In recent years, polyamory has blossomed in London. What was once a very under-the-radar lifestyle has grown to become a visible, active and supportive community. Some events attract hundreds of people from across the city (and beyond) as an ever-increasing number of Londoners explore life beyond the confines of monogamy. So, if you are visiting the city or live here and are in an open relationship or curious about non-monogamy, here’s everything you need to know about polyamory in London (and across the UK).
If you are new to polyamory, I strongly urge you to learn more about it (and, in turn, yourself). There are plenty of books and podcasts where you can seek to discover more about the world of non-monogamy, but there is also a lot of value in attending a workshop or a course where you can ask questions and perhaps meet other like-minded folks along the way.
A great intro event in London for dipping your toe into polyamory is Ruby Rare’s Non-Monogamy 101. Ruby is a sex educator who has a fun and gentle way of explaining everything from threesomes to different types of relationships. Full disclosure: she also happens to be one of my close friends. You can see any upcoming events here or follow her on Instagram. I recommend listening to the Lustery POV podcast to learn more about Ruby.
The Fox Den are a play party that also runs talks occasionally. These events usually focus on polyamory, kink or conscious sexuality and could be worth checking out.
Polyday is an annual conference-style event that happens in London. Unfortunately, it is now cancelled for the foreseeable future, but a similar event, Polyamory Day UK, happens online once or twice a year. With workshops covering different topics relating to non-monogamous life, it’s great for anyone with any level of experience in this lifestyle.
I recommend checking out the Open Relating group course if you’re looking for regular group coaching sessions or workshops. Both are run by Roy, who is a trainee therapist. If you want to know more about Roy, I recommend listening to him and his partner on the Normalising Non-Monogamy podcast.
London polyamory meet-ups and munches
Since the pandemic, there has been a significant surge in community events for polyamorous folks in London. In the past year, there have been three fantastic new meet-ups spring up, which I encourage you to check out.
ENM Fam London happens every six to eight weeks in Lewisham and attracts 200+ people to every event. It takes place at a pub with a large beer garden, so there is plenty of space for socialising. Tickets sell out pretty fast, but all of them are low/no cost. I co-founded this event with Jax and Erin but no longer organise it as I travel a lot now (but always attend whenever I’m in town).
There’s also the lovely Peckham Polyam that happens south of the river. It’s a smaller gathering, with around 30 people, which happens at an amazing Nigerian restaurant, so arrive hungry to enjoy their food. Serotonin is another new social for people of the global majority who are non-monogamous or kinky, which happens at different venues across the city.
Some events have been running in London for longer. The London Poly and Open Cocktails recently celebrated their sixth birthday and happens almost every month, attracting a small but dedicated crowd. The London Polyamory Meetup Group has also been around for a long time (it was the first polyamory event I attended!), but it appears only to be online now. There also used to be a London Poly Munch, but it seems to no longer be happening.
Polyamorous dating UK
If you’re new to polyamory, I highly recommend joining some of the above events before diving deep into the polyamory dating scene in London. You will learn more about yourself and what you are looking for and build a support network, which comes in handy when navigating through those tricky first couple of years of non-monogamy.
There are very few in-person dating events for polyamorous folks in London. Most of the abovementioned meet-ups discourage people from attending if they aim to only hit on others, as these are community-focused events. Instead, dating apps are the primary place to meet other non-monogamous people because you know they are openly looking for new partners/lovers/friends.
As a well-travelled person, I know how much dating apps can differ from country to country, even city to city. In the UK, most of the standard dating apps are popular, but when it comes to polyamory, here are the ones I think are most effective for Londoners and beyond.
Feeld is always your best bet for polyamory in the UK. It’s where most people who are looking tend to be, as it has a big crossover with the kink community and allows people to link their profile with another partner. The crowd there tends to have well-selected photos, and the interface looks nice, which counts for something, too.
OkCupid has long been popular for non-monogamous folks, but the app isn’t as pretty as others. The Londoners there have strong left-of-centre energy, so expect Burners, colourful hair and a lot of gender nonconformity. However, don’t expect rapid responses, as many people seem to have forgotten their profiles are still live.
#open is newer and therefore not as popular yet but has the significant benefit of specifically being about non-monogamy. I also like that it allows people to link to their Instagram and uses hashtags so you can search for people with similar interests.
So, if you’re only in London for a week and looking to meet other polyamorous people, I would jump on Feeld and maybe take a scroll through #open, too.
Polyamorous Facebook groups
Even though Facebook isn’t that representative of the community (as very few people under 40 use it anymore), you can still find some useful groups for connecting with other polyamorous people.
There are a couple of dating groups on Facebook, which I have tried and discovered weren’t for me, but others clearly like them. UK Poly Dating Classifieds has nearly 5,000 polyamorous people from around the country, while the UK Polyamory Dating Group has about 1,500 folks. In both groups, people advertise themselves as looking for new partners, with photos and a bit about themselves.
London non-monogamy events calendar
As our polyamorous community has grown over recent years, so has the need for an informative events hub. Shout out to MissE, who not only set about creating the Ethical Non-Monogamy London events calendar but also has recommended many of the sexy parties below.
You can scroll through the calendar on the link above. However, if you’d like to join, detailed instructions are here.
Sex-positive events in London
One of the best things about London is the abundance of sex-positive events happening across the city every week. There’s a wide range of soirees, from life-drawing classes to kinky parties, so it’s all about what you feel comfortable exploring. These aren’t necessarily events for polyamorous folks, but you’re almost guaranteed to meet other non-monogamous people.
Here are some events to check out if you’re into a little sexy creativity. Body Love Sketch Club (pictured) is about celebrating yourself and others through life drawing. It’s run by Ruby, who I mentioned above, and her lovely pal Rosy. You can also check out Neon Naked Life Drawing.
SheHerTheyThem runs regular events for queer folks who aren’t cis men, offering a variety of workshops, including life drawing plus zine and printmaking. The new Slut Socials offer P*rntraits workshops for women and non-binary people where you can paint pictures of your own nudes.
Try these informative events if you’re looking to hone your skills, either within yourself or in the bedroom or play space. Sex Club offers various workshops for self-inquiry around sexuality, with themes including desire, boundaries and communication. Meanwhile, down in Peckham, you’ll find Anatomie Studio, which offers a wide variety of shibari-related workshops, plus events like Queer Rope Speed Dating.
Here are some options to explore if you’re after somewhere with sex-positive vibes without necessarily being a play party. Pinky Promise (pictured) is a big festival favourite and alternates between Berlin and London outside of the summer season. Fox & Badge has similar vibes, although I do find it to be a slightly straighter space.
Harpies is a queer strip club that is very trans+ positive, and $exquisite is a cabaret night showcasing performers and artists who are sex workers. T-Boys Club is a night for trans men and their friends that looks so sexy it just requires a row of flame emojis.
Finding parties with dedicated play spaces in London that aren’t intensely straight or predominantly kinky isn’t easy – but they do exist. If you’re a gay man, there are more options available, with Adonis and Feel It being among the ones that get the mix of party and play space right. Try Riposte for a fabulous party centred around trans+ folks and other queers.
Fox Den also throw play parties in addition to the workshops listed above. Their crowd has a grown-up, classy vibe, which (despite my age) isn’t my style but works for others. Pleasure Island Parties are also another option to check out. Skirt Club is one for bisexual women if you like your play parties incredibly luxe and lush. For those who want to take the sensual oil parties a little further, Liquid Lovemaking is for you.
London kink parties
As in most cities, there is a massive crossover between the kink and polyamory communities in London. So, these parties are great places to start if you’re kinky and looking to meet more non-monogamous folks.
I haven’t linked to any pages that are NSFW. So, if there is no link for a party described below, try Googling it (or drop me an email).
I’m a big fan of Joyride, which is very trans+ and queer-friendly. Their parties combine dancefloors, play spaces and kink equipment and happen across the UK. Be warned, their events in London can be as large as 1,500 people (these ones happen at Fabric). Klub Verboten is the way to go if you’re after a party with a strong kink focus. Make sure you dress to impress, as their door staff are notoriously picky.
If you’re looking to start somewhere a little smaller, then parties like Little Black Book have a more intimate vibe with around 30 people. Thorn London also comes highly recommended for POC and queer folks. One Night Parties looks fun for women and non-binary people wanting to explore their feminity.
Here are some other parties that might be of interest: