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 encounter exciting things I think you should know about. While this list is obviously London-centric, it’s also useful for many people exploring polyamory across the UK. Either way, no matter what form of non-monogamy you practice, there’s definitely something that will interest you below.
If you’re interested in meeting other poly people as friends and discovering a sense of community, then here are some of the meet-ups and events that take place in London.
I’ve recently launched a low-key drinks event, aimed at helping people build their ethically non-monogamous network in London. This event will probably take place every six weeks and you can find out more information by following me on Instagram and signing up to our mailing list.
Ruby Rare’s Guide to Non-Monogamy
If you’re new to non-monogamy, 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 gives a great overview of the many categories and terms you may encounter 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 various perspectives. 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. It 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 of 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 chatting 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 many people, and sometimes it can be hard to find a chair. You simply 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.
I went to my first Poly Day in 2019 and really enjoyed it. This annual event takes place in London every October and apparently is the largest in Europe. 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 because this volunteer-run event is coordinated by so many LGBT+ people and professional relationship therapists. The sessions were genuinely interesting and were focused 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.
Please note: there will be no Poly Day in 2021, but they plan to hold it again in 2022.
Polyamorous Facebook groups
A couple of Facebook groups 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 has an 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 how people would advertise something else, such as a room for rent, which is quite funny but works well. Even though this group is predominantly straight, many people are 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 many 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, 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: I don’t link to NSFW content. 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.
Kink community play parties
Many play parties 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 participate 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 in London over the last 16 years, 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.
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 luxe international private members club for bisexual women who host 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. They recently started running events online, so sign-up for their mailing list if you’re interested.
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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