Article

An On-Line Survey Comparing Swingers and Polyamorists

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to present a more current portrait of swingers and to compare them with polyamorists. I will also compare these two groups with those who are neither swingers nor polyamorists. The study was conducted on-line with approximately 1400 individuals responding. Of these, 174 identified as swingers and 34 were polyamorists. As in previous studies, swingers were found to be in their thirties and forties, white, and middle and upper-middle in social class. However, they were more Democratic and liberal than in earlier studies. They also had low levels of religious identification and attendance. Polys, compared to the swingers, were significantly more Democratic and liberal, significantly less religious, and more "spiritual." Polys were significantly more likely to find abortion, and gay marriage acceptable and less likely to find the death penalty acceptable. Polyamorists also were more likely to seek out therapy. They were also the most likely to agree that they would like to change some aspect of their lives but also said their lives were close to their ideal and ranked the highest on a 1-10 scale of happiness, although the difference was not significant. Both the swingers and the polys were significantly less likely to be a church member or to believe in a traditional God as compared to a general sample. The two groups also were significantly more likely to say that abortion, divorce and gay marriage were acceptable and significantly less likely to say that the death penalty was acceptable. Swingers and polys were more likely to say that they needed some counseling and more likely than the general sample to say they were satisfied with their emotional and mental states.

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... Six studies have gathered data about the spiritual or religious identities of polyamorous people (Balzarini et al., 2018;Jenks, 2014;Nearing, Religion and Consensual Nonmonogamy 2001; Sheff, 2014;Walston, 2001;Weitzman, 2007), but no studies to date have investigated how spiritual identities and philosophical perspectives inform the practices of those who are openly and consensually partnered with multiple people simultaneously. Moreover, because transpersonal theorists have discussed the relevance of nonmonogamous paradigms of loving to spiritual development and self-actualization (e.g., Ferrer, 2007;Welwood, 1985Welwood, , 1996, this study also examines the degree to which nonmonogamous sexual behavior and spirituality are linked. ...
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... It is also important to note that we have replicated recent findings from Rubin and colleagues (2014), which challenged the prevailing belief that CNM (Jenks, 2014;Jenks, 1998) and polyamorous groups (Noël, 2006;Sheff, 2005;Sheff & Hammers, 2011;Wheeler, 2011) are homogenously White. We also found that participants in polyamorous relationships were more likely to be multiethnic compared to participants in monogamous relationships. ...
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