Consensual Affective Non-Monogamies and (De)Politicization.

A Reflection on the Transformative Potential of Polyamory


  • Nicole Braida University of Turin, Italy



The article aims to address the questions: Can theories and practices of Consensual Affective Non-Monogamies (particularly polyamory) contribute to social change and challenge the status quo? What are the different political positions of individuals who engage in these relational forms and are active within the polyamorous community networks? After introducing the terms CANM (Consensual Affective Non-Monogamies) and polyamory, as well as the research conducted in Italy between 2016 and 2020, the article highlights some results that demonstrate the interviewees’ inclination to question certain norms, including those related to gender identities and gender roles. Furthermore, the polyamorous community appears to adhere to anti-patriarchal values and place a central focus on the theme of consent. However, within the community, there are diverse political positions, and no strong common political demands seem to exist. The article concludes that the subversive potential of CANMs is mitigated by the polyamorous community’s adherence to generally liberal and middle-class principles, as well as its substantial depoliticization.   Keywords: consensual non-monogamies, polyamory, non-normative relationships, social change, sexual politics.


2023-06-07 — Updated on 2023-06-07