The representation of polyamorous relationships in popular media

The Representation of Polyamorous Relationships in Popular Media

Polyamorous relationships, which involve the involvement of more than two partners in a relationship, have become increasingly popular and accepted in recent years. But despite this, they still remain largely underrepresented in mainstream media.

History of Polyamorous Representation

Though polyamory has been around for centuries, its representation in popular media is still in its infancy. Recent decades have seen a slight shift in the way media portrays polyamorous lifestyles. In the 1990s, there were a few television characters who engaged in polyamorous relationships, although these weren’t widely publicized. This trend continued into the 2000s, and in 2010, the Syfy series Caprica featured an openly polyamorous relationship.

Recent Representation in Popular Media

Recently, more and more mainstream films and television shows have begun to feature prominent characters who are involved in polyamorous relationships.

The following are a few examples of popular shows that have showcased or explored polyamory:

  • Sense8 – A Netflix sci-fi drama that follows eight characters living in different cities who become mentally and emotionally linked with each other.
  • You Me Her – An unconventional romantic comedy on Netflix that follows a three-way polyamorous relationship.
  • The Bold Type – A Freeform series that features a lesbian character who is in a polyamorous relationship.
  • The End of the F***ing World – A British dark comedy that follows a teenage couple who explore a polyamorous relationship.

Still, there is a long way to go before polyamory is accepted in popular media, and many television shows and films still do not feature polyamorous relationships at all.

The Challenges of Representing Polyamory

Though there is an increasing amount of media representation of polyamorous relationships, this often comes with its own set of challenges. Many people who are not familiar with polyamorous lifestyles may view these portrayals as sensationalized or unrealistic. This can lead to misconceptions and misunderstandings that can further stigmatize polyamorous relationships.

Also, portrayals of polyamory can often be mired in stereotypes, particularly in regards to the types of people who engage in polyamory. It is important for media entity to put effort into accurately portrays polyamorous relationships as an accepted lifestyle choice.


As polyamory becomes accepted as a valid form of relationship, its representation in popular media is slowly increasing. It is important for creators of media to strive to portray polyamorous relationships accurately and without any prejudices, to help create a more open and accepting society.

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