Navigating Ethical Queer Non-Monogamy for Newbs

Jun 24, 2021

Navigating Ethical Queer Non-Monogamy for Newbs

This content has been produced in partnership between Durex UK and HER as part of the #MySexMyWay campaign. 

For too long the world’s understanding of sex and intimacy has been focused exclusively on cisgender heterosexual experiences, meaning that the health and well-being of the queer and trans community are left behind when it comes to sex education, information, and representation. That’s why Durex has launched an extensive survey to better understand and expand on topics relating to LGBTQ+ sex, hoping to identify individual experiences within a greatly underserved community. With the specifics of how queer, trans, and nonbinary people and how they relate to one another, Durex hopes to better understand and support everyone, so that each person can enjoy sex their way — safely, consensually, and with the confidence to bring their whole selves into any intimate situation.

As part of this mission, we have created a range of articles that provide you with information to help you live your sex life your way. Join us in completing the UK’s largest LGBTQ+ sex survey from Durex, solely aimed at the LGBTQ+ community, and share your experiences to help us enable everyone to live their sex lives, their way.

👉 Link to Survey 👈

LGBTQ people have often been rulebreakers of the defined heteronormative and patriarchal ideas of relationships, and so while polyamory isn’t always queer, many queer people are polyamorous.

Whether you’ve been in poly relationships before or are new to the idea, it’s always good to center yourself on the foundation of ethical non-monogamy and how these relationships work.

The key part of ‘ethical non-monogamy’ is ethical. Consent is the most important part of polyamory in all its forms.

Making sure your partners are on board with all aspects (aka informed consent) will ensure a much more positive experience and avoid conflict. 

Ask yourselves these questions:

  • Are you both open to new relationships and will they be romantic and sexual or just one or the other?
  • How much do you want to know about the time they spend with other partners?
  • Can they date people you know? Your friends?

Making agreements ahead of time on what is acceptable and what is not will keep you from transgressing each other’s boundaries later on.

There are several types of relationships that fall under ethical non-monogamy, including open relationships, swinging, or monogamish, which is when you’re largely with one partner but open to certain experiences with others.

But you can be an individual who is non-partnered and still be poly — or you can have one, two, or more partners. It’s really based on your own wants and needs and partners who align with them.

What often derails poly relationships are the same things that do monogamous ones — jealousy, lying, or cheating.

Ethical non-monogamy requires respect for your partners and their respect for you.

Setting boundaries with your partners and sharing information based on your comfort level is imperative. Regular check-ins and structure will keep you from breaking trust or feeling insecure. 

RB-M-41255

Kris is a VA native with roots in DC and the Bay Area. As a reformed shy kid, Kris has found her voice by sharing, centering, and celebrating her experiences as a Black Queer folks. When she’s not co-hosting the Bad Queers Podcast @badqueerspod, she enjoys filling her belly with pho, ramen, or any non-American foods, binging documentaries, and enjoying time with her family and friends. You can follow Kris on IG @kris.chess and on Twitter @kidnamedkris

Newsletter Sign Up


    Her Logo

    HER is here to connect queer women, non-binary, trans and gender non-confirming folks. We want to connect you to your person. A travel buddy, a friend in a new city or love for life.

    HER App
    Supports & legals
    Add us on socials