Like a lot of people new to polyamory, I read The Ethical Slut once and figured I knew everything there was to know. It took me a couple of confusing and painful years to realise I was pretty much flying blind and in need of some serious guidance for navigating non-traditional relationships. Thankfully, I discovered the wonderful world of polyamory podcasts – an amazing resource for those unpacking the assumptions and structures that our mononormative society has taught us in order to enjoy an abundance of love and sex in an ethical way. There is no one right way to do non-monogamy, but if you want to learn how to make a polyamorous relationship work, I recommend binge-listening to a few of these podcasts.
I’m always interested to discover new podcasts about non-monogamy, especially ones with POC or trans/non-binary hosts or from somewhere other than North America, so if you know another great polyamory podcast, please give it a shout-out in the comments below.
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Since discovering the Multiamory podcast, it really has become my go-to relationship resource. Not only is it one of the best polyamory podcasts around but generally offers wise advice for all your relationships – romantic, friends, family, work etc. From managing finances to showing compassion, this podcast will really transform the way you approach life and love.
This podcast is hosted by a trio – Emily, Dedeker and Jase. When I started listening to this podcast, I had many conversations with my partners trying to figure out what the relationship history was between these three, like some ridiculous sexual Sherlock. I’ll leave you to work this out for yourself but it’s really encouraging to see how great they all get along considering their shared history. They definitely come across as the cool kids of non-monogamy – they genuinely seem pretty awesome and of all the polyamory podcasts, these are the guys you’d want to go for a drink with and ask them all your questions.
One of their most comprehensive and useful episodes is about Metamour Troubles & Struggles. Your metamour is your partner’s partner and, as you can imagine, it’s often a relationship that is deeply affected by insecurity. This episode really looks at this dynamic from three useful perspectives: when you don’t like your metamour, when your metamour doesn’t like you and when you’re the one in the middle of two partners who aren’t getting along. Essential listening when partner drama rears its messy head.
Other episodes I love
- 133 – 6 questions you must ask your new partner: an incredibly useful episode, featuring their easy to remember MOVIES acronym that you can use to remember key questions you really should ask on the first and second date.
- 128 – How to support your partner through a break-up: a helpful reminder of how to show love and give space but also respect your own boundaries when your partner is transitioning one of their other relationships.
- 201 – Are you ready to be polyamorous?: if you’re new to polyamory and trying to figure out if it’s really for you, this episode suggests some questions you can consider to work it out for yourself.
Making Polyamory Work
I discovered this amazing podcast after its host, Libby Sinback, was a guest on the NNM podcast (featured below), giving incredibly astute advice on how to transition a relationship. If you’re potentially about to break up with someone, I highly recommend giving that episode a listen.
Libby is a relationship coach, a queer, polyamorous mum and, by her own admission, a huge nerd. Of all the podcasts that I listen to, Making Polyamory Work is the most calming one. When I’m feeling a little bruised and battered by something to do with my relationships, listening to Libby is the audio equivalent of a cosy blanket. The combination of her soothing voice and her insight is incredibly reassuring.
Libby’s Repair and Repair Again episode had a huge impact on me recently. As someone who has always started side-eyeing the break-up button when a relationship hits a bump in the road, it was actually a revelation to realise how damaging my ‘rupture and repair’ cycle is. With the help of this episode’s guidance (plus a very patient and supportive partner), I’m already starting to understand how I can correct this behavioural pattern. I really recommend giving it a listen.
Other episodes I love
- Have better sex with this one weird trick: talks about making consent and communication of desires an essential part of your longterm relationships in a way that you’re like ‘DUH! Why am I not already doing this?’
- When your meta don’t wanna: talks from experience (and in a really impartial way) about what it’s like when your partner’s partner doesn’t want to meet you.
- Taming your woosh: talks about how to manage your acute stress reaction when something triggers you.
I’ll admit, I avoided listening to Normalizing Non-Monogamy for a while because it focuses a lot (but not exclusively) on swinging. Like some other polyamorous people, I’ve been kinda snobbish about swingers. Mainly because it’s almost exclusively something that cis male+female couples do but also because I’m here for the love, not partner swapping. However, this podcast has genuinely helped me to appreciate the diversity of the non-monogamous community.
At first, I thought Finn, who hosts the show with Emma, was properly old. His deep voice, goofy sense of humour and occasional gaffe gave me the impression that he was a non-monogamous grandpa, in the loveliest way. Turns out, both Emma and Finn are in their 30s. They’re a married couple, who were best friends throughout high school (so adorable) and have been exploring the world of non-monogamy together for nearly 15 years. They interview different people in each episode about their experiences exploring non-monogamy. Plus, they also have additional ‘Focus Friday’ episodes that give advice on a variety of related topics.
One of the most moving NNM episodes I’ve listened to is the one where Jill and Jack discuss shame. This couple grew up in the deeply conservative Mennonite community, were married young, transitioned to a different branch of Christianity, then eventually came to understand how much their lives were controlled by shame. They stepped away from organised religion and began to explore non-monogamy together, which is such an incredible journey to hear about.
Other episodes I love
- Episode 118 – KamalaDevi + Michael: listening to this couple discuss their 20+ years of exploring non-monogamy together in such an overwhelmingly positive way is really inspiring.
- Episode 28 – Sapphic Swingers (Tiff + Rach): a hilarious interview with a lesbian couple about how they ended becoming part of the swinging community (which is super rare).
- FF 1.4 – Sexual health part 2 with Courtney Brame: fascinating discussion about the stigmatization of STIs and how to discuss a diagnosis with potential partners.
It’s no surprise that this was one of the first polyamory podcasts that I listened to. Polyamory Weekly has been running since 2005 and now has nearly 600 episodes for you to binge on! Thankfully, they’re all quite short (around 30 minutes each) and have a very upbeat tone, feeling like a series of community announcements with discussions of events, resources, answering a listener question and then featuring a ‘happy poly moment.’
This podcast is hosted by Cunning Minx, whose voice really reminds me of the actress Holly Hunter’s wonderfully seductive drawl. Since 2014, she has also been joined by her partner, Lusty Guy, as the co-host and together they have a fun, informative and cheeky vibe. It’s interesting to hear their perspectives on non-monogamy as they each have decades of experience and now live together along with Lusty Guy’s wife.
One of the episodes I’ve shared most with our polyam friends is the one that explains the difference between Boundaries vs Rules. This one is especially useful for any couple that is in the process of transitioning their relationship from a monogamous one to an open one. As someone who really doesn’t like rules, it really helped me to understand how I could inform my partners of my boundaries and how I would respond if they didn’t respect those boundaries.
Other episodes I love
- 504 – Solo poly with Aggie Sez: amazing episode that discusses the concept of the ‘relationship escalator‘ that helped me to understand that I wanted to practice solo polyamory.
- 533 – Reducing friction in metamour meetups: great discussion about how to prepare for introducing your partners to each other.
- 545 – Kevin Patterson on Love’s Not Color Blind: fascinating discussion on what it’s like to be a POC in the polyamorous community. I really want to read Kevin’s book about this.
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