National Polyamory Day

Group of diverse individuals dressed in colorful outfits, surrounded by hearts, embracing each other in a park setting..
National polyamory day illustration

Whoever said 'two's company, three's a crowd' clearly didn't appreciate the joys of National Polyamory Day. As we delve into it, you'll be tripping over the love triangles. Get ready for compromise, communication, and a whole lotta love!

When is Polyamory Day?

It's national polyamory day on the 23rd November.

History of National Polyamory Day

The digital birth of National Polyamory Day can be traced back to the year 2019 when it started getting recognition in the online world. With the peak mentions on November 23, 2019, it looks like the day is gaining ground as a celebration of love in all its varied forms. Polyamory, not bound by the traditional confines of monogamy, means 'many loves', and this day serves as a beacon of acceptance for polyamorous relationships.

What is Celebrated?

National Polyamory Day is the perfect opportunity for everyone, especially those part of the polyamorous community, to celebrate the beauty and complexity of their relationships. It is also an opportunity to debunk myths, eliminate stigma, and foster better understanding and acceptance of the polyamorous lifestyle. The day suggests communication, honesty and most importantly, love, are the foundations of all successful relationships - polyamorous or otherwise.

How it's Celebrated

The day is usually marked by various activities and events both virtual and real-world. Online communities buzz with celebrations from sharing personal stories and tips on maintaining polyamorous relationships to educating the less-informed about the true essence of polyamory. It's all about focusing on love - the variety and abundance of it!

Polyamory in Pop Culture

Polyamory has been surfacing more and more in pop culture, with representation increasing in film, TV and literature, helping to create visibility for the community and normalize the conversation about it. So why not celebrate this day with a film marathon of poly-friendly movies?

History behind the term 'Polyamory'


Birth of the term 'polyamory'

In 1990, the term 'polyamory' was coined independently by Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart, an American Neopagan author, and Jennifer L. Wesp, a polyamorous sexual freedom activist. The term was created as an alternative to the word 'polygamy,' which often referred to the practice of having multiple spouses. Polyamory, however, emphasizes the possibility of having multiple loving and consensual relationships beyond marriage.


Coined Term

In the year 1990, the term 'polyamory' was coined by a family therapist and author named Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart. She used the term as an extension of the existing practice of polygamy and polyamorous relationships. This term became a new way to describe the concept of having multiple loving, consensual relationships at the same time.


The Birth of a Term

The term 'polyamory' was coined in 1990 by Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart, an influential pagan writer and priestess. She wanted to create a word that would encompass the idea of loving multiple partners ethically and consensually, in contrast to cheating or infidelity. By combining the Greek word 'poly', meaning many, with the Latin word 'amor', meaning love, she created the term 'polyamory'. This gave a name to a concept that had been practiced throughout history but lacked a specific label.


Emergence of the Free Love Movement

Polyamory traces its roots back to the 1960s with the emergence of the Free Love Movement. This movement challenged traditional notions of monogamy and embraced the idea that individuals had the freedom to engage in multiple romantic and sexual relationships. Influenced by the sexual revolution and counterculture movements of the time, the Free Love Movement set the stage for the exploration of non-monogamous relationships.


The Coining of the Term

The term 'polyamory' was coined in 1990 by Jennifer L. Wesp, a bisexual activist, and writer, to describe the concept of having multiple intimate relationships concurrently with the knowledge and consent of all individuals involved. It derived from the Greek word 'poly,' meaning many, and the Latin word 'amor,' meaning love.


Coined Term

The term 'polyamory' was coined in 1990 by a pagan, Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart, who is often referred to as the godmother of polyamory. She created the word by combining the Greek word 'poly' meaning many or several, and the Latin word 'amor' meaning love. Polyamory, therefore, translates to 'many loves' or 'multiple loves.' This term was intended to serve as an alternative to 'swinging' or 'open relationship' and to emphasize the focus on emotional connections rather than just sexual encounters.


Emergence of the term

The term 'polyamory' was coined in 1990 by a group of individuals involved in a polyamorous relationship. They wanted a term that could encompass the idea of having multiple romantic partners with the knowledge and consent of all those involved. The term was created by combining the Greek root 'poly,' meaning many, with the Latin word 'amor,' meaning love.


The birth of the term

In the year 1990, the term 'polyamory' was coined by Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart, a pagan activist and author. The word is derived from the Greek roots 'poly' meaning 'many' and 'amor' meaning 'love'. It was introduced as an alternative to the traditional concept of monogamy, recognizing the possibility of loving more than one person simultaneously.


Free love movement

In the 1960s, the concept of polyamory began to gain traction as an offshoot of the free love movement. The free love movement emerged as a protest against traditional sexual and relationship norms, advocating for the abolition of restrictions on sexual and emotional relationships. This movement laid the foundation for the later development of polyamory.


Introduction of polyamory to wider audience

In 1992, the term 'polyamory' started gaining more recognition when it appeared in an article titled 'A Bouquet of Lovers' written by Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart for the Green Egg Magazine. The article aimed to raise awareness about the concept of ethical non-monogamy, attracting attention from various individuals and communities interested in exploring alternative relationship structures.


Polyamory in Popular Culture

By the year 1997, the term 'polyamory' began to gain more recognition and visibility in popular culture. The book 'The Ethical Slut' by Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy, which focused on non-monogamous relationships, became widely read and discussed. This book played a significant role in introducing the concept of polyamory to a broader audience, further popularizing the term.


The Polyamory Movement Begins

In 1992, the first gathering of self-identified polyamorous people took place in Berkeley, California. This gathering marked the beginning of the polyamory movement, providing a platform for individuals to discuss and explore the idea of non-monogamous relationships that prioritize open communication, honesty, and respect.


Polyamory Enters the Public Eye

In 1997, the term 'polyamory' gained significant attention when Zell-Ravenheart and her partner entered a national survey on sexual habits conducted by the Kinsey Institute. Their inclusion of 'polyamory' as a relationship style sparked public interest and discussions about non-monogamous relationships. This exposure helped bring polyamory into mainstream consciousness and allowed for further exploration and understanding of diverse relationship structures.


Polyamory coined

In 1990, the term 'polyamory' was coined by Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart, an influential figure in the pagan community. She sought to create a more positive and inclusive term to describe non-monogamous relationships that emphasized love and multiple partnerships. The term 'polyamory' combines the Greek words 'poly' (meaning 'many') and 'amory' (meaning 'love').


Entering mainstream awareness

In 1999, the term 'polyamory' gained broader recognition and awareness through the publication of the book 'The Ethical Slut: A Guide to Infinite Sexual Possibilities' by Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy. This book provided a positive and practical guide to consensual non-monogamy, discussing principles, communication, and ethical considerations in polyamorous relationships. It served as a catalyst for discussions and acceptance of non-traditional relationship styles.


First published use

In 1997, the term 'polyamory' gained wider recognition when it was published in an article by Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart, a prominent figure in the polyamory community. The article, titled 'A Bouquet of Lovers,' aimed to introduce and explain the term to a broader audience. It discussed the principles, ethics, and experiences of polyamory, helping to spread awareness and understanding of the concept.


The Term 'Polyamory' is Coined

In 1990, the term 'polyamory' was coined by Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart, a pagan activist and author. Zell-Ravenheart intended the term to be a more inclusive alternative to terms like 'swinging' and 'open relationship.' 'Polyamory' combines the Greek words 'poly,' meaning 'many,' and 'amor,' meaning 'love.' This term encompassed the ethical practice of having multiple loving relationships simultaneously, with the knowledge and consent of all involved.


Polyamory Magazine

In 1997, a landmark moment for polyamory was the publication of the first issue of the 'Loving More' magazine. This magazine, founded by Ryam Nearing and her partner Robyn Trask, aimed to provide support, information, and community for those practicing or interested in polyamory. The magazine played a crucial role in spreading awareness about polyamory and fostering a sense of belonging for individuals involved in multiple loving relationships.


Polyamory Recognized in the Dictionary

The cultural impact of polyamory continued to grow when the term was officially added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2006. This recognition by a widely respected linguistic authority solidified polyamory's place in the English language and acknowledged its significance as a valid relationship model. The dictionary definition describes polyamory as the practice of having simultaneous intimate relationships with more than one partner, with the knowledge and consent of all parties involved.


Growing Awareness and Acceptance

In the year 2010, the awareness and acceptance of polyamory continued to grow. Various online communities, forums, and support groups emerged, connecting people who identified as polyamorous and providing them with a platform to discuss their experiences and challenges. This helped in fostering a sense of belonging and normalizing the concept of polyamory.

Late 1990s

Polyamory community formation

During the late 1990s, various polyamory discussion groups and online communities started to emerge. These communities provided spaces for individuals practicing or interested in polyamory to connect, share experiences, and discuss relationship dynamics. The internet played a crucial role in expanding the reach of the polyamory community and facilitating the exchange of ideas and support.


Polyamory in popular culture

Over the past decade, polyamory has increasingly made its way into popular culture, thanks to various television shows, movies, and literature that explore and depict non-monogamous relationships. One notable example is the television series 'Polyamory: Married & Dating,' which premiered in 2012 and provided an intimate look into the lives of polyamorous individuals and their journeys navigating multiple relationships. The increased visibility in media has sparked conversations, acceptance, and understanding of polyamory as a valid and legitimate relationship choice.


Polyamory Enters Mainstream Usage

Polyamory started gaining recognition and entered mainstream usage in 1997 when the Counseling Center at the University of California, Berkeley offered a workshop on polyamory as part of their programming. This workshop not only introduced the concept to a wider audience but also helped foster a sense of community among polyamorous individuals.


Polyamory in the Dictionary

Polyamory entered mainstream consciousness in 1999 when it was officially added to the Oxford English Dictionary. This inclusion provided an acknowledgment of the term's growing usage and recognized polyamory as a legitimate relationship orientation. The definition described polyamory as 'the practice of engaging in multiple sexual relationships with the consent of all the people involved.' This step contributed significantly to the visibility and acceptance of polyamory in contemporary society.


Inclusion in the Oxford English Dictionary

The term 'polyamory' gained significant recognition in 2004 when it was officially included in the Oxford English Dictionary. This inclusion further solidified its place in the English language and signaled a growing acceptance and acknowledgment of non-monogamous relationship structures.


Polyamory Enters Mainstream Awareness

The year 1997 marked a significant step in the recognition and acceptance of polyamory as a valid relationship orientation. The publication of 'The Ethical Slut: A Guide to Infinite Sexual Possibilities' by Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy brought the concept of polyamory to a wider audience. The book provided practical advice and ethical frameworks for navigating polyamorous relationships, encouraging healthy communication, and emphasizing consent and honesty among all partners involved.


Polyamory enters academic discourse

Polyamory began to receive academic attention in 1997 when Dr. Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart and her partner, Oberon Zell-Ravenheart, presented a research paper titled 'A Bouquet of Lovers: Strategies for Responsible Open Relationships' at the Case Western Reserve University's National Sexuality Conference. This presentation facilitated the inclusion of polyamory in academic discussions, further contributing to its growing recognition.


Polyamory in Media and Literature

The year 2009 saw an increase in the representation of polyamory in media and literature. Popular TV shows like 'Big Love' and 'Sister Wives' explored the dynamics of polyamorous relationships, bringing awareness and understanding to a wider audience. Books like 'The Ethical Slut' by Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy became bestsellers, providing guidance and insights into polyamorous lifestyles.


Polyamory as an emerging social movement

The late 1990s witnessed an increasing interest in polyamory as a viable relationship style. The internet played a crucial role in connecting practitioners, facilitating the sharing of resources, experiences, and building communities. Online forums, discussion groups, and websites dedicated to polyamory emerged, providing a platform for individuals to explore, learn, and engage with like-minded people.


Growing acceptance and recognition

In recent years, there has been a growing acceptance of polyamorous relationships in many parts of the world. Non-monogamy and polyamory have been actively discussed and explored within academia, with scholars examining the complexities, benefits, and challenges of such relationship structures. Furthermore, numerous pride parades and events now include representation and support for polyamory, highlighting a shift in societal attitudes towards accepting diverse forms of love and relationships.


Media Representation and Popularization

In recent years, polyamory has gained increased media representation, contributing to its growing visibility and public understanding. Television shows, such as 'Polyamory: Married & Dating' and 'You Me Her,' have explored polyamorous relationships, providing a platform for discussion and dispelling misconceptions. This exposure has generated more public interest, opened up conversations about relationship diversity, and helped debunk myths surrounding polyamory.


Popularity and mainstream awareness

In recent years, polyamory has gained increasing popularity and mainstream awareness. The TV show 'You Me Her,' which premiered in 2016, focused on a polyamorous relationship and brought the concept into the homes of millions. This increased visibility has sparked conversations and debates about the nature of relationships and societal expectations, challenging traditional notions of monogamy.


Polyamory in Media Representation

In recent years, the term 'polyamory' has gained more media attention and representation. Television shows like 'Polyamory: Married & Dating' and 'You Me Her' explored the complexities and dynamics of polyamorous relationships, reaching a wider audience and sparking conversations about non-traditional relationship structures. This increased visibility has contributed to a greater understanding and acceptance of polyamory in society.


Polyamory on Television

The year 2010 marked a significant moment for polyamory in popular culture. Showtime, a popular cable network, aired a reality TV series called 'Polyamory: Married & Dating.' The groundbreaking show offered an intimate look into the lives of polyamorous families and their relationships. By taking polyamory out of the shadows and showcasing it on television, the series helped increase awareness and understanding of this non-traditional relationship style.


Polyamory Gains Visibility in Popular Culture

Polyamory gained further visibility in popular culture with the premiere of the reality TV series 'Polyamory: Married & Dating' in 2012. This series followed the lives of several polyamorous families, exploring their dynamics, challenges, and triumphs. The show contributed to a broader understanding of polyamory and sparked conversations about alternative relationship structures.

Early 2000s

Polyamory and LGBTQ+ community intersections

In the early 2000s, there was a significant intersection between the polyamory and LGBTQ+ communities. This overlap was fueled by shared experiences of marginalization and a desire for alternative relationship models. Many LGBTQ+ individuals found the ethos of polyamory appealing, leading to increased visibility and acceptance of polyamorous relationships within the broader LGBTQ+ community.


Growing Acceptance and Recognition

In recent years, there has been a notable shift in the cultural acceptance and recognition of polyamory. More individuals are openly practicing ethical non-monogamy and advocating for diverse relationship options. Polyamory has gained visibility through online communities, social media platforms, and books exploring the topic. As society continues to evolve, conversations around polyamory emphasize the importance of consent, communication, and ethical considerations in multiple partner relationships.


Polyamory recognition in the media

In 2014, the TV show 'Polyamory: Married & Dating' premiered on Showtime, showcasing polyamorous relationships to a broader audience. This marked a significant milestone in the recognition of polyamory in mainstream media. The show sparked conversations and debates about the viability and legitimacy of non-monogamous relationships, further increasing awareness and understanding of polyamory.


Continued Growth and Community Development

Today, polyamory continues to evolve and grow as a recognized relationship option. There are numerous online communities, support groups, and resources available for individuals practicing or curious about polyamory. Polyamory has also become a subject of academic research and discourse, contributing to a deeper understanding of its dynamics and implications. As society becomes more accepting of diverse relationship structures, the term 'polyamory' remains an important descriptor for those who choose to engage in and explore multiple consensual relationships.


Polyamory gains media attention

In 2009, polyamory gained significant media attention with the release of the documentary film 'Polyamory: When Three Isn't a Crowd.' The documentary aimed to shed light on the experiences of polyamorous individuals and their relationships, challenging societal norms and stereotypes surrounding monogamy. This helped raise awareness and public understanding of polyamory.


Recognition and Acceptance

Polyamory gained increased recognition and acceptance in various societies around the world in 2017. The Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador legally recognized polyamorous relationships in the case of Toussaint v. Canada. This legal development marked a significant step towards acknowledging alternative relationship structures.

Present Day

Growing Acceptance and Recognition

In recent years, polyamory has gained growing acceptance and recognition. Many countries and communities have started acknowledging the rights and legal protections of individuals in polyamorous relationships. Furthermore, various online platforms and support groups have emerged, providing resources and fostering community for those practicing or interested in polyamory. As conversations surrounding relationships continue to evolve, polyamory remains a significant component of the broader landscape of non-traditional relationships.


Growing acceptance and academic research

Polyamory has seen a steady growth in acceptance and understanding in recent years. Academic research on polyamory has increased, exploring various aspects such as relationship dynamics, communication strategies, and personal experiences. Moreover, more countries and regions are recognizing polyamorous relationships legally, granting rights and protections to individuals involved in such relationships. The polyamory movement continues to evolve and challenge societal norms around love, relationships, and sexuality.


Polyamory enters the dictionary

A notable milestone occurred in 2017 when the term 'polyamory' was officially added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. This recognition indicated the term's widespread usage and cultural significance. Adding 'polyamory' to reputable dictionaries further solidified its place in mainstream discussions about relationships and alternative lifestyles.

Did you know?

Did you know that 'polyamory' is a combination of the Greek word for 'many' and the Latin word for 'love'? Talk about a linguistic love match!


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First identified

23rd November 2017

Most mentioned on

23rd November 2019

Total mentions


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