This article states 5% of Americans are involved in consensual nonmonogamy. From the anecdotical evidence I have gathered that is a low figure. But keep in mind, it really doesn’t matter what that number is, if this is a life-style you want to pursue, then I suggest you do your homework.
Excellent polyamory myths debunked.
Excerpt from article in Live Science below:
5 Myths About Polyamory
by Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer
Researchers estimate that as many as 5 percent of Americans are currently in relationships involving consensual nonmonogamy — that is, permission to go outside the couple looking for love or sex.
The boundaries in these relationships are remarkably varied, with some couples negotiating one-off “swinging” or partner-swapping experiences. and others forming stable bonds among three, four or five partners simultaneously. The latter is a version of polyamory, relationships in which people have multiple partnerships at once with the full knowledge of all involved.
Polyamorous people have largely flown under the radar, but that’s beginning to change as psychologists become intrigued by this unusual group. The first annual International Academic Polyamory Conference takes place Feb. 15 in Berkeley, Calif., and ongoing studies are examining everything from how jealousy works in polyamorous relationships to how kids in polyamorous familes fare. Though there’s a lot left to learn, initial findings are busting some myths about how love among many works.
Myth #1: Poly people are unsatisfied
When someone goes outside a relationship looking for companionship or sex, it’s natural to assume there’s something missing from their romance. But that doesn’t appear to be the case for polyamorous individuals.
Melissa Mitchell, a graduate student in psychology at the University of Georgia, conducted research while at Simon Frasier University in Canada on 1,093 polyamorous individuals. The participants were asked to list a primary partner and a secondary partner (more on that later), and they averaged nine years together with their primary and about two-and-a-half years with their secondary.
Mitchell and her colleagues surveyed their participants about how satisfied and fulfilled they felt in their relationships. They found that people were more satisfied with, felt more close to and more supported by their primary partner, suggesting that their desire for a secondary partner had little to do with dissatisfaction in the relationship. And satisfaction with an outside partner didn’t hurt the primary relationship. [6 Scientific Tips for a Successful Marriage]
“Polyamorous relationships are relatively independent of one another,” Mitchell said in January at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in New Orleans. “We tend to assume in our culture that if you have your needs met outside your relationship, some kind of detrimental effect is going to result, and that’s not what we find here.”