Willow Smith, 18, wouldn’t mind being in a relationship with not one, but two people. The singer made headlines when she opened up about her interest in being part of a relationship that’s known as a polyamorous throuple during her appearance on her mom Jada Pinkett Smith‘s online talk show, Red Table Talk on June 24. “I love men and women equally. I’d want one man, one woman. I feel like I could be polyfidelitous [in a committed relationship with multiple people] with those two people,” she told Jada and her grandmother Adrienne Banfield Norris on the show. “I’m not the kind of person that is constantly looking for new sexual experiences.” So, what is polyamory and what does it mean to be part of a polyamorous throuple? Here are five things you need to know about the relationship.
1.) A polyamorous throuple comes from the practice of polyamory. Polyamory is when a person has a romantic relationship with more than one partner and all parties involved consent to it. Polyamorous relationships can involve as many people as the people involved want, including three, four and even five or more people. Three person relationships are known as triads or vees, four person relationships are known as quads, and moresomes are when there are five or more people involved, according to Psychology Today. A throuple is the term used to explain the three people that are involved (just like a “couple” in a traditional two-person relationship).
2.) A polyamorous relationship is not always sexual. In some cases, people involved in these types of relationships are looking for just platonic emotional connections so it’s very possible that some of them have no sexual contact with each other. The term used to describe this is polyaffective.
3.) As of 2019, the primary race of people who practice polyamory is white. The majority of these people live in Australia, Canada, the US, and Western Europe, according to a 15-year study by Psychology Today. They are usually middle or upper class, highly educated people who work in information technology, education, or healthcare. Some are also legally married to either one of the people involved or someone else who they may be separated from at the time. Some also have kids.
4.) There have been many celebrities who admitted to being in a polyamorous relationship aka an ‘open relationship’. British actress Tilda Swinton has been open about being in involved with playwright John Byrne, who is the father of her twins, and another lover named Sandro Kopp. Rapper T-Pain has also admitted to sometimes sleeping with other women together with his wife although he denied having a traditional open relationship. Comedian Mo’Nique told Barbara Walters that she and her husband Sidney Hicks have an “open relationship”, and of course, Sister Wives star Kody Brown has multiple wives, which is spotlighted on his reality series.
5.) The spotlight on polyamory can be seen in various forms of media. There have been multiple documentaries and reality series about the relationship type, including the Showtime series Polyamory: Married & Dating, which aired from 2012 until 2013. It focused on the struggles of polyamory. Al Jean, who is known as the showrunner of the popular animated series The Simpsons, also put a spotlight on polyamory in 2019, when he admitted he could see the character of Lisa Simpson being polyamorous in future episodes.