Major media outlets appear to be normalizing non-monogamous relationships.

CBSN, the digital streaming arm of CBS News, provided the latest example with an hourlong special on “consensual non-monogamy” that aired Sunday night. It included a 22-minute documentary that centered around interviews with people in openly non-monogamous relationships.


Interviews with a pro-polyamory researcher and a pro-polyamory lawyer followed the documentary.

“The way our parents were brought up, monogamy felt like it was necessary. It was just the way culture accepted you, it is the way everybody accepted you. Now, things are different, things are opening, up,” a man identified as Alex, who is in an open marriage with his wife of one year, told CBSN.

Alex and his wife, Bridget, both have outside partners that they date and sleep with, they said.

CBS also interviewed C.J., Brandi, and Brooke, who are a husband, wife, and shared third partner describing themselves as in a “triad monogamous relationship,” though their arrangement is by definition not monogamous.

Brandi said that “with three people it makes it a little bit easier to get those [sexual] needs fulfilled,” explaining that sometimes she’ll have sex with C.J. but not Brooke, or vice versa.

Another man interviewed by CBSN, called Mahdi, is in a “triad” with two women.

“I had to divorce my first partner because my second partner had immigration status issues,” Mahdi said, noting that he was still in a relationship with both of them. He added that he doesn’t think he has had health insurance since he divorced his first wife.

“For years, monogamy has dominated what society perceives as, and allows to be, ‘normal,’ but in the modern era, those parameters are softening,” an Oct. 25 press release from CBS said ahead of the program’s airing. 

CBS also teased the special with articles and video clips that portrayed non-monogamous relationships in a sympathetic light.

The Daily Beast’s coverage of the documentary said it “dismantles the stereotype that non-monogamy is synonymous with adultery or a wild orgy.”

CBS is just the latest major media company to promote polyamory.

“People are becoming more curious about consensual non-monogamy,” The New York Times reported in an Oct. 2 article on marriages involving members of polyamorous relationships.

The Times in August published a feature piece titled “Polyamory Works for Them,” describing monogamy as “a curious stalwart” and that more and more young people are rejecting its “blandness.”

ABC News delved into actor Nico Tortorella’s polyamorous lifestyle in an Oct. 24 article that said the actor’s open marriage is “redefining what it means to be ‘husband and wife.’”

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