Researchers estimate that as many as 5 percent of Americans are currently in relationships involving consensual non-monogamy — 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.

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