"OkCupid and the mainstreaming of polyamory"
SBS, Australia's version of public radio and TV, posted this trendspotting think piece on its website today.
I'm quoting it at length because it illustrates that the world is coming to see that polyamorous relationships are a real thing, that people do them successfully, and that they'll increasingly be a part of society's future.
OkCupid and the mainstreaming of polyamory
Comedian Brydie Lee-Kennedy looks at the shift in popular culture regarding multiple partners.
By Brydie Lee-Kennedy
When was the first time you heard someone use the word “polyamory” in conversation? Or just “poly”? How about “open relationship” or “non-monogamy”? Chances are, it was some time in the last couple of years, as less conventional relationships have moved into the mainstream consciousness.
...In recent years... the concept and practice of open relationships has become demystified as more and more people realise that it is, for many, a viable and fulfilling lifestyle choice. Pop culture and the media have certainly contributed to this shift. There’s been thinkpiece on top of thinkpiece on the issue (of which I suppose this is one, but bear with me) and personal essays of non-monogamy enthusiasts have been published everywhere from Vice to the New York Times.
...Strangely, as the rest of the world has started to embrace non-monogamy as a valid relationship choice, dating apps and websites have been slow to catch-up. On apps like Tinder, users are free to mention that they are in an open relationship and looking for other partners but there are no checks in place. The user may simply be looking to cheat, as their primary partner would have no way of confirming their claims on the app itself. For this reason, many other users may shy away from matching with this person, for fear of being party to infidelity.
...And even when a user is telling the truth about being in an open relationship, mainstream dating sites and apps have typically not allowed people to view or contact every person involved to make sure things are above board.
OkCupid, one of the stalwarts of internet dating since its launch in 2004, has now designed a feature specifically for its polyamorous and non-monogamous users....
It is also an extremely welcome move for the polyamorous community. Non-monogamy takes many forms and the rules of relationships will differ couple to couple (or triad to triad or polyfamily to polyfamily etc.). But probably the most important and valuable tenet in any relationship is respect and trust.
So OkCupid’s new feature is not only another step on the road to normalising alternative relationship models. It is also a valuable tool for polyamorous people who wish to maintain the highest standards of openness and transparency with all of their partners.
Read the whole article (January 15, 2016).
Polyfolks embraced OkCupid years ago because you can custom-tailor your searches to find matches regarding particular things that are highly important to you. If you know how; it takes some knowledge and effort.
Since my post last week about OkCupid's new poly-partner linking feature, I've found another guide to using OkC for poly dating: at Tristan Taormino's extensive Opening Up website for her book of the same name. It may be a bit dated but here it is, along with the others I've cited for quick reference:
● In-depth guide to poly dating on OkCupid (at OpeningUp.net).
● A briefer version at PolyInfo.org (scroll down to the OkCupid section).
● Get the Chrome plugin extension that streamlines things: OkCupid for the Non-Mainstream User.
● If your partner(s) are also on OkCupid, you can link to them simply by double-bracketing their OkC names in your profile. For instance, "My other partners are [[UserName]] and [[Username]]." (With their permission, of course.)