PolyTampa FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What is PolyTampa?

It is a support and discussion group based in the Tampa Bay area. It was formed in September of 1997, and meets approximately once a month. Meetings have occurred in Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas county, varying with who hosts them. Meetings are open to all Poly friendly people, those involved in or affected by polyamory, regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation, or relationship status.

What is Polyamory?

We define polyamory as responsible non-monogamy. As in having open, honest, clearly defined relationships with more than one significant other. Subsets of polyamory include:

Intimate Network: individuals who desire friendship and perhaps sex with their lover's other friend(s) and lover(s), forming a web of varying connections.

Polyfidelity: a "closed" relationship with one or more significant others. Fidelities are not necessarily open to new members and are sometimes called a closed group marriage.

Open: Varying numbers of sexual partners at any time, depending on availability and circumstance; no shared future is assumed.

Open Marriage/Partnership, Open Group Marriage: two or more individuals who describe themselves as married and who are open to outside sexual relationships, spouses and other lover(s) depending on availability and circumstance.

Tocotox: an acronym for TO COmplicated TO eXplain, (pronounced variably, but `toe coe tox' works well. Not widely used, but very useful upon occasion).

Isn't that cheating?

No. To cheat would be to have another relationship without a significant other's knowledge or consent, or perhaps to break the relationship's rules. Polyfolk in general make it clear at the beginning of a relationship that they are not monogamous, and most will not get involved with people who expect monogamy. Some have general or specific rules about what is okay. Some have no rules. Most Polyfolk are pretty clear that they have no interest in or tolerance for cheating.

What do you do when you meet?

Generally we gather for an afternoon and sit around in a big circle to talk about some of what is going on in our lives: joys, sadness, good and bad points. Meetings generally have a mix of new people and regulars. We introduce ourselves, check in with what's new in our lives, and focus in to some degree on the topic that's been selected for that month. Meetings tend to be loosely structured, but we try to keep the discussion moving, and give everyone a chance to talk. We also generally have some sort of light food at our meetings, so we eat while we're talking. Past meeting topics have included "family", communication, relationships, ground rules, different Poly styles, our visions of community. One meeting included a commitment ceremony for two regular members of PolyTampa.

Why are you interested in Polyamory?

There are lots of reasons: building community, creating a chosen family, spiritual development, relating to others from a sex-positive place, personal development, and subverting the dominant paradigm. Some people just don't feel complete when they are in a relationship with only one other person. Some see poly relationships as another way of building an extended family.

Where can I get more information?

The best place on the web for more information is the More Than Two website. There are more great websites on the Links page. You can come to one of our meetings. You can read Loving More Magazine. You can read The Polyfidelity Primer by Ryam Nearing, The Ethical Slut by Dossie Easton & Catherine Liszt, The New Love Without Limits by Dr. Deborah Anapol, Ph.D., Three in Love by Micheal & Barbara Foster & Letha Hadady, or numerous other titles. Some are available from the Loving More Magazine people (303) 543 7540, others you can find or special order in local book stores.

I keep hearing poly folk use tems like "NRE," "compersion," and so on. What gives?

Polyamory as a social phenomenon is evolving its own language. Terms you may hear include:

NRE (New Relationship Energy): A term for the giddy, tingling feeling you have when you first start a new relationship with someone. This isn't a poly thing; everyone feels it. It's particularly of interest to poly folk because that giddiness can, if you aren't careful, lead you to neglect your other partners. It's easy to get caught up in.

Compersion: The feeling of joy you feel at the thought of your partner having another romantic relationship. It's sort of like the happiness a parent feels when their adult kid gets married, it's being happy for the person you love being happy.

Metamour: Your partner's other partner, i.e. your wife's boyfriend or your girlfriend's husband, or your girlfriend's other girlfriend.

There are tons more terms at the More Than Two website, and several other websites you can find in the Links page.

How do I get in touch with PolyTampa people?

The best way is to come to a meeting. At check-in everyone introduces themselves, and shares as much about their themselves as they choose. Join our discussion email list to meet local poly people online.

How do I unsubscribe and do other announcement list stuff?

For a complete help guide to the announce list, visit our List Help page.