Swinger: A swinger is someone who has multiple sexual relationships outside of their primary romantic relationship(s). Swingers usually don’t have emotional connections to people outside of their romantic relationship(s). Some swingers have sex only with close friends (friends-first swinging), and some have sex with strangers or go to swing clubs for the purpose of finding sex with other swingers.
Swinging can be open or closed. Open swinging is when swingers switch partners and then have sex in the same room, sometimes having group sex. Closed swinging is when swingers switch partners and then have sex in separate rooms.
Polyamorous: The roots of the word “polyamory” literally mean “many love,” and that’s an accurate description. Polyamorous relationships are different from most other open relationships because it’s the intention of partners in a polyamorous relationship not only to have sex outside of their primary partnerships, but also to find love.
There are many variations of polyamorous relationships. Some are poly and closed, meaning that the group has decided not to have sex with or find relationships with anyone else. Some are poly and open, meaning partners in the group could still have outside sex and relationships. Some include just three people, some include many different people. Some can have all partners on equal footing and some consist of a primary relationship with secondary relationships branching out from there.