“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,” Smith said during the “Is Polyamory For You” episode. “So I was like, how can I structure the way that I approach relationships with that in mind? Also, doing research into polyamory, the main reasons why monogamous relationships, or why marriage, why divorces happen is infidelity.”
Smith expressed that the history of marriage really “irks” her, due to the traditional focus of marriage and what it’s meant for women, especially.
“It’s almost like you’re born, you go to school, you go to college, you get married, you have kids, you have the picket fence, but a lot of people have done that and felt unfulfilled in their lives,” Smith argued.
Smith’s grandmother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, better known as “Gammy,” was struggling with the idea of a polyamorous lifestyle, and felt that partaking in polyamorous relationships is fixated on sex.
“For somebody like me, it feels like it’s all just centered around sex,” the 67-year-old. “I happen to enjoy being married, even though I’ve been married several times.”
The “Whip My Hair” singer shared that she was introduced to polyamory “through kind of a non-sexual lens,” while also admitting that amongst her friends, she is the only one that is polyamorous, but engages in the least sex.
“In my friend group, I’m the only polyamorous person and I have the least sex out of all my friends,” the 20-year-old who identifies as bisexual said. “I’m not the kind of person that is constantly looking for new sexual experiences. I focus a lot on the emotional connection and I feel like if I were to find two people of the different genders that I really connected with and we had a romantic and sexual connection, I don’t feel like I would feel the need to try to go find more.”
According to the Committee on Consensual Non-Monogamy (CNM), approximately one out of 22 people who are currently in a romantic relationship identify as part of a consensual non-monogamous relationship, with one in five people engaging in CNM during their lifetime.
In 2018, the American Psychological Association (APA) enacted the Division 44 Committee on Non-Consensual Monogamy Task Force to emphasize and educate people on the importance of of polyamorous relationships, which are increasing across the globe.
Smith’s mother, Jada Pinkett-Smith supported her daughter’s polyamorous explorations, asserting that many people partake in monogamous relationships “because they have no other choice.”
“I was like, ‘I totally get it,’” the Set It Off actress said, adding that any relationship needs to be connected to something “greater than you.”
“Wanting to set up your life in a way that you can have what it is that you want, I think that anything goes as long as the intentions are clear to everyone, more to yourself than anything,” she continued.
When asked if she plans to get married, Smith responded that she could only do so under one condition.
“Let’s say me and my partner or partners wants [sic] to help people, and we need to put our finances together in order to make that vision happen,” she said. “ That’s the only way I could see myself getting married.”
While the Red Table conversation included polyamorous guests sharing their own personal testimonies, confusion and clarification from the three hosts, Pinkett-Smith assured her daughter that as long as she loves herself, that’s all that matters.
“As long as you are learning to have the greatest love affair with Willow, I’m okay with whatever you do,” she said.