There was a time when those who practiced non-monogamy — including polyamory, swinging, open relationships and the like — felt shamed for living a lifestyle outside of traditional understandings of partnership. Often met with assumptions about their desires and motivations, non-monogamous individuals were encouraged to keep quiet about their decision to move freely, even while having a partner who approved.
The days of keeping quiet, however, are over, with several celebs and public figures embracing the concept, regardless of the judgement they often face from both the press and the public.
Check out 12 stars who’ve embraced non-monogamy below.
The biggest modern-day mouthpiece of open relationships, Nick Cannon has proudly sired several children while engaging in consensual non-monogamy with their mothers. This, of course, does not include his marriage to ex-wife Mariah Carey, with whom he shares his eldest two children.
“That’s a Eurocentric concept,” Cannon said of monogamy during a 2021 interview with Vermilion County First. “The idea that you’re supposed to have this one person for the rest of your life. The idea that a man should have one woman. We shouldn’t have anything. I have no ownership over this person.
“If we’re really talking about how we co-exist and how we populate, it’s about what exchange can we create together. I understand the institution of marriage, but if we go back to what that was about … it was to classify property,” he argued.
“One father gave another man his daughter for land. So when you really get to that concept it’s like, we gotta change this up,” he went on. “I don’t want ownership over anybody. I don’t have ownership over any of the mothers. We create families in the sense that we created a beautiful entity.”
Will Smith And Jada Pinkett Smith
Will Smith opened up about his open marriage to Jada Pinkett Smith in a 2021 issue of GQ, saying that his wife “never believed in conventional marriage” and “had family members that had an unconventional relationship. So she grew up in a way that was very different than how I grew up.”
While their marriage began monogamous, Smith agreed to the arrangement after they found themselves “both miserable and clearly something had to change.”
“We have given each other trust and freedom, with the belief that everybody has to find their own way,” he added. “And marriage for us can’t be a prison. And I don’t suggest our road for anybody. I don’t suggest this road for anybody. But the experiences that the freedoms that we’ve given one another and the unconditional support, to me, is the highest definition of love.”
The apple didn’t fall far from the tree in the Smith residence, as daughter Willow Smith discussed being polyamorous with her mother, Jada, and grandmother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, on recently canceled Facebook Watch series Red Table Talk.
“With polyamory, I feel like the main foundation is the freedom to be able to create a relationship style that works for you and not just stepping into monogamy because that’s what everyone around you says is the right thing to do,” she explained on the show.
Diddy And Yung Miami
“Nobody can hold me down, oh no, I’ve got to keep on moooovinn.'”
We know sir, we know.
Sean “Diddy” Combs is currently in an open relationship with City Girl Yung Miami, as both refuse to commit to each other exclusively and prefer to keep things undefined. This works for them considering the Bad Boy founder welcomed a baby girl in December 2022 with another woman while praising the rapper born Caresha Brownlee all over social media.
Diddy also dated model Jesse Mae while with Yung Miami, the two often throwing subtle shots at each other via social media over the music industry exec.
Mo’Nique and husband Sidney Hicks have been very vocal about their open marriage, even beginning a podcast titled Mo’Nique and Sidney’s Open Relationship in 2016.
According to the comic, the arrangement began when she told her hubby that she wanted to continue seeing another man she knew.
“I wanted to continue to see the gentlemen that I was seeing, and I felt comfortable telling my best friend,” she revealed to The New York Times in 2016. Hicks agreed, as long as he could date others as well.
In March of 2023, however, the funny lady shared that she outgrew the arrangement in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
“Life began to happen,” she said. “I began to see a strength I had never seen before. He loved me at my worst. I didn’t want to sacrifice that just for a lay. So I grew out of that.”
Brooklyn-bred rapper and actor Joey Bada$$ revealed his desire to enter into a polyamorous marriage with two wives during a visit to Angela Yee’s Lip Service podcast in 2022.
“I want two [wives],” he said before sharing he had a few girlfriends living in separate houses at the time, adding that he wouldn’t want his partners living under one roof.
“They will have to be cool with each other, they’ll have to be able to call each other if they wanna get down like that. But it’s not a requirement.” He also added that he could “potentially” see himself having two families, and would prefer if they were bi-coastal.
Comedian DeRay Davis has opened up about his poly lifestyle several times, including during a 2017 appearance on The Real, where he dished on having two live-in girlfriends.
“They’re very comfortable, cause I’m very open,” he said of his polyamorous arrangement. “I don’t make it where it’s all, ‘Oooh, look what I’m doing!’ I’m not a player.”
Host Loni Love responded saying she believes in “having a spare,” but couldn’t imagine sharing both a house and a man with another woman.
“If you have something separate, that separate becomes a secret,” DeRay replied before Loni interrupted, adding, “It’s not a secret if everybody knows each other. I just can’t share another space with another woman in the same house, but if you taking care of the bills, I can understand that.”
He also spoke of his “three-lationship” with the Chicago Tribune, calling the scenario a “dream.”
“It’s like a dream, I cannot lie. Two beautiful girls, getting along…”
Singer Jidenna opened up about being polyamorous to Teyana Taylor on Bumble’s Luv2SeeIt in August 2022, admitting that he initially did it to satisfy his sexual curiosities.
“When I first started I had the basic dream of threesomes. But then I realized I really wanted to have a romantic relationship with another woman.”
While he wasn’t in a poly relationship at the time, he met his girlfriend — with whom he is now exclusive — when she had two boyfriends.
“Right now, people look at me and [my exclusive partner], and they’re like ‘Wow, y’all are monogamous.’ and I’m like – maybe! But we reserve the right to evolve. Our agreement has license to change; we can change whenever we want.”
During an April 2022 episode of Red Table Talk, singer Janelle Monáe not only came out as non-binary, but confirmed that she’d been in a poly relationship before.
“I wasn’t ready to have my family question my personal life or get calls from people who still look at me as Little Pumpkin — that’s what they call me back home,” she said. “I needed to talk to my dad, who was just great. My sister knew already because I’ve been in monogamous relationships; I’ve been in polyamorous relationships. But I knew that I couldn’t be Little Pumpkin. I couldn’t be little Janelle.”
Omarion is ready to explore non-monogamous relationships, revealing on Club Shay Shay that he believes his next partner — or partners — will find him.
“She finds me. It’s been a while since I’ve actually been in a ‘girlfriend-boyfriend’ type of relationship. But I think a private life is a happy life. I believe that she finds me,” he asserted. “It might be ‘shes.’ ‘Shes’ might find me. Plurals. ‘Shes.’ I’m just saying if I really thought about my lifestyle and being with me—the pressure of being with me and it just being one woman. I don’t know if that exists.”
“I don’t come from a traditional standpoint. I feel like I’ve definitely tried the traditional way, and I don’t know if that’s for me.”