The Mainstream Media Still Doesn’t Understand Polyamory

Complaints from a self-proclaimed idealist who knows

Sophie Lucido Johnson
10 min readJan 19, 2024
All illustrations and photos are by the author, who is me, Sophie Lucido Johnson.

The media is once again buzzing about polyamory. There’s a new book from Penguin Random House called “More” by Molly Roden Winter, a Park Slope mom who opens up her marriage, and it’s receiving a bunch of attention. New York Magazine published a big package on polyamory, moored by a feature by Allison P. Davis that follows some child-free New Yorkers in a polycule. To be frank, I tend to feel a little left out when this happens. “I published a book about this five years ago!” I want to whine. (I guess I do whine it. I’m demonstrably whining now.) When I wrote the book, plenty of people told me polyamory was too fringe or niche to really gain traction.

In the past five years, the topic has gained some traction. Statistics are slippery, because a lot of folks in poly configurations want to keep their lifestyles private. Nevertheless, there’s been a steady reported increase of individuals who say that they practice polyamory in the past decade. In my own reporting on the subject, I’ve met people like Laura Boyle, who have been independently gathering data on and about polyamorous people for years, and there are tons of grassroots movements to create and provide resources outside of the mainstream. There are even laws being considered for the…