Sexual Informatics: Non-Monogamy

I’ve been told, many times, that the word “polyamory” is not really necessary, as it’s simply a synonym for “open relationship” or “swinging” (or, depending on the person talking to me, “cheating”). This idea seems to assume that there’s really only one kind of non-monogamy, which is kind of silly.

I started thinking lately about the various ways in which a relationship can be non-monogamous, and the intersections between different sorts of non-monogamy, and after tinkering around with the notion for a while I’ve come up with this diagram.

A relationship can be non-monogamous without being open; cheating relationships, polyfidelitous relationships, and religious polygyny are all examples. I’ve made polyamory and swinging separate and nonoverlapping here, though of course a person can be polyamorous and also be a swinger (they’re two different behaviors engaged in by the same person, just as a person can be a swinger and also be a cheater, and so on).

BDSM throws a monkeywrench into the issue because there are so many ways that people involved in BDSM can be non-monogamous. I’ve seen people who play at play parties with other folks but don’t do so outside play parties and don’t form relationships; that sort of arrangement overlaps with swinging. I’ve seen various flavors of polyamorous and polyfi BDSM relationships. I’ve seen closed-group non-monogamy that isn’t quite polyamory and looks more like closed-group swinging, though God knows there’s some overlap between closed-group swinging and polyfi; I’ve known closed group swingers whose groups stay stable for longer than most marriages do. And there’s a sliver of non-monogamous BDSM relationships that don’t intersect with anything else; “I’ll arrange a gang bang for you and you’ll LIKE IT,” ferinstance.

And then there’s con sex, which overlaps with a whole lot of other stuff. But someone could probably write an entire book about con sex. And now that I think about it, I’d probably read it.

Profiteering from affiliate programs, the Russian organized crime way

I have a account. If you’re not familiar with it, Formspring is a Web site that you can use to receive anonymous questions from people, which you can then answer in a way that lets everyone read your answers.

It’s actually pretty cool. My Formspring account is here, and I kind of enjoy answering random questions from folks. If, y’know, there’s something you want to ask.

Anyway, a few days ago I got this message posted anonymously to my Formspring:

Hey, I am posting anonymous because I don’t want you to know who I am but I found a nude image of you online.You may have to login to see it, but here’s the link: nudeimagedatabase(DOT)t35(DOT)(DOT)com/nude_image_549(DOT)html replace all the (DOT) with .

Now, first thing I thought was Russian mob spreading computer malware–Zlob or Asprox or something, right? I mean, seriously, it’s got their thumbprint all over it.

Turns out that’s not what it was, though. What it was is something a little more convoluted, and it exposes a weakness in Web sites that have a pay-for-signups affiliate program business model.

We're about to get technical here…