The Ultimate ENM Glossary That Will Blow You Mind!

the Ultimate ENM Glossary


Over the last several years the ENM, Poly and Swingers Lifestyle has grown, and so has all the different acronyms and terms that people use to describe and articulate their journeys. We thought wait a minute – we need to start capturing the different terms we hear so please visit this ultimate ENM glossary often as it will be a living document that grows as we learn more about what you say about ENM glossary words and meanings… and playfulness!

About The ITL Ultimate ENM Glossary

The following list of ENM glossary terms and acronyms are based on what we hear and have experienced, from you! This will be a living document that will grow and change over time based on new learnings and feedback that we receive (PLEASE feel free to contribute via our Contact Page). Keep in mind that geographic areas have nuances about what things might be called, how they are interpreted, and even what known terms can mean, so please take this list as an opportunity to learn from and further investigate for yourself.

Enjoy the Ultimate ENM Glossary!

Swinging / Swingers Acronyms & Terms

  1. Unicorn – A single or solo play female that joins groups and couples for threesome and moresome play. Unicorns typically do not build a bond with those that they join and are named unicorns based on the mythical creature and how hard they are to find.
  2. Soft Swap – Where those playing only partake in oral play with those that are outside of their relationship.
  3. Full Swap – Where those playing are willing to play with penetrative sex with that are outside of their relationship.
  4. Voyeurs – people who like to watch others have sex but not participate. 
  5. Exhibitionists – are those that like to perform sexual acts or be naked in front of others without interaction.
  6. Big Room – a room designed and designated for group sex and multiple play areas. At a lifestyle club, they are generally wide open spaces without doors.
  7. Onsite – a type of party where play can occur at the venue
  8. Offsite – a type of party where play does not happen at the venue and will occur elsewhere. Typical of a hotel takeover where people go back to rooms to play.
  9. Manicorn / Dragon – Much like a unicorn this is the male version indicating a single male or a male allowed to play alone.
  10. Same Room – Couples in this scenario play separately, or together but it is done in the same room.
  11. Separate Room – Couples in this scenario typically attend parties or events together but will separate at times to play in different rooms away from each other.
  12. MFM – 2 males and 1 female where the males focus on the female and do not interact with each other.
  13. FMF – 2 females and 1 male where the females focus on the male and do not interact with each other
  14. MMF – 2 males and 1 female where all three equally interact with each other
  15. FFM – 2 females and 1 male where all three equally interact with each other
  16. Threesome – just like the word says it, three people in a play scenario. Participants can be of any gender.
  17. Safe Word – A special word of phrase that a couple, partner or wing person might use to indicate that they want to discretely stop or remove themselves from a situation or play scenario.
  18. Hall Pass – A special or one-time allowance within a couple for one of the partners to be allowed to play alone. Typical if only one partner is attending an event so that they can fully immerse themselves.
  19. Newbie – A person or persons that are new to the lifestyle and swinging
  20. Vanilla – Non-lifestyle / swinging person, some deem this to be derogatory or demeaning we have recently learned as it makes non lifestyle people feel less than.
  21. Swingers Name – Typical for lifestyle and swinger websites this is a pseudonym used to hide real identities. 
  22. Safe Play – where condoms and other protection measures are used during play
  23. Bareback – where condoms are not used during play.
  24. Kid in A Candy Store – Someone that is overzealous and is trying to take in and do everything at once in the lifestyle.
  25. Monogamish – Typically a partnership/couple that for the most part practice monogamy but on occasion will invite play into their relationship. Sometimes this is induced by alcohol or other substances and/or special circumstances such as travel where they can by incognito.

Polyamory Acronyms & Terms

  1. Anchor Partner – Similar to a primary partner this describes a long-standing and typically rather logistically entangled romantic relationship
  2. Chosen Family – “a chosen family is made up of people who have intentionally chosen to embrace, nurture, love, and support each other regardless of blood or marriage,” says Bahiyyah Maroon, PhD. 
  3. Comet – a long distance poly relationship where the partners seldom get to meet in person but when they do they pick up where they left off during their last time together.
  4. Polysaturated – when a polycule has as many significant others as they can handle or are comfortable with
  5. Cowboy – a monogamous male who intentionally gets into relationships with females who are in polyamorous relationships
  6. Cowgirl – a monogamous female who intentionally gets into relationships with females who are in polyamorous relationships
  7. Dyad – a two person relationship
  8. Established Relationship Energy / ERE – in between Old Energy and New Energy relationships is this one where things are comfortable and in a groove
  9. Hierarchical Relationships – People who practice this place more importance on some relationships over others, kind of like a ranking system. This can be based on duration of time together being seen as more important as an example
  10. Kitchen Table PolyamoryIs best described as a type of poly relationship where every member of the polycule is comfortable sitting together at the kitchen table and having interpersonal relationships with everyone involved.
  11. Metamour / Metameans “my partner’s partner.” It’s a riff on “paramour,” an old-fashioned term for a lover.
  12. Nesting Partner – indicates that you share a living space with someone or more than one person. It may or may not include sharing of finances and other aspects of shared living space.
  13. New Relationship Energy / NRE – that fresh courtship portion of a newly formed relationship
  14. Non-Hierarchical Relationships – all partners are considered in decision making and all are considered equal.
  15. Old Relationship Energy / ORE – a long-standing established romantic or sexual relationship.
  16. Poly-Fi / Closed Polycule / Polyfidelitous Relationship – a form of polyamory in which a group of people agrees to be sexually exclusive and not have lovers outside of their polycule
  17. Parallel Polyamory – refers to poly relationships where the relationships run in parallel and don’t interact or intersect.
  18. Polycule – network of consensually nonmonogamous relationships that are connected to each other in some way.
  19. Solo PolyamorySolo polyamory means that someone has multiple intimate relationships with people but has an independent or single lifestyle. They may not live with partners, share finances, or have a desire to reach traditional relationship milestones in which partners’ lives become more intertwined.
  20. Throuple / Triad – a romantic relationship between three people

General ENM Acronyms & Terms

  1. Open Relationship – can mean multiple dynamics to different people so always good to communicate what your meaning is. Typically means that a relationship is open to possibilities based on its rules or boundaries.
  2. Demisexual – When a person requires more than just a physical attraction to be interested in engaging with a new partner
  3. Ethical Non Monogamy ENM – When people are engaged in consensual open and honest relationships with more than one person
  4. Hotwife – a scenario where a married couple allows for the female partner to play with others while being watched by the husband or when the husband is not present.
  5. Dogging – more popular outside of North America this is a scenario where a known area of meeting people who are open to outdoor play (such as a park, parking lot or rest stop) is used for random sex or exhibitionist purposes.
  6. BDSM – An umbrella term for a variety of often erotic practices or roleplaying involving bondage, discipline, dominance and submission, sadomasochism, and others
  7. Kink – non-conventional sexual practices, concepts or fantasies. 
  8. Compersion – the opposite of jealousy where partners feel good about partners playtime outside of their relationship and are happy for the enjoyment of their partners on all levels.
  9. Ace – an abbreviation for an asexual person 
  10. Consensual Non Monogamy / CNM – much like ENM, this is an umbrella term for relationships in which all partners give explicit consent to engage in romantic, intimate engagements
  11. Stealthing – where a man removes a condom without consent during play and typically without the knowledge of their play partner. This is a form of sexual assault.
  12. Cuckoldis a loving relationship where he is monogamous to her and she is not to him and they both love it that way. She is given the gift of sexual exploration with other men and in return, she gives him the gift of being involved in some way.
  13. Monogamish – when two people mutually agree (without any emotional, financial or other coercion) that certain types of sex outside of their relationship are okay and don’t count as cheating.
  14. GGG / Good, Giving, Game – usually seen on dating profiles and means that a person sees themselves as Goo, Giving and Game.
  15. Unicorn Hunting – where a single female is fetishized or pursued without much thought (typically) for more than an experience for the couple doing the hunting.

ENM Glossary Conclusion

We hope you have enjoyed reading and hopefully learning from the Ultimate ENM Glossary. Our intention is to have fun while giving insight into what might be a new lifestyle for some. The ENM glossary, as stated above, is and will be a living document that will grow over time based on what we learn, what we hear from you, and as the lifestyle you we all love grows in its awareness.

If you have a contribution or suggestion we would love to hear from you! Just reach out to us via our support page and we will do our best to get your submission into the ENM Glossary. Even better, we will add your link to our citation list of the ENM Glossary so that you get credit for it and a little SEO bump for your site.


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