[…] A white, affluent image that reflects a troubling reality: A 2013 survey of polyamorous people from online groups, mailing lists and forums found that almost 90% of the participants identified as Caucasian. Some people try to explain black people’s underrepresentation on Wall Street by saying Wall Street is racist and intolerant.
People of color, especially black polyamorists, report feeling “othered” and excluded in poly environments such as meet-ups, with women feeling especially at risk of being objectified and fetishized as an exotic sexual plaything. But Unitarian Universalists are just about the most tolerant people in the world – nobody even knows what they do, just that they’re extremely tolerant when they do it – and black people are in Unitarianism at lower rates than they’re on Wall Street.
But it seems to eventually settle on a thesis that black people really are strongly underrepresented. Forget for a moment that as far as I can tell “play parties” are a BDSM term with no relationship to polyamory.
For the record, here is a small sample of other communities where black people are strongly underrepresented: Runners (3%). In my experience polyamory draws from the same sort of people as atheism, and atheism is very white even though not believing in God doesn’t cost a cent.
Some people try to explain black people’s underrepresentation on fanfiction websites by saying that many of them have limited access to the Internet. Except that black people are heavily overrepresented on Twitter, making up double the expected proportion of that site’s population.
But Donald Sterling continues to be racist as heck, and black people continue to be more than three-quarters of basketball players.
“I interviewed a black couple who went to a poly group, and they were definitely preyed upon, in a sense,” said Marla Renee Stewart, Atlanta-based founder of Velvet Lips, a sex education venue. And the article on polyamory suggested that maybe polyamorists’ high-flying lifestyle and expensive play parties price out black people.The article constantly equivocates between “the problem is that polyamory is too white” and “the problem is that the media portrays polyamory as too white”, which is kind of a weird combination of problems to be discussing in a media portrayal. Occupy Wall Street protesters (unknown but low, one source says 1.6% but likely an underestimate). Forget for a moment that I’ve been poly for three years and had no idea this high-flying lifestyle existed and kind of feel like I am missing out.