The group, which supports ethical non-monogamy, sent an open letter to Meta on Thursday, urging Facebook to allow users to list more than one relationship status in their profiles.
The letter, initiated by the Organization for Polyamorphic and Ethical Non-Monogamy or OPEN, said Facebook’s current policies were “arbitrary” and “excluded”. The signatories were leaders of groups such as the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom and the Center for Positive Sexuality.
A Meta spokesman said the company was reviewing the letter, noting that one of the statuses that users can opt for on Facebook is in an “open relationship”. The change that petitioners are asking for will allow them to list all their romantic partners.
According to a 2017 survey, about 20 percent of people say they have participated in consensual non-monogamy. According to OPEN CEO Brett Chamberlain, today the term includes “basilion niche terms.” The most popular terms include “polyamory”, which means meeting several people at once, and “swinging”, which describes when people in a relationship change partners.
A newer record is “relationship anarchy”, in which participants break all the expected norms involved in a romantic relationship and follow only the rules set by the people involved.
“Ethical non-monogamy is nothing new, but technologies such as the Internet have made it easier for people to form and lead a society that may not have been accepted in mainstream culture before,” said Mr Chamberlain.
Today, people who are interested in opening up their relationship can turn to podcasts and polyamore coaches for advice and join dating apps like Feeld and #open to meet like-minded people. Consensual non-monogamy even reached Vogue magazine, where one writer asked: “Is monogamy over?
People have become more public about their non-monogamous relationships, as well as writing articles and social media posts about their experiences.
Last month, TikTok star Taylor Frank Paul, with 3.6 million subscribers, spoke live about open marriage. Ms. Paul, a member of the Mormon Church, told viewers that she, her husband, and some of their friends would engage in a “soft swing” in which “you do not go all the way and go to the end.” Ms Paul also said she and her husband were currently in the process of divorcing, which was partly due to Ms Paul’s decision to break the rules of their agreement.
The most famous people who have publicly discussed their experiences with non-monogamy may be Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. Last year, Mr. Smith told GQ about the period during which his marriage was open.
“We gave each other confidence and freedom, in the belief that everyone should find their own way,” the actor said. “And for us, marriage can not be a prison.” Willo Smith, the couple’s daughter, talked about polygamy on Red Table Talk, a show she co-hosts with her mother and grandmother.
Part of the shift towards more acceptance may be generation. In a YouGov poll that surveyed about 1,340 people and asked them to describe their “ideal relationship” on a “completely monogamous” to “completely non-monogamous” scale, 43 percent of millennials said their ideal relationship would be at least non-monogamous, compared to Gen Xers. Compared to 30 percent and Baby Boomers 25 percent.
Despite the growing normalization of non-monogamy as a practice, Mr. Chamberlain said many people who participate in it are still afraid to make their way of life public.
“You may be fired, denied housing or lose custody due to the structure of your intimate relationship,” he said. The goal of his organization, which he and two others founded in April, is to raise awareness and create more acceptance of non-monogamous relationships.
“In the long run, one of the projects of culture and society is giving people more space to be in the consensual relationships they have chosen,” he said. He cited the movement for LGBTQ rights as one such project. Consensual non-monogamy, he added, “is the next chapter.”