The monogamy mindset is still going strong, so for those people who look to diverge from it, or simply research other possibilities, some degree of confusion right off the bat is a safe bet. Let's start with the basics: In consensual nonmonogamy (CNM), partners approach relationships with some openness, and all parties involved are aware of and in agreement on the situation (ahem, if you lose that last piece, the consensual aspect is gone and you're just in the realm of infidelity). 

Google CNM and your head will soon be swimming with phrases such as metamours, kitchen table poly, NRE, relationship anarchy and the like. But there are two types of CNM relationships that you might already be familiar with: open relationships and polyamory.