By: Urfavfilosopher/Polyamorous Black Girl

Summertime often signals the season for sundresses and sneaky links. (Owwww!) Although the language of a “sneaky link” is newly emerging among millennials and Gen Z-ers, Xscape been about that sneaky link life. Their 1998 song “My Little Secret” explores the sneaky link before the turn of the millennium. Xscape’s secret relationships highlight a non-monogamy that is, at best, far from ideally communiticative and, at worst, straightforwardly manipulative. Still, as we understand it, contemporary sneaky links have a little more to do with privacy and not necessarily unethicality. And while there are nuanced differences between secrecy…


I. Lessons from my aunt Mary J. Blige

In 1992 my aunt Mary was searching for something. Real love. She was searching for a real love; someone to satisfy her every need.

Just a couple of years ago, a Cornell University issued a call for projects that explored the notion of fabrication and prompted me into thinking about this early 90’s conversation with my aunt. As I often do, I began questioning. What is real about love? What about love is real? Is love inherently a kind of fabricated narrative that a society regularly tells itself? If so, can true…


I.

Among non-monogamists the term “relationship anarchy” is somewhat common. As I understand it, relationship anarchy is a philosophy about relationships that involves the belief that intimate relationships should not be governed by conventional rules or norms. Some things about this should be relatively unsurprising. After all non-monogamists are accustomed to existing across relationships in ways that deviate from social norms.

While relationship anarchy (RA) as a practice or a philosophy of relating seems straightforward enough to understand, it is sometimes mistakenly taken up as an identity. …


I. The Makings of a Failed Metaship

In the summer of 2019 I developed some amount of affection for a woman who had a boyfriend. Expressing her reluctance to exchange phone numbers, and out of respect for her monogamous romantic relationship, we opted to exchange social media handles.

In spite of what many may think, polyamorists are not predators praying upon the downfall or failure of one’s romantic relationship. As such, the social distance that could be maintained through occasional Instagram likes and story reactions was not only comfortable but also welcomed. …


I.

On our way to Moses Hall in the fall of 2015, during a visiting research appointment at the University of California Berkeley, I asked my mentor Niko Kolodny “What, for you, is the difference between friendships and romantic relationships?”

To my surprise, Niko responded that the question was a “good one.” The question hadn’t really struck me as a good one; certainly not one good enough to baffle someone whose thinking about love I truly respected. …


I. “Meet Matt James”

Friends of mine know that I’m interested in all things “Black Love” and they were eager to suggest season 25 of The Bachelor to my watchlist. I hadn’t watched any season prior to this one but like much of the world, I was lowkey excited about “the first Black Bachelor”, who I had playfully dubbed “Barack OBachelor” even before I knew they shared the category of being “mixed race” Black men.

I met Matt James with the rest of the world. But unlike many viewers (I’m sure), I watched through a non-monogamous lens. “If nothing else,”…


I.

I’ve learned that I don’t like surprises…well, some surprises. Although I’ve experienced the forging and sustaining of romantic relationships many times, their termination has often caught me by surprise.

The surprise is no small matter. Many times these surpsrises have had lasting effects. Jessica Fern explains how traumatic detachments can (and do) impact not only our future prospects for romantic partners, but also the quality of existing romantic relationships. A constant bracing one’s self against the potential of loss becomes a hotbed for anxiety. Attempting to close ourselves off from the agony associated with these kinds of losses we…


By: Urfavfilosopher/PolyamorousBlackGirl

Sza’s The Weekend made quite a splash among non-monogamous folks when it was dropped in 2017. Because depictions of Black ethical non-monogamists is sparse, we tend to flock toward media that may even just potentially cast a favorable light on non-monogamy. Yet we don’t think that the artist went as far as she could. Let us explain…

The song’s opening lines are “You say you got a girl, Yeah how you want me when you got a girl?” …


By: Urfavfilosopher/Polyamorous Black Girl

We had fun with this one. After going back and forth about how we should interpret Pleasure P’s “Boyfriend #2”, we had quite a bit to say about it. We thought it’d be dope for yall to choose your own adventure. So if you’re interested in our (slightly) more serious analysis, read 1). If you wanna check out our alternative analysis that is probably a little more fun, read 2).

Honestly, we think you should read boffum. (*ye shrug*… is that still cool?)

1)

Entanglements. If you get the reference it’s probably because you were tapped…


By: Urfavfilosopher/Polyamorous Black Girl

When we say we want “that 90s R&B” type love, we typically don’t mean the one that shows up in the 1998 hit single “The Boy is Mine”. The standard interpretation of Brandy and Monica’s hit is that it portrays a love triangle involving a “two-timin’” man that has played these women against one another — creating a toxically possessive rivalry between the two. But might there be another interpretation available us? What do the song’s lyrics and music video actually tell us about the ethical status of the non-monogamous dynamic at play?

The song’s standard…

Urfavfilosopher

Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Santa Clara University. Prof. Clardy’s scholarship and public writing focus on love, justice, and race in the Americas.

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