that ventures out in search of the other person. That is not to say that others in the dynamic don’t have individual wants or needs. And this is also not to say that it is fair. I state this because it is often the most likely scenario.)

What separates an open polyandrous or polygynous relationship is that a that we will call a ‘secondary’  will either date the whole family at once or (in the case of a head of house hold) a person in the primary may date a secondary until he or she feels that things are to a point were that person is a potential fit for the primary dynamic. At which time the person in a dynamic will introduce the secondary to those in the primary relationship.

I think that it is also important to note that Polyandrous and Polygynous relationships are usually only open for a short amount of time or as long as it takes to find the person that is wanted or needed to full fill the desire. After that the relationship is closed until there is a need for another partner. This is why it is so important that the parties find people that are willing to be a part of the primary.

Historically the ‘concept‘  of an open Polyandrous or Polygynous  relationship were ‘non heads of households’ could go out and find, date and ultimately return with a secondary is virtually unheard of in Polygamous societies because sexual congress between ‘non heads of household’s’  (same sex’s),are ultimately frowned upon or considered a sin by the religious and cultural powers that condoned these types of marriages. But in the case of “Traditional Western Polyamory” all members of the dynamic are often encouraged to engage in an intimate and (or) sexual relationships with each other.

 Many alternative lifestyles such as BDSM have embraced Open Polyandrous and Polygynous lifestyle because of their inherent hierarchical relationship structures which lend themselves to this type of relationship type.

Orpheus Black

Orpheus Black is a Sex Educator specializing in Poly, D/s and M/s Dynamics. He is also a, professional / lifestyle Dominant, and alternative lifestyle speaker in Los Angeles. For more information on classes or speaking engagements please email him at,,

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