Polyamory & Alternative Relationships
Alternative relationships, i.e. relationships other than the "traditional" committed couple which consists of a monogamous male and female, take many forms including polyamory, swinging, bi-sexuality, cross dressing, and transgender couples, amongst others.
Polyamory, one of the most common alternative relationship styles, which itself takes many forms, is characterized by having a primary or core couple plus one or more additional partners who consensually and openly engage in romantic and/or sexual activities. These secondary or tertiary relationships are typically intimate and committed, entered into for a variety of reasons besides gaining access to additional sexual partners. Unlike cheating, which is non-consensual to the non-involved party and which tends to destabilize the primary relationship, polyamory can dramatically enhance the primary couple’s relationship. In therapy, polyamorous couples often work on designing the ideal relationship, improving compersion (defined as a state of happiness about another person's happiness) and communication and reducing jealousy, among other subjects.
This is the symbol for polyamory: