Poly-curious is a label some people may use to describe their interest in the polyamorous or polygamous life/love style. Their curiosity may be in seeing how it would fit into their current life, researching its history, and those who actively live polyamorously. They may spend a bit more time getting a feel for the waters. Instead of dating, some self-identified poly-curious people may surround themselves with a polyam community and frequent polyam-focused events. Sometimes poly-curious and poly-exploring may be used interchangeably. some may use poly-exploring to denote they are actively dating polyamorously and exploring their options. Neither of these means someone is definitively polyamorous.
Due to recurrent issues with cowgirls, cowboys, and cowperson (a monogamous person who dates a polyamorist with the intent to "turn" them mono), there can be a community aversion to those identifying as poly-curious. Some polyamorous people have also had the issue with building connections (or seeing those they love building connections) with a poly-curious person who ended up being monogamous in the end. In that situation, even if the poly-curious person was well-intended, this can leave a lasting blow on a polyamorous person. Others in the community may refuse to date those with no experience. This does not mean there is no opportunity for education and communion with polyamorous people. poly-curious people should still attempt to make platonic connections with polyamorists.
Predators exist in the polyamorous community. they may take advantage of a poly-curious person's naivete to groom and manipulate them. These predators could legitimately be polyamorous. they may tend to gravitate towards newbies or poly-curious/exploring people. These predators have different faces. They may frequent polyam meet & greet events, offer mentorship or education to poly-curious and newbies and somehow end up dating these new people. Poly-curious people must watch love-bombing (like expensive gifts) and serious relationship titles early on in the connection. Poly-curious people must set up checks and balances when exploring polyamory to avoid pitfalls with predators. Poly-curious people should be suspicious of community members who want to educate and mentor but blur the lines of intimacy. If mentorship is desired, they should seek platonic mentors and ensure those mentors respect those boundaries.