Originally Posted by Denverbearmark
I am in the BDSM community and know of a few poly relationships. One great one comes to mind. A very outstanding Sir has a boy, a slave, and a puppy. They Sir, boy and slave have been together for a couple of years. The puppy was added about a year ago. They have a great relationship it appears and of course get ton of attention at the bars and gathering--because of looks, situations, and they all have great attitudes.
I believe it takes work and openess and honesty to make it all work. I do know that slave and puppy have contracts, not sure if the boy has one with the Sir out side of the that with the two others.
Also know of others, but they tend to be less formal.
The poly groups I'm aware of are also from within the BDSM community and follow similar patterns and structure.
Over the years, I've been introduced to guys outside the leather scene who live as triads, but the novelty nature of them made them very rare indeed. My understanding is that they started as a duo and found a third whom they mutually came to respect and love. Presumably the sex didn't always involve all three at once, though I'm sure it did most (or at least some) of the time.
My own feelings about triads are mixed. On the one hand: whatever floats someone else's boat is really none of my business; on the other hand, it's not a choice I can ever see myself making.
I've met many couples involved in open relationships but never one who would be open to anything other than a sexual encounter. Multiple encounters with the same couple (beyond two or three) have always exposed the underlying weaknesses, rather than strengths, of their relationship, and it wasn't always very sexy
I have heard tell of "closed" groups of anywhere from three to as many as ten guys, some single, others partnered in pairs, who are sworn to only having sex with other members of the group. Though I have reservations about this as a safer-sex practice, the members of these groups are all verifiably HIV-negative (or at least were when joining) and, because of the strict oaths of complete fidelity to the group, enjoy unprotected sex. This is not an endorsement of the practice, only an acknowledgment that such arrangements exist.