If you’re beginning to explore the wonderful queer world of polyamorous London, then here’s my guide to all the dating apps, events, podcasts and parties that you’ll probably want to know about. I’ve been active within London’s polyamorous community for two years, so I’m still new to it myself and will keep updating this list as I come across exciting things I think you should know about. While this list is obviously London-centric, it’s also useful for a lot of people exploring polyamory across the UK. Either way, no matter what form on non-monogamy you practice, there’s definitely something that will interest you below.
📷: above photo of Ruby Rare at Trans Pride 2020 CREDIT Minka Guides
If you’re interested in meeting other poly people as friends and to discover a sense of community, then here are some of the meet-ups and events that take place in London.
Ruby Rare’s Guide to Non-Monogamy
If you’re just starting out, be that opening up a mono relationship or trying to explore it solo, then Ruby Rare’s Guide to Nono-Monogamy is a wonderful intro event. Bubbly and colourful Ruby (pictured above) gives a great overview of the many categories and terms you may come across and speaks from her own experience about open relationships. Ruby is bisexual and has a non-binary primary partner (full disclosure: she’s also my housemate), so she has an inclusive perspective on the world of non-monogamy. Follow her on Instagram to see more about her work as a sex educator and a champion of body-positivity.
In addition to her workshop event, Ruby also runs a Non-Monogamous Sharing Circle. These events are less about her talking to everyone but rather everyone talking to each other. Attendees are divided into groups and given topics to discuss, which is quite interesting as you get to hear a variety of perspectives. Both these events are also a great way to meet other people interested in non-monogamy, both in the sharing circles and during the breaks. Be bold and say hello – most people would love to make some new friends in the community.
The London Polyamory Meetup Group
This Meetup event takes place on the first Tuesday of every month at a Wetherspoons pub in central London. Doesn’t sound very sexy right? That’s because it’s not meant to be. These very casual drinks are meant for poly people to chat and make friends with others in the community.
I was very nervous the first time I went to these drinks. I thought it would be full of lots of creepy people and I promised myself that all I had to do was stay for one drink and then could run away. What I discovered was a whole load lovely friendly people who were just there to have a quiet drink with other like-minded non-monogamists. It’s never felt like a predatory environment and I have benefitted from being able to chat to other people about my poly relationship experiences each month.
It can be a bit nerve-racking the first time you turn up as there are a lot of people and it can be hard to find a chair sometimes. You just need to sit down anywhere, say hello and meet the people around you. However, I know for some people that new social situations like this can be quite intimidating. Perhaps try one of their smaller meets first, like the poly women, boardgames or coffee meet (great for people who don’t drink), and make some friends here first.
This annual event takes place in London every October and apparently is the largest of its kind in Europe. I went to my first Poly Day in 2019 and really enjoyed it. Held in a very low-key venue in West London, it’s not the glamorous poly event you’ll attend but it has a great sense of community. I was especially heartened by the fact that this volunteer-run event is co-ordinated by so many LGBT+ people and professional relationship therapists. The sessions were genuinely interesting and were focussed mainly on group-led discussions with nuggets of wisdom from the speakers. It’s my favourite day of the year in the polyamorous London calendar.
Polyamorous Facebook groups
There are a couple of Facebook groups that are good for both dating and making connections in polyamorous London. Some of these are related to IRL meet-up groups and others exist solely online but either way, they are a great way of meeting like-minded people online.
UK Poly Dating Classifieds is quite a good Facebook group with around 3k poly people from around the country. It’s has a very old school vibe, like newspaper classifieds with people advertising themselves as looking for new partners, with photos and a bit about themselves. The format reminds me of the way people would advertise something else, such as a room for rent, which is quite funny but actually works well. Even though this group is predominantly straight, there are a lot of people looking for same-sex or gender non-conforming partners.
Similarly, the UK Polyamory Dating Group looks like it has the same format although I’ve never been a member. In both these groups, there are people from across the UK but there are a lot of people from the polyamorous London community.
Another UK-wide group is Solo Poly UK, for people who approach their relationships autonomously (without a primary or nesting partner) – like me! This isn’t a very active group though but if you’re interested in SoPo advice, try the much bigger Solo Polyamory Facebook group, which is run by Aggie Sez, who wrote the book Stepping Off the Relationship Escalator.
Please note: many of these events are postponed until further notice due to Covid-19 but some are still holding amazing online events. Click on the link to their Instagram for more information. If no link is included below, you can Google their names (or email me for a link) if you’re interested, as I don’t link to NSFW content.
Kink community play parties
There are many play parties that cater to the general BDSM and kink communities, with Klub Verboten, Crossbreed and, of course, Torture Garden being some of the most popular. These parties are fun and have decent DJs, so you won’t feel pressured to take part in any kinky activities if you don’t want to. Make sure you check out the dress code in advance though. There are also a few kink-specific play parties for queers, such as Savage Dreams, and Bi-Kink Club.
Although I’ve been to many kink community parties over the last 16 years in London, I’m not heavily into kink so I can’t comment on what they are like. However, the above parties are the ones I hear about the most about.
Sex-positive play parties
While London has many overtly-hetero swinger parties, like Killing Kittens, Pleasure Island Parties and ZDR, there are some more queer-friendly ones too. Skirt Club is a very luxe international private members club for bisexual women that hosts some play parties in London. Risque is a relatively new cocktail night for non-monogamists that has a very queer-inclusive membership policy. They occasionally throw play parties for their members as well too. I’m also keen to check out the Camp Crumpet play parties, that take place quarterly in London.
The London branch of Kinky Salon (an international movement of social/artistic/sexual salon-style parties – quite like the film Shortbus) was a huge part of the queer poly play party scene for many years. While they sadly stopped doing parties a few years ago, they still do the occasional social event, so it’s still worth signing up for their mailing list.
Some of the founding members of the Kinky Salon’s London branch went on to create The Summer House Weekend, which I haven’t been to yet but I hear incredible things about. This four-day event isn’t in London but in the countryside at a secret location that is accessible by train. Summer House is very popular with the non-monogamous community because it combines workshops, talks, hot tubs, parties and play spaces, which makes for a pretty amazing weekend apparently.
Other social events
Here’s a list of other events in London that are either creative, intimate/sensual, body-positive or queer and good for meeting other people who are non-monogamous:
If you have any other suggestions about polyamorous London, comment below or drop me an email to let me know!
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A lifestyle blog for everyone who questions the norm. From polyamorous relationships and personal growth to queer travel adventures, Minka Guides helps you live a fabulous life with intentionality.