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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Polyfidelity is a form of polygamy where all members are considered equal partners and agree to be sexually active only with other members of the group. The term originated in the Kerista Village commune in San Francisco which practiced polyfidelity from 1971–1991. The community expected all of its members, within bounds of gender and sexual orientation, to be sexually active with all other members, and for exclusive relationships not to be formed. However, this aspect of polyfidelity is not always expected today.

Polyfaithful relationships are closed in the sense of closed and open marriages, in that partners agree not to be sexual outside the current members of the group. New members may generally be added to the group only by unanimous consensus of the existing members, or the group may not accept new members.

Previous to the Kerista Village experience, people would have likely called this arrangement "complex marriage" or simply a "group marriage". Indeed, one might think of polyfidelity as being very much like monogamy except that it may include more than two people (and may or may not be open to adding new members). The broader term polyamory was coined later, in the early 1990s.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Polyfidelity" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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