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What is Polyamory? Interview with Serena Anderlini-D'Onofrio

This interview was conducted via email between Aldo Cicolella and Serena Anderlini-D'Onofrio in preparation for her invitation to Tatami, a talk show about new cultural trends hosted by Camila Raznovich on Italian public TV RaiTre, February 15, 2009.

1. How would you define Polyamory in a few words?

Polyamory is the style of love that involves responsible forms of non-monogamy.  Polyamorists believe that one can genuinely love more than one person at a time, and choose to do so honestly and with full disclosure among partners.  Polyamorists replace jealousy with a different emotion.  It’s called compersion and it corresponds to the love, empathy, and compassion we feel for our lovers’ lovers and for the joy they bring to them regardless of us.  Transforming jealousy into compersion is a demanding spiritual exercise which is very salutary for the soul once you get the knack of it.  Polyamorists do not discriminate based on gender, with women just as entitled to multiple partners as men.  Polyamorists emphasize relationships, and have ways to categorize various levels of involvement, including what they call primary, secondary, and tertiary relationships.  Many individuals in poly communities define themselves as bisexuals and most have, at one time or another, experienced some form of bi attraction or erotic play.  However, the two orientations are independent of each other.

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