You’ve done the research, asked the right questions, and feel excited and perhaps a bit nervous to start meeting new people. You’ve discussed boundaries, thought about what your hard limits are, and have begun laying the foundation for incredible communication with your partner. Or if you’re currently solo, you understand the importance of laying a good foundation for when you meet someone. But how do you actually find like minded non-monogamous people?
Whether you are looking to swing, date, find new friends with benefits, or add someone new in a long-term capacity, the honest truth is that Google is not always your friend (as you have probably already figured out). Being non-monogamous is still taboo, and it is probably not something that you are willing to put on your Facebook status, even if the possibility exists that you might “get lucky”. So, with a little discretion in mind, let us look at some practical approaches to finding non-monogamous people.
When my partner and I first decided that we wanted to go beyond an open relationship and find some sexy couples, we were lucky enough to have access to Craigslist. Creating a “looking for” classified ad as it turns out was great practice in honing in on just what you and your partner are seeking. Not only that, but it flexes the muscles that you probably have not used in a long time in regards to describing yourself. And make no mistake, this is not an easy feat. So, while online personal ads are the least secure way to find new people (unless you are utilizing a specific app or platform with built in encryption), I would highly recommend writing a want ad to at least get you started. And who knows if one of these sites will pop up again in the future, right?
Online Dating: Vanilla Sites
In later publications we will discuss in detail how to create a captivating online dating profile, explore what photos to use, and of course how to open a message. For now though, I simply want to state that while using a vanilla based online dating site such as POF, Tinder, or Bumble may seem like a simple way to meet people you may be getting much more than you bargained for. Having a married profile is in direct violation of many of these sites terms and conditions, so you may find yourselves with a suspended account just as you are in the midst of a conversation. Additionally, there are a lot of people who will say anything to get into your pants, or worse, will scorn you for living your own authentic life. So proceed with caution if this is a route you choose to take. With that said, I have had a lot of fun chatting with couples and single people using these mainstream sites, so discounting them entirely especially if you are in a small town may not be a viable option.
Online Dating: Non-Monogamous Sites
There are a vast array of non-monogamous sites (both free, and paid which is up for debate as to what is best for you!) designed specifically with kink, BDSM, swingers, and polyamorous people in mind. The major issue with these sites, and with providing a comprehensive list of all of them, is the activity level on each varies drastically by region. For example, SLS may be huge in some states, while completely dead up in Canada. Or Adult Friend Finder could be hopping in one place, and filled with people just passing through in another. I have high hopes for a new app called #Open taking off due to its diversity, sex positive mandate and many relationship options, but the reality is, it is just not big enough yet to endorse as the end all be all.
But don’t despair because this is one of those instances where Google can come in handy, if you are using the right keywords. Typing in non-monogamous dating sites will probably not yield the best app for your area. So instead try using Swinging, Hookups, Kink, BDSM, Fetish ,Polyamory, and I am so excited that using Sex Positive is now a keyword for many online dating sites and apps too! And if you are looking for something in between, OKCupid has options for many relationship norms as of this publication date (2019) and will allow you to search both monogamous and non-monogamous people within the same site.
Meetups, Events, and Groups
Without question, getting out there and meeting a group of like-minded people face to face is the most efficient and effective method of actually finding people. And in order to do that, you need to know where these people are meeting. One of the easiest ways to begin this journey is by finding a group, event, or meetup. While the majority of these groups are by invite only, they are usually searchable if you know where to look. For example, typing your city and polyamory in your Facebook search engine (or kink etc), a relevant private group will undoubtedly pop up. At this point, you can request to join. A quick note of caution. Many of these groups will show that you are a member to your friends list, so if you don’t want to be outed, consider creating a couples account that no one knows, specifically for this purpose. You can follow the same steps on Meetup.com/ca or any site that boasts a way of bringing people together.
Once you are a member, pay special attention to the posting for events, and social activities. While you may be eager to just jump in the sack (I know I was), your success rate will drastically increase with a larger pool to choose from, rather than just sticking to one-on-one meetups or dates. And for any of you who feel a bit introverted, and don’t think you could handle this, know that you can specifically search groups geared towards the more shy or timid, or people who are uncomfortable with large groups. Searching for exactly what you want, and asking questions of group administrators or event hosts is key to ensuring you have the best time possible. And if available, make sure to read any FAQ pages that are available.
A few additional keyword searches that you can try include munch, cuddle party, lifestyle nights, Dom/Sub, glory holes, orgies nights, and honestly, this list could go on for eternity.
I will be completely honest in saying that my first foray into this exciting world of non-monogamy as a couple, was in my sink or swim, manor. And by that I mean, my partner and I used a Reddit search engine to find a swing club during one of our vacations and never looked back. We relied on anonymous reviews of clubs in the area that we were going to be attending. And ended up choosing the largest one we could find, to exponentially increase our chances of a sexy adventure. While the Reddit/Fetlife message boards can be a little overwhelming, especially when you first get started, there are so many valuable resources, and people to get real recommendations from (mostly non-sponsored). This can be very valuable, as the information a search engine will provide about local clubs is usually pretty sparse or consists of a large number of paid reviews.
Your first experience should be as positive as possible, so do your research and ask some questions from people who have actually attended the clubs for firsthand, unbiased opinions. Once you find a club, ensure that you read the FAQ page before you apply to go (and yes, you should have to fill out an application form prior to attending for the safety and security of the guests). Please note that is perfectly acceptable to just watch, look around, or even have a little chat and leave before any play begins. Clubs are, in my opinion, are the most effective way to network, test out a little spark, and then invite the people you like for a more intimate experience at a later date. Another thing to note is that many clubs have their own website or app built in for meeting new people too(a little secret of the lifestyle). Call this an added bonus of being a member, a sexy venue with added networking.
While this arguably could be the most discounted or underrated way to meet like minded people, my experience has proven quite the contrary. With Twitter specifically, I have met individuals who have absolutely enhanced my life in ways that I could never have imagined. And I know firsthand a couple who have felt the same in regards to Instagram. There is something so freeing about being able to share your experiences on a “secret” account, and connect with other like-minded people in a format not geared towards meeting in person or flirting. When I activated my social media accounts in conjunction with my blog nearly 10 years ago, I didn’t realize the power of those interactions. I have met some of my best friends, had doors opened, and flirted my brains out with people all over the world. If nothing else, it is a minimal risk way to share your new experiences, and witness the experiences of others. You can search for people who are non-monogamous, sex positive, swingers, or any of the aforementioned keywords, and develop your own community.
Once you do start meeting like minded people, you will probably notice that you are bursting at the seams to share your hot, steamy weekend, but alas, the water cooler is not an acceptable place to do this. Social media is such a great outlet for this. As long as you only share what you are comfortable with, respect the privacy of all your partners, and interact ethically, I, and many others use this medium as an outlet, as well as incorporating it into your networking, and non-monogamous finding new people plan. And who knows, maybe you will even find a sexy person or two that you can meet in real life? Anything is possible.
How Do You Choose?
While the above list may seem daunting at first glance, they are all tried and true methods to get out and meet other non-monogamous people. And while you may be tempted to just pick one and go from there, I would highly recommend using a combination of all of the above. The non-monogamous pool is small, and when you start to look for something specific within there, it becomes even smaller. Utilizing every tool in your tool box will help set you up to meet someone special, whether for the night, a few encounters, or something more long term.
A Few Key Things To Keep in Mind
Just like dating, only with more people and variables, non-monogamy can add up quickly. From meetups, to clubs, to online dating memberships, and the travel involved in meeting new people, costs can rise before you know it. So ensure that you are realistic about what you are able to spend, and what you are willing to spend, in short create a budget. This will help you focus on the ultimate goal, without falling into the trap of adding financial stress to your primary relationship. Also, there are some incredible non-monogamous events that you may want to save up for such as attending a resort, partaking in a hotel takeover, or even some of the incredible conferences that are out there.
Privacy and Consent
As previously mentioned, non-monogamy is still considered taboo in many areas of the world. So ensure that you are aware of what you are comfortable disclosing in regards to your life outside of the bedroom. And in the same breath, recognize that outing someone in the lifestyle could have a long lasting and damaging impact on their family life, career, or social circles. Only share what you have obtained explicit consent for, and when that is not possible remain silent. Never out a couple, or share information that has been given to you in trust.
As Dan Savage always says “the rule that applies at campsites shall be applicable to you: you must leave them in at least as good a state (physically and emotionally) as you found them in.”
Remember, the pool is small, so ensure you are an ambassador of your best self, and treat others the way you want to be treated. If you proceed without getting consent, ignore the golden rule, or are constantly drunk/high/belligerent at social gatherings you will be asked to leave, or worse, not allowed to participate in future sexy or networking events. Treat others with respect, and remember that no, always means no.
Have you used a method to find people outside of monogamy that I may have missed? Leave a comment below. Or share your success stories and inspire a future participant!