Polyamory is the practice of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved. It is distinct from swinging (often called “the Lifestyle” by members of that community), which emphasizes sex with others as merely recreational. Polyamory is separate from sexual identity, which addresses the biological sex of potential partners but not the number of partners or the nature of relationships.
Polyamorous people frequently refer to themselves as being “poly.” Some straight people are poly, some gay people are poly, and some bisexual people are poly. It is entirely possible to be bisexual and not be polyamorous. While a bisexual person has the capacity for both heterosexual and homosexual attractions, that certainly does not mean that he or she must be in simultaneous relationships with both men and women. Just as celibacy does not cause straight, gay, or lesbian people to lose their sexuality, a bisexual person can, in fact, be entirely celibate and remain bisexual.