Polyamory etymologically speaking is supposed to refer to romantically loving ("amore") multiple people.It is similar to polygamy but that refers to marriage.
In practice besides love, it has also incorrectly been used to refer to having sexual relationships with more than one person.
Subsets of polyamory based on gender/sex include:
It is possible to fall under neither of these labels yet still be polyamorous, if a bisexual had 1 male partner and 1 female partner.
Non-Monogamy, a means of alleviating inceldom?[edit | edit source]
Many people propose that polyamory and ethical non-monogamy will alleviate inceldom instead of excasterbate the problem. Most notably by psychologists like Christopher Ryan and Goeffrey Miller and his wife Dianna Fischer. One of the purpoted claims of the benifits of Non-monogamy will be that it allows women, whom previously constrained to a single relationship, to now attend to the needs of men whom are unable to begin relationships. Diana Fischer states that she dates men with Aspies in order to train/groom them to become more datable for other women. This in effect, they claim, allows socially inept men whom would otherwise be unable to learn the social skills neccesary for coutship and the maintaining of a relationship. Whilst good on her for doing so, it is particularly unlikely that this is unlikely to be true for the majority non-monogamous women as these women are hypergamous; secondly there doesn't seem to be any an evolutionary benifit to helping men with Aspergers syndrome find mates because doesn't contribute to reproductive success then this behaviour wouldn't be selected for in women and is wishful thinking for the most part.
Most forms of Non-Monogamy won't alleviate inceldom for two reasons, the hypergamous instinct in women and the much greater sexual drive in men (as proven by homosexual men). In the ultimately flawed view present by Christopher Ryan in his book, Sex at Dawn, he contends that non-monogamy is what humans have adapted to and that non-monogamy will be benificial to us as a society because of this. Thus because we're non-monogamous and human females are chimplike in their behaviour (sluts as opposed to whores to put it in Ryan's own words) everyone, including low-status men as they will now have sex with women they otherwise wouldn't be able, will benifit from widespread non-monogamy. To prove the sluttish nature of women, Ryan (and many other proponents of non-monogamy) use sperm competition. He contends that women do not select for men at the precopulatory level (based on looks, wealth and status) which would, in his own words, means that "your mother is a whore" and that instead females select for men at the postcopulatory level via sperm competition and female cryptic choice making women sluts. Thus women are adapted to have sex with as many men as possible around ovulation (including the old and unnatractive) to ensure that she can procure the best sperm genes possible via sperm competition making her a 'slut' instead of a 'whore' who's picky about who she sleeps with. The problem with this is that its false. Very false.
Women don't select for men at the post copulatory level and are not sexual communists (like chimpanzees somewhat are). They are very picky about whom they mate with and will, if they are able, exclusively mate with highstatus men as she doesn't benifit much from having sex with low status men. Secondly men have a greater sex drive than women by many orders of magnitude (with some homosexual men having sex with 1000's of partners, most women don't even get close to 100 partners). What effectively means is that a high status woman will be sexually satisfied by having sex with a select few high status men and doesn't need to have sex with low status men to fufill her sexual wants. High status men will have sex with a multiude of high status women but will still have more than enough sexual drive to have sex with lower status women (because of Bateman's Principle). The lower status women will be content with having sex with with just the high status men and will prefer to ignore low status men. We can see that this is, somewhat, true of contemporary tribes that practise 'non-monogamy' in that high status men get all the sex and father more children through partible paternity belief. Partible paternity is the belief in some societies that a child can have more than one actual father; in many of the tribes that hold this belief, sexual infidelity or wife sharing (were women voluntarily have sex with men outside their marriages) is common and this effectively allows high status men to cuckold low status men without the consequences (as these men are still partly the 'fathers' of the children). So these societies effectively practise Non-monogamy through this partible paternity belief. So partible paternity, which mean by extension Non-monogamy, does not alleviate inceldom and in fact worsens it. With the top third of men have double the amount of sexual partners than the less attractive men. Though these men in partible paternity societies have it bad, contemporary men will have it worse.
Low status women only have sex with low status men for two reasons, firstly because they require resources for their children and secondly like in chimpanzees this is to prevent infanticide from low status men. Neither of these conditions are applicable to modern women. The wellfare state ensures that a woman's children won't die which in turn means that low status are effectively uneccesary and women only have sex with them if they want more resources as a bonus rather than a neccesity. Attempts at infanticide can be reliably be defended against via the government and police and paternity confusion no longer works because of DNA testing (although this may not be true in France where paternity testing has been criminilized). So in effect, there's no reason for women to have sex with these men and can continue to have sex with high status men without any consequence. This is effectively (for the purposes of its effect on the inceldom) identical to how polygyny has been traditionally practised; the only difference is that the wives of the high status men with large harems can now have sex with other high status men with large harems. So polygyny 2.0 gender equility boogaloo is a more fitting description of what is being proposed as opposed to a communist sexual free for all.
We can see this happen in how one man attempted swinging, but was instead brutally cuckolded on a reality tv show (see SwingS01E05). A couple, Darrel & Vikki, have a go at the non-monogamous lifestyle by agreeding to swing with a high status couple (the themselves are on the lower half of the decile scale). Eventually the episode gets to the point where all of the couples are gather in a room to have group sex. Vikki begins to have sex with the high status man of the couple they'd wanted to swing with, however, immediately after that one of the women in the room asks "Where's the sybian?" and everyone leaves to 'go and find the sybian'; not a single woman remains to have sex with Darrel, not a single one. Darrel hasn't had sex with anyone else yet and can only watch whilst his wife gets pounded by the high status man (who's black, which makes it somewhat funny, tragic, but funny). Now not all swingers are this mean, but the story is archetypically true of what happens in non-monogamy on a societal scale. The low status men do not get any sex. The low status women prefer sex with the high status men. The high status men have sex with both the high status and low status women. And the high status women refuse to date down to have sex with low status men and prefer to be shared amongst high status men.
Some claim that non-monogamy and swinging increases happiness as those people in swining relationships report greater happiness (and should thus be persued). However most of these studies recruit their sample of swingers from swinger clubs and would hardly include men like Darell (who divorced Vikki and is currently happily married in a monogamous relationship) and thus might only be reflective of the happiest swingers of the entire group. A useful statistic to have would be the ratio of disillusioned swingers to current swingers. For example, in Vegans, ex-Veggies outnumber Veggies 5:1. Which implies an 84% failure rate. If ex-swingers or the ex-non-monogamous outnumber current swingers by the same ratio, then it makes perfect sense to say that, the 16% of relationships that don't chrash and burn because they'd experimented with swinging are happier (than monogamous couples) because only couples with a certain amount of happiness recieved from their swinging experience could possibly be selected for to continue with their swinging lifestyle but that the majority fail.
So to summarize, no, non-monogamy doesn't aid the inceldom; we have plenty of evidence that in societies where it is practised that it actually makes things worse and that this effect will be greater in contemporary western societies. However, this doens't neccesarily equate to all forms of non-monogamy worsening the problem. If two couples were only to ever have sex with each other (and no one else) then the man's sexual desire is contained and it doesn't have the negative consequences described above. In cases where there is no limit on either partners sexual activity the above situation will eventually play out which in genral isn't good for society.