Polyamorous people have multiple loving, intentional, and intimate relationships at the same time. [iStockphoto]

"Men are the emotional ones, only that they decided which emotions are for men and the ones for women," says Felgonah.

Felgonah concluded the discussion by advising women to know themselves better - their needs and wants - and go for what they want instead of feeding off of what society expects them to be.

Still, picture this: If today your partner sat you down and told you they are attracted to somebody, what would you do?

Would you end it with them or would you indulge them and let them see whoever the new person is? And if they still wanted you (alongside their new person) would you stay?

While a lot of people, rightfully, would break up and leave, some others would be willing to stay and would even approve of the new entry as part of their relationship.

Polyamory is the practice of, or desire for, romantic relationships with more than one partner at the same time, with the informed consent of all partners involved.

According to the Polyamory Society, it is the non-possessive, honest, responsible, and ethical philosophy and practice of loving multiple people simultaneously, and it emphasises consciously choosing how many partners one wishes to be involved with rather than accepting social norms, which dictate loving only one person at a time.

Polyamorous people have multiple loving, intentional, and intimate relationships at the same time.

Admittedly, polyamory is more popular in the more liberal countries like America where research shows that more than 20 per cent of Americans have participated in a consensual, non-monogamous relationship at some point in their lives, than perhaps in African countries like Kenya, but like other popular cultures, this is gradually changing.

It is founded on the belief that love is not finite and that connecting deeply with others should not be restricted to a single partner with whom we can explore emotionally and physically intimate relationships.

In many polyamorous relationships, each partner is aware of the other ones, and they may also have relationships with each other. In such situations, polyamorous relationships can either be hierarchical where one relationship takes priority over others, or they can be equal.

In a hierarchical structure, a person will often have primary and secondary partners. Primary partners can be those to whom they are married, live with or have children, while secondary partners may not be as intertwined in their lives (perhaps, as the primary partner) but they still will be fully committed to each other.

"I never imagined that I would be (in a relationship) like this," says Bakari.

The 32-year-old, born and bred in Bamburi, Mombasa, is a caretaker of a beach house not far from his home (which is how this author meets him while on a brief holiday there).

"I have a wife, but I am also friends with my boss," he says.

"The owner of this place?"

"Yes. She is a White woman from Switzerland. My wife knows about her," he says, showing me his screen saver, which is a picture of his wife holding their daughter's small hands.

"I met her first before I met my wife. Although it was difficult, I was honest with my wife early when we started officially dating and I told her everything. One day, I said to her, 'I have a friendship with a mzungu, but I like you and I want to live with you.' I thought she would leave me after that, but she did not."

Characteristically (and, in contrast to adultery or extramarital sex), polyamory is consensual and disclosed to those involved. In this way, it also differs from "open" relationships, which often involve a committed couple agreeing that one or both partners are permitted to have sex with other people, without necessarily sharing information with the other partners.

For a polyamory relationship to work, there must be clear communication among the partners and their consent. The partners involved must be aware of the kind of relationship they are entering into and enthusiastically consent to be a part of it.

According to sex therapist Charity Danker, "Polyamory requires a great deal of work in the beginning. Very clear communication on boundaries, agreements, scheduling, child-rearing etc is a must, and not always easy. The more people you have loving you, the more people you need to love back. Learning time management, conflict resolution and healthy negotiation help greatly. A beautiful practicality is you have more emergency contacts, lovers to spend your birthday with and help around your home. You can truly have a tribe."

For Bakari, the balance of time, emotions and affections is the secret.

 For a polyamory relationship to work, there must be clear communication among the partners and their consent. [iStockphoto]

"I love them differently because they are also different. One must learn to divide their time between them so that no one is jealous of the other. She (the boss) spends only about half a year in the country. She often comes in December or January and leaves around June. The rest of the time I am the one around, taking care of the house. I dedicate most of that time to my family. When she is around, I spend most days with her, but I find time to go home. She knows I have a child," he says.

Doreen Amimo on the other hand does not believe in polyamory. Although she has never been in a non-monogamous relationship, she says that such relationships typically do not last.

"I cannot even imagine myself in one. That is just like cheating, and there is no commitment there. They are just lying to each other. I would be very jealous."

Janet thinks polyamory is unnatural.

"How does it even work? What is the point if I have a husband and yet I and my husband still have other people on the side? What kind of marriage is that? There is no point. Right now, if my husband took a second wife, I would leave," she says.

However, polyamory should not be confused with polygamy. The latter is the practice of marrying more than one wife - the wives often do not have any form of intimacy between themselves.

The defining factor is marriage. Polyamory also defers from bigamy, which is the practice of marrying two husbands, again, for the same reason.

Further, it is also different from swinging where couples in established relationships have casual sexual encounters with other couples. In polyamory relationships, partners are committed to each other.

Of course, the main question here is whether love is finite and whether it is possible to achieve deep and meaningful intimacy with more than one person.

"No love can be the same with another," says Mercy Onyango. "It is a lie to claim that one can love two other people equally. Once somebody else is introduced to a couple's life, it changes a lot of things. Even the bond goes."

On the other hand, Kelvin 33, believes that it is possible to be in love with different people simultaneously.

"Sometimes, you will love something about this person and love another thing in another person. So, you will love them differently. That kind of love cannot compete."

Although he admits he would be open to trying a non-monogamous relationship if he found a willing partner, he confesses that he would feel uncomfortable if his girlfriend was with another man.

"I do not mind my girl having another girl," he says. "But if it is a man, then it will be very awkward. It is just weird."

Even in its plurality, polyamorous partners commit to each other emotionally and sexually, and there is no casualness like in other non-monogamous relationships. People in polyamorous relationships can also cheat.

Depending on the relationship agreements, doing something secretive such as seeing a new partner and hiding it from someone may count as cheating.

For this kind of relationship to work, partners must intentionally communicate with each other, and be honest about their actions. Boundaries should also be set and respected.

Polyamory Polygamy Relationships