1. Myth: It’s always an orgy or a free-for-all sex pass.
Truth: Polyamorous relationships, like all relationships, don’t look one way. Assuming they hinge on a group-sex dynamic would be like assuming that all heterosexual couples have missionary-style sex every single time (not that there's anything wrong with couples who do that).
That being said, group sex can be a big part of the relationship, in the same way that sex of any kind can be a big part of any relationship. But it only takes two to tango, and sometimes that’s all there is, and other times everyone wants to play. It all just depends on the folks involved and what sort of intimacy they enjoy.
The best practice is not to assume. This post on polyamorous relationships from The Huffington Post digs deeper into the discussion around common assumptions—which are almost always problematic. It reminds us that just because people think they get it doesn’t mean that they actually do.
Ginny Brown, star writer at Everyday Feminism, spoke of her enlightened opinion on misconceptions of polyamory. “One of the biggest misconceptions is that if you're poly, you must like to have a lot of sex, with a lot of different people. That's certainly true of some poly people, but many of us find it pretty rare to find a new person we actually want to get it on with. I know for me, the heart of polyamory is in the family I can create, with my partner and their other partners and our extended network. There's a certain kind of intimacy you can have with friends when there are no rules about who you can and can't be sexual with. There's no guessing or hinting, or feeling like you have to avoid getting too close to someone who is 'taken.' If attraction develops, you can deal with it, and it's not weird or difficult. And for me that makes all my friendships closer and more satisfying—even though, for me, attraction is pretty rare.”