Local Black & Poly Meetups

Black & Poly is not just online--we're meeting in a city near you! Check out the list of meetup groups below. All of our meetups are in public spaces and family friendly.

Dallas-Fort Worth

DC-Maryland-Virginia

New York City

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What is Polyamory?

woman looking up

Confused about the difference between polyamory, polygamy, swinging, and more? Check out the definitions below for clarity!

Polyamory

Literally, poly (many) + amor (love). The state or practice of maintaining multiple sexual and/or romantic relationships simultaneously, with the full knowledge and consent of all the people involved.

Polyamory is not necessarily related directly to marriage or polygamy; a person may have no spouse or only one spouse and still be polyamorous. Many people use the term "polyamory" to describe only those relationships in which a person has multiple loving partners; some people have extended the term to include relationships in which a person has multiple sexual partners regardless of the emotional component or degree of commitment between them, though this meaning was not a part of Morning Glory Zell's original intent for the word.

In 1992, when the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary contacted Morning Glory Zell to ask for a formal definition and background of the word; part of her response was:

"The two essential ingredients of the concept of "polyamory" are "more than one" and "loving." That is, it is expected that the people in such relationships have a loving emotional bond, are involved in each other's lives multi-dimensionally, and care for each other. This term is not intended to apply to merely casual recreational sex, anonymous orgies, one-night stands, pick-ups, prostitution, "cheating," serial monogamy, or the popular definition of swinging as "mate-swapping" parties."

Swinging

The practice of having multiple sexual partners outside of an existing romantic relationship, most often with the understanding that the focus of those relationships is primarily sexual rather than romantic or emotionally intimate.

The common perception of swinging is that those who engage in this behavior have sex outside of their existing relationship purely for recreation, and that emotional bonds or emotional intimacy are specifically excluded. This is true in some cases, and, in fact, some swing clubs specifically prohibit people from carrying on friendships or relationships outside the club. However, in practice swinging is much more nuanced, and people who self-identify as swingers can and sometimes do form close emotional relationships with their partners. Many people in both the swinging and polyamorous communities, though not all, see swinging and polyamory as two ends of a continuum, different in degree of intent, focus, and emphasis on romantic and emotional relationships rather than different in kind.

Open Marriage

A marriage whose structures or arrangements permit one or both of the members involved to have outside sexual relationships, outside romantic relationships, or both. The term "open marriage" is a catchall for marriages which are not emotionally or sexually monogamous and may include such activities as polyamory or swinging.

Monogamish

A relationship which is not necessarily sexually fidelitous, but that differs from polyamory in that the outside sexual relationships are seen as primarily sexual rather than romantic, without necessarily having any expectation of continuity, and are viewed as enhancing the primary couple's relationship.

The term was coined by columnist Dan Savage to describe committed relationships that still allow some "outside" sexual dalliances.

Polygamy

The state or practice of having multiple wedded spouses at the same time. Polygyny (multiple women married to one man) is the most common form of polygamy (the obverse being polyandry). Polygyny is associated with many religious and ethnic subcultures, with Murdock's Ethnographic Atlas recording 850 of 1170 societies as being polygynous. Modern religious traditions, including Islam and Fundamentalist Mormonism (FLDS) allow polygyny. For this reason, many people confuse polygamy with polyamory.

Consensual Nonmonogamy

Any relationship which is not sexually and/or emotionally exclusive by the explicit agreement and with the full knowledge of all the parties involved. Consensual nonmonogamy can take several forms, the two most common of which are polyamory and swinging, and it is distinct from cheating in that everyone involved knows about and agrees to the activity.

Consensual nonmonogamy often explicitly spells out the conditions under which it is permissible for one person to take on additional partners, and often includes some form of safer-sex agreement as well.

Call for Submissions

The Black & Poly magazine is live! We are looking for your experiences in nonmonogamy to share with the community. By sharing our stories, you are helping others learn about this lovestyle and to bring the black family closer together.

As a special incentive, the first ten authors who submit approved posts will receive a Black & Poly signature t-shirt!

Submission Guidelines
We accept fiction and nonfiction posts relating to nonmonogamy and black identity. You do not have to be black or polyamorous, but your submission should be relevant to the community. If you are new to polyamory, feel free to submit your transitioning story or questions for upcoming Q&A. We accept all forms of media (written word, pictures, video, audio) as long as they are original and do not infringe on existing copyright. You are welcome to submit non-original content for consideration as long it is properly attributed.

Click here to submit your post or idea.

Graphic Artists
We are also seeking an experienced Production Artist to be responsible for layout of news articles/blog pieces using InDesign and Photoshop and web posting utilizing WordPress.

Confidentiality Notice
The Black & Poly website is publicly accessible on the internet. If you choose to use your legal name in your submission, you are responsible for safeguarding your personal information and relationship agreements in your posts. Please be cautious when discussing your location, marital status, job, children, other partners, social media profiles, illegal activity, and any other personally identifying information. Even when using an assumed name, you are ultimately responsible for what you post.

If you want to support Black & Poly, check out our Patreon!

New Editor for the Black and Poly Magazine

Welcome to the Black & Poly magazine! I am your new editor. Simply put, my job is to bring to you the voices of the black community who are practicing consensual nonmonogamy. In these pages, you will read about love, relationships, and identity. We will share what we do in our lives, how we see ourselves, and what we want for the world.

Why is there a need for Black & Poly? I have long had this theory that nonmonogamy is familiar to the black community. Mainstream polyamory has an accepted history that is centered on white, middle-class experiences. Our goal is to highlight the experiences of others who have lived before and after the term was put in the dictionary. There's no one way to do polyamory, and the diversity in styles you'll see will be just as diverse as our community.

What qualifies me to edit the blog? I have considered myself polyamorous for nine years. I will expand on my experiences in future posts, but for now I have healthy relationships that meet my needs. I am a leader in the local polyamory community and I draw on my life history to help others. As far as writing, I have been a word nerd for all my life. I edited our high school literary magazine and a regional newsletter in college. I have written fiction published online. I currently manage three websites and I wrote my senior thesis in an entirely different language (Russian).

If you are interested in contributing to the blog, contact us and submit your ideas. We are interested in hearing from people who identify with the black community and are pursuing non-monogamous relationships. You can be single, married, solo-poly, relationship anarchist, straight, or queer. We welcome fiction, essays, interviews, poetry, audio, and video that are about your experiences in this life. Even if you are new to polyamory, we welcome your questions and stories of exploration. Everyone has a voice that can be shared with the community.

Through the work of Ron Young and others, I see the Black & Poly community growing from local meetups and a Facebook group to a global, interconnected community of lovers and activists. Our online presence may be your first view of these relationships, but real learning comes from interacting with experienced practitioners and, of course, making your own mistakes. I hope to continuously encourage you to live your truth and embrace love despite the criticism and judgments you will see in the mainstream world. The Black & Poly community will be here to support you.

-Crystal
image of Crystal Farmer

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