"7 Things We Learned About Polyamory In 2016"
By MARIELLA MOSTHOF
Bit by bit, the field of sex and relationships is being pushed past its old, stale boundaries as people begin coming forward to talk about their unconventional, taboo, marginalized, and/or all of the above sex and dating paradigms. These seven things we learned about polyamory in 2016, for example, prove the benefits of people living openly outside of social norms. Once-harshly-judged relationship types are beginning to make their way into mainstream conversations in a more nuanced way than salacious and one-dimensional clickbait which creates a sideshow out of the very community it's trying to "expose."
Psychologists, sociologists, and other researchers are finally beginning to take notice of how many people are talking about living in relationships outside a monogamous framework, too. They're starting to study larger and larger population samples to try and get some hard science behind how many people polyamory truly works for and what its benefits and disadvantages really are.
Of course, we're only starting to scratch the surface on the data collection and those doing the fledgeling work of studying polyamory from a scientific perspective are still outliers, trailblazing in their fields. So, much of the poly wisdom we do have simply comes from longtime practitioners and newbies alike, generously sharing their perspectives with the internet in listicles like poly myths that need to be busted, common judgements and how to respond, and terms to know so everyone can participate in informed conversations, regardless of what relationship types people prefer. All of these resource types are valuable, but here's what else we learned about polyamory in 2016:
1. Advertisers Are Bringing Polyamory Out Of The Closet
Once known exclusively as the hookup site for cheating spouses, AshleyMadison.com responded to its devastating 2014 hack with a rebrand that included positioning itself as a more honest relationship platform. Its new commercials hint at a more consensual open marriage dynamic, in some cases, explicitly catering to polyamorous couples. It's a smart move to pivot away from its once "taboo," secretive purpose to offer the same services in the sunny light of honesty.
2. The Most Polyamorous States
We learned from a data analysis conducted by OpenMinded.com (an open relationship dating site) that the most polyamorous states are California, whence 14 percent of its members hail, New York (9.56 percent) and Texas (7.36 percent).
OpenMinded spokesperson Angela Jacob Bermudo pointed out that it's not just liberal, coastal elite attitude that correlates with more poly people: "When states do well economically, its residents are able to focus on other forms of fulfillment." This is probably also just true of people — those who are not having existential career or financial crises are more emotionally available to open up new possibilities in other parts of their lives.
3. Polyamory Is Omnipresent Among Many Identity Groups
A data crunch of two Match "Singles in America" surveys published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy found that as many as one in five people have participated in polyamorous relationships, and that "this proportion remained constant across age, education level, income, religion, region, political affiliation, and race." Men and LGB-identified folks were more likely to be poly than women and straight-identified folks, but the race and class information was enlightening. ...