Change takes time, on a grand scale of social evolution. It took generations for Black people and women to be able to vote. It took even longer for gays and lesbians to not be considered criminals.
There’s a lot of work that must go into adjusting the moral and intellectual fabric of any society. Even so-called progressive societies here in the Western Hemisphere are notoriously SLOW in evolving when it comes to SEXUALITY.
The perception of polyamory is changing, but some people are STILL super freaked out when someone else says, “I have two boyfriends, and they both know about each other.” It’s 2021, for Virgin’s sake!
The overarching intention to steer the vast majority of people towards monogamy and matrimony is still a silent secret issue in the world we live in, but there is hope for us polyamorists! We have been making strides in many ways that are sometimes shocking, but they happen nevertheless.
So I am going to point out the ways in which polyamory is changing and expanding, and celebrate each step forward!
4 Ways Polyamory Is Changing
1. Mainstream Non-Monogamy
Not that it will become a majority shareholder in the corporation of human relationships anytime soon (as in, not for probably ten thousand years, give or take a few millennia), but it’s not a microscopic minority of people who never had a voice and never deserved to be understood. No, it’s become clear that monogamy is NOT working for everyone.
I didn’t see the “not working” with my grandparents so much, but certainly with my parents and friends’ parents who have been married and divorced, and my generation, where many people of are opting out of all traditions like marrying before thirty and having 2.5 kids before thirty-five.
Many people, of all ages, aren’t even trying to marry—they are exploring polyamory, queer sexuality, kink and BDSM, asexuality, transgender sexuality, and other options of existence and relationship styles that don’t lead to wedding bells. It’s still a minority, but more people are open to the idea of polyamory than ever in human history. And that’s a great thing!
2. Awareness and Understanding
Back in the 80s, damn near all non-monogamous relationships were thought of as either cheating, swinging, or some weird secret sex-cult shit. We are now living in an age where there are many people who don’t have to hide their untraditional relationships.
Not everyone in society fully understands, but your second cousin or older aunt or even parents might have a VERY interesting conversation with you one day about “their other partner,” and it’s not nearly as weird or untraditional as you think.
3. Visibility in Mainstream Media
Damn near EVERY Hollywood movie that comes out that features one person excruciatingly trying to decide between two hunky dudes makes me want to scream… when the ANSWER IS: have a polyamorous threesome! So many situations would be solved, more satisfying, more mature, and more beautiful if everyone got together and just had a big ol’ cuddle puddle.
Howerver, polyamory is changing in the mainstream media. There’s TV shows that feature polyamory—She’s Got To Have It, The L Word, Broad City, You Me Her, Big Love, Trigonometry—and a few more with polyamory characters and storylines. There’s movies too, but not nearly enough—Shortbus, Savages, Sirens, Henry & June, Love. There are also many untraditional new frontiers of sexuality being explored in literature, anime, comics, and art.
4. Couples Choosing Open Relationships
Some people just know they are polyamorous, and live their life as such with all relationships being open. But there are a growing number of couples who are testing the waters of an open relationship. This might early on in the relationship, barely out of the dating stages, or it might be twenty years into a marriage. Open relationships have many benefits that only serve to strengthen a primary couple’s union.
There are online websites and blogs like this dedicated to polyamory culture and relationships. There are niche specific poly dating sites for those who identify as poly and others who don’t but want to meet others who are non-monogamous. There are many options for poly folks to find each other online and in the world.
We have a way to go before polyamory is happily accepted by everyone in society, but things are changing and are much better than they were when I was first exploring the lifestyle.
Let’s keep the evolution of the heart going!
Adhimu “Malcolm Lovejoy” Stewart