some polyamorous people have casual sexual relationships.
S-x is not taboo to polyamorous people. However, due to the over-sexualization of the community and misnomering as sw-ngers, the conversations surrounding s-x, especially casual s-x, are not discussed. This creates an assumption that polyamorous people do not navigate flings, short term/casual s-x with someone. While some do not, there are quite a few who do.
the erasure of sex.
Some monogamous and non-monogamous people are notorious for expressing that polyamorists & sw-ngers are the same when these are entirely different structures. Sometimes as a way to adamantly show a difference, some polyamorists erase s-x from polyamory. All polyamorists do not have s-x, and some polyamorists do not value s-x in their relationships. However, s-x exists. And some polyamorous people have consensual casual s-x or flings outside of their committed relationships, which is completely okay. Having a fling does not mean a polyamorous person is a sw-nger, nor does it minimize the validity of their polyamorous identity.
There is labor in explaining how one is polyamorous and navigating casual flings. If the polyamorist is a sw-nger, it can be even more taxing. One way to lighten this load is compartmentalizing each concept. Explain polyamory as how you love and commit. Flings can be expressed as to how you choose to explore your sexuality. sw-nging, if applicable, can be explained as a specific niche of exploring s-xuality. Being descriptive about what you are looking for and how you have casual encounters outside of your committed relationships will minimize the stigma surrounding s-x and the polyamorous community.
what it can look like.
A single polyamorous person is not dating, but they are engaging in short-lived flings
a polyamorous person dates one person and is a part of a triad. They have expressed to their partners that they will pursue casual s-x outside of the committed relationships, ensuring everyone has the opportunity to consent to any potential exposure. An entire triad navigates casual flings whenever they want to.
Polyamorists must stop seeing each other as a monolith. Commitment looks different for every polyamorous person. Some polyamorous people consider s-x something that only happens with those they share a committed relationship. If this is simply how one perceives commitment, that is fine, but when applied to everyone, it becomes an issue and starts to mimic mono-compulsivity. Casual s-x is not a reflection of someone's character, and it is not taboo. Between unpacking monocompulsive ideologies related to commitment and trying to make note of the difference from the sw-nger lifestyle, the pursuit of flings with no intent to be a long-term relationship is almost unspoken. The sanctification of polyamory while also looking down at s-x (which can demonize sw-nging) must stop.