Polyamory in a pandemic: Who do you quarantine with when you're not monogamous?

Cat, a polyamorous woman living in New York City who asked her last name be withheld to protect her privacy, has spent the last 14 days in self-imposed quarantine with her roommate, who had been exposed to the virus. After she leaves the quarantine, she’ll have to decide which of her two partners to see – and if it is ethical to do so. Ultimately, she said, she is leaning towards quarantining alone to avoid hurting either partner.

“Coronavirus is making everyone polyamorous, in a sense,” she said. “We all have to navigate disclosure, safety, and health in similar ways.”

Being holed up at home with one partner does not necessarily mean strict monogamy, said Saynt the NSFW founder. A lot of non-monogamous couples are still seeking to interact in a virtual way, and a rise in online events is making it more accessible.

“In a way, this is also creating a new safety net for people who were curious about non-monogamy but were afraid of that initial intimacy point,” Saynt said.