Most people have fantasized about being in a polyamorous relationship, according to new research

81% said they fantasized about being in an open relationship at least once before.

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81% said they fantasized about being in an open relationship at least once before.
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kittirat roekburi / Shutterstock

If you’ve ever wondered what it’d be like to be in an open relationship, you’re not alone.

According to new research presented at The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality annual conference, the majority of people have fantasized about being in a consensual, non-monogamous relationship, otherwise known as an open or polyamorous relationship, at least once before even though just one-third of people have actually been in a polyamorous relationship.

Justin J. Lehmiller, lead study author and a sex researcher at The Kinsey Institute, asked 2,982 people to complete a survey about their sexual fantasies where they answered questions about their personalities, demographic backgrounds, sexual fantasies relating to polyamory, and actual experiences with polyamory.

The study included a pool of which 40% self-identified as female, 56% as male, and 4% non-binary.

After collecting results, Lehmiller found that 30% of the survey respondents said being in an open relationship was their biggest sexual fantasy and 81% said they fantasized about being in an open relationship at least once before.

70% of people who ended up acting on their open-relationship fantasies said it paid off because they had a positive experience overall.

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70% of people who ended up acting on their open-relationship fantasies said it paid off because they had a positive experience overall.
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Shutterstock

People who acted on their open-relationship fantasies said it was a positive experience

Some people who said open relationships topped their list of sexual fantasies acted on that interest, but it wasn’t common: only 20% of these people ended up having some sort of open relationship even though 84% of them reported having a desire to act on their top fantasy.

But 70% of people who ended up acting on their open-relationship fantasies said it paid off because they had a positive experience overall. Of this group, 93% also said acting on their open-relationship fantasy exceeded their expectations and 61% said polyamory improved their existing relationship.

A previous study that was published in April in the journal Social Psychology also found that open relationships add positive aspects to participants’ lives. That could be because having more partners allows a person to be more satisfied in various areas, like being nurtured and sexually pleasured at the same time, because different partners can offer different things.