For those looking to explore this topic, a good place to start is the Wikipedia article about polyamory, though it’s a bit of a hefty read at 5000 words.
Some more concise and well-organized intro:
ENM has had huge growth and acceptance starting around 2012, and this is reflected all over in TV, movies, media coverage, research and dating. Here are some key articles and links:
Quote 1: “There is plenty of evidence that consensual non-monogamy is an emerging civil rights movement,” said Heath Schechinger, a counseling psychologist at the University of California, Berkeley, and co-chair of the Consensual Non-Monogamy Task Force, recently created within the American Psychological Association.”
Quote 2: “Activists are already working with elected officials in more than a dozen local governments, especially in California, to expand local anti-discrimination ordinances to include a new protected class, “relationship structure,” said Berkeley psychologist and poly activist Dave Doleshal.”
Quote: “a survey of some 8,700 US single adults in 2017 found that more than one in five engaged in consensual non-monogamy at some point in their lives, while in a 2014 survey 4%-5% of Americans reported currently being polyamorous.”
Quote: “The number of people who say they are solely committed to monogamy, meanwhile, has fallen to a minority of all users, 44 percent, down from 56 percent in 2010.”
Quote: “There is a growing interest in consensual, non-monogamous relationships – both in the general public and in terms of research,”
An episode of the Emmy-award winning talk-show “Red Table Talk” featuring Jada Pinkett Smith (actress and wife of actor Will Smith) and her daughter Willow Smith, discussing ENM
Willow Smith herself is polyamorous, as she discussed eloquently and at length here: https://www.facebook.com/redtabletalk/videos/904644817023031/.
A 2015 survey on polyamory
Quote: “More people than ever are pursuing polyamorous, open, or swinging relationships. With the growing number of polyamorous relationships, we need to get serious about analyzing the costs and benefits of polyamory—not just for individuals, but for families, cultures, and nations.”
Quote: “A study from the Journal of Sex Research found that Google searches for terms related to open relationships have been rising steadily for a decade. In a follow-up study, the same group of researchers discovered that more than one in five Americans have engaged in a non-monogamous relationship at one point in their lifetime. So, it would seem that at least 20 percent of the American public is open to an open relationship.”
Quote: “A growing number of Canadian parents are polyamorous, opting for consensual non-monogamous relationships. Having multiple partners may seem weird, confusing or even scandalous to some. But experts, parents and even kids say it offers some surprising benefits”
Quote: “marriage is decreasing in popularity, divorce is becoming more common and having a lifelong relationship with one person is no longer the norm (if ever it was).”
“Some are even calling for it to be recognised (SIC) by law following the legalisation (SIC) of gay marriage in the UK and the US. All this raises of the question of whether the future of love may be very different from our current conceptions of romance.”
Even some religious organizations have come to terms that polyamory is part of our society:
Metropolitan Community Church Rev. Elder Rachelle Brown talks Cajun roots, faith and lesbian polyamorous relationship.
Southern Baptist Preacher Rev. Dr. Jeff Hood affirms polyamory in an interview
Preston Sprinkle (biblical scholar and president of The Center for Faith, Sexuality & Gender) and Branson Parler (professor of theological studies at Kuyper College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and director of faith formation at Fourth Reformed Church in Grand Rapids)
Some Jewish Rabbis too. “Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, senior rabbi at New York’s gay synagogue, Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, says she tries to avoid that sort of judgment in her rabbinic practice. Polyamory, she says, is a choice that does not preclude a Jewishly observant, socially conscious life.”
In the PNW, home to myself and many others, ENM is known to be even more prevalent:
Quote: “Seattle has long been known as Poly Capital of the World, but Portland now holds the title according to locals quoted in a 5,000-word article that just appeared in Cascadia magazine”
Quote 1: “Sheff says there are neighborhoods in Seattle where more and more polyamorists groups moved to be close to each other, and several polyamorists say they consider Washington state to be polyamory-friendly”
Quote 2: “approximately 69 million people in the U.S. are currently in intimate relationships with multiple people at once.”
Quote: “In Portland, Oregon – one of America’s most sexually tolerant cities – it seems you can’t throw a stone without finding a consensual non-monogamous relationship”
Many cities, states and even countries are making moves that have or might anchor ENM in law, in various shapes and forms:
Microsoft has been a leader in the ENM world. Back in 2018, they created an internal employee resource group (“ERG”) named “ENUM”, which grew to become very large and active:
In March of this year, during Microsoft’s Include summit, Microsoft’ CVP of Diversity, Lindsay-Rae McIntyre spoke of this, saying “we have to be ready to have conversations about…inclusion of individuals who practice ethical non-monogamy” (this is at 05:29-5:44 in the video)
Microsoft’s aggressive diversity goals and agenda has been influenced by various business data points:
- 76 percent of employees and job seekers said a diverse workforce was important when evaluating companies and job offers.
- 72% of U.S. Workers Would Leave for More “Inclusive” Employer.
Additional important resources:
- Polyamory in the news, which has collected several thousand articles and broadcasts:
- The Chosen Law Family Center, which supports low-income ENM individuals and cases in New York pro bono:
- The Harvard Law School LGBTQ+ Advocacy clinic, which does ENM related legislative advocacy:
- Loving More, an ENM advocacy non-profit based in Colorado:
A few more articles about the history and practice of ENM: