Relationship Anarchy vs. Nonhierarchical Polyamory

The Thinking Aro

I’ve noticed that in the sexual polyamory community, when the subject of relationship anarchy comes up, it is often used as a term interchangeable with nonhierarchical polyamory. I view the two as dramatically and significantly different, and (I could be wrong) I think that Andie Nordgren, who can be credited with creating the term in her native Swedish, views the two as different also.

Here’s how I view the three major types of emotional nonmonogamy:

1. Hierarchical Polyamory: There’s a primary romantic-sexual relationship that all other romantic and/or sexual relationships are secondary to, meaning the primary relationship gets the lion’s share of emotional energy, commitment, time, etc. Usually, it also means that the primary couple has veto power over the other satellite romantic/sexual relationships. The secondary (and even tertiary) romantic-sexual or sexual relationships will be sacrificed, diminished, damaged, etc to preserve and protect the primary romantic-sexual relationship if necessary…

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